Our newsletter from Sept. 21:
Dear CSA members,
What a gorgeous harvest morning! John is working extra hard this morning since we took time out on Sunday to spend the afternoon at Tillers International Harvest Fest, learning a little more about their work with draft horses and oxen and their programs teaching people in places like Mozambique to use them in their farming. I’ve been thinking a lot these past couple of years about alternatives to tractor-driven agriculture. Draft power seems to be one solution, though I don’t yet have a vision of how to integrate draft animals into a diverse, intensive, raised-bed vegetable system such as ours. It’s something I want to keep thinking about and researching, though.
The summer vegetables are dying down. This will probably be the last week for tomatoes and zucchinis, as their vines are starting to die back quite a bit. I’d hoped that some of our fall roots and greens would be farther along by now and ready for harvest, but they aren’t quite. I hope we get some nice warm weather (and warmish nights!) to fatten them up soon!
The chile peppers really like the weather we’ve been having. I know that not all of you enjoy them, but for those that do, I’m going to include a few hot pepper recipes today. Remember to be careful when you are working with hot peppers not to get the juices on your skin or, heaven forbid, in your eyes! Rubber gloves are great, but I don’t always have them so I sometimes stick freezer bags over my hands when I cut jalapenos. It’s a little awkward and I’m not sure that would work if I was doing a huge quantity, but it’s better than nothing. I still make sure to wash my hands afterward!
You could make a not-hot version of this recipe from Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant by the Moosewood Collective by simply omitting the chiles:
Cheese and Pepper Enchiladas
Ingredients: 2 medium onions, chopped; 1-2 large garlic cloves, minced; 1 tablespoon chile, minced; 2 teaspoons ground cumin; 3 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil; 2-3 cups chopped bell peppers (can use a variety of colors); 8 ounces cream cheese; 1 1⁄2 cups cheddar cheese, grated; 1⁄2 cup cottage cheese; salt to taste; vegetable oil (for frying); 8 corn tortillas
Hot Sauce ingredients: 2 cups canned tomatoes, undrained; 1⁄2 green pepper, coarsely chopped; 1 small onion, coarsely chopped; 2-3 tablespoons chilies, minced; 1 teaspoon ground coriander; 1 teaspoon ground cumin; salt to taste
In a large skillet, sauté the onions, garlic, chiles, and cumin in the oil for 5-7 minutes, until onions are soft. Add the chopped peppers, cover, and cook on low heat for about 10 minutes, until peppers are tender. Remove from heat and stir in all the cheeses. Add salt to taste and set aside. Preheat oven to 350°F.
Soften tortillas by frying individually in a little oil for just a few seconds on each side. Don’t leave them in too long or they will get crisp instead of soft. Drain well on paper towels. Place a tortilla on a flat surface. Spoon 1/4 – 1/2 cup of cheese and pepper filling onto the half of the tortilla closest to you. Roll and place, seam side down, in a greased baking pan. Bake tightly covered for 20-25 minutes.
When the enchiladas are baking, prepare the hot sauce. Puree the tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, chiles, coriander and cumin in a blender until smooth. Simmer, uncovered, on how heat for at least 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt to taste. (If you use fresh tomatoes, you may need to simmer for even longer.). Serve the enchiladas on a bed of cooked rice and top with the hot sauce.
Personally, I’d add a little cheddar cheese to this recipe from jalapenomadness.com:
Jalapeno Cornbread Recipe (http://www.jalapenomadness.com/recipe-jalapeno-cornbread.html#.VgVENtJViko)
Ingredients: 1 cup flour; 1 cup cornmeal; 1/2 to 2/3 cup sugar (adjust to taste); 1 teaspoon salt; 3 ½ teaspoons baking powder; 1 egg; 1 cup milk; 1/3 cup vegetable oil; 4 small jalapeno peppers, diced
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray a baking pan. In a large bowl combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt and baking powder and mix. In a separate bowl combine egg, milk and olive oil and beat. Combine both bowls and mix well. Add jalapeno peppers and mix well. Pour into baking dish. Bake 20-30 minutes (depending on how thick your pour) or until cornbread is done in the middle.
From www.simplyrecipes.com, two versions of jalapeno poppers:
Baked Stuffed Jalapeños (http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/baked_stuffed_jalapenos/)
Ingredients for cream cheese filled jalapenos: 12 jalapeño peppers; 1/4 cup minced onion; 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro; 3/4 cup cream cheese; 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin; 1 teaspoon salt (more or less to taste); 2 ounces jack cheese, cut into 2 1/2-inch long batons
Ingredients for bacon and jack cheese filled jalapenos: 12 jalapeño peppers; 1/4 cup chopped cooked bacon; 1/4 cup minced onion; 1/2 cup shredded jack cheese, plus another 2 ounces of jack cheese cut into 2 1/2-inch long batons; 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro; 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin; 1 teaspoon dried oregano
Preheat the oven to 375°. You can either slice the jalapeños in half lengthwise or you can slice off the top one-third (lengthwise) of each jalapeño to make a boat shape out of each pepper. The halved jalapeños will go further (twice as many stuffed peppers), but you can put more filling into the boat-shaped peppers. If you choose to make the boats, you can mince the tops and add them to the filling if you want some extra heat, or save them for another recipe. Scrape out all the seeds and ribs from each jalapeño with a spoon (a grapefruit spoon works great). Mix together all the filling ingredients except the jack cheese batons. Pack the filling into the peppers and nestle a baton of jack cheese onto the filling of each one. Arrange the peppers on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and lightly browned, and the peppers are cooked. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Enjoy! Amy & John
Here’s a preview of good things headed your way soon: