Monday, October 25, 2010

Country Italian Beef Stew

It's been a family favorite for FOREVER... and all agree that the only way it could be improved-upon was to make it with grass-fed (Polyface) beef :-)
All the Best! -- Joe K, Annapolis
Makes 6-8 servings
2 lbs. Polyface Sirloin Tip Roast (or any other Roast will do)
8 ounces of tiny "new potatoes, halved or quartered
2 medium parsnips (or carrots), peeled and cut into 1- to 2-inch pieces
1 cup chopped onion
1 medium fennel/anise bulb, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges
1 14-oz can of beef broth
1 cup dry red wine (or 1c beef broth if preferred-- but wine is better!)
1 6-oz can of tomato paste
2 tblsp quick-cooking tapioca
1 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 to 2 cups fresh basil leaves, fresh spinach leaves, or torn fresh escarole

1. Trim fat from meat. Cut meat into 2-inch pieces. Set aside
2. In a 4- to 5-Qt slow-cooker, combine potatoes, carrots, onion, and fennel. Add the meat on top.
3. In a medium bowl, combine broth, wine, tomato paste, tapioca, rosemary, pepper, and garlic. Pour over mixture in cooker.
4. Cover and cook on LOW-heat setting for 8 to 10 hours (or 4-5 hrs on HIGH heat [but LOW is better]).
[After about an hour, the home will smell awesome.. POST A GUARD at the slow-cooker to stop "snoopers" from lifting the lid !
Keeping the lid on is essential to keeping the moisture content just right!]
5. Just before serving, stir in the basil/spinach/escarole.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Thursday, Sept. 2 Mark Gresge, owner/chef of L'etoile restaurant in Charlottesville, notified us that Pamela Burke, a Charlottesville City Health Inspector had been in and written up a critical hazard for using eggs from an "unapproved source." Interestingly, and in totally aberrant behavior, she did not confiscate the eggs on the spot--probably oversight more than charity.

This citation included not only the Polyface chicken eggs, but also the duck eggs from another local farmer. The citation included the remedy and cited code requirements that the eggs come from a source of B grade consumer-ready eggs as certified by the USDA. Never did it indicate the eggs were less than B grade.
In fact, Polyface eggs far exceed B grade.

Joel Salatin immediately called the owner/chef, Gresge, to get the legal language and the code numbers cited. Then he called Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund, where legal counsel Pete Kennedy, Esq., answered the phone. Kennedy took down the information, did his sleuthing, and within 24 hours had an admission from Burke that the citation was in error and that the eggs were indeed legal for commerce.

Tuesday, Sept. 7 Kennedy will seek to get the citation expunged from the restaurant's record.

These are the facts, just the facts. But let's make sure everyone gets the broader message:

1. The Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund is THE vanguard of food freedom. Without FTCLDF, Joel and Polyface would have spent hours wrangling, haggling, getting ulcers and fighting a battle with food police bureaucrats. Precious time, energy, and emotional capital would have been squandered trying to secure basic food rights and parse the regulatory labyrinth.

Here's the point: JOINING FTCLDF, more than Nature Conservancy, Audobon Society, Humane Society, Slow Food, Sierra Club, or whatever is THE MOST IMPORTANT and fundamental thing you can do right now to secure your freedom to eat the food of your choice. Polyface urges, implores, begs you to encourage this national organization that offers legal relief in these days in which the interests hostile
to food choice are becoming more aggressive and more bold. Please do this for your children.

2. The food police are often wrong. Their petulant swaggering around the food system is often unfocused, incorrect, ignorant, or all of the above. We live in a culture preconditioned to trust government officials. We teach our children to respect government officials. But those officials are human too. They make mistakes. They interpret things incorrectly. Sometimes they contrive violations to warrant their job titles. Often, chefs make sure they have an obvious violation in order to placate the "gotcha" mentality of the food police. Once the infraction is found and duly noted, the food police go on their merry way to the next victim. It's quite a cat and mouse game. All funded by taxpayers, who pay the salary of the gumshoe first, then pay extra for their inefficiently-operated restaurant at mealtime. Double taxation.

The regulations themselves are voluminous and couched in legalese to the point that the average bureaucrat and average citizen can scarcely discern the meaning. When unleashing bottom-rung bureaucrats armed with thousands of government-speak pages of directives on little businesses, the temptation to misapply and make egregious mistakes is astronomical. The Romans had a saying that you could tell the stability of a culture by the number of laws it had. Indeed, our culture is teetering, based on that benchmark.

3. The food police, for all their pomp and circumstance, are really all about one thing: making sure the status quo remains. For those of us finding ourselves more and more out of step with society's thinking, these officials represent the assurance that current thinking will prevail. They are there to make sure innovation and creativity do not see the light of day. And to make sure that all pegs are square and all holes are . . . square.

This is procrusteanism at its worst. In Greek mythology, Procrustes was an evil superman who had a hillside covered in iron beds all the same length. He would roam the countryside capturing victims and chaining them to the beds. If a person was too short for the bed, he stretched him. If too tall, he cut off his legs
to fit. Today, the word procrustean bespeaks a "one size fits all" mentality in an eloquent word picture out of classic Greek mythology. These food police bring procrustean societal enforcement to our food choices.

