I have embraced the crock pot. Many of you have spoken and the crock pot is the best way for dinner to make it to the table every night. Not eating out is the goal, right? It certainly is more me. As of today, in the past 5 nights we have had to eat dinner out 4 nights. My stomach is not pleased. Vowing to not have this happen again I pulled out my old friend Renee’s Crock Pot Italian Chicken.
Shredding the chicken is easy. Place the breast only in you mixer with the paddle attachment once cooked. Turn on low. This will shred your chicken. Once shredded add your liquids back to the meat. Do not walk away as your mixer works. That is a quick way to end up with powdered chicken.
To serve alongside this I typically throw in peas or broccoli at the end of the cooking process. Green Beans or just about any other veggie other than lettuce would work well. Cabbage would probably be a great way to mix it up. I think I’ll need to try that soon. We traditionally serve this over rice or pasta.
Christy over at Brittany Ridge grows the best tasting Chicken on the market in my humble opinion. Her birds get plenty of grass and a great omnivore diet from her free range methods. The one thing I notice when I open a package of her meat is there is no smell. Grocery store chicken has always smelled awful to me. Smells tend to tell the quality in my book. The other clue. The fat color, yellow is the golden key in pastured meats and Christy’s birds have it. When I used to buy organic chicken in bulk I noticed the fat went from yellow to then gray. Fat should not be gray, eww just NO!
In the NCF store Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast runs $12 per lb. A whole Cut Up Chicken is $6.50 per lb and a Whole Chicken is $4.50 per lb. My recommendation is to buy the Whole and just double this recipe. Then you will get several meals for your hard earned $$.
Traditionally Ninja Cow sells English style thick cut short ribs. These are great for the crock pot or dutch oven. For smaller families I recommend them or shanks instead of roasts. They have great flavor & texture while still being quite a bit cheaper. This is what I usually feed my family since we are now a party of 3 these days. The bonus is you can be pretty versatile with these and use any leftovers for sandwiches or fajitas.
This past spring we began getting requests for a thinner Asian style rib. I talked to Chaudhry’s. Unfortunately they couldn’t get us down to the 1/4″ that I had desired. The were able to cut them much thinner and horizontal to give me a more versatile product for grilling and stir frying. Wait did I just say the word fry? Hmm what could be more delicious than an Asian style sticky rib. Ooo I have that 5 spice from the Drunk Duck.
Boys & girls this is where being a Chef becomes 1 part art and another part mad scientist. Last year I had a 5 spice rib on a food truck. I talked watched and learned now it is time to recreate with this awesome rib here at home. This will be a project where irresponsible children should not be in the kitchen. And one where distractions should be kept to a minimum. And where I kinda wish I had one of those new fancy air fryers. After I remove the rib from the frying oil I will immediately be dredging in brown sugar. The heat will caramelize the sugar and spice to the rib. To add a bit of crisp to that we will hit it with the broiler. MMMMM, let’s go.
The cost on ribs in the Ninja Cow Store is $7.99 a lb. That is roughly $1.75-$3 a lb cheaper than our roasts. And since we now carry the 2 different cuts they are quite versatile. Let me also give an honorable mention to the Beef Osso Bucco cut at $8.49 lb. That is the perfect amount for 1-2 people, it is a perfect crock pot cut as well.
My husband and I have joked around for a while now that we are the Green Acres Family. We lived for several years next to Disney in Celebration, FL For a few of those years I had the privilege of living next to one of my closests friends. We often said that we were going to dig a tunnel between our houses for rainy days. I really miss those days especially during Thanksgiving & Christmas. We’d run back & forth all day & night sharing ingredients.
Jess & I have a love of Martha Stewart Recipes and that is where I go for my Turkey Brine & Spice Butter Recipe. She shared this recipe with me years ago & I use it often both on Turkey & Chicken. I’ll add pictures to this once Thanksgiving is past, gotta make sure that you guys have a great recipe to use for the actual holiday.
Way back before we had Rutabaga, hubby and I would indulge every so often in a trip to Melting Pot for a fabulous fondue dinner. Rarely did we eat all the meat as we had stuffed ourselves silly on the cheese fondue appetizer. Since our daughter was born however I can count on 3 fingers how many times we’ve eaten there. And once was only for dessert.
Beer Cheese Fondue has a great cool nights flavor that sticks to the ribs. You can add bread for some extra carbs or just stick with veggies and fruit for the lighter side. It is something that you can play around with for flavor intensity. The secret ingredient to this dish is not the beer. It is 2 different varieties of cheese and a good healthy dose of powdered mustard, garlic, and worcestershire.
This dish is great for a fun dinner or to use at a party served up in a crusty sourdough bread bowl. Not gonna lie I miss the bread bowl fad. And since I want to use the best cheese around I’m grabbing Ashe Co Mild Cheddar and Redneck Romano. Since the Mimi’s Recipe I’ve been in love with Redneck Romano. If you have Lusty Monk Mustard on hand substitute it for the Dry Mustard to give this dish a bit more flavor & spice.
Organ meats are a new item in my house. The lead in charge of this are two unlikely suspects. Two that forever have told me to go eat my hippie foods. My husband and our daughter, Rutabaga. Earlier this spring Rutabaga decided she liked grossing people out by eating weird things. Her new favorite food coming from this is Lengua or Cow’s tongue tacos.
Getting my hands on a Cow Tongue was harder than you think. They are one of the first things to sell when we get a cow back from Chaudry’s. Only because we took a 2nd cow in July did I get one. And I justified it with my birthday, my wish was to make my kiddos dream of Mama making her favorite dish come true.
Now for the cooking it is a 2 part procedure. First you will boil the tongue with the spices. Next pull out the person in your house that likes to do weird science. Step three chop & fry in a pan. After the boiling & weird science portion you could actually slice the tongue thinly as a roast. There are limited photos in this recipe as many of you have a strong ick factor.
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.
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.
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?
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.