eggs

Weekly recipe roundup

Posted by Lisa on October 25, 2012
autumn, collards, eggs, Frog Bottom Farm recommends, greens, kale, recipes, sweet potatoes, winter squash / Comments Off on Weekly recipe roundup

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Reed digging sweet potatoes

Oh my word, people. We grew two kinds of butternut squash this year – the smaller ones you’ve been seeing in your CSA shares and at market in recent weeks, and a bigger variety. A MUCH BIGGER VARIETY. We are unsure what to do with this unexpected bounty – cut them into more manageable chunks and wrap them before getting them to you? Just pass them along with a bunch of recipes, bidding you the best of luck? Hmm. We’ll see.

In other (fantastic) news, we’ve started digging sweet potatoes! The first ones will be in CSA shares this week. They’re good now, but their sweetness will intensify if you cure them a few more days at home.  Just leave them in a box, covered with paper or heavy cloth, in the warmest place in your house, for up to a week.  After that, we suggest keeping them in a cool, dark location, ideally not the fridge.  Try wrapping them in some newspaper and putting them in a reasonably well ventilated cabinet or pantry closet.

Enough talk – onto the cooking! Here’s this week’s culinary inspiration:

Cinnamon Spiced Butternut Squash at Beauty That Moves :: My friend Heather’s approach to food seems to echo her approach to life in general – encouraging and nourishing with a focus on simplicity. This butternut squash recipe is perfect for this gorgeous autumn we’re having.

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup: A Raw/Cooked Comparison at Choosing Raw :: So intriguing!

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls at Smitten Kitchen :: Because we love you. (Try our butternut or kabocha for these.)

Lacinato Kale and Ricotta Tart at Bona Fide Farm Food :: This looks so good. You could try it with any of our kale varieties. Collards would probably be tasty too.

Apple & Sweet Potato Latkes with Poached Egg and Sweet Mustard Sauce at Tasty Kitchen :: These sound fussier than they really are. We’ve eaten them for breakfast and dinner and they’re very, very good. Arlo even likes them sometimes!

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Our Weekly Recipe Roundup is a quick weekly list of recipes featuring produce we’re growing right now. We hope it helps! We’d love to know what’s happening in your kitchens this week too.

We ♥ homemade mayo (a lot).

Posted by Lisa on July 12, 2012
eggs, recipes, summer, tomatoes / 1 Comment

It’s tomato time, people! We’ve been wolfing down tomato sandwiches over this last week like there’s no tomorrow. It’s really the only proper thing to do. To get everyone in the spirit, we’re reposting Ali’s recipe for homemade mayo. We haven’t bought the store stuff in years.  Give it a try!

Y’all, homemade mayonnaise is so easy, so cheap, and so delicious, you’re going to kick yourself for never having tried it before.

But don’t do that!  Just try making some.  We think you might never go back to store-bought.

This (plus a blender and about five minutes) is all you need:

mustard, canola oil, olive oil, lemons, salt, eggs

Convinced yet?

It’s good on everything.  Is there a more perfect midsummer lunch than a tomato sandwich on a couple slices of multigrain with some basil leaves and a few smears of fresh mayo?  You can add a fried egg or a couple slices of cheese but that’s gilding the lily.

And of course it’s fantastic on summer barbecue salads of all ilk: potato, egg, chicken, tuna.  Last week we made a potato salad with Yukon Gold potatoes, minced scallions, minced parsley, finely chopped sweet pepper, salt, pepper, and homemade mayo.

Quite often we smear it on half a hard-boiled egg for a mid-morning snack, or (ahem) even just sneak a fingerful from the jar.  Arlo loves it too!

Ali is the resident mayo maker around here.  He stresses that it’s a very forgiving recipe!  This is how he does it:

Whir together in the blender or food processor for a few seconds two eggs, some dried or jarred mustard, the juice of a lemon or a roughly equivalent amount of vinegar, and a bit of salt. Then, while still blending, add about 1 1/2 cups oil (usually equal parts extra virgin olive oil and a mild oil like canola) in a slow stream, and process until it reaches a consistency you like.  Add a bit more oil if it doesn’t seem thick enough.  You can also stir in more lemon juice, mustard, salt, or pepper at the end to taste.  Refrigerate and use within a week.

A few notes:

This recipe halves easily.

The eggs and oil emulsify best when the eggs are at room temperature.

We love adding flavor to the mayo: a bit of chipotle pepper in adobo sauce is our favorite, and fresh herbs or flavored vinegars are also very good.  Add garlic and it becomes aioli!  We add any extras with everything else in the beginning, before adding the oil.

If you’re so inclined, you can also make mayonnaise with a whisk and some elbow grease!  This will get you started.

