Category Archive: Recipes

Recipes

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.

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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 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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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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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.

 

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The WonderMix Kitchen Mixer GIVEAWAY and My Multigrain Brioche Bread Recipe

WonderMix Kitchen MixerWhen I was offered the opportunity to try out the new WonderMix Kitchen Mixer in our farmhouse kitchen, I was thrilled. I have been using the company’s WonderMill Electric Grain Mill for several years now.  No matter how many times I use it, I am always astounded at how simple it is to use and how quickly it transforms the organic wheat berries I purchase through my local food co-op into beautiful, freshly milled flour. I couldn’t wait to see their new WonderMix stand mixer and put it through its paces in our farmhouse kitchen.

When the WonderMix arrived, I was taken with its unique design. I loved its square base and covered mixing bowl, knowing that dry ingredients would remain inside the bowl when mixing rather than ending up on the countertop.   After carefully measuring my ingredients with my food scale for a recipe, it can be so frustrating to watch as dry ingredients are flung from a mixer’s bowl and deposited all over the countertop.

The mixing bowl is large, with a capacity of 5.5 quarts or 22 cups. I don’t have a single recipe in my arsenal that requires that much capacity, but I’m glad to know that I can easily mix a double batch of bread dough with room to spare. Not only does this mixer have a high-capacity mixing bowl, it has the motor strength to handle heavy doughs and mixtures. The WonderMix has an impressive 900 watt motor. To put that in perspective, my current stand mixer has a 325 watt motor. The WonderMix has the capacity and the power to handle even the most grueling tasks in my kitchen and yours. With its innovative dough hook and dough divider attachment combination, I knew right away that this was a bread baker’s dream machine.

The WonderMix offers two different sets of whisk type attachments available for the WonderMix. A whisk is often the ideal tool for a recipe, but whisking egg whites into a fluffy meringue is quite a different task than mixing a batch of buttercream or cookie dough. I often find with my other stand mixer that the dough paddle doesn’t adequately beat a batch of buttercream or cookie dough into the smooth, silky texture I desire while the whisk isn’t strong enough to handle the thicker mixture. Having two different pairs of whisk attachments means that I’ll always have one that is well suited for the task at hand.

The WonderMix boasts a wide assortment of other attachments and accessories. They offer a full function blender, slicer/shredder, and meat grinder attachments. If you are interested in working with grain, both a grain flaker and grain mill attachment are also available. This sturdy, powerful unit can do the work of a multitude of appliances. Its rectangular footprint also makes it much easier for me to easily store it in our kitchen.

The helpful owner’s manual that accompanied my WonderMix was filled with helpful instructions for using the machine along with more than 40 recipes. I turned immediately to the section of bread recipes and learned that this mixer promised to fully develop the gluten in a batch of bread dough in five minutes. I couldn’t wait to put that promise to the test.

I make several types of bread for our family. My favorite bread to bake and to eat is brioche. I enjoy brioche’s texture and rich flavor. IMultigrain Brioche loaves at 1840 Farm love to toast a slice of homemade brioche, knowing that the enriched dough will yield the lovely browned surface that I enjoy so much. My family enjoys it just as much as I do, so I make a batch of two loaves every week or so.

The prospect of making a traditional brioche can be daunting for the baker and taxing for the baker’s mixer. Traditional brioche is baked from dough enriched by fresh eggs and butter. Each addition must be perfectly timed before advancing to the next step. If these steps are rushed, the dough will break apart, forming several small clumps that will resist coming back together into one congruous ball of dough. Yet care must be taken not to over mix the dough as too much mixing can ruin the airy texture that makes brioche so wonderful.

Once the eggs have been successfully integrated into the dough, butter must be added in much the same way. It is added a bit at a time, allowing the butter to fully blend with the dough. This process can take thirty minutes or more. All of this kneading puts a heavy toll on a mixer. As the dough is kneaded, the mixer must be monitored to ensure that it does not overheat or, worse yet, burn out completely. Kneading this dough for such a long time is a herculean task for a typical residential kitchen mixer.

Over the years, I have worked to develop my own brioche recipe. It delivers the same delicious flavor and airy texture without requiring so much precision from the bread baker.

In the past few months, I attempted to adapt my recipe to incorporate some of our freshly milled whole wheat flour into the recipe. I didn’t have much luck. The loaves lacked the airy texture I love. No matter how I adjusted the recipe, the resulting loaves were too dense. It seemed that no matter how long I worked the dough using my mixer, I fell short of creating that lovely smooth characteristic that my Farmhouse Brioche always delivers.

I did finally determine that I could use my stand mixer to work the dough for several minutes and then knead the dough by hand for between 5 to 10 minutes in order to create a dough that was smooth and elastic enough to pass the windowpane test.

I had almost given up any hope of creating a multigrain brioche recipe that could be worked entirely by a mixer. Then the WonderMix arrived and I returned to the farmhouse kitchen, hopeful that this powerful machine would have the muscle I needed to fully develop the gluten and create a loaf that was exactly what I was looking for.

As the dough came together, I set my kitchen timer for five minutes. The WonderMix worked the dough without straining. When the timer sounded, I turned off the mixer and removed the dough. It was smooth and elastic, easily passing the windowpane test. The WonderMix had delivered on its promise to fully develop the gluten in five minutes.

I have made several batches of bread since then. Each batch has been just as beautiful and delicious. From now on, I will be using the WonderMix to make this multigrain brioche and all of our other homemade breads.

Now you can use this recipe to make your own loaves of multigrain brioche. You can also enter to win your very own WonderMix! One winner will be randomly selected on April 21, 2015. All subscribers to The 1840 Farm Community Newsletter and In Season Magazine will be automatically entered to win. You can earn additional entries through the widget below and increase your odds of winning this amazing mixer. Good luck to all who enter!

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1840 Farm Multigrain Brioche
Makes two loaves

12 ounces (1 ¾ cup) warm water
21 grams (1 Tablespoon) honey
4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 Tablespoon salt
1 Tablespoon Dough Enhancer (optional)
600 grams (5 cups) All-purpose flour
240 grams (2 cups) whole wheat flour
3 large eggs, room temperature
4 ounces (1 stick) butter, grated

If you are using a dough proofer, preheat the proofer following the manufacturer’s instructions as you prepare the dough.   Whisk the warm water and honey in the bowl of a large stand mixer. Sprinkle the yeast over the top of the liquid. Allow the yeast to rest as you prepare the remaining ingredients.

In a medium bowl, combine the salt, dough enhancer (if using), and flour. Grate the butter and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs until smooth.

Add the eggs to the bowl with the warm water and honey. Whisk until combined. Mount the bowl on the mixer’s base and attach the dough hook and dough divider. Add the dry ingredients all in one addition before turning the mixer’s motor on low speed.

Mix for a few minutes, until the dough begins to take shape. The dough will appear to be slightly dry. With the motor running, begin adding the grated butter a bit at a time, allowing the butter to be incorporated into the dough before adding more. Continue this process until all of the butter has been added.

Stop the mixer and asses the dough. It should be shiny and moist, but not excessively sticky. The ball of dough should be smooth and elastic. If it is too sticky, simply start the mixer and gradually add up to ½ cup of All-purpose flour to the dough. Take care not to add too much flour as it will yield a finished loaf that is too dry. Increase the speed of the mixer slightly and work the dough until it passes the windowpane test, approximately five to ten minutes.

If you are unfamiliar with the windowpane test, the technique is quite simple but incredibly helpful when making a loaf of bread.  This windowpane test will help you to determine if your dough has been kneaded sufficiently to yield a wonderful finished loaf.  By using this technique, you will be certain that your homemade bread dough will produce a beautiful loaf of bread.

Conducting the windowpane test is simple.  After you have kneaded the dough to the point when you think that it has been worked sufficiently, take a small ball of dough and stretch it between your fingers until it is thin and translucent, allowing light to pass through it (much like a window).  If the dough stretches without breaking, it has been kneaded long enough to develop the gluten and is ready to prepare for its rise.  If the dough breaks, continue kneading until it passes the test.

Once your dough passes the windowpane test, transfer the dough to a large buttered bowl to rise in a dough proofer or a warm, draft free location.  Allow the dough to rise until it has nearly doubled in size. Using my dough proofer set at 82 degrees, this takes approximately 45 to 60 minutes.

Once the dough has nearly doubled in size, divide it into two equal sections. Form each section into a loaf and place in a buttered or oiled loaf pan. Be sure to oil the top rim of the loaf pan as this dough has a tendency to rise well above the top of the pan. Oiling the top rim of the pan will make releasing the baked loaf from the pan much easier.

Transfer the two loaves back to the proofing chamber or warm, draft free location for rising. Allow the loaves to rise until they have reached a height of more than one inch above the top edge of the loaf pans.  Using my dough proofer, this takes about one 60 – 90 minutes.

As the dough nears the end of its rise, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  If you have a pizza stone, this is a great time to put it to use.  I like to use stones when baking bread in order to deliver even heat to the bottom of the loaf as it bakes.  I find that my loaves bake more evenly when I have the stones in the oven during preheating and baking.

Once the loaves have risen sufficiently and the oven has reached the proper temperature, transfer the loaves to the oven.  Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, turning near the halfway mark to ensure even browning.  When the loaves are fully baked, they will be golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.  Remove the baked loaves from their pans to a wire rack. Allow them to cool completely before slicing or storing.

 Don’t miss my post about the best way to store fresh bread to learn how you should be storing your fresh loaf of bread.  You can also learn more about My Favorite Bread Baking Tools and Ingredients and share your own with me.

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How to Make A Heart-Shaped Cake

A Heart Shaped Cake at 1840 FarmThis time of year, everything seems to be heart-shaped.  From candies to baked goods and every sort of decorative item.  ‘Tis the season, I suppose.  Unfortunately, so many of these heart-shaped and Valentine’s Day themed projects, crafts, and recipes involve detailed steps and specialty supplies that I don’t have any use for until February 14th arrives again next year.

I prefer to celebrate Valentine’s Day in a much simpler, rustic manner.  That rustic sensibility makes this method for creating a heart-shaped cake one of my favorite ways to make something delicious for my Valentines.  With standard baking pans and a knife, you’ll have a beautifully shaped heart cake in moments.

The technique is amazingly simple and based much more on simple geometry than any special baking skills.  By dividing a round cake in half and joining it with a square-shaped cake turned on the diagonal, a heart is created.  It’s simple and extraordinary all in the same motion.  You’ll feel like a baking genius when the finished cake is presented in its perfect heart shape without anyone but you knowing the secret of its construction.

I like to use my cake recipe from our Chocolate Malt Cupcakes as the base for this cake.  It has a moist, dense crumb and a delicious flavor.  The malt flavor is subtle and pairs wonderfully with the chocolate.  It will be delicious frosted with our malted buttercream frosting, strawberry buttercream, or your favorite traditional buttercream.  I hope that you’ll enjoy it as much as we do year after year!

1. Using your favorite cake recipe, bake one square cake and one round cake. They should be similar in size, but can be trimmed before frosting if necessary.Making a heart shaped cake at 1840 Farm
2. Once the cakes are completely cool, use a sharp knife to divide the round cake in half. I like to use a serrated knife to make a clean cut without creating too many crumbs.Making a Heart Shaped Cake at 1840 Farm
3. Turn the square cake on the diagonal to represent a diamond. Place one half of the round cake on each of the top two sides of the diamond. Trim the cake if necessary to create the heart shape.

Frost and decorate the heart-shaped cake as you wish and marvel at your creation!
Making at Heart Shaped Cake at 1840 Farm

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Valentine’s Day Favorites at 1840 Farm

Valentine’s Day usually comes and goes in a flash.  This year, it falls on a Saturday during a three-day weekend here at 1840 Farm.  That seems like the perfect excuse to dust off all of our favorite Valentine’s Day recipes and enjoy each and every one of them before the holiday has passed us by.  For my Valentine, only chocolate will do.  Now I just have to decide which of our favorite recipes to bake!

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Warm Chickpea Salad


Photo Dec 16, 1 13 49 PMPhoto Dec 16, 1 13 27 PMDuring the busy holiday season, I find myself looking for recipes that are simple to prepare for our family table.  I find that this time of year is all about finding time to spend together and creating holiday memories that will last a lifetime.

While I may be short on time during the last month of the year, I still want to serve something full of comfort, flavor, and nourishment to my family. Creating a dish using pantry and refrigerator staples makes that a much simpler task.  It also allows me to spend more time with my family whether we’re gathered at the dinner table or finding ways to celebrate the season together.

When Mezzetta invited me to share a recipe using their products with the members of The 1840 Farm Community, I was thrilled.  We love their products and keep a supply of them in our pantry all year long.  I love to add them to recipes or serve them as part of our afternoon cheese course.

Warm Chickpea Salad is just that type of dish. It is delicious, full of flavor, and simple to prepare. It can be served as a main course with pita bread or chips and a green salad or as a side dish paired perfectly with grilled meats or a burger.  This warm salad is also perfect for entertaining and serving with appetizers or a cheese course.  When entertaining, I prepare a double batch and serve the remaining kalamata olives and Giardiniera to accompany the other nibbles we’ve prepared for our guests.

These ingredients work so well together that you can adjust the quantities to suit your taste or make use of what you happen to have on hand. I love the combination of the earthy chickpeas and hummus with the briny kalamata olives, smoky sweet roasted bell peppers, and the brightness of the crunchy cauliflower, carrots, and celery from the Giardiniera. Together, they combine to make a delicious dish that my family is happy to see during the holiday season and beyond!

Mezzetta Favorites Holiday Gift Basket

If you’d like to try Mezzetta products, then you’ll want to be sure to enter Mezzetta’s Daily Holiday Gift Basket Giveaway is going on now. They’re generously giving away a fabulous prize package each day during the month of December. To enter, visit Mezzetta and share one of your favorite holiday memories. Each day a winner will be selected at random. Prizes will be shipped within 2 weeks.

Mezzetta Favorites Holiday Gift Basket  includes:

  • 100% Italian Estate Grown Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Golden Greek Peperoncini
  • Garlic Stuffed Olives
  • Castelvetrano Olives
  • Pitted Greek Kalamata Olives
  • Roasted Marinated Red & Yellow Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Cocktail Onions
  • 1 Apron (from House Party contents)
  • 1 Metal Olive Spoon (from House Party contents)
  • 1 Tote Bag (from House Party contents)
  • 1 Ceramic Bowl

Warm Chickpea SaladWarm Chickpea Salad with Hummus at 1840 Farm

This recipe can be made using canned chickpeas or dried chickpeas that have been fully cooked. When using dried chickpeas, I like to cook them in the oven. Bring a large pot of water to boil in an oven safe pot with a lid. Boil the water on the stove top for five minutes before covering and transferring to a preheated 350 degree Fahrenheit oven. Allow the chickpeas to cook until tender. The length of cooking time will vary slightly due to oven temperature and the age of the dried beans. I check the chickpeas after 60, 90, and 120 minutes, removing them from the oven when they are nearly tender. I allow the covered pot to sit on the stove top and cool to room temperature before using in any recipe that calls for chickpeas.

1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced (or ½ teaspoon dried)
2 cups chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 Mezzetta Roasted Bell Pepper halves, diced
12 Mezzetta Pitted Greek Kalamata Olives, halved
2 Tablespoons hummus
¼ cup Mezzetta Italian Mix Giardiniera, cut into bite sized pieces
salt and pepper to taste
balsamic glaze to garnish
warm pita bread

Warm a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, swirling to coat the bottom surface of the pan. Add the garlic and rosemary and cook until fragrant, approximately one minute. Add the chickpeas and cook for until warm, stirring to prevent sticking, approximately 4 minutes. Add the bell peppers, olives, and hummus, stirring to warm the hummus and coat all of the ingredients.

Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the Giardiniera and season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with a bit of balsamic glaze and serve with toasted triangles of pita bread.

Mezzetta is offering a downloadable $.50 off coupon on any Mezzetta products. The coupon is located here and is available from December 1st through December 31st.

 

 


This recipe was sponsored by Mezzetta.  We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to share one of our favorite brands 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 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/2014/12/warm-chickpea-salad/

Vitamix Pro 750 Passes the 1840 Farmhouse Test

For years, I have heard from professional and home cooks about the wonders of the Vitamix.  Chefs extol its virtues in their professional kitchens.  Home cooks like myself are just as taken with its abilities.  From their accounts, it seemed that there wasn’t anything that the Vitamix couldn’t handle.

