Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Locavores CSA April 1, 2013

Locavores - you folks that are within a couple of miles of the farm

What's in the box:  
Onions, Tomatoes, Cabbages & Favas

Purple Passion Asparagus, Joan Rutabagas, Hamburg Parsley Rooted Turnips, Braising Greens, Blood Oranges, Last year's Garlic, Chioggia Beets, Corn Meal and; Painted Lady Runner Beans,  Eggs, Herbs and Lilacs.  If you had a bag, some of these things may not have been included.

This weeks Special Gift:  Salsa

Corn Meal

There is exactly 1 cup of corn meal in your box.
This is an ancient flour corn from Italy called Rostrato per Dentato, from the San Daniele del Friuli area.   Basically there are 4 types of corn, Flint, Dent, Sweet and Flour.  Of these Flour is my favorite as I find it the most versatile in the kitchen.  Flour corn is for baking.  Flint corn is for boiling (think grits and polenta).  Sweet corn is for eating raw or making chicas out of.

The only corn we don't grow is Dent, which is for feeding animals.  Our chickens like sweet corn best.

It won't be long before your receive flint corn.  Each year when we grow corn, it takes a lot of work to process.  Flint and Flour corn need to be hung to make sure that they are completely dry.  This process can take 2 to 3 months depending on how quickly we get rain in September/October.

After the corn is dry, we take it off the hull.  We use the cobs and husks to bbq with all winter.  They are stored in old feed sacks until we use them all up.  We also use up all the old hulls from the dry beans the same way.  The ashes are then sprinkled on the farm.

To shell the corn, we take a large tray of corn with the husks removed to a table outside, this is a messy process and corn gets flung every which way.   Each ear has to be inspected.  If there is any mold, it must be removed.  By hand we remove some of the tops and middles for seed for future years.  We put the cobs one at a time in the Ol' CS Bell Sheller and turn the crank.

The corn comes off the cob and then the sheller ejects the cob.  We collect the corn into a large box.  From there I transfer all of the corn to freezer bags and store it till the week we are going to grind it.  On Sunday night, Zack took a sack out of the freezer and took it to the CS Bell Grinder, another hand crank instrument and gives it one pass through the Grinder.   The Grinder is mounted permanently to table in the barn, because it gets uses pretty frequently.  The Bell won't make corn flour and mostly is just used to crack the corn into smaller pieces.

From there, the corn comes into the kitchen and I grind it the night before you get it.  The nutrients get lost quickly, so use it or freeze.  The flavor is best the very first week it is ground.

To use corn flour, simply substitute one cup of regular flour in any "baking" recipe, pancakes and waffles count too.

Cornmeal Cookies Zaletti.

Broccoli for Seed

About 50 cookies

3/4 cup (90g) dried currants, or finely chopped sour cherries or raisins

2 tablespoons (20g) flour

5 1/2 ounces (155g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons (120g) sugar

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups (210g) flour

1 cup (140g) corn meal, regular

2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

Artichokes coming soon
1. Toss the dried fruit and the 2 tablespoons (20g) of flour together in a small bowl and set aside.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or by hand, beat together the butter and sugar until smooth and creamy, about one minute. Add the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla, beating until incorporated.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the 1 1/2 cups (210g) flour, corn meal, baking powder, and salt.
4. Mix the dry ingredients into the beaten butter mixture until incorporated, than stir in the dried fruit.
5. Form the dough into a rectangle 4- by 7-inches (10 by 18 cm), wrap in plastic, and chill the dough for about an hour, or until it’s firm enough to handle.
6. Divide the dough in two, lengthwise, and roll each piece of dough on a lightly floured surface into a smooth cylinder 7-inches (18cm) long. Wrap the cylinders and freeze until ready to bake.
(If you prefer to bake the cookies right away, pinch of pieces of dough about the size of a small walnut, and roll into balls. Place them evenly spaced on the prepared baking sheet and press them down gently with your hands to flatten them partially.)
7. To bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 325ºF. (170 ºC)
8. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
9. Slice the cookies into 1/4-inch (.75cm) slices and place them evenly spaced on the prepared baking sheets. (The dough is easier to slice when frozen, but if it’s too firm or crumbles when you cut it, let it sit out on the counter until it reaches a good consistency.)
10. Bake the cookies for about 12 minutes, rotating the baking sheets midway during baking, until the cookies are very light brown on top. Remove the oven and let cool completely.

Sweet corn is already in the ground this year.  And I look forward to seeing it in late June.  Have a great week.

No comments:

Post a Comment