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.
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
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.
Jam, is it sitting in your fridge doing nothing? Is it only making an appearance at breakfast or on a noontime pbj? Well ladies and gentlemen let me introduce jam for dinner. Triple Berry Jam is the primary ingredient in this sauce it is from Buck Naked Farm at $8 a jar sold in the NCF Store.
At the NCF store the chicken is provided through Brittany Ridge Farms The Split Chicken Breast run $10 lb. They typically come 2 to a pack. With the kids we usually split a breast between them. the skin however is always fought over.
1 Jar Buck Naked Farm Triple Crown Jam
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 sprig of rosemary
1/2 cup of water
1/8 tsp cayenne (optional)
Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil on med. heat
Boil until syrupy and coats the back of a spoon.
Remove from heat to cool
4 split chicken breast
salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 425F
Bring chicken up to room temperature about 1 hour on the counter.
Dry off with a paper towel, salt and pepper chicken
On a sheet pan place a cooling rack
On rack place rosemary sprigs
Place chicken on rosemary & place in oven 45 min to 1 hr until meat thermometer reaches 160F
Once the chicken reaches 160 glaze chicken with Jammin Sauce
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.
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.
1 small log of Celebrity Dairy Chevre
1/4 cup Simply Natural Dairy Heavy Cream
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.
Crumble or cut Chevre into small pieces we want this to melt into the cream quickly.
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.
When cream is beginning to steam whisk chevre into cream. Whisk until smooth. Remove from heat, serve warm.
1 lb of Ground lamb from the NCF store
Salt & Pepper
Bring lamb up to room temperature by setting on counter for 1 hour before cooking.
Separate into 2 ounce patties. Yes they are small but with the bun and added ingredients it will be filling. Theses are sliders.
Season meat 5 minutes before frying.
Warm cast iron pan on med-hi heat, let this heat thoroughly, you want to get a nice crust on the lamb patty.
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.
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.
I read an article recently that was shared with me by Darlin’ Wifey. She’s ever on the hunt for things farming related that she thinks would be of interest to me and to you.
The article (link here) is based on the book The Big Fat Surprise (picture below). It shares an interesting look at meat consumption in the US and some of the fallacies of history that shape our modern conversation on diet. It’s an interesting read and a good primer for buying the book if you want to go further. Growing, hunting, and killing your own meat certainly seems to be a better way to feed yourself in my opinion. I also know that before I had a John Deere to harvest my crops, having a cow or pig do the foraging for me and then all I had to do was harvest the animal was a simpler way of getting my food. Tasted better too.
I looks like there is a trending article in the Wall Street Journal making its way around the inter-web that does a nice job of telling the history of our war on fat and gives some compelling evidence of why it is a failed war on many fronts. The most major failing is that we as Americans are fatter than ever. Certainly fatter than when this war on fat started.
The article is fairly long and makes a lot of references to studies, both good and bad. It also pokes some pretty big holes in the original studies that supposedly showed that fat is bad for you. The author of this article is pimping her new book, which surprise surprise, is based on the same topic. Now there’s nothing wrong with promoting your book, and based on the one review so far on Amazon (850 reviews as of mid 2017, 4.5 stars average), it needs some attention to get people to buy it. It was only just released (as of May 2014) so I’m not knocking the book, just pointing out the obvious.
I read the critic’s reviews and it looks like a who’s who of the anti-carb movement, all people who have their own books. Again, not really an issue but I like to see a broader cross-section of people before I can believe the hype. However, what I have read sounds pretty good. The author is an investigative journalist and has apparently spent 9 years on this project which puts her earlier in the movement than a recent book publishing would suggest. She has gone beyond hyperbole and has, again apparently, done her research to back her findings. She lists her copious sources which isn’t common. Finally, the findings of her book match my life experiences that I’ve written about before.
