Food

A Dozen Different Things to Cook with Potosi Farms Fresh Vegetables

Emma Sharp Dalton-Brown

Thursday, June 28, 2012    

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Truth be told, I am not easily blown away by food, but a couple of months ago, I was left gasping with delight as I stuffed myself silly with red and yellow cherry tomatoes, raw slivers of purple and golden beetroots, and sprigs of fresh flat parsley. Husband/wife team and co-founders of Potosi Farms, Adam Miller and Marika Kessler, came to present to the judges of the Jamaica Observer Food Awards one Monday evening at the Spanish Court Hotel. Not surprisingly, they walked away with two awards on Thursday, May 31!

From the moment I took that first bite out of a Potosi Farms vegetable (and I forget which, as they are all deliciously divine), I knew that I had to have a dinner party at home, using their produce. And so it was that 10 of us sat around our dining table to feast on the delights of the earth. My menu was well thought-out, considering various ways to use each of the Potosi Farms vegetables. I included items for each course, ones which could be frozen, options for something like a picnic, and recipes for certain allergies (you will see that some recipes have no dairy, some no wheat, others no eggs, none have seafood, or nuts and soy, and they are all vegetarian, unless you use chicken stock for the soups).

Every vegetable and herb, except the fresh ginger, garlic and scallion, that I used in my recipes below, were from Potosi Farms, located near Good Hope Estates, Falmouth, Trelawny.

Email: Veggies@potosifarms.com or call to place an order with them.

Menu:

Demitasse Cup of Roast Red Pepper & Basil Soup

Demitasse Cup of Beetroot & Basil Soup

Raw Grated Beetroot & Red Cabbage with Pesto Dressing

Couscous with Cilantro & Cumin Roasted Aubergines & Red Bull's Horn Peppers

Quinoa with Parsley, Cucumber, Cherry Tomatoes & Lime Dressing

Arugula & Mixed Leaves with a Dijon Mustard & Balsamic Vinaigrette

Broccoli, String Beans Okra & Green Peppers with Roasted Coriander & Mustard Seed Paste

Curry Masala Aubergines, Peppers, String Beans & Cherry Tomatoes

Ratatouille with Rice Noodles

Basil & Beetroot Ice Creams with Raspberry & Chocolate Balsamic Syrup

Chocolate Beetroot Puddings with Whipped Maple Cream & Hot Chocolate Sauce

Real Red Velvet Cake Filled with Beetroot Crème Pâtissière & Topped with a TLC Icing

Roast Red Pepper & Basil Soup:

Ingredients:

8 large red sweet peppers (about 2 3/4 lbs), seeded & roughly chopped

4 tablespoons olive oil

Leaves from 2 basil stalks (about 2 handfuls)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 cups homemade chicken or vegetable stock

Method:

Preheat the oven to 425F.

Place the chopped peppers into a large roasting pan with the olive oil, half the basil, salt and pepper. Mix well and put the pan in the oven.

Cook for 1 hour, stirring with a large spoon a couple times during the hour.

Remove from oven, cool.

Place the roasted peppers and basil in a blender with the remaining basil and chicken stock, whiz until very smooth.

Pour into a pot to reheat, and season to taste with salt and black pepper before serving.

Alternatively, keep the soup in the fridge for one day before using, or the freezer if you intend to use it later on.

Beetroot & Basil Soup:

Ingredients:

1 lb fresh beetroots (or a little more)

Leaves from 1 basil stalk (about 1 handful)

2 cups homemade chicken or vegetable stock

Salt & black pepper to taste

Method:

Place the beetroots in a large pot, cover with water and bring to the boil.

Simmer the beetroots for about 40-45 minutes, remove from heat and drain.

Cool with cold water, and remove the skins with your hands as you do this - they should come away easily. If not, then use a knife to remove the last bit of skin.

Roughly chop the beetroots and place in the blender with the basil leaves and stock, and whiz until smooth.

Pour into a pot to reheat, and season to taste with salt and black pepper.

Alternatively, keep the soup in the fridge for one day before using, or the freezer if you intend to use it later on.

Raw Grated Beetroot & Red Cabbage with Pesto Dressing:

1/2 lb beetroots, grated

1 small red cabbage, grated

Pesto Dressing:

1 tablespoon grainy mustard

2 large handfuls fresh basil leaves

3 fl oz cider vinegar

5 fl oz olive oil

Sea salt & black pepper

Method:

Place all the dressing ingredients into a blender and whiz until smooth. Keep in the fridge until ready to use.