Several weeks ago, our sponsor JL Hufford sent me a Vitamix Pro 750 to test in our 1840 Farmhouse kitchen.  Finally, I would be able to form my own opinion about the Vitamix.  From the moment I began to unpack the unit from its box, I was taken with the sturdy construction.  This is a very solidly constructed piece of equipment.

Once I had unpacked the Vitamix, it was time to put it to work in our kitchen.  First up was one of my son’s favorite beverages, our homemade take on the Orange Julius.  We’ve been making this recipe for years in our standard blender.  Unfortunately, we have never been able to achieve that frothy, smooth texture that we hoped for using our blender.  No matter how long we blended the ingredients, it just didn’t become a homogeneous mixture.VitamixOrangeSq

So, we gathered the ingredients, placed them in the Vitamix container, and selected the smoothie setting.  We turned on the power and watched as the ingredients were effortlessly transformed into that frothy, silky consistency that we had tried so hard to achieve in the past.  After pouring the mixture from the container, I added warm water and a touch of dish soap, returned the container to the base, and powered it on using the cleaning setting.  In moments, the unit was clean, needing only a quick rinse with fresh water to remove the soapy solution.

During that first week, we used the Vitamix Pro 750 to blend many other smoothies, soups, and liquids.  We made a recipe of our Smoky Chili Puree to flavor a batch of Black Bean Chili.  In seconds, the tomatoes and chilies in the container were pureed and smooth.  It was clear that liquids were no match for the VItamix.

Now that we had established the ability of the Vitamix to handle smoothies, sauces, and soups, it was time to move on to processing items that weren’t liquid based.  First up was a batch of pizza dough.  I would have never thought of making pizza dough in this machine before reading the extensive 350 page cookbook that was included in the package.  The Vitamix effortlessly transformed the ingredients into a smooth ball of pizza dough.

After pizza dough, I set out to make a family favorite using the Vitamix.  It was time to make a Gooey Butter Cake.  The Vitamix powered through the buttery crust without any trouble.  Next up was the gooey mixture of cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar.  I’ve made this recipe dozens of times, but both my stand mixer and food processor fail to create a completely smooth mixture.  No matter how long I allow the butter and cream cheese to come to room temperature, no matter how long I blend or process the ingredients, lumps are still present.

After placing the ingredients in the Vitamix container, I processed it on setting 3.  After the blade had stopped, I removed the lid to inspect the mixture.  It was completely velvety and smooth.  There wasn’t a single lump in sight.  The Vitamix had done what my blender, stand mixer, and food processor had failed to do.  It was official:  I was now a member of the contingent of cooks who believe that the Vitamix can handle anything.  This machine had passed the1840 Farmhouse test with flying colors.

I am very grateful that JL Hufford allowed me to put the Vitamix Pro 750 to the test.  It passed every challenge I gave it and earned my resounding seal of approval.  I’m even more grateful that they’re offering a special 10% savings on this amazing machine to the members of our 1840 Farm Community!  This is a limited time offer, so don’t delay.  If you’ve been dreaming of adding a Vitamix to your kitchen’s arsenal or giving one as a gift, this is an amazing opportunity to save.

Visit JL Hufford and enter the coupon code “skyhigh10″ to save 10% on your purchase of the Vitamix Pro 750 until 12/14/14.  I hope that you’ll take advantage of this amazing savings and then you’ll share with me what delicious dishes you’re making using your new Vitamix.  Until then, here are the recipes that we tested with our Vitamix.  Enjoy!

OrangeGeniusSqSmokyChiliSq

PizzaDoughSqGooeyButterSq

 

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/12/vitamixpro750/

Pie Crust Tips

PieCrustIf you’ve been following this blog for very long, you know how much I love pie.  I was fortunate to grow up with a Grandmother who loved to bake pie.  She loved to serve me and the other members of our family one of her pies.  Now I find myself making homemade pies for my family and our friends.

I don’t have my Grandmother’s recipe.  In fact, I doubt that she had a recipe that was written down on paper.  She cooked and baked by feel, adding a bit of this or a bit of that.  She had been honing her skills for decades, recipes were no longer necessary by the time I was sitting in the kitchen watching her work her magic.

