Thursday, July 31, 2014

Pasta alla Norcina

Yum

This recipe follows a recent episode I watched on America's Test Kitchen. I knew as soon as I saw them making it I'd want to try my hand at it using some fresh ground pastured pork from Sunny Cedars Farm. 

I did not make it exactly as they did, but added my own twist to it, which I think simplifies the process because you are making a mild sausage out of the fresh ground pork.





Ingredients
1 lb. ground pastured pork
1 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. baking soda
2 tbls. olive oil
5 oz. fresh button mushrooms, 2 oz. petite diced and 3 oz. sliced
2-3 tsp. minced garlic
2 tsp. rubbed sage
1 tsp. course-ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/3 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup white wine
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbls. fresh minced parsley
16 oz. pasta of your choice (I used garlic parsley pasta noodles)


Method
In a small bowl dissolve salt and baking soda in 4 tsp. water. Add ground pork and and fold to combine; let sit 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes add garlic, sage, black pepper, nutmeg, and red pepper flakes to ground pork and completely combine; set aside.

In a large sauce pan, add olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add 2 oz. petite diced mushrooms and saute until browned. Stir in ground pork mixture and cook until pork is no longer pink. Add 3 oz. sliced mushrooms, white wine and heavy cream and heat until simmering. Stir in Parmesan cheese and parsley and continue simmering 15-20 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed (I added a tiny bit more red pepper flakes). 


Cook pasta according to package directions, drain pasta, return to pan and ladle small amounts of sauce over pasta, stirring to combine until the consistency is how you like it (you may not use all the sauce). Top with more grated Parmesan cheese if desired. Serve immediately.


Yield:  4 servings

Enjoy,
Mary


Pineapple in Brown Sugar & Rum Syrup

Yum

Delicious fresh pineapple is so easy to put up and can your own pineapple pieces. It can be canned in a simple sugar syrup, or venture out and try it in this brown sugar and rum syrup. Wonderful served warm over ice-cream or plain pound cake, or as an accompaniment to grilled pork, chicken or baked ham.  Yummmy!


Ingredients
1 fresh pineapple
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup rum

Method
Cut pineapple, removing core and eyes, cubing pieces.

In a small sauce pan combine brown sugar, water and rum and heat to boiling. Add pineapple pieces and simmer 5 minutes.

Spoon pineapple pieces into two (2) eight-ounce canning jars and ladle sauce over all, removing air bubbles and leaving 1/4-inch head-space.

Process in boiling water bath 15 minutes.

Remove jars from boiling water bath and allow jars to cool on a dish towel on top of your kitchen counter undisturbed for 24 hours.

Store in pantry up to one year.

Recipe is easily doubled.

Yield:  2 eight-ounce canning jars


Enjoy,
Mary

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Pork Tenderloin with Pineapple

Yum
My husband likes to experiment, mostly with grilling meats. The other night he went to grill this pork tenderloin only to find us out of propane for the gas grill (that's both tanks, not just one). Sooooooooooo, switch to "roast mode" in the oven.  Don't you love that when it happens?  Ummmm, not so much, but this turned out amazingly delicious using pastured pork from Sunny Cedars Farm. 
If you've never tried pastured pork, you are missing out on a real treat, because "real pastured pork" is NOT the other white meat.
"Pork is now marketed as “the other white meat,” because that’s what you get in the grocery store – a nondescript, flavorless white meat that has to be brined or marinated to give it any flavor. At Sunny Cedars, we know how pork is supposed to be - dark rosy pink, perfectly marbled, rich and juicy, and bursting with flavor!" 



















Ingredients
1 - 1.5 lb. pastured pork tenderloin
1 cup fresh pineapple, pureed (using a food processor)
1 tbls. Teriyaki sauce
2 tbls. Acala Farms Pure Cottonseed Oil
1 tbls. local raw honey (we used Turkey Creek Bee Farm)
1/2 tsp. mixed cracked pepper
1/2 tsp. thyme leaves
1/2 tsp. spicy globe basil
1 tbls. minced garlic
1 small onion, sliced thinly
*Sliced fresh pineapple to serve with roast if desired

Method
Combine pureed pineapple, Teriyaki sauce, honey, cracked pepper, herbs, garlic and onion in a food processor and process until smooth. While food processor is on, drizzle in cottonseed oil. Reserve 1/3 cup of marinade to baste on pork.

