Category Archive: Food

Freezing Cherry Tomatoes for Long Term Storage

Freezing Cherry Tomatoes at 1840 FarmI love heirloom tomato season.  When our garden is producing ripe tomatoes, we enjoy them at almost every meal.  We also put them up for the long New England winter that lies ahead.  We have found that cherry tomatoes are ideally suited for long-term storage in the freezer.

I know that most people preserve tomato season by canning diced tomatoes.  I much prefer freezing cherry and small sized tomatoes.  There’s no need to blanch, peel, or stand over a boiling pot of water on an already hot summer day.  Instead, I can preserve the fresh summer flavor of our homegrown tomatoes in minutes and skip the steamy process of prepping and canning them.

Once I discovered how simple the process was and how delicious the resulting tomatoes were, I started planting more cherry tomatoes.  Year after year, I find myself planting just a few more in my quest to ensure that we can make it to the end of winter before we find that we have exhausted our supply of homegrown tomatoes.

The process is amazingly simple.  Washed cherry, grape, and salad sized tomatoes are allowed to air dry before freezing them in a single layer on a baking tray overnight.  I like to line the tray with a piece of freezer paper to ensure that they don’t stick to the tray. Once they are frozen solid, we transfer them to freezer bags and store them for use during the long winter season.

This method of preservation is simple and effective.  We enjoy fresh tomato sauces with the intense flavor of these cherry tomatoes all winter long.  I also use them in recipes that call for diced tomatoes like our favorite chili.  With each delicious bite, we are reminded that the next tomato season is one day closer.  During our long New England winter, that reminder is a very welcome sight!

 


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Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2015/08/freezing-cherry-tomatoes-for-long-term-storage/

Plenti Greek Yogurt

Yopliat Plenti YogurtYogurt is one of my favorite snacks. I love topping a great cup of tangy Greek yogurt with a bit of seeds, grains, and fruit. When I am at home, it is simple to sprinkle something delicious and healthy from the pantry on top of a bowl of yogurt. In fact, I do that almost daily, enjoying the snack for its flavor as much as for the knowledge that I am eating something healthy that will help power me through my day.

When I am on the go, combining yogurt with these healthy toppings becomes more of a challenge. Sure, I can pack up a small mason jar of toppings and add it in the cooler with my yogurt, spoon, and water bottle. I often do and the results are delicious.

Now, thanks to new Yoplait Plenti Greek Yogurt, I can reach for a yogurt that already contains those delicious flavors and textures and so can you. When I was asked to try a new line of Greek yogurt with added whole grain oats, flax, pumpkin seeds, and fruit mixed right in, I didn’t hesitate. I couldn’t wait to find them at my local store and dig in to their delicious flavor combinations.

Plenti Yogurt is available in eight delicious flavors:Yoplait Plenti Greek Yogurt

  • Black Cherry
  • Blueberry
  • Coconut
  • Peach
  • Raspberry
  • Spiced Apple
  • Strawberry
  • Vanilla

 

Yoplait Plenti Greek YogurtI have been making my way through all of the flavors and loving each and every one. They all provide a portable, delicious snack that has an amazing 1:1 protein to sugar ratio. Each serving provides 12 grams of protein while only containing 12 grams of sugar. I am often surprised at just how much sugar can be lurking in a cup of yogurt, so I love the balance of protein and sugar in these delicious Plenti varieties.

I also love that the integrity of the ingredients in Plenti Yogurt. The colors, flavors, and sweeteners in each variety are from natural sources. The ingredient list is composed mostly of items that I have in my kitchen and pantry.

Plenti Yogurt is also gluten free and contains no gelatin. The quality and simplicity of the ingredients in this yogurt are a point of difference that matter greatly to me. Add in that the flavors are delicious and unique and I’ll be reaching for Plenti as my new go to snack whether I am on the go or not.

I’m so grateful that I had the chance to try Plenti Yogurt and share my experience with you. The Spiced Apple is going to be at the ready in our farmhouse kitchen as summer yields to fall. I hope that you’ll try Plenti for yourself and join me in adding this delicious snack to your day!

You can learn more about Yoplait Plenti Yogurt by visiting their website and Instagram account.


This post was sponsored by Plenti.  We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to share new brands and products with our readers.  1840 Farm abides by word of mouth marketing standards. We believe in honesty of relationship, opinion and identity.  Compensation received from sponsors will not influence the topics or posts made on this blog.  Sponsored posts will be clearly labeled as such. Product reviews will include our honest opinions about the product(s) reviewed.  Products that do not meet our standards of daily use on our farm will not be reviewed. Samples of the products that I review (or reimbursements) are sent to me at no expense in order to allow me to use the product and evaluate its performance.  The framework of our review process does not guarantee a positive review in exchange for the product provided.  Our product reviews contain both facts about the product and my personal opinion of its performance while it was used at 1840 Farm.


Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2015/08/plenti-greek-yogurt/

Re-pickling to Perfection

Repickling at 1840 FarmHave you ever re-pickled?  I’m happy to say that I have.  A few weeks ago, I found myself at the bottom of as amazing jar of McClure’s Sweet & Spicy Pickles.  As I stared at the remaining brine, I wondered:  could I add fresh vegetables to the brine and create a refrigerator pickle?

Each summer, I make several batches of refrigerator dill pickles using heirloom cucumbers from our garden.  I use the brine a few times, making delicious batches of fresh, crispy pickles.  By the time the brine has been used a few times, I need to start a new batch of brine.  The cucumbers release enough liquid as they sit in the brine to eventually dilute the brine to a point that it is not strong enough to be used.

Knowing that a cucumber dilutes the brine as it pickles, I decided to create a different type of pickle for my first re-pickling experiment.  I used fresh green and yellow beans and beautiful carrots from our local farmer’s market. I quick blanched the vegetables to preserve their color, adding them warm to the cold jar of brine.  I hoped that the warmth of the vegetables would speed up the pickling process and help each piece of vegetable to take on more of the brine’s flavor.

Within hours, I tasted the first carrot and was amazed at the flavor.  It tasted as though I had spent hours creating a delicious brine and preparing the vegetables.  Knowing that I had instead spent a few minutes made each bite taste even more delicious.

Here’s how I achieved re-pickling perfection.  First, I selected a brine that has an intense flavor.  I also chose vegetables with a lower moisture content than cucumbers, knowing that they would release less water into the brine and allow me to continue re-pickling through several batches. Since then, I have attempted to re-pickle using a more moderately flavored brine with cucumbers and found the results to be disappointing.  Select a strong brine and the low moisture vegetables for the most flavorful pickles.Pickled Beans and Carrots at 1840 Farm

To prepare the beans and carrots, bring a large pot of water to a roiling boil over high heat.  Once the water is boiling, add a generous Tablespoon or two of salt.  Wash the beans and snap to remove the ends.  Trim any beans that are too long to fit into the pickle jar.  Peel the carrots before cutting them into long spears.

Add the carrots to the boiling pot of salted water.  Once the water has come back to a boil, blanch the carrots very briefly, 1-2 minutes.  Remove the carrots from the boiling water while they are still crisp and shock them by placing them in the cold jar of pickle brine.  Repeat this process with the beans.

Shocking the blanched vegetables in the cold brine will stop the cooking process, set their bright color, and help the vegetables to develop a delicious flavor.  At this point, the jar of vegetables and brine can be stored in the refrigerator until ready to use.  These pickles must be refrigerated.  They are not intended for long-term pantry storage.

I can’t wait to try this re-pickling method with other fresh vegetables.  I have my sights set on a batch of dilled cauliflower florets.  I hope that you’ll give re-pickling a try especially if you’ve been hesitant to attempt making your own pickles!


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Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2015/08/re-pickling-to-perfection/

Grilled Romaine Salad

Grilled Romaine Salad at 1840 FarmSo many of you wanted to know more about the grilled Romaine salad I was preparing for dinner last week. I love this dish for its simplicity and amazing flavor. Add in that I can make it from start to finish in less than ten minutes and that it is beautiful on the plate and it’s really no wonder that I make it so often!


Grilled Romaine Salad
Photo Jul 27, 7 50 25 AM

Romaine lettuce heart (one per person)
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

salad dressing

Prepare the grill.  Slice the Romaine lengthwise in half and drizzle a little olive oil over the top before seasoning with salt and pepper. This is a great time to use a premium olive oil.  My favorites are the selections from the Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club.  Place the Romaine cut side down on the grill. A spot around the edge or not directly over the flame is best.

Grill for 4-6 minutes.  The surface of the Romaine will char a bit as the core softens. Remove the grilled Romaine from the grill, drizzle with dressing and serve. It’s really delicious and makes such a beautiful side dish. For me, the unique flavor and texture are a really nice change of pace.

In the winter, I often make this salad under the broiler. I use the same process, just place the lettuce cut side up on a foil lined baking sheet under the broiler for a few minutes.


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Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2015/07/grilled-romaine-salad/

Strawberry Syrup

Ripe Strawberry at 1840 FarmThe flavor of a ripe strawberry. is always welcome at our farmhouse table.  During strawberry season, we enjoy our strawberries eaten freshly picked from the berry patch, added to a few of our favorite baking recipes, and preserve many more as jam to last us through the long New England winter.  On a blustery snowy day, that burst of strawberry flavor is a delicious reminder that we’re one day closer to the next strawberry season.

Several years ago, I decided to try making a strawberry syrup that could be used to flavor cocktails, nonalcoholic drinks, and baked goods.  It was so delicious that we’ve been making it ever since. It’s not overly sweet, with just the right hint of tartness and a lovely earthy sweetness courtesy of the homemade vanilla extract.  It adds that wonderful ripe strawberry flavor to any dish it is paired with.  It’s also divine when drizzled over Great Grandma’s Daffodil Cake or vanilla bean ice cream.   I even use it to make my Chocolate Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting.

This is such a simple recipe to prepare and keep at the ready.  It can be stored for several weeks in the refrigerator.  It can also be prepared for long term storage in a water bath canner.  I process this syrup in half pint jars with 1/4 inch headspace for 10 minutes.  While it can be stored for a year when properly canned, our jars never last that long.

Added to lemonade, it can transform an ordinary beverage into something extraordinary.  If you prefer your beverage to be carbonated, I have added soda water to lemonade concentrate and a healthy dose of this syrup to make a delicious bubbly strawberry lemonade that is always a hit with our friends and family.

I can’t wait to hear how you put this delicious syrup to use!

Strawberry Simple Syrup

1 pound strawberries, washed and stems removed
2 cups (384 grams) granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

Slice or roughly chop the strawberries before adding them to a medium pot with the remaining ingredients.  Using a large wooden spoon or potato masher, crush the berries slightly.  Set them aside for 20 to 30 minutes in order to allow the berries to begin releasing their juice.

Place the pot over low heat and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.  Simmer over low heat until the sugar has completely dissolved, approximately 5 minutes.  Remove the pot from the heat and allow the syrup to cool to room temperature.  Add the vanilla extract and stir to combine.  At this point, you can choose to strain the mixture or leave the remaining pieces of strawberry in the syrup.  If you strain the syrup, the berries can be added to a recipe or served as a topping over yogurt, ice cream, or a slice of cake.

The syrup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one month.  I like to store a batch of strained syrup in a clean, repurposed bottle with a pourer spout in the refrigerator for adding to lemonade or using as a base for cocktails.  Syrup with berries can be stored in the refrigerator in a mason jar or other glass container with a lid or canned as mentioned above.


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Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2015/06/strawberry-syrup/

Oat Scones with Fresh Strawberries

SconeIngredieStrawberry Oat Scone at 1840 FarmntsWMWhen fresh strawberries are in season, we take full advantage and work them into a variety of baking recipes and canned goods.  These Oat Scones studded with chunks of juicy, fresh strawberries find their way to our breakfast table every year.  They’re delicious and a reminder of why we love strawberry season so much.  While the scones are always best if eaten the day they are baked, I find that any leftovers are great when used as a base for a strawberry shortcake dessert that evening.  Enjoy!

 

Oat Scones with Fresh Strawberries
makes 8 sconesStrawberry Oat Scone at 1840 Farm

I was inspired to add fresh strawberries to my family’s favorite scone recipe after reading Honey & Oats: Everyday Favorites Baked with Whole Grains and Natural Sweeteners by Jennifer Katzinger. The results were delicious. In fact, these scones were such a hit that they have become our favorite scone recipe.

I like to grate the butter for recipes that require butter to be cut into the flour. Using tiny grated bits of butter makes mixing the dough a breeze. It also yields an incredibly tender scone as much less mixing is needed.

2 cups (160 grams) old fashioned oats
1 cup (80 grams) oat flour
½ cup (60 grams) whole wheat flour
¼ cup (30 grams) All-purpose flour
¼ cup (48 grams) brown sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
8 Tablespoons (4 ounces) butter, grated
¼ cup (2 ounces) heavy cream
1 large egg
1 cup chopped strawberries
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat liner.

Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the grated butter and gently toss with your hands to fully coat the butter and evenly distribute it throughout the dry ingredients.

In a small bowl, combine the cream and egg and whisk to combine. Add the cream and egg to the bowl with the flour and stir gently to moisten the dry ingredients. Reserve the small bowl as the remnants from the cream and egg mixture can be used to brush the scones before they are transferred to the oven. Add the chopped strawberries to the batter and fold gently to combine.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Gently pat the dough into a circle approximately 8 inches in diameter. Cut the dough into eight wedges. Transfer each wedge to the prepared baking sheet. Using a pastry brush, gently brush each scone with the remaining cream and egg mixture. Sprinkle a bit of the granulated sugar on top of each scone.

Transfer the baking sheet to the preheated oven. Bake the scones 18 to 20 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through the baking time. When fully baked, the scones will be lightly browned and firm to the touch.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven to a wire rack to cool. Scones are most delicious served the day they are made, so serve them immediately and enjoy every last bite!


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We even created a new 1840 Farm Community Newsletter Pinterest board to catalog
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Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2015/06/oat-scones-with-fresh-strawberries/

Lemon Drop Cookies with Lemon Buttercream

LemonCookieWMSpring couldn’t arrive soon enough for me this year. It was a brutal winter with snow piled so high that it was difficult to believe that spring would ever arrive to our snowy landscape. While I wait for winter to release us from its firm grasp, I find myself dreaming of the garden and the fresh meals that it will provide for our family table. That first harvest of crisp radishes and greens seems both close at hand and miles away.

The garden won’t produce anything for us to enjoy at our family table for a few more weeks. We’re still waiting for our last frost date to pass on the 29th of June. As I wait for the danger of frost to pass, I find myself craving something fresh and bright.

Enter the lemon, which is synonymous with spring in my book. First, there’s the striking beauty of the lemon’s yellow color. Then there’s the lovely punch of fresh flavor that a lemon brings to a recipe when its tart nature is perfectly matched with just the right balance of sweetness to highlight its distinct flavor. It’s no wonder that I turn to the lemon to help me bridge the gap between the end of winter and beginning of our gardening year.

This recipe is one of my favorites each spring. The bright, tart lemon flavor and earthy vanilla are delicious when combined with just enough sugar. The end result is sweet enough without ever masking the lemon’s lovely acidity. The fluffy lemon buttercream ups the ante and adds even more lemon flavor with a creamy texture that provides a lovely counterpart to the crisp cookie.

To be fair, we don’t consider this as a spring only favorite. We enjoy them year round and they never disappoint. I hope that your family and friends will enjoy them as much as ours do!

 

Lemon Drop Cookies with Lemon ButtercreamLemonButtercream
makes 2 dozen 3” cookies

You don’t need specialty equipment to make these beautiful cookies, but a few simple tools will help to make the job easier. While you can use a simple box grater to zest the lemon, a microplane grater/zester makes quick work of the zest. A set of inexpensive rolling pin rings will ensure that all of the dough is rolled to an even thickness. The resulting cookies will bake more evenly and have a beautiful appearance.

I reach for my WonderMix Kitchen Mixer when making this recipe in our farmhouse kitchen.  With two sets of whisk/whip attachments, I can easily cream the butter and sugar for the cookie and blend the buttercream into a perfectly smooth, satiny texture.  You can learn more about The WonderMix and get my recipe for Multigrain Brioche by reading my review.

Lemon Drop Cookies

1 cup sugar
Zest of one large lemon
8 ounces (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, strained to remove seeds and pulp
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
3 cups All-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt

Lemon Buttercream

4 ounces (1 stick) butter, softened
3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, strained to remove seeds and pulp
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar

ZestRubbedSugarWash and dry a large lemon. Using a fine grater or microplane, remove the zest from the lemon, taking care to remove only the yellow zest. Leave the white pith intact as it can be incredibly bitter. Place the granulated sugar and lemon zest in a small bowl. Mix the sugar and zest together by rubbing the grains between your fingers. Mixing the sugar and zest in this manner will infuse the sugar with the essential oil from the lemon peel.

Using a mixer or food processor, cream the butter and sugar mixture until it combines completely and makes a smooth paste.  Add the lemon juice and vanilla extract.  Mix to combine.  Add the egg and egg yolk and mix until completely smooth.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add these dry ingredients to the batter and mix briefly to fully incorporate.  Take care not to over mix as this will develop the gluten in the flour, resulting in dough that is chewy and tough instead of light and delicate.

Remove the dough to a sheet of parchment paper or freezer paper.  Cover with a second sheet of paper.  Using a rolling pin and rolling pin rings (if you have them); roll the dough in to a rectangle approximately 1/4 inch thick.  Refrigerate the dough at least 2 hours or until firm enough to cut cleanly using a cookie cutter or sharp paring knife.

When the dough has been properly chilled and you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line two baking sheets with nonstick Silpat liners or parchment paper.  Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator and cut into your desired shape.  Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets approximately 2 inches apart.

Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for 14 to 16 minutes, rotating at the midpoint of the baking time, taking care not to overbake. TheWonderMix Kitchen Mixer cookies should be firm to the touch, but not overly brown. Remove the trays from the oven and place them on wire racks to cool completely.

To make the buttercream, combine the softened butter, lemon juice, and vanilla extract using a mixer or food processor.  Slowly add the powdered sugar and blend until the buttercream is completely smooth.

Buttercream can be piped or spread on the cookies as soon as they are completely cool. Two cookies can be held together with a layer of buttercream to make a delicious lemon drop sandwich cookie. Cookies and buttercream can be stored in separate, airtight containers at room temperature for several days.

Note:  This dough works very well when stored in the freezer.  Simply prepare the dough as directed above, chilling the rolled dough in the freezer instead of refrigerator.  Once the dough has frozen solid, it can be moved to a freezer bag for long-term storage.  When you are ready to bake the cookies, remove the frozen dough from the freezer and allow it to warm slightly as the oven preheats.  Cut the dough into your preferred shape before transferring them to the warm oven. Frozen cookies will require an additional 3-5 minutes in the oven, but taste identical to those made from freshly made refrigerated dough.


To make sure that you don’t miss any of our original content or favorite recipes, DIY projects, and homesteading advice from around the web, subscribe to The 1840 Farm Community Newsletter. Visit our subscription form to become the newest member of The 1840 Farm Community.

Our newsletter isn’t the only way to follow what’s happening here at 1840 Farm.
You’re always welcome at 1840 Farm
and at The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy.
You can also find 1840 Farm throughout the social media universe on
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Flickr, and Bloglovin‘.

We even created a new 1840 Farm Community Newsletter Pinterest board to catalog
our newsletter content so that you could easily pin your favorites to your own boards.

Come add your voice to our conversation!
We’ll hope to see you there!


 

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2015/05/lemon-drop-cookies/

How to Make Homemade Kimchi

Kimchi at 1840 FarmI don’t remember when or where I first tasted kimchi.  I do remember how taken I was with the flavor.  As a person who loves sauerkraut and spice, kimchi was the perfect marriage of the flavor and texture that I so enjoy.

The flavors were so interesting and complex that I assumed that making kimchi would be a time-consuming and difficult process.  Then Sasquatch Books sent me a copy of their new cookbook Fresh & Fermented by the founders of Firefly Kitchens.  The book is beautiful and contains a recipe for their famous Firefly Kimchi.  I read the recipe and was surprised to learn that making kimchi was no more complicated than sauerkraut.

In the past few months, we have been making a lot of sauerkraut.  You could easily say that I have a new found obsession with fermentation.  I have been adding our Classic Sauerkraut to everything and making a fresh batch each week to ensure that we always have a steady supply of its bright, crisp flavor in the refrigerator and fermenting away in the pantry.

Fresh and Fermented CookbookAfter making several successful batches of sauerkraut, I felt like I could attempt a batch of kimchi using the recipe in Fresh & Fermented.  The instructions were simple and the method was the same as those required for sauerkraut.  Suddenly, I believed that I might be able to make my own kimchi right here in our farmhouse kitchen.

 I mixed up a batch following the recipe to the letter.  I secured the mixture using my Kraut Source lid system and set it aside to ferment for a few days.  Five days later, I removed the lid to taste our creation.  It was fantastic and every bit as delicious as the kimchi I had first tasted and fallen in love with.

I have made a few minor changes to the recipe since then.  Through a little experimentation, I have discovered that I prefer to use a combination of green cabbage and Napa cabbage.  Using equal parts of the two different types of cabbage results in a kimchi with a lovely combination of textures that I enjoy.  I also love the zing of the fresh ginger, so I triple the amount of minced ginger called for in the original recipe.

This recipe is very adaptable, allowing you to make changes to the seasonings in order to suit your taste.  As long as the ratio of cabbage to salt is constant and the vegetables are kept under the brine as they ferment, the results will be delicious every time.

This kimchi is so delicious that it has inspired me to create meals around it.  Just last week, we enjoyed burgers topped with kimchi and a fresh quick pickle.  That dinner was preceded by an evening’s dinner of dumpling soup filled with delicious fresh vegetables, brimming with flavor, and topped, of course, with our homemade kimchi.

Dumpling Soup with Kimchi at 1840 Farm    Burger topped with Kimchi and Pickles at 1840 Farm

Sriracha Seasoning BlendMy recipe uses one pound of green cabbage along with one pound of Napa cabbage.  I find that a half of a large head of green cabbage and one head of Napa cabbage usually delivers the amount I need.  I experimented with several different types of red pepper and red pepper blends when fine tuning this recipe.  My favorite was a McCormick Gourmet Sriracha Seasoning Blend that I found at our local grocery store.  You can certainly use all of one type of cabbage or a different red pepper to make your kimchi.

I use the remaining green cabbage along with a small head of cabbage to make another batch of sauerkraut.  Yes, I’ve become the person who routinely adds three heads of cabbage to my cart at the grocery store!

I hope that you’ll join me in making your own homemade kimchi.  In minutes, you will have a batch fermenting in your kitchen.  In mere days, you’ll be ready to taste your homemade kimchi.  I’m willing to bet that you’ll take the first bite and wonder why you hadn’t made your own kimchi sooner!

Kimchi
adapted from Firefly Kimchi from Fresh & FermentedIngredients for Kimchi at 1840 Farm

Lacto-fermentation takes advantage of the beneficial bacteria (including Lactobacillus) that are naturally present on the surface of fruits and vegetables. When held at room temperature and submerged in brine, these healthy bacteria convert the natural sugars in the  fruits and vegetables into lactic acid. The lactic acid will naturally preserve the kimchi and inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria.

Much like canning, fermentation requires clean tools and surfaces to safeguard against potentially unsafe bacteria. Simply washing all the tools and equipment along with your hands with soap and hot water before beginning the recipe is sufficient. This will ensure that you have begun the process with the clean environment necessary for successful and safe fermentation.

2 pounds cabbage (I like to use one pound of green cabbage and one pound of Napa cabbage)
1 Tablespoon (15 ml) sea salt
2 green onions, trimmed and sliced thinly
1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 large clove garlic, peeled and minced
2 teaspoons McCormick Gourmet Sriracha Blend Seasoning (or cayenne red pepper)
brine as needed (1 teaspoon sea salt dissolved in 1 cup cold, filtered water)

Quart-size Mason jar
Kraut Source Unit or Mason Jar Lid

Rinse the cabbage in cold water. Quarter each cabbage and remove the core before finely shredding. Place the two pounds of shredded cabbage in a large bowl. Add the sea salt, tossing to evenly distribute. Allow the cabbage and salt to rest for 20 minutes.  This rest will allow the salt to begin to draw the moisture out of the cabbage.

Massage the sea salt vigorously into the cabbage for about 5 minutes. Working the sea salt with the shredded cabbage will help to draw more liquid out of the cabbage and begin the process of breaking down the fibrous nature of the cabbage.  As you are working the cabbage, it will begin to shrink and release more of its liquid.  At the end of the 5 minutes, mix in the onions, ginger, garlic, and red pepper to the cabbage, stirring to work them into the cabbage mixture.

