Down on the Farm Note
Can you believe that school has started already? That means that the Cantaloupe Festival is right around the corner. If you have never visited the festival, here is the Cantaloupe Festival website: www.fallonfestival.org. What will you find in the basket this week? Organic Cantaloupe, Organic Watermelon, Organic Bell Peppers, Organic Summer Squash, Organic Eggplant, Organic Tomatoes, Organic Cucumbers, Organic Raspberries, Organic Beets, Organic Green Beans, Organic Parsley from Mewaldt Organics, and Green Beans from River Bend Turf.
Beets Keep beets refrigerated (32-36°F). The stems can be removed and they do not need to be in a plastic bag. Roasted beets are one way to prep beets for mixed salads. Preheat the oven to 475°F. Tightly wrap beets in double layers of foil and roast until tender, about 1 hour.
Cucumbers Keep cucumbers refrigerated (32-36°F). Slice them thinly and mix with yogurt, salt and pepper for a quick salad that’s cool for summertime.
Eggplant Keep refrigerated (32-36°F), storing in a perforated plastic bag. Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Place eggplant rounds on rimmed baking sheet; brush with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place rounds on grill and cook until tender and golden, about 4 minutes per side.
Green Beans Keep refrigerated (32-36°F), in a perforated plastic bag. Wash fresh green beans thoroughly in clear, cool water. Lift beans from the wash water and leave garden debris behind. Rinse again. Break off the end (the top and tail) as you wash them. Leave whole or cut into desired lengths. Beans can be cooked whole, cut crosswise, diagonally or French-cut. If you want sweet tasting, crisp fresh beans, cut them as little as possible. Cut older, more mature beans in the French style. Make sure all the pieces are similar in length so they cook evenly.
Cooking Fresh Green Beans: Boiling, steaming, or microwaving are popular ways to prepare fresh green beans. Stir-frying preserves the best qualities of the fresh green bean. Whatever cooking method you choose, remember to cook fresh green beans as little as possible using the smallest amount of water as possible. The fewer beans in the pan, the quicker they cook and the better they taste. If cooking more than one pound of green beans at a time, use separate pans. The beans will continue to cook after you remove them from the heat source. Either take them out just before they are cooked the way you like or plunge them in ice water immediately to stop the cooking process.
Peppers Store whole peppers in a cool, dry place (45-50°F), away from fruits to avoid over-ripening. Always refrigerate cut peppers. Gypsy and bell peppers can be eaten raw as a snack or in a salad. Sweet peppers are also great stir-fried.
Summer Squash Keep refrigerated (32-36°F), storing in a perforated plastic bag. Fire up the barbecue. Cut squash in half lengthwise. Place on rimmed baking sheet; brush with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place squash on grill and cook until tender and golden, about 4 minutes per side.
Tomatoes Keep tomatoes at room temperature (55-70°F). Do not refrigerate, as it will make the tomatoes mealy and flavorless. Cut tomatoes and mix with a balsamic dressing or slice tomatoes and serve with fresh mozzarella.
Melons Store whole melons in a cool, dry place (45-50°F), away from other fruits. Always store cut melons in the refrigerator. Eat plain or cut into small pieces in a fruit salad.
Herbs (Parsley) Remove band or tie; wash and dry. Snip off the ends and submerge them in a glass of water. Cover with a plastic bag and leave in the refrigerator. Add herbs to sauces, such as tomato sauces and béchamels for flavor.
How to Fix 17 Basic Cooking Mistakes By Melissa Clark, http://www.realsimple.com
Do you always burn the garlic or turn pasta into a gummy mess? Over-crowd the pan or putting good knives in the dishwasher. Learn how to avoid these all-too-common cooking mistakes on this website, Real Simple.
Country Kitchen Recipes
Cantaloupe Smoothie in honor of the Fallon Cantaloupe Festival
Recipe from Eating Well website
¼ ripe ripe cantaloupe, seeded and coarsely chopped
½ cup nonfat or low-fat yogurt
2 tablespoons nonfat dry milk
1 ½ tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Place unpeeled banana in the freezer overnight (or up to 3 months). Remove banana from the freezer and let it sit until the skin begins to soften, about 2 minutes. Remove the skin with a paring knife. Don’t worry if a little fiber remains. Cut the banana into chunks; combine in a blender or food processor with cantaloupe, yogurt, dry milk orange juice, honey and vanilla. Cover and blend until smooth.
Note: you can freeze the banana for up to 3 months
Fresh Tomato Sauce Courtesy of AllRecipes.com
Original Recipe Yield 6 servings
6 tomatoes, chopped
3 onions, minced
2 bell peppers, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons white wine
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat; add tomatoes, onions, green bell peppers, garlic, white wine and salt and pepper to taste. Mix ingredients well; cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Serve.
Beets on the Grill Courtesy of AllRecipes.com
Original Recipe Yield 2 servings
6 beets, scrubbed
2 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat. Coat one side of a large piece of aluminum foil with cooking spray. Place beets and butter on foil; season with salt and pepper. Wrap foil over beets. Place packet on the grill grate. Cook 30 minutes, or until beets are very tender. Allow beets to cool about 5 minutes before serving. You don’t even need to peel to enjoy!
Summer Squash Quesadillas
4 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 summer squash, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
4 flour tortillas
2 cups grated pepper jack cheese
Preheat oven to 400F. In a large skillet, heat 3 tbsp oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and salt. Add summer squash cook, stirring occasionally, until. Remove from heat; stir in cilantro, if using. Brush one side of all tortillas with remaining tablespoon oil; lay 2 tortillas, oiled side down, on a baking sheet. Place half of the filling on each, and sprinkle with half the cheese. Place remaining 2 tortillas on top, oiled side up; press down gently with a spatula to seal. Bake until cheese has melted and tortillas are golden brown, turning once, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven; let cool slightly. To serve, slice each quesadilla into wedges