Member Diary #22: 135 South First

Hi there. We are Kelly, Jay, Aoife and Jeremy. Kelly and Jay have been subscribers to this CSA for two years, but Jeremy and I are new to the southside. We share the Woods package, and the fresh veggies each week inspire us to branch out from our traditional menus. We split up the share and sprinkle the contents throughout our weekly meals. We eat lots of salads with fresh corn, roasted peppers, and sautéed kale.

 This week our share included:

  • 3 beets
  • 1 bunch of mint
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 3 green peppers
  • 1 acorn squash
  • 2 red onions
  • 4 Yukon gold potatoes

We celebrated a successful pick-up with rum drinks highlighted by the bunch of fresh mint! My friend had just sent me an interesting recipe for beet cake, seeing the beets in this weeks farm share I thought it could be an interesting experiment. My plan was to make a savory galette with the butternut squash from last weeks farm share and the beet cake for dessert. The butternut could easily be replaced by the acorn squash from this week (same prep and roasting directions apply). First the galette! This is a recipe Kelly sent me a few months ago, and as my preferred way of eating is anything wrapped in a piecrust with cheese; it has become a staple in our household. This recipe is from the fantastic food blog smittenkitchen.com.

 Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion Galette

For the pastry:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into
  • pieces
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup ice water

For the filling:

  • 1 small butternut squash (about one pound)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons butter (if you have only non-stick, the smaller amount will do)
  • 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced in half-moons
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
  • 3/4 cup fontina cheese (about 2 1/2 ounces), grated or cut into small bits
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage leaves

1. Make pastry: In a bowl, combine the flour and salt. Place the butter in another bowl. Place both bowls in the freezer for 1 hour. Remove the bowls from the freezer and make a well in the center of the flour. Add the butter to the well and, using a pastry blender, cut it in until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Make another well in the center. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, lemon juice and water and add half of this mixture to the well. With your fingertips, mix in the liquid until large lumps form. Remove the large lumps and repeat with the remaining liquid and flour-butter mixture. Pat the lumps into a ball; do not overwork the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

2. Prepare squash: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Peel squash, then halve and scoop out seeds. Cut into a 1/2-inch dice. Toss pieces with olive oil and a half-teaspoon of the salt and roast on foil lined (for neatness sake) sheet for 30 minutes or until pieces are tender, turning it midway if your oven bakes unevenly. Set aside to cool slightly.

3. Caramelize onions: While squash is roasting, melt butter in a heavy skillet and cook onion over low heat with the remaining half-teaspoon of salt and pinch of sugar, stirring occasionally, until soft and lightly golden brown, about 20 minutes. Stir in cayenne.

4. Raise the oven temperature to 400 degrees. Mix squash, caramelized onions, cheese and herbs together in a bowl.

5. Assemble galette: On a floured work surface, roll the dough out into a 12-inch round. Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet. Spread squash, onions, cheese and herb mixture over the dough, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border. Fold the border over the squash, onion and cheese mixture, pleating the edge to make it fit. The center will be open.

6. Bake until golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, let stand for 5 minutes, then slide the galette onto a serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve hot, warm or at room temperature. Serves 6.

Now I do not make my own piecrust, for those of you who do, I am humbled. But for now, I am happy with the Pillsbury ready-made piecrusts found in the grocery store by the eggs and milk.

Meanwhile, Kelly stuffed peppers with spiced ground beef, cinnamon brown rice, and sweet potatoes.

STUFFED PEPPERS

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Ground beef
  • Bell peppers (banana peppers can be used)
  • Yellow onion
  • Tomato paste (6 oz. can)
  • Feta cheese
  • Lemon
  • Fresh oregano, chopped
  • Brown rice
  • Cinnamon stick
  • Ground cinnamon, paprika, cayenne pepper, ground cumin, salt & pepper

For Yogurt Sauce:

  • Plain yogurt
  • Lemon juice
  • Garlic
  • Fresh parsley
  • Fresh mint
  1. Prepare brown rice by boiling in water with salt and cinnamon sticks.
  2. Prick sweet potatoes with fork and bake at 375 until cooked through (about 45 mins to 1 hr). Cut cooked sweet potatoes into ½ inch cubes.
  3. Halve peppers and remove seeds. Place cut side down on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake for 20 mins at 375.
  4. Sautee chopped onion in skillet; add ground beef and brown.
  5. Add tomato paste and spices to taste and cook over medium heat for 5-10 mins.
  6. Stir spiced beef mixture into cooked rice.
  7. Add feta cheese, oregano, chopped sweet potato, and juice of 1 lemon.
  8. Spoon mixture into pepper halves, sprinkle with paprika, and bake for 15-20 mins at 375.
  9. Prepare yogurt sauce by mixing lemon juice, garlic, parsley, and mint into yogurt to taste.  Drizzle over stuffed peppers before serving.

The beet cake was a bit more of a challenge. The recipe is from this beautifully produced food blog: tiger in a jar

 BEET CAKE

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of butter
  • 1 ½ cups of packed dark brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate
  • 2 cups of pureed cooked beets
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp of salt
  • Confectioner’s sugar

We put the beets in the oven at 375, drizzled with olive oil and let them roast for about 30 minutes. We let them cool, peeled, and sliced them up. I didn’t puree them, which I should have, so the batter was a bit lumpy. I would puree them next time before adding them into the mix.

In a mixing bowl cream the butter and brown sugar. Add eggs and mix well. Melt chocolate and remaining butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until smooth and let cool slightly. Blend together chocolate mixture, beets, and vanilla into the butter brown sugar mixture. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the creamed mixture and mix till smooth. Pour into a 9-inch baking pan and bake at 375 for 40 minutes. Let cool and dust with confectioner’s sugar.

It tasted delicious. It was moist and chocolaty, but next time I would serve it with a drizzle of heavy cream over the top. The beet flavor was subtle; I think it mostly gave it a little depth to the flavors.

After all that, I think tonight we will just be throwing the potatoes and red onions in a skillet with rosemary & olive oil, and a Napoli baguette from the Bedford cheese shop (somehow the best and cheapest baguette around).

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