Cube Steak Alarita Style

Have we all recovered from the “This is Us” crockpot episode? I may never! Rutabaga’s need to use my oven on the daily basis to bake desserts has me using my new trusty crockpot to all of my friends & family’s glee.  After my 2 decades of disdain for crockpot they are all getting a great laugh that I’m using one.  I’ll sit here and eat my humble pie. I’m still not happy with relying on the darn thing. My tween  baker though needs to experiment and bake tasty desserts much to my waistlines demise.

The crazy weather we have been having is wrecking my weekly menu. Today and tomorrow will be in the 60’s the rest of the week will be 40’s. The nice thing though is that it is sunnier here in Raleigh than it was in Nashville during February. I remember one February back in the early 2000’s that we had 0 days of sunshine in Nashville. Good sunshine goes a long ways on cold days.

The folks at Alarita are always full of sunshine though. It is a great family business where I have yet to see one of them smiling. It is pretty contagious when you’re around them. Their happiness for life translates into their products giving you bright happy flavors. Their dry rub has a great herb mixture for my tomatoes with just enough sweetness to dampen the acidity.  The dry rub also works well on roasted veggies. The first time I met Jeanette I took her roasted eggplant with Alarita on it. She was an instant fan & is the one behind my home canned tomatoes I’ll be using today.

Cube steak is a machine tenderized coming from the round. Typically top round. It is one that needs a slow cooking process to help make it tender. Hello Crockpot.  In each package  of NCF Cube steak there are 3-4 steak(mostly 4)  priced at $9 per lb. Perfectly portioned for a hearty meal when the sun goes down and it turns cold out.  Alarita Seasoning runs $8 a bottle, buy it this will not be the only recipe you use it for.  This is one spice I use frequently in my cooking. Finally I’m going to top this meal at the end with Redneck Romano as tomatoes slow cooked beg for cheese. Redneck Romano is sold for 9.45 per lb and is sold in 8 oz wedges in our store.

Now to  throw everything into the pot set it and forget it till dinner. Try not to think of Jack too much.


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.

Mimi’s Ham & Cheese Beer Soft Pretzel Bites

Need a Saturday pick me up to chase away boring weekend food? Come out to the farm visit the cows and pick up the ingredients for a fabulous snack. Let’s make some Mimi’s Ham & Cheese Beer Soft Pretzel Bites. This recipe is straight from Lin Johnson-Carlson founder of Mimi’s Mountain Mixes.

This is one dish I saw disappear quickly. I changed up the ingredients a bit to incorporate what I could find in the NCF store. The change  worked great and  my oh my what a snack.   The Redneck Romano was subbed for swiss cheese . It was the perfect substitute.  Redneck Romano has just a bit more flavor than you traditional Swiss. I think I’ll be using it more from here on out. The Lusty Monk was exchanged for Beer Mustard. Once again more flavor. The heat of baking mellowed the spicy punch. Rutabaga was hesitant to try one but was quickly hooked & ate 4. Lasty I used our Deli Ham made with our pigs by Weeping Radish. The thickness of the ham gave a more filling bite.

 

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