Crock Pot Italian Chicken

I have embraced the crock pot. Many of you have spoken and the crock pot is the best way for dinner to make it to the table every night. Not eating out is the goal, right? It certainly is more me. As of today, in the past 5 nights we have had to eat dinner out 4 nights. My stomach is not pleased.  Vowing to not have this happen again I pulled out my old friend Renee’s Crock Pot Italian Chicken.

Shredding the chicken is easy. Place the breast only in you mixer with the paddle attachment once cooked. Turn on low. This will shred your chicken.  Once shredded add your liquids back to the meat. Do not walk away as your mixer works. That is a quick way to end up with powdered chicken.

To serve alongside this I typically throw in peas or broccoli at the end of the cooking process. Green Beans or just about any other veggie other than lettuce would work well. Cabbage would probably be a great way to mix it up. I think I’ll need to try that soon. We traditionally serve this over rice or pasta.

Christy over at Brittany Ridge grows the best tasting Chicken on the market in my humble opinion. Her birds get plenty of grass and a great omnivore diet from her free range methods. The one thing I notice when I open a package of her meat is there is no smell. Grocery store chicken has always smelled awful to me.  Smells tend to tell the quality in my book.  The other clue. The fat color, yellow is the golden key in pastured meats and Christy’s birds have it.  When I used to buy organic chicken in bulk I noticed the fat went from yellow to then gray.   Fat should not be gray, eww just NO!

In the NCF store Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast runs $12 per lb. A whole Cut Up Chicken is $6.50 per lb and a Whole Chicken is $4.50 per lb. My recommendation is to buy the Whole and just double this recipe.  Then you will get several meals for your hard earned $$.

 

 

Eye of Round with Mustard Herb Crust

Christmas time is here! Holiday cooking makes my soul sing, rich heavy flavors followed by bright sides are my thing.

This year we are a bit low on Prime Rib as we have 1 very ambitious client. Therefore let’s look at the Eye of Round for our Holiday Meal. Thinly sliced, it will set a beautiful table with it’s own natural juices.  With the mustard herbed  crust it will bring flavor.

I’m going to use Lusty Monk in this dish. When fresh from the jar it can be quite spicy.  As the mustard cooks though, the heat of the spice mellows. Preparing the roast the night before enhances the flavor and allows the marinade to mature, you’ll get the deep rich flavor, perfect for Christmas dinner.

Having a Holiday Party? This dish can also be slices thinly and served on yeast rolls or rolled by itself a fancy toothpick. No toothpicks lay a fancy fork on a plate with the meat displayed in a pretty Carpaccio pattern.

Looking for another Holiday meal try my Brisket Tostada Recipe. Serve it roast style, last year our client Donna served it with rolls at a holiday party, the brisket was a big hit with her family. Want another fun dish for the Lusty Monk? Try our Deli Ham Roll-Ups. And you can always pair the Lusty Monk with our Bratwurst and Two Chicks Farm Sauerkraut. <— SWMBO’s Favorite store combo

Beer Cheese Fodue

Way back before we had Rutabaga, hubby and I would indulge every so often in a trip to Melting Pot for a fabulous fondue dinner. Rarely did we eat all the meat as we had stuffed ourselves silly on the cheese fondue appetizer.  Since our daughter was born however I can count on 3 fingers how many times we’ve eaten there. And once was only for dessert.

Beer Cheese Fondue has a great cool nights flavor that sticks to the ribs. You can add bread for some extra carbs or just stick with veggies and fruit for the lighter side. It is something that you can play around with for flavor intensity. The secret ingredient to this dish is not the beer. It is 2 different varieties of cheese and a good healthy dose of powdered mustard, garlic, and worcestershire.

This dish is great for a fun dinner or to use at a party served up in a crusty sourdough bread bowl. Not gonna lie I miss the bread bowl fad.  And since I want to use the best cheese around I’m grabbing Ashe Co Mild Cheddar and Redneck Romano. Since the Mimi’s  Recipe I’ve been in love with Redneck Romano. If you have Lusty Monk Mustard on hand substitute it for the Dry Mustard to give this dish a bit more flavor & spice.

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.

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.