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Friday, May 28, 2010

Weekly Farm Fresh update


(This is the weekly Farm Fresh email update that goes out to my subscriber list. If you'd like to receive it in email format, send a request to pennysemail@comcast.net) 
Hi Everyone!
Wow, what a week!  Isn't it amazing how the weather can turn from highs in the 50s to highs in the 90s in the space of 2 weeks?  I was very grateful for the thunderstorm that came through last night and gave the vegetables some much-needed rain.
Last Saturday was my first week selling at the Freeport Farmers Market, and I was amazed to be sold out and packed up on my way home by 9 am!  Thanks to everyone who stopped by, and thanks to the new faces who introduced themselves!  I'm looking forward to seeing you again this Saturday at the market, located in the CVS parking lot on South Street in Freeport, from 7:30-11 am.
This week at market, I'll have the following fresh, organically-grown vegetables:
  • Lettuce (loose leaf mix of several gourmet varieties)
  • Radishes
  • Spinach
  • Cilantro  (recipes below)
Speaking of cilantro, it's my favorite fresh herb.  Those of you who love it probably associate it with Mexican food (delicious)!  But there are many ways to serve it, and you can even preserve it like I do by freezing it in ice cube trays with a bit of water.  I then pop the cubes out of the tray and into a freezer bag.  This way you can use it all winter long in your favorite dishes.  If you'd like some new ideas for serving cilantro, read on.  The first recipe is something I just pulled out of my head - I love to use cilantro on taco salads, enchiladas, tacos, and more.  There are more recipes below that are courtesy of Terra Brockman via Henry's Farm & Field notes.  I'll have plenty of cilantro on hand this week at market!
Taco Salad
Serves 4-6
1 gallon-sized bag fresh mixed lettuce (in season & at the farmer's market now)
1 cup chopped cilantro (at farmers market now)
1 bunch green onions, chopped (at farmers market now)
1 pound ground beef, cooked
1 can or 2 cups fresh cooked black beans or pinto beans
1 cup leftover or canned corn
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar or pepper jack cheese
Cook ground beef, seasoning with Mexican spices such as cumin and chili powder.
Arrange lettuce on plates.  Top with the cooked ground beef, beans, and corn.    Then layer on the cilantro, chopped green onions, and cheese.  For a dressing, simply top with salsa and sour cream.

The following recipes are courtesy of Terra Brockman, from Henry's Farm & Field notes.
Cilantro Pesto
Makes about 2 cups (lasts for weeks in the fridge, or freeze in ice cube trays and pop the cubes into ziplock bags to use whenever you feel the urge, or need something wonderful on your crackers/pasta/pizza/quesadilla)
6-8 oz. (about 4 cups packed) fresh cilantro
2/3 cup vegetable oil (olive, canola)
2/3 cup toasted nuts (pecans, pine nuts, walnuts, et al.), chopped
4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Wash the cilantro and chop roughly. Put the cilantro, oil, garlic and nuts in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.  Scrape out into a bowl and stir in the cheese and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings.
(Great on sandwiches, stirred into pasta, in dollops on pizza, mixed into vinaigrettes, and or over fish. Stir into cream cheese for a cracker spread or just eat it with a spoon.)
CILANTRO SALAD  
Try this refreshing salad with the zing of ginger, lime juice, and cilantro as an accompaniment to any Asian dish.
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
4 cups mesclun or mixed greens of your choice
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Whisk first 3 ingredients in a small bowl to blend. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. Combine mesclun and cilantro in a large bowl. Toss salad with enough dressing to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
CILANTRO CARROTS WITH CUMIN
2 pounds carrots, each cut into 2-inch-long pieces, then halved or quartered lengthwise
6 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 garlic cloves, pressed
2 tablespoons (or more) minced fresh cilantro
Combine carrots and 6 tablespoons water in large saucepan. Season with salt. Cover and boil until carrots are crisp-tender, about 7 minutes. Drain. Transfer carrots to large shallow bowl. Mix in lemon juice, oil, cumin and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cool. Add cilantro.
Tilapia with Cilantro-Curry Sauce & Toasted Coconut
from Cooking Light, November 2008

1/2  teaspoon  salt, divided
4  (6-ounce) fillets (flounder, snapper, or tilapia)
Cooking spray
2  tablespoons  flaked sweetened coconut
1  cup  cilantro sprigs
2  tablespoons  fresh lemon juice
2  tablespoons  extra-virgin olive oil
1  teaspoon  curry powder
3  garlic cloves, peeled
1  jalapeño pepper, halved and seeded
Lemon wedges (optional)

Preparation:
Preheat broiler. Sprinkle 1/4 tsp salt over fish. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add fish to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.

Place the coconut on a baking sheet; broil for 2 minutes or until toasted, stirring occasionally.

Combine remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, cilantro, and next 5 ingredients (through jalapeño) in a food processor; process until finely chopped. Spoon 2 tablespoons cilantro mixture over each fillet; sprinkle each serving with 1 1/2 teaspoons coconut. Garnish with lemon wedges, if desired.


Mint Cilantro Chicken Curry
 2 cups cilantro, chopped
½ cup mint, chopped
2 jalapenos, finely chopped
1.5 cups red onion, chopped   
1 tablespoon ginger, chopped   
1 cup water
½ cup canola oil
1.5 tablespoons cumin seeds   
1 tablespoon coriander seed   
3 tablespoons garlic, crushed   
1 tablespoon salt
2 cup plain yoghourt, stirred, or 3/4C whole buttermilk
3 lbs chicken thighs
3 cups basmati rice, cooked
  • Mix cilantro, mint, jalapenos, and ginger in a food processor with the cup of water and puree until smooth. Set aside
  • Heat oil in a heavy shallow pan on medium heat for 1 min. Add cumin and coriander seeds and allow them to sizzle for about 30 seconds.
  • Add garlic and saute for about 3 minutes or until golden brown, Stir in salt.
  • Turn off the heat and after 2-3 minutes stir in 1c yogurt. Add chicken thighs and stir well. Turn the heat to medium and cover and cook for about 25 minutes, stirring regularly. (If you have the time, let it cook longer, until the chicken falls off the bone.) Remove curry from the heat and cool for about 20 minutes.
  • Transfer chicken to a mixing bowl and take meat off the bones. The size of the chicken pieces doesn't matter but do not shred them. Discard bones and stir chicken back into curry.
  • Stir in mint-cilantro mixture and the other cup of yogurt, About 15 mins before serving, bring curry to a boil on medium heat. Turn down the heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for about 10 minutes. Serve over rice.
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