Place pork tenderloin in a zip-top bag with remaining marinade and seal bag, removing air. Massage pork and marinade with your hands to evenly distribute.  Place in the refrigerator at least 3 hours (you can do this in the morning and let it sit all day if desired).

Remove tenderloin from marinade and place on a cooling rack over a rimmed baking sheet. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and roast 15-20 minutes; baste with reserved marinade, reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue roasting another 15 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees using a digital meat thermometer.  Remove from oven, cover with foil and let rest 5-10 minutes before carving. While roast is resting, heat fresh pineapple slices to serve with tenderloin (if desired).

Enjoy,
Mary

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Summer Veggie Stir-Fry

Yum

Fresh summer vegetables are always such a treat!  Whether you grow them in your garden, buy them at the farmer's market or local farm, we enjoy all of summer's bounty in a variety of ways; steamed, baked, grilled, shredded or boiled!

I recently fell in love with Pattypan Squash, and I'd never had any before this summer when I purchased some while on a visit to Thames Farm to pick up some pastured chicken and fresh eggs. 

Amy had some Pattypan squash sitting out to buy, so I bought some to try. Never did I imagine I would like it so much. It's mild and delicate in flavor, and is awesome fried or in this stir-fry.

This was so good, I had it for lunch and it filled me right up!


Ingredients
1 tbls. butter
1 Pattypan Squash, skin on, cut into cubes
1 stalk celery, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 large handful or two baby spinach leaves
Salt and pepper (to taste)
Splash or two of Soy Sauce (to taste)
Cooked rice, to serve with veggies


Method
In a sauce pan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add celery and onion and cook several minutes or until butter is slightly browned and vegetables are softening.

Add Pattypan squash, reduce heat to medium-low, stirring squash to coat in butter; cover and simmer 2-3 minutes. Remove lid, add baby spinach, stirring to combine; top with salt, pepper and a splash or two of Soy sauce (to taste).  Cover and let cook another 1-2 minutes or until spinach is wilted.

Remove from heat and serve over hot, cooked rice.This recipe is easily doubled.

Servings:  2

Enjoy,
Mary


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Grilled Swordfish Steaks

Yum

I grew up most of my childhood in New England, in a few small towns located on the coast. My dad would go down to one of the local fish markets several times per week, and depending on the season, or what was "fresh off the boat," bring home swordfish, cod, haddock, clams, quahogs, lobster and more.

We had fish steamed or grilled, clams and quahogs steamed or in chowder, (my dad's clam chowder was amazing), baked-stuffed lobster and so many more fresh delicacies! I loved it all, with the exception of something my mom called "Finnan Haddie," which was dreadful to me. Do you know it? All I know is that was the only seafood I didn't like as a child, because I absolutely adored all the rest of it, and do to this day!

Recently a "new to me" seafood market opened locally, Off The Hook Seafood Market, and I'd been trying several times to check it out. Finally I went on a day they were open and it didn't disappoint at all. Fresh wild caught shrimp, sea scallops, sea bass, salmon and more awaited me, along with this awesome swordfish. I didn't hesitate one minute, but bought it and brought it home.




Recipe

Ingredients
1 - 1-inch thick swordfish steak
1 fresh lemon
Couple sprigs fresh thyme (optional)
Course-ground black pepper (to taste)
1 tbls.butter

Method
Rub hot grill grate with a thick slice of fresh lemon, reserving the remainder to squeeze over swordfish.

Sprinkle swordfish with course-ground black pepper and squeeze fresh lemon juice over top.Grill on direct medium-high heat approx. 7 minutes per side, or until swordfish is cooked through and flaky.

Remove from grill and top swordfish with 1 tbls. butter and let it melt in. Serve immediately.

Yield:  2 servings

Enjoy,
Mary


Monday, July 21, 2014

Roasted Root Vegetables with Smoked Sausage

Yum

I love easy, and this is an easy one-dish casserole to make.  A few root vegetables, sliced smoked sausage, olive oil and spices come together to make this delicious dinner. PS - my grandson loved this and went back for seconds!


