German Butter Ball Mash

Local German Butter Ball potatoes grown at the WSU Organic farm

german butterballs
german butterballs

( pictured here) have a very rough skin but a golden, buttery hue instead. This color is were I’m guessing the name comes from, as well as the texture, which is fairly creamy compare to a russet type baking potato.


Want to grow some butterballs this year? Find growing information here from Cornell University.


Because of this germanbutterballpotatoes texture it makes a great mashed potato. However be careful as it can turn sticky and pasty quickly.

I purchased my potatoes at the Moscow Food Co-op. You can find locally grown produce most frequently at the co-op. Notice the great signs showcasing where and by whom it was grown.

After seeing these lovely potatoes and knowing how delicious the Co-op sausages are, I decided it was a fine night for Bangers and Mash. A wonderful combination of mashed potatoes and bangers ( a type of sausage).

While in the produce section, I spied this magnificent red kale. redkaleTypically I would grow my own kale, as it grows so incredibly well here, but as it was mid-February and I don’t have any row covers I had none of my own on hand.

Bangers and mash is pretty straight forward, so I didn’t use a recipe and I’m not going to include a specific recipe here just highlight what I did .

  1. Peel potatoes. The butter balls have a pretty thick skin. It is a late season potato so needs to have a pretty substantial protection against the elements.
  2. Next boil the taters, until tender.boilingbutterballs
  3. While boiling taters, saute sliced onion- one small yellow – in some olive oil.
  4. Add bangers to the onion saute.
  5. Add some moisture of some kind to the bangers after it cooks for about 5-8 minutes. This could be beer, water, broil, or V-8. This time I used spicy V-8 and Worchestershire.
  6. Cook sausages until reach temp of 160 F. All ground meat needs to be cooked to 160 F.
  7. Add chopped kale when sausages are almost up to temp. Put a lid bangerswithkale on your saute pan to steam the kale. Add spices you like here. My favorite is Galena Street from Penzey’s spices. Cook kale until tender -but not slimy!!!  Do us all a favor and don’t overcook greens. Kale is able to handle more cooking than spinach and swiss chard, which I value quite a bit as I hate slimy greens.
  8. Mash potatoes with a hand potato masher or mixer with beaters. Add in some milk and butter. Salt to taste. If you want a creamier mashed potato , add cream… yes of course, or use a hand immersion blender to get those taters super smooth. Again watch out for over beating this taters as they tend towards sticky, pasty consistency.
  9. Serve by putting a scoop of mashed potatoes into a boil. Stick the bangers sliced into 4 pieces in the potatoes, add your season cooked kale in the middle.

bangersandmashVoila! Bangers and Mash . It tastes great and looks like a sea creature! Awesome! Enjoy!

 

 

 

Shared by: Jessie Hunter

 

Chestnuts

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We are all finished singing about chestnuts roasting on an open fire, but this December I did enjoy roasting some chestnuts I bought at the Moscow Food Coop.

So beautiful and shiny! Thanks to the infographic created by Alex Boake I was easily on my way.

It is in fact as easy as the infographic suggests. Chestnuts have a very sweet flavor the texture is creamy and a bit chalky at the same time. I used them as a topping on a squash soup. So many great recipes (like glazed chestnuts) to explore another day.

Did you know that chestnut blight nearly wiped out all American Chestnut trees?

Here is an interesting article from 2011 about the comeback of the nearly extinct American Chestnut and how Idaho farmers play a role in the comeback:

The Once-Blighted American Chestnut Makes a Comeback

Once a stately member of the Eastern hardwood forest ecosystem, up to 4 billion American chestnut trees fell victim to a blight during the 1930s and 1940s, virtually scouring the species from its native habitat.

Source: The Once-Blighted American Chestnut Makes a Comeback

Find Chestnut Growers in the PNW

Find out more about the chestnut growers in the Northwest at Northwest Chestnut Growers

 

Jessie Hunter, PCWFC contributer

 

Happy Halloween!

cat pumpkin with toasted pumpkin seeds

I hope you all had a great Halloween! It also happened to be the last rainy and cold day of the Moscow Farmer’s Market for this season, I know many of us will miss it. It’s been a great season and many vendors were there, still selling lots of yummy stuff, like leeks, kale, pumpkins, eggs, peppers, walnuts, camelina oil, apples, potatoes, carrots and so much more of the fall harvest bounty. Though excited for a break from a long season of working hard to bring us all delicious, fresh, local food, several of the vendors will also be attending the Winter Markets at the 1912 center starting the first two Saturdays of this month from 10 am – 2 pm. So we can still get a local food fix, along with beautiful crafts that make unique gifts for the holidays.

