Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Kohlrabi

This vegetable looks strange. It presents itself to the world like a globe as it grows above the ground on a sturdy root. They almost look like alien ships surveying the ground they sprout from. But believe it or not they are of German origin and not Asian. Here are some facts about this interesting and tasty plant.

1. It's in season in fall and winter.
2. When raw, it tastes like a slightly spicier version of turnip, it's reminiscent of turnip and a parsnip.
When cooked, it is a bit sweeter, especially if caramelized. You can cut it into cubes or wedges and roast it, or slice or cut into matchsticks and stir-fry.
3. You will see white, pale green, and purple bulbs. At The Farm Stand we have the pale green ones. They all have a creamy white interior.
4. The leaves are edible (and loaded with iron); add them to a salad or sauteed with garlic as you would mustard or beet greens.
5. Kohlrabi is a good source of fiber, vitamins C and B6, and potassium.
6. A cup (raw) has just 36 calories.



Some easy ways to enjoy them is to peel the outside skin off, chop into bite size chunks, and toss in a salad.
OR
Make them into fritters for the entire family! This is a great way to get kids to eat their kohlrabi!
Shred it and mix with an egg and a few tablespoons of flour or breadcrumbs. Heat oil or butter in a flat skillet, drop on small mounds, and flatten slightly with the back of your spatula. Turn after a few minutes, and serve when both sides are crispy.
Serve with dipping sauce or by themselves. 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

How to cook these

What does a person do with dry peas?
Dried peas must be soaked before they are ready to be made into an amazing dish. When I say peas my brain automatically goes to English Peas which these are not at all like. So, I've been thinking about them like dried beans. Dried beans need soaking and so do these.

First Step
Soaking:
Rinse the peas(Or Beans) several times and discard any “floaters.” Then, in a large pot, cover them with 4 cups of water for each cup of peas. Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat and keep at a low simmer for 2 to 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover, and let stand for an hour. The peas will soak up the water and become moist again and reduce cracking or bursting while cooking later. If you are not going to cook them till later you can soak them in water overnight as well at room temp. 

Second Step
Recipe for How to Cook These Peas: The Southern way
  • After they are done soaking, drain the water. 
  • You can use either cured pork side meat or bacon along with salt, pepper, onion ( yellow or spring variety) and dried herbs. Dice Onion and set aside.
  • Cut bacon or cured pork side meat into 1.5 inch slices.  
  • Place in a skillet and gently brown. Don't throw away all the grease. If it weirds you out you can put 2 tablespoons of fat into peas and discard the rest or if you don't mind all the fat then use it all. It adds flavor. 
  • Rinse the peas and put them into a pot with either just plain cold water or a mixture of water and stock, enough to cover the peas by about an inch.
  • After bacon is rendered down to golden brown put it and its juices in with the peas and liquids.
  • Add diced onion at this point as well
     
  • Add salt (taste it first to see if salt content is good with just the drippings in it or if it needs more). I don't want you to blow out your taste buds on salt, add pepper (coarser ground is better for flavor) and dried herbs. I like to use thyme, or basil, or powdered onion if you don't have the fresh stuff. 
  • Cook on med. or a gentle boil for 25-35 mins. Foam might form on the top, so just scoop it off. It's part of cooking peas. 
  • Peas need to be cooked but not mushy.
  • Taste for seasoning adjustments.

    Enjoy!


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Party it up!

We are having a party!!

 
Harvest Celebration
Dover Vineyards
The Grapes are in, the vegetables are planted. It's time to celebrate as we being to relax after a trying, rainy, wet, 2017 Season. Come join us for a bonfire, dinner from the Cookin Coop Food Truck and Live Music from Dave and Court. Drinks for sale by the flight, glass, or bottle.
 
Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017
5-9pm
3600 Concord Pkwy S.
Concord, NC 28027
 
Bring the kids and the friends
 
See ya'll there! 
 
 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Feel the Chill

Good day everyone. Good chilly mornings and cooler evenings. Here at The Farm at Dover Vineyards we are looking forward to our Harvest Celebration on Oct. 14, 2017 5-9pm! It has been a tough season but we are thankful for all we have and will celebrate no matter what! Please join us for this celebration.
 There will be a bonfire, dinner from the Cookin Coop Food Truck and Live Music from Dave and Court Drinks for sale by the flight, glass, or bottle. It will also be kid friendly, there will be Wine tastings and Wine for purchase.
Lock this address into your GPS: 3600 Concord Pkwy S. Concord, NC 28027
 
Also I wanted to share with you some ideas for these gorgeous pumpkins we have. I know that a lot of people will carve these pumpkins for the Halloween celebrations and the ringing in of Fall. Be what other sorts of things can be done?
 
