April 30, 2011
The latest OBC Happenings, food bits & generals M usings… The very last day of April, this box has got to be special! And, as with every week, it certainly is. We share with you signs of beautiful things to come, starting with Heirloom Tomatoes. These are the first of the season and in the coming weeks, we will have many, many more firsts. From cherries to more tomatoes to all the stone fruit we love in the Summertime. But for now, here are some facts about the lovely things in this week’s box as well as some other updates! Weiser Family Farms: This week we have potatoes from “Rockstar Farmer” (at least in my eyes) Alex Weiser. Weiser Farms was started by Alex’s father in 1977 and is based in Tehachapi, CA. Since Alex has gotten more involved with the Family Farm, he has turned Weiser into a truly bio-diverse farm dedicated to applying and thriving from sustainable farming techniques. You think these potatoes are good…just wait until you taste the Weiser heirloom melons. Last year, they grew 8 varieties…mmm mmmm the cavaillon and the sugar queens being my personal favorites. Soon enough, my friends. In the meantime, enjoy these potatoes and their unmatched creaminess. Learn more about Weiser Farms here. SQIRL Jams- We love everything about Jessica Koslow and this week, we are pleased to share her preserved lemons with you. Jessica’s philosophy is one we truly admire here at Out of the Box. Jessica is a doll and has given SQIRL very kitschy-chic design. Take a peek, we are sure you will agree. Sqirl, It’s the Jam. Preserved lemons can give an ordinary dish (or even vinaigrette) a certain oomph and interest that is tricky to detect and will make you a star at the dinner table. The jury is out on whether you can use the entire preserved lemon or just the rind. I use the goop inside as well, but only if I know the lemons are fresh-preserved, does that make sense? We know that SQIRL’s have not been “preserving” for years on end, but rather just for 50 days. Just a taste a bit before using, they are very salty, so chances are you will not need any additional salt in the dish. Rancho Gordo: A couple weeks ago, we discovered a gem of a specialty foods retailer, based in Napa, CA. Rancho Gordo’s founder is also the author of the well-acclaimed book “Heirloom Beans” which shares the inside scoop of beans of a time past as well as some great recipes. Rancho Gordo carries beautiful heirloom beans (of course) as well as grains and rice, dried spices, fair-trade finds and much more. This week we are offering up their Northern California grown wild rice. You will love what it looks like and more, the nutty, satisfying taste it has. In addition to the wild rice, this week’s box is also featuring something called Piloncillo, sugar in layman’s terms. Piloncillo is technically evaporated cane juice and can be used where you may be accustomed to using sugar. It comes from an indigenous cooperative of the Teenek nation in the Huasateca region of San Luis Potosi. It has a deeper, richer, almost molasses tinged taste to it. You’ll like it, even in something as simple as your of morning joe. Fava Beans: You may have missed the Fava beans when we featured them a couple weeks ago, so we thought it relevant to re-introduce them. Have you met them? With their distinctive buttery, slighty bitter favor, they are said to be the “magic bean” that Jack spoke so highly of. They are very high in fiber and iron, very low in sodium and fat and boast a combination of no cholesterol but so much protein, that they are sometimes called the meat of the poor. They do require some prep, but if you rope in your kids, not only will you have shelled and prepped Fava’s, but will fill also their minds with life long memories. Prep details can be found in the recipe text below. Introducing the Easy Box! Otherwise known as the “I just don’t have time to cook” box. We have been busy building relationships with wonderful cooks, artisans, and even makers of frozen pizza and have found the best of the best in the world of local prepared foods. The ‘Easy Box’ still includes all the fruit and a few veggies for simple cooking, but also lots of things that will head straight into the oven. Check out the complete contents here and sign up if you need a break from nightly cooking for a bit, but still want to eat cleanly, honestly and feed your family in a conscious way Save the Date for the Out of the Box