Food for thought:
Are you a member of the FTCLDF?
Are you planning on joining?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Ghomeh Sabzi

Ghormeh Sabzi

1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
1 tsp. turmeric
1 boneless chuck roast (discard fat and sinew) or 1.5 lbs of lamb stew
1 c. green onions, green parts only, finely chopped
1.5 c. spinach, finely chopped
1/2 c. italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1/4 c. cilantro leaves, finely chopped
1/4 c. chives or scallion tops, finely chopped
1/4 c. fenugreek leaves, finely chopped
juice from one lemon
4-5 dried persian limes, leemoo-amonee
1 can red kidney beans

Saute the onion over medium-high heat in a couple of tablespoons of canola oil until it is a deep golden brown. Add the turmeric, frying another minute or two, then add the stew meat. Toss well to coat in turmeric, and cook until the meat is browned well on all sides.
Meanwhile, fry the herbs in a health splash of canola oil until they are fragrant and deepening in color. Watch them carefully as they will go bitter if burned. You want them to be a deep, dark green without blackening.
Add the fried greens to the meat & onion mixture, stirring well. Add 1.5 - 2 cups of water (you want a "slurry", but not "soupy" mixture). Season with salt & pepper to taste (easy on the pepper). Add the lemon juice, turn the heat down, and let the whole thing simmer, covered, for 1.5-2 hours, or until the greens are mostly softened. (Note: if you are using dried beans, you will want to add them at this point)
About an hour into the simmer, add the leemoo-amonee (any sooner and they will turn the stew bitter), pushing them down into the liquid. They will want to pop back up, so try to cover them with a few pieces of meat to keep them submerged.
Finally, add the drained kidney beans, and cook another 30 minutes. Check your seasoning level, adding more lemon juice if needed (before you do, though, press down on the dried limes to get them to release the liquid they've absorbed)

Serve with buttered white rice.

Submitted by Matt R.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Using Medium Eggs

We were sent the following note from a dear patron. You may find it useful:

I have been buying the Medium eggs for three years now, and I do not miss large eggs at all. After reading your note about your large egg shortage, I thought I 'd write up some notes about using medium eggs in recipes that are standardized for large eggs. I wanted to post this as a comment on the blog, but I didn't see any posts where an egg sizing guide comment would make any sense.

Standard recipes assume that large eggs are 50 grams each. If a recipe calls for 3 eggs, you want 150 grams of egg. A gram is a very tiny amount, so if you weigh 4 medium eggs and come up with 145 grams, or 160 grams, you still have the amount you want. I have found that Polyface Medium eggs average about 40 grams each. So for a recipe calling for 3 eggs (150 grams) four medium eggs (160 grams) is just right. For a recipe calling for 4 eggs (200 grams) I use 5 medium eggs (200 grams).

The tricky bit comes when the conversions aren't so close. If a recipe calls for 2 eggs (100 grams) do I want two mediums, or three (80 grams or 120 grams)? That depends on the recipe. For a custard or something that is supposed to be very eggy, like yorkshire pudding, go for 3 eggs. For breads, you can use 2 eggs. Or you can separate one egg and use the yolk, saving the white for another use.

The egg sizes in the mediums vary from about 36 grams to up to 45 grams, so if you want to be very accurate, you can use a kitchen scale. I like this one, which is not expensive and is very easy to use. When my scale suggests that I use half of an egg, I use the yolk because egg whites are easier to save.

When I first began using medium eggs, I weighed a lot of eggs! I found that if I want to weigh eggs without breaking them, I could assume that the egg shell weighs 10 grams. If you prefer to weigh your eggs in the shell, remember to subtract 10 grams for each egg:

recipes calls for 4 eggs (200 grams)
four medium eggs in the shell weigh 200 grams
subtract 40 grams, you have 160 grams of egg for your recipe, you need one more egg!

Polyface medium eggs are priced so reasonably that adding more egg to baking recipes is still an economical choice.

Egg white freeze beautifully! Everyone is worried about food safety right now, but eggs whites can be saved and re-used with a very high degree of safety. Separate your eggs while they are cold. The egg whites can be frozen in clean plastic containers with lids, or they can be frozen in ice-cube trays and transferred to plastic bags after they are frozen. They will keep up to three months this way. To thaw, move them to the refrigerator and leave them there over night. Do not thaw egg whites at room temperature. Thawed egg whites can be used in any recipe that cooks them to a temperature of 165 degrees or higher; they are perfect for baking. Omelets and scrambled eggs are not the best way to use them because these preparations typically leave some of the egg cooked soft - which means it hasn't reached a high enough temperature. Instead, use them in bread pudding, strada, cakes, breads, dinner rolls. I love angel food cake and I make one whenever I have 350-400 grams of egg whites.

Angel Food Cake:

1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups egg whites
1 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 cup sugar (superfine is best but plain sugar works)
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup sifted cake flour (or all-purpose flour sifted x3)
3/4 cup sugar

10-inch tube pan, very clean, with "legs" so that it can be inverted after baking. You need the two-part type pan for this cake.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Sift together 3/4 cups of sugar and the sifted flour. Be sure these are thoroughly blended.

