Recipe: Wild Rice and Shiitake Stew

Mmm, it is the season for soup and for wild rice. This recipe sounds amazing… but I have to be honest: I ran out of time this week and didn’t get to make a batch. I have no pictures to show you how yummy it looks!  You really can’t go wrong with wild rice, broth, and shiitakes though. So if you make this recipe, tell us how it turns out!

 

Wild Rice and Shiitake Stew

Serves 3 or 4
1 oz. dried shiitake mushrooms
or
8 oz. fresh shiitake mushrooms
1/2 cup wild rice
2 Tbsp. butter or olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 celery stalks or small celery root, diced
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp. oregano
1-1/2 Tbsp. all-purpose Flour
1/2 cup white wine
1 bay leaf
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 tsp. rosemary
1/2 cup milk or cream
1/2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
1/4 tsp. salt or to taste
pepper to taste
1/4 cup friesago or parmesan cheese, finely grated

If you’re using dried mushrooms, place them in a bowl and cover with water. Soak for at  least one hour, or until plump. Remove the mushrooms from the water (save the water) and pat dry.

Remove mushroom stems, chop caps and set aside. Place the wild rice in a wire strainer and rinse with cold water. Place the rice in a pot and add water so water is 3/4 of an inch above rice. Bring to rolling boil for ten minutes then simmer, covered, until the rice opens and becomes fluffy, or about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally while simmering.

While the rice cooks, heat butter or oil in dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and celery with salt and cook until the onions have softened and turned translucent, or about 5 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium and stir in the mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms are tender, or another 15-20 minutes.

Add the garlic and oregano and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Sprinkle the flour over the veggies and stir until they become sticky and there is no more visible dry flour. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the wine and mushroom water (if you don’t have mushroom soaking water, you can put in about 1/2 cup of broth). Simmer the mixture until it has thickened and the liquid has reduced. Stir occasionally while simmering.

Add the bay leaf and stock. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat. Simmer for 20 minutes to meld the flavors. Add the rosemary, milk, and wild rice. Simmer for another 10-15 minutes, or until the soup has thickened to your liking. Stir in the vinegar, half the cheese, and pepper. Serve immediately with remaining cheese sprinkled on top.

 

adapted from recipe provided by Northern Lakes Wild Rice

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Farmer of the Month

Last Sunday we had our Open House. It was fun to show the whole operation to a few folks, including “neighbors” from down the road in Rice Lake and a friend we hadn’t seen in years. After touring around checking out all the mushrooms and fruiting areas, we cooked mushroom brats over the fire, then we had apple crisp made with apples from the big grandfather apple tree on the farm. If you missed this open house, don’t worry – we’ll have one again some day!

I somehow failed to mention (all of last month) that Jeremy was “farmer of the month” at the Farm Table in Amery, Wisconsin. The Farm Table Foundation teaches classes and workshops, partners with and supports local farmers, and has a fabulous restaurant with very tasty food in downtown Amery.

Each month they have a featured farmer and Jeremy was the farmer for September.

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All month they have a couple of special recipes made up to highlight the products from the farm they’re featuring. For Jeremy they had made up a Mushroom Ragu Crostini and a Mushroom Paperdelle. Then towards the end of the month the farmer comes to the restaurant to hang out during dinner and answer questions.

I got to tag along, so I got to try the crostini. I wish I had tried the pasta dish too, because it looked amazing! It’s hard to describe what it’s like ordering a fancy dish from a fancy restaurant made with mushrooms that my husband picked and delivered himself. It’s pretty cool (but mostly it’s nice having someone else do the cooking!).

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After enjoying a taste of our mushrooms, we walked around with the Program Director, Brandie. She had put together a taste test tray of Jeremy’s log-grown shiitake and some “store-bought,” not-log-grown, crimini mushrooms.

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We walked around the restaurant handing out samples to diners to see if they could guess which was which. Well – everyone could! And everyone agreed the shiitake were better. We answered questions about our farm, growing mushrooms, inoculations, and all sorts of things.