You’ve seen the disclaimers on restaurant menus about raw and undercooked eggs and dairy, so here’s ours: raw eggs carry a small risk of salmonella contamination, so read up on the issue and decide whether you feel comfortable using them.  We do.  We use very fresh eggs from our own chickens and recommend that you seek out eggs from healthy pastured birds if at all possible — we sell them at market and also offer egg shares, if you’d like to use our eggs too.  Here are instructions for pasteurizing eggs at home should you want to do that.  Be sure to refrigerate your mayo immediately.

Squash (or zucchini) fritters!

Posted by Lisa on July 03, 2012
eggs, garlic, onions, recipes, squash, summer, zucchini / 2 Comments

As we ate these outside at the picnic table last night, in a spell of blessed cool after a quick little thunderstorm, I realized it was the fifth time we’d eaten them in under two weeks. I think that means they’re a winner. I think that means y’all need the recipe.

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There’s a very small amount of grating and chopping involved, but really these fritters could not be easier. You grate a summer squash or two – I’ve learned that yellow squash, zephyr, and pattypan work best for our family and for a certain particular two-year old right now, but zucchini fritters are particularly pretty. You squeeze the excess water out of the squash with a dishtowel or paper towels – this is the one picky step, but it only takes a minute, and having tried skipping this step, I think it’s worth doing. You chop an onion – mince it, if you’re living with the same two-year old. Then you mix it all up with some flour, some cornmeal, an egg, some cheese, some salt and pepper, and you shape them into patties, and then you pop them in the oven while you set the table.  Easy peasy!

A word on picky eaters: we have one. It’s been humbling. I thought because we have fields and countertops and a fridge and two freezers all full of delicious vegetables, that he’d take to them right away. And in his first six months of exploring solid foods, he did. But then he started having strong opinions, opinions like: white and brown foods like milk, yogurt, butter, bread, cheese, crackers, pasta, oatmeal, and eggs are really quite sufficient when it comes to one’s diet. And you know what? I want him to have opinions. I want him to be able to disagree with me. I want him to figure out what he loves and what he doesn’t love. I think he needs my guidance, but I also think he needs my patience and my trust … trust that he’ll survive toddlerhood just fine, trust that he is doing what most two-year olds since the dawn of two-year olds have done, trust that he is developing just as he should.

When I was pregnant I proclaimed I’d never “hide” vegetables in food, but I’m coming to realize it’s more complicated than that. In addition to all the independent toddler stuff going on, I think little people have a very acute sense of taste and texture. I think maybe we need to take it easy on them sometimes. And if that means choosing yellow squash over zucchini sometimes, or mincing the onions instead of chopping them – well, I can do that.

I’ll add that our son loves to help me make these. “Mama, I want to grate!” he says, and so he does, with some help. “Dad, I can break the egg,” he offers, and so he does, and pretty well at that! “Let me squoosh it up, Mama!” he demands, and so he does.

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And so we make fritters. Sometimes he eats them. Sometimes he just licks the ketchup off his plate. “Like a dog!” he says.

You should make them too.

Baked Squash (or Zucchini) Fritters with Garlicky Yogurt Sauce
adapted just a bit from The Yellow House

Kid-friendly! Quick! And easy too to make gluten-free – the flour in this recipe just serves as a binder, so replace it with your favorite gluten-free flour and you should be good to go. One friend replaces the flour with masa harina – that sounds really good to us! Also, while parmesan is particularly tasty in these, feel free to use another kind of cheese. We used mozzarella the first time we made these because that’s what was in the fridge, and they were still very good.

These are great with ketchup (our son’s favorite), a fried egg (my favorite), tzatziki, or the quick garlicky yogurt sauce below.

2 cups grated summer squash or zucchini, pressed between layers of a clean dishtowel or paper towels to absorb some of the water
1 small onion, minced
1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or other flour – see note above)
1/3 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 egg, lightly beaten
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

In a large bowl, toss the squash and onion with the flour, cornmeal, and cheese. Add the beaten egg and some salt and pepper, and mix until everything comes together. Use your hands if you like; it’s fun! It should have the consistency of meatloaf.

Using your hands, gently form the mixture into small balls (about 3 tablespoons of mixture for each fritter). Place them on the baking sheet and use your hand to flatten them into small patties about a half-inch thick.

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Bake for 15 minutes, until golden brown on the bottom. (If making the yogurt sauce below, make it now – this will give the flavors time to meld a bit.) Then broil for 2-3 minutes longer. The fritters should be a lovely golden color. Good warm or at room temperature. Serve with ketchup, fried eggs, tzatziki, or the garlicky yogurt sauce below.

Makes 6-8 fritters.

Garlicky Yogurt Sauce

3/4 cup yogurt
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 clove garlic, minced

Stir all ingredients together in a small bowl. Taste, and add more salt if you think it needs it. Allow to sit for at least 20 minutes if possible to allow the flavors to meld.

