Many Ways to Savor Your Winter Farmers’ Market Bounty
The Recorder, February 2nd, 2016, by Mary McClintock
Tourtiere (French meat pie)
By Natty Hussey, Bostrom Farm, Greenfield
Tourtiere is that feel good smell and warm presence of shepherd’s pie with the savory addition of a double crust. I used King Aurthur Flour’s Tourtière recipe for the filling with Bostrom ground beef and ground pork. Bostrom’s lean beef is nicely countered by the fattier pork. Not normally a fan of cooking heavily spiced dished, I questioned the clove/sage combo but it proved to be fantastic! Now the crust; what truly makes this meal disappear. I opt for the “Joy of Cooking’s” “Flaky Pastry Dough.” The actual JoC book is much more interesting to use than the website. Use whatever recipe you desire, but as stated in the “Joy of Cooking,” I stand firm on the belief that “Leaf Lard … produces a wonderfully flaky crust …” and is by far a superior choice to the standard butter or shortening. Staying moist long after cooling, the lard also keeps the crust’s form with little crumbling, making it easy to return to for another meal (or 2nd helping). Five pounds of Bostrom’s Leaf Lard is rendered down to a little more than 2 FL Quarts in a couple hours, enough for about 8 pies. (The remaining tablespoons of lard can be used to fry your home-made French fries). Hope this one warms your kitchen.
- 3/4 C. (6 ounces) lard or 3/4 C. (4 3/4 ounces) vegetable shortening
- 1/3 C. (2 5/8 ounces) boiling water
- 2 1/4 C. (9 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 C. (16 ounces) water
- 2 1/2 C. peeled potato, cut into 1/2-inch dice (12 to 14 ounces, 1 large potato)
- 1/2 pound ground beef*
- 1/2 pound ground pork*
- 1 C. chopped onion (4 to 5 ounces, 1 large onion)
- 1 C. chopped celery (3 to 4 ounces, 1 to 2 stalks celery)
- 2 cloves garlic (more to taste), peeled and minced
- 1/4 tsp. ground clove
- 1 tsp ground thyme
- 1/2 tsp. ground sage
- 1 tsp. ground black pepper
Pastry: Place lard or shortening in bowl. Add boiling water, then stir well to melt fat. Add flour, baking powder, and salt, and mix with spoon or electric mixer to make smooth dough. Scrape half of dough out of bowl onto piece of plastic wrap, form it into disk, and wrap well. Repeat with remaining dough, and refrigerate both dough disks while preparing filling. Filling: Put salt, water and potato in medium saucepan, and bring mixture to boil over medium heat. Boil until potatoes are fork-tender, then drain them, saving water. In large frying pan, brown meat, draining off any excess fat when finished. Add onion, celery, garlic, spices and potato water to meat. Bring it to boil, then lower heat to simmer. Stirring occasionally, continue simmering mixture for 30 minutes or longer, until liquid has evaporated and vegetables are tender. Mash about half of the potato chunks, and add them to meat. Gently stir in remaining chunks of potato. Remove mixture from heat and let it cool to room temperature. Assembly: Take one piece of dough out of refrigerator, unwrap it, and dust both sides with flour. Roll it out to about 1/4-inch thick (or less if you prefer thinner crust). Line 9-inch pie pan with dough, and fill it with cooled meat mixture. Roll out remaining dough disk, and place it over filling. Trim excess from dough and crimp edges together with fork or your fingers. Baking: Bake pie in preheated 450°F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce oven heat to 350°F, and bake for additional 30 minutes, or until pie is golden brown. Let pie cool for 15 minutes or so to set up before slicing. Yield: 1 pie, 10 servings.
Kale, Black Bean, and Beet Salad
Shared by Nancy Morrison, Haydenville (from a newspaper clipping that Mary figured out came from Ellise Pierce, “Fort Worth Star-Telegram”)
- 2 T. olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 large bunches kale, ribs removed and leaves torn into bite-size pieces
- 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
- Sea salt and pepper
- 2 eggs (or 4 if making first-course salads)
- 1 15-ounce can beets in water, drained, rinsed, diced (or fresh beets steamed/diced)
- About 2 oz. blue cheese, crumbled
- Balsamic vinegar
Put olive oil in large skillet, add garlic, and turn heat to medium. Cook until you can smell the garlic, 3-5 minutes. Toss kale into skillet and let it cook until it just begins to wilt – just a few minutes. Warm beans in small saucepan over low heat. Fill deep skillet or saucepan with about 4 inches of water, along with big pinch of salt and turn heat on high. When water boils, turn it down to simmer. Crack each egg into small glass bowl and gently slide egg from bowl in to barely bubbling water. Set timer for 2 minutes. With slotted spoon, remove egg and place it on paper towel to absorb moisture while you assemble salad. Divide still-warm kale onto plates, top with spoonful or two of black beans and same amount of beets. Carefully place a poached egg on top of each salad. Sprinkle with blue cheese, add dashes of sea salt and pepper, and lightly drizzle with balsamic vinegar.