It felt a little odd at first to walk up to people in a restaurant who were eating dinner and interrupt them. But no one seemed to mind and they were quite interested in finding out more. I really like this educational piece that the Farm Table Foundation does. It’s not just about making and serving really good local food; they really believe in educating people about food and agriculture too.

They’re probably on to a new featured farm now, but don’t let that stop you from taking a trip out there for a meal!

Recipe: Delicata squash and Mushroom butter

Okay, I can’t help myself: this is more of a “recipe” than a recipe. I had to use the quota marks! That’s because this is more of a serving suggestion than an actual recipe. I’m going to do my best to make this look and feel like an actual recipe, but it’s hard to do that when there are only a couple ingredients involved.

The first ingredient is delicata squash. Delicata is a kind of winter squash and it is absolutely amazing. They are relatively small and easy to work with and taste great. They’re in stores and farmers markets now, so make sure to pick some up soon if you’ve never tried one.

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The second ingredient is our very own mushroom butter. If you’re near the Twin Cities you can find our mushroom butters (and spreads!) either at the farmers market or at The Wedge Co-op. I chose our smoked shiitake butter for this. Jeremy starts with our shiitake and smokes them in a smoker. Then he cooks those up with shallots and herbs, adds butter and mixes it all up creating a fabulous smokey, mushroomy, herby butter.

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That’s pretty much it. So here is an official looking “recipe.” This dish is a great side to add to the rest of your dinner.

Delicata Squash and CTHM Mushroom Butter

Delicata squash (however many you need for your meal)
Jar of CTHM Smoked Shiitake Mushroom Butter
a little butter or olive oil

  1. Clean the squash in case there is any dirt still on it. Slice the squash in half and scrape out the seeds and guts. You can compost the insides, feed them to your chickens, or save the seeds and toast them just like pumpkin seeds.
  2. Spread a little bit of butter or olive oil on the squash. This just helps it not dry out while cooking and adds to the tasty flavor. Place the halves on a baking sheet.
  3. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes check to see if the squash is done. It will be quite soft and creamy when done. If they aren’t done, check every 10 minutes or so until they’re done.
  4. Scoop a dollop of Mushroom Butter into the hot squash and enjoy!

Recipe: Mushroom Ragout over Creamy Polenta

Serves 4-6
1 lb. shiitake and/or oyster mushrooms – cleaned, stemmed & either chopped, sliced, or quartered (however you prefer)
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
7 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp. chopped fresh oregano leaves
3/4 cup diced tomatoes
1/2 Tbsp. tomato paste – optional
2 – 3  cups mushroom, vegetable, or chicken stock
1-1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
2 cups of whole milk
a pinch of ground mace
7/8 cup stone-ground polenta or course cornmeal
1/4 cup mascarpone or cream cheese
1/2 cup plus extra for garnish parmesan or Friesago cheese
1 Tbsp. chives

The Mushroom Ragout
Place a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat, and add the olive oil and 2 Tbsp of butter. When the butter begins to foam, add the diced onion and sauté until translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add the mushrooms and another 3 tablespoons of butter and cook, stirring often, until they have released most of their liquid, about 10 minutes.

Add the thyme, oregano, diced tomatoes, tomato paste if desired, and 1 cup of stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has reduced and the ragout has thickened, about 20 minutes. You can add another 1/4 cup or so of stock if the ragout seems to need it. Season with the salt and pepper, and stir in the parsley.

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The Creamy Polenta
Combine the 2 cups milk, 1 cup stock, 2 tablespoons butter, remaining salt, remaining pepper, and mace in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil on high heat. Whisk in the polenta and stir continuously until the mixture begins to thicken. Then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring frequently, for 30 minutes, or until the polenta is creamy and tender and starts to pull away from the sides of the pan. You can add up to another 1/2 cup of stock if the polenta seems to need more cooking and doesn’t feel creamy enough yet. When it’s cooked to the consistency you like, add the cheeses and stir to blend. Remove from the heat and stir for 3 minutes to cool the polenta.

