Archive for ‘Bluescreek Farm Meats’

September 3, 2011

Extra Time on Saturday | Pasta and Focaccia

The quick and dirty version of a Saturday dinner:

Because I made a veal stock today (with lovely bones from Bluescreek Farm Meats), it meant that there was quite a bit of tasty meat left on the bones after the stock was all said and done.  It was dropped into the quick tomato sauce, that I seem to make quite a bit here in the summer.  (It’s just now about time for the last of those tasty orbs.  Get them fresh while you still can.)  This was poured over some homemade tagliatelle.

Served alongside for sopping up all the extra tomato-y goodness was a bit of rosemary focaccia: (1 1/4 c all purpose flour, 1 large sprig fresh rosemary finely chopped, 3/4 t salt, 1 package dried yeast, 1/2 c water all dumped into a bread machine for kneading, then allowed to rise in a covered and very generously olive-oiled bowl for about an hour an a half; punched down on a baking tray and allowed to rise once again for about 30 minutes and then drizzled with more olive oil and torn rosemary, salt and grated parm; baked at 400F for about 25 minutes).  A simpler, no knead version is here.

Playlist included Misery, by New Jersey’s Big Troubles.  How is it that My Bloody Valentine is now retro?  Are we that old?  Le sigh.

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November 22, 2010

Tennis with Escoffier

This past weekend, I picked up a couple pounds of oxtail from Bluescreek Farm Meats.  There were a number of ways I could have prepared them, but I was itching for a challenge.  Every once in a while, I need to stretch myself, culinarily speaking.  And while none of the ingredients were particularly exotic (ok, aside from the oxtail), I used a very old recipe from my copy of the Escoffier Cookbook as a guideline.  I made oxtail soup.  It’s not what you would call a “quick” recipe.  But that wasn’t really the point on Saturday. 

A perfectly imperfect brunoise.

There were several techniques within the recipe that I felt like trying out, not only to say that I had, but to see how well I could manage them.    Do I regularly cook what amounts to a light first course over the course of six hours?   No.   But I wanted to take a shot at making a raft (an egg white mixed with diced white parts of a leek and a small bit of very lean ground beef) to clarify the soup.  And I wanted to practice my brunoise with some carrots.   As it turns out, I’d be fired pretty quickly from any professional kitchen for how slow and inconsistent I am.  But was it better than I had done before?  Yes!  (And heck, I thought they looked pretty.)

Cooking a difficult recipe like this is for me, a lot like playing tennis with Roger Federer.  You should play tennis with someone who’s much better at it than you.  Otherwise, how can you expect to improve your serve?  Cooking this way teaches me new things about myself as a cook.  I like learning.  And I learn a lot when I make a recipe like this.  I will omit how I can’t actually play tennis anymore because of a torn labrum from a backhand, but you get my point.

What it all boils down to for me is that cooking is a pleasurable way to spend time.  The fact that at the end of all of it, you get to eat something that might not be textbook perfect but tastes pretty great?  Well, that’s just the icing on the cake.

Playlist included Heaven Can Wait, by Charlotte Gainsbourg, featuring Beck.

October 8, 2010

Day Seven: Dinner, Gran Finale, Ode to a Pig

Did you really think Persephone would forget to include a pork dish this week?  O ye of little faith.  Tonight’s family dinner was a symphony of piggy-ness.  The way we all like it.  This pig, trotters and all, was entirely from our friends at Bluescreek Farm Meats in the North Market. 

Milan is the home of La Scala, Inter Milan, and this dish.  Please enjoy the description of the last meal of Local Foods week, and heck, maybe try it out: Bottaggio alla Milanese.   Mangia. 

Persephone’s Local Cassoeula, serves 6

5 oz bacon ends (ours were from Curly Tail Farm)

3 pounds pork spare