Pie was one of the first dishes that I taught myself to make.  I wanted so badly to master that flaky, delicious crust that my Grandmother had seemed to make so effortlessly.  I tried in vain, turning out pies that had tough, chewy dough where I had hoped that the light, flaky crust would be.

With each pie, my skills improved.  Along the way, I picked up a few tricks that have helped me to make flaky, light pie crusts without fail.  It seemed only fair for me to share a few of those tips with you.  I hope that you’ll find them helpful and that you’ll be enjoying a delicious homemade pie with your family this holiday season.

Pie Crust Tip 01

 

Pie Crust Tip 02

 

Pie Crust Tip 03

 

Pie Crust Tip 04

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Pumpkin Cake Roll with Cream Cheese Filling

Pumpkin Cake Roll with Cream Cheese FillingWhen fall arrives at our house, baked goods turn to pumpkin in every form from pumpkin pie to pumpkin bars with dark chocolate chips. This recipe leans more toward the old-fashioned end of the spectrum, but the cream cheese filling elevates it to a family favorite at our house. 

If you’re looking for a Thanksgiving dessert that can be made ahead, this is a beautiful and delicious alternative to pumpkin pie.  I love pie, but a slice of this delicious cake is almost impossible to turn down!

Pumpkin Cake Roll with Cream Cheese Filling

When rolling this cake (or any other), I like to use a powdered sugar dusted tea towel and a rolling pin wrapped in a small piece of parchment paper.  I find that the tea towel helps to retain some of the moisture as the cake cools and also prevents the cooling cake from sticking to itself.  Using a rolling pin in the center helps to prevent the cake from breaking as it is formed into the rolled shape. 

Pumpkin Cake Roll

5 eggs
3/4
cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups pumpkin puree
1 1/5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon sea salt

Cream Cheese Filling

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 ounces butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and position baking rack in the middle of the oven. Line a sheet pan or jelly roll pan with a Silpat liner or parchment paper.  In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and sea salt. Set aside.

In large bowl, whisk the eggs and both sugars until well combined. Add vanilla extract and pumpkin puree and stir until smooth. Add thePumpkin Cake Roll dry ingredients and fold until just combined.

Pour the smooth batter into the prepared baking sheet. Using an offset spatula, spread the batter until it is evenly distributed in the pan. Transfer the pan to the preheated oven.

Bake the cake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only crumbs attached.  Remove the cake from oven and set on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes.

Sprinkle a clean tea towel with powdered sugar to help prevent sticking. Carefully turn the cake onto the tea towel and allow to cool another ten minutes. Place a rolling pin on top of the cake and gently roll the cake around the pin in the towel. Alow to cool completely.

As the cake cools, prepare the cream cheese filling. With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter in a large bowl. Add vanilla extract and beat until combined. Add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Set aside until the cake is completely cool.

Carefully unroll the cooled cake and spread the cream cheese filling evenly over the cake. Using the towel, gently roll the cake.  Wrap the roll in plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator at least one hour. Slice and serve sprinkled with powdered sugar if desired.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/11/pumpkin-cake-roll-with-cream-cheese-filling/

Cast Iron Skillet Thanksgiving Dressing

1840 Farm Cast Iron Skillet Thanksgiving DressingOf all the dishes that make an annual appearance on our Thanksgiving table, this is the hands down favorite. Everyone clamors for this dressing as soon as it exits the oven. As it bakes, the farmhouse is infused with the intoxicating aroma of toasting bread, celery, and savory spices. It’s no wonder we all love this comforting, hearty side dish so much.

BriocheI like to prepare our dressing in an oversized, deep-dish cast iron skillet or Dutch Oven. It allows me to prepare the entire dish in a single pan, saving me the trouble of washing extra dishes on a day when dirty dishes seem to multiply at an alarming rate. The cast iron also creates the most delicious and beautiful caramelized layer on the bread cubes that are on the bottom and sides of the pan.

If you don’t have a cast iron skillet large enough to hold the dressing, you can use an oven ready skillet or casserole dish brushed with a bit of butter to prevent sticking. You can also cut this recipe in half in order to fit it comfortably in a standard 10 inch cast iron skillet.

