Sunday, July 30, 2017

A Perfect Day for a Picnic

After 2 days of heavy rains, it was so nice to enjoy a Sunday in a perfect setting with perfect weather.  The New Germany State Park in western Maryland has shelters, trails and a beautiful lake maintained by the CCC in the late 1930s and early 1940s.  We enjoy adding a piece of our own family history in this beautiful park.  Our menu today features Apple Cider Pork Tenderloin, Applesauce Horseradish Sauce, Roasted Corn and Green Beans, with Peach Streusel Coffeecake.  

Pork Tenderloins are so easy to cook in the slow cooker, then refrigerate to slice the next day.  I first poured 1 cup apple cider mixed with 1 tablespoon soy sauce over the pork into a small slow cooker.  I brushed the pork with 1 tablespoon of maple syrup, then coated with a spice mix of dry mustard, thyme and garlic.  I place the tenderloin in the slow cooker and cooked it for 3 hours, turning at half way.  The internal temperature reached 155 F. which was a safe temperature to remove and refrigerate.  To my pork, I garnished with a applesauce-horseradish mix.  This recipe is based on one by James Beard.  

For the vegetables, I first cooked the corn and green beans prior to sauteing in olive oil, onion, garlic and sweet pepper mix with fresh ground pepper, salt and snipped oregano seasoning.  It's just fine served cold!

We now have local peaches and I had 2 just ripe for making this coffee cake in a smaller 7 inch spring-form pan. I ran out of the buttery spread and improvised but the cake turned out just fine.  It's based on a recipe in Southern Living.  

Peach Streusel Coffee Cake

(Served 8)

Streusel Topping
Mix in mini food processor. 
2/3 cup roasted and chopped nuts
2 tablespoon brown sugar
2/3 teaspoon cinnamon
Dash fresh ground salt
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2/3 teaspoon cardamon
5 tablespoon Earth Balance Buttery Spread

Mix baking powder, flours, sugar and cardamon in a separate bowl. In a mixing bowl, beat milk, extract, egg and buttery spread until fluffy.  Fold in dry mix.  Pour into spring-form pan greased with olive oil spray.
1 2/3 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup finely ground whole wheat flour
3 tablespoon sugar
1/3 teaspoon cardamon
1/3 cup evaporated skim milk
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
3 tablespoon Earth Balance Buttery Spread, melted

Top batter with peaches.
2 ripe peaches, peeled and chopped 

Sprinkle streusel over peaches.  
Bake at 350F. for 1 hour.  
Cool in pan 20 minutes.
Release from pan and cool on rack.



Sunday, July 23, 2017

Bringing Summer Inside

The rain might have prevented a road side picnic today, but it's helped the gardens and wild berries to thrive.  Our meal today features Jerk Turkey, made with turkey tenderloin from cage free local turkeys, Pasta Salad with local corn (roasted) and Berry Crisp with the wild berries from the bushes surrounding our house.  We also picked our first cucumbers and tomatoes from our own small garden to adorn the turkey.

I love the turkey tenderloins, as they roast quickly and, when sliced with an electric knife, produce thin white delicate slices, just the right amount for one meal.

Jerk Seasoning

Mix dry spices in a bowl.
2 1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/8 teaspoon coarsely ground salt
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Pour orange juice over turkey tender, capturing the juice in the slow cooker.
Brush turkey tender with honey.  Dip tender into the bowl of dry seasonings, turning to coat all sides.  Place turkey in the slow cooker.  Add lime and onion.  Cook on low for 1 1/2 hours, turning at half point, until interior of turkey reaches 165 %. 
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon honey
1/3 cup scallions, chopped
1 lime, quartered
1 (8 ounce) turkey tenderloin

To the cooked orecchiette pasta I added cooked black beans and a mixture of sauteed roasted corn cut off the cob,garlic, onions and orange sweet peppers.  To one bowl, I added ranch dressing, the other bowl was mixed with a honey citrus dressing.

My crisp recipe is here;  the fruit is predominately black raspberries.  We freeze them as we pick them without washing, then wash just before mixing and baking.

Have a great week!


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Dutch Oven Chicken Tagine

This scrumptious Moroccan stew was simply delicious baked in the oven in a ceramic casserole pot with a lid.  The simmering spices infused both the chicken and the
vegetables to create a meal where "seconds" were a must.  
The recipe is based on one in Food and Wine Magazine

Chicken Tagine

(Serves 4-6)

Grease pot with olive oil spray.  Place assorted vegetables in bottom of pot.  Add water.
3/4 cup red peas, cooked
(red peas are a legume similar to black-eyed peas)
1/3 cup onion, cubed
1 lemon, quartered
6 carrots, peeled and quartered
6 new potatoes, halved
1/4 fennel bulb, sliced
1/2 cup sugar snap peas
1/3 cup green pitted olives
2 mini sweet peppers, cut in 2 inch chunks
1/4 cup cilantro, snipped
1 teaspoon fresh mint, snipped
1 cup water

Mix spices in a ziploc bag.  Cut chicken in pieces to fit the remainder of the casserole dish.  Place chicken pieces in bag and shake to coat with spices.  Place chicken breasts skin side down in casserole dish.  Add lid.
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon caraway seed
1/4 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1-4 pound roasting chicken, backbone removed
Bake at 325 F. for until internal temperature of chicken breast reaches 165 F.