In a large bowl, mix the grated beetroots and cabbage with 6 tablespoons for the pesto dressing, or to taste.

This may be kept in the fridge to serve later, or even be served at a picnic.

Couscous with Cilantro & Cumin Roasted Aubergines & Red Bull's Horn Peppers: 

Ingredients:

1 pack 12 oz couscous

20 fl oz boiling water

6 Red Bull's Horn peppers, diced

2 small aubergines, diced

7 tablespoons olive oil

2 1/2 teaspoons Geera (roasted ground cumin)

Juice of 3 large limes

2 large handfuls fresh coriander, chopped

Sea salt & black pepper

Method:

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Place the couscous in a large bowl, pour over the boiling water, and cover with cling wrap. Leave for 5-10 minutes for the couscous to absorb all the water, then fluff with a fork. Leave to cool.

Place the red peppers in a roasting pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of Geera, some salt and pepper. Mix well.

Roast for 15 minutes, remove from oven and cool. Scrape the peppers into the bowl of couscous.

Place the aubergines in the same roasting pan along with 4 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon Geera, salt and pepper. Mix well and roast for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Add to the couscous.

Add the couscous, remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and lime juice to the couscous, mix well and taste for seasoning. Add more salt and pepper if needed.

Pour into a serving bowl and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 teaspoons of Geera.

This may keep in the fridge to serve later, or even be taken on a picnic.

Quinoa (wheat-free) with Parsley, Cucumber, Cherry Tomatoes & Lime Dressing: 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup quinoa

8 fl oz water

1/2 lb flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped

1 cup chopped scallion

1 cucumber, seeded & diced

1 1/2 clamshells of cherry tomatoes (red, yellow & orange), cut in half

Juice of 2 large limes

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon Sumac (Lebanese spice) - optional

Sea salt & black pepper

Method:

Place the quinoa in a pot with the water, bring to the boil, cover, turn down the heat and cook for 10-15 minutes until the water has been completely absorbed by the quinoa. Remove from heat and scrape into a large bowl to cool.

Prepare the remaining ingredients and mix everything into the bowl of quinoa. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

This may be kept in the fridge to serve later, or even be taken on a picnic.

Arugula & Mixed Leaves with a Dijon Mustard & Balsamic Vinaigrette: 

Ingredients:

1 clamshell arugula, washed & dried

1 clamshell mixed leaves, washed & dried

Vinaigrette:

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar (I used one flavoured with lemon)

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (I used one flavoured with raspberry)

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

2 tablespoons olive oil

Method:

Mix all the vinaigrette in a glass bottle well, and keep for serving later.

When ready to serve, thoroughly mix the arugula and mixed leaves with the vinaigrette - do to taste.

Broccoli, String Beans, Okra & Green Peppers with Roasted Coriander & Mustard Seed Paste: 

Ingredients: 

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 large head broccoli, cut into florets

1/2 lb string beans, trimmed

1 lb okra, sliced on the diagonal

1 green bell pepper, sliced

1 Scotch bonnet pepper, finely chopped

Roasted Coriander & Mustard Seed Paste:

2 tablespoons coriander seeds

2 tablespoons black mustard seeds

2 tablespoons fresh ginger, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Method:

Place the coriander and mustard seeds in a frying pan over high heat and dry-roast them for a few minutes. You will hear them popping. Remove from heat when popping stops, and before they burn. You will smell a lovely aroma.

Place in a mortar with the chopped ginger and garlic, salt and pepper. Grind with a pestle, then add the oil and keep grinding until a rough paste is formed.

Heat the butter and oil in a large pot. Add the paste and cook for a few minutes to bring out the aroma. If it starts to burn, add a little water.

Stir in the bell pepper and Scotch bonnet pepper, as well as the string beans and cook for a few minutes.

Add the broccoli and cook for another few minutes, adding a little water to moisten everything.

Stir in the okra, add a little more water if needed, cover the pot and leave for 5 minutes to cool through.

Season with more salt and pepper if needed.

Serve right away, or reheat later. This is delicious with rice or roti.

Curry Masala Aubergines, Peppers, String Beans & Cherry Tomatoes:

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon butter

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2-3 teaspoons Amchar Masala

2 teaspoons curry powder

2 small aubergines, cut into 1/2 inch chunks

1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch chunks

2 large or 4 small orange or yellow bell peppers, cut into 1/2 inch chunks

2 green bell peppers, sliced

1/2 lb string beans, trimmed

2 clamshells of mixed cherry tomatoes

1 1/2 Scotch bonnet peppers, finely chopped

Sea salt & black pepper

Method:

Heat the butter and oil in a large pot and cook the aubergines for 5 minutes on a low-medium heat, stirring often.

