Week 46: Sunny Side Up
As spring blooms all around us, we are on the home stretch of the 2019/2020 Moutoux CSA season. It hasn’t been a typical trip around the sun by any means, with droughts in summer/fall, a winter that didn’t quite show up, and now living day to day amidst a global pandemic. And through all of this, small-scale local farmers across the country are coming to the rescue and supplying fresh foods to our neighborhoods and homes. From north to south and east to west, farmers are reporting that CSA sales are soaring amid this pandemic. Moutoux CSA 2020/2021 membership is full and drawing an ever-growing wait list, even with the increase in shares added this coming year. Sadly this support isn’t always a given. And it isn’t a reality for all of our local artisans and suppliers that heavily rely on distribution of their crafts via social means – stores, markets, events, taprooms and more. Moutoux Orchard has partnered with their neighbors and friends at George’s Mill Farm Artisan Cheese and Wheatland Spring Farm + Brewery to offer special CSA add-ons with just a few easy clicks. Please support local as much as you are able, in the good times and not so good times. Together we will get by.
Per the most recent Moutoux crew email, the farm has tons of sweet potatoes, loads of watermelon radishes, insane amounts of eggs, and soooo much milk! Just those 4 ingredients alone scream to whip up some delicious recipes! And SPRING EGGS may be the best eggs, although you can totally argue that any farm egg is the best egg. You wouldn’t be wrong, great taste comes from the great food the hens eat. But SPRING EGGS are when the ladies are free-range feasting on green sprouts and bugs again! The yolks are deep yellow, even orange at times. According to a 2007 study from Mother Earth News, pastured eggs have 1/3 less cholesterol, ¼ less saturated fat, 2/3 more vitamin A, 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids, 3 times more Vitamin E and 7 times more Beta Carotene compared to conventional eggs. Eggs are perfect for any meal of the day to boot! We hope you enjoy this week’s Sunny Side Up egg-centric recipes.
WATERMELON RADISH QUICHE WITH HASH BROWN CRUST
Hash Brown crust:
3 to 4 large white/yellow potatoes or 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and grated
1 tsp sale
1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
2 TBSP olive oil
2 TBSP unsalted butter
6 large eggs
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ cups cream or whole milk
½ to 1 cup thinly sliced watermelon radishes
½ to 1 cup other filling of your choosing, chopped (such as spinach, tatsoi, bacon, bell peppers, caramelized onions, asparagus, leeks, ham, green onion)
¼ cup (2oz) crumbled feta, goat cheese or ricotta, plus extra for topping
¾ cup cheese of your choosing, grated (such as fontina, gruyere, Swiss or cheddar) (optional)
½ tsp cracked black pepper
1 pinch salt
1 pinch red pepper flakes
¼ cup chopped fresh herbs (such as marjoram, oregano and thyme)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Grate the potatoes into a large bowl (use a cheese grater or food processor) and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Gather all the potato shreds up in a kitchen towel and squeeze out as much of the liquid that you can.
Heat a 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the oil and butter. Once it has melted, start pressing the potatoes in the skillet to form a crust. You want the layer to be even. I used a wooden spoon, metal measuring cup and spatula to continuously press the potatoes down and up the sides. You want to do this, pressing often, until the bottom and edges of the crust brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Turn off the heat under the skillet.
Line the crust with the watermelon radish slices.
Sautee any additional filling you may be using until cooked. Add filling on top of the radish layer.
Whisk together the eggs, garlic, cream, cheese, salt and peppers. Fold in the herbs. Pour the egg filling into the crust ensuring it fills in around the filling.
Place additional watermelon radish slices gently on top (in a pretty pattern if you’re feeling fancy).
Bake the quiche for 35 to 45 minutes, or until golden on top and set in the center. Let the quiche cool before serving. Sprinkle with additional ricotta/feta/goat cheese and fresh herbs (if using). To serve the quiche, use a sharp knife to cut down through the potato crust.
This is so good served warm or cold!
Notes: This recipe is so versatile, you really can make it anything you’d like. And it's an excellent way to continue to use up your freezer and canned stash before the 2020 bounty arrives!
SWEET POTATO HASH WITH FRIED EGGS
For the hash:
1 large sweet potato (or white/yellow if this is what you have on hand)
1 big pinch of kosher salt
Several turns of freshly ground black pepper
Few shakes of garlic powder
A couple dashes of onion powder
A sprinkle of dried herbs
2 TBSP fat of choice
Aleppo pepper (optional)
For the eggs:
4 large eggs
2 TBSP fast of choice
Freshly ground black pepper
Aleppo pepper (optional)
Peel and cut the sweet potato lengthwise so the slices fit in the feeding tube of your food processor.
Attach the julienne slicer blade to the machine and shred the potatoes. You can do this by hand but it is a lot more effort.
Transfer the shredded sweet potatoes to a large bowl and toss with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and dried herbs. You can definitely substitute fresh alliums and herbs if you have them. Taste the mixture and adjust the seasoning.
Heat the fat in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the seasoned sweet potatoes.
