Red Beans & Rice with Linguica

Weeping Radish products have been a great addition to the Ninja Cow Farm Store and our own personal pantries.  When we first ordered the new sausages we were faced with lots of decisions. One of the new things we brought in is Linguica. Linguica is a firm peppery sausage made with Red Wine that has Portuguese origins.

I finally sat down and tried it a few weeks back, Red Beans & Rice came to my mind. During our 7 years in Florida I had many chances to work with folks from other countries. One of my favorite recipes I picked up was out of Puerto Rico from a family friend. In her recipe a homemade sausage was used. It was quite reminiscent of the Linguica we are now carrying in the store. The dried nature of this sausage helps it stand up to the cooking time involved. The flavor is powerful enough to help flavor the dish yet it retains flavors for each bite of the Linguica as well.

The secret to my Red Beans & Rice is a homemade Sofrito. You take onions, peppers, tomatoes, jalapeno, garlic, & cilantro. You cook them all down together for a short while letting the flavors meld. I must confess though. For the 2nd year in a row my onions didn’t grow. And I never got around to planting garlic last year fall. This year though I have grand plans. With my peppers still growing and my cilantro dead I did have to take a trip to the grocery store.  At least my jalapenos & tomatoes are growing well.

This recipe makes a massive amount, feeding at least 10 people if not more.  And it will be more. I froze several meals worth after dinner.  In the Ninja Cow Farm Store we sell Linguica doe $10.50 lb. With only using 1 lb of sausage in this dish along with the remaining ingredients should bring this dish to under $25.  Not to bad for a one dish meal that feeds a crowd.

Pan Seared Chicken Hearts

I can see the Eww’s coming across the screen already. Hold tight though and take a trip further into the Culinary World.  Recently we’ve had several international clients request Chicken Hearts.  After consideration and a few rounds of cooking them. I declare they are tasty must have treats. Easy to make and man are they good, like I now crave them type of good.  The taste and flavor is as if a steak and a chicken thigh mixed together.

This past March my husband had to travel to Brazil on business. When he returned he raved about the food and being forced to try new things. Now the man is not the most adventurous eater due to some food allergies (okra and shellfish). In fact we were a bit worried about the language barrier and proceeded to take a crash course in Portuguese so he could safely eat. To hear he was trying new food excited me so I asked what his favorites were to spice up our weekly menu.  When he said chicken hearts I about dropped my jaw on the floor.  In fact he couldn’t wait to share them with the family. I’ll cook most anything he requests.  Let’s go!

Note: Your house will get smokey. Open 2 widows and place a fan in  each window. One pointing in one pointing out.

Chicken Hearts are provided by our wonderful partner Christy over at Brittany Ridge Farms located in Hookerton, NC. We charge $4 lb for these tasty morsels.  These are quite simple to cook quickly and would be great served with salad or as the meat component to a meal. Have a party and offer them as a daredevil bite. Drop by today from 2-6 to get your own.

Have I scared you off yet? Just remember in this whole Farm to Fork world we need to eat all parts of the animal not just a few.  Try them you won’t regret it.

Bruce Julian Bloody Mary Meatballs

” Lucy did you make the Meatballs yet?” ” Lucy you made those Meatballs right?” Lucy have you made the Meatballs yet? I need to know!” – All these thing have been asked of me for more than 2 months by SWMBO.  She is a great friend that keeps me humble and on track. The fact she has tasked me with cooking one simple thing that I still have not done is my fault. Now 2 months later I’m FINALLY making the meatballs.

Who doesn’t love a meatball right? There are several restaurants here in Raleigh alone dedicated to the love of this wondrous food. I personally have my own recipe. However it is time to expand and try out the flavors our vendors are providing us. Here I am using the recipe direct from the Bruce Julian Website with one exception. We do not carry the Picante Pepper Sauce. We do however carry Zing! sauce.

After I made the meatballs I served them over pasta. However I felt this was not appropriate. These definitely have a different flavor that your typical meatball. They are quite tasty though, definitely sweeter. If I served these in the future I would do so as a meatball sub with some black olives on top or I would serve them as a stand alone dish. These would be perfect for party to bring a new flavor to friends.

Smoky BBQ Style Oven Brisket

Last weekend my family hosted the tween girls on the farm for dinner & movie. Having 4 tween girls between 3 families is full laughter and sometimes a tiny bit of drama, I brought the drama on myself this night. We made homemade pizzas for 3 of the girls then came the 4th, who has a strong dislike of pizza. For her I made oven smoked bbq style ribs. Next thing I hear from my very own Rutabaga. ” Mom, will you make me some BBQ Brisket for the 4th of July?”

Now for those of you who have met Rutabaga she is cute as can be. When she asks for something so sweetly & homemade to boot I can’t resist. Then to top it off she said those works all Momma’s want to hear. ” Mom, will you teach me how to make it too.” This led to a tiny bit of jealousy from Daddy who she normally bakes with. They are my baking team.  After the BBQ was going Daddy promptly made a cherry dump cake with Rutabaga to get in a cooking lesson himself.

With our recent March 1st price cut on Beef our brisket became alot more affordable. The price went from $12.99 lb to $9.25 lb, nice eh? Our briskets are also cut family style into quarters making them between 3-4 lbs each. Enough to feed a crowd. To top off the Brisket I used Buh’s The Sweet Side Sauce which retails in the NCF  Store for $5 a bottle.  I only used the sauce to drizzle across the brisket, leaving enough for at least 2 more dinners if not more.

Full disclosure- my smoker is off limits to me at the moment (I got sick).  If you want to to this on the smoker I recommend using hickory wood and keeping the grill at 225. Cook for 3-4 hours until fork tender. These smaller cuts cook quick so keep an eye on the heat. Always remember fat side up. If you need a little insurance cover extremely loosely in aluminum foil


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.