Recipe

Ingredients
1 lb. smoked sausage or kielbasa
4  med-large Yukon gold, red or Kennebec potatoes, cut in 1- to 2-inch chunks
3 to 4 large carrots, cut in 1-inch pieces
1 large onion, cut into wedges
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1-2 tsp. Cajun or Creole seasoning (I used Cajun)
1 large clove garlic, crushed and finely minced (or 1-2 tsp. jarred minced garlic)
1/2 tsp thyme leaves
2-3 tbls. olive oil
Optional - add 1/2 head of cabbage, chopped 

Method
Heat oven to 425. Grease a 3-quart baking dish or spray with nonstick cooking spray. Combine the sausage pieces, potatoes, carrots, and onions in a large food storage bag or bowl; toss with the pepper, salt, Creole or Cajun seasoning, garlic, thyme, and olive oil. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.

Roast for 45 to 60 minutes, until vegetables are fork-tender, stirring every 15 to 20 minutes. Serve immediately. 
Yield:  4 servings
Enjoy,
Mary

© Cooking with Mary and Friends. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cooking with Mary and Friends with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Grilled Chicken Breasts with Cherry Balsamic Sauce

Yum
I just love, love, love my small, local family farms and what they provide for me and you.  Pastured chicken is the BEST ever!  Most farmers typically raise pastured chickens in "chicken tractors or trailers" that move from place to place all over the pasture so the chickens can scratch and eat bugs and other goodies from the pasture. These chickens aren't raised in a "factory farm" setting, but rather are allowed to free range and roam within the confines of the chicken trailer as it moves from place to place.  They are then brought into the coop at night for protection against predators. The chickens at Thames Farm are raised this way, and are so delicious. "Pastured poultry is a sustainable agriculture technique that calls for the raising of laying chickens, meat chickens (broilers), and/or turkeys on pasture, as opposed to indoor confinement. Humane treatment, the perceived health benefits of pastured poultry, in addition to superior texture and flavor, are causing an increase in demand for such products." (source: Wikipedia)















Ingredients
1-2 large pastured chicken breasts, split in half
Cherry Balsamic Sauce

Method
Marinade split chicken breasts in 1/2 cup Cherry Balsamic Sauce for 30 minutes to 1 hour prior to grilling. Remove chicken from sauce, discarding sauce and grill over direct high heat for 30 minutes, turning chicken breasts occasionally and basting with more sauce as its cooking. Remove from heat and serve immediately, spooning more sauce over top of chicken breasts.

Yield: 2-4 servings

Enjoy,
Mary


Monday, July 14, 2014

Farm Outing to Carolina Bay Farms

Yum
James and Sharon Helms
So we were off again, a group of friends and I, who love to explore and learn about our small, local family farms in South Carolina.  On a sunny day in mid-July we found ourselves headed out to Carolina Bay Farms. We'd planned this trip for what seemed like months and months, so everyone was excited to visit this 1700's homestead, being lovingly restored to its former splendor. In a word, it is a true gem, well-worth visiting and didn't disappoint.

Hidden just off the road through some live oak and pecan trees, the road in opens up quickly to a large cleared area where we could see chickens, quail and turkeys.  We parked our cars, and were quickly met by our hosts, James and Sharon Helms. After introductions all around, and some "ohhhhhhs" and "awwws" from the group as we glanced around to see some ducks splashing in a small kiddie pool, turkeys, quails and chickens pecking for bugs, and some goats in the background, Sharon welcomed the group and began to explain their farming beliefs and practices to us.

"We started Carolina Bay Farms 3 years ago with the purpose of raising heritage breed
Chickens
animals and heirloom vegetables. 
We established our farm on a 5-acre tract of land that is part of our family property dating back to 1760. James says I have been the main catalyst for the goal of the farm since I have been a nurse for 30 years and have seen first-hand the decline of people's health as our food system has become more influenced by commercialization and chemicals. Our belief is that mother nature is in charge of our farm and we are simply there to assist her, so we do not use any antibiotics, added growth hormones, herbicides or pesticides on our farm."

Carolina Bay Farms raises heritage breed chickens, to include single comb Rhode Island Reds, Buckeyes, Jersey Giants, Russian Orloff, and Orpingtons. 

