Oh my, sweet potato pie

Next week is national Pie Week. Only in the UK would you have a week dedicated to celebrating the wonder that are pies!

We’ve really done our research on pies this week and have discovered that pies date all the way back to the Roman period. Originally the pastry was used to store the meat, or whatever other filling was inside, similar to how we’d use a pot nowadays. The pastry, which was fairly inedible back then, would be used to hold the meal together whilst it was cooked. It was only over time that the pastry could be included in the meal too.

Below is a great pie recipe that incorporates many of the ingredients from this weeks boxes:

Chicken, leek and mushroom pie with cauliflower mash topping

Ingredients

For the pie filling:
1 tsp ghee
2 leeks, trimmed, sliced
2 large celery stalks, trimmed, diced
1 bay leaf
500ml hot chicken stock
4 carrots, sliced
1 small fennel bulb, outer leaves removed
250g mushrooms, sliced
600g cooked chicken
large handful chopped parsley
salt and pepper
For the pie topping:
1.2kg cauliflower, outer leaves removed
4 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
50g butter
salt and pepper

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 220C/200C Fan/Gas 7.
2. Heat the ghee in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the leeks and fry for 4-5 minutes, or until softened but not browned. Add the celery and bay leaf and increase the heat to high. Fry for 1-2 minutes.
3. Add the chicken stock to the pan and bring to the boil, then add the carrots, fennel and mushrooms and reduce the heat until the mixture is simmering. Continue to simmer the mixture until the volume of liquid has reduced and thickened, and the vegetables are tender, about 12-15 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, for the topping, put the cauliflower, garlic cloves and half of the butter in a large, lidded saucepan. Add 4 tablespoons of water and cover.
5. Bring the pan contents to a simmer over a medium heat and steam for 6-8 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender when pierced with a knife (add a splash more water during cooking if necessary). Remove from the heat and transfer the contents to a food processor. Blend to your consistency of choice – either smooth and creamy or roughly textured. Season with salt and pepper.
6. To finish the pie filling, remove the bay leaf and add the remaining filling ingredients to the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Stir well, then transfer the mixture to an ovenproof pie dish.
7. Spoon the pie topping over the filling and spread into an even layer using a palette knife. Use a fork to create a criss-cross pattern on top of the filling. Dot the top of the pie with the remaining butter.
8. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling and the topping is golden-brown.

For more ideas on how to eat the vegetables in this week’s box, try searching on our webpage for past blogs!


This Week’s Bounty

All Boxes
Potatoes, Lancs
Cauliflower, Lancs
Flower Sprouts, Lincs
Kale, Perry Court
Winter Pulsane, Perry Court
Leeks, Cambs

Medium & Large Boxes
Mushrooms, Suffolk
Wild Garlic, Kent
Kohl Rabi, Lancs

Large Boxes
Beetroot, Lancs



Fruit Supplement
Apples, Kent (All Boxes)
Pears, Kent (Medium & Large Boxes)
Blood Oranges, ESP (Large Boxes)

Anyone for some turnip cabbage?

In this week’s box you will find the slightly unusual Kohlrabi. A member of the cabbage family, the name actually translates to mean, ‘turnip cabbage’. This strange looking veg is mild and slightly sweet in flavour with an added crunch and crispy texture. It’s a great addition to any winter dinner plate.

Sauteed Kohlrabi with Onions & Cheese

Ingredients
Cubes of peeled kohlrabi
Thinly slices white onion
Unsalted butter
Finely shredded kohlrabi leaves
Thick double cream
Grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper to season
Method
1. Cook kohlrabi and onion in butter over medium-high heat until almost tender.
2. Stir in kohlrabi leaves, and cook until wilted.
3. Add a generous splash of heavy cream, and cook for a few seconds to reduce.
4. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
5. Serve with chicken, pork chops, or steak

For more ideas on how to eat the vegetables in this week’s box, try searching on our webpage for past blogs!


This Week’s Bounty

All Boxes
Red Cara Potatoes, Perry Court
Carrots, Lancs
Leeks, Kent
Kohlrabi, ESP
Mushrooms, Suffolk

Medium & Large Boxes
Kale, Kent
Celeriac, Lancs
Sprout Tops, Lancs



Fruit Supplement
Apples, Kent (All Boxes)
Grapefruit, ESP (Medium & Large Boxes)
Blood Oranges, ESP (Large Boxes)

New Collection Point – St Anne’s Limehouse E14!

For those of you who are somewhat social media-phobic, over the last few days we posted the above photo on Facebook asking for guesses to where our newest collection point is. We had some good guesses (and can definitely see how it does resemble those other suggestions) but congratulations to the two persons who got it right – we will be giving both of them a box instead of just one!