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In the meantime (photos from late summer and early autumn)

It’s been way too long since we posted here. We hope to get some good stuff up quite soon. In the meantime, have a peek – or a long leisurely look, really! – at late summer and early autumn here at Frog Bottom. Click on any photo to see it bigger, if you like.

A sip to drink

Maternal instinct

Green stuff for the fall

Okra

Happy pollinator

Squash pick

Potluck tents

Farm tour

Meeting and feeding the pigs

Layers on pasture

How to hold a chicken

Eat these eggs!

Cabbage and crew

Washing kale

Beets to the truck

Coming soon: Soup! A cookbook giveaway! Our plans for 2012! Thanks for your patience.

(These were nearly) Weekend Links

Eggplant pick

Heather picks okra while some of the new chickens have a look.

Our fields and fridge are full of vegetables – and eggs! – and we’re feeling mighty inspired these days!  Just a taste of what we’ve been reading and cooking:

Did you know this coming Saturday, August 13, is the first annual National Can-It-Forward Day? The folks at Canning Across America, along with Jarden Home Brands (they’re the ones who make Ball jars and other canning products), are encouraging everyone to gather with family and friends at home canning parties to learn the basics of canning.  One of the coolest resources they’re offering is a day-long live stream of several how-to canning demos (mixed berry jam, kosher dills, tomatoes in their own juice, more!) happening at Seattle’s Pike Place Market.  See the live stream schedule and find the link here.

The August 2011 Bon Appétit had a fun article about an LA canning party. The recipes for dilly beans, pickled beets with star anise, tomato jam, and zucchini dill pickles are all on our list to try this summer!

And this recipe for onion jam has been tempting us for weeks.  Just onions, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, and butter!  I could do that today!  We think it would be especially delicious on pizza, topped with just about anything else that’s in season right now.

(We should point out the turn-the-jar-upside-down method of sealing is no longer recommended; we’ll probably just make one jar for the fridge and another for the freezer, but here are two good resources for safe canning guidelines.)

We’ve made this heavenly tomato & cheddar pie twice in as many weeks. It does require a little planning: the biscuit dough for the crust needs to chill for an hour, and the tomatoes need to drain for 30 minutes.  But otherwise it comes together quite easily.  And the crust is quite forgiving.  The second time we made it we didn’t use quite enough flour, and the dough seemed a sticky and hopeless mess as we eased it into the pie pan.  But it baked up beautifully, and didn’t get soggy even after a day in the fridge.   And seriously: tomatoes, mayonnaise, cheese, biscuit crust? Do we need to say more?  Make it! Any of the tomatoes you’ve been getting in your shares or at market will work great.

We haven’t tried it yet, but CSA members Yajaira and Domenick independently told us we also had to make this heirloom tomato pie.

And while we’re on the subject of tomatoes: how delicious does Tyler Florence’s Roasted Tomato Soup look?  Thanks to CSA member Tracy for this one.

We’re longtime fans of Mark Bittman.  We pull his How to Cook Everything down from the kitchen bookshelf at least weekly, often more.  The How to Cook Everything app is pretty great too!  For close to fifteen years he wrote a cooking column for the New York Times called The Minimalist.  We’ll admit to feeling a twinge of disappointment this winter when he decided to write less about cooking and more about food politics.  Certainly the systems of food production and distribution in this country are damaged, and we appreciate compelling writing from folks who can help us think about how we might begin to fix things.  But there are many people writing eloquently about these issues; fewer writers have Bittman’s skill for making home cooking seem simple, fun, and approachable.  So we were really delighted by one recent op-ed: “Make Food Choices Simple: Cook.”  In it, he argues we should cook more and eat out less – because it’s cheaper, because we have more control where the food comes from, and because it tastes better.  He writes:

When I cook, though, everything seems to go right. I shop an average of every two weeks in a supermarket, and make a couple of trips a week to smaller stores. I’m aware that my choices are mostly imperfect, but I rarely conclude that I should make a burger and fries for dinner or provide a pound per person of prison-raised pork served with fruit from 10,000 miles away, followed by a cake full of sugar and artificial ingredients. Yet, for the most part, that describes restaurant food.

Also fantastic?  “101 Simple Meals Ready in 10 Minutes or Less,” a Minimalist column from 2007.  Loaded with awesome ideas for no-fuss summer cooking.

Oh! We’ve posted our favorite ratatouille recipe before, but it bears reminding — early August is definitely ratatouille time in Central Virginia!

That does it for this week!  We’ll be back this weekend with more tasty links.  And we hope to post later this week about two delicious vegetables that we know can be intimidating: okra and eggplant.

We’ll wrap things up with some more recent images from the farm. (Click on any to see ’em big!)

Howdy

Curing onions

Bean blossom

Planting collards and kale

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Still no name

Harvesting okra

Nest boxes

Okra blossom

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Weekend Links is a (soon-to-be!) regular feature here on the farm blog: a weekly(ish) list of articles, recipes, and other resources that have been inspiring and amusing us of late. A tasty smorgasbord for brain and belly!