Other poultry include Standard Bronze Turkeys, Rouen
Standard Bronze Turkeys
Ducks, Pharoah Quail, and Guinea Fowl. 



Goats
Their pigs are American Guinea Hogs and they also have a pair of milking goats. 

The American Guinea Hog is the ideal sustainable heritage farm pig, known for its moderate size, excellent foraging abilities, friendly temperament, excellently flavored meat and indispensable lard.  While the American Guinea Hog is smaller than industrial hog breeds, it is a good-sized farm pig providing a nice, well-marbled carcass.
American Guinea Hogs
The American Guinea Hog is a true American heritage breed of domestic farm pig, perhaps over 200 years old. They developed as a landrace breed (landrace is a local variety of a domesticated animal or plant species which has developed over time, by adaptation to the natural and cultural environment in which it lives) throughout the southeastern states of the USA. Anecdotal evidence suggests a European ancestry with other possible influences. It has been determined though genetic testing that the American Guinea Hog is a distinct breed.
At six months, the American Guinea Hog may provide a nicely marbled carcass of up to 75 pounds hanging weight of gourmet-quality highly-flavored meat. (source: American Guinea Hog Association)
Carolina Bay
Their produce in production, or what they have seed stock for, includes Bradford watermelon, 3 varieties of okra found in the 19th century midlands area, peas from Senegal and Italy, as well as others. All of it is heritage or heirloom and contain no GMO's.
After a wonderful tour of this small farmstead, which included a walk back to a "Carolina Bay,"  and the reason for the name of the farm, (considered to be a freshwater wetland, most often isolated. The bay's depression fills with rainwater, usually in winter and spring, and dries in the summer months. This water level determines the plants and animals that inhabit the bay) past pastures, fields of sunflowers, turkeys and guinea hogs, and over a boardwalk, everyone was looking forward to shopping for some goodies.

Some bought pastured pork, others bought fresh garlic, and still others (including me) bought eggs, which included a choice of Quail, Guinea, Turkey, Duck and Chicken eggs, and everyone received a freshly cut sunflower to take home.

I bought a variety pack Sharon put together which included Guinea, Quail and Turkey Eggs and I traded one turkey egg for a duck egg another friend bought. I was anxious to get home and cook some up for a comparison of each. This was going to be fun since each egg has its own unique qualities as I quickly learned.  
Did you know?
Guinea, Quail and Turkey Eggs
Quail eggs: are packed with vitamins and minerals. Even with their small size, their nutritional value is three to four times greater than chicken eggs. Quail eggs contain 13 percent proteins compared to 11 percent in chicken eggs. Quail eggs also contain 140 percent of vitamin B-1 compared to 50 percent in chicken eggs. In addition, quail eggs provide five times as much iron and potassium. Unlike chicken eggs, quail eggs have not been know to cause allergies. Regular consumption of quail eggs helps fight against many diseases. They are a natural combatant against digestive tract disorders such as stomach ulcers. Quail eggs strengthen the immune system, promote memory health, increase brain activity and stabilize the nervous system. They help with anemia by increasing the level of hemoglobin in the body while removing toxins and heavy metals.
Guinea Eggs
Guinea eggs: are smaller (weighing about 45 g), but richer in content of dry matter, lipid, vitamin “A” and carotenoids. They are pear-shaped, with thick and strong light brown shell, large yolk has pleasant taste. Guinea fowl eggs are usually overlooked, but their eggs are full of protein and full of superior taste, They are ideal for baking, in salads and cooking. Their eggs are rich in protein and have a rich yellow yolk and quality white. 