Beat egg whites with cream of tartar until soft peaks just begin to form. Continue beating while adding the remaining 3/4 cups sugar, one spoonful at a time. Beat until the egg whites are stiff but not dry. By hand, fold in the sugar-flour mixture. Sprinkle about 1/4 of the mix at a time over the eggs and use a rubber spatula to gently combine.

Carefully scoop the batter into the tube pan and run the spatula through the batter to remove large air pockets. Bake on the middle rack of the oven until the cake is risen and brown and springs back when you lightly press it, about 40 minutes.

Remove from the oven and immediately invert the cake to cool upside down. Remove the cake from the pan when it has cooled completely.

Submitted by Trish

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Alabama BBQ Chicken

From the episode: Southern BBQ

To hold the wood chips, you will need a small disposable aluminum tray.

Serves 8.


White BBQ Sauce

cup mayonnaise

tablespoons cider vinegar

teaspoons sugar

teaspoon prepared horseradish

teaspoon table salt

teaspoon ground black pepper

teaspoon cayenne pepper


teaspoon table salt

teaspoon ground black pepper

teaspoon cayenne pepper

whole chickens (3 1/2- to 4-pound), patted dry and split, (see photos)

cups hickory wood chips

Vegetable oil for grill grate


1. For the sauce: Mix all ingredients in blender until smooth, about 1 minute.
Refrigerate sauce in airtight container for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.
2. For the chicken: Mix salt, black pepper, and cayenne in small bowl. Rub spice mixture all over chicken.
3. Soak wood chips in bowl of water to cover for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, open bottom grill vents completely. Light large chimney starter filled with charcoal briquettes (about 90 coals) and burn until charcoal is covered with fine gray ash. Place 13 by 9-inch disposable aluminum roasting pan in center of grill. Pour half of coals into pile on each side of grill, leaving pan in center. Scatter wood chips evenly over coals and set cooking grate in place. Cover, with lid vents positioned over center of grill and opened halfway. Let grill heat for 5 minutes.
4. Dip wad of paper towels in oil and oil grate, holding paper towels with long-handled tongs. Place chicken skin side down on center of grill. Cover (with half-opened lid vents over chicken).
5. Grill chickens until skin is well browned, 35 to 45 minutes. Flip chickens skin side up and grill, covered, until breast meat registers 165 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 15 to 20 minutes longer.
6. Transfer chickens to cutting board, brush with 2 tablespoons sauce, tent with foil, and let rest 10 minutes. Remove foil and brush chicken with 1 tablespoon sauce. Carve and serve, passing remaining sauce at table.

Submitted by Clancy & Tricia

Monday, August 2, 2010

Pork Burgers

Makes 8

3-4 tablespoons fat—lard, ghee (clarified butter) or tallow (butter will burn)

1 medium onion, finely diced

2 pounds ground pork

1 teaspoon fine ground sea salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1-1/2 teaspoons ground sage

Place one tablespoon fat in a large cast iron or other heavy pan and heat pan over medium heat.

Add the onions and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and sweet (10-12 minutes).

Meanwhile, using hands, gently mix the remaining salt, pepper and sage into the ground pork. Return pork to refrigerator until onions are cooked.

Remove onions from heat and scrape them into the pork mixture. Leave pan on the stove over low heat.

Allow onions to cool a little, then gently mix them in using your hands.

If necessary (if pan looks dry), add another tablespoon of fat to pan and increase the heat to medium high.

Shape the mixture into eight patties, and fry until crispy brown outside and until no more pink shows inside, 4-6 minutes per side.

The mixture will be very soft before frying. You can shape the patties and place in a single layer on a cookie sheet, and chill the patties for about 10 minutes in the fridge or freezer before frying. Not necessary, but makes it a little easier to handle.

Recipe from Rheba Kelley, Silver Spring, MD

Pork 'n Cabbage

6-8 servings

4 tablespoons fat (lard, ghee [clarified butter] or tallow; butter will burn)

1 large onion, in 1/4 dice

1-1/2 teaspoons sea salt

2 pounds ground pork

1 medium head cabbage, finely sliced

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons dried thyme or 1-1/2 tablespoons fresh thyme

Add two tablespoons fat to a large, heavy pot (6” sides) or cast iron dutch oven and heat over medium heat.

Add onions and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, and sauté for 8-12 minutes until they are soft and sweet.

Add the ground pork and break it up, cooking until it is no longer pink.

Add the remaining fat, the cabbage, pepper, dried thyme (add fresh thyme as directed below) and the remaining sea salt and mix well.

Cover pot and cook for 10-15 minutes, until cabbage is tender, stirring three or four times. Add fresh thyme when cabbage begins to become transluscent.

Taste and add more salt, pepper and more thyme if necessary.