Stir in the Amchar Masala and curry powder, and cook for another couple minutes. Add water if starting to dry out.

Stir in the peppers and cook for a minute or so.

Add the string beans, cherry tomatoes and scotch bonnet, a little more water, and stir well.

Cover and cook for 10 minutes.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cook a little longer if needed.

Serve right away, or later, with rice or roti.

Ratatouille with Rice Noodles:

4 tablespoons olive oil

3 small aubergines, cut into 1/2 inch chunks

1 large or 2 small courgettes, cut into 1/2 inch chunks

2 large red bell peppers, sliced

2 red Bull's Horn peppers, sliced

2 clamshells mixed cherry tomatoes

1 large handful fresh basil leaves, torn

Sea salt & black pepper

1 pack rice noodles, cooked according to instructions

Method:

Heat the olive oil in a large pot and stir in the aubergine. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.

Add the peppers and cook for another 5 minutes.

Stir in the cherry tomatoes and basil, along with about 1/2 cup of water (more if needed), cover and cook for 15 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper. Cook for a little longer if needed.

Cook the rice noodles and mix them straight into the ratatouille. Serve immediately.

Ratatouille may be eaten right away, kept in the fridge for a couple days, or in the freezer.

Ratatouille goes very nicely with cooked rice noodles, baked Irish or sweet potatoes, rice, pasta, or any other starch. You may also whiz until smooth, in a blender, and serve as a soup.

Raspberry & Chocolate Balsamic Syrup:

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons white sugar

2 tablespoons chocolate balsamic vinegar (1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar with 1/2 tablespoon cocoa)

1 tablespoon raspberry balsamic vinegar (2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar blended with 2 frozen raspberries)

3 tablespoons water

Method:

Place all the ingredients in a pot and heat gently until the sugar dissolves.

Bring to a boil for a couple minutes, remove from heat.

Reheat when ready to serve, pouring it over the basil and the beetroot ice creams.

Basil Ice Cream:

Ingredients:

2 cups whole milk

1 cup fresh basil leaves

2/3 cup white vanilla sugar (vanilla pods split open and place with white sugar in a jar)

2 cups heavy cream

Method:

Place the milk, basil leaves and half the sugar in a large saucepan, over a low heat.

Dissolve the sugar, stirring occasionally, and then turn up the heat.

Just before the milk boils, remove from heat and leave to seep for at least an hour.

Place in a container in the fridge to cool.

Pour the basil, milk and cream into a large bowl, and stir in the remaining sugar.

Mix well and pour into an ice-cream maker.

Churn according to the instructions.

Serve one scoop with another scoop of beetroot ice cream, and drizzle with the raspberry and chocolate balsamic syrup above.

Beetroot Ice Cream:

Ingredients:

1 lb fresh beetroots (or a little more)

2 1/2 cups whole milk

2/3 cup white sugar

4 tablespoons balsamic syrup

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Method:

Place the beetroots in a large pot, cover with water and bring to the boil.

Simmer the beetroots for about 40-45 minutes, remove from heat and drain.

Cool with cold water, and remove the skins with your hands as you do this - they should come away easily. If not, then use a knife to remove the last bit of skin.

Place a blender with 1 1/2 cups of milk and the sugar, and whiz until smooth.

Pour into a bowl and stir in the balsamic syrup, vanilla and heavy cream.

Mix well and pour into an ice cream maker.

Churn according to the instructions.

Serve one scoop with another scoop of basil ice cream, and drizzle with the raspberry and chocolate balsamic syrup above.

Puréed Beetroots:

Method:

Place 2 lbs fresh beetroots in a large pot, cover with water, bring to the boil and cook for 40-45 minutes, until tender. Drain and peel. Whiz in food processor with enough water to make it into a thick purée.

