From the Land 4/11

food for thought
full share: artichokes, I’itoi onions, green kale, grapefruit, choice of french breakfast radishes or white onion, carrots, dried chilies, sweet potatoes
partial: artichokes, I’itoi onions, green kale, grapefruit

announcements

PLEASE make sure you are returning your milk jars EVERY WEEK!! Our milk providers depend on the returned jars in order to fulfill each week’s order. To further stress the importance of returning jars on time, you will be charged for un-returned jars at the rate of $5/jar. Thank you!

upcoming

Growing Community through School Gardens
sponsored by the Cultivating Learning through School Gardens class
presentation, networking and dinner (bring your own bowl and utensils)
April 11 4:30-6pm
Prescott College Crossroads Center

The World According to Monsanto
movie showing sponsored by GMO-Free Prescott
April 18 – 6:30pm
Yavapai Title conference room, 1235 E. Gurley

Global Foods Dinner
sponsored by the Issues of Global Food Production class
April 30, 6pm
Prescott College Crossroads Center
ask Erin for more details and ticket info!

Prescott Farmers Market
opens May 12!
Yavapai College front parking lot – 1100 E. Sheldon St.

Prescott Valley Farmers Market
opens June 1
Tim’s Toyota parking lot – corner of Glassford Hill and Florentine

Chino Valley Farmers Market
opens June 7
BonnFire Grill Restaurant – 1667 S. Highway 89

veg of the week

chiles: Capsicum annuum

The dried chile peppers we are receiving today are an Anaheim hybrid called the Arizona 20. This particular variety has been bred in Arizona by the Curry Seed and Chile Company in Sunsites, for consistent quality, flavor and heat. And yes – these are a little hot – they range 500-2000 Scoville heat units (same as Anaheim). While 80% of the chiles sold in the US originated at the Curry farm, the chile itself originated in the Americas and has since spread throughout the world. They have been eaten on this continent for at least 7,500 years, and are important to South and Central American cuisine, as well as those of the countries they spread to: Philippines, India, China, Indonesia, Korea, and Japan.

Uses: Dried chiles are ground to a powder before reconstituting to make a chile paste, the basis for much Southwest cuisine.

Nutrition: Chiles are used medicinally to treat a variety of ailments, including arthritis, post-mastectomy pain, and headaches. The heat comes from the presence of capsaicin, Red chiles contain high amounts of vitamin C and carotene (vitamin A), and are a good source of vitamin B, potassium, magnesium, and iron. The high vitamin C content helps increase the uptake of non-heme iron from grains and beans, hence the popularity of eating these foods together. Eating spicy foods improves circulation and metabolism, stimulates digestion and stomach acids, clears the sinuses and promotes sweating and detox.

To store: As these chiles have been dried, they are best stored in a tightly-sealed container in a dark, dry, cool place like a pantry. They should easily last for up to a year without compromising their quality or taste.

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garlic chile paste
adapted from http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/02/15/recipe-of-the-day-chili-garlic-paste/#

  • 10 to 15 dried whole chilies, about 2 to 3 ounces
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn
  • Salt
  • 2 cloves peeled garlic, optional

Put the chilies in a bowl and cover with boiling water and a small plate to keep them submerged. Soak for about 30 minutes, or until soft. Reserve a bit of the soaking water. Clean each chili: remove the stem, then pull or slit open; do this over the sink, as they will contain a lot of water. Scrape out seeds, retaining some if you want a hotter paste.

Put the chilies along with any seeds you might be using, the oil, a large pinch of salt and the garlic, if you are using it, in a blender or food processor. Purée until smooth, adding a spoonful of soaking water at a time, until consistency is a thick paste.

Use immediately or cool, cover tightly, and refrigerate for up to two days. Just before serving, taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Use as a condiment or as a base for enchilada sauce.

arizona-style enchilada sauce
adapted from http://www.santacruzchili.com/recipes/arizona_style_enchilada_sauce.htm

  • 2 Tbs. oil
  • 1 Tbs. flour
  • 2 cups chili paste
  • 3 to 4 cups hot water or meat broth
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds, ground
  • 1 tsp oregano

Brown oil and flour in a saucepan. Add chile paste, water and spices and simmer for 15 minutes. Note: for thicker sauce, use less liquid. Use over burros, chimichangas or enchiladas.

chocolate chile cake
adapted from http://www.publicradio.org/columns/splendid-table/recipes/dessert_chile.html

chocolate chile cake:

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened, non-alkalized cocoa powder
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons medium ground red chile
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces and softened
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature

Chocolate frosting:

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened non-alkalized cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 pounds confectioners sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 3 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts

For the Cake

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place a rack in the center of the oven. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with circles of parchment or waxed paper. Lightly dust the sides of the pans with flour, tapping out the excess.

For best results, use a mixer with a wire whip attachment. Combine the flours, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa and beat on low speed until well mixed.

In a medium saucepan, cook 1 cup of the water with the chili powder over medium heat until simmering. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla.

Add the softened butter to the dry mixture and beat thoroughly on medium-low speed. The mixture should be grainy. Raise the speed to medium and gradually add the remaining cup of water and the buttermilk. Add the eggs on at a time, beating well after each addition.

Slowly add the hot water/chile mixture and continue to beat just until well combined–be sure not to overbeat. Pour the mixture into the pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centers of the cake comes out clean.

To cool, set the pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Then turn the cakes out onto the rack, remove the paper from the bottom, and immediately reinvert so that the risen tops don’t flatten. Let sit until completely cool before frosting.

For the Frosting

Combine the butter and cocoa in a large saucepan and melt over medium heat. Stir in the buttermilk. Add the confectioner’s sugar a little at a time, stirring with a wired whisk between additions. Stir in the bourbon and vanilla. The frosting should stiffen as it cools. When it has reached a spreadable consistency, assemble the cake.

If necessary, trim the tops of the cakes so they are level. Place one of the cake layers onto a 9-inch round cardboard cake circle. Spread 1 cup of the chilled frosting over the cake layer. Sprinkle 1 cup of the chopped walnuts over the frosting. Place the second layer of the cake onto the frosted base. Use the remaining frosting to cover the top and sides of the cake. Finish the top of the cake by holding the spatula at a slight angle and making several strokes to smooth the top. To decorate the cake, press the remaining walnuts against the lower half of the side of the cake and on top of the cake.

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