Recipe: Brussel Sprouts

Maple Dijon Brussel Sprouts Recipe

Brussel Sprouts are a super versatile little cabbage. They can be cooked so many ways it can be hard to choose which amazing recipe to choose.

The United States grows a lot of Brussel Sprouts, around 30 tons per year. Which sounds like an awful lot until you learn that The Netherlands grown over 80 metric tons per year! With all these sprouts kicking around the globe you bet there are some pretty interesting recipes to choose from.

Maple Dijon Brussel Sprouts Recipe
Halved Brussel Sprouts

But we have one today that’s pretty darn easy and take very little prep time. It will take just over an hour in the oven, but the result will be well worth it. This recipe also tastes awesome the next day, cold, right out of the refrigerator.

Our recipes are never exact. We couldn’t tell you how many Brussel Sprouts to use by weight, but we just use one stalk. For the purposes of this blog and our website we try to get amounts down. So for this one we did what we could.

Maple Dijon Roasted Brussel Sprouts

What you’ll need: 

One stalk Brussel Sprouts (halved)

1/4 cup local maple syrup

1/4 cup Dijon mustard

1 one gallon bag

Salt and pepper

Maple Dijon Brussel Sprouts Recipe
1 Gallon Bag of Goodness

What you’ll do: 

Take the sprouts off the stalk and cut them in half. Then put them in the plastic bag. Pour in the maple syrup, the dijon, and add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well in the bag and then let sit for an hour. Heat your oven to 375 degrees. Spread the seasoned sprouts out on a baking sheet. Line with foil or parchment paper. Use a little pan spray for easy clean up. Bake on the top shelf in the oven for about an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes or until the sprouts start to caramelize and crisp.

 

 

How to Freeze 10 Ears of Corn

Fisher Hill Farm Local Corn - Frozen

Corn may be one of the easiest things to preserve. When the summer is getting late it can be a good idea to buy some fresh corn and get it in the freezer. There’s nothing like pulling out some frozen local corn at Thanksgiving instead of grocery store bought or even worse…canned!

It doesn’t take much effort at all really and it will come out perfect every time. No need to blanch ahead of time or anything. We used a food saver sealer for ours but you certainly don’t have to. Instead, just buy some freezer bags (Make sure they are Freezer Bags and not gallon storage bags. The plastic is different. Storage bags will result in freezer burn!) place the corn in there and use a straw to suck all of the air out. You’re corn will stay good for up to a year!

Fisher Hill Farm Local Corn
Fisher Hill Farm Local Corn

Use a sharp knife to take the corn kernels off the ear itself. Try and clean out as much of the hairs as you can but if you can’t get them all don’t worry about it. We pack ours up into one pound bags but you can easily do whatever size you like if you have room in the freezer.

10 ears of corn yields a little more than three pounds of kernels!

Fisher Hill Farm Local Corn - Frozen
Fisher Hill Farm Local Corn – Frozen

We packed up the three pounds and had a heaping cup of corn left. So we decided to chop half of a zucchini and mix them together with a clove of chopped garlic. Then we beat two eggs with a little bit of flour and mixed it all together with salt, pepper, and a little honey to make corn and zucchini pancakes. Optional if you’d like to top yours with chili garlic sauce! We did.

Fisher Hill Farm corn and zucchini pancake
Fisher Hill Farm corn and zucchini pancake

They were delicious! 10 ears of corn is lots of frozen goodness and a meal for the family. Gotta love the summer, but it’s nice to bottle some of it up for later in the year, too.

Sweet! An Easy Snack or Appetizer

Fisher Hill Farm - Sweet Potato Appetizer

There’s no doubt that a little humidity can make you lose your appetite. When you’re finally hungry enough to eat, the last thing you want is something hot. 

It was a little humid out today, maybe the first day we felt any humidity since the start of the warmer weather. Working outside and in the barn all day made for a hot one and even though it’s going to get way hotter, we just weren’t ready for it and it hit us like a ton of bricks.

When we need a quick cool snack we like pre-cooked and refrigerated sweet potatoes. They’re super easy to cook in the oven and they keep in the fridge for a week or more after being cooked.

You can just quickly salt them and eat them or go the next step which we did for our snack tonight. It took about two minutes to prepare and was delicious and nutritious.

Fisher Hill Farm - Sweet Potato Appetizer
Fisher Hill Farm – Sweet Potato Appetizer

Here’s our super simple recipe. This is a easy snack for adults and kids but could make a little appetizer for a dinner party with friends too.