I wanted to take this opportunity to share a quick snapshot of my jack-o-lantern carving. The one I carved this year was grown locally at Omache Farm. I also enjoyed one of my favorite Halloween pumpkin carving traditions of roasting the seeds after scooping them out of the pumpkin. After a quick rinse, a spritz of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt, these little goodies went into the oven at 350 for about 20 minutes. They are a great snack after all of the hard work of pumpkin carving! They don’t look like the little green pepitas we find in the bulk section of the Moscow Food Co-op because they still have the white outer shell on them, which is also totally edible and delicious!

What are your favorite Halloween traditions? Where’s your favorite place to get local food in the off-season? Let us know in the comments!

Always with gratitude- especially to Shane McFarland for helping to clean up the messes I make!

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Take-out challenged: local sweet and sour chicken

peppers, onion, carrots, chicken and pineaplle

Here’s another simple layer and bake dinner option, using some great early fall local food. The focus of this dish is the amazing pastured chicken from Link’d Hearts Ranch. Which turned into some delicious sweet and sour chicken with three simple steps:

vegetables in sweet and sour chicken

The first, was to chop onions, garlic, red peppers and carrots, all from local sources like Tonnemaker Farms, and our last Omache Farm CSA share, and toss them into a 9×9 baking dish. *you can add or substitute other veggies, as you like

Next, a (not-local) can of crushed or chunked pineapple, juice and all gets dumped into the pan

Then, right on top of all that, goes half of a chicken

(Here’s a youtbue video that shows the process we use, we stop about halfway through the process show, and cut in half. It makes it way easier to store our frozen chicken in our tiny apartment freezer and is a good serving size for two people, and easier to work with.)

sweet and sour chicken

If you have sweet and sour sauce, or a favorite recipe for it, you can put some on now, if not – don’t worry about it, you can make some at the end. Pop all of this in the oven at 350, for about 45 minutes, until the thickest part of the chicken is not pink. While the chicken and vegetables are baking, you can cook up some rice, I love using our rice cooker because it is really an add water and forget about it system.

baked sweet and sour chicken

Once the chicken has finished cooking, you can take about 1 cup of the juice with 2 Tbs of cornstarch (or equivalent) and heat gently in a saucepan, stirring constantly. Add more liquid if you want a thinner sauce, and more cornstarch for a thicker sauce, but be careful when adding the cornstarch that you mix it well and don’t let it clump. You can also add a tsp of apple cider vinegar and a 1tsp of sugar to enhance the sweet and sour flavor.

Now, dish the chicken and vegetables up, on top of the rice, add your extra sweet and sour sauce, if desired – and you’ve got a rival to your favorite take-out sweet and sour chicken

(You could probably make it General Tso-ish, with some hot pepper flakes and orange zest, cashews and/or sesame seeds also make great additions to any version of this dish.)

Do you have a favorite make-at-home dish that rivals take-out? Did you try this and love it, or hate it? Do you know a great source for local pineapple?😉 Please let us know in the comments!

Always with gratitude- especially to Shane McFarland for helping to clean up the messes I make!

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Local Food Snack Attack!

As leaves crunch under my feet on the way to farmer’s market, I’ve been getting the urge to snack more than usual. Finding myself in pursuit of more quick mini-meals, I’ve been challenged to find simple, healthy, quick and easy options, fitting my dietary restrictions, especially those that are local. Fortunately, fresh food isn’t gone from the Palouse-Clearwater region just yet and the amazing folks at Aichele farms are still bringing their beautiful strawberries to the Moscow Farmer’s Market. These great berries are such a treat and form a lovely, sweet core to a pre-lunch snack pack from yesterday. I added fresh carrots from our Omache Farm CSA for a good balance of veg. Lastly, you see right – walnuts! These walnuts were grown in Moscow Idaho, and were super-yummy (and not too hard to shell!). I picked them up from Alan Family Farms who are selling them at both the Moscow and Pullman Farmer’s Market. Tomorrow is the last day of the Pullman market, so stock up now! This was a great, balanced, mini-meal, that helped tide me over until my next snack attack! I hope you find it inspiring and please share your favorite local food-based snack ideas in the comments, I’d love to hear them –

Always with gratitude- especially to Shane McFarland for helping to clean up the messes I make!

