Each Sunday, I take most of the day to prepare and revel in the amazing farm products that we are fortunate enough to have at our disposal. Jon and I get an entree veggie share from the farm, as well as a 1/2 dozen eggs each week, and a meat share every second week.
Yesterday I was excited to try the new nitrate free bacon. It looks a lot different than the regular bacon we have been getting from the farm: for one thing, this batch was really fatty. It was actually difficult to separate the bacon pieces, despite having thawed them, and my hands were all covered in greasy bacon fat in the process. I took this as a sign to cook the bacon really slowly and carefully (I tend to overcook bacon at the best of times). I cooked it on med-low for about 20-25 minutes, until it was looking brown and delicious-->
Then, after removing the bacon from the pan, I made sure to rescue all that precious fat. Those who know me well know my love of bacon, and that my secret to most culinary endeavours is-- vegetarians beware-- bacon fat! Now I have almost a full 250 ml jar of bacon fat, which I used already to make maple bacon roasted sweet potatoes, and to help brown last night's quail. So, I paired my new nitrate-free bacon with TapRoot Eggs, a breakfast salad of sprouts, pea shoots, and grape tomatoes, roasted potatoes and sweet potatoes, Just Us coffee and Foxhill milk. Moments like these make me so thankful we do what we do!
We've been eating like kings lately... Partly because I've been trying to use up all the "different" meats in the freezer... So that I don't have three ducks taking up all my freezer space!
Here's a photo journey through my yummy meals:
TapRoot Duck with mashed root veggies and baked potato
I thought this was a bit lazy of me, but Jon LOVED it. Like seriously, said he would eat it every day: the veggies were turnip, carrot, and celeriac, cut up, boiled (Yes, BOILED) in a pot with some herbs and butter, drained and then all mashed together (with more butter). It was a "rustic" chunky consistency, not my most precise kitchen work, but it WAS good, so I guess that's all that matters. AND hella easy!
It was my fourth time in life cooking duck, and I (finally) really enjoyed it! I just roasted it. Dry rubbed with salt to help it get nice and brown, and some spices, propped up with some onions so it wasn't stewing in it's own fat, and just threw it in the oven for a few hours (was thawed first for a couple days in the fridge). Yum! I always start birds upside-down and then flip to get the breast side nice and golden, and then rest meat for at least half an hour in a tinfoil tent, breast-side down. I have become expert and getting perfect poultry skin this way, it is always crispy and mouth-watering!
Roasted Beet Salad with Feta, walnuts, and pea shoots
We are not huge fans of beets, but this was pretty good, and simple: I didn't use a recipe, but this looks close:
I make this ALL the time, and love it. The best part is the fennel seeds, in fennel season I use fresh fennel and it's even better!
Roast quail with maple bacon roasted sweet potatoes and mushrooms and April TapRoot Salad
Jon was downstairs throwing in a load of laundry yesterday, but when I took these little guys out of the package I called-- No, I exclaimed "SQUEEEEEEEEEEE!!" and YELLED for Jon to come see. The 6-pack of quail looked like little baby chickens sitting in a hot tub, or a slightly demented chorus line! They were totally anatomically chickens, all the same bones, just tiny. And SO delicious! It could have had something to do with the bacon fat I rubbed on them, but still. Roasted in the oven with lots of garlic.
The sweet potatoes were peeled, pan rubbed with bacon fat, and then tossed in spice mixture (cumin, garam masala, cinnamon, maple syrup, olive oil) and roasted until soft. Mushrooms added with 20 minutes left to cook.
Salad was Foxhill feta, shredded beet, pea shoots, grape tomatoes, alfalfa sprouts, and PURE maple gastrique as a dressing.
I went digging in the blog archives this morning for a member and friend, Nancy, who asked for some support with rabbit recipes the other day.... Here are some of the rabbit recipes that we've posted in the last year, as well as others from members (posted in the comments on some of the blog posts)
It's the time of year where we are taking stock of the frozen and preserved items in our deep freeze at home, it's all well and good to put all these farm fresh fruits and vegetables in jars and the freezer, but it's another altogether to use them before they are fresh in the garden again.
We had a lot of frozen tomatoes that needed to be used up. Last week they were great in a huge pot of veggie chili that got eaten and then put into the freezer to be used as emergency suppers or lunches when there are no leftovers, and yesterday I made a big pot of spaghetti sauce . We had the sauce last night over pasta, and later in the week I'll make a version of huevos rancheros (rancher eggs) by poaching eggs in the sauce and serving with sour cream and corn bread.
Here is the recipe for the spaghetti sauce I made using Salmontail farm sausages.
In a heavy bottomed pot sauté the sausages, cut into 1/2 inch rounds, until cooked.
Add 3-4 cloves garlic and 1 cup each: chopped onions, chopped mushrooms, fresh or frozen peppers, and any other vegetable you like in your spaghetti sauce.
Cook until your onions are transparent, 15 minutes.
Add thyme, oregano, salt, pepper, (your frozen pesto would be great here!) and a bit of crushed hot peppers, and stir.
Once that's all cooking well add your tomatoes. I added one jar or canned whole tomatoes, and then the rest a mix of field and cherry frozen tomatoes. But you could use all canned or all frozen, but you may want to add a little liquid to the bottom if using all frozen until the tomatoes thaw and let their juices out.
I then let this cook for 30-45 minutes, until the tomatoes were nice and cooked down and the sauce was beginning to thicken. I added a dash of maple syrup at the end to cut some of the acidity of the sauce.
There's nothing like a hot bowl of last years garden bounty on a blustery March night.