Submitted by Rheba Kelley -Silver Spring, MD

Mexican Shredded Beef


I 5lb beef shank

2 medium onions coarsely shopped

5-8 garlic cloves coarsely chopped



Chili powder

Dried or fresh oregano

Dried or fresh thyme

1 jalapeño

1 green or red cayenne pepper

Few sprigs Rosemary

Salt and pepper

12 oz beer

2 28oz cans crushed tomatoes


Salt and pepper the shank

Put on high heated grill or cast iron skillet-ten minutes each side


Preheat oven to 225F

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat

Sauté onion and garlic with olive oil until translucent

Add spices and cook for a few minutes

Add fresh jalapeno and cayenne (I chopped the jalapeno and put the cayenne in whole so I could remove the cayenne later—just depends how hot you want it) and the cook for another minute

Add beer and simmer down sauce until you’ve cooked the alcohol out of the beer

Add tomatoes and simmer for a few more minutes

Remove seared shank from grill or skillet and add to Dutch oven

Smother shank in sauce and throw a few sprigs of rosemary on top

Cover and put in 225F oven for 12 hours (ish)-timing is very forgiving—I let it cook while I slept overnight

Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly

Take shank out of the pot and set aside (make sure to get any large pieces of meat that may have fallen off into the sauce out)

Skim fat off the remaining sauce left in the Dutch oven and remove rosemary sprigs and the whole cayenne pepper

Bring sauce up to a boil on the stove top and simmer until reduced and thick.

Puree (I used a hand held immersion blender)

Shred all the beef from the shank and put into a large bowl. Add some of the reduced sauce to the shredded beef—enough to bind all of it together and keep it moist. SERVE!

FYI—I had A LOT of sauce left over which I froze in a couple of smaller containers. This sauce is so flavorful that I’ve used it for tons of things -- adding it to left over roast chicken and sticking that in a flour tortilla…I’ve even used it on grilled pizza with sliced jalapenos, grilled green tomatoes, white cheddar cheese with a couple of fresh cracked eggs on top (which by the way is SO good).

Submitted by Sally A.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Puerco Pibil - Slow-Roasted Pork

This Mexican recipe involves marinating overnight then cooking wrapped in banana leaves

Coffee-Grinder (or similar machine for grinding whole spices)
Metal or Glass Bake Dish (13x9x2)

5 Pounds Pork "Pork Butt" or Pork Shoulder Roast

5 Tablespoon Whole Annatto
2 teaspoon Whole Cumin
1 Tablespoon Whole Pepper
8 Pebbles Whole Allspice
1/2 teaspoon Whole Cloves

3 Habanero Peppers
1/2 Cup Vinegar
2 Tablespoon Salt
8 cloves Garlic
Juice of 5 Lemons
Juice of 3 Oranges
Splash of Tequila

Banana Leaves (I found these at a spanish market)

Day before:
1. Pulverize all spices in grinder.
2. Chop Habanero Peppers, remove seeds and veins if you want to cut down the spicy-ness. (you'll want gloves while handling the habanero peppers, they can burn)
3. In Blender: Mix Orange, Vinegar, Habanero. Add all Pulverized Spices, Salt, Garlic. Liquify. The Smoother the better.
4. Add Juice of Lemons, and "A splash of the finest tequila you can find".
5. Cut Pork into 2 inch cubes and place in large ziplock bag. Pour the Marinating Mixture in. Seal bag. Double-bag if you want. Refrigerate overnight.

Day of:
1. Pre-heat oven 325º degrees.
2. Line dish with Banana Leaves (2 or 3 layers of leaves with extra hanging over dish edges), Plop meat into pan. Add more leaves on top and fold the sides over. Rap Foil tight over all.
7. Bake 4 hours at 325º degrees.

Good to serve over a bit of Spanish rice, tomato, lettuce, bell pepper.

Recipe Credit: learned from Robert Rodriguez

Submitted by Elliot

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Flour Tortillas


9 oz. (2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour; more for kneading and rolling
1 tsp. table salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup cold lard, cut into small pieces (see recipes on rendering pork fat to lard)

1. In a medium bowl, stir the flour, salt, and baking powder. Add the shortening or lard and cut it into the flour with a pastry blender or two table knives until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Stir in 2/3 cup warm water with a fork until a shaggy dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and soft, 3 to 4 min., reflouring the surface as necessary. After kneading, the dough shouldn’t be very sticky.

2. Portion the dough into eight equal pieces (about 2 ounces each) and shape each piece into a ball. Cover the dough balls loosely with plastic and let rest on the counter for at least 30 min. and up to 2 hours.

3. When ready to cook the tortillas, heat a large (11- to 12-inch) dry cast-iron skillet or griddle over medium heat until hot. Working with one ball of dough at a time (keep the remaining dough covered) and using just enough flour to prevent sticking, roll the dough into a 9- to 10-inch round. The dough should be so thin that you can vaguely see the pattern of your countertop through it, and it should be more or less circular, though an amoeba shape is fine, too.

4. Peel the dough off the counter and lay it in the skillet or on the griddle. Cook until the tortilla bubbles and puffs and the bottom browns in spots, 45 to 60 seconds. If any gigantic bubbles form, pierce them so the tortilla cooks evenly. Flip with a spatula and cook until the second side gets brown in spots and any translucent, raw-looking areas become opaque, another 45 to 60 seconds. (If the tortillas brown too quickly or start burning in spots, reduce the heat to medium low.) Transfer to a clean dishtowel and cover to keep warm or put in the oven on very low heat. Repeat with the remaining dough, stacking and covering each tortilla as it’s cooked

Submitted by Sally A - South Arlington

How to render lard on stove top

How to Render Lard

What you need:
A pound or so of pig fat e(ach pound of fat will yield about a pint of lard)
Some containers—Mason jars work nicely.

