Saturday, November 26, 2016

Homemade Turkey Bouillon Cubes

After roasting my first fresh turkey of the season on Thursday, I made turkey bouillon cubes the following days.  The process is simple:

  • Strain the broth from the bottom of the roasting pan into a clean shallow pan.  I used a 9 X 14 inch cake pan with a lid. 
  • Refrigerate the broth overnight.
  • Remove the fat layer from the top of the broth and discard.  The fat rises to the top of the broth after cooling and is very easy to remove. 
  • Scoop the broth into clean ice cube trays and freeze overnight.
Remove bouillon cubes from ice trays.  Place in a storage container with a lid.  Freeze and remove cubes as needed.

To make a delicious homemade stock, use 1 ice (bouillon cube) per cup of water-just like when using purchased bouillon cubes.  


Friday, November 25, 2016

Garrett County Goodness

Only 30-35 miles from home, a trip to Garrett County, Maryland is rewarded in beautiful scenery and premium local foods. With the harvest season ending and Christmas season upon us, it was a good day to make Pablo's Creamy Pumpkin and Goat Cheese Soup.  The recipe features Firefly Farms Allegheny Chevre where a little of this homemade goat cheese "goes a long way to offset the rich sweet notes in pumpkin soup".   While purchasing cheese at Firefly Creamery, I also found this grainy bread that was perfect for a leftover Thanksgiving Turkey sandwich.  The pie pumpkin was purchased at Klotz Farm Friendsville store earlier in the season.  The turkey is a Working H Farms couldn't be fresher bird (it was alive on Monday).

I modified the original recipe to utilize the ingredients I had on hand.

Pumpkin and Goat Cheese Soup

(6 Cups)

Quarter pumpkin, removing pulp and seeds.  Spray with oil.  Roast at 425 F. for 45 minutes.
1 pie pumpkin
Olive oil spray
Remove peel and dice roasted pumpkin.

In a large saucepan, sauté onion, fennel and celery in olive oil 3 minutes.
1 small onion, diced
2 tablespoon fennel, diced
2 tablespoon celery stalks and leaves, diced
2 tablespoon olive oil

Stir in curry powder and sauté 1 minute.
1 tablespoon curry powder

Add ginger, orange juice, zest and stock.
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
Juice and zest from 1 orange
3 cups low sodium chicken stock (GMO free)
Add roasted pumpkin.  Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer 30 minutes.

Stir in milks, goat cheese, salt and seasoning.  Simmer 5 minutes.  Carefully add 3 cups of soup to a blender at a time.  Remove center piece of blender lid.  Cover lid and open center with a cloth and blend until smooth.  Return blended soup to saucepan and simmer until hot but not boiling.
1 cup skim milk
1/2 cup evaporated skim milk
1 cup Allegheny Chevre
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Mrs. Dash

Carefully remove seeds from pulp.  Wash, dry and spread on a baking sheet.  Roast at 500 F. for about 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes to prevent burning.
Pumpkin seeds
Garnish soup with roasted seeds.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Give Small Farms a Big Hand

A small family with big hearts, dreams and the strongest of work ethics reach an even bigger community through the animals they raise and the foods that they sell.  Beef, pigs, chickens, eggs, sheep and turkeys-all raised humanely, free range and chemical free on their West Virginia farm-then processed in their USDA plant and sold in their own farm store. . . it's a 15 hour a day project, 7 days a week.  Then there's outreach through Farmers Markets and restaurant sales.  Other farmers bring their animals to the plant for processing and the devoted customers grow even bigger.  There seems to be no stopping the Hardesty family and their work at the Working H Farms.  But it's never easy.  Sickness and sometimes excessive demands rear yet they make it through, with even more satisfied customers than before.  Small business supports an extended community. . . and we support them.  

I get a message early Monday morning (Thanksgiving Week) asking for help at the store.  Two of the six regular staff will not be in and 200 turkeys plus are ordered.  Four relief staff quickly respond and the work continues.  I get the easy job, working the front of the store, taking calls, waiting on customers and organizing.  The professionals tackle the turkey processing line. 
The work continues, ice baths, trimming, weighing, vacuum packing and tagging.  One of the most tedious parts of the process was matching a specific turkey and weight to the customer who ordered. Think about it, finding a 16.27 pound turkey in a cold cooler with a couple hundred turkeys can't be easy, yet making a game of it made it fun.

Less than 24 hours after the turkeys walked cage free they were delivered to customers to place in their home refrigerators ready for the Thursday meal.

Here's my Thanksgiving platter-full of local foods: 
Turkey from Working H marinated in a brine made with Martinsburg Apples,
Cornbread Stuffing made with Hawthorne Valley Blue Cornmeal, Working H Italian Sausage, Stewart's Farm Celery, Evans Knob Farm Fennel and Mountain Harvest Onions,
Maple Roasted Carrots featuring the crisp roots from Mountain Harvest and Charm Farm Maple Syrup,
Mashed Potato Casserole with Potatoes from Harmony Farms and Firefly Farms Cheese. 
Our appetizer platter contained Broccoli and Purple Cauliflower from DeBerry Farms.

