Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Bill is passionate about delicious, clean, fresh, conscientious food...

Name: Bill Anderson
<-- Photo of Bill, his wife Jamie and son Isaac

Buying club: Takoma Park

Age: 29

How did you first hear about Polyface? Omnivore’s Dilemma

How long have you been a Polyface customer? Approx. 1 year

Have you ever been to the farm? No. I hope to bring my wife and son this spring.

What is your hobby? Cooking and eating great food.

What is your favorite time of day? Dinner time.

What is your favorite season? Spring.

If you could live anywhere in the world for a year, where would it be? Italy. I am half Italian and would love to spend a year apprenticing, learning about pasta, wine, butchering, etc. as in the book Heat.

Share a favorite recipe.

Bill’s Brined Roast Whole Polyface Chicken with Polyface Mild Italian Sausage, Caramelized Onion and Apple Stuffing

Brine – Boil approximately 3 qts of water and add approx. 1.5 cups of kosher/sea salt and 1-1.5 cups of sugar in the raw. Stir until completely dissolved. Let cool completely before adding chicken. You have many options in adding herbs and spices to your brine. I like to add several garlic cloves, bay leaves, and whole peppercorns. Place the chicken in the brine in the fridge for no less than a couple of hours, but ideally around 6 hours. Leaving the chicken in the brine too briefly will prevent it from sucking in the flavor of the brine and leaving it in too long may result in a chicken that is too salty.

Stuffing – Slice two large onions and four large peeled apples. Get a large sauté pan very hot. Drop the heat to med-low and add two tablespoons of butter. After the butter melts add sliced apples and onions. Cook over low heat stirring occasionally until the onions become translucent and eventually brown. You can add a bit of sugar or honey to speed the process but it is best to just cook it low and slow until you extract the natural sugar from the onions and apples. In a separate pan sauté one package of Polyface mild Italian sausage until brown. I like to make little grape size balls of the sausage before I sauté them. Cube a good sized loaf of stale whole wheat bread. If you do not have stale bread cube it and put it on a cookie sheet in a 350 degree oven until it browns. In a large mixing bowl, add the onions and apples, the sausage, the bread, two eggs, fresh herbs (I like tarragon), and a couple of heaping teaspoons of Dijon mustard. If the mixture seems a bit dry, try adding some apple juice or cider – (Polyface sells some delicious apple juice).

Cooking – Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry. Sprinkle with mustard powder, salt and ground pepper. Pour a little olive oil in a large baking dish and stuff the chicken overflowing out with the stuffing. Cover the bird and stuffing with aluminum foil until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees then remove the foil and kick the temperature of the oven up to 425 degrees until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 180 degrees.

What are you most passionate about? Delicious, clean, fresh, conscientious food.

Complete the statement “I recommend…”
the book Omnivore’s Dilemma if you have not already read it.

******
Every Wednesday, we post an interview with a Polyface Patron. If you would like to volunteer to share some about yourself, please reply to this posting with a comment. We'll draw from the folks there and choose the next patron to highlight!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Chicken Fried Steak

I made this Chicken fried steak on Saturday night for dinner and it turned out so yummy, I thought I would share it with you all.

Chicken Fried Steak Fingers
You will need:
  • 1 Polyface Top Round Steak
  • 1 1/2 cups flour (any style)
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp ground red pepper
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 Polyface egg (medium or large)
Directions:
  1. Using a meat mallet or cleaver, pound the steak to about 1/3" thick. Cut steak against the grain into serving size pieces. I cut mine into little strips - around 1 1/2"x 3" each.
  2. Dry the steak off with paper towels.
  3. Mix flour, peppers, and salt in a small bowl.
  4. Mix milk and egg in small bowl - beating well.
  5. Coat each piece of steak in the seasoned flour, then dip into the egg mixture, then back into the seasoned flour.
In a heavy frying pan - just enough to coat the bottom of the pan, HEAT over med-high heat:
  • Lard (or oil) I used some of my homemade lard
Until about 350 degrees. To determine if your temperature is right, dip a corner of the steak into it. It should sizzle and sputter.
Carefully, add the steaks and fry, turning once until golden brown - 2-3 minutes on each side.
Remove to a warm platter. I layered mine with paper towels.

GRAVY

Remove all but 2-3 Tbsp of fat from the pan and return to medium heat. I didn't take any fat out of the pan - just didn't have enough to do so) Slowly, whisk in 2 Tbsp flour and cook for about 2-3 minutes.
Then slowly whisk in 1 cup of milk, scraping the edges of the pan to get all of the browned bits of meat and batter. It helps to remove the pan from heat at this point. Just keep stirring in small bits of milk until all of the milk is mixed in. It will be lumpy until all of the milk is in. Don't give up, keep stirring. :o)
Return the pan to the heat and continue stirring until gravy is warm and bubbly. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Remove from heat and pour into your serving bowl.

ENJOY!

Let me know how it turns out for you. :o)
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