1. Make sure to ventilate your kitchen by opening a window or turning on the exhaust fan or both.
2. Chop pork fat up into little pieces.
3. In a Dutch oven or heavy, large pot, add about a half of a cup of water to the pot, and then add the cubed fat.
4. On the stove, heat the pot on medium low, stirring occasionally (every 10 minutes).
5. After the fat starts melting (about an hour), you’ll hear some very loud pops. This is just the air and moisture leaving what will soon become cracklings. When this starts to happen, start stirring more often.
6. Soon after, the cracklings will start floating on the surface. Keep stirring frequently, but be careful—you don’t want the fat popping out of the pot and burning you.
7. When the cracklings sink to the bottom, the lard has been rendered.
8. Let it cool, and then pour it into containers through a colander or strainer lined with cheesecloth. The cracklings will be left behind in the cheesecloth and can be eaten however you like.
9. The lard will be a yellowish liquid. This is what it’s supposed to look like.
10. Refrigerate it overnight and when it solidifies it will turn white. It will keep in the refrigerator for about three months, and the freezer for up to a year (do not freeze in glass mason jars).

Submitted by Sally A - South Arlington

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Cooking eggs in Stainless Steel

How to Cook Eggs in a Stainless Steel Pan.
by Helen Dickey

Put dry pan with lid on stove on medium-low heat.
Let it heat up until butter will sizzle.
Coat the bottom with sizzing butter by drawing on it with the butter stick.
Put in 3 to 4 eggs. (Too many does not work well.)
Cover and wait about a minute or two until the eggs have started to cook some
on the bottom---you can see through them that they are white.
Pour in about one tablespoon of water. Lift eggs on top of water with a
pancake turner, by pushing it flat against the bottom under the eggs. They
will come up easily and not break. Put lid back on and steam until top skin
is firm. You can also turn them over if you like. The centers will be nice
and runny. The pan will be easy to clean (baking soda paste always works
well on stainless steel if there is a problem) and the eggs will not be burnt
or broken.

Shredded beef

I made some fantastic shredded beef yesterday with one of your tip roasts. Once cooked it is great mixed with BBQ sauce for sandwiches or thrown in a tomato sauce for pasta. If you still post recipes (I haven't looked for a bit) here is how I did it:

* season beef (Sirloin Tip Roast) on one side with:
* salt and pepper (about a teaspoon or two of each, maybe a bit more salt)
* two tsp of minced garlic
* touch of cumin
* touch of cinammon
* touch of ground chile powder (any kind will do)
* heat olive oil in a stovetop high side pot (preferibly non-stick so the meat seers well)
* brown the beef on the seasoned side first (about 5 minutes on med-high heat) and then turn and brown on the opposite side
* add enough water so that it comes up to about 1/2 of the height of the roast
* cover the pot, lower the heat to a simmer and let braise for about 3 or 4 hours
* check the beef for ease of shredding after 3 hours; when it begins to separate easily then shred into desired size
* use as desired - with bbq sauce for sandwiches, tomato sauce for pasta, etc.

I really like cooking the beef this way. The cut is one of your more economical ones and it turns out enough meat for probably 4 or 5 people. Just thought I would share!

Submitted by Phil P.

Aromatic Shoulder of Pork


10 -16 pound pork shoulder/Boston butt
5 garlic cloves
2 inch piece fresh ginger
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp dried chili flakes
1/2 tbs kosher salt
1 tbs brown sugar
1 tbs oil
1 tbs soy sauce

5 spice mix

2 star anise pods
2 tsps fennel seeds
1/2 cinnamon stick
4 cloves
1 tsp black peppercorns

preheat oven to 450F

score rind of pork shoulder in parallel lines about 1/3 inch apart

grate garlic and ginger into a bowl and mix with ground ginger, chili flakes, brown sugar, salt, oil and soy sauce into a paste

grind all the ingredients of the 5 spice mix together using mortar and pestle or coffee grinder

mix 1 tablespoon of 5 spice mix into the garlic ginger soy sauce paste.

Rub half the said paste all over the scored pork shoulder rind

place roast on a roasting rack into the 450F oven- skin side -up for 30 minutes

Remove shoulder from oven and carefully turn the shoulder over (skin side down)

smear the remainder of the paste all over the bottom (no pun intended) of the pork

pour a glass of water into the roasting pan

turn oven down to 225F and put shoulder back in oven

cook for 16 to 24 hours (depending on the size of the roast—recipe if very forgiving) turning shoulder skin side up halfway through baking time. Baste with pan juices once the shoulder is skin side u again.

45 minutes before you want to eat, turn oven back up to 450 and allow skin to crisp. Keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn't burn. You can also turn on the broiler at the end if skin if not crisp enough.

remove crackled skin in a single piece and scoop pork into serving dish.

Boston Baked beans.

14 ounce piece of salt pork or uncured bacon or reserved pieces of pork fat

2.5 cups dried navy beans soaked in cold water overnight

1/4 cup brown sugar

3 tbs dark molasses

1 tbs English mustard

4 cloves

2 - 3 quartered onions

salt and pepper

drain and rinse the dried beans after soaking all night.

put the soaked beans in a pot on the stove with enough water to cover them by 2 inches. Bring to a boil and boil hard for ten minutes. Lower heat to a simmer and cover and cook for about an hour, until beans are tender but not completely soft. Remove from heat.

