Wednesday, September 26, 2012

September 26 and 28 CSA

Seed Mania

What's in the Box

Spaghetti Squash and Dumplings, Melons! Melons! Melons!, Eggplant, Tomatoes, Tomatillos, Peppers - sweet Friarellos this week, Okra Group 1, Cukes Group 2, and corn.

This week's Special gifts :  Group 1 - Eggs & Peach Jam
Group 2 - Peach Jam

On the farm

We're busy harvesting, saving seed, harvesting melons and squash, canning and replanting for fall.  Many of you have asked me how much longer do I think the season will go.  I think we will go until the 8th of November.  Of course this depends on rain and frost.  November 8th is the last possible day that I have planted for.

Since you will be getting all things Squash over the next several weeks, I thought I would take this opportunity to give you some of my favorite squash recipes.

Mini Pumpkin Coconut Puddings With Ginger Cream

Zack's painting
Makes 6 servings
For the pumpkin shells:
6 small pumpkins (about 8 ounces each) (Delicatas/dumplings or any ornamental edible).
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
For the pudding:
4 pounds sugar, pie or any of the squashes from the farm  seeded, de-pulped, peeled and cut into chunks 
2 cups sugar
1 can coconut milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 cup arrowroot powder
For garnish:
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 cup shredded coconut, toasted
1. To prepare the shells, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice the tops off the small pumpkins. Scoop out the pulp and seeds, scraping the inside of the shells clean with a spoon, and discard the pumpkin innards. In a small bowl, combine sugar and cardamom and rub this mixture generously over the inside surface of the pumpkins. Set the tops back on the pumpkins and place them on a baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the interior flesh can be easily pierced with a fork.
2. To prepare the pudding, steam the pumpkin chunks until very tender, about 30 minutes. Add cooked pumpkin to the work bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. (Optional: For an extra-smooth pudding, run the pumpkin puree through a food mill, then return it to the food processor.) Add sugar, coconut milk, cream, cardamom and arrowroot, and process again until smooth. Return mixture to a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens, about 20-30 minutes. Transfer mixture to a container and chill in the refrigerator until set, about 3 hours.
Feeling Squashy?
3. To serve, fill mini pumpkins with pudding. Combine heavy cream, sugar and ginger in a bowl and use a mixer to whip into soft peaks. Set a small dollop of whipped cream on each pumpkin, then sprinkle with toasted coconut.

Roast Stuffed Pumpkin With Gingery Tomato Sauce

Makes 8 to 12 servings
1 7- to 8-pound pumpkin, such as Jarrahdale
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable oil or olive oil
3 cloves garlic, 2 minced plus 1 left whole
1 cup dried cranberries
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 good pinch of saffron strands
Zest of 1 orange
Approximately 2 cups basmati rice, uncooked
Approximately 4 cups hot vegetable broth
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Slice the lid off the top of the pumpkin, and remove the seeds and fibrous flesh from the inside, keeping the top to put back on later.
2. In a large saucepan with a lid, fry the onion gently in the oil until softened, then add the 2 minced garlic cloves, the cranberries, spices and clementine zest. Stir in the rice, turning until it becomes glossy in the pan. Pour in the broth and let the pan come to a boil, then clamp on the lid and turn the heat down to the lowest it will possibly go. Cook for 15 minutes.
3. Cut the remaining clove of garlic in half and rub the inside of the pumpkin with the cut side of each half, then, using your fingers, smear some salt over the flesh inside as well. The rice stuffing will be quite damp and not very fluffy at this stage, but check it for seasoning - adding more spice, salt or pepper if wanted - and then spoon it into the garlic- and salt-rubbed pumpkin cavity and tamp down well.
4. Press the pumpkin lid back on top and squeeze it down as firmly as you can (it will sit a bit above the top). Stand the pumpkin on a double layer of aluminum foil, wrapping the foil 2 inches around the sides and scrunching it there, to keep the pumpkin out of direct contact with the water later. Place the stuffed, partially wrapped pumpkin in a roasting pan and pour in freshly boiled water to a depth of 1 inch. Cook the pumpkin for about 2 hours, by which time it should be tender when pierced.
5. Meanwhile, get on with the Gingery Tomato Sauce (at right). Take the pumpkin out of the roasting pan and let it sit for about 10 minutes before you slice it into segments like a cake.