 
 
 A good way to start with a pumpkin is roasting it. It is daunting to look at the round, mostly hollow item you just bought and think, "What do I do with it now?" You can roast it for a recipe with instruction below. 
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Using a spoon, remove the pulp and seeds from the pumpkin. Discard the pulp and reserve the seeds for roasting, if desired. Using a sharp knife, remove the skin from the pumpkin and cut the flesh into 1-inch cubes (you will have about 6 cups if not more depending on the size of the pumpkin). Toss the cubes with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper.
3. Spread the pumpkin on a large rimmed baking sheet and roast until golden and tender-firm. It should be a little charred but not too tender, about 25-30 minutes. (Stir the pumpkin once after the first 20 minutes.) Remove from the oven to cool, and reduce the oven’s temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
You can then add the pieces to stew or soup or you can eat as is as a side dish.
 
In other exciting news!
We are going to be on Flavor, NC!! so excited. Thanks for visiting with us, Lisa Prince! It was a great visit, despite my car breaking down and stepping in tons of ant hills.
 
Hope we see you at the Harvest Celebration and follow us on Facebook at Dover Vineyards. 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Roasted

It is about to be October, where tree leaves are turning and pumpkins are on the front stoop or being made into pies. There are also winter squashes coming along and I wanted to share a recipe today for that. At the farm stand we get all kinds of questions and often it's how to cook something.

Winter squashes are a familiar item to see at the end of summer and into fall along with spaghetti squashes as well. Today's recipe is about roasting winter squash. You can interchange between the the squashes, butternut, spaghetti squashes, acorn squash, pumpkins, and any other squash varieties you can find.

To start:
Wash the outside of the vegetable and cut in half or cut into large chunks. Some times you can cut off the outside layer and just have the inside flesh or for Butternut squash specifically you CAN leave the outer layer on, it is edible.  Pre-heat over to 400 degrees F. Scoop seeds out with a spoon. Place squash halves or pieces into a flat pan or casserole dish. Sprinkle with Salt, Pepper, and a touch of Cinnamon or savory Thyme. This will depend on what taste you're going for. You can add other spices or herbs here too. Lightly drizzle olive oil onto squash.

 
Start the roasting time at 45mins then go up 15-20mins depending on size and weight of squash. Smaller acorn or butternut squashes won't take as long as the larger more dense squashes. If you have chunks, take a spatula and move the pieces around and then smooth them out again so they cook evenly.
It will be ready when a fork can easily slide into the squash and come out clean. If there is a slight tug when you try to extricate the fork, you need a bit more time.

Now the fun part. When they are tender, remove the pan from the oven. You have many options here on how to eat this awesome roasted squash.
1. Carefully remove squash from baking container and place it in your serving dish. If in chunks you can drizzle with butter and sprinkle more salt and pepper to taste and serve.
2. If in halves you can scoop the insides out, if outside layer is still on, and whip it in a food processor or with a hand mixer while adding butter or heavy whipping cream to get more of a mashed feel to it.
3. If it is a small squash you can serve in halves. Simply place the half on plate or in a bowl and serve while hot.
4. Larger squash can be sliced in its shape and served with drizzle of olive oil or butter.

Check out the Farm Stand this Fall or Plaza Midwood Farmer's Market on Saturday and see what kinds of squashes we have in so you can get going on your new recipe!
Enjoy your time making roasted squash!






Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Catch up on good times

We had a contest on who could use Two Pigs Farm Pork Product in a recipe the best!
The winner is Chelsea Stone!! One of Dover Vineyards own. She made a delicious Mexican style Chorizo dish.
How to make it:

Cornmeal Biscuits with Chorizo Gravy and Scallions
4 SERVINGS

Ingredients
Biscuits
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    ¾ cup cornmeal
    1 tablespoon sugar
    1½ teaspoons baking powder
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon kosher salt
    ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    ½ cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
    ¾ cup buttermilk
Gravy and Assembly
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    1 pound fresh chorizo, casings removed
    3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    2½ cups whole milk
    Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
    Hot sauce
    1 avocado, sliced
    4 scallions, thinly sliced
    2 radishes, thinly sliced (optional)
    ½ cup cilantro leaves with tender stems
    ½ cup Cotija cheese or queso fresco (optional) (Cackleberry Queso Fresco)
Preparation
Biscuits
  1. Preheat oven to 425°. Combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Using your hands, work butter into flour until pieces are chickpea-size. Add buttermilk and mix just to blend.
  2. Drop dough by heaping ¼-cupfuls into an 8" cast-iron skillet, spacing about 1" apart. Bake, rotating skillet once, until biscuits are puffed, golden brown, and cooked through, 12–15 minutes.
Gravy and Assembly
  1. While biscuits are baking, heat oil in a medium skillet over medium. Add chorizo, breaking up any large pieces with a spatula. Cook, stirring occasionally, until chorizo is browned and crisp, 8–10 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl with a slotted spoon.
  2. Whisk flour into drippings in skillet and cook, whisking constantly, until roux is very smooth and starting to turn a light golden brown, about 5 minutes. Gradually add milk, whisking constantly until incorporated. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook gravy, whisking constantly, until thickened, 5–8 minutes. Stir half of chorizo into gravy; season with salt, pepper, and hot sauce.
  3. Spoon some gravy over hot biscuits and top with avocado, scallions, radishes, cilantro, Cotija (if using), remaining chorizo, and more hot sauce. Serve remaining gravy alongside.
    Great job Chelsea!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