Turkey eggs: contain 9.4 grams of total fat, which contributes 63 percent toward the eggs' total calorie content. This fat provides energy to fuel a healthy and active lifestyle, serves as a source of fatty acids needed for healthy cell membranes and also helps you absorb nutrients. Turkey eggs each contain 10.8 grams of protein, which accounts for 32 percent of their calorie content. Protein maintains your immune system, promotes new tissue growth and helps your body hold on to muscle mass. Turkey eggs are low in carbohydrates, at less than a gram of carbs per egg. The bad is they are high in cholesterol, so should only be eaten as an occasional treat.Turkey eggs used to be a menu staple in North America. Wild turkeys roamed the continent before the arrival of humans, and archaeologists have found turkey-egg shells at the encampments of pre-Columbian Americans. Hopi Indians consider the eggs a delicacy. (The Navajo ate only the flesh of turkeys, however, European settlers noted). Europeans took domesticated turkeys across the Atlantic in the 16th century, and turkey eggs were soon a part of Old-World cuisine, particularly in England. Americans also served them until fairly recently. Turkey egg omelettes were a regular offering at New York’s legendary Delmonico’s restaurant in the late 19th century.
Duck eggs:  boost your vitamin intake and provide considerable amounts of vitamins A and B-12. The vitamin A from your diet promotes new cell development to keep your tissues healthy and also maintains good eyesight. A duck egg contains 472 international units of vitamin A -- one-fifth of the recommended daily intake for women and 16 percent for men. The vitamin B-12 in duck eggs keeps your nerves healthy and promotes red blood cell function. Each duck egg boasts 3.8 micrograms of vitamin B-12, more than your entire daily recommended B-12 intake. It also contains small amounts of several B-complex vitamins, as well as vitamins D and E.

Guinea, Duck, Turkey and Quail Eggs

So which one did I like?  I liked them all!  

I was most surprised by the Turkey egg.  It had an awesome creamy yolk, very rich-tasting, smooth and delicious, but with the highest cholesterol, it's probably one I would only eat occasionally. 

The Guinea egg was also really good, with a dark, rich tasting yolk and the tiny Quail egg was equally delicious. 

The Duck egg has a slightly larger ratio of yolk to white and it too had a smooth, creamy taste. 

Really, all of them tasted very much like chicken eggs to me, with only some subtle differences and I would definitely buy them again, but I'll admit is was pretty cool cooking a turkey egg, which I had never eaten before.

In parting James and Sharon thanked us all for coming and James told me "when we get discouraged, it's people like you who are concerned about where their food comes from that keeps us motivated and for that we say thank you."  

Believe me when I say "it's small family farms like them doing so much for you and me I appreciate and THANK YOU for doing what you do every day."  

Please support your local farms, and help them continue to provide delicious eggs, fruit, produce, grains and pastured-meats for you and me. One bite of "fresh from the farm" products and you too will be convinced there's nothing better!

Visit Carolina Bay Farms on Facebook
Check them out on Local Harvest
Find them on Local Hens

Until next time...

Enjoy,
Mary


Friday, July 11, 2014

Chili Cherry Sauce

Yum

Another great little recipe to make with fresh cherries!  It's sweet and bold with a little kick. Delicious on roasted pork or lamb.

Ingredients
1 pound cherries, pitted
2 tsp freshly grated ginger
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (or more if you want more heat)
2 tbls. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 cup sugar

Method
Place all ingredients in a saucepan and gently simmer for 1/2 hour. Take off the heat and mash with a potato masher. Set back on heat and simmer for another 15 minutes, stirring constantly.

Note: This sauce can be bottled and kept in the refrigerator for 4 weeks.

To can:  pour boiled sauce into sterilized pint or half-pint jars leaving 1/2" head-space. Adjust lids and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. 

Yield: 2 - 8 oz. jars or 4 - 4 oz. jars

Enjoy,
Mary

© Cooking with Mary and Friends. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cooking with Mary and Friends with appropriate and specific direction to the original 
content.

Cherry Balsamic Sauce

Yum

Lovely fresh cherries, a little balsamic and red wine vinegar, some herbs, sugar and Dijon mustard and you have this great marinating or grilling sauce for pork or chicken.  It's so darn good, and a great way to "put up some cherries," other than pie filling or jam. And I just love the jars I bought from Fillmore Container.  This is the 8 oz. size and is perfect for small batches.



Ingredients
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup pitted and chopped  sweet cherries
1 tbls. Dijon-style mustard
1 tbls. sugar
2 tsp. chopped fresh sage
1 tsp. each chopped fresh tarragon and thyme
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground pepper

Method
Mix vinegar's and olive oil; reduce mixture to 1/2 cup over med-high heat.

Add chopped cherries, mustard, sugar, herbs, salt, and pepper; simmer 10 minutes. 

Add halved cherries to remaining sauce; return mixture to a boil and simmer about 1 minute. 