Divide the Creamy Polenta among four to six shallow bowls, and top with mushroom ragout. Garnish with the parmesan and chives, and serve hot.

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adapted from Emeril Lagasse’s “Farm to Fork.”

Who’s your farmer?

It seems like you can read all about us on the farm website, but there isn’t actually that much about US – the actual farmers. Who the heck are we? Some of you know exactly who we are (hi family!) but others of you either signed up for our newsletter at a farmers market and didn’t meet either one of us, or you’re reading this on our website and you don’t know us (and didn’t even know we had a newsletter! That’s okay, you can sign up.)

So hello there! We are Aimee and Jeremy McAdams. Jeremy is your farmer and Aimee is… your farmer’s wife, sounding board, baker, house cleaner, nagger, and general voice of reason (and the newsletter writer). We work pretty well together even though, because of this farm, we don’t get to be together very much at the moment.

I (Aimee) grew up in Oregon and I have a background in libraries. I do like to organize things! I have crazy office skillz and do well in cubicle-land (though, full disclosure, due to working in nonprofits mostly, I’ve never actually worked in a cubicle). Jeremy grew up moving all around the country and then he became an architect. After a few years of that, he became a disillusioned former-architect, but he still has a great desire (and skill) in planning and designing things. He’s the only farmer I know of who uses AutoCAD to plan out chicken coop design, calculate how many logs can fit in a high tunnel, and double-check the best log stack configuration and log moving route in a shade structure.

As skilled as we are and as dedicated as we are, farming just doesn’t pay that much. That has long been the case; many farms have someone working off-farm to make extra money. We are no different in that respect, but we are a bit different in that my job is in Minneapolis and the farm is in Wisconsin. I live in Minneapolis and head off to work every day for my full time job. Jeremy lives at the farm, farming from sun-up to sun-down. We get to visit a day or two each week when Jeremy comes in for his weekly delivery and occasionally I make it out the farm. (My visits to the farm are so infrequent because I don’t drive.) And that’s the way it has been since we bought the farm in the spring of 2016. It’s not ideal but it’s what our finances can afford at the moment.

We are hoping to change that situation in the near future with me moving out to the farm. We are both super excited about this and all that it means for the farm. Not just a cleaner kitchen and the laundry getting done – but the possibility of a big garden, help for Jeremy with all the record keeping, and hopefully opening a small farm store in the old milk house! We have tons of plans. But it’s a while yet so we’re biding our time and making everything work the best we can for now.

That’s us – in a tiny nutshell! We hope you can make it out to visit the farm someday (like at our upcoming Open House) and you can get to know us even more!

Recipe: Mushroom Quiche

Quiche is one of my go to recipes. It takes a bit of prep work but it’s not too complicated and you can eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And brunch. At least, I do!

Our recipe is based on a quiche lorraine recipe from an old, falling apart copy of The New York Times cookbook. The original called for bacon also and I decided to throw some in because, hey, we have a TON of pork! This recipe will work pretty well in your standard store-bought frozen pie crust. If you have time to make your own pie crust and have a relatively deep pie plate, you probably will want an extra egg and another 1/2 cup of cream/milk.  Don’t worry if you end up with extra. I always end up with extra (depends on how many ingredients you pack into the crust) so I butter a small ramekin dish and toss in any leftover ingredients and egg mix for a crustless quiche. Yum!

Mushroom Quiche

Serves 6 to 8
3 to 6 oz. fresh oyster, nameko, or other mushrooms
or
1/2 oz. dried oyster, nameko, or other mushrooms
1 onion, thinly sliced or handful garlic tips, coarsely chopped
3 to 4 Tbsp. butter or olive oil
3/4 cup friesago or swiss cheese, cubed
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1-1/2 cups milk or heavy cream
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/8 tsp. fish sauce (optional)

If using dried mushrooms, cover in hot water with a weight on top to keep them submerged. Soak for at least a half hour, then remove stems and chop caps to desired size. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line 8-inch pie plate with pastry and bake five minutes when oven gets up to temperature. After 5 minutes, pull the pastry crust out and set aside till you’re ready for it. It will probably have bubbled up (unless you used pie weights), but the bubbles will recede.