I am pleased to say that most of the ingredients in my pot were fresh and local.  Only the spices, lemon and olives were purchased at the grocery store.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Waffle Maker Pizzas

A yeast dough waffle batter, filled with our favorite Italian accompaniments, made for a crunchy hot "pizza".  The cheese was melted perfectly inside the crunchy dough and the pieces were very hot.  We dipped ours in homemade marinara sauce.  Fillings included two cheeses, Italian sausage, diced cherry tomatoes, snipped fresh oregano, sauteed peppers, onions and pepper.  I made the dough this morning and let it rise in a covered refrigerator bowl all day.  This is not necessary. . . I simply was to be gone all day and did not want to mix the dough after a long day.  Recipe adapted from All Recipes.

Yeast Waffle Dough

(Makes 8 squares)

Scald milk;  cool to lukewarm.  Stir in buttery spread.
1 cup skim milk
1/4 cup Earth Balance Buttery Spread

In bowl of electric mixer with dough hook in place, beat flour, yeast and sugar mixture with milk and buttery spread for 2 minutes on medium speed.
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/8 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar

Add egg, soda and salt.  Beat for 2 minutes.
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt

Gradually add remaining dough and mix on low for 5 minutes.
3/4 cup whole wheat flour

Place dough in bowl sprayed with olive oil.  Let rise for 45 minutes at room temperature or all day refrigerated.

Stir dough down.
On preheated waffle maker, place 2 tablespoons of batter in each square.  Top with fillings of choice.  Cover with 2 tablespoons of batter.  Close waffle maker cover and bake until brown and crispy. 



Sunday, July 16, 2017

Tagliata Picnic

We weren't in Tuscany, where "tagliata" means "to slice", but our Krepps Park picnic included slices of green tomatoes, flank steak, cucumbers, peppers and more.  The tagliata recipe is from Maria Elia in her "Full of Flavor" cookbook.

Tagliata, Green Tomatoes & Flank Salad

(Serves 3)

Heat olive oil in a large pan.  Remove from heat and add garlic.
Return the pan to the heat and add tomatoes.  Season with sea salt.  Cook over low heat for 10 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients and simmer for another 15 minutes.  
2 green tomatoes, cores removed and sliced in 1/2 inch thick
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoon garlic cloves, minced
Pinch sea salt
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, snipped
Fresh ground pepper
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon honey mustard
1/4 cup white wine

This salad is meant to serve warm, but was very tasty served cold for our picnic.  I added the cooked flank steak (I'd frozen from a previous meal) to the green tomato mixture and shook the bowl to mix the dressing with the steak. The container was then refrigerated and kept cold for service.
6 ounce cooked and sliced flank steak 

At tableside, arrange lettuce on platters.  Top with steak-green tomato mixture.  Garnish with cucumber, pepper, tomatoes and basil.
1 cup sliced bibb lettuce
1 pickling cucumber, sliced
2 mini sweet peppers, sliced
Fresh basil, snipped
4-6 golden cherry tomatoes
1/3 cup cooked fresh green beans and peas

Serve with grilled cornbread.  Mine is my cast iron cornbread with apples, garlic and thyme.  I grilled it prior to packing.
2 slices grilled cornbread

For the past couple weeks, we have traveled during the week and kept our Sunday picnics close to home.  Today's picnic was at Krepps Park in town, where we listened to a Little League baseball game. 



Sunday, July 2, 2017

A Very Cherry 4th

Local sweet cherries are a treat, as are our Sunday picnics.  So I saved a few cherries from the farmers market to prepare this Bourbon Cherry BBQ Sauce for our chicken.  The recipe is from Cooking Light.  

Bourbon Cherry BBQ Sauce

(Serves 2)

Puree cherries with water and sugar in a mini food processor.  Place in saucepan.  Simmer for 20 minutes.
3/4 cup fresh cherries, pitted
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon sugar
Strain through a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl.  Discard solids.

Add cherry liquid to saucepan with honey, ketchup, vinegar, bourbon and seasonings.  Simmer for 10 minutes.  Prior to baking, dip chicken tenders in sauce and bake.  
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon ketchup, no high fructose corn syrup
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoon bourbon
Dash salt
1/4 teapsoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon dry mustard

Our picnic today was at Albert Gallatin's mansion, Friendship Hill, in Point Marion, Pennsylvania-a National Park.  I loved the beautiful kitchen from his early 1800s mansion.

Happy Independence Day!



Saturday, July 1, 2017

Can't Beat a Fajita Salad

Our Farm Fresh Sampling at the Saturday Farmers Market was popular with the young, the old and the in-between.  We roasted pork loin in honey and orange juice, seasoned with a no added salt taco seasoning, then served it on a salad with fresh garden ingredients. 

There is no better customer base than the health conscious community members and visitors who come to the market to buy pasture raised meats, eggs from cage free hens, and produce from farmers committed to organic practice. 

We served 176 samples in 2 1/2 hours of the fajita pork over salad in 3 ounce cups. That required 12 pounds of raw pork loin for 2 tablespoon servings of meat.

Many thanks to our sponsor, the Working H Farm Family, who work countless hours to meet their customer needs.  Their meat and farm store is extra busy for the holiday weekend and their work at the meat processing plant and the farm is continual.