Friday, April 17, 2009

Good enough to write home about!

OMG it smells so good up in the office! I can't believe I have to smell these smells & not eat for another 3 hours!
Meet our new Summer Chef, Bri. She is awesome. She spent last week getting acquainted with the kitchen, planning some menus & doing an inventory of meat & pantry supplies.
This week she got a practice run, cooking for an abbreviated crew of about 15 before the rest of the crew arrives on Monday & she'll be cooking for about 40! (Word is that ALL of last year's crew passed their H2A interviews & will return, plus a bunch of new guys. Yay!)
Here's what we've had this week:
Monday - Cream of parsnip soup with ham, Sunflower bread (homemade) & strawberry jam, coleslaw
Tuesday - Beef chili, Rhubarb corn muffin (yum!), steamed carrots & turnips
Wednesday - Beans & sausage, braised cabbage, biscuits, fruit salad (apples & strawberries -yum!)
Thursday - Lasagna, garlic bread (homemade - I should have taken a picture - the loaves were so beautiful!), apple walnut cabbage salad (yum! this woman is creative with the cabbage!)
Friday - this is what I smell this morning, I bet it will taste as good as it smells! Turkey dumpling stew, roasted veggies (she's not sure yet what veggies she'll do - she doesn't want to repeat the turnips & carrots (even though they were really good), but since we've been cleaning the coolers & rearranging, she can't find exactly what she wants), & chocolate cupcakes.
It's always a good sign when a bunch of the crew goes back for seconds!
She also cooks dinner for Richard, Andrea & myself (and anyone else who might come to live at the farm). She can be a little more experimental with us and maybe test out some new recipes to use in the CSA newsletters. Here's what we've feasted on this week:
Monday - Cheeseburgers with carmelized onions, burdock fries, baked apples with rhubarb & walnuts
Tuesday - Garlic ginger pork (yum!), rice, orange almond salad (OMG yum!)
Wednesday - Steak with a ramp & bleu cheese sauce, sweet potato wedges, quinoa salad (which garnered a "this girl is cool" response from Richard):
Spring Confetti Salad
This colorful, crunchy side dish gets its flavor from fresh ramps, one of our customers’ favorite early spring vegetables.

½ cup quinoa
½ cup black radish, grated (or lightly steamed chioggia beets, sliced)
½ cup Carrot, finely diced
½ a bunch of fresh ramps
2 Tbsp olive oil
Salt to taste

1. Rinse the quinoa in several changes of fresh water. If you do not have a fine enough sieve or colander, you can strain it with the lid of a small saucepan.
2. Cover with fresh water and bring to a boil. Cook covered for about 15 minutes, or until tender. Strain off any excess water and chill quinoa.
3. Rinse the ramps and cut off the leaves from the white stalk. Reserve the white part for use in another recipe. They are great lightly sautéed, or use in any recipe as you would an onion.
4. Cut narrow ribbons of the leaves crosswise with a sharp knife.
5. Mix cooled quinoa, carrot, radish, ramps, and olive oil. A good, flavorful oil is best. (we like the
Frog Hollow 2008 pressing!)
Last night, Thursday: Roast turkey & giblet gravy, mashed potatoes, glazed carrots
Tonight, I look forward to a corn chowder with bacon & a grilled cheese sandwich (maybe on some of my sister & brother in law's bread from their bakery, Falls Baking Co.)
I really look forward to tasting what she creates with the multitude of ingredients that will soon be available to her!


lotus said...

Oh, what a tease!! I absolutely cannot wait til this CSA season starts. Can't wait to try some of Bri's recipes!
Anxiously waiting,

Anonymous said...

Yummy yum yum! I'm looking forward to seeing these recipes in the newsletters or on the web site. First off, I'm going to try that quinoa salad. That one sounds de-lish!


Amy P. said...

That salad recipe looks yummy, finally, an excuse for me to try out quinoa! Yesterday's Mighty Appetite blog in the Washington Post got me thinking of ramps again, and it's good to find new ways to prepare them. Our family is excited for the CSA season to begin!

Anonymous said...

Hi Amy, I made the salad last night for my lunch today and it was really, really good. And versatile. I can see me mixing in alll sorts of different veggies and herbs. If you need another excuse to try quinoa it makes a great base for the cheesy vegetable pie from last year's newsletter instead of a potato crust.


peter_mpls said...

I really liked the quinoa recipe too! What a great way to bridge the winter vegies (I still have black radish left) with the new spring vegies.
I'm already impressed by Bri. She's a great addition to the Harmony Valley family.

Peter D. said...

Makes me glad that I kept the black radishes!