Baked Ashe Co Mac N Cheese

During the store expansion we decided to check out Ashe Co Cheese. Mostly as Dan wanted to offer a cheaper butter that was still a great quality and well cheese curds. He’s a sucker for the curds.

This recipe comes from the Clark Family here at NCF. Their friend’s southern mother handed it down to them so it it must be good right? Wrong! It is PHENOMENAL!! I can’t remember what was going on at the time but  one night the adults were getting ready to go somewhere and  the Clark’s were making this for their kids dinner. I snuck a bite. Then when we got back from our adult dinner I snuck the leftovers, yes I know Bad Lucy. Someone should really hit me on the nose more often.

With all of the summer family get together skip the box and the mayo based salad. Head straight for the pasta and cheese that kids and adults will eat up with glee.

Before we get to the recipe of it all lets talk add in’s:

  • Sub ghost pepper jack cheese for the spicy lovers
  • Add in some cooked bacon on top the last 5 minutes
  • Add in some sauteed onions, mushrooms and garlic for some fancy times.
  • 5 Year Sharp Cheddar for the Cheddar Hounds
  • The Hoop Cheddar for the traditionalists out there
  • Add beef for a cheesy beef mac
  • Add seared chicken & broccoli for a whole meal in one the family will devour.

For your piglet cuteness quotient.

When I was done assembling dinner I found these 2 fast asleep.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Earlier this week we had a visit from Carolina Mushroom Farm, Shahane brought us fresh Oyster , Baby Bella and Shitake Mushrooms. When he told us the prices I was floored.  Not only are they grown locally over in Willow Springs they also are cheaper than what my family normally buys at Whole Foods. Shahane was a great sport in patiently waiting till I could speak to him. Our store was quite busy at the moment with deliveries and clients in for their shopping.

Last week I join SWMBO & Dan on the Low Carb diet.  When Shahane delivered the Shitakes Asian Lettuce wraps popped in my head instantly. Unfortunately its been 3 days and I am just getting a chance to cook them.  My favorite type of lettuce to use for this is butter lettuce however I only have iceberg here at home. Sigh. I will make do.

Lets talk lettuce wraps now. The ideal chicken for these is ground chicken coming in at $8.50 lb.  And while I would like to say there will be leftovers there won’t be. They just taste too darn good. I totally recommend making 2 batches of this at once. One for dinner and one for lunches. Did I mention they even taste great cold?

Alarita Citrus Pork Roast

Dan has been writing on the blog about all the taste testing on the farm, we’ve all put on a few extra pounds with it.  Now the products that we are going to carry have been handed off to me to make yummy lunches and dinners with.  Luckily I have a husband  & daughter who are adventurous eaters for the most part.

Today I’m aiming  for a savory sweet pork roast. One that livens up the dinner plate yet is balanced enough to not overwhelm the rest of the dinner. This is where Alarita comes in. Yesterday the sons of Miss La Rita came in with their salsa’s. We got to talking and we were throwing idea’s off of each other like the finals at Wimbledon.

With a pork roast you want to roast it at a low temperature giving the fat time to cook down and spread through the meat. Roughly an hour and fifteen minutes per pound. My favorite temperature to roast pork is at 280 degrees. Today with the citrus involved we are going a bit higher to 300 to get the sugar to play nice.

The Pork Butt & Picnic Roast both come in at $7.50 lb. The roast you see here weigh 2.66. And provide 1 meal for 4 and lunch for me. I had our neighbors Erin & Mark taste test the roast as well. All around everyone loved it. For lunch I used it to make lettuce wraps, and it was definitely just as great the 2nd time around.

Beef & Broccoli

Beef & Broccoli a Chinese restaurant favorite  for take out. Now it is time for you to have this wonderful meal at home.

A few years ago my brother was home from college and he requested that I make Beef & Broccoli for dinner. I went to Pinterest to search as Asian food is not my strong point.  There I found this recipe by Rainy Day Gal (Jenny Miller). Despite its 1 hour marinade time this dish is quick. It is great for a night in which you have a a few minutes to get something together before running out for a practice then coming back and having it ready in 10 minutes.  For those nights I have frozen brown rice stock piled in my freezer. While I prefer everything fresh and homemade it isn’t always possible on a working parents time frame.

 

 

Parmesan Pork Chops

You’re probably going “Lucy knows it’s chicken parmesan, right?”. Yes I do know, when a craving hits & there is a chicken breast shortage hits (now remedied), you substitute. In this case I used Pork Chops from the NCF farm store coming in at $9.50 lb. It makes for a good fall meal on these still cooling off nights.

In my pictures you will notice the bone & extra fat. Don’t do what I did and leave those on. My crew was startled to find they couldn’t cut their meat under layers of sauce and cheese, from now on I will use my noodle a bit better and remove the extra fat as well as the bone.

There is no Parmesan cheese in Parmesan dishes. Why?? The dish is named for the area it is from in France.  Also I do not add my seasoning to the breading. I season the meat after egging. I’ve found that this adds a bit more flavor to my fried dishes. And please make sure to let the meat come to room temperature before frying. Cold meat in a fryer = burnt breading

Pork Osso Bucco Ragout

Last week left me without much time to cook. Due to Hurricane Matthew most meals were eaten at friends houses or out. Then the end of the week was so busy with obligations that dinner was out once again.  Now the evenings are longer and cooking is something I want to fill our home as well as our stomachs.

NCF carries pork osso bucco for $4.50 lb. Osso bucco comes in all sizes, from small to large. Personally I prefer the smaller more delicate cuts.They take less time to cook and are very flavorful. Fortunately we carry all sizes in the store.  The tomatoes, potatoes and sage came from the NCF garden making this a fairly inexpensive dinner for our family. Ragout is a french stew of vegetables usually served with meat.  I served the Ragout on a bed of garlic mashed potatoes although rice polenta or noodles would serve wonderfully.

 

 

At Last Oven Pastrami

The Big Finally is here lets make some Pastrami!

Last week I brined my brisket, Sunday night I slice it & made corned beef. Today were are going to use the power of smoked paprika to make this brisket into something magical.  This whole week I have struggled back in forth. Do I cold smoke to I hot smoke, then it came to me. Most people do not have access to a smoker hot or cold, they do however have access to the grocery store & an oven. The whole premise of how I cook is to make it easy for those at home to follow and do the same. Let’s go!

As you can see the left over portion of my brisket is small, There will only be a few servings. Next time I make this I will order one of the giant 12 pounders and make enough for left overs.