Cut salt pork or bacon, pork fat into bite size pieces --leaving the rind on--and add to beans. Stir in the brown sugar, molasses and mustard. Press cloves into the onion quarters and add them to the pot. Season with pepper but NO salt at this stage. If necessary add a little water to cover all the beans.

Replace lid and simmer very low on the stove or in a 275 degree oven (I ended up doing the pork at 250 and then putting the beans in at 250) and bake for about 3 hours (check beans after 2 hours though--I think that's all it took me).

Take the lid off the beans and bake or simmer for an additional hour--this helps to brown the salt pork and reduce the sauce.

Check season for salt and add if necessary.

Serve with coleslaw and bread :)

Submitted by Sally A. - South Arlington

Friday, July 2, 2010

Spinach Fritata

Spinach Fritata

1/2 lb spinach
1/2 c sundried tomatoes, chopped
a little olive oil
1doz large eggs or equivalent of smaller eggs
8oz feta cheese crumbles

If using fresh spinach, use 1/2 lbs after stems are removed. Clean and wilt spinach with the tomatoes and olive oil in an
iron skillet. Lightly beat the eggs with a little salt and pour into the hot pan. Stir gently so the veggies don't all end up
at the bottom. Top with feta. Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook gently til set. You can also speed up the cooking by
putting it under the broiler when the edges are set but the middle is still liquid.

Submitted by Mindy C - Reston

Quickest Egg

Quickest Egg

1. Find an appropriate utensil (a chopstick is good)
2. Poke hole through top of eggshell.
3. Start drinking egg. Poking a second hole in bottom of egg when tilted makes for easier drinking.

There you have it! No dishes, pans or spatulas to clean. Instant Protein! Some kids take eggs like this to school as a snack.

A good article on eggs:

Submitted by Elloit

Spice Eggnog

Spice Eggnog

- 2 cups real creamy milk
- 4 eggs
- Dashes of fresh ground spices: Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves
- A spoonful of honey
- Optional: a spoon of homemade kefir or yoghurt.

Either mix with hand whisk or make extra smooth in blender.

Once, I added a spoonful of kefir to the eggnog in a bottle and let it warm and culture. This helped me through a hot day of work in the field and a good bike ride.

Submitted by Elloit

Pumpkin Pudding

"Pumpkin" Pudding

- Pumpkin, Butternut Squash, or Sweet Potato (I've actually only used Sweet Potatoes as yet)
- Eggs
- Spices: Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves (all ground)
- Optional additions: Cream or Butter, Honey, Walnuts

Take Pumpkin, Squash, or Sweet Potato and slice and steam or bake whole until soft.
Mash in bowl, or if you want a smoother pudding (keep the skins), blend in a food processor.
Mix in eggs, spices.
Stir in optional ingredients.


You may need to let sweet potato cool a bit before adding eggs so as not to denature them.

Submitted by Elliot

Green Eggs

Green Eggs

- However many eggs you want
- More spinach than you think (You could also try other thin leafy greens like swiss chard)
- Pinch of minerals (himalayan salt)
- Add your favorite fresh herb or spice
- Cheese is good.

Mix eggs, spinach and salt/herbs/spices smooth in blender. Experiment with consistency. I found I could add quite a lot of spinach.

Pour into pan (you'll may want to oil the pan, I like coconut oil), cook gently, and move with spatula until done.

Add cheese if desired.

Now enjoy your deliciously light and fluffy (foamy?) green eggs!

submitted by Elloit

Cheese Breakfast Pie

(by Helen Dickey---we like this cold or hot)

Make a rather dry crust out of Hodgson Mills buckwheat flour plus shredded
coconut plus Spectrum organic palm oil shortening and a little water and pat
into a greased glass pie dish. I don't measure, but I think it is about 1/2
cup flour, 1/2 cup coconut, two tablespoons shortening and less than a
tablespoon water. Pat so bottom and sides are mostly covered.

filling (whisk):
15 oz container of ricotta cheese
3 eggs
1/2 cup cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon confectioner's sugar
1 Tablespoon Hodgson Mills buckwheat flour

Bake 375 until light brown on top and set.

Sour Cream Egg Omelette

(I changed a recipe from an egg and breakfast place at Rohoboth Beach but the
principles are the same---Helen Dickey)

Fry vegetables in butter or oil (onions, green or red pepper...)
Pour whisked egg mixture* on top
put the pan in the hot oven uncovered till set.

* egg mixture:
4 eggs
one large way-over-full Tablespoon of Daisy regular sour cream
about a tablespoon of water.

Beet Pancakes

Beet Pancakes by Helen Dickey

1 cup Hodgson Mills buckwheat flour
1 cup water (you may soak these two ahead of time if you want to)
1 and 1/2 cups grated beets
2/3 cup coconut (shredded, unsweetened and unsulphered)
2 Polyface med eggs

Mix and fry in oil or shortening. You may need to add a little more water to
make batter spread easier.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Shirred Eggs Florentine

4 tsp. unsalted butter, melted

2 cups fresh spinach, large stems removed

4 large Polyface eggs

1/4 cup cream

1/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese

Add 1 tsp. melted butter to the bottom of each of 4 wide-mouth canning jars or custard cups. Add ½ cup spinach to each jar, pressing down lightly. Make an indentation in the spinach: add 1 egg to each jar. Pour 1 Tbs. cream over each egg. Sprinkle each with 1 Tbs. Cheese plus salt and pepper.