KrautSourcePack the cabbage into a clean quart-size, wide mouth Mason jar. Use a pounder or wooden spoon to really press down and pack the cabbage in to remove any air pockets . The top of the mixture should be even to the shoulder of the jar. If there isn’t enough liquid to cover the cabbage by one inch, add enough brine to cover.

Secure your Kraut Source unit or lid on the jar. Take care not to tighten the lid too tightly. As the cabbage ferments, carbon dioxide will be released. If the carbon dioxide is not allowed to safely escape the jar, it can cause the jar to break or the lid to be forced off of the jar.

The innovative Kraut Source unit contains a spring and a press to hold the cabbage underneath the surface of the liquid while allowing the carbon dioxide to escape. If you are using a standard lid, a piece of the cabbage’s core or a small weight can be used to keep the sliced cabbage below the liquid .

The lid can be removed every few days and replaced to adequately vent the excess carbon dioxide. During fermentation, the cabbage must be completely submerged in the liquid to prevent spoilage. Additional brine can be added as needed to completely cover the submerged cabbage.

Allow the kimchi to ferment at room temperature out of direct sunlight for 5-7 days or until it develops the desired flavor. After 5 days, begin tasting the kimchi every few days to determine if the flavor is to your liking. When the taste is agreeable, transfer the covered jar to the refrigerator. Any lid, weight, or cabbage core used to keep the kimchi submerged can be removed and discarded at this point.  Kimchi can be stored in the refrigerator for up to six months.

How to Make Homemade Kimchi at 1840 Farm


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Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2015/04/kimchi/

Cast Iron Skillet Pork and Potato Hash

Cast Iron Skillet Pork and Potato HashWhen we sit down at our farmhouse table to enjoy a meal featuring Beer and Brown Sugar Braised Pork, I can count on someone to ask if there will be enough pork to make Cast Iron Skillet Pork and Potato Hash for dinner the following evening. I have come to expect that question, so I always buy a cut of pork that is large enough to ensure that there will be plenty of pork to make this hash.

Leftovers often get a bad rap, but this preparation can change that with the first bite. This hash is a star main dish in its own right. It is delicious, comforting, and full of flavor. Leftovers never had it so good.

This is one of those recipes that welcomes interpretation and substitution. You can add other vegetables to the mix or substitute another cut of meat you have on hand. No matter the ingredients, the results are always delicious.

Hash

 

 

 

 

Cast Iron Skillet Pork and Potato Hash

This recipe makes use of one of my favorite pans: a cast iron skillet. I like to use my Lodge 12 inch cast iron skillet when preparing this hash. If your skillet is smaller, you can reduce the proportions to fit your pan. I love to use the reserved cooking liquid from the Beer and Brown Sugar Braised Pork Roast, but an equal amount of bone broth or a good quality stock can be used.

1 Tablespoon butter
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 ½ pounds potatoes, washed and cut into ½ inch cubes
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
12 ounces reserved cooking liquid from Beer and Brown Sugar Braised Pork or bone broth
8 ounces shredded pork
2 ounces heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
2 ounces smoked cheddar, grated

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven.

Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add the butter to the hot pan and swirl to coat the bottom surface. Add the onion and cook until almost translucent, about five minutes. Add the garlic and cook one minute before adding the potatoes to the pan, stirring to combine.

Add the thyme and reserved cooking liquid or bone broth to the pan. Bring the liquid to a simmer. Cover the pan and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 10 minutes undisturbed.

Remove the cover and stir the mixture. The potatoes should have begun to soften and absorbed some of the liquid. Add the pork and heavy cream to the pan and stir to combine. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste. Press the mixture firmly into the pan and top with the grated cheddar. Transfer the skillet to the warm oven.

Cook the hash for ten minutes. Check the potatoes for doneness before turning on the broiler. Broil for two minutes to brown the top surface of the hash. Remove from the oven and serve hot.  We like to serve this hash with a side of Classic Sauerkraut.

 

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Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2015/04/cast-iron-skillet-pork-and-potato-hash/

Classic Sauerkraut

Classic Sauerkraut at 1840 FarmI enjoy the tangy flavor of sauerkraut paired with many dishes and also served on its own. For years, we have been purchasing a local kraut. Each time we served it at our family table, I wondered if we could make a homemade version.

The process of fermentation seemed a bit daunting. The recipes all made the technique seem so simple that I doubted it would be so easy. A few weeks ago, I finally decided to take the plunge and try it for myself.

As I searched for a foolproof recipe and advice to ensure success, I discovered Kraut Source’s blog and innovative lid system. They were kind enough to lead me through the process of making our first batch of kraut step by step. They shared their recipe for classic sauerkraut which I adapted further to include only three ingredients: green cabbage, sea salt, and filtered water.

After a week’s time on the kitchen counter, the humble shredded cabbage my daughter and I had packed so tightly into the Mason jar had been transformed into a delicious, tangy sauerkraut. I was equally amazed at how simple it had been to make and how amazingly flavorful it was. It was so delicious that weKrautSource made a second batch, doubling the recipe to ensure that we never run out of this delicious, homemade classic sauerkraut.

With gardening season fast approaching, we’ll be planting a few heirloom cabbage varieties so that we can make our own kraut using cabbage fresh from our organic garden. We hope that you’ll join in and try your hand at fermenting a batch of sauerkraut using the classic recipe adapted from Kraut Source below.

Visit Kraut Source’s blog, Facebook page, and Instagram feed to learn more about the art of creating cultured and fermented foods in your kitchen. They fill my newsfeed with a steady stream of delicious recipes and helpful tips. I know that you’ll enjoy following them as much as I do!

Classic Sauerkraut
adapted from Kraut Source’s Classic Sauerkraut Recipe

Shredded Cabbage for Sauerkraut

Lacto-fermentation takes advantage of the beneficial bacteria (including Lactobacillus) that are naturally present on the surface of fruits and vegetables including the cabbage called for in this recipe. When held at room temperature and submerged in brine, these healthy bacteria convert the natural sugars in the cabbage into lactic acid. The lactic acid will naturally preserve the kraut and inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria.

Much like canning, fermentation requires clean tools and surfaces to safeguard against potentially unsafe bacteria. Simply washing all the tools and equipment and your hands with soap and hot water before beginning the recipe is sufficient. This will ensure that you have begun the process with the clean environment necessary for successful and safe fermentation.

1 1/2 pounds (675 g) green cabbage
1 Tablespoon (15 ml) sea salt
brine as needed (1 teaspoon sea salt dissolved in 1 cup cold, filtered water)

Quart-size Mason jar
Kraut Source Unit or Mason Jar Lid

Rinse the head of cabbage in cold water. Quarter the cabbage, removing the core before finely shredding each quarter. Place shredded cabbage in a large bowl. Add the sea salt, tossing to evenly distribute. Allow the cabbage and salt to rest for 10 minutes.

Massage the sea salt vigorously into the cabbage for about 5 to 10 minutes. Working the sea salt with the shredded cabbage will help to draw liquid out of the cabbage and begin the process of breaking down the fibrous nature of the cabbage.

Packing SauerkrautIf you have time, allow the massaged cabbage to rest in the bowl as the salt will draw out liquid. If you do not have time to wait, simply pack the cabbage into a quart-size, wide mouth Mason jar. Use a pounder or wooden spoon to really press down and pack the cabbage in . The top of the cabbage should be even to the shoulder of the jar. If there isn’t enough liquid to cover the cabbage by one inch, add enough brine to cover.

Secure your Kraut Source unit or lid on the jar. Take care not to tighten the lid too tightly. As the cabbage ferments, carbon dioxide will be released. If the carbon dioxide is not allowed to safely escape the jar, it can cause the jar to break or the lid to be forced off of the jar.

The innovative Kraut Source unit contains a spring and a press to hold the cabbage underneath the surface of the liquid while allowing the carbon dioxide to escape. If you are using a standard lid, a piece of the cabbage’s core or a small weight can be used to keep the sliced cabbage below the liquid .

The lid can be removed every few days and replaced to adequately vent the excess carbon dioxide. During fermentation, the cabbage must be completely submerged in the liquid to prevent spoilage. Additional brine can be added as needed to completely cover the submerged cabbage.

Allow the kraut to ferment at room temperature for 5-7 days or several weeks to develop the desired flavor. After 5 days, begin tasting the kraut every few days to determine if the flavor is to your liking. When the taste is agreeable, transfer the kraut to the refrigerator. Any weight or cabbage core used to keep the kraut submerged can be removed at this point.

We find ourselves enjoying this homemade sauerkraut on top of nearly every sandwich or alongside most main courses.  We love to enjoy a side of it with our Beer and Brown Sugar Braised Pork Roast and Cast Iron Skillet Pork and Potato Hash.

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Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2015/04/classic-sauerkraut/

Beer and Brown Sugar Braised Pork Roast

Beer and Brown Sugar Braised Pork RoastIf you happened to stop by our farmhouse on a Sunday afternoon, you might find that a Beer and Brown Sugar Braised Pork Roast was in the oven. This recipe is a staple for our family. It is simple to prepare, delicious to eat, and provides our family with enough shredded pork to be featured in multiple meals throughout the week, making the work of menu planning that much easier.

As the pork is cooking in the oven, it infuses the entire farmhouse with the delightful aroma of caramelized brown sugar. By the time we are ready to sit down to dinner late Sunday afternoon, we’re all clamoring for a bite. It’s rather like Thanksgiving Day when the aroma of roasting turkey has tempted you all day long with the promise of the meal ahead. While this pork is easier to prepare than our Thanksgiving turkey, it is no less satisfying to serve at our family table.

This year, we’ll be enjoying this roast as the centerpiece of our Easter feast, served with homemade sauerkraut, herbed new potatoes, and berry pie for dessert. It will be a delicious meal and sure to be followed later in the week by a dinner of Cast Iron Skillet Pork and Potato Hash. Now you can enjoy these three recipes with your friends and family. They’re sure to love them as much as we do!