The photo deliberately cuts off the bell tower (which does occasionally ring all night due to timer malfunction almost ending up in a minister-in-pyjamas-up-the-tower episode) but for most years (bar this really weird weather we have had which saw daffodils in January and hail in March) it lays on probably the best crocus carpet display in all of Tower Hamlets. Definitely worth checking out!

St Anne’s Limehouse also has a great Christmas Eve children’s crib service (if you have unruly kids, have no fear, those porcelain figures have been shattered and put back a number of times) and a midnight candlelight service with candles all around the balcony. Check out their upcoming events on their term card and like them on Facebook to keep up to date!

And before Sunday pick up a Mother’s Day card and gift from our very own local Snap Store especially if you are picking up your box from The Coffee Room in Mile End (who just turned two – how did we ever survive without Italian coffee of this quality) or checking out the hot-out-of-the-oven newborn Pizza Room baby sister just a few doors down.With the combination of produce in the box this week, why not make mum this roasted chicken with jerusalem artichoke and lemon by Ottolenghi. Substitute the shallots for quartered red onions, black peppercorns for the pink, roughly slice the lemon and through in whole garlics if you are lazy, add some potatoes under the chicken and you are all good to go!

At its best the Jerusalem artichoke literally shines translucent with all the glorious flavours, underpinned by its initial lemon bath, with a delightful tender texture but still retaining a bit of a bite.

Goes well served over plain cous cous and olive nibbles. Go easy on the olive oil, as chicken thighs are quite fatty and makes it quite rich – balance it with an steamed cabbage side dish and/or a kohl rabi, beetroot and blood orange salad, and you could also add the grapefruit and celeriac from past weeks that didn’t get eaten…

 

This Week’s Bounty

Standard Box
* Linda Potatoes, Perry Court
* Jerusalem Artichokes, Lincs
* Carrots, Lincs
* Kohl Rabi, Spain
* Beetroot, Perry Court
Red Onions, Essex
Savoy Cabbage, Norfolk
Green Peppers, Spain

Small Box
Items starred (*) above

No-Potato Substitute
Swede, Yorks

Fruit Supplement
Blood Orange, Spain (standard only)
Lemons, Spain

 

Somewhere Over the Rainbow…

We hope you enjoyed last week’s Jerusalem artichokes! And we’ve got some colour vegetables to add a splash of colour to brighten your grey winter days – rainbow carrots, purple kohl rabi (even if these are not purple on the inside) and candy striped chioggia beetroots.

Now, on what to do with the vegetables in your box here are a few ideas from our past newsletters/blog posts and few fresh ones too:

This Week’s Bounty

Standard Box
* Valour Potatoes, Perry Court
* Rainbow Carrots, Lancs
* Leeks, Lancs
* Kohl Rabi, Lancs
* White Cabbage, Lancs
Chioggia Beetroot, Lancs
Celeriac, Lancs
Small Box
Items starred (*) above

No-Potato Substitute
Baby Pumpkins, Kent

Fruit Supplement
Pear, Kent (standard only)
Oranges, Spain

 

Kohl-Rabi Kohl-Slaw

The weather is looking up post-Bertha-rains, giving the farmers a break from needing to irrigate the green crops.

So back to the salads but this time why not give coleslaws a go with a slight twist since the crunchy kohl rabi Sputnik will land in the standard boxes this week for the first time!!!

Although a kohl rabi may look like a turnip, it is actually not a root vegetable but a brassica so in the same family as broccoli. It’s taste is similar to the heart of broccoli stems after you strip away the tougher outer bits – in case you’ve been throwing those bits away!

If they come with leaves those can be eaten as you would spinach. As for the bulbs, simply peel them and try one of these options:

    • shredded or julienned using a food processor, grater or special peeler, together with carrots for a kohl-rabi kohl-slaw then dress with mayo and/or sour cream for the creaminess, a little sugar and vinegar for the sweet and sour, and some mustard or horseradish if you like a little (or a lot of) kick
    • sliced thinly for a kohl rabi carpaccio and dressed with lemon/vinegar, oil and seasoning, plus any other herbs like thyme or cumin depending its accompaniments
    • diced for a kohl rabi soup (use regular onions in your box instead of salad onions) in case the weather turns again – throw in some rice and drizzle in a beaten egg for a complete meal
    • diced and steamed, then dressed with olive oil or butter, lemon and chopped parsley
    • cut into battons and sauteed in butter, then finish with a splash of white wine

This Week’s Bounty

Standard Box
* Bambino Potatoes, Perry Court
* Onions, Kent
* Carrots, Lancs
* Round Tomatoes, Perry Court
* Spinach, Perry Court
Courgette, Perry Court
Runner Beans, Kent
Kohl Rabi, Kent
Small Box
Items starred (*) above

No-Potato Substitute
Bulls Blood, Perry Court

Fruit Supplement
Discovery Apples, Kent
Plums, Kent (standard box only)