Place all 4 jars in a 2-quart square baking dish. Pour 1 cup hot tap water into baking dish surrounding jars. Place baking dish on middle rack in a 325 oven; bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until eggs are set. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Makes 4 servings.

Makes for a very special breakfast!


Submitted by Jacqi R - Reston

Sausage & Potato Breakfast Pie

Adapted from a recipe used at the Inn at Woodhaven (Louisville, KY)

1 large russet potato
Salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups sharp Cheddar cheese*
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese*
1 pound Polyface breakfast sausage, browned
4 large or 5 to 6 medium Polyface eggs
1 cup half and half*
Dash cayenne pepper
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese*
*I try to find raw milk cheese when possible and always make with organic dairy products.

Add the potato to a food processor fitted with the shred attachment to create pieces similar to hash browns.

In the bottom of a buttered deep pie pan, add potato pieces. Salt and pepper to taste.

Top with half of the Cheddar and mozzarella cheeses, followed by a layer of cooked sausage, and the remaining cheese.

In a large measuring glass or bowl, mix 4 eggs and 1 cup half and half with a dash of cayenne pepper before pouring over top. Sprinkle shredded Parmesan over top before baking. The pie can be assembled and then refrigerated overnight; just let it sit at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes while the oven preheats in the morning.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes uncovered, and an additional 20 minutes loosely covered with foil.

Serves 6.


Submitted by Cindy M - Midlothian

Sarah's Smoothies (yolk only)

My favorite thing to do with your eggs is make "smoothies"...great as a mini meal or snack.
~6 oz homemade yogurt (I use raw milk but that's me)
1 banana
1 egg yolk
1 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 Tbsp. local raw honey
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
dash of nutmeg
Whirl it up in my Magic Bullet/blender/handheld blender and enjoy!

Submitted by Sarah D - Arlington

Rice Pudding

3 cups scalded milk

4 whole eggs

6 TBS sugar

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

leftover cooked rice, however much you have

Beat eggs. Add salt, sugar and vanilla.

Scald milk (until there is a thin skin).

Slowly stir in scalded milk to the egg mixture.

Mix in rice.

Pour into greased glass/Pyrex pan.

Set in shallow pan of water (1 inch).

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Done when knife comes out clean.

Submitted by Kathy H - Springfield

Kathy's Meringue Cookies (egg whites only)

2 egg whites, room temperature

pinch cream of tartar

1/2 cup sugar

Beat the egg whites until frothy (use electric mixer). Add cream of tartar until soft peaks form, and then slowly add sugar. Beat until glossy stiff peaks form. Use a pastry bag or zip-lock bag with corner cut out to squeeze the mixture onto a pan covered with parchment paper. Bake 2 hours at 200 degrees. Turn off oven and leave in one more hour or overnight.

Submitted by Kathy H - Springfield

Egg Nog (yolk only)

Mix well in blender:

1 cup milk

2 egg yolks

1 tsp vanilla

1 TBS pure maple syrup

Submitted Kathy H. - Springfield

French Toast

Mix 1 cup milk and 4 eggs. Optional: add 1 tsp cinnamon. Dredge bread slices through the mixture and cook on greased medium hot skillet. Depending on the size of your bread, this is enough for about 1 dozen pieces. Freeze leftovers and re-heat later in the toaster.

Submitted by Kathy H. - Springfield

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Lisa's Quiche

I buy the crust because I have not mastered how to make pie crust.
I have a big quiche dish so I use:

5 or 6 scrambled Polyface eggs,
1 cup of milk or heavy cream,
cup of any kind of meat, cup of cheese,
3-4 spring onions

Bake at 350 for a little over an hour.
I make it different every time, but the last one was breakfast sausage, swiss cheese and spring onions but the combinations are endless. You can eat any time of the day hot or cold.

Store bought pie crust has to sit on the counter for 15 minutes so during the 15 minutes: preheat the oven to 350, scramble the eggs and add 1 cup of milk or cream, cut up the meat, cheese and vegetables. Spread pie crust in dish, spread out vegetable, meat, cheese evenly on the bottom pour egg/milk mixture over it. add any seasoning salt, pepper, dill, whatever else. bake for an hour or hour and 15 minutes. bake until knife comes out clean.

It can be eaten for lunch or dinner with a salad.

Submitted by Lisa M - Occoquan

Spinach Quiche

8 oz. cheese (I use mozzarella to get my kids to eat it; otherwise I like to add some asiago)
2 Tb flour
3 eggs (Polyface, of course!)
1 cup half-and-half (I use 1% for lower-fat)
1 box frozen chopped spinach, cooked & well-drained
1 deep dish pie crust
salt & pepper to taste
dash nutmeg
(For added zest, you can add just about anything from crumbled bacon, ham, onion, shrimp, etc~whatever your kids will eat!)
~Toss cheese w/flour. Combine eggs, cream & seasonings. Add cheese & spinach & mix well. Pour into crust & bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Serves 6.

