Tag Archives: farming

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.

Whole Duck Now Available

Lucy here on the actual non- recipe part of the blog. We’re still having some internet issues here on the farm.   The store is open tomorrow 2-6 p.m. & Satuday from 8-5.  Erin & Crystal will be running the store while Dan gives tours. SWMBO & I will be off picking up our kiddos and hosing them down after a full week of sleep away camp.

Ninja Cow Farm has a  wonderful new product in stock. DUCK!!! Seriously, we now have Duck thanks to Blue Whistler Farm over in Bahama, NC.  Blue Whistler is a wife and husband owned 5 acre farm. It may not seem like much land, they work it and are producing some great products.

Last year I was introduced to Amy at Blue Whistler Farm. I followed her for a while,  light facebook stalking in truth. What drew me to her was the amount she loved and cared for her animals while they were on the farm. How she is able to provide with love and care yet realize this is a business and you must follow the rules of it to be successful.

Look at those happy faces!
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She has tried several animals on her 5 acre farm.  Amy shares her triumphs and successes along the way. Now we can share her ducks with you. Blue Whistler Ducks are pastured raised, while receiving conventional feed rations.

As you can see though they stay in the pasture not in a closed in cage on a factory farm.  Amy is hoping this winter to bring us Duck by the cut as well. Blue Whistler ducks are currently sold whole in our store for $8.45lb. Drop by and see us for a new flavor on your table.

Hickory Mustard Glazed Pork Tenderloin

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.

 

 

Hot Dogs Back in Stock Open Today 2-6 pm

Great news just in time for the weekend. Weeping Radish dropped by this morning and delivered Uncured Hot Dogs, Beer Bratwurst, & Linguiça. Hopefully next week they will have our  Pastrami & Roast Beef ready for delivery.

Hot dogs $7 lb 4 per pack in pork casing

Linguica $10.50 lb

Beer Bratwurst $10.50lb

We’ll be sampling the new products this weekend, stock up for Memorial Day cookouts.

Recycling for 2016

We recycle more than we actually farm around here. If you’ve been on a tour, you’ve heard me drone on about what we do, 7 million pounds of produce diverted from the landfill, two truck loads of pallets per month, 16,000 pounds of cardboard per month. Blah, blah, blah.

These numbers are estimates and averages. We know a box of food for the pigs weighs about 1000 pounds when full. We “know” because I know when the tractor starts tipping from being overloaded. Is it really 1000 pounds? I don’t know. Maybe it’s 900, maybe it’s 1100. Heck maybe it’s 1400 pounds. It’s not like I’ve actually weighed the thing. There is only one item that we weigh regularly and that is the cardboard.

Once per month, I take our big trailer and load 10 bales of cardboard, which should weigh about 16,000 based on the first few times we took cardboard to the recycler. That’s where the 16k per month number comes from. I take the truck and trailer over to the recycler off Poole Road and drive the entire rig across the scales where I’m weighed before and after unloading. After I get done, I receive a weigh ticket, that looks like this.

Cardboard recycling receipt
The latest receipt from recycling

First you see our gross weight as we go across the scales inbound. That’s 40,460 pounds! Yikes that is heavy. This is why I insist on excellent brakes on our equipment. Then we see our Tare weight or empty weight of 18,400. The difference in these two weights is what the 10 bales of cardboard weigh. That weight for this load is 22,060 pounds! So much for 16,000 pounds per month. In fact, the last three tickets have averaged 19,773 pounds! That means that we are recycling, at this run rate, almost a quarter million pounds of cardboard annually! All of this cardboard previously went into the landfill along with the produce so this is true change for the environment.

This 250,000 annual pounds of cardboard is in addition to the 7 million pounds of produce we are recycling annually. And the 6 truck loads of plastic totes annually. And the 1000 yards of chips that we receive from tree companies annually for using in the pig paddocks. The chips were going to the landfill as well. And the various wood totes, boxes, etc. We don’t even count them.