Raw Beet Salad
By Michelle St. Martin, Conway
- Red beets
- Bok choy
- Cilantro lime dressing
- Cookeville Grana cheese
Grate red beets and carrots, and dice shallots. Slice bok choy into strips (including crunchy part at the bottom) and toss all ingredients together. Sprinkle with dressing and add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with Cookeville Grana cheese. [Mary’s note: Cookeville Grana is a grating cheese from Blythedale Farm, in Corinth, Vt. Try Italian Grace from Chase Hill Farm in Warwick, Mass.]
By Mary McClintock as told to her by a friend as they walked in the winter woods
Here’s an alternative use for slightly wrinkly, late- season apples. Instead of making standard cooked-in-saucepan-on-top-of-stove applesauce, roast them. Slice apples and put in a turkey roasting pan with a little apple cider (or water). Roast until apples are squishy, stirring occasionally so they don’t stick. Results: a warm dish that tastes like apple pie filling.
What to Do with Turnips
Most simply, turnips can be steamed until tender, then tossed with butter, salt, pepper, and herbs. Or roasted with olive oil and salt until caramelized. Or braised, roots and greens together, with butter, water, and salt. Or roasted and puréed into a creamy mash. Similar to radishes, though a bit less spicy, turnips can be thinly sliced and served tartine-style with bread, butter, and salt.
Wilt wisps of turnips, carrots, parsnips, yams and/or other roots in butter and sage, then cook down with lemon, water, and maple syrup until vegetables are tender and glazed.
Simmer turnips with leeks in chicken stock, then purée into a creamy soup that can be served hot or chilled. Top with bacon and wilted turnip or radish greens, if you have them.
Roast turnips with leeks and rutabagas, then toss with toasted farro, herbs, and lemony farmer’s cheese for a light dinner or hearty lunch.
Make a crunchy salad-slaw with a tangy, creamy dressing for a crisp-cool side dish.
Make turnip tots by parboiling turnips first, then sautéing with butter, panko, mint, and lemon zest.
Shared by Pat Lively, Seattle, from PCC Natural Markets Co-op February, 2016 newsletter
- 2 red beets
- 2 C. all-purpose flour
- 2 T. brown sugar
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- Pinch of salt
- 1 ¾ C. milk
- 1 egg
- 1 ½ tsp. orange zest
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Maple syrup and/or jam for serving options
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove stems and most of the roots from beets. Scrub well under running water. Wrap beets in foil and roast in oven until tender when poked with knife (45-60 minutes). Let cool to room temperature. Remove skin from beets, carefully cut beets into 4-pieces then purée in food processor until smooth. Measure ¼ C. beet purée and freeze remainder for another use. In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and pinch of salt. In separate bowl, whisk together beet purée, milk, egg, orange zest, and vanilla extract. Slowly add flour mixture into beet mixture until just combined. DO NOT OVER MIX. Heat lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium heat. Add ¼ C. pancake batter and cook until bubbles start to form on top of pancakes. Flip over pancakes and cook until bottom is golden (about 5-minutes, total). Serve pancakes hot from griddle with maple syrup or jam. Serves 6.
Maple Sweet Potato Pecan Burgers
Makes 4 large burgers
2 C. peeled, cooked and mashed sweet potatoes
1/4 C. uncooked quinoa
3/4 C. water
2 T. vegan butter substitute
2 T. maple syrup
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 C. dry roasted pecans, chopped
1 C. chopped kale
1/2 tsp. sea salt (plus a sprinkle for the onion topping)
1 sweet onion
sprinkle of fresh ground black pepper
4 buns of your choice
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook quinoa according to package directions. In separate saucepan, or in microwave, melt 1 tablespoon of vegan butter substitute. Stir in 1 T. maple syrup and cayenne pepper. Stir maple syrup sauce in with mashed sweet potatoes. Stir in cooked quinoa, pecans, kale, and sea salt. Form mixture into four patties and place on baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes, turning once at halfway point. When burgers have approximately 15 minutes left to cook, make onion topping by first roughly chopping sweet onion. Melt remaining 1 T. vegan butter substitute in small skillet over medium heat. Add onion to melted butter. Sprinkle with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper. Cook for 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low and pour in remaining 1 T. maple syrup. Stir continuously as onions continue to cook for 3 more minutes. Remove onion mixture from heat and spoon over tops of burgers once they have finished baking. If pecans aren’t already dry roasted, roast them easily by spreading them out on baking sheet and baking for 5 minutes at 350 degrees. Since sweet potatoes come in all shapes and sizes, I opted to include a measurement of the potatoes already cooked and mashed rather than a total number of sweet potatoes to use. Microwave potatoes until soft, then remove skin and mash with fork in large bowl.