My friend Becky made delicious homemade rolls and Black Cherry Jello.  The black cherry dish was Luke's Grandmothers' recipe that "cleaned the palate" and was a delicious alternative to cranberry sauce.

The potato recipe was inspired by Food and Wine Magazine, a make-ahead recipe assembled, then baked prior to the meal.

Mashed Potato Casserole

(Serves 8)

Combine potatoes and water to cover by 2 inch in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil and cook 12 minutes.  Drain and transfer to a mixing bowl.
2 pound potatoes, peeled and cut in inch pieces

Add buttery spread and mix.  Fold in cheese and spices.
1 tablespoon Earth Balance Buttery Spread
1/2 cup evaporated skim milk, warmed in microwave
1 tablespoon celery leaves
1 1/2 teaspoon sage
4 ounce Gruyere Cheese, shredded
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon Mrs. Dash
Spread into baking dish greased with olive oil spray.

Mix crumbs and cheese.
3 tablespoon breadcrumbs
3 tablespoon Parmigiana Cheese
Sprinkle over potatoes.

Bake at 400 F. until internal temperature reaches 150 F.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Pear Tartlet with my PreThanksgiving Breakfast

My tummy was empty after a busy start to the holiday week.  This Sunday Pear Tart (assembly required) was the start to my day (followed up with vegetable soup).  The recipe was inspired by Cooking Lite.

Lemon Pear Tart.  Ricotta & Wine Glaze 

(6 Servings) 

Whisk flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt and rosemary in food processor.  With motor running, add oil.  Press into bottom of 8 inch springform pan.  Cover with foil.  Bake at 375 F. for 15 minutes.  Cool.
1/3 cup & 1 heaping tablespoon all purpose flour
3 tablespoon & 2/3 teaspoon whole grain cornmeal
2 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon rosemary
2 tablespoon pecan oil

On stove top, bring wine, water, lemon and sugar to a boil.  Add pear halves and simmer 7 or 8 minutes.  Remove pears, cool and slice.  Cool sauce in a small bottle.
2/3 cup wine (pink tone)
1/2 cup water
1 (2 inch) strip lemon rind
3 small pears, peeled, cored and halved
2 teaspoon sugar

In a small saucepan, combine sugar, salt, milk, cornstarch and yolk.  Stir continuously while thickening.  Stir in milk and cook 1 minute.  Remove from heat;  add ricotta, yogurt, lemon rind and vanilla.  Cover and chill 1 hour.
3 tablespoon skim milk
1 1/2 teaspoon non GMO cornstarch
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon & 1 teaspoon sugar
Dash salt
3 tablespoon & 2/3 teaspoon part-skim ricotta cheese
2 tablespoon nonfat plain yogurt
1/2 teaspoon lemon rind
1/4 teaspoon vanilla 

Spread ricotta mixture over crust.  Arrange pear wedges over ricotta.  Drizzle with glaze.




Friday, November 18, 2016

Preparing for Winter in My Kitchen

I'm a local and seasonal food fan, so when asked if I'd like a copy of Beth Dooley's farm to fork book, "In Winter's Kitchen" I replied a quick yes!  In the book, Beth personalizes the path from farm to fork with chapters on 12 foods and the farmers who grow them.  "When we look for local ingredients at the farmers markets, we create friendships that extend well beyond zip codes."  "Farmers need to link with cooks and eaters."   

Our dinner tonight has eggs and pork from a local farm family, where animals are freely
walking outside.  The buckwheat flour in the homemade pasta was freshly ground at a nearby farm. 

Buckwheat Pasta with Pork  & Greens

(4 Servings)

In mixer with dough hook in place, mix flours and salt.  Add eggs and oil.  Knead for 5 minutes.  Wrap dough ball in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour.
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup & 2 tablespoon buckwheat flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon olive oil

Divide dough in half.  Flatten dough and run through pasta maker to a 1/16th thickness.  Cut in 2 inch strip, then cut strip in 2 1/2 inch squares, then triangles.  Lay on parchment paper and repeat with remaining dough.  Cover top layer with paper.

Bring salted water to a rapid boil.  Cook 1/2 of pasta for 3 minutes.  Drain and cook remainder.

Sauté garlic in oil.  Add tenderloin to one side of pan.  Add beaten egg to another side of the pan and scramble.  Add greens to garlic and wilt.  Warm pasta triangles in skillet with topping.
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 ounce roasted pork tenderloin, cut in bite size strips
1 egg
2 cups mixed greens

Garnish with shredded cheese.
1/3 cup shredded cheese

The recipe was inspired by Food and Wine magazine. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Brown Sugar Pork with Apples & Cheddar Polenta

Ginger and brown sugar pork tenderloin with apples over creamy cheddar polenta sounds like the perfect autumn supper. . . and it was!  The recipe was inspired by Fine Cooking Magazine.  I cooked the pork in my counter-top pressure cooker, then added the apples for the last 15 minutes. While the apples cooked, I cooked the polenta on stove top, set the table and ate with only 1 hour of total cooking and preparation time. 

