Category: What’s Fresh

Holiday Platters and More!

Chaos from the holidays can bring lack of time and energy. You have just finished Thanksgiving but now it is time to double down for Christmas and Hanukkah! With office parties, kids concerts, Christmas shopping and more all in your agenda, make baking and cooking one less thing to do! At Bishop’s we try to make the busiest time of the year as convenient as possible.

Cooking for large families or office parties can add up, both in time and money!! Save both by ordering some of our Bishop’s Party Platters!! We have a wide variety available, with favorites like Lasagna (beef & vegetable), Linguini with Clams, Chicken Parmesan, Mac and Cheese, Pot Roast and more!! What’s a popular one you might ask?! Penne ala Vodka!! Our house made sauce is a popular one here that you cannot get anywhere else!! Linguini with Clams is a great pick especially if you are having a traditional, Italian Christmas Eve with the Seven Fishes. Serve all our party platters with petite rolls and a delicious pie and your guests will be all set! But make sure to not forget the wine!!!

Bishop’s has plenty of CT Wines, both our own and from other local wineries & vineyards. Fruit wines, sparkling wines, dry wines, hard cider… you name it!! Here at Bishop’s we specialize in wines made 100% from our own fruit! We just released a NEW hard cider, Crosby! It is the perfect blend of apples and local black currants. Semi-sweet and a deep purple color, it is great for the holidays. Other wineries that are featured in the farm market are Hopkins Vineyards, Jonathan Edwards Winery, and Jones Winery.

All platters, pies and side dishes are made fresh, with our hardworking bakery department working tirelessly leading into the holidays. Planning for special holidays or events can be made simple by submitting your order online or by giving us a call at 203-453-2338!! Let us know your pick-up date/time so we can guarantee your items! Click here to see varieties and side dishes. As with every year, we look forward to being a part of your festival spreads with friends and family!

 

Squash Season at the Farm Market

You may have seen a new variety of squash hit the Farm Market this Fall. It’s smaller but shaped like a butternut squash with a pumpkin orange color when fully ripe. Honeynut Squash is new to our Farm Market this season and our customers keep coming back for more. Honeynut squash came to market a few years ago as a result of a collaboration between Michael Mazourek, a genetics professor from Cornell University and Dan Barber, New York restaurant owner. The result of this effort brought about a smaller squash with a sweet, deep nutty flavor.

Upon enjoying your first Honeynut Squash you might notice that not only is the color deeper than a Butternut Squash but the flavor and nutrient content is also more robust. Chef Dan and Professor Michael advise roasting the squash at 400 degrees, 20 minutes with a drizzle of Olive Oil and a dash of salt and pepper…. That’s the easiest way to really taste the full flavor of the squash. As with other squash varieties you can also roast and puree it for soups, add it to muffin mixes, mash it up and add it to a fall cookie batter and even supplement your waffle or pancake mix to give it a boost of Vitamins A & C as well as beta carotene.

Bishop’s Orchards Farm Market currently gets our Honeynut Squash from New Hampshire as it’s grown in a few different locations across New England. When choosing your Honeynut Squash know that one with green color is still not fully ripe. You can buy them when they aren’t fully orange and they will keep at room temp for several weeks, but they taste best when they are completely orange. Make sure you eat them before the skin starts to wrinkle as that’s a sign that the squash is starting to dry out.

We urge you to try this new delicious squash but we still have your traditional favorite winter squash varieties including butternut, spaghetti and acorn squash. We source these from just a few miles north at Cecarelli Farms in Northford, CT. These root vegetables absorb so many nutrients as the roots extend deep into the soil to bring you high amounts of Fiber and Potassium.We have been working with Cecarelli Farms for over 30 years and have a bountiful spread of their squash varieties all winter long. Stop by the Produce Department at Bishop’s Orchards to try all of our delicious seasonal root vegetables! Try this simple soup recipe that freezes well for lunch at work, or dinner…

Honeynut Squash Soup

  • 1.5 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½  medium onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 pounds honeynut squash peeled (seeds removed) and cubed
  • 1 teaspoon salt (to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 1 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 cups Silk unsweetened Almond milk
  • 2 teaspoons lime (or lemon)  juice
  • Nutmeg or Cinnamon spice (optional)

