Farmers’ Market Box December 23rd, 2021

Farmers Market Box Image

This week’s local produce and featured farms:

Farmer’s Choice

Farmers’ Market Box Recipes:

Fennel and Orange Salad

Serves 6
 
1 fennel bulb
4 navel oranges, peel and pith removed: sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 red onion, thinly sliced into 1/2-moons
2 tablespoons finely chopped oregano (see note)
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

  1. Remove the root end and wispy fronds of the fennel, thinly slice, and alternate on a serving platter with the oranges.
  2. Sprinkle the fennel and oranges with spring onion and oregano.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and serve at room temperature.
  4. Oregano is the traditional herb used in this salad on the island of Sicily; you can of course substitute your favorite herb here, basil works well, as well as sage and Italian parsley.

Potato and Fennel Gratin

Serves 6
 
1 fennel bulb, wispy ends removed, and thinly sliced
1 leek, thinly sliced, using the white and tender green parts
2 tablespoons good olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1 pound low starch potatoes, thinly sliced (Yukon golds work well here)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco
1 1/2 cups shredded Gruyère cheese
½ cup finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Coat the inside of a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. In a large skillet, melt the butter in the olive oil, sauté the fennel and leek for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the fennel begins to soften.
  4. Add the cream and milk to the skillet, add the potatoes, salt, and Tabasco. Simmer the potato mixture until the potatoes are tender.
  5. Transfer the potatoes to the prepared baking dish and sprinkle the cheeses evenly over the top of the potatoes.
  6. Bake the gratin covered with aluminum foil for 20 minutes, remove the foil and cook another 15 to 20 minutes until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is golden brown. Allow the gratin to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Leek and Sugar Snap Saute

Serves 4
 
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup thinly sliced leeks using the white and tender green parts
1/2 pound sugar snap peas, ends trimmed
Salt and pepper

  1. In a large skillet, heat the butter, add the leeks and slowly saute until the leeks are translucent and beginning to turn golden.
  2. Add the peas, and saute another 2 to 3 minutes until crisp/tender. Season with salt and pepper and serve hot.

Braised Chicken with Leeks

Serves 6
 
2 medium leeks (white and pale green parts only)
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1 1/2 pounds total)
1/2 tablespoon extra virgin oil
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup ruby port
1/3 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup heavy cream

  1. Halve leeks lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces.
  2. Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat oil and 1/2 tablespoon butter in a medium skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then brown chicken on both sides, about 4 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.
  4. Add the port to skillet and deglaze by boiling over high heat, stirring, and scraping up brown bits, until reduced by half—about 4 minutes.
  5. Add leeks and remaining 2 tablespoons butter and salt and pepper to taste, then simmer over moderately low heat, covered, stirring occasionally, until leeks are wilted, about 10 minutes. Stir in broth.
  6. Top leeks with chicken breasts and juices from plate, then gently simmer over low heat, covered, until leeks are tender, and chicken is just cooked through, about 8 minutes.
  7. Transfer chicken breasts to a plate. Add cream to skillet and boil over high heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly, 1 to 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Serve chicken on top of leeks.

Pasta with Chard and Sausage

Serves 6
 
1/2 pound bulk sweet Italian sausage
2 garlic cloves, minced
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 bunch rainbow chard, tough stems removed, cut into 1/2-inch ribbons
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 pound orecchiette, penne or Farfalle, cooked 3 minutes short of al dente
1 cup grated Pecorino Romano

  1. In a large skillet, cook the sausage, breaking up any large pieces, cooking until the sausage is no longer pink. Remove from the skillet, and saute the garlic and pepper flakes.
  2. Add the chard, season with salt and pepper, add the broth and simmer, until the chard is tender.
  3. Add the sausage back to the skillet and stir to combine. Add the pasta, and half of the cheese, stirring to make a creamy sauce.
  4. Serve garnished with the remaining cheese.

Golden Beet Salad

Serves 4
 
One bunch golden beets, scrubbed, and tops trimmed
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup aged balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
One bunch arugula, washed and spun dry
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese

  1. Steam the beets for 20 to 30 minutes until tender when a paring knife is inserted into the center.
  2. When cool enough to handle, slip off the skins, and thinly slice the beets.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the juice, vinegar, and oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Toss the beets with some of the dressing.
  5. Plate the arugula, drizzle with some dressing, top with the beets, and crumbled goat cheese. Drizzle with the remaining dressing.

