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
Versatile glazes make my life turn round. While some prefer their meat & fish plain, including me at times, I love a glaze. During all of our food tastings this spring Dan & SWMBO came across Falling Bark Farm Hickory Syrup. I for one am thrilled they did, it goes great on Corn Bread, Salmon, & makes a great Old Fashioned. Now it is time to try it on meat, specifically pork.
At the same tasting SWMBO fell in love with Lusty Monk Mustard. Lusty Monk has a spicy bite to it. It is great on Sandwiches. Everyone here on the farm especially SWMBO recommend using it on our Bratwurst with Two Chicks Farm Sauerkraut.
This week marks my husband and I’s 20th Wedding Anniversary. Rutabaga was invited to unexpectedly to a friends house for an tweenage girl sleepover. That means Mom & Dad can eat like adults and Momma can play around with new ideas.
Pork Tenderloin sells for $13 lb. It is truly worth it for a special occasion. The Falling Bark Hickory Syrup is $17 a bottle. Lusty Monk Mustard sells for $6.95 a jar. This is a special meal, and I know investing in these two ingredients will pay off for meals to come.
Squash Season is upon us once again. Sadly this year there will be no squash here at Ninja Cow Farm other than what folks bring us or the State Farmer’s Market provide. Last year we got blight in the gardening beds and until I can wrap them in black plastic for a month in September there shall be no squash.
My husband however is thrilled he absolutely detests squash. He will eat Zucchini bread though if you don’t tell him what it is. Finally though I found a method to get him to eat his Squash. Hopefully I will one day get him to eat Okra & Eggplant as well.
The folks at Alarita have been wonderful. This last weekend they came out to the farm for a tasting day. The brothers always have a warm smile with quick wit. Their Dry Rub Seasoning Blend has also quickly come to be my go to seasoning for meat and veggies. For an $8 rub it may seem pricey however it is a locally family made item that is incredibly versatile. Remember the Citrus Pork Recipe, well that was Alarita Dry Rub doing its magic there too. I keep saying I’m going to try it on eggs but so far I haven’t had a chance.
Try this dish out and see if your picky squash eater enjoys it too. With quick broiling it stays firm for those with texture issues.
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.
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?
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.
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