In your favorite large stock pot heat up the oil over medium high heat, and and stir in the onions and garlic…cook for about 2-3 minutes. Add the chopped honeynut squash and stir in the pot for about 7-10 minutes (still over medium high heat) until the onions become translucent. Add and stir in the the salt, pepper, veggie broth and almond milk. Bring the mixture up to a boil and and then lower to a simmer and cover for about 10 minutes. As soon as the squash is fork tender then remove the pot from heat and pour small batches into your blender (now add the fresh lime or lemon juice) and blend until velvety smooth or to your texture preference. If you don’t have a blender you can also use an immersion blender right in the pot. Add a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg right before serving for an extra bit of sweetness

Makes about 6-7 cups, freezes well up to 4 months.

Taking Over Pick-Your-Own!

Pick-Your-Own is NOW OPEN with 4 varieties for picking; Blueberries, Peaches, Raspberries and Apples! It has been an incredible year for our blueberry crop, never having lasted this long into August. By the end of this week picking will come to an end, but for the meantime, there are plenty of berries to be picked! Peaches opened up mid-August and have been maintaining sporadic hours up at our Main Orchard. Peaches are huge and super sweet… we couldn’t ask for anything more! Peach picking is a favorite on the shoreline, so you want to make sure you are handling and storing them correctly when you take them home. Make sure to spread them out as much as possible and check daily for final ripening. Peaches are perishable and need to be handled gently and kept from sunlight. They will not all necessarily ripen at once so keep your eye on them.

Raspberries have just opened up within the past week! Our raspberries are considered fall berries, becoming ripe in the late summer/early fall timeframe. Raspberry picking generally lasts until late October, with September being its peak time. There are many ways to use raspberries in salads, yogurt, juices, sauces and desserts! If storing fresh, we recommend using them within days of them being picked. For optimal freshness, keep raspberries dirty. If you introduce moisture to the berries, it will cause them to go downhill quickly. Only wash the amount of berries you plan to eat at the moment. Make sure to store raspberries dry and in a container in the fridge. Avoid keeping them in the coldest part of your fridge or in the crisper. The best place is where you will see them best, as to not forget them. Frozen raspberries will keep from 10-12 months!! If freezing, you can wash ahead of time, and then dry them laid out on paper towels to remove excess moisture. Place them on a cookie sheet and pop them into your freezer to freeze until frozen. Once they are frozen, store in an airtight plastic zip bag or in a freezer-proof container. They will be great in smoothies, baked goods or on top of your morning yogurt or oatmeal.

Right now we only have one variety available for pick-your-own apples, Zestars. This is an early variety, with Ginger Gold and Paula Red two others not quite ready for pick-your-own, but available in the farm market. Shortly after Labor Day, more varieties will come available, including McIntosh, Gala, Crimson Crisp and everyone’s favorite… Macouns!! Always check out our Bishop’s Cookbook, featuring recipes that highlight our in season crops. Here are a few favorites:

Peach Sorbet

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 pounds peaches
  • 1 ½ cups syrup
  • 1 lemon

DIRECTIONS:

Score bottom of peaches with an “X” and boil about 10 seconds in boiling water and peal off skin.  Remove peach pits and puree peaches in a food processor or blender. Pour puree into a bowl and stir in simple syrup and lemon juice.  Taste and adjust syrup or lemon juice to taste. Freeze in an ice cream maker using manufacturer’s instructions.

Raspberry Cobler

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 6 cups raspberries
  • cooking spray
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup buttermilk

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine the first 6 ingredients in a large bowl, and set mixture aside. Add raspberries, and toss gently to coat. Spoon raspberry mixture into a shallow 2 quart baking dish coated with cooking spray. Combine 1 cup flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl; cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add low fat buttermilk, tossing with a fork just until mixture forms a soft dough. Spoon dough into 8 mounds on top of raspberry mixture. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, or until topping is lightly browned and filling is bubbly. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Raspberry Apple Pie

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 package of 2 pie crusts
  • 2 cups raspberries
  • 2 cups Zestar apples
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

DIRECTIONS:

Peel and cut apples into thin slices. Layer apple slices on bottom crust, then raspberries.  Mix sugar and flour or cornstarch and sprinkle over fruit. Cover with top crust. Seal edges by fluting, then brush the top of crust with milk or water.  Bake for 10 minutes at 425º then reduce to 350º for approximately 40 minutes. Cool on rack-serve cool.