For fresh mushrooms, clean them if necessary. Remove the stems and save for soup stock. Heat 1 or 2 Tbsp. of butter or oil on medium heat. Chop or slice mushroom caps and sauté until soft and slightly browned, or about five minutes. If mushrooms look dry add more fat to the pan. Set mushrooms aside. Cook onion in remaining fat until onion is transparent. Spread onion, mushrooms, and cheese over the inside of the partly baked pastry.

Combine the eggs, milk, and seasoning and whisk until frothy. Add to the pie plate. Bake the pie fifteen minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. and bake until a knife inserted one inch from the pastry edge comes out clean – at least 10 minutes. You can also cook it longer till the egg is puffed up and nicely brown if you like it that way better, but you know it’s done when the knife comes out clean.

 

adapted from The New York Times Cookbook, edited by Craig Claiborne

Recipe: Prairie Mushroom Risotto

Just to warn you, this recipe uses a lot of pots and pans! If you’ve only got a few pots/pans you can probably tip cooked items into bowls to wait while you move onto further steps. This recipe is a little bit complex but it is so worth it. The arborio rice seemed a bit starchy toward the end, not as much flavor as I had hoped. I thought the dish was ruined, but then I added the butter and Parmesan, waited a couple minutes, and was blown away by the flavor. I will be eating this dish for breakfast, lunch, and dinner this weekend! It all comes together really well in the end and you will not be sorry you gave it a try.

Prairie Mushroom Risotto

Serves 4
2 oz. dried shiitake mushrooms or 10 oz. fresh shiitake mushrooms
1 1/2 oz. wild rice
about 3 to 4 cups stock or water
2 Tbsp olive oil
6 scallions or spring onions, finely chopped
1 large clove of garlic, finely chopped – optional
8 oz. arborio rice or other medium-grain rice
1 1/2 wine glasses of dry white wine
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 Tbsp butter
3 oz. grated Parmesan cheese
3 oz. crumbled friesago cheese

If you’re using dried mushrooms, soak them in water to cover for an hour, then pat dry with a towel. Set aside the soaking liquid. For fresh or rehydrated mushrooms, remove the stems and chop the caps. Heat 4 tsp oil on medium low. Saute the mushrooms until browned and slightly crispy. If mushrooms look dry add more oil to the pan. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup water to a boil. Add the wild rice, cover the pan, and reduce the heat. Simmer for 25 minutes; drain well. (The rice doesn’t have to be done as it will be cooking more later.)

Put the stock (and mushroom soaking liquid if any) in a saucepan on low. In a separate pan heat the remaining oil, add the scallions or onions and garlic, and fry slowly for about 4 minutes. When the vegetables have softened, add the arborio rice and turn up the heat. The rice will begin to fry, so keep stirring it. After a minute it will look slightly translucent. Add the wild rice and wine and keep stirring.

Once the wine has cooked into the rice, add the mushrooms, and then add your first ladle of hot stock and a pinch of salt. Turn down the heat to a high simmer so the rice doesn’t cook too quickly on the outside. Keep adding ladlefuls of stock, stirring and almost massaging the creamy starch from the rice, allowing each ladleful to be absorbed before adding the next. This will take between 15 to 45 minutes depending on your preference; keep adding stock until the rice is soft but with a slight bite. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Remove from heat and add the butter and Parmesan. Stir gently. Place a lid on the pan and allow to sit for 2 to 3 minutes. Serve immediately with crumbled friesago.

 

recipe adapted from Jamie Oliver’s “The Naked Chef Takes Off”