Chocolate Beetroot Puddings with Whipped Maple Cream & Hot Chocolate Sauce:

Ingredients:

5 eggs (6 if very small)

5 oz brown sugar

1 lb 4 oz purée beetroot (see above)

9 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips

5 fl oz heavy cream

10 fl oz vegetable oil

10 oz plain flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

Butter for greasing

Whipped Maple Cream for 10 puddings:

16 fl oz Heavy Cream

6 tablespoons Maple sugar or 3-4 tablespoons Maple syrup

Hot Chocolate Sauce:

Ingredients:

6 tablespoons Roma cocoa powder

6 tablespoons brown sugar

6 fl oz cream

6 fl oz milk

Method:

Grease 15-16 small ramekins with butter, and line the bottoms of the ramekins with parchment paper.

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Place the chocolate chips in a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water and melt. Stir in the cream until smooth. Remove from heat.

Beat the eggs with the sugar in a mixer until mousse-like.

Add the chocolate and beat gently.

Alternately beat in the vegetable oil, flour and baking powder.

Pour into the ramekins, about 3/4 full for each, place on a large baking sheet or tray, and bake for 16-18 minutes until just set.

Remove from the oven, wait a couple minutes, and turn out onto a plate to cool. These may be used right away, or placed on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, covered well, and frozen until ready to use.

When ready to use, remove from freezer to defrost for a few hours.

Make the chocolate sauce: place the cocoa powder and sugar in a pot, add the cream and whisk well. Place over heat, stirring in the milk and whisking all the time. Bring to the boil, whisking constantly, and remove from heat immediately. Reheat when needed.

Whip the cream with the Maple sugar or syrup until it holds well.

Slice 10 of the puddings (the remaining ones may be kept in the freezer) through the middle to make 2 layers. With each pudding, place one layer on a dessert plate, top with a large dollop of whipped maple cream, top with the second layer, and top with another large dollop of whipped maple cream. Pour hot chocolate sauce around the pudding and serve.

Real Red Velvet Cake Filled with Beetroot Crème Pâtissière & Topped with a TLC Icing:

Ingredients:

5 eggs (6 if very small)

10 oz white vanilla sugar (vanilla pod split open & kept in jar of white sugar)

1 lb 4 oz puréed beetroot (see above)

12 fl oz vegetable oil

12 oz plain flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 tablespoon vanilla essence

Tate & Lyle Creamy (TLC) Icing:

8 oz butter

4 oz beetroot purée (see above)

2 fl oz heavy cream

6 tablespoons Tate & Lyle golden syrup

2 teaspoons vanilla essence

Beetroot Crème Pâtissière:

Ingredients:

325 ml whole milk

2 egg yolks

2 oz white sugar

4 teaspoons corn flour

3 teaspoons plain flour

2 teaspoons vanilla essence

2 tablespoons beetroot purée (see above)

Method:

Line two 9-inch square pans with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350F.

Place the eggs and sugar in a mixer and beat until thick and creamy, like a mousse.

Add the puréed beetroots and stir gently to fully incorporate them into the mixture.

Alternately add the vegetable oil, flour and baking powder, gently beating as you do, then add the vanilla essence.

Pour into the prepared tins and bake for 20-25 minutes until just cooked. Remove and cool before turning out on wire racks to cool completely. This may be wrapped well in parchment paper, then foil, and kept in the freezer.

Make Icing: beat the butter until light and fluffy in a large bowl. Blend the beetroot purée and cream in a blender until smooth. Add to the butter, along with the Tate & Lyle golden syrup and vanilla, and beat until well amalgamated. This may be kept in the fridge or freezer.

Make the crème pâtissière the day before or on the day needed: heat the milk until just about to boil, and remove from heat. Whisk the yolks and sugar until thick and pale. Add the flours and a little hot milk and continue whisking. Pour in the remaining milk, slowly, whisking as you do so. When smooth, return to a clean pan and heat gently, stirring all the time with a wooden, until thick. Add the vanilla and beetroot purée and keep stirring. When relatively thick - this will be the filling of the cake, remove from heat and scrape into a bowl to cool.

On the morning of the day you wish to serve, remove the cakes from the freezer to thaw slightly. Also take the icing out of the fridge or freezer to soften.

Slice one cake through the middle (so you now have two layers of cake). Place one half on a serving platter and use 1/3 of the crème pâtissière to spread evenly over the top. Place the second layer of cake on top. Spread another 1/3 of the crème pâtissière over the top. Slice the second cake in the same way to make another two layers. Place one layer on top, then spread with the remaining crème pâtissière. Finally top with the last layer of cake.

Ice the entire layered cake with TLC icing and keep in the fridge until a couple of hours before you wish to serve it.

When ready to serve, cut into 3/4 inch thick slices along one side of the square cake, and cut this into 3 equal pieces.

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