Butternut Squash Bisque with Goat Cheese

Are you ready for round 2 of Winter Blast?  Farmer’s Almanac told us this would be a brutal winter and they were not lying. In the depth of the cold, comfort foods and soups call my name.  “Lucy, we’ll keep you warm and cozy.” Ahh warming soups, just a bit of added spice to warm you up after the outdoor cold.

Butternut Squash Bisque is a classic bisque. Thick, velvety  and nutritious for you as well.  The past few weeks I have stared at this squash on my counter, now it is time to cook it. The twist is I’m adding Celebrity Dairy Goat Cheese to the mix, sold in the NCF store for $5 a tub.  The nice thing about Butternut Squash, is that you can mix it up with just about any of the Celebrity Dairy savory goat cheese flavors and it will turn out delicious. I definitely would not do the chocolate or mango though.

For added texture I with the bisque,   I recommend  Accidental Baker Crackers. The NCF Store Carries them in 3 Flavors Garlic & Rosemary, Sea Salt, and Black Pepper and Salt.  These crackers are locally made and taste great.


Rabbit Cassoulet

Rabbit is becoming more of a mainstay among the American diet. I have started seeing several friends posting that they are having rabbit for dinner. When my family dines out we are seeing it on the menu more often. Why? Rabbit is a great hardy animal to raise for meat. The best part is it’s the healthiest meat & most environmentally friendly meat you can buy.  We just have to overcome the idea of what is in your head.

Cassoulet comes to use from France named for its cooking vessel.  You can use any meat to make this versatile dish. Duck, Rabbit, Chicken , Beef, & Pork can all be used. (If using red meat switch to Pinot Noir and add 2 Tablespoons of Tomato Paste).  If you need to make it fast use 2 cans of beans and lower the amount of of liquids to 1 cup wine & 1 cup broth. If using chicken then use chicken broth instead of beef.  If I was only only allowed 1 meal it would be Rabbit Cassoulet. The scent of this dish stayed in my house overnight, making me wish I had more of it to eat for breakfast.

Rabbit runs in the NCF Store for $10.50 per lb. Each rabbit weighs between 2.5 lbs and 3.5 lbs.  If we hadn’t had friends over for dinner this easily would have fed our family for several  meals. In this dish we also use NCF Italian Mild Sausage which sells for $10 per lb.  The rabbit and sausage pair perfectly together giving a great flavor profile.

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.

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