Save the Greens Saute

Serves 4
Beet greens are a great source of iron, and they taste delicious. Saute them for a terrific side dish, or to serve on bruschetta with burrata.
 
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 bunch beet greens, tough stems removed, and cut into 1/2-inch ribbons
Salt and pepper

  1. In a saute pan, heat the oil, saute the garlic until it is softened, but not browned.
  2. Add the beet greens and saute until wilted.
  3. Season with salt and pepper and serve warm or at room temperature.

Garnet Yam Home Fries

Serves 6
 
1 1/2 pounds Garnet yams, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch julienne
1/4 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
2 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, parchment or silicone.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients, tossing to coat them evenly.
  3. Roast for 20 minutes, turn the yams, and cook another 15 to 20 minutes until crispy. Serve hot.

Baked Stuffed Garnet Yams

Serves 4 to 6
 
1 pound garnet yams, scrubbed and pricked all over with the tip of a paring knife
1//4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup finely chopped leek, using the white part only
2 teaspoons finely chopped thyme leaves
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup sour cream or Greek Style yogurt
1/2 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and roast the yams for 50 to 60 minutes until they are soft when pinched with an oven mitt.  Remove from the oven, cut in half lengthwise, and scoop out the flesh into a mixing bowl. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
  2. While the potatoes are roasting, melt the butter, and saute the leek and thyme leaves, season with salt and pepper and saute until the leeks are golden brown. Add to the bowl with the yam flesh, stir in the sour cream, and Gruyere cheese, mashing the potatoes till smooth. Season with salt and pepper, and restuff the yam halves, putting them onto a baking sheet. Sprinkle with Parmigiano Reggiano and bake for 20 minutes until the cheese is melted.
  3. Cook’s Note:  Once restuffed, the yams can be cooled, and refrigerated for up to 24 hours. Bring to room temperature and bake for 20 to 30 minutes.

Crudites with Caesar Dip

Serves 6
 
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons anchovy paste
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together all the ingredients, until blended. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Serve with crudites.
  2. Crudites:  sugar snap peas strings removed, fennel thinly sliced, celery thinly sliced, red radishes trimmed and cut in 1/2 or quarters depending on size.   

Braised Celery

Serves 4
 
1 head of celery
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup shredded Parmigiano Reggiano
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  1. Remove any tough outer ribs, and cut the celery in half lengthwise, and cut the halves in half crosswise.
  2. Arrange the celery in a large Dutch oven, add the broth, and simmer, until the celery is tender, but not mushy, should take about 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Preheat the broiler. Carefully remove the celery from the broth and arrange on a baking sheet lined with a silpat or parchment and sprinkle each celery quarter with the Parmigiano, and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
  4. Broil the celery, until the cheese is bubbling and golden brown. Remove from the oven and serve warm.

Cook’s Note:  the braising broth can be frozen and used for soups, stews, or sauces.

Cheese Note:  I like Parmigiano in this dish, but if you prefer are sharper flavor use Pecorino Romano.

Make Ahead Praline Apple French Toast

Serves 6 to 8
 
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 cups pecan halves
6 cups torn egg bread or good quality white bread
3 sweetie apples, peeled, cored, and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
6 large eggs
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  1. Coat with nonstick cooking spray two 9-inch round pie pans, 2 1/2 inches deep, or a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.
  2. Combine the melted butter and both sugars in a medium-size bowl. Pour into the prepared pan(s), tilt to cover the bottom evenly, then arrange the pecans over the bottom.
  3. Put the bread and apples in a large bowl.
  4. In a medium-size bowl, beat together the eggs, cream, cinnamon, sugar, and vanilla. Pour over the bread and apples and mix well.
  5. Do-Ahead: At this point, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s) and bake until puffed and golden, 45 to 55 minutes.

Orange Trifle

Serves 6 to 8
This is a great make-ahead dessert, it’s best made in a glass bowl so you can see the layers, but a 13-by-9-inch baking dish will do well, too.
 
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup Grand Marnier or another orange liqueur
One 16-ounce frozen pound cake, defrosted and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1 1/2 cups raspberry jam
1 navel oranges, peel and pith removed, and cut into segments
1 recipe Vanilla Custard flavored with 1/4 cup Grand Marnier, orange, or tangerine juice (see below)
2 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted, for garnish

  1. In a bowl, combine the orange juice, Grand Marnier, and water. Set aside.
  2. Cover the bottom of a large glass bowl with a single layer of pound cake slices, cutting them to fit, if necessary. Brush the cake with a little of the Grand Marnier-and-water mixture.
  3. Spread the slices with some of the jam, then cover with a thin layer of custard and some of the oranges.
  4. Continue layering in this manner, making sure to spread the ingredients all the way to the outer edges, so they show on the outside of the bowl. End the layering with a layer of pound cake brushed with Grand Marnier.
  5. Cover, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, or up to 24 hours.
  6. When ready to serve, in a medium-bowl, using an electric mixer, whip the cream until it is forms stiff peaks. Spread the cream over the trifle. Sprinkle the almonds over the trifle and serve.