I love to use a few loaves of our favorite 1840 Farmhouse Brioche bread for this stuffing, but two standard sized loaves of any type of bread can be substituted. I have tested the recipe using loaves of stuffing bread from our local grocery store with very good results. While the homemade bread was a bit more flavorful and rustic, both versions were delicious and beautiful.

No matter the loaf of bread you use or type of vessel you choose to bake the dressing in, the end result will be comforting and delicious. Our family’s favorite dressing is sure to please the diners gathered around your Thanksgiving table.

Photo Nov 21, 10 02 06 AM

1840 Farm Cast Iron Skillet Thanksgiving Dressing

This recipe was adapted from Artichoke, Sausage, and Parmesan Stuffing which appeared in the November 2002 issue of Bon Appétit  Magazine.  As soon as I read the ingredients, I knew that I had to try it!
makes 8 side dish servings

2 pounds bread (1840 Farmhouse Brioche)
1 pound Italian sausage, casings removed
2 large onions, chopped
1 leek (white and light green parts only), sliced and washed to remove grit
1 cup chopped celery stalks and leaves
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary
1 Tablespoon fresh sage
1 Tablespoon fennel seeds
2 cans quartered artichoke hearts, drained
¾ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup chicken broth (more as needed)
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the bread by slicing the loaves into 1 inch thick slices before dividing each slice into 1 inch cubes. Place the cubes in a single layer on two large baking sheets. Transfer the bread cubes to the warm oven and toast for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The goal is to dry and toast the cubes without drying them to the point that they resemble croutons. Remove the toasted cubes from the oven and allow them to cool. If desired, the bread cubes can be toasted the day before and kept at room temperature until needed.

Heat your large cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Add the sausage to the pan and cook, using a large spoon or fork to break the sausage into bite-sized pieces. This will allow the sausage to be evenly distributed in the finished dish.

When the sausage is no longer pink, add the onions, washed leeks, and celery to the pan. Incorporating the celery leaves will add a boost of celery flavor to the dish as the leaves have a more concentrated flavor than the stalks. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for approximately 10 minutes or until the celery begins to soften and the onions become translucent.

Prepare the aromatics as the sausage and onion mixture sautés. Mince the garlic with the rosemary and sage before adding them to the pan along with the fennel seeds and drained artichoke hearts. Cook until warmed through, stirring to avoid sticking to the bottom of the pan. Remove the pan from the heat.

Place the bread cubes in a large bowl. Add the sausage mixture, ½ cup Parmesan cheese, and broth, stirring to combine. Season the mixture with salt and pepper and add more broth to moisten if necessary. Transfer the entire mixture to the cast iron pan or your chosen baking dish.   Top with remaining ¼ cup of Parmesan cheese. Cover the pan with a piece of buttered aluminum foil, placing the buttered side down on the surface of the dressing.

Place the pan in a preheated 350 degree oven and bake until heated through, about 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 15 to 20 minutes or until the top is golden and crispy. Remove from the oven and serve hot.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/11/cast-iron-skillet-thanksgiving-dressing/

Golden Milk with Turmeric, Ginger, and Ghee

Golden Milk with Turmeric, Ginger, and GheeAs a student in the Intermediate Herbal Course offered by The Herbal Academy of New England, I have spent a lot of time reading about theFlavor of the Earth Organic Turmeric use of herbs to boost natural immunity and support good health.  One of the preparations that continued to appear in my search results was Golden Milk.  I was intrigued by its color and interesting components.  I couldn’t wait to give it a try.

Each recipe I that read seemed to include turmeric and some form of milk, but that is where the similarities ended.  There was a wealth of different recipes for golden milk, each with a slightly different base of ingredients to draw upon for flavor.  The more I read, the more I discovered that there were as many different ways to create golden milk as there were people who loved to incorporate it into their daily diets.

A few constants seems to remain true throughout the recipes.  They each used some form of milk for a base and incorporated a source of healthy fat to enrich the flavor.  Each one contained turmeric which contributed the beautiful golden color the drink was named for.  Luckily, I had a bag of Flavor of the Earth’s Organic Turmeric that I couldn’t wait to use sitting right in the farmhouse kitchen. I just had to decide what other ingredients I wanted to work into the recipe.