I guess this might explain why I’m speaking at the FoodCon 2016 Food Waste panel at NC State in November. Looking at everyone else on the schedule, I don’t think I’m qualified. But looking at what we are doing, it looks like I might fit in. We’ll see. Hanging around academics and government types isn’t my usual day. I will have to remember to behave. And wear non-farmer clothes.

First load of hay for the winter

Tractor loading hay onto our trailer
First load of hay for 2016/2017

This past week, I picked up our first load of hay for the winter. This is the first of about 140 bales of hay we’ll bring to the farm this fall in preparation for winter munchies. Our cows are grass fed and grass finished so besides the green growing grass we have currently, this is what they get all winter. I get the vast majority of my hay from one farmer in Clayton but Dan the Hay Man, pictured above, had some cow hay he was willing to let me purchase again this year so I grabbed a load while he still had some available. This is a good deal because Dan only grows horse hay (a higher quality hay) but occasionally he’ll have a bit of hay that wasn’t just perfect, making it great for cows (they are less finicky).

The trick with getting hay to the farm is:

  1. You need a day where both you and the farmer can meet. That means no tours or customers for me, and no day job or other commitments for the farmer.
  2. You need a day where it hasn’t rained in at least a 3-4 days because, fully loaded, a hay trailer is very heavy and will get stuck in the field trying to get out.
  3. You need a day where all vehicles are running with no break downs.
  4. All employees have shown up work
  5. And nothing has gone wrong on either end (sick cow, escaped pig, down tree, etc).

By the rules above, that means we can get one, maybe two loads of hay every third alternate Tuesday. Since it takes 9 loads of hay to get us through the winter, by my math it takes about two months to get our hay to the farm. That means I’m already behind! Only 120 bales to go.

Lamb Sliders with Chevre Cream

Ninja Cow Farm is now carrying a wide arrange of lamb products from High Rock Farm and Thistledown Farm. Dan goes to great lengths to search out small farms that meet his standards. He wants clients to get the best flavor of ethically raised, local meat possible.

Imagine tasty lamb as a burger, now as a fancy cheeseburger. This is  a meal to impress friends. The grand total for it should ring in under $25 for 4.  I served this decadent slider with  a small simple salad and vinaigrette.  A great way to introduce your kids to a more complex flavor palate without spending $75 at a nice restaurant that serves lamb.

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In this recipe, I’m going to teach you how to make Chevre into a condiment called crema.  It is a simple way to use a semi-soft cheese, turning it into a spread.

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Chevre Cream

  • 1 small log of Celebrity Dairy Chevre
  • 1/4 cup Simply Natural Dairy Heavy Cream
  1. Slice all rind off of the chevre log.                                                                     * While some prefer the flavor of rind I’m not a fan. It is not so friendly when melting down into a sauce.
  2. Crumble or cut Chevre into small pieces we want this to melt into the cream quickly.
  3. Using a heavy bottomed pan heat cream over a lo-med heat. Stir often as the fat & sugar content will cause cream to scorch quickly.
  4. When cream is beginning to steam whisk chevre into cream. Whisk until smooth. Remove from heat, serve warm.

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Lamb Slider

  • 1 lb of Ground lamb from the NCF store
  • Salt & Pepper
  1. Bring lamb up to room temperature by setting on counter for 1 hour before cooking.
  2. Separate into 2 ounce patties. Yes they are small but with the bun and added ingredients it will be filling. Theses are sliders.
  3. Season meat 5 minutes before frying.
  4. Warm cast iron pan on med-hi heat, let this heat thoroughly, you want to get a nice crust on the lamb patty.
  5. Add seasoned lamb patties to hot pan, after 2 minutes check to see if the release easily and flip. If they don’t  wait 45 seconds and try again.
  6. Remove from heat let rest for 3 minutes. Place on bun & dress to your liking.

These are rich flavors, the best way to not be overwhelmed by them is to add a bit of acid. To do that I added pickled red onion and a garden fresh tomato slice.  Ru & my brother added ketchup to theirs. My husband (the short bearded man spotted periodically on the farm) added mustard to his. Lots of ways to dress a slider and none of them are wrong.

For dessert I highly recommend Celebrity Dairy’s Ginger Goat’s  Milk Gelato.

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