Collective Summer Celebration! June 12th is the date and Malibou Lake is the place! Out of the Box Collective is hosting a Lakeside Summer Feast on Sunday June 12th. Aside from fabulous company, we will be featuring a pig roasting, mobile pizza oven, our favorite local farmers and amazing farm to table chefs. This will be a memorable event. Tickets will be available for sale starting next week, so stay tuned...! Dey Dey’s Best Beef Ever Open House at the Ranch! : Dey Dey’s is inviting all of you to their Ranch on May 7th, from 11am-3pm. Lots of great food and activities for Moms, Dads and the kiddos! Read all the details here. Get ready for May and enjoy the beautiful sunny weekend! Cook, eat, share and love with family and friends. Enjoy the recipes, enjoy the food love, Shaheda, your Market Maven & Jennifer, OBC Founder
Box contents | April 30, 2011 Roots
• Red Russian/ Banana fingerling
• Fava Beans (The Garden of…) • Heirloom Tomatoes (Chris Milliken) • Yellow Crookneck Squash (Tutti Frutti) • Globe Artichoke * (Tutti Frutti)
• Blueberries * (Whitney Family Farm) • Pixie Tangerines (Somers Ranch) • Navel Oranges (Somers Ranch) • Strawberries (Rancho Cortez) • Bananas (Fair-trade)
Extra Fruit **
Meat & Eggs
• Spring Mix (Shepherd Farms) • Rainbow Chard (The Garden of…)
• Blueberries • Strawberries • Extra Navel Oranges &
• Grapefruit (Flying Disc Ranch) • Passion Fruit (Calimoya Tropics)
• Ham Hocks (Jimenez Family Farm) • 1 Dz Eggs (Lily’s Eggs)
• Basil (Earthtrine) • Chamomile * (Earthtrine)
• Unsalted Butter (Springhill Dairy) • Dried Orange Slices • San Joaquin Gold Cheddar (Fiscalini) (Mud Creek Ranch)
Nuts, Seeds or Dried Fruit
• Preserved Lemons (SQIRL)
• Wild Rice (Rancho Gordo)
• Dates (Flying Disc Ranch)
Catch of the Week **
New Customer/ Referral Gift
• Piloncillo- better than sugar
• Locally-caught CA Halibut
• Spring Flowers!
potatoes (Weiser Family Farms)
• Fresh Garlic (Earthtrine) • Easter Egg Radishes * (Domingo Farms)
• Spring Purple Onions (Rancho Cortez)
Chickens (Dey Dey’s Best Beef Ever)
• Eye of Round Breakfast Steaks (Dey Dey’s Best Beef Ever)
* Not included in the Couple’s Box ** This category is an ‘Add-on’ option. Please go to www.outoftheboxcollective.com if you are interested in it!
Recipes to help you eat your w ay through the box! !
“Meatless Monday” Meal: Lemony spaghetti with basil, Fava beans and last weeks pozzo tomme. Steamed Globe artichoke with lemon butter to share
An omelet, souffléd, all dressed up for dinner and bursting with crookneck zucchini. On the side, Simple & salted seasons first heirloom tomatoes
! Seasonal sustainable soup with ham hocks, chard and weiser potatoes. Mixed greens w/ pixies on the side !
Flash seared Dey Deys Breakfast steaks, flash pickled easter egg radishes. Served with weiser potatoes, steamed and sliced. Mixed green Salad
Chicken parts braised in morrocco with chamomile, dried oranges and preserved lemons. Served over wild rice studded with dates. Mixed greens in a Preserved lemon Vinaigrette
Ca. Halibut scented with lemon & resting on top of pureed favas
“Meatless Monday” Meal: Lemony spaghetti w ith basil, Fava beans and last w eeks pozzo tomme. Steamed Globe artichoke w ith lemon dressing. Ingredients: • spaghetti, or your favorite pasta • 1 preserved lemon, mostly rind, but a little goop as well, • fava beans- prepped * • basil- chopped at the last minute • artichoke- prepped ** • fresh garlic- chopped • a little lemon • a bay leaf, if you have it • olive oil, salt, pepper • pozo tomme cheese from last week, or pecorino or parmesan or no cheese at all. Directions: " First, Prep the artichoke **Prepping the artichoke: Simple, steamed artichokes are delicious, although in all honesty, basically a vessel for your favorite sauce. Preparing them to steam is fairly simple. If the artichokes have little thorns on the end of the leaves, take some kitchen scissors and cut of the thorned tips of all of the leaves. If you feel too lazy to do this, fear not, the thorns are not dangerous and will soften right up when you steam. Next, chop off about 3/4 inch off the tip of the artichoke. Pull off any smaller, really dry looking leaves towards the base and on the stem. Trim the stem and peel it using a vegetable peeler. Slice the artichoke in half, lengthwise and scoop out the furry-looking choke using a small spoon. Leave the prepped artichoke in a bowl of water, with a squeeze of lemon to prevent