The Nourished Kitchen by Jennifer McGrutherI was drawn to a recipe from The Nourished Kitchen which also included ginger and ghee.  I loved the idea of adding a buttery element to the recipe.  I had a supply of candied ginger slices in the refrigerator, which seemed like a wonderful way to incorporate the gingery zing that I love with a touch of sweetness.  I had a copy of The Nourished Kitchen’s cookbook that I received to review, so I was also eager to try one of Jennifer McGruther’s recipes for myself.

I tried several different versions of this recipe before deciding that this one was my clear favorite.  The rich flavor of the ghee and bright note of the candied ginger really enriched the herbal notes from the turmeric.  Together, it was the perfect blend of flavors paired with a beautiful color and intoxicating aroma.

I have found this drink to be a wonderful way to warm up on a brisk fall day.  The aroma and taste are so rich and luscious that I find myself coming back for more.  With the long New England winter fast approaching, I’m certain to be reaching for this drink often.

Golden Milk with Turmeric, Ginger, and Ghee

This recipe is quite simple to prepare once you have created the base ingredients.  I like to use turmeric paste rather than dry turmeric as I find that it is much easier to fully incorporate into the milk.  The ghee adds a delightful buttery flavor that I love.   I keep a steady supply of candied ginger slices in our refrigerator, so they were an easy choice for adding ginger to the mix.

Each of these components can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator.  If you prefer, you could substitute dry turmeric powder, freshly grated ginger with a touch of honey, and a teaspoon of either butter of coconut oil.  I use cow milk when preparing this recipe, but you can substitute whatever kind of milk you have on hand.  Feel free to adjust the recipe to suit your taste buds.

1 teaspoon turmeric paste
1 teaspoon ghee
2 slices candied ginger slices
1/2 teaspoon ginger simple syrup or honey if desired
1 cup whole milk

turmeric pastePrepare a batch of turmeric paste by combining 1/4 cup turmeric powder and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan over low heat.  Stir (using a spoon that you don’t mind turning a lovely yellow color from the turmeric) until the turmeric is fully incorporated into the water.  As the mixture warms, it will become a lovely thick paste similar in consistency to natural nut butter.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature before storing in the refrigerator.

Prepare the ghee by placing one stick of butter in a small saucepan over medium low heat.  I use organic, grass-fed butter when available, but you can prepare the ghee using whatever kind of butter you typically use in your kitchen.   Melt the butter and continue to cook, stirring occasionally as the butter solids begin to separate and a foamy layer forms on the top of the mixture.  The butter will make a popping sound as it cooks which signals that the solids are separating.  The sound will subside when the ghee is finished cooking.  Using a spoon, you can part the foamy layer to inspect the butter below.  It should be golden-yellow and clear..  The butter is now clarified.  Remove the pan from the heat to cool for 15 minutes.

gheeOnce the ghee has cooled, you can either strain it through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth to remove the butter solids or carefully remove the solids from the top using a spoon.  The ghee can be stored in the refrigerator for use in any dish that calls for butter.  Ghee has a much higher smoking point than butter and a more intense flavor.  You’ll find that it adds amazing flavor to any recipe that calls for butter.

Now, we’re ready to make the golden milk.  You can either prepare it much as you would a cup of hot chocolate by placing all of the ingredients in a small saucepan, stirring occasionally until the milk warms to the desired temperature.  Or, you can place the ingredients in the bottom of a mug, and add steamed milk to the mug, stirring to incorporate the ingredients.  Either way, the turmeric, ghee, and ginger will infuse their flavor into the milk as it is heated and the end results will be aromatic and delicious.

I prefer the version made with steamed milk, which I prepare in the following manner.  Combine 1 teaspoon of the turmeric paste, 1 teaspoon ghee, and a few slices of the candied ginger in the bottom of a mug.  I like to muddle the ginger slices a bit with the end of the handle of a wooden spoon in order to release more of the ginger flavor before adding the steamed milk.   Slowly add warm, steamed milk to the mug, stirring gently.  Taste and add a drizzle of the ginger simple syrup or honey to sweeten if desired.  Enjoy!

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