What you’ll need:

4 precooked sweet potatoes (wash, prick them with a fork, wrap them in foil, and bake in the oven until soft)

1 cup walnut halves and pieces

4 Tbs dark honey (buckwheat honey is delicious!)

2 tsp kosher salt (or 3 tsp sea salt)

A few handfuls of chopped arugula or other favorite micro greens

What you’ll do:

Once the sweet potatoes have been cooked and cooled, cut them in half lengthwise and salt them. Place the walnuts on top and drizzle with the honey. The greens on top provide some color and a little bitterness to that sweet and salty.

Sometimes the simpler the better. We love quick and easy recipes like this one around here especially with our three girls! If you don’t have honey or don’t like it, you can always substitute with delicious New York State Maple Syrup.

Cheers!

 

 

For the Love of Asparagus

Every year our first major crop that we bring to market is asparagus. It’s the first green that we see that’s from our fields and that’s edible and really is a beacon of spring and the warm weather to come.

We love asparagus. So many of our friends and customers do too and tell us when they get to the market and see it’s available! But what is asparagus?

Origin of Asparagus

Asparagus is actually a cousin of the onion and a member of the liliaceae family. So asparagus and Lilies are related! Just like lilies asparagus comes back up every year. It’s been consumed for over 2000 years and has its origins in Eastern Mediterranean countries but has also been traced back to Africa. It has been shown that ancient Egyptians actually cultivated it by archaeologists.

In ancient Greece, Hippocrates used asparagus to treat certain gastric issues in his patients. Asparagines in the plant are a diuretic and has been shown to be quite medicinal. It wasn’t until the 16th and 17th century until asparagus made its way to Europe and was served to royalty. By the 18th century asparagus made it to the local markets and was used commonly in culinary efforts in every day households.

It doesn’t last nearly long enough. Only a few weeks usually. But, it’s the start of the season and the beginning of so many great things to come in the next few weeks and even months. But if you like it as much as we do you can easily freeze it!

Freezing Asparagus

The easiest way to do it is to blanch the spears and then quickly cool them. Get some boiling water ready and get a bowl of ice water ready. Put your asparagus spears in the boiling water for three minutes (one pound of asparagus at a time and allow the water to reboil before the next batch) and then take out and cool off the in the water. Dry them off and put them in freezer bags! That’s it. Fresh tasting asparagus long into the summer!

 

Fall Harvest Begins

In the last seven days we have seen many weather extremes that have made farm life interesting. We really didn’t enjoy the stretch of hot weather as it definitely shortened the work day and production levels. Then it was much cooler weather that made everyone feel much better but that was followed by almost three inches of rain. It has been a rather long run of wet days the last few weeks. Seems like it just starts to dry out and it rains again. We have not been able to dig potatoes for a few weeks and now we are out of harvested potatoes. Hopefully we can have some nice sunny days with a little breeze to help dry out the soil because there are still more than plenty in the ground!

new potatoes - Fisher Hill Farm
Running low on harvested potatoes because of the rain

 

All of the shallots have been pulled and we started on the red onions today. One more cycle in the greenhouse and all the onions will be dried for the season. The early planting of winter squash has been cut and piled. Hopefully in the next day or two we can get it all picked up and into storage. We have wagers going among the guys on how many 20 bushel bins we will fill. The high guess is 17 and the low is 8. I would be happy with any of those numbers and only time will tell.

Squash Harvest - Fisher Hill Farm
The start of fall squash harvest

 

Sadly, watermelons are all done for the year. We really enjoyed some of the sweetest melons we have had in a couple of years. I think it was a combination of a dry June and such warm weather. I know that many people will be asking for them at the market. Cantaloupes have slowed down but warm weather should pick their production back up. Tomatoes are at their peak right now with canning and freezing quantities available.

 RECIPE

After a wet and cool market Monday I was inspired to make a warm hearty meal for dinner. Honestly the prep work took longer than the cooking and I think the results were amazing.

 Ingredients:
2 medium zucchini, cut up

        2 ears of corn, cut off the cob

        1 large onion, chopped

        1 head of garlic, peeled and chopped

        4 san marzano tomatoes, diced

 

Cook the onions and garlic in a frying pan with olive oil. When they are cooked add the rest of the ingredients at medium heat. Cover and stir for a few minutes. Transfer to a Pyrex pan and cook at 400 degrees for another 15 minutes. I added a little balsamic vinegar just before serving it. Sandi and I enjoyed it very much, the girls liked certain veggies more than others! For dessert we had baked apples with a little cinnamon and whipped cream. Nothing fancy but very tasty. Please share some of your favorite recipes and I will include them in the future newsletters.

 

Phillip