Submitted by Wendy - Polyface Gatekeeper

Banana Pancakes

We are on a restricted diet due to food allergies. One of my kids favorite breakfast items is banana pancakes. They sound strange, but drizzled with honey, they are absolutely delicious!

1 ripe banana mashed well (the riper the better)
2 Polyface eggs

Beat the eggs with the banana and spoon out onto a greased hot skillet. Cook as you would pancakes, serve hot with honey, a different sweetener or just enjoy them alone...they are that good! Be sure to make the pancakes small so they are easy to flip. Enjoy!

Submitted by Meg - Springfield

Gingersnap Meringue Cookies

Gingersnap Meringue Cookies

Only make these on cool days with low humidity or they won't work. Start early in the day.

Beat until foamy: 3 Polyface egg whites, room temp., 1/4 tsp cream of tartar, 1/8 tsp salt
Beat in, 1 T at a time: 1/4 cup granulated sugar
Beat in, 1 T at a time: 3/4 cup powdered sugar
Beat mixture until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in 2/3 cup crumbled gingersnap cookies (12) and 1/3 cup semi sweet chocolate mini-morsels.
Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment or sprayed with regular Pam. Bake at 200 for 1 1/2 hours. Turn oven off. Let cool for several hours in oven.

Submitted by Maria S. - Williamsburg

Lemon Pie Bars

Lemon Pie Bars

1 1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3 lightly beaten Polyface eggs
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 T lemon juice
3 T flour

Combine the first 3 ingredients. Press into 7x11 pan. Bake 20 minutes at 350. Blend other ingredients and pour over crust. Bake 20 minutes at 350. Sprinkle with powdered sugar while hot. Cut while cool. Makes 18.

Submitted by Maria S. - Williamsburg

Puffy Sweet Omelet

Puffy Sweet Omelet
2-4 servings

6 Polyface eggs, room temp, separated
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
2 Tb sugar
2 Tb unsalted butter
2/3 cup cherry preserves (or sweet filling of your choice)

Preheat oven to 350. Beat yolks in medium bowl until thick and lemon colored. Set aside. Beat egg whites with salt and cream of tartar in a large bowl until soft peaks. Beat in sugar 1 Tb at a time until whites are thick and glossy. Gently stir 1/4 of the whites into yolks, then fold yolks back into whites.
Melt butter in heavy 12" skillet over medium high heat, tilting pan so butter coats sides. When butter stops foaming, add egg mixture all at once, smoothing with metal spatula. Immediately transfer to oven and bake until omelet is puffed and browned and top feels firm to the touch (inside will be creamy), about 15 minutes. Make shallow cut down center of omelet. Spread 2/3 cup filling over one half and fold over. Slide omelet onto heated platter and serve immediately by cutting into wedges with serrated knife.

Submitted by Maria S. - Williamsburg

Potato Basil Frittata

Potato Basil Frittata

8 Tb unsalted butter, divided
2 cups peeled and 1/2 inch diced boiling potatoes (about 4)
8 large or 12 medium Polyface Eggs, or 8 medium J&L Green Farm Duck eggs
15 oz ricotta cheese
3/4 lb Gruyere cheese, grated
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
3/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/3 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking powder

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Melt 3 Tb butter in a 10 inch ovenproof pan over medium-low heat. Add the potatoes and fry them until cooked through, turning often, about 10-15 minutes. Melt the remaining 5 Tb butter in a small dish in the micro.
Meanwhile, whisk the eggs, then stir in the ricotta, gruyere, melted butter, salt, pepper, and basil. Sprinkle on the flour and baking powder and stir into the egg mixture.
Pour the egg mixture over the potatoes and place the pan in the center of the oven. Bake the frittata until it is browned and puffed, 50 minutes to 1 hour. It will be rounded and firm in the middle and a knife inserted into it should come out clean. Serve hot. Serves 8.

Submitted by Maria S. - Williamsburg

Breakfast Casserole

Breakfast Casserole:

1 1/2 pounds Polyface Bulk sausage
6 slices bread, cubed
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
6 Polyface eggs
1 tsp salt
2 cups milk
1 tsp dry mustard
4 oz mushroom pieces
1/4 cup green bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup green onion, diced

Saute vegetables until just tender. Brown sausage, drain. Layer bread in bottom of a 9x13 inch well-greased baking pan. Sprinkle sausage over bread. Add cheese. Beat eggs and mix with remaining ingredients. Pour slowly over cheese. Refrigerate overnight. Bake at 325 for 45 minutes.
Note: other ingredients may be added or substituted for the vegetables
Serves 8

Submitted by Maria S. - Williamsburg

Perfect Hard Boiled & Deviled Eggs

Perfect Hard Boiled and Deviled Eggs:

Cover eggs in 1" salted water and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 17 minutes. Place eggs in bowl of iced water for 10 minutes. Replace in boiling water for 10 seconds. Remove and put back in iced water until completely cool. All this loosens the shell from the egg and makes them easy to peel.

For deviled eggs: Halve 6 hard boiled eggs. Mix yolks with 1/4 cup light mayo, 1 t. Dijon mustard, a pinch of salt and a dash of cayenne. Put yolk mixture back in eggs. Sprinkle with paprika.
Variations include adding grated onion, sweet pickles, chopped herbs, or a dash of specialty vinegar like chardonnay.

Submitted by Maria S. - Williamsburg
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