Pork Tenderloin, Apples & Polenta

(4 Servings)

Place juice, vinegar and Mrs. Dash in counter top pressure cooker.  Add trimmed tenderloin.  Press brown sugar into top of tenderloin.
1-1# pork tenderloin
2 cups apple juice
2 tablespoon cider vinegar
3 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon Mrs. Dash
Tighten lid.  Close pressure valve. Set cook time for 30 minutes.

Release pressure.  Add apples.  Tighten lid.  Close pressure valve. Set cook time for 15 minutes.
2 apples, peeled, cored and sliced

Cheddar Polenta
On stove-top, bring milk to a simmer.  Add salt.
1 cup skim milk
1/8 teaspoon salt

Slowly stir grits into water.  Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
1/3 cup corn grits

Add water and cook 10 minutes more, stirring occasionally.
1/3 cup water

Remove from heat.  Stir in cheddar.
1/3 cup aged cheddar, shredded

Garnish with thyme.
1/2 teaspoon thyme


Saturday, November 12, 2016

Cider Meal Rules!

Crisp fall weather and the end to daylight savings time led to this comforting autumn meal with mulled apple flank steak with Yorkshire pudding.  The steak was marinated with apple juice and seasonings, then poured over vegetables in a Dutch oven to roast.  After pulling the Dutch oven, I increased the temperature to 450 F. to make the popovers.

Mulled Cider Flank Steak

(Serves 4)

Whisk together cider, vinegar, spices and brown sugar.  Add lemon rounds, squeezing lightly to release juices.  Pour this marinade over flank steak and marinate in refrigerator 6 hours or overnight. 
1# Beef Flank Steak
3/4 cup Apple Cider
1/4 cup Cider Vinegar
Dash Cloves
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Grated Fresh Ginger
1/4 tsp. Cardamom
Dash Allspice
Dash Nutmeg
2 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
1 Lemon, halved

When ready to cook, heat oven to 350 degrees.  Place vegetables in Dutch oven.  Pour marinade over vegetables and place flank steak on top.  Cover and roast for 60 minutes.  Slice meat across the grain to serve.  
1 onion, cut in 1 inch chunks
6 colorful carrots, peeled and cut in 3 inch pieces
4-6 small Potatoes, scrubbed and quartered

8 baby Bella mushrooms, stems removed
2 stalks celery

Yorkshire Pudding

(6 Popovers)

Combine the eggs and milk in a bowl.  Whisk until totally combined.  Add the flour and salt.  Whisk until smooth.  Portion batter into greased muffin tin.  Bake in hot 450 degree F. oven for 12-1 minutes, until "popped".  

2 eggs
1/3 cup & 1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup & 1 tablespoon skim milk



Saturday, November 5, 2016

Chili November

On this last outdoor farmers market of the season we featured Chili Con Carne with Apples at our culinary demo.  I'd planned to feature a Beef Chili at the November Market, when I was challenged by one of the farmers to "do something with apples".  Not a problem, since apples go well with chili.  This chili has diced apples and apple juice right in the soup!  The aroma of the hot soup circled the market, and even the customers at 8:30 am did not hesitate to give it a try.  The chili was made with:

  • Grass fed, chemical free cows.
  • Pinto beans, dried on the vines in Terra Alta, West Virginia.
  • Produce from farmers committed to organic practices
  • That special ingredient-apples-from a local farm
  • Aged cheddar cheese garnish, a local artisan cheese.
I made 4 batches of this recipe, serving some 170 customers 3 ounce servings:

 To my delight, the children of the market attendees loved the  recipe!

The water infused with apples, cinnamon and nutmeg was also a hit, even on this cool day!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Stuffed Shells with a Crunch

A crunchy blend of "autumn" lentils and local goat cheese built shells full of protein, texture and deliciousness.  The recipe was inspired by Canadian Lentils.  I was so happy to get a hard copy of the magazine at FNCE, as digital versions of books and newsletters sometimes go unopened.

Lentils, Chevre & Bella Vita Stuffed Shells 

(Serves 3)

Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil.  Stir in greens to wilt.  Remove from heat.
2 tablespoon onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup greens, stems removed

Mix lentils, cheeses, egg and seasoning.  Stir in sautéed vegetables.
1/2 cup cooked lentils, drained
2 tablespoon Bella Vita cheese, shredded
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon Mrs. Dash

Fill shells with cheese-lentil mix.  Fill shells with cheese mix, about 2 tablespoon each.
10 jumbo shells, cooked and drained

Pour 1/2 of marinara sauce in bottom of baking dish greased with olive oil spray.

Top with filled shells, then remaining marinara sauce.
Cover with foil and bake at 375 F. for 40 minutes.

Sprinkle with shredded cheese.
2 tablespoon Bella Vita cheese, shredded