Our go-to braise

Our go-to braise

We’ll get right to it: this is a recipe every CSA member everywhere should have in their arsenal.  It’s easy, it works with just about any vegetable you find in your share these days (except the leafy stuff like lettuce and cooking greens), and it’s seriously delicious.

To braise means to cook in a small amount of liquid in a covered dish for a long time at a relatively low temperature. It’s a perfect cooking method for the tough roots, firm winter squashes, and strong-tasting cabbages you’re seeing in your CSA shares and on market tables everywhere right now. Braising tames even the most pungent vegetables into something earthy, tender, and sweet.

Here’s the basic idea: grab a couple casserole dishes.  Chop two or three or four kinds of vegetables very coarsely, arrange them in crowded single layers in the dishes, and douse with olive oil and/or broth and/or white wine and/or water.  Add salt, pepper, and red pepper.  Cover tightly with foil and cook in a 325°F oven for about two hours, turning the vegetables about midway through the cooking. And that’s it!  (If you have time, uncover the dishes, turn the oven up to 400°F, and cook everything for another 15 minutes to brown the vegetables lightly. But if you’re ready to eat, you can certainly just dig right in.) This dish is a classic example of the whole being far, far greater than the sum of its humble parts.

Tonight’s version includes arrowhead cabbage, Sunshine kabocha squash (from our friends at Waterpenny Farm in Rappahannock County, since our winter squash fared so poorly this year), and rutabagas.  It, along with some gingerbread and whipped cream, will warm our bellies as we say our sad goodbyes to Shannon, who’s leaving us this week after two years on the Frog Bottom crew.

It’s also delicious with carrots (coming soon in the shares!) and onions.  We often add garlic — keep the cloves whole and unpeeled, and everyone can squeeze their own garlic from the peels when they eat (it’s fun!).  It’s very, very good with a poached egg on top.  And chicken is a perfect addition — just tuck some legs or wings in among the vegetables.  Or try it with sweet potatoes, beets, turnips…

Read the step-by-step instructions over at Orangette.

We ♥ homemade mayo (a lot).

Posted by Lisa on July 16, 2010
eggs, recipes / Comments Off on We ♥ homemade mayo (a lot).

Y’all, homemade mayonnaise is so easy, so cheap, and so delicious, you’re going to kick yourself for never having tried it before.

But don’t do that!  Just try making some.  We think you might never go back to store-bought.

This (plus a blender and about five minutes) is all you need:

mustard, canola oil, olive oil, lemons, salt, eggs

Convinced yet?

It’s good on everything.  Is there a more perfect midsummer lunch than a tomato sandwich on a couple slices of multigrain with some basil leaves and a few smears of fresh mayo?  You can add a fried egg or a couple slices of cheese but that’s gilding the lily.

And of course it’s fantastic on summer barbecue salads of all ilk: potato, egg, chicken, tuna.  Last week we made a potato salad with Yukon Gold potatoes, minced scallions, minced parsley, finely chopped sweet pepper, salt, pepper, and homemade mayo.

Quite often we smear it on half a hard-boiled egg for a mid-morning snack, or (ahem) even just sneak a fingerful from the jar.  Arlo loves it too!

Ali is the resident mayo maker around here.  He stresses that it’s a very forgiving recipe!  This is how he does it:

Whir together in the blender or food processor for a few seconds two eggs, some dried or jarred mustard, the juice of a lemon or a roughly equivalent amount of vinegar, and a bit of salt. Then, while still blending, add about 1 1/2 cups oil (usually equal parts extra virgin olive oil and a mild oil like canola) in a slow stream, and process until it reaches a consistency you like.  Add a bit more oil if it doesn’t seem thick enough.  You can also stir in more lemon juice, mustard, salt, or pepper at the end to taste.  Refrigerate and use within a week.

A few notes:

This recipe halves easily.

The eggs and oil emulsify best when the eggs are at room temperature.

We love adding flavor to the mayo: a bit of chipotle pepper in adobo sauce is our favorite, and fresh herbs or flavored vinegars are also very good.  Add garlic and it becomes aioli!  We add any extras with everything else in the beginning, before adding the oil.

If you’re so inclined, you can also make mayonnaise with a whisk and some elbow grease!  This will get you started.

You’ve seen the disclaimers on restaurant menus about raw and undercooked eggs and dairy, so here’s ours: raw eggs carry a small risk of salmonella contamination, so read up on the issue and decide whether you feel comfortable using them.  We do.  We use very fresh eggs from our own chickens, and recommend that you seek out eggs from healthy pastured birds if at all possible.  Here are instructions for pasteurizing eggs at home should you want to do that.  Be sure to refrigerate your mayo immediately.