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Dutch oven ham with apples and winter squash

As much as I love the bounty and freshness of the summer harvest, as we transition into autumn season meals, I love the richness and higher prevalence of umami flavor in fall meals. Have you heard of umami? Described by the Japanese word, it has been discovered as the fifth primary taste, right along with salty, sweet, sour, and bitter. Umami flavor is attributed to the amino acid glutamate, present in meats, mushrooms, parmesan and other rich cheeses, red wine, soy sauce, and vegetables like tomatoes, potatoes and carrots. Umami is a subtle, savory flavor and can be described as  “profoundly tasty food that saturates your taste-buds with deliciousness.” So, bring on the rich deliciousness of fall meals by amping up the umami!

The one-pot meal that I’m featuring today is another quick and easy one to prepare, that cooks up in one pot, and after that, takes about 45 minutes in the oven. Another recipe that is really versatile as well, allowing you to throw in all of your fall favorites.

To start, I prepped:

1 onion (red/white/yellow, and/or leeks, and/or shallots, and garlic)

5 small apples (quartered) that we got from Bishop’s Orchard in Garfield, WA

5 carrots, sliced pretty large

1-2 delicata squash, sliced (Omache farm has a ton of these this year -we’ve gotten so many in our CSA! and I love that you can eat the skin of this delicate winter squash)

*other additions could be potatoes (whole if small), dried red peppers, dried cranberries/other fruit, dried mushrooms (for extra umami!), celery, celery root, parsnips… whatever you’ve got from your favorite local producer

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These all go into the bottom of an oven safe dutch oven, baking dish, or even crock pot with a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper

Similar to the pork chops we made a couple weeks ago, your delicious, local ham can sit right on top of all of it, then cover and bake for about 45 minutes (warming the chill out of the fall evening air) and then enjoy your hearty, one-pot meal with your favorite people.

Depending on what style of meal you are into, this might even be a good candidate for a Thanksgiving dish! The ham can also be used for yummy ham sandwiches or wraps for lunch the next day – yay!

Do you also love easy, one-pot meals in the oven? What are your favorite fall flavors? Do you have thoughts on the umami-MSG link? Please share in the comments!

Always with gratitude- especially to Shane McFarland for helping to clean up the messes I make!

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Veggie Egg Sandwich

Things have been getting hectic again with another move coming this weekend. So, it is more quick and easy food these days and trying to sneak in as much nutrition while I’m at it.

I grew up on egg sandwiches, so they are also kind of a comfort food, but the simple version doesn’t pack the nutrional punch I usually look for in a good meal.

I’ve been in love with the fresh-baked Seeduction bread from the Moscow Food Co-op lately. Packed with whole grains and lots of nuts and seeds, I feel so good about eating this bread! Especially with the addition of some fresh, local free-range eggs from Link’d Hearts Ranch and fresh, local, organic vegetables that I picked up at the Moscow Farmer’s Market.

So, here it is the quick and easy, extra-nutritious egg sandwich:

Sautee some of your favorite kind of onion in your favorite cooking fat (butter is delicious if you’ve got it!) until translucent

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(I’m looking forward to my photos getting better with our move!)

Add some yummy fresh red peppers from Tonnemaker farm and sautee for a minute or two more and then follow it with some sliced fresh kale from Deep Roots Farm.

Then, crack 2 fresh local eggs from one of the many great places to get them in the PCW region, and break their yolks, cook for a few minutes and then flip and finish cooking on the other side.

Spread some mayo on the bread, add some cheese and avocado if you like and then your egg, with some fresh strawberries from Aichele Farms.

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Enjoy! Share any of your favorite variations in the comments!

Always with gratitude- especially to Shane McFarland for helping to clean up the messes I make!

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Local food life in the Palouse-Clearwater foodshed

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