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.

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

Lemon Basil Broccoli Chicken

Weeknight activities are the bane of my existence. By 6 p.m. at night I want  dinner on the table with my family around it followed by Jeopardy & Wheel of Fortune.  Yes, I’m a thoroughly middle aged Mom & nights as I described are rare.  That is where Lemon Basil Broccoli Chicken comes into play, this has been my child’s favorite meal since she was a toddler.  

In the NCF Farm Store we carry Boneless Skinless Breast from Brittany Ridge Farms for $11 lb. The birds are pasture raised and taste great.  The color of the meat will show you the difference before the flavor.  Once you taste it you will notice a difference between our chicken & large scale production.

You can’t have any. Hands off!

About a week ago, I posted that we had a new cut of pork in the freezer. It was just a little note at the end of a beef update. The cut of pork showed up and looked like this.

Boston butt pork steaks
New cuts! Boston butt steaks

I wasn’t really sure what it was. Lucy had attended the Women in Meat Conference and she and Brooke (Hi Brooke) from the processor had some sort of pow wow on new cuts Lucy wanted to bring in. I kinda tuned out of the conversation so I really didn’t know what she ordered.

So I’m unloading the truck and these things are in the box. Boston butt steaks. Looks cool, no idea what it is. Stick them in the freezer somewhere and worry about it later.

In talking to Lucy later, she informs me these are cut wrong and aren’t what she asked for. Go figure. I explained that this is what happens when we go out of the norm. Now we have 20 packs of these things that we’ll have to do something with but oh well, it’s ok. When you are a farmer, your mistakes taste like bacon!

Last night, SWMBO finally got around to cooking our first batch of these butt steak thingies. That’s how it is at our house. Something getting old? Something out of date? Something with damaged packaging? The farmer gets the stuff nobody wants, not the ribeyes.

Not knowing what else to do with these weird cuts, she just cooked them the way we do our pork chops, along with some peas from a bag and a bottle of vino (for the sauce and the chef!) She plated the steak thingies about 10 minutes after walking in the door and pushed one in front of me.

“They looked good. Hmm, they cut good, kinda tender like a porter house or a ribeye. They seem to have great marbling… if I didn’t know better, I’d think this was a steak….”

So I took a bite, and another. Good Lord these things are awesome! I didn’t really taste the pork flavor, they tasted more like a steak than a pork product. They were tender, juicy, flavorful. SWMBO said she tasted the pork and she’s probably right but I don’t care. They were awesome!

I ate mine. Then I gnawed the bone. Then the kids wandered off to play. I ate theirs. Then I was eyeing the one that was for lunch later but I decided to behave.

So we’ve got like 12 packs of these things I think. I’ll have to look when I steal them all and hide them from everyone so they don’t get sold. I think this is my new favorite thing! The only problem is, I’m not in the store today so hopefully nobody will know about our secret new cut till I get back home and can hide them from customers.

Nobody reads this blog, right? I’m safe.

Last call for turkeys for 2016

I’ve been slack on letting you know we are getting turkeys for Thanksgiving. I posted about it in late August and then have completely ignored it since then. I guess there was a hurricane in the middle. And we had some other farm craziness to tend to.

Fortunately Lucy has done a good job of telling people when they are in the store so we still have a good number of pre-orders but now is the time if you want to get on the list to let us know. The window will be closing before too long so if you want a turkey, you need to get by and put a deposit on one. festive-food-1388406500q51

The turkeys are $6.25 per pound and will range between 15 and 20 pounds. Deposits are $40.