This week has been a busy one. We found magical beans, launched a blog, and put the finishing touches on Family Dinner's video. Here's a sneak preview. It'll be up on Facebook and Instagram later this weekend (we'd appreciate your likes and shares). We wanted to give you the first peek because we love you so much.
THIS WEEK'S FOOD (new blog!)
Several of you have asked us to publish ingredient lists a little bit earlier, so that you can shop for anything extras that might not be in your share. Starting next week, we'll share this week's food on our brand-spanking-new blog on Friday night. We'll continue sending the ingredients by email on Saturday morning for those who like to be surprised.
This week we have whole and half chickens from Tad at Feather Brook Farms. Occasionally we will freeze his meat for convenience, so that you can throw it in the freezer at home and welcome it to your stove when you are ready. This week we left it fresh. These chickens were processed just days ago and that freshness, along with the loving care they get from Tad truly affects the flavor of the meat. When you do better by your product; your animals, your soil, your vegetables, the end products reflect all that love and return it to you in FLAVOR.
This week we also got to see Charley Baer, of Baer's Best Beans. We highlighted Charley back in December. We told him about Tad's amazing chicken and he suggested we pair them with Yellow Eye beans. This is a rich, creamy, but mild bean that will go beautifully with the fat of the poultry. I thought about thanking Charley for his advice and asking him where he had BEAN all my life, but decided no one needs a terrible pun at 6 in the morning.
In thinking about the recipes, we wanted to keep it simple. Understanding that there's a big game of some kind next weekend (GO Pats!) and that we will likely all be gorging ourselves on Jalapeno Popper Buffalo Cheeseburger 7- Layer Dip (totally local and ethically raised Poppers), we thought it would be nice to return to some classic recipes. A culinary calm before the Super Bowl Storm.
WHAT'S IN THE BAG?
HALF SHAREProtein - Half Chicken from Feather Brook Farm; Maple Greek Yogurt from Brookford Farm
Fruits and Veggies - Spinach from Queen's Greens in Amherst, MA; Sweet Potatoes, Parsnips and Sweet Yellow Onions from Brookford Farm
Grains - Yellow Eye Beans from Baer's Best
Special Treat - Mini Pecan Rolls from Iggy's Bread
Pescatarian - Sashimi Grade Fluke from Red's Best
Vegetarians - Vegan Meats from the Plant Deli
Protein - Whole Chicken and Eggs from Feather Brook Farm; Maple Greek Yogurt from Brookford Farm
Fruits and Veggies - Spinach from Queen's Greens in Amherst, MA; Sweet Potatoes, Parsnips and Sweet Yellow Onions from Brookford Farm; Baby Kale and Tomatoes from Cornerstalk Farm
Grain - Yellow Eye Beans from Baer's Best
Special Treats - Mini Pecan Rolls from Iggy's Bread
Pescatarian - Sashimi Grade Fluke and Salmon Bellies (YUM!) from Red's Best
Roast Chicken and Vegetables: We have shared other recipes for this before. Here we turn to a short video from Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa, on how to handle a whole or half bird. The video is clear and the results make the house smell amazing. Fun fact: Did you know that prior to being a chef she worked in the White House in the Office of Management on Budget; focusing on nuclear energy? And she has her pilots license? You go, Ina.
With any left overs from the Chicken, we like to shred the meet and keep it in the fridge. It will make any number of great additions to soups, open faced BBQ sandwiches (with cheese please!) and sweet potato boats (below).
Sweet Potato Boats: Though these could certainly show up as potato skins at your Super Bowl party, to us this just screams TAKE ME TO LUNCH ALL WEEK. Sweet potatoes and beans are a perfect pair. Throw in whatever spices you like and top with a little bit of cheese of a chipotle mayo, or another touch of fat like an avocado or vegan meats. Yum all day.
Sweet Potatoes and Baked Eggs: Amazing, fancy brunch in a few simple steps. Microwaving the sweet potato cuts down the cooking time by 50 minutes. And yes, we recognize that we have not often used the word "microwave" in our cooking instructions. But when its Sunday morning and you're holding on for dear life, every second counts.
Crock Pot Beans: Simple, awesome.
Fluke, I am your Father: Fluke is also called Summer Flounder, its a flat white fish that is just crying to be doused in butter and capers, as in this recipe. It also would be welcome in your fish chowders, your tomato and fish soup (get those sweet potatoes in there!). We recently discovered a call for the fish to be basted in beer and we're dying to give it a shot. See below.
Summer Fluke Baked in a Can of Beer
Place fish, either fillets or whole (gutted, cleaned and scaled) in a baking pan. Salt and pepper lightly and bake at 375 degrees. Baste until done (fillets will flake, whole fish will offer little resistance when pierced with a toothpick) with a mixture of 1 10 oz. Can of beer, ½ t. of onion powder, ¼ t. of garlic powder, and a dash of Worcestershire sauce.
TIPS AND TRICKS
Let's talk Chicken Drippings.
It doesn't sound like the most lovely topic, but that fat and flavor that seep out of your meat as you roast and sear it are liquid gold. Gold that you should never, ever, ever leave un-used in the pan or (gasp) pour down the drain. It can be used to soften the chopped veggies you use as a comfy mattress for your roasted chicken, or as a finishing sauce for your sliced meat once it leaves the heat. You can even toast uncooked rice in it, which will make for some really flavorful rice once it's cooked. If you're a gravy fiend, like we are, Chicken Drippings are your starting point. This quick tutorial tells you how to Save That Fat. Add butter, flour and some liquid and voila. Gravy Town.