Winter will just not end, somebody please go capture spring and tell it, its suppose to be Spring. My poor garden is completely perplexed at what it should be doing currently.
I’m taking advantage of this extra cold spell to continue cooking my winter comfort foods. This recipe for Steakhouse Au Gratin Potatoes has passed around my girls friends and I’m not sure where it is originally from. We have all added our own personal take on it. For me, my addition was simple ground mustard. Ground mustard adds a level of depth in the flavor when it comes to cheese dishes. Dress this dish up with some pancetta or add some earthiness with mushrooms. All around it is a solid dish that you can play around with.
This recipe uses two things from the NCF store Simply Natural Dairy Heavy Cream and Ashe Co Redneck Romano Cheese. The heavy cream is is $4.60 and the Romano is 9.45 per lb.
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.
Other than a hurricane, September has been lovely. Warm days, cool nights just as fall should be. Minus that whole hurricane part. The cool weather has me wanting to serve stew on a nightly basis. My family though is not willing to eat stew nightly. Beef Osso Bucco to the rescue.
A few weeks ago I bought a Crock Pot (I still haven’t recovered from the shame). This was the first meal other than bone broth I decided to cook. Homeschool classes are in full swing and somehow I let SWMBO talk me into adding on an extra Math class. 7 Classes ya’ll what was I thinking. If Rutabaga doesn’t revolt, my self preservation might.
This act of over scheduling now has me using the Crock Pot. I must admit coming home after work the other day to a house full of good meals was pretty awesome. Dinner was served with 10 minutes. The texture of the meat was good so I can’t complain and I may start using the beast more often.
Beef Osso Bucco is a savory dish with a silky texture that cooking . Osso Bucco is a fatty cut of the shanks. The tendons and fat break down giving us that beautiful texture. It is perfect to serve over mashed potatoes or rice.
One of the recent additions to the NCF Store is also been featured in dish Balsamic Vinegar. SMBO picked Vom Fass as our source for Balsamic Vinegar. While it is not locally made it is a local franchise in Cary. The flavor is brilliant and consistent brightening many a dish up with its flavor. Once you buy the bottle you can bring your bottle back to us for refills. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Rabbit love it hate it, it is a tremendous renewable food source. When we talk about healthy meats this is the one that gives you bang for the buck. There is little fat in rabbit meat and the cholesterol is quite low.
According to Off Grid News “Rabbit has the lowest cholesterol value of any meat product. Compared to the next two lowest, chicken and pork (both with a value of 230 mg per serving), rabbit has a mere 164 mg of cholesterol. Rabbit is the lowest calorie meat per serving at 795 calories per pound vs 810 for chicken, 840 for veal, 1190 for turkey, and 1440 for beef. Pork weighs in at a whopping 2050 calories per pound. Rabbit meat is the HIGHEST in protein compared to chicken, fish, lamb, pork and even beef! Rabbit meat is highly digestible and recommended by the USDA for children and the elderly.The USDA also proclaims rabbit meat “the most nutritious meat known to man.””
After an unfortunate childhood rabbit incident I refused to eat rabbit. At that point in time I got mad at myself and made my husband take me out for rabbit for my 35th birthday. Since then I have extremely slowly begun to work with it. This past spring I took a rabbit butchering class at Standard Foods here in Raleigh. I brought home my rabbit pieces and made them for lunch the next day. We all loved them so yes I’m finally 30 some odd years later am going to regularly make rabbit for dinner.
Tonight’s recipe is for beginners. Something to lesson the blow to the kids that you have a meat source. It won’t be recognizable, I usually find that the best way to start. and with a long slow cooking aromas they won’t be able to resist either.
Bogs are simple, you boil a rabbit or chicken in salted water for 2 hours. Next up you de-bone it(save the water) add rice and cook down until the rice is soft. The rice will take on a new texture making this dish more of a stew. There will be left overs, freeze them and save for another rainy cold night when you won’t have much time on hand.
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!
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.
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.
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.
I hereby interrupt the replay of recipes from the past few months for something new. The windstorm that took away our February 70 degree days, got me in the kitchen. One of my husband’s favorite dishes is Shepherd’s Pie. What is the difference between Shepherd’s Pie and Cottage Pie? Meat, Shepherd’s is made with Lamb while Cottage is made with Beef.
After you decide which type of pie to dig into then it is time to discuss vegetables. The mixture will be topped with mashed potatoes there is no crust however. For veggies I use onions, mushrooms, celery, carrots & peas. A few folks I know use green beans instead of peas, I prefer the peas.
In the NCF store Ground Lamb ( we also have ground mutton) is $10lb, Ground Beef is $9 lb. If you would like a steakier flavor the choose Ground Chuck for $10.50 lb. With the other ingredients this will still be an under $20 meal yet it will feed 8-10 people. Erin’s husband stopped by and grabbed 2 serving. One for right then, I got a text the next morning he had the other for breakfast instead of waiting for lunch.
Calorie Count, It is February as New Years Resolutions are still on the mind I am not making a bottom crust from Mashed Potatoes. Only the top of this pie with have Potatoes. Traditionally the crust is top and bottom is made from Potatoes.
For today’s recipe I’m going to use Ground Lamb, making it a Shepherd’s Pie. My husband would eat Lamb for every meal if allowed… shh I would too.