Pour into sterilized half-pint or pint jars, leaving 1/4" head-space. Apply lids and process in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes.


Enjoy,
Mary

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Shepherd's Pie

Yum
This recipe for Shepherd's Pie began many moons ago when my children were young.  It's a great little casserole, meant to fill tummy's and make people smile.  It's down home, yummy, comfort food at its finest, and takes little to prep and bake. Of course, over the years it's become a bit more "sophisticated" adding Parmesan cheese to the mashed potatoes, but you could also add shredded cheddar or any other favorite cheese.  We always made it with corn, but you could also make it with mixed vegetables for variety.  It's a weeknight favorite in our house to this day.



Ingredients
1.5 lbs. ground beef (preferably grass-fed)
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. dried minced onion
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. course-ground black pepper
Cream of Mushroom Soup (make your own mix)
2 cups corn (fresh or frozen - if using canned corn, drain liquid)
1 1/2 tbls. Worcestershire Sauce
4 cups potatoes, cooked, drained and mashed
2 tbls. butter
1/2 cup milk (or more for desired consistency; mashed potatoes should be somewhat stiff)
1/2 cup sour cream
1-2 tbls. grated Parmesan cheese

Method
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large saucepan, brown ground beef; drain fat.  To ground beef, add garlic powder, dried minced onion, sea salt, black pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and cream of mushroom soup mix.  Stir well to combine and pour into 9 x 9 - inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.  Mash potatoes with butter, milk and sour cream. Sprinkle corn on top of ground beef mixture, evenly distributing, and top with mashed potatoes, spreading to cover all. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese (or mix in shredded cheddar cheese if desired).  Bake uncovered 35-45 minutes or until edges are bubbly and potatoes are slightly browned.  Remove from oven and let sit 10 minutes before serving.

Yield:  4 large or 6 small servings

Enjoy,
Mary


,

Peach & Brandy Sauce

Yum

I just love summertime when sweet, delicious, juicy peaches are in season! To make the most of the season I start with the freshest peaches I can find, which is always at my local farm or farmer's market (these peaches came to me via Turkey Creek Bee Farm, a local urban farmstead). I slice 'em and can them for sliced peaches, make peach jam/preserves, or chop 'em and dice 'em for this lovely Peach & Brandy Sauce!

Serve this sauce over some vanilla bean ice-cream, top on pound cake, or heat and serve basted on a pork tenderloin.  It has lots of peachy taste with just a hint of the brandy ... delicious!




Recipe

Ingredients

6 cups chopped, pitted and peeled peaches - approx. 5 large peaches (sprinkled with lemon juice to prevent browning or use Fruit Fresh)
2 cups lightly packed brown sugar
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup brandy

1 tsp grated lemon or orange zest
 (I use orange)

Method

Combine peaches, brown sugar, granulated sugar, brandy, and lemon zest in a large stainless steel saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 20 minutes.

Ladle hot sauce into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch head-space. Remove air bubbles and re-measure head-space. If needed, add more sauce to meet recommended head-space. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band and adjust until fit is fingertip tight.

Process filled jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. 

Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.

Yield:  5 - 8 oz. jars

Enjoy,
Mary
© Cooking with Mary and Friends. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cooking with Mary and Friends with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Fried Pattypan Squash

Yum

Recently on a trip to Thames Farm to pick up some more pastured chicken, Amy Thames sold me some Kennebec Potatoes and Pattypan Squash from their garden. 

What is Pattypan Squash? Pattypan squash is a species of summer squash notable for its small size, round and shallow shape, and scalloped edges, somewhat resembling a small toy top, or flying saucer. The name "pattypan" derives from "a pan for baking a patty" (Wikipedia).  

I'd never tried Patty Pan Squash before, but she told me it's similar to yellow squash so I figured I'd give it a try. Oh my goodness, I'm so glad I did ... it's delicious!!! Because I really don't like it much when summer squash gets too soft, I decided to fry it once I coated it with cornmeal.  Yummmmy!!!


























Recipe

Ingredients
Pattypan Squash
1 farm fresh egg
Oil for frying (your choice)
1/2 cup Cornmeal
1/2 tsp. Garlic powder
1/2 tsp. Course-ground black pepper

Method
Whisk egg in a small bowl. Mix cornmeal with garlic powder and course-ground black pepper and place mixture into zip-top bag.

