Alarita Parmesan Squash

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.

Enjoy

Baked Ashe Co Mac N Cheese

During the store expansion we decided to check out Ashe Co Cheese. Mostly as Dan wanted to offer a cheaper butter that was still a great quality and well cheese curds. He’s a sucker for the curds.

This recipe comes from the Clark Family here at NCF. Their friend’s southern mother handed it down to them so it it must be good right? Wrong! It is PHENOMENAL!! I can’t remember what was going on at the time but  one night the adults were getting ready to go somewhere and  the Clark’s were making this for their kids dinner. I snuck a bite. Then when we got back from our adult dinner I snuck the leftovers, yes I know Bad Lucy. Someone should really hit me on the nose more often.

With all of the summer family get together skip the box and the mayo based salad. Head straight for the pasta and cheese that kids and adults will eat up with glee.

Before we get to the recipe of it all lets talk add in’s:

  • Sub ghost pepper jack cheese for the spicy lovers
  • Add in some cooked bacon on top the last 5 minutes
  • Add in some sauteed onions, mushrooms and garlic for some fancy times.
  • 5 Year Sharp Cheddar for the Cheddar Hounds
  • The Hoop Cheddar for the traditionalists out there
  • Add beef for a cheesy beef mac
  • Add seared chicken & broccoli for a whole meal in one the family will devour.

For your piglet cuteness quotient.

When I was done assembling dinner I found these 2 fast asleep.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

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?

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.

Alarita Citrus Pork Roast

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.

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

Lemon Basil Broccoli Chicken

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.

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.

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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

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Ingredients

  • 4 NCF bone in pork chops
  • 2 cups bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs whisked
  • 3 tbsp Italian Herbs Seasoning
  • 1 cup Olive Oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • 8oz jar of Marinara (I prefer Nello’s)
  • 8 Slices Provolone or Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1/2 lb cooked pasta prepared to packages instructions

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Directions

  1. Preheat Oven to 350 degrees
  2. Dip Pork Chop in Egg
  3. Season Pork Chops with Salt Pepper and Italian Seasoning
  4. Cover Pork chop in breading (let rest 5 min before frying)
  5. In a heavy bottom pan heat Olive Oil to shimmering state
  6. Cooking 3-4 minutes on each side
  7. In a oven safe casserole add pasta cover lightly with marinara
  8. Lay Pork Chops on pasta, cover lightly with sauce then lay cheese across the top.
  9. Bake until cheese is bubbling,  rest meat, & serve

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Arroz Con Pollo

My family has only been in NC for 2 years. We moved here from Orlando, FL in March of 2014. I miss my friends, my family, and not much else except for food. Cuban food to be exact! While in Florida, Cuban food became a mainstay not only in my house but also for my clients. We all loved it.

My favorite Cuban Restaurant was The Columbia. When we left Florida our last meal was from there. My first trip back I grabbed their family cookbook & history. Every time we visit ¾ of the meals we eat come from there. Seriously it is great food.   My recipe today is based off of The Columbia’s  Arroz Con Pollo which if you heard me pronounce it sounds nothing like how it should be pronounced. The difference is in the marinade.

The ingredients from the NCF store in this recipe are Chorizo $8.00lb & Chicken Leg Quarters $5.00 lb. In each pack of Chorizo is typically 4 links. The Chicken Leg Quarters are from Brittany Ridge Farm and are typically packaged 2 per pack.  The total cost for this family meal was a bit high at  around $22 for all for the ingredients.  I still have ingredients left over though for another meal down the road.

Arroz con Pollo

  • 3 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
  • ¼ cup White Wine Vinegar
  • 1 TBSP Oregano
  • 4 Cloves of Garlic minced
  • 1 Red Onion chopped
  • 2 Red Peppers julienned (sliced in thin vertical strips)
  • 4 Chicken Quarters
  • 2 Links of NCF Chorizo casing removed
  • 4 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 2 Cup Rice
  • 1 Seeded Tomato Chopped
  • 1 C frozen peas (optional)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

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  1. Combine EVOO, Vinegar, Oregano, Garlic & Chicken Quarters in a Ziplock bag. Mix well thoroughly coating chicken, then place in the refrigerator for 8-12 hours.
  2. Removed marinated chicken from fridge 1 hour before cooking
  3. Heat 6 quart lidded pan over med heat (I use my dutch oven). Add oil. 
  4. Remove chicken from bag set aside, add marinade to pan
  5. Salt & Pepper marinated Chicken
  6. Once oil in pan is glistening place Chicken & marinade in hot pan
  7. While chicken is cooking add the onions
  8. Flip Chicken after it releases from pan(about 6-7 min) add Chorizo breaking it up
  9. Cook Chorizo till browned, then add the broth, bring to a boil
  10. Stir in rice, cover with lid, lower burner temp to low
  11. Salt and Pepper broth
  12. After 15 minutes add peppers, peas and return lid to the pan
  13. When rice is tender about 5 minutes later remove from heat
  14. Serve Chicken on rice

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Note-I have served this dish with mushrooms. If using mushrooms add them when you add in the onions. While I love mushroom, there is one in my house that does not. (There’s always one!)

Jammin’ Chicken

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.

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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.

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Jammin Sauce

  • 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)
  1.  Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil on med. heat
  2. Boil until syrupy and coats the back of a spoon.
  3. Remove from heat to cool

Jammin Chicken

  • 4 split chicken breast
  • salt & pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 425F
  2. Bring chicken up to room temperature about 1 hour on the counter.
  3. Dry off with a paper towel, salt and pepper chicken
  4. On a sheet pan place a cooling rack
  5. On rack place rosemary sprigs
  6. Place chicken on rosemary & place in oven 45 min to 1 hr until meat thermometer reaches 160F
  7. Once the chicken reaches 160  glaze chicken with Jammin Sauce
  8. Place chicken in oven for 5 minutes
  9. Let rest for 5-7 minutes and serve.

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