discoloration, until you are ready to steam. " Now, get it steaming Find a pot and fill it with about 2 inches of water. Throw in the garlic, lemon slice and bay leaf. Add salt. Set over high heat until the water starts to boil. Throw in your artichoke halves, lower heat and cover. The artichokes will take anywhere from 20-35 minutes to steam through, depending on their size. They are done when the petals can easily be pulled off. While the artichoke steams, mix together your favorite dipping liquid for the finished artichoke. You can go classic and use good ‘ol mayo with some lemon stirred in. I like olive oil with a little preserved lemon goop. Stir stir. People say mayo and a little balsamic is great as well. Whatever you like
is fair game. Even just a sprinkling of coarse salt would be a party. " More prep, this time Favas *Prepping Fava Beans: Favas look a little like saggy peas when they are in their shells and feel a bit puffy and loose. They need to be shelled first. After they are shelled they will need to be blanched and “shelled” again, this time each individual bean. You will want to blanch them for about a minute or two and then move on to the second step. Rope in your kids or friends, they will love squeezing the blanched favas free from their bitter skins. " Now onto the rest of the meal Find a big pot. Fill it with water, add salt. Set the water to boil. Now there is certainly a way to create this dish that has a few more steps and a few more pots, but since we already prepped favas, I am going to give you an easier method. Once the water has boiled, add in your dry pasta. You will want to cook your pasta about 3 minutes short of done. Drain the pasta (do not rinse), reserving about a cup of the pasta water (we will use this only if needed) and return pasta to the pot. Turn the heat onto low. Stir in some olive oil and toss around to coat the noodles. Stir in about a teaspoon of the preserved lemon goop. Make sure it is well mixed in. Chop up the preserved lemon peel into thin slivers and stir that in as well. Taste and adjust the salt level. Add in some pasta water if the pasta looks too dry. Toss in the fava beans, cover the pot and turn the heat off. Allow to steam for a couple minutes. Remove the lid and stir in the fresh basil. Serve in shallow bowls with a little pozo tomme grated on top as well as more fresh basil.
" To eat Discuss the days events over a passed artichoke appetizer. Enjoy the bright Spring pasta dish and then finish your conversations over a passed bowl of peeled pixies.
An om elet, souffléd, all dr essed up for dinner and bursting w ith crook neck zucch ini. On th e side, Sim ple & salted seasons first h eirloom tom atoes. This is a little fancier than a traditional omelet, but the airiness in it with the zucchini is just lovely. Worth the trouble if you have the time. If not, your favorite way of preparing an omelet will work out just fine. Ingredients: • Crookneck zucchini • 6 eggs, room temperature. Yolks and white separated. • Fresh garlic- minced • 2 small pats of butter • about a tbsp. of flour • coarse salt/ pepper • fresh basil • parsley, if you have it • a chamomile flower, if you are really feeling fancy : ) • heirloom tomatoes • a lovely, fruity olive oil (optional)
Directions: Preheat oven to 375F. Quickly sauté squash in a little garlic and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside. Melt the butter in a large ovenproof skillet and set aside. Whisk together egg yolks, flour, salt and pepper until it is thick and light yellow. In yet another bowl, mix together egg white and a pinch of salt. You might want to use an electric mixer for this, we will want to beat it until stiff peaks form. About 3-4 full minutes. Very carefully fold the whites into the yolk mixture. Do not over mix, be very gentle, so the volume of the whites is not lost. Spread the mixture into the skillet with the melted butter and bake for about 6-10 minutes. Keep an eye on it, you want it to be set but still soft. Cover one half of the omelet with the squash mixture and some cheese (if desired). Sprinkle with basil and parsley. Fold the top over and return to the oven for another 2 or 3 minutes. Top with a couple chamomile flower buds. Cut into wedges and serve with the season’s first heirloom tomatoes. The tomatoes can be eaten as they are or heightened simply with a teeny drizzle of your favorite olive oil and some coarse salt.
