Notes From the Farm
This Week’s Veggie Feast
Corn, Brussels Sprouts, Carrots, Poblano Peppers, Salad, Tomatoes, Swiss Chard
New This Week
Leon planted our corn later than usual this season due to the cold June (remember that?). The birds were looking for it in August, whole flocks. I am sure we didn’t outwit them but it’s nice to think that we tried.
Brussels sprouts can last a long time but they are best when eaten sooner than later, as their flavor becomes more assertive over time. Any food item that goes well with cabbage or cauliflower also makes a great pairing with Brussels sprouts, including butter, cream, blue cheese, mustard, capers, garlic, bacon, and vinegar. Brussels take well to steaming, roasting, or braising. If cooking whole, cutting an X in the bottom brings heat to their centers more quickly. Generally the small round heads are cut in half or thinly sliced, allowing them to cook faster and better absorb more sauce or seasoning.
First of the season for us, yum.
Poblano Peppers are usually used in sauces, salsas, and stuffing mixes. The membranes and seeds of Poblano peppers is where most of the heat is found. So, if you don’t want it to be quite so spicy, be sure to take the veins and seeds out before using the pepper.
To prepare Poblano peppers it is best to roast them with a little olive oil or grill them until they are soft enough to peel the skin from the pepper. To do this without a lot of hassle it is best to roast the Poblanos with a little olive oil then place them in a bowl covered with plastic wrap so the steam helps to separate the skin from the flesh. Before long the skin will be soft enough to peel off in sheets. Some recipes will call for searing Poblanos until the skin is black by placing them in a broiler or over an open flame.
Poblanos can be stored and even frozen in airtight containers for many months until you are ready to use them. You can also choose to dry the peppers out for later use. Dried Poblanos are also known as Ancho chiles, which means wide chile in the Spanish language. They are given this name because when Poblano peppers are dried they become very flat, wide, and heart-shaped.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Vinegar
This recipe was shared by one of my favorite foodie friends, Emily, and it is her favorite way to cook and eat Brussels sprouts. Simple, quick, and delicious. For those of you who need a bit of protein, bacon or pancetta would make a great addition to this dish.
- 1 pound of Brussels sprouts
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and freshly milled pepper
- 1/2 cup dried cherries, optional
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Cut Brussels sprouts in half lengthwise and remove any yellow or wilted leaves.
- Toss well with olive oil, salt, pepper, and cherries.
- Roast on a sheet pan for 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and gently toss halves with balsamic vinegar.
- Continue roasting for 10-15 minutes, checking occasionally to make sure the balsamic vinegar does not over caramelize.
- Serve while still warm.
Southwest Stuffed Poblano Peppers
We make quite a few stuffed peppers, you can stuff them with whatever you fancy, but here’s a recipe… I did take the liberty to replace some of the canned ingredients….why use canned tomatoes when you have fresh ones? And garlic powder makes me shudder cause it tastes so off, but off you go to make your own magical stuffed pepper
- 4 poblano peppers halved and seeds/membranes removed
- 1 pound lean ground beef OR chorizo
- 1 teaspoon each ground cumin, chili powder, diced garlic
- 1 cup cooked long grain white rice
- ½ cup cooked black beans
- ½ cup corn
- Green chiles
- ½-1 cup grated mozzarella
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a large baking sheet. Arrange halved poblano peppers in a single layer on the baking sheet so that they aren’t overlapping. Bake for 10-15 minutes while you move on to the next step.
- Add ground beef (or preferred meat choice) and rice to a large skillet, and season with the cumin, chili powder, and garlic. Saute over medium heat for 5-8 minutes until meat is browned and cooked through.
- Stir in the black beans, corn, diced tomatoes, and green chiles. Cook another 1-2 minutes. Spoon mixture into the peppers, sprinkle with cheese, and return to oven for another 10 minutes or so until peppers are tender and cheese is melted. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
Slightly adapted from: Creme de la Crumb