Friday, February 27, 2009

Roasted Balsamic Radicchio

Because the vinegar is simply drizzled over the radicchio at the end, it is best to use an artisan-quality balsamic, such as Orphee.
Serves 4

1 large head of radicchio (about .5 pound total), halved through core end, each half cut into 3 wedges with some core still attached
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme(or 1 tsp dry)
Balsamic vinegar (for drizzling)

Preheat oven to 450°F. Rinse radicchio wedges in cold water; gently shake off excess water (do not dry completely). Place radicchio in large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with thyme, salt, and pepper; toss to coat.
Arrange radicchio wedges, 1 cut side up, on rimmed baking sheet. Roast until wilted, about 12 minutes. Turn over and roast until tender, about 8 minutes longer.
Arrange radicchio on platter, drizzle with balsamic vinegar, and serve.

Introducing Brick Street Breads!

Brick Street Breads, an offset of Brick Street Bakery in the Historic Distillery District came about as word of the quality handcrafted breads (made from local organic flour) spread. Their Commitment to sustainable farming practices and use of predominantly local ingredients is paramount. Producing high quality ‘old world’ hearth style breads is a mandate they strictly adhere to. Brick Street Breads was voted 'Best Bakery 2008' by Now Magazine. All loaves come in a round shape (called boules) or oval (batard) which is usually up to the bakers discretion. All of the breads we are offering come par-baked so you can have them fresh out of your oven at home. A baguette takes 4-7 mins in the oven at 400 to fully bake, a loaf 7-10 minutes depending on the oven. The "home baker" must watch for a darkening of the crust and smell of fresh bread to know when to take it out. Brick Street Uses 100% organic flour that come from three suppliers: Grain Process (from the Prairies,) and our LOCAL suppliers are CIPM (from Madoc Ontario outside London) and Oak Manor Farms (from Tavistock Ontario outside Guelph).

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Fettuccine with Crimini Mushroom Sauce

Makes 6 servings

1 1/2 ounces dried porcini mushrooms*
3 cups hot water

6 tablespoons ( 3/4 stick) butter
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 1/2 pounds fresh mushrooms, such as wild crimini, portobello (dark gills scraped out), and stemmed shiitake, thickly sliced
6 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley, divided

1 batch freshly cooked Egg Fettuccine
1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese plus more for passing

Place porcini in medium bowl; add 3 cups hot water. Let soak until soft, about 30 minutes. Drain mushrooms, reserving soaking liquid.
Melt butter with oil in large deep skillet over medium heat. Add garlic; sauté until beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Add fresh mushrooms; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover; cook until tender, stirring often, about 6 minutes. Add drained porcini. Cover; cook 2 minutes. Uncover; sauté 2 minutes longer. Mix in 3 tablespoons parsley; season with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover mushroom sauce and soaking liquid separately and refrigerate.
Add cooked fettuccine and 1/2 cup cheese to mushroom sauce in skillet. Toss over medium heat until heated, cheese melts, and sauce coats pasta, adding reserved mushroom soaking liquid as needed if dry. Mix in remaining 3 tablespoons parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to large bowl and serve with more cheese.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Thank you! (Warm clothing drive follow-up.)

Thank you to all the members who donated warm clothing and blankets for our charity drive in January and February! Thanks to your generosity, we donated 18+ large boxes to The Scott Missions' Free Clothing store. Due to new regulations and shelter standards, we were unable to donate the clothes to the regular places we used to, which are now only accepting new clothes. Though the clothing drive us over, we will be continuously accepting donations of new, unopened toiletries, (including toothpaste, brushes, soap etc). Thanks again to everyone who participated!

Equal Rights for the Weird and Knobbly

Europe became a better place for less-than-picture-perfect fruits and vegetables this month as the European Union scrapped rules banning oddly shaped produce from supermarket shelves. "This marks the new dawn for the curvy cucumber and the knobby carrot," said E.U. Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel.

For the past 20 years, strict E.U. regulations, spelled out over some 100 pages, had dictated the shape, size and appearance of 36 fruits and vegetables sold in supermarkets, with strangely precise bans on such items as:

• Green asparagus that is not green for 80% or more of its length
• Cucumbers that bend by a curve of more than 10 mm per 10 cm
• Cauliflower less than 11 cm in diameter
• Forked carrots

The regulations have long caused outrage among foodies, farmers, retailers and eco-minded eaters who bemoaned how wasteful it was to throw out up to 20% of perfectly tasty produce simply because it wasn't up to snuff visually.