Gingery Tomato Sauce

Makes 8 to 12 servings
1 onion, peeled and halved
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon dried ginger
1-inch length fresh ginger, peeled
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cups organic tomato sauce
2 cups water
1 teaspoon superfine sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Put the onion, garlic, dried ginger, and fresh ginger into a processor and blitz to a pulp.
2. Heat the butter and oil in a deep, wide skillet, then add the onion-garlic mixture. Cook over a low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally so that it doesn't burn. Add the tomato sauce and water to the pan, and season with the sugar, salt and pepper. Cook for 15 minutes, at a gentle simmer, then taste for seasoning before decanting into a warmed jug or gravy boat and taking to the table for people to pour over their slices of stuffed pumpkin.  (Gingery Tomato Sauce can be made from Farm Tomatoes, and if you add curry, peppers and herbs, it's quite lovely on chicken, lamb chops, and rice).

- From Nigella Christmas (Hyperion)

Pickled Pumpkin

Makes about 6 half-pint jars or 12 servings
4 pounds peeled and diced pumpkin
5 cups sugar
5 cups distilled white vinegar
5 black peppercorns
4 allspice berries
4 cinnamon sticks
15 whole cloves
1-inch piece ginger, peeled and sliced thin
1. Place the pumpkin in a large, deep bowl. In a large saucepan, combine sugar, vinegar, peppercorns, allspice berries, cinnamon sticks, cloves and ginger. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes. Pour hot liquid over pumpkin. Cover and set aside 8 hours or overnight.
2. Strain liquid into a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes. Strain, removing spices. Reserve. Transfer pumpkin back to saucepan and return to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes, or until pumpkin is translucent and crisp. Cool completely. Transfer to sterile jars, adding back a few cinnamon sticks, cloves, peppercorns and allspice berries to each jar for decoration.  This must be refrigerated!


Pumpkin Flan

3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 pounds Pumpkin (peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks)
Water for boiling the Pumpkin
4 eggs
1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon (ground)

Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit.
Melt the sugar slowly and carefully in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Don't rush it. You want the sugar to caramelize, not burn.
Once the sugar has completely melted, pour into a flan mold or 8 inch glass pie plate. Set aside.
Place the cut up calabaza in a pot with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and continue to boil until the pumpkin is fork tender, about 20 minutes.
Drain the pumpkin in a colander. Then mash with a potato masher; or puree in a blender or food processor.
In a mixing bowl, beat together the eggs, pumpkin and the remaining ingredients. Mix well.
Pour the mix into the prepared glass mold. Don't worry if the sugar is hard. It will melt when the flan is cooked.
Place the glass dish inside a larger baking pan and fill the larger pan with boiling water until the water reaches halfway on the outside of the mold.
Place on the center rack in the oven and bake for 1 hour. The center should be set firm.  Be careful when removing from boiling water!
Allow to cool to room temperature. Flip upside down onto serving platter and serve.

Pumpkin Chili

2 c. peeled and chopped tomatoes

1 can of red kidney beans or your own cooked beans

1 jar of pumpkin butter

1 chopped onion.

1 chopped bell pepper.

1 c. of cooked barley, or bulgar

1 chopped chili

1 T. chili powder

1 garlic minced

1 t.  ground cumin

1 t. of salt
Drain and rinse the beans. Put all ingredients in a large pan. Simmer for 35 minutes.  This is a regular here on the farm.

Cremini and Butternut Soup

1 Butternut Squash
4 c.  Vegetable or Chicken Broth
1 onion chopped
1/2 lb. Cremini mushrooms
Olive oil, Thyme, Sage
3 Cloves Garlic
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/2 c. Half and Half
1/4 c. Romano Cheese
Cut squash in half lengthwise, and seed.   Bake cut down side on lightly oiled pan 1 hour 400 degrees.  When cool, peel, cube and process with 1 cup of broth in food processor. In a large soup pan, heat oil and saute onion and garlic.  Add chopped mushrooms and herbs, saute.  Stir in nutmeg, squash puree and remaining broth.  Bring to a boil and simmer 20 minutes.  Turn off heat, stir in 1/2 and 1/2 and sprinkle with cheese.  This is really my favorite soup.

Take care, see you all next week.

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