 

Beer and Brown Sugar Braised Pork Roast

I like to use local pasture raised pork in this recipe which is readily available in Beer and Brown Sugar Braised Pork Roast Ingredientsour community. We have prepared this recipe using several cuts of pork. Each of them turned out beautifully.

Because the pork is braised at a low temperature with liquid in a covered pot, the resulting pork is tender and moist no matter the cut. Unlike most preparations, this pork is nearly impossible to overcook. The low temperature and ample liquid both play in its favor.

Pork shoulder (also referred to as pork butt or Boston butt), pork roast, pork loin, and pork belly are all good choices. A pork shoulder or pork roast are my favorite. I find that they have the ideal ratio of meat to fat and yield delicious results.

4 to 5 pound boneless pork shoulder or roast
¼ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
12 ounces beer

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Position an oven rack in the lower third of the oven. In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Rub this mixture on all sides of the pork.

Heat a large Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid over medium high heat. When the pan is hot, add the butter and olive oil, swirling to coat the bottom of the pan

Add the pork to the pan and sear each side for approximately two minutes. The sugar will caramelize and add a beautiful brown color to the pork.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the beer to the pan, deglazing and scraping up any browned bits of sugar from the bottom of the pan. Bring the beer to a simmer before covering the pan and placing it in the warm oven.

Allow the pork to cook for two hours undisturbed. The overall cooking time will vary depending upon the size and type of the cut, but I find that 2 ½ hours is the average time needed to deliver perfectly cooked pork to our table.

After the two hours have elapsed, I begin checking the roast every half hour for doneness. The pork is finished when it will easily pull apart and reaches an internal temperature of around 160 degrees. At that point, I remove the pan from the oven and allow the pork to rest in the covered pan for at least an hour.

After the hour has elapsed, I shred the meat. I strain the cooking liquid, reserving it. I return the shredded pork to the pan and moisten it with a bit of the cooking liquid, holding it in the covered pan. It can be rewarmed over low heat if necessary before serving.

I use the reserved cooking liquid to make Cast Iron Skillet Pork and Potato Hash.   The braising liquid has a wonderful depth of flavor and can also be thickened into a pan gravy and served along with the pork or over mashed potatoes.  We like to serve this dish with a side of our homemade Classic Sauerkraut.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2015/04/beer-and-brown-sugar-braised-pork-roast/

Jewel Toned Easter Eggs

EggsEvery holiday has its own unique food traditions. Easter has many. Creating brightly colored eggs would be near the top of the list.

For a few years, we were unable to participate in this tradition due to a food allergy to eggs. Those egg free Easter celebrations were every bit as joyous and memorable. We made new egg free traditions.

Shortly after we had accepted that egg coloring would not be a part of our Easter celebration, we learned that the egg allergy had cleared. Chicks were ordered, a coop was built, and we entered the world of chicken keeping.

The following February, we collected our first fresh egg. A few weeks later, we had enough of them to make a batch of colored eggs. It wasn’t Easter, but we had plenty to celebrate, so we gathered in the farmhouse kitchen to make a batch of colored eggs together. Since then, we’ve been known to color a batch of eggs for reasons other than celebrating Easter. Why not? There’s no reason to relegate all the egg coloring fun to one holiday a year.

When we returned to coloring eggs for our family table, we decided to put our own spin on it, creating our own method for adding intense color to the shells. We have been making our own egg dye for a few years now. It is an easy process that yields incredibly colorful, beautiful eggs.Eggs

Our hens are all brown egg layers. We find that beginning the egg coloring process with brown shelled eggs results in a more deeply colored egg. Pastel colors are more difficult to achieve without a white eggshell. That’s fine with me. I love the look of these rich, jewel toned eggs on our Easter table.

Before we get started adding beautiful color to the shells of our freshly gathered eggs, they need to be cooked. I have tried every method and none of them work as well for me as steaming by following the steaming method from Fresh Eggs Daily. It is my preferred way to prepare hard-cooked eggs. It has never failed to produce beautifully cooked eggs that are easily removed from their shells.

Once our eggs have been steamed using this method, I like to cool in the ice bath for approximately ten minutes. After ten minutes, remove the eggs from the icy water and allow them to air dry on a clean kitchen towel. Once the eggs have dried, they can be dyed immediately or refrigerated overnight until you are ready to decorate them.

Spring2015_Post_FoodGather a collection of small bowls or coffee cups to hold the colored solution. In each cup or bowl, mix four to six ounces of warm water with a Tablespoon of vinegar and enough liquid or paste food coloring to achieve the desired color. More food coloring will create a deeper, darker colored egg. Make sure that you are using a cup or bowl that can hold your colored liquid along with an egg. A container that is too small will overflow when you add your egg and leave you with a very colorful mess to clean up.

Gently transfer an egg to each of the cups and allow them to rest fully submerged in the colored liquid. We usually set a kitchen timer and check the eggs in ten minute increments. When the eggs are colored to your liking, remove them to a paper towel and allow them to dry completely. Colored, dry eggs can be stored in the refrigerator for three days or until you are ready to use them.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2015/04/jewel-toned-easter-eggs/

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