 

Raspberries & Peaches Coming Soon

The Pick-Your-Own season is going off without a hitch! We have FINALLY wrapped up Pick-Your-Own strawberries, which surprisingly lasted into the second week of July! A first here at Bishop’s, we were able to sustain such a long season due to a later variety of strawberries coming in, and coming in strong. They were delicious and such a sweet surprise! As soon as we wrapped up the season, Pick-Your-Own blueberries was ready to start the next day!!

Our blueberry season usually lasts through late August, with approximately a six to seven week harvest period. As with our strawberries, we grow several varieties of blueberries that continuously ripen throughout the season. Blueberries have always been a small, mighty treat!! They are very versatile and great for cooking, freezing, or simply snacking on them at the beach or at summer camp. We are currently right at the peak season where the flavor is unreal! When picking make sure the berry has a full blue color. This will guarantee a sweet flavor, instead of a sour taste.

Blueberries are one of the easier fruits to store. Keeping them fresh is easy, simply arrange the berries (without washing) on a paper towel-lined tray and cover with plastic wrap. Make sure to not rinse or remove the stems until you are ready to serve. Blueberries should be kept in the refrigerator and can store well up to one week! If you are looking to freeze your berries, wash them gently and drain on a paper towel. Once dried, sort them over and remove any small stems. Place all your berries on a cookie sheet in a single layer and place in the freezer to quick freeze. Once they are frozen, place them into a plastic bags. Leave ½” to ¾” head room in the bags. When you are ready to use, remove them from the freezer and defrost ONLY long enough to thaw. Frozen blueberries can store well up to 3 months.

As we head into August, you will see our own peaches available for Pick-Your-Own sometime in the middle of August, and raspberries towards the very end. So much flavor is still yet to be seen, and we are excited for you to get a taste! Remember, if you don’t have time to make it out to our Pick-Your-Own fields, you can always head to our Farm Market where plenty of our own Bishop’s produce is available. So much is in season right now and we have the PERFECT recipes to pair with our produce. You can find recipes online at our Bishop’s Cookbook, but in the meantime, here are a few to highlight with the upcoming crop!

Blueberry Dessert Smoothie

With extra fruit on hand, make this tasty fruit smoothie with a base of blueberries.

Makes 2 Servings

  • 1 cup ice cream
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • ½ cup peaches
  • ½ cup pineapple juice
  • ¼ cup yogurt

Place all ingredients in a blender. Cover and mix until smooth, about 30 to 45 seconds. Yields 2 servings (about 1 ¼ cup per serving).

Peach and Blueberry Cobbler

This simple cobbler uses fresh peaches and frozen blueberries covered by the easiest crumble topping, so you can have a taste of summer all year.

Makes 6 Servings

  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 5 cups peaches
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons orange liqueur
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • ⅓ cup light cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • whipped cream

For filling, mix sugar with cornstarch and toss with peaches and blueberries.  Transfer to the bottom of a lightly buttered shallow baking dish (9” or 10” pie plate or 8” square). Preheat oven to 425°.  For dough, in food processor, combine flour, baking powder and salt; cut in chilled butter and process with cream to make a dough.  Roll out to about ½-in thick into a shape to fit your baking pan. Or, cut into biscuits touching each other over fruit. Drizzle with melted butter and sugar and bake for 40 min. or until biscuits are golden and fruit is bubbling. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature, with or without ice cream

Grilled Peach and Bell Pepper Salsa

A colorful topping that will add sweet peaches and crisp peppers to your flaky fish or moist chicken entree.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • 2 teaspoons mint
  • 1 garlic
  • 1 ¼ peaches
  • ⅓ cup bell peppers
  • 2 teaspoon cider vinegar

Prepare grill or turn on broiler. Combine first four ingredients and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl. Lightly brush cut side of peaches with half of oil mixture. Grill or broil peaches about two minutes on the cut side only until golden. Do not allow to burn. Transfer to a rack to cool. Chop peaches and combine with remaining ingredients and oil mixture in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste and toss.