In the U.S., the farm-to-table and local-food movements have encouraged consumers to embrace irregularly shaped produce. Last year they helped convince the Federal Trade Commission to ease restrictions on the sale of a coveted hybrid heirloom tomato called the UglyRipe. "Fruits and vegetables can be ugly on the outside but still taste fine on the inside, where it counts," says chef Amanda Cohen, whose newly opened restaurant in New York City is called Dirt Candy, in reference to the origin of its vegetarian treats. "Heirloom tomatoes may look like Frankenstein, but they often taste better than the perfectly round, slightly plasticized tomatoes you sometimes see in supermarkets. An irregular shape usually has nothing to do with taste."

Europe, however, might have to wait a while for the UglyRipe. Although the rules have been changed for all but 10 of the 36 restricted fruits and vegetables, the regulations still stand that apples, kiwis, strawberries, lettuce, peaches, nectarines, pears, table grapes, sweet peppers and, yes, tomatoes still need to be pretty.

Cilantro & Chard Soup

Makes 4 main-course servings
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced crosswise
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
6 cups water
1/4 lb dried linguine, broken into 2-inch pieces (1 cup)
12 fresh chard leaves, stems and center ribs discarded and leaves coarsely chopped (8 cups)
1 (15- to 19-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1tsp dill
1tsp parsley
Accompaniments: sour cream; lemon wedges

Heat oil in a 4-quart wide heavy pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Add onions and salt, then reduce heat to moderate and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Reserve 1/4 cup onion.
Add turmeric to onions in pot and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add water and bring to a boil. Add linguine and boil, uncovered, until tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in chard and beans and simmer, stirring occasionally, until chard is tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in herbs, and salt and pepper to taste.
Serve soup topped with reserved onion.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Wilted Spinach with Nutmeg Butter

This recipe is GEO triple tested! A great tip for storing spinach or any greens, if you will not be using them right away, is to wash and dry them completely and put them in a container. If you do not have a salad spinner, you can wrap them in a tea towel and include a paper towel to absorb the moisture in the container.

Makes 8 servings
1 Bunch flat-leaf spinach, coarse stems discarded
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg or 1 tsp dry

Heat butter in a large pot over medium heat until foam subsides, then stir in nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and spinach. Cook, tossing with tongs, until wilted.

Produce as a Standing Order? Yes You Can!

I know a lot of you have been wanting to add produce as a standing order. Due to our produce changing every week, it is difficult to commit to the same item as a standing order. We have now added certain 'weekly' produce that you can add as a standing order. We tried to choose staple item that we are guaranteed to have every week, though the variety and price may change. Bananas was one item always available as a standing order. There is now 'weekly' apples and orange citrus for a half dozen. The apples could be any type of apple we have in the current weekly bins, and the oranges could be anything from navel or valencia to tangerines. The Onions are sold by a 3lb bag, and potatoes by a 5lb bag. The lettuce could be anything from green or red leaf to romaine to spring mix, and the carrots, 2lb bulk, bunched or baby carrots(really whatever is in the bins that week and the prices will change accordingly). On top of the regular 5% discount for adding an item as a standing order, these items are further discounted for being bulk quantities. Please let us know if we've missed any of the staple produce items.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Sauteed Swiss Chard with Onions

Makes 8 (side dish) servings

3 pound green Swiss chard (about 2 large bunches)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 medium onions, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

Cut stems and center ribs from chard, discarding any tough portions, then cut stems and ribs crosswise into 2-inch pieces. Stack chard leaves and roll up lengthwise into cylinders. Cut cylinders crosswise to make 1-inch-wide strips.
Heat oil and butter in a large heavy pot over medium heat until foam subsides, then cook onions and garlic with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, covered, stirring occasionally, until onions begin to soften, about 8 minutes. Add chard stems and ribs, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until stems are just tender, about 10 minutes. Add chard leaves in batches, stirring until wilted before adding next batch, and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a serving bowl.

Chard can be washed, dried, and cut 2 days ahead and chilled in sealed bags lined with dampened paper towels.