Slice Pattypan Squash into 1/4-inch slices. Dip slices into egg and then toss to coat in zip-top bag. Place slices on a cooling rack over some paper towels and let sit about 30 minutes before frying.

Add about 1/2-inch oil to fry pan, heat to 350 degreesand fry Pattypan Squash pieces about 2-3 minutes per side or until golden brown. Let drain on paper towels and serve while hot.



Enjoy,
Mary

Whole Roasted Chicken

Yum

A Whole Roasted Chicken is a wonderful, simple and satisfying meal.  I buy pasture-raised poultry from several local area farms and the taste is always superior to chicken bought in the grocery store.

The health benefits of pastured poultry versus commercial-raised poultry are:
• More omega-3s
• More vitamins A, C, and E
• Higher levels of beta-carotene.
• Arsenic-free
• Less fat
• Superior texture and flavor
• Lower cholesterol

"Because of the loose definition of "free range," we prefer to use the term "pastured poultry." This would include those growers using the "Joel Salatin type" of moveable pens, or other types such as "day range." So our definition would be: "Birds are kept outside (as the season and daylight hours permit), utilizing a movable or stationary house for shelter, and they have constant access to fresh-growing palatable vegetation." 

Pastured Poultry farmers generally have "seasons" when they raise their poultry, depending on where they live in the US. Growers in the north do not raise birds in the winter months when the ground is covered with snow, and growers in the Deep South typically do not raise birds in the heat of the summer when mortality rates are high." Read more here: Pastured Poultry

In addition to being good for you, buying a whole chicken is practical. Enjoy the whole roasted chicken with side dishes for a traditional Sunday dinner, slice the remaining breast meat for sandwiches, and use the leg and thigh meat in soups or casseroles. When all the meat is gone, save the carcass and make a great Chicken Stock with it = the cheapest way to enjoy chicken. Of course, you can also cut it up yourself which saves money and grill it making Italian Seasoned Grilled Chicken.


Recipe

Ingredients
1 - 4 lb. whole chicken
1 tbls. olive oil
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. thyme leaves
1/2 tsp. rubbed sage
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. sea salt


Thames Farm Whole Chicken




















Method
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rinse chicken with cold water, removing any giblets.

Pat dry with paper towels and place chicken breast side up in a roasting pan sprayed with cooking spray.

Pour olive oil into the palm of your hand and rub all over chicken (this will help the skin brown and the spices stick to the chicken).

Mix all spices together and liberally sprinkle over entire chicken, using hands to rub it in.

Roast chicken 20 minutes per pound or until the internal temperature at the thickest part is 165.

Remove chicken from oven and let rest 10 minutes before carving.


Serve with your choice side dishes.


Enjoy,
Mary

© Cooking with Mary and Friends. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cooking with Mary and Friends with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Grilled Barbecue Chicken

Yum

Naturally, the BEST chicken you can buy, in my opinion, is raised on pasture.  Nothing is better than the taste of a true pasture-raised chicken ... nothing!  It's not as fatty, or as large as factory-raised chicken, but the taste is far superior.  Every single time ... the taste is better than anything you've ever tried before. It's nice to go visit a local farm and see it for yourself.  On a recent trip to Thames Farm I was able to do just that ... see for myself. As Thames Farm says "Our chickens are raised in mobile units on the pasture where they are protected from predators but have access to green grass, bugs, fresh air and sunshine." This recipe features delicious pastured chicken from Thames Farm ... and yes, it is that good!




RECIPE

Ingredients
1-2 Whole Chickens, split into 10 pieces each (breast cut in 1/2) (or buy chicken parts already cut-up)
Homemade Barbecue Sauce
(or your favorite barbecue sauce)



Method
Turn on grill to indirect-medium heat. Salt and Pepper chicken pieces as desired, leaving skin on. Grill over indirect-medium heat about 45-50 minutes, turning chicken often to prevent burning. Remove skin if desired, and brush on barbecue sauce during the last 5 minutes or so of grilling. Chicken should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165. Remove chicken from grill, cover with foil and let rest 5 minutes before serving. Serve with additional barbecue sauce if desired.

Safe Cooking Temperature Chart here


Enjoy,
Mary