Week 27: Kicking Off the Holidays
We hope everyone had a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving! It is the day that officially kicks off the holiday season and catapults us into the shortest days of the year. If you couldn’t tell by some of the large produce items on the CSA table, fall has been quite mild and the fields are still producing some of the heartier greens. The hoop house is also being harvested and providing us spinach, bok choy, and lettuce.
The end of this year’s growing season is a little bittersweet as we said goodbye to Molly, a wonderful member of the Moutoux crew. Molly spent 2 years with Moutoux Orchard and moved back home to Iowa right before Thanksgiving. She’s excited to start her new adventure with Healthy Harvest of North Iowa, a non-profit whose mission is to increase access to local food in northern Iowa. We are grateful for all of Molly’s hard work over the last two years and wish her the best!
No matter which holiday(s) you celebrate, it is a lot of fun to connect through food. You’ll always end up making, trying and loving something new. First up is Hanukkah – December 10 through 18, 2020. A traditional Hanukkah menu is composed of fried foods, savory meats and sweet desserts. Five essential Hanukkah foods rooted in tradition are brisket, latkes (potato pancakes), kugel (egg noodle casserole), sufganiyot (jelly donut), and Hanukkah gelt (money, taking the modern form of chocolate coin covered in gold foil). While these are quintessential traditional Hanukkah foods, there is plenty of room for creativity in all recipes. Join us in Kicking Off the Holidays with some of these delicious Hanukkah recipes!
EASY POTATO LATKES
2 large eggs
2 lb. medium potatoes*
2 medium onions
1/2 c. matzo meal
8 tbsp. olive oil
In large bowl, whisk together eggs, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
In food processor fitted with large grating disk (or on large holes of box grater), grate potatoes and onions. Add to bowl with eggs and toss to combine. Stir in matzo meal.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large skillet on medium. Gently drop 5 large spoonfuls potato mixture (about 1/4 cup each) into skillet. Flatten to create even pancakes and cook until browned and crisp, 4 to 6 minutes per side; transfer to wire rack or paper towel–lined plate.
Repeat with remaining potato mixture, adding more oil to skillet as necessary (when getting near the end of potato mixture, strain and discard any liquid at bottom of bowl).
Notes: *Sub 1 pound of carrots or 1 pound of beets for 1 pound of potatoes for carrot latkes and beet latkes, respectively. Add extra flavor to your latkes with a smorgasbord of toppings: horseradish sour cream + dill + pomegranate seeds; green apple + scallions + pepper; beets + goat cheese + lemon zest; hard-boiled egg + capers + parsley; sautéed onions + whole-grain mustard; sautéed apple + thyme
BEST HOMEMADE APPLESAUCE
4 large apples
1/2 c. apple cider or apple juice
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
Cut apples into eighths (don't peel or core them).
Place apples in medium saucepan along with cider and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until apples are very tender, about 15 minutes.
Press apple mixture through a coarse sieve or food mill to remove skin and seeds.
ROASTED CARROT AND SWEET POTATO TZIMMES
6 to 8 oranges
2 pounds carrots
3 pounds sweet potatoes
1 pound shallots (about 8 large)
1/2 to 3/4 pounds dried plums or pitted prunes (vary the amount depending on how sweet and fruity you want the dish)
3 to 4 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground white or black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 F (200 C). Using a swivel-blade vegetable peeler, remove the zest in large strips from 2 of the oranges and the lemon. Be sure to press down only hard enough to capture the colored part of the skin, not the bitter white pith. Juice enough oranges to yield 2-1/2 cups (600 ml) juice. Reserve the lemon for another use.
Peel the carrots and cut them crosswise into 2-inch (5-cm) chunks or lengthwise into 2-inch (5-cm) chunks (if carrots are very fat, first halve them lengthwise). Peel and cut the sweet potatoes into large bite-size chunks. Peel and quarter the shallots lengthwise. Use kitchen scissors to snip the dried fruits in half.
Use a roasting pan large enough to hold all the vegetables in more or less a single layer. Place carrots, sweet potatoes, shallots, dried fruit, and lemon and orange zests in the pan. Toss with enough olive oil to coat evenly, season with salt and pepper, and pour the juice over all.
Roast the vegetables, turning them once or twice during cooking, until they are tender and are browned in places and most of the juice is absorbed, about 1-1/4 hours. If you want a saucier finished dish, add another 1/2 to 1 cup (120 to 240 ml) juice during the last 20 minutes of cooking. The juice should thicken slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Notes: Yield 8 to 10 servings.
SWEET NOODLE KUGEL
Butter, for greasing the pan
16 oz. wide egg noodles
5 large eggs
1/2 c. butter, melted
16 oz. sour cream
8 oz. cottage cheese
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 9" x 13” baking dish. In a large pot of boiling water, cook pasta until al dente, 5 minutes. Drain.
In a large bowl mix together eggs, butter, sour cream, cottage cheese, sugar, and cinnamon then stir in noodles. Pour into prepared dish and bake until set, 1 hour. Cover with aluminum foil if the top starts to get too dark.
SAUTEED SPINACH WITH GARLIC AND LEMON
1/4 c. olive oil
4 clove garlic, very thinly sliced
2 strips lemon zest, thinly sliced
2 large bunches spinach, thick stems removed
Kosher salt and pepper
Heat oil, garlic and lemon zest in a large Dutch oven or skillet on medium until garlic is beginning to turn golden around edges, 1 to 2 minutes.
Add half of spinach, season with 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper and cook, tossing often, until spinach begins to wilt, 1 to 2 minutes. Add remaining spinach and continue tossing 1 to 3 minutes until all the spinach has just wilted.