Three Markets to Go

All the good crops of autumn are at the market….. cider, pumpkins, cranberries and now come this season’s dried beans from Flyte Family Farm, and a new product: pinto bean flour.  Everyone who sampled it last week described the taste as nutty; Dedicated Volunteer Jill sent in the first recipe using the flour as a breading for tilapia (see below).  It has an amazing 8 grams of protein per quarter cup, a nutritional incentive to develop your own recipes.

October and April share their weather if not our hopes for the future; the cool season greens come back to market: spinach, lettuce and this pretty Tatsoi at Countyline Produce.  It’s tasty raw, dressed as salad or briefly wilted in a stir fry and beautiful enough to be  floated in a bowl as the table centerpiece.  (Those tiny little potatoes under the Tatsoi need only some olive oil and rosemary to make you look like a culinary master. ) You could begin shopping a recipe for a fritatta or a Spanish omelette from here: potatoes and garlic at Countyline; eggs just next door at Pecatonica Valley; cheese at Edelweiss, and then cross the market for mushrooms at Black Earth Valley. Hey presto!  Saturday night’s supper!

Naturally, all the root veggies are terrific roasted, but try kohlrabi with a Hispanic flair: peel and slice, drizzle with fresh squeezed lime juice, dust with salt and cayenne pepper.  The young turnips just coming back to market are good this way too.  Included on a relish tray next to their brassica cousins–the ubiquitous broccoli and cauliflower who get all of the nutritional praise–snackers will love the flavor they can’t quite identify.

Country Bloomers is bringing  lots of  carving pumpkins to the market–so many that we’ve put them in their own stall between Dreamfarm and Lor Chang.  You can park right behind them and roll your pumpkin to the car!  (The pie pumpkins are in Country Bloomers usual space with the flowers.  Need an incentive to bake a pie pumpkin?  Here’s a recipe for salted pumpkin caramels.  Big bragging rights if you make these!)

An autumn nip in the air makes cranberries fly….out of the market that is.  Last week, shoppers were buying entire cases to stash through the winter; better get yours soon….three market Saturdays left to stock up.  The Wetherby Cranberry Company website has recipes and storage tips for you.  Some shoppers say that they like that weirdy, wiggly stuff in the can, too; you can carve your initials in it and so on.  But it’s not so good for pie or muffins.  Ask Kathy about how she uses the sliced, frozen Cranberry Bits as a waffle topping; you’ll search out that waffle iron that you stored in the garage a decade ago, or at least turn the toaster around to check for the proper frozen waffle setting.

Surely you’ve tried these little sweet dumpling squashes by now.  You can cut the top off and stuff with so many good things….smoked sausage, sage and onions, curried rice or the usual butter and brown sugar.  They’re often called “single serving size” but that must refer to polite people who can resist a second helping of something so tasty.  Delicious cold too, in a lunchbox or as a vitamin A power snack.

Just had to show you what the bees having been making  all summer long.  From B’s Honey while it lasts.

Making a Meal of the Issues?

We’re definitely past the sweet corn season, but I just had to share this amazing method for shucking corn with you.  (Maybe I’m the last person on earth to learn this trick which solves all those pesky things about shucking corn that annoy me.)  The 2 minute video is also good example of how no one is ever to old to use the interwebs.

Here’s another story-from the Chicago Tribune-that we probably shouldn’t giggle over.  A person would have to be plenty angry to waste cupcakes like this.

The next time you turn on the ventilating hood in the kitchen, think about this story from NPR’s food blog, The Salt.


Here’s Jill’s recipe using Flyte Family Farm pinto bean flour.  The fish was “outstanding” she says.  You could substitute chicken or pork chops for the fish.  Send us your idea for using pinto bean flour and win a market gift certificate!  (Soon, though!)  Jill is at the Information Tent from 7 to 9am if you’d like to talk to her about the recipe.

Tortilla Crusted Tilapia

2 tilapia fillets

¾ cup pinto bean flour

2 eggs, beaten

3 cups finely crushed tortilla chips

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1-2 cups Canola Oil

Rinse the tilapia and pat dry.

Place beaten egg in shallow plate or dish.

Place pinto bean flour in shallow plate or dish.

Mix salt, pepper and crushed tortilla chips and place in shallow plate or dish.

Dredge both sides of the fillets in egg to coat.