Toss everything in the fat and stir-fry for a minute. Then, pop on a lid for a few more minutes while the yams cook. The hash is ready when there’s some crunchy brown bits and texture is soft and tender.
You can plate it up with a dash of Aleppo pepper and gobble up the hash by itself or you can split the hash into two servings and top each with a couple of sunny-side up eggs. The addition of the eggs brings a wonderful richness to the hash.
Add a tablespoon of oil to a hot cast iron skillet over medium-low heat. When the fat shimmers, crack two eggs into a bowl and pour them gently into the hot pan.
Season the eggs with salt and pepper, and cover with a lid for 2-3 minutes, depending how runny you like your yolks. Once they are done, carefully slide them out of the skillet and on top of the hash. Repeat with the remaining eggs. Sprinkle some more Aleppo pepper on top.
Notes: Serves 2.
THE ULTIMATE MOUTOUX BREAKFAST, SPRING EDITION
This breakfast pulls out all the stops with some Spring flare:
The perfect scrambled eggs
Cornmeal pancakes with Spring violet syrup
For the Perfect Scrambled Eggs:
Whole Milk or cream
Thoroughly whisk eggs in a bowl. You want lots of air bubbles in the mixture, this is the key to fluffy eggs.
Add a good splash of whole milk/cream, pinch of salt, and fresh ground pepper. Re-whisk.
Heat butter in a pan over low heat. Add the eggs and keep the heat on low. The key to creamy eggs is the whole/milk/cream and cooking low and slow. Continuously scrape eggs as they slowly cook. Do not break up the clumps as they continue to layer and build in size.
Flip the eggs periodically and take eggs off heat as they are almost done and seem a wee bit underdone. They will continue to cook once off the heat.
For the Cornmeal Pancakes:
1 ½ cup flour (scant)
1 ½ cup cornmeal (heaping)
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons baking powder
4 tablespoons sugar
2 ¼ cups whole milk (more if needed)
2 whole large eggs
3 teaspoons vanilla
4 tablespoons butter, melted
Mix together flour, cornmeal, salt, baking powder, and sugar in a bowl. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, mix milk, eggs, and vanilla. Pour into the dry ingredients, stirring or whisking gently as you pour. It will be pretty thick at this stage.
Gently fold in melted butter. Set batter aside. Don’t be alarmed when you realize how different it begins to look from regular pancake batter. If batter is overly thick, splash in a small amount of milk.
Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium-low heat. When heated, drop ¼ cup batter per pancake and slightly smooth it out so that the surface is level. Cook until golden brown on both sides, flipping half way. Repeat with the rest of the batter, adding a little butter to the pan with each batch.
Stack pancakes, placing a pat of butter between each pancake. Drizzle with spring violet or maple syrup over the top and dig in!
For the Spring Violet Syrup:
Pick the violets by pinching them off at the tops of the stems. They are blooming all over wild areas and unkempt lawns like mine. Pick healthy, open violets. Be sure the flowers have not been sprayed or fed with any chemicals.
Gather a few cupfuls, removing the stems and calyx (the green part that holds the petals) if need be. Remove as many stems and leaves as you can to get the most vibrant color and flavor.
Boil equal volume of water as you have violets (lightly packed) in a small pot. Let stand for 5-10 minutes to cool, then add the violets to the pot and stir. Let sit at room temperature for 24 hours. The liquid will turn a beautiful blue/lavender color.
Strain the violet infused water through a fine mesh sieve, gently pressing any additional liquid from the violets.
For every cup of liquid yielded, add 2 cups of sugar.
Stir over very low heat until the sugar dissolves. Make sure to keep at very low heat or the color will be lost.
Store in a bottle or jar in the fridge for up to 6 months.
Notes: The violet syrup can be added to lemonade or sparkling water, turned into a violet-infused French 75 with gin, champagne and lemon juice, or lightly drizzled over pancakes or cakes.
For the Nettle Tea:
Add fresh nettle leaves to a pot (without touching leaves with hands), adding two cups water to every 1 cup nettles (less if you want a stronger tea).
Bring the water just to a boil, turn off stove and let sit for 5 minutes.
Strain mixture, retaining the tea.
You can add a bit of honey or cinnamon if desired.
1 large egg yolk
1 ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon salt plus more to taste
¾ cup avocado oil (or other neutral tasting oil such as safflower, canola, grapeseed, and peanut)*, divided
Combine egg yolk, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, and ½ teaspoon salt in medium bowl. Whisk until blended and bright yellow, about 30 seconds.
Using ¼ teaspoon measure and whisking constantly, add ¼ cup oil to yolk mixture, a few drops at a time, about 4 minutes. Gradually add remaining ½ cup oil in a very slow stream, whisking constantly, until mayonnaise is thick, about 8 minutes (mayonnaise will be lighter in color). Cover and chill.
Experiment with all kinds of flavorings, stirring in various ingredients at the end after the emulsion had safely formed. Try citrus zest, chile sauce, herbs, garlic, capers, and olives.
Notes: *You can also do a ratio of extra virgin olive oil (which is intense flavor) with neutral oil. Recipe courtesy of Bon Appetite (https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/homemade-mayonnaise)
Stay safe, stay home.