More summer recipe ideas



Hey customers, cookers, and eaters! These past two weeks have been ripe with more ideas for what we have in the stand right now. For the Forth of July, I made a vegetable-centered meal featuring a tomato and roasted vegetable risotto! One of my CSA members gave me an idea on how to make a less-cheese centered mac and cheese, and then yesterday, I took some of Bill Logan's Carolina Artisan Bread and made a quick pizza/flatbread sort of thing. It's been a fun two weeks of delicious, locally-sourced eating for me and my family.


The first step in making the risotto was to saute all of the arborio rice and some onions in olive oil for a few minutes. While this was going on, I chopped up some squash and zucchini, tossed them in olive oil, salt and pepper and threw them in the oven to roast at 350 until tender. I also put 6 tomatoes, cut in half on an oiled baking (cut side down) sheet and tossed them in the over as well. Then I started adding the liquids, first with vegetable stock. I stirred it till it absorbed, then added some soy milk. I stirred that till it absorbed, and then I added some white wine. Guess what I did next? I stirred it till it absorbed. I added some more vegetable stock and kept stirring, repeating till almost finished. When the tomatoes looked like they had cooked  through, I took them out, let them cool a bit and removed the skin. It slid right off. I put the tomatoes and the juices from the pan into the risotto and cooked it some more, stirring and letting the tomatoes assimilate. When it was creamy and smooth, I put it in a serving dish and topped it with the roasted vegetables. We served it with a cucumber salad (thinly sliced cucumbers, onions, a tiny bit sour cream, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and celery seed) veggie burgers, and some sliced tomatoes.

One great idea a customer of mine gave me was using squash and zucchini to cut the amount of cheese in a mac and cheese. Not only does it cut the amount of cheese, but it increases the amount of vegetables (from zero to like 6). Plus it's delicious. First, you roughly cut 10 squash and zucchini, a sprig of rosemary, some garlic, and one onion. Toss them in olive oil, salt and pepper, and put them in the oven to roast. Start boiling your water for your macaroni. Add in the macaroni, but remove it from heat and drain about minute before its finished. Next, take the roasted squash, zucchini, garlic, rosemary ( just the leaves) and onion from the oven and put them in a blender. Add in enough soy milk to get the blender going and let it develop into a thin paste, like pancake batter. Add in some poultry seasoning if you feel like it. Don't if you don't feel like it. Then, toss your pasta in the mixture so that it coats it like a regular mac and cheese. Add in some Parmesan cheese if you'd like. Top with a bit of mozzarella, provolone, or white cheddar if you want. Or don't. Pop it back in the over and let the macaroni finish cooking.   Then you eat it. You can tell your kids its full of vegetables, or don't. I served it with one of my favs: cucumber soup. Just peel and quarter some cucumbers and an onion. Place them in a blender with an avocado and some soy milk to get the blending started. Add salt and pepper and your choice of herb: either dill or cilantro. Blend until smooth. SOOOOOO good and refreshing. Great as a dip too if you make it a little thicker!



One final recipe/food idea I 'd like to share with you is for a quick farm fresh pizza or flat bread sorta thing. I took one of Bill Logan's classic loaves and split it in two. if you want a thin crust, you can easily split it into three. I then stuck it in the oven to let it toast. I chopped up four tomatoes, a bunch of basil, one hot pepper, and a small onion. I tossed them in olive oil salt and pepper, took the bread out from the oven, and topped it with the tomato mixtures. I put it back in the oven while I chopped up some squash, zucchini, and peppers. I tossed them in olive oil, salt, and pepper, removed the bread from the oven, and then topped it with the squash mixture. I sprinkled it with a little cheese and put it back in the oven for enough time for the squash to soften. Then I ate it. It was delicious and easy and made very few dishes. Perfect for a weekday evening when you don't want to get your kitchen messy and hot.

So how are you going to make these recipes your own? 
Happy Cooking and Be Creative!