Dredge both sides of the fillets in the pinto bean flour to coat.

Dredge both sides of the fillets in egg again.

Dredge both sides of the fillets in the tortilla chips to coat.

Fill bottom of fry pan with about 1 inch of canola oil. Heat the oil on medium high heat until hot.

Place the tilapia fillets in the oil. Fry until golden brown, about 3- 5 minutes. Turn the filets and fry the second side until golden brown and fish is done inside.

Bean Advice

*Tasty way to cook dry beans: drain and discard the soaking water.  Cover  with 1-2 bottles of your favorite Wisconsin micro-brew beer (or wine) and then water to 1 inch over the beans.  Simmer until tender and use in your favorite recipe.

*The solution to bean…um…intestinal burbling is to… eat more beans!  Once you’ve established a population of bean digesting microorganism pals,  you won’t have anything to blame on the dogs after dinner.

*Use any hummus recipe with your favorite cooked beans.  Often, it’s the skin on the bean that gives some people digestive issues.  Buzz the beans up in a food processor, and notice how quiet the dogs are.

Here’s a recipe for homemade tater tots from Cook’s Country/America’s Test Kitchen.  Wouldn’t it be great to have a batch of these in the freezer? (Why not use those blue potatoes and scare the kids on Halloween?)

We recently found that our nostalgia for frozen tots, like many kid-friendly foods, outshone the reality. Determined to right this wrong, we hit the kitchen in search of potato tots with a golden, crunchy exterior and light, fluffy interior. Many recipes simply mix coarsely ground potato with flour and egg, but these tots fried up into raw, dense nuggets. Parcooking the chopped potato in the microwave was a step in the right direction, but the tots were still too heavy. Reducing the flour and omitting the egg helped, but the tots were still not light and fluffy. To minimize the gluey texture of potato starch, we tried processing the potatoes with water. Perfection. This step rinsed off the excess starch, and a small amount of salt in the mixture kept the interior downy white.”

Makes 4 dozen


  • 2 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 cups peanut oil or vegetable oil


  • 1. Whisk 1 cup water and salt together in bowl until salt dissolves. Pulse potatoes and salt water in food processor until coarsely ground, 10 to 12 pulses, stirring occasionally. Drain mixture in fine-mesh strainer, pressing potatoes with rubber spatula until dry (liquid should measure about 1½ cups); discard liquid. Transfer potatoes to bowl and microwave, uncovered, until dry and sticky, 8 to 10 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking.
  • 2. Stir flour and pepper into potatoes. Spread potato mixture into thin layer over large sheet of aluminum foil and let cool for 10 minutes. Push potatoes to center of foil and place foil and potatoes in 8-inch square baking pan. Push foil into corners and up sides of pan, smoothing it flush to pan. Press potato mixture tightly and evenly into pan. Freeze, uncovered, until firm, about 30 minutes.
  • 3. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees. Heat oil in Dutch oven over high heat until 375 degrees. Using foil overhang, lift potatoes from pan and cut into 1¼ by 1-inch pieces (6 cuts in 1 direction and 8 in other). Fry half of potato tots, until golden brown and crisp, 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally once they begin to brown. Drain on wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet and place in oven. Bring oil back to 375 degrees and repeat with remaining potato tots. Serve.
  • Make Ahead: Cool fried potato tots, transfer to zipper-lock bag, and freeze for up to 1 month. To serve, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Place potato tots on rimmed baking sheet and bake until heated through, 12 to 15 minutes.

Web Extras!

A candied jalapeno recipe from the Foodie with Family blog , here. (Sounds yummy! Natalie’s Greenhouse and Prairie Farm Produce have heaps of jalapenos.  I’d use a few red ones in the recipe too.  Or what about  substituting those gorgeous little Thai hot peppers from Ka Vang?)  There are many other good things at the same blog.  Here’s the recipe for  Baked Pumpkin Cider donuts.  You could also use any of the winter squashes in place of the pumpkin.

The Splendid Table has big gooey sandwich recipes this week.

The Brown Eyed Baker blog has…oh my!…a recipe for pumpkin whoopie pies with maple cream cheese filling and a link to a recipe for s’more whoopie pies. (I bet that you could substitute honey from Bonde Bee or B’s Honey for the maple syrup.)

In case you thought that vegans were too virtuous for sweet goodies, check out this version of a famous Canadian treat from One Green Planet.

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