As an update to the post I wrote before, I’ve decided to dip my toe back into flying. Not in any big way, but just easing back in. Step one was to go and get an airman’s medical. It’s one thing to go to the doctor and have him tell you something you don’t like hearing. It’s quite another to go to a FAA doctor, who is reporting everything he sees to Big Brother. We’ve just come off a winter where my family consumed over 800 pounds of pork. That’s over 5 months. Folks that’s about 5 pounds a day of pork! Now some of that we served to friends, some was bones and gristle and whatnot that went to the dogs. But bacon/sausage for breakfast, and pork roast/pork chops/etc for dinner, and leftovers in between? We have practiced what we preach this winter.
Now I’m sitting down with the nurse and she’s checking all my vitals. I haven’t had an exam since I turned 40 and this is when things begin to fall off of you. I’m picturing all the fat I’ve scarfed in a short amount of time. Was all this stuff wrong? Will I have blood pressure through the roof? I’m certainly stressed enough at this point. The result? Better blood pressure and pulse rate than I had when I was in my 20s. Oh, and I’m about 5 pounds lighter than I was when I wrote that previous post too.
I came across a good article on kids and teaching them to use knives in the kitchen and then *gasp!* actually letting them go at it. There were some pretty interesting statistics about what teaching a kid to cook and to use knives in the kitchen means when the kids gets older, and no it doesn’t mean they can no longer count to 10 without taking their shoes off.
This is the Princess, at 6 years old, helping me can tomatoes. She peeled the tomatoes, then grabbed a razor-sharp chef’s knife and proceeded to quarter the tomatoes and get them ready to can. How did I know she was ready at six to handle a knife? First, she asked. Not the whiny can I have what you have (mom’s you can hear it in your head, right?) No, she asked if she could help me do what I was doing. I spent about 3 minutes showing her how to hold the knife, how to cut with the knife, and how to be safe with the knife. My famous safety lesson on knives is, “This knife is designed to cut meat and it’s really good at it. Do you understand? Yes. Ok, now what are you made out of?” Blank stare. “The answer is meat.” I’ve had children hand me the knife back after that explanation. They weren’t ready yet.
So after that quick demo, I watch her for five minutes and make sure she’s doing it right. Is she taking this serious? Is she playing or working? Is she keeping her mind on her business or getting distracted by her siblings? Any signs she’s not focused and the knife goes on the cutting board till she talks to her sister or smacks her brother. Mom comes in and tells her to do something? Sorry mom, she’s working and can’t, get someone else to do it (that goes a long ways folks, when you’re working your above kid duties and get treated like an adult).
Did The Princess ever cut herself? Yes, not that day but yes. She didn’t even cry (something she’s very proud of and still remembers). Did Bok Bok try cooking later and cut me in the process? Yes. Did either need stitches, a trip to the ER, a blood transfusion? No. If you work in the kitchen enough, you get cuts. You don’t die, and neither will your children.
And of course what could be more long-lasting than cooking not only with mom but with Grandma!
Of course here at Ninja Cow Farm, we care not only about knives and cooking but also about the kids nutrition and wouldn’t dream of letting them actually plan a meal and then cook it. Who knows what kinds of unhealthy sugary things they’d make if mom wasn’t here to supervise, like say if she went to the beach and left the kids and dad to cook on their own. 🙂
So cook with your kids. It’s good for them and good for you. Just remember, safety third!
The Princess wanted an easy bake over for Christmas. Since this is a girl who butchers hogs and processes bushels of veggies in the summer, we knew an easy bake over wasn’t up to her standards, even if she didn’t. Santa brought her a real toaster oven with broil, a timer, and basically the ability to do anything that a regular oven will do.
Now that she has a real oven, she is part of the breakfast routine making bacon or muffins or whatever else she comes up with. This is part of the education we have when we homeschool. If she was going off to school it would be an egg McMuffin in the rush to get to school. Instead its home ec 101.
In case you are wondering, her cooking is yummy, just like her mother.