Pan Seared Chicken Hearts

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!

Note: Your house will get smokey. Open 2 widows and place a fan in  each window. One pointing in one pointing out.

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.

Whole Duck Now Available

Lucy here on the actual non- recipe part of the blog. We’re still having some internet issues here on the farm.   The store is open tomorrow 2-6 p.m. & Satuday from 8-5.  Erin & Crystal will be running the store while Dan gives tours. SWMBO & I will be off picking up our kiddos and hosing them down after a full week of sleep away camp.

Ninja Cow Farm has a  wonderful new product in stock. DUCK!!! Seriously, we now have Duck thanks to Blue Whistler Farm over in Bahama, NC.  Blue Whistler is a wife and husband owned 5 acre farm. It may not seem like much land, they work it and are producing some great products.

Last year I was introduced to Amy at Blue Whistler Farm. I followed her for a while,  light facebook stalking in truth. What drew me to her was the amount she loved and cared for her animals while they were on the farm. How she is able to provide with love and care yet realize this is a business and you must follow the rules of it to be successful.

Look at those happy faces!
.

She has tried several animals on her 5 acre farm.  Amy shares her triumphs and successes along the way. Now we can share her ducks with you. Blue Whistler Ducks are pastured raised, while receiving conventional feed rations.

As you can see though they stay in the pasture not in a closed in cage on a factory farm.  Amy is hoping this winter to bring us Duck by the cut as well. Blue Whistler ducks are currently sold whole in our store for $8.45lb. Drop by and see us for a new flavor on your table.

Hickory Mustard Glazed Pork Tenderloin

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.

 

 

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.

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.

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.

Overall results from the CFSA farm tour

It’s now Wednesday and we are finally getting over the farm tour from last weekend. Not because it was any problem, but because I still don’t have everything put away (Sorry Lucy! I’ll get your chairs and tables back as soon as it stops raining!)

At the end of the weekend, we’d hosted over 200 people through our farm. Nearly everyone received a personal tour from SWMBO or Spork.

img_6232

Overall it seems that the reaction to our farm was positive and people seemed to enjoy themselves. We didn’t have any kind of formal feedback mechanism so all I can judge by is the comments from people I talked to personally, which I tried to do as much as possible.

We had a bit of a crisis Sunday afternoon as Jennifer from Buck Naked got hung up at her farm and was running late. And our guys we hired to park cars also showed late. Of course all the customers were right on time quickly filling up the parking spaces. Couple that with the fact we were all moving a bit slow that day due to the previous nights festivities and there were a few minutes of excitement. Luckily everyone was so good at what they did that I was pretty much free to step in and handle it till everyone was in place.

20160917_125227

On Saturday Miguel had brought one of the baby pigs out for everyone to hold and pet.

Gran SWMBO with her baby pig
Gran SWMBO with her baby pig

On Sunday Gran-SWMBO came out to fill in for him and hold the piglet. Grandma is the master at holding baby piglets so she was the perfect person for the job. Unfortunately our baby piglet was not too pleased and peed all over her. I felt bad for her but she shrugged it off and made sure everyone was happy. There is nothing better than having a grandma around. 20160917_125848

Abe Froman was on hand again cooking all day. I don’t know how many packs of sausage he went through, but everyone got all the samples they wanted, the help was able to scarf everything they wanted at the end, and we still had sausage left over so he did an awesome job.

20160917_125155

I think our best seller of the weekend was ice cream, but we did sell a bit of meat. The real question is how many people will come back and shop now that they know we are here. We’ll see over the next few weeks but overall we had a bit time on the tour and we are looking forward to next year.

Results from day one and getting ready for day two

2016-09-17_201234069_bdb10_ios

Our first day, of our first CFSA Eastern Triangle farm tour went off pretty much perfectly. We are prepping for day 2 today, which starts at 1pm. More info on today’s plans at the bottom of this post.

We had a steady flow of people from about 12:30 when staff started showing till 5:30 when random people were driving up asking what was going on. In total, we had 124 people come through the gate, not counting our regular customers who came just to shop. We also had Roland and Marianna, both celebrities from CFSA who came to check us out and see how the newbies were doing. It was good to see the brass out checking on the tour.

I actually sold some passes to the tour Saturday morning, not knowing exactly how to do it. “It’s easier to get forgiveness than permission” being my mantra. My other one is, “Get the money, then figure it out.” We ended up $5 short at the end of the day in the money count so I guess it was close enough for the girls we date. Better than telling two people no and not getting anything!

We had a full force showing of folks on the farm. Lucy (the chef) and Jason (Abe Froman, nobody has guessed where that comes from yet) were here, along with Erin (our milk maid), SWMBO, Gran SWMBO, Spork, The Princess, Wildflower, and Rutabega (Lucy’s daughter).

Jennifer from Buck Naked farm explaining about bees
Jennifer from Buck Naked farm explaining about bees

Jennifer from Buck Naked Farm was here and she was swamped all day with people talking about bees, honey, etc. I don’t think she ever sat down.

Jennifer did a great job with the kids
Jennifer did a great job with the kids

We also had Steven parking cars and even Miguel and Vicente came over and spent some time. Miguel was the surprise hit of the day as he went and grabbed one of the new piglets away from the 650 pound angry momma and brought him over to hang out.2016-09-17_202553426_3dd3c_ios

Little girl holding a piglet
Holding the piglet was a highlight of the day

 

Erin's milking display stand
Erin’s milking display stand

We had good weather and good shade, for everyone except Erin. That poor girl had to go chase down the milk cows multiple times and work in the sun. Whenever she could she hid in the shade.

Abe working on his sausages, while Erin cools it in the shade for a few minutes
Abe working on his sausages, while Erin cools it in the shade for a few minutes

I found out that the tour is $35 dollars for all the farms, but only $10 for the farm you are standing at. Our normal tour cost is $20 so if you haven’t been in a while, or maybe not at all, today is the day for you. You can take a tour for 1/2 price and see the extras we have out for this special event. The weather is gorgeous today, sunny and warm. We still have ice cream left, as well as chocolate milk. And of course plenty of meat. Stop by and see us between 1 and 5 today. You can pay your $10 when you get here so no planning needed.

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.

IMG_2129

 

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.

IMG_2114

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.

IMG_2122