Vanilla Custard
Add 1/4 cup Grand Marnier or orange juice to the custard for the trifle
 
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
3 cups whole milk
6 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla paste or extract

  1. In a 2-quart saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, milk, and egg yolks until smooth. Place over medium-high heat and whisk until the mixture thickens and comes to a boil, 4 to 5 minutes.
  2. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Transfer to a glass bowl and press plastic wrap against the surface, to keep a skin from forming.
  3. Do-Ahead: At this point, cool, refrigerate for at least 4 hours or and up to 4 days, or freeze for up to 1 month.

Crostini with Radish Butter and Fleur de Sel

Serves 6
This butter is a terrific appetizer to serve with cocktails, sparkling wine or ideally with a crisp rose. It will keep in the refrigerator for a few days.
 
One bunch red radish, trimmed, at room temperature
2 tablespoons chopped garlic chives
6 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
1/4 teaspoon fleur de sel
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground white or black pepper
Crostini, water crackers, or English cucumbers, sliced

  1. Put the radishes in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the radish is chopped into fine dice, four or five 3-second pulses.
  2. Transfer the contents to a length of cheesecloth or a double thickness of paper towels and wring out the excess liquid.
  3. Transfer to a medium bowl add 4 tablespoons of the butter and the garlic chives.
  4. With a rubber spatula, cream the radish and butter together, adding more butter 1 tablespoon at a time, until the mixture comes together in a smooth, pliable mass.
  5. Transfer the mixture to a 2-cup ramekin or bowl, sprinkle the salt and pepper over the top, and serve immediately. T
  6. Do-Ahead:  The butter will keep, covered with plastic wrap, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Remove it from the refrigerator 15 minutes before serving to let it soften. Sprinkle the salt and freshly ground pepper over the radish butter before serving.

Orange and Persimmon Salad

Serves 4
 
One bunch arugula washed and spun dry
2 oranges peel and pith removed, and sliced
2 Fuyu persimmons, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic chives
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

  1. Arrange the arugula on a serving platter.
  2. Top with the oranges, and persimmon slices in a decorative pattern.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic chives, vinegar, and oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and serve.

Braised Pork with Apples

Serves 6
 
2 tablespoons oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
One 4-pound boneless pork loin roast
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large sweet onions, cut in half and thinly sliced into half-moons
4 apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch wedges
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups apple cider
1/2 cup beef broth
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
3 tablespoons softened unsalted butter mixed with 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
12 ounces wide egg noodles, cooked to al dente for serving
2 to 3 tablespoons unsalted butter for the noodles
Salt and pepper

  1. Heat the oil in a 5-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat and sprinkle the pork roast evenly with the salt and pepper. Brown on all sides in the hot oil and remove to a plate.
  2. Melt the butter in the same pan, add the onions, apples, nutmeg, ginger, and thyme, and cook, stirring, until the onions are translucent, and the apples begin to soften, about 4 to 6 minutes.
  3. Add the brown sugar, cider, and both broths, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan.
  4. Return the pork to the pan, cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer until the pork is tender, 3 to 4 hours.
  5. Do-Ahead: At this point, you can let cool, cover, and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Gently reheat before continuing.
  6. Remove the pork from the pan and cover with aluminum foil. Using a slotted spoon, remove the apples and onions from the sauce, reserving them, and bring the sauce to a boil.
  7. Stir in the butter-and-flour mixture a bit at a time until the sauce is thickened to your taste. Taste the sauce and correct with salt and pepper, if necessary. Add the parsley, apples, and onions back to the sauce.
  8. Carve the pork into 1/2-inch-thick slices and serve garnished with some of the sauce and apples. 

Slow Cooker Savvy: Prepare the pork on stovetop through step 2, then transfer everything to a 6-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on Low for 8 to 9 hours. Add the parsley and the butter flour mixture, cook another 15 minutes until the sauce is thickened.

@Diane Phillips Diane Phillips Blog: Cucina Divina
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