#PickBishops Campaign

As if spending an hour or two with family and friends at Pick-Your-Own isn’t appealing enough, we at Bishop’s Orchards run a contest to go along with the season. Our “#PickBishops” campaign was created as a way to share our customer’s experience, while also rewarding them for their continued patronage. What is the importance of a hashtag you might ask? Hashtags are used to categorize online content, making the detection of new or related content easy to do! At Bishop’s we enjoy using our customer’s materials as a way of promoting our family friendly experiences on the farm. Whether that be an image off Facebook, or a blog written about a CSA Share! If you see something you posted, reused by us, it was most likely found because of your hashtag!

The #PickBishops contest is simple and easy, only extending your social media posts by one word! While you are out at one of our Pick-Your-Own locations, simply snap a picture of your experience and upload it to either Facebook or Instagram, using the hashtag, “#PickBishops!” You can also “tag” us in the photo by using the following usernames, Instagram- @BishopsOrchards and Facebook- @Bishop’s Orchards Farm Market. A random winner is chosen every week and notified to stop into the Farm Market to pick up their prize! At the end of the Pick-Your-Own season (approx. October 31st), all the winners from each week are pooled together and out of those, the winner of the Grand Prize is chosen!!

So this summer when you are out at Pick-Your-Own, snap a picture, and share your experience with us on Instagram or Facebook using the hashtag, #PickBishops. Every week there is a new winner chosen, so why not you? Don’t miss out on the opportunity to be a part of this “trending” campaign. For further details on the #PickBishops contest click here.

New Chef, New Meals

Lately, exciting things have been happening at Bishop’s Orchards Farm Market. Going into 2018 we wanted to communicate with our customers a little more, discovering what they were and were not coming in for. We have heard our customers and acknowledge the need for a strong, versatile, Prepared Food Department. In sprucing up the department, we hired a NEW, local chef, bringing his flavors back into the community. Chef Michael Aragon is most known for his eclectic menu from Whitfield’s On The Green. His contributions to our team have been mind blowing, both in taste and team morale!

Michael brings with him his very own recipes, made with clean, all natural ingredients. Some of his newest dishes include a Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin with a Mustard Seed Glaze, Beef and Vegetable Lasagna, Meatloaf, Chicken Pad Thai, Crusted Pork Chops and plenty of side dishes like Roasted Potatoes, Roasted Cauliflower, Spaghetti Squash and our Bishop’s Own Asparagus Medley, just to name a few. The feedback has been incredible, with the price and ingredients being just right! The best part, whenever possible, Chef Michael features Bishop’s ingredients or items in his dishes, like our seasonal asparagus or our heirloom tomato marinara.

Roasted, Free Range Whole Chickens are coming out of our kitchen. A dry rub is used for seasoning these 2.5lb chickens. They are the perfect size for a family of four, providing leftovers for lunch the next day. Our Roasted Chickens are also used in a NEW Chicken Curry Salad. It is great when served over a bed of greens, or simply by itself, with seasoning just right so as to not overwhelm. Along with our complete meal line-up, our Grab & Grill Meals have been remade with new recipes, different cuts of meat, and fresh made sauces on the side. Featured meals have included Pork Chops with Sweet Potatoes, Ahi Tuna with Squash and Peppers, Chicken and Asparagus, Sausage & Peppers, Peppered Salmon with Mushrooms, and Flank Steaks with Potatoes. Everything you need, still in one bag, with a sealed separation from the meat and vegetables.

Everyday we are amazed to see the continued efforts from this department in creating new dishes. You will start to see even more growth in our desserts, including our NEW Edible Cookie Dough flavors!! The direction we are headed in is more fresh and trendy than ever!! Jump on board this shopping experience!!