Seasonal, sustainable soup w ith ham hocks, chard and w eiser potatoes. Mixed greens w / pixies on the side Ham hocks are a great way to get a lot of flavor into a soup or stock without using a lot of meat. And if you happen to read this early enough, you can even make the soup, the broth at least, the day before and then skim off all the fat the next day. As it cools, it will solidify at the top. Still just as flavorful, just not as much fat. Many of you may not have seen or cooked with ham hocks since the days of yore, when you were just wee young kids and you overheard the word in your grandmothers kitchen. Something about ham hocks and beans or ham hocks and cabbage. For us, at Out Of the Box, it is important to re-introduce them, and hopefully, to bring them back into vogue. As adults we know that a pig running around the farm is not just 60% ribs and 40% chops (although, I know sometimes its an easy fact to forget). Eating locally is only one small part of eating sustainably. Preparing ham hocks (and other forgotten cuts) for your family with love and care is another part. We’re helping you out with that today. Onto the recipe and off of my soapbox, for now. Whew! Ingredients: • smoked ham hocks • fresh garlic- chopped • purple onion- diced • diced carrots (if you have them from last week) • Salt, pepper • Olive oil • Bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, peppercorns (all, none or some combination of) • Water • One tomato- chopped (optional, if you prefer your soups with a bit of tomato) • Potatoes- quartered • Rainbow chard leaves- sliced • Beans- optional • A little fresh parsley (if you have any left), basil might be nice too. • Mixed greens • Pixies tangerines
Directions: " First find a big pot In a large dutch oven or pot, sauté the onions and carrot in a little olive oil. Add the garlic, tomato and some salt. Saute over medium heat until soft, but not brown. Add in the herbs and peppercorns. Push the vegetable to the edges of the pot and add the ham hocks to the center. Turn up the heat a bit and brown carefully on all sides. Add water, a fair bit, depending on how much soup you are making. If you are using beans, add those now as well. Bring the liquid to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook about 1 hour, maybe more, or until the hocks are tender. Add the potatoes. Fish the ham hocks out of the pot and carefully pull the meat off of them. If they are ready, the meat should just fall right off. Mmmm, yum. Add the meat back into the pot. Check the beans and the potatoes. Are they cooked? Almost? If they are almost cooked, throw in the sliced rainbow chard leaves and stir around. Remove from the heat and stir in the fresh herbs. Reseason with salt and pepper if needed. Add a little squeeze of lemon if you prefer, and if you happen to have a half of one waiting in your fridge. " To eat Ladle the soup into individual serving bowls and serve with your favorite warm, crusty bread. Assemble a quick salad with mixed greens, pixies cut into rounds (chop over the leaves, so the juice drips in) and a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Pat your self on the back for stepping out of your comfort zone and into a happy, sustainable place.
Flash seared Dey Deys Break fast steak s, flash pick led easter egg radish es. Served w ith w eiser potatoes, boiled and sliced Steak and potatoes, does it get simpler? Especially with these delicious, super quick cooking Dey Dey’s breakfast steaks. They’ll cook up faster than you can say “Dey Dey’s best beef ever.” Ingredients: • Breakfast Steaks • Radishes • " of a red onion (optional) • Potatoes • Salt/ pepper • Olive oil • 3 tbsp of sugar • Vinegar (apple cider or rice vinegar or just white vinegar) • Bay leaf (optional) • Black peppercorns (optional)
Directions: " Prep Let’s start with a few prep things. Wash and cut the tops off of your easter egg radishes. Save the tops to add a bit of a fire-y punch to your mixed greens or just toss into the compost bin. Slice them into thin rounds, as even as possible. Set aside. Slice the red onion into thin slivers. Add to the bowl with the radishes. Rub a little olive oil onto the steaks, massage in and then sprinkle with some coarse salt. Leave at room temp. " Potatoes Place the potatoes in a pot and fill with water (about an inch above the potatoes). Add salt. Place on stovetop and bring to a boil. Cover pot, lower heat and allow to simmer until they can be pierced with a fork. Drain and allow to cool. Before you eat, slice up, quarter or leave whole, however you enjoy potatoes is what you should do to them. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. " Pickles In a small saucepan, bring vinegar, 3 tbsp of sugar and 11/2 tbsp of salt (along with peppercorns and bayleaf if using) to a gentle boil. Turn off the heat as soon as it starts to boil. Pour liquid over the radishes and onion. Allow the roots to cool in the liquid. Pickles! These will keep in the fridge for about a day…but I imagine you’ll finish them with your dinner. " Steak Heat up a heavy skillet. Once it is hot, cook the breakfast steaks for about 30-40 seconds on each side and set aside. The breakfast steaks are super lean, so be careful not to overcook them. " To eat Top your steaks with some of the pickles (drained). Enjoy your potatoes (perhaps with a pat of butter) on the side. Mixed greens? Yes!
Ch ick en par ts br aised in m or r occo w ith ch am om ile, dr ied or anges and pr eser ved lem ons. Ser ved over w ild r ice studded w ith dates. M ixed greens in a Pr eser ved lem on Vinaigr ette As you may know, I LOVE braising skin-on, bone-in chicken. It is a fool-proof way to have juicy chicken for dinner, and usually just one pot to wash. Plus, it works well with so many different ingredients. This braised dish apparently ran through a field of fruit in Morrocco. Ingredients: • ! + ! Chicken. Cut each ! chicken into 4 pieces (leg, thigh, breast in 2 halves) • a little flour • fresh basil and parsley (if you have it) • a few chamomile flowers • Salt, pepper • olive oil • 1 or 2 small preserved lemons, thinly sliced, seeded, and rinsed • fresh garlic, chopped • 4-5 dried oranges, from Mud Creek • juice of one navel orange • dry white wine or a little vinegar • about a cup of chicken stock or water • a little cream (optional) • wild rice • a couple dates, pitted and chopped • some almonds or pistachios, chopped (optional) • mixed greens • a little more chopped preserved lemon, citrus juice, olive oil, s&p for the vinaigrette.
Directions: " How to braise Add some salt and pepper to a little flour and toss the chicken pieces in it. Heat up some oil in a large, heavy skillet. When the pan is hot, brown the chicken on all sides. You will need to do this in a few batches, removing the chicken to a clean plate as you go. Lower the heat to low, and add the preserved lemons and chopped garlic. Quickly stir them around in the hot oil, and then add the white wine or vinegar. Raise the heat to high, and scrape up all the pieces of crisp chicken from the bottom of the pan. Add the stock, the navel juice, the dried orange slices and season with salt and pepper. Add the chicken pieces back into the pot, and when the liquid boils, reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot, and cook for 30 minutes. Uncover the pot and stir in the cream, if using. Add in the herbs (including the chamomile flowers) as well. Turn the heat off. Check the seasoning. Cook rice as directed on the package. After the rice is cooked, stir in the chopped dates and sprinkle the top with crunchy almond or pistachio pieces, if using. " To serve Make a quick vinaigrette with a little more chopped preserved lemon, citrus juice, olive oil, and salt and pepper. I like the ratio of 1:3 for acid (in this case citrus juice and preserved lemons) to oil. Gently toss with mixed greens until coated. Serve the beautiful, sweetened wild rice alongside the citrus scented braised chicken. Eat the mixed greens between bites of slow cooked chicken.
California Halibut scented with lemon & resting on top of pureed Favas P.S. If you choose to not sit your halibut on top of this fava bean puree, slather it in a cracker or crostini…top it with a little fresh goat cheese and it’s divine, and quite impressive if you have company coming over. It is also delicious, simply, on a spoon and into your mouth. Ingredients: • Halibut • Fava beans- prepped as described in the “Meatless Monday” meal. • Salt/ pepper • Fresh, chopped basil- lots • ! of a preserved lemon- rind only, washed really well. • Crushed red pepper flakes (optional) • Olive oil • A little flour
Directions: Chop up preserved lemon peel. Place ! of it in a bowl and add ! of the basil, some coarse salt, a pinch of crushed red pepper and some olive oil. Arrange fish baking sheet. Rub basil mixture all over fish. Cover and chill. Heat a little oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add fava beans. Sprinkle with coarse salt, black pepper, and pinch of red pepper. Cook until heated through and tender, stirring occasionally and adding water by the tablespoon, about 5 minutes. Smash up using a fork or potato masher until it is a rustic puree. Season to taste and then stir in remaining fresh basil and preserved lemon peel. Toss the fish in a little flour and cook over medium heat until lightly browned. Depending on how thick the pieces are, it will be about 3-4 minutes per side. Serve the fish on top of the fava puree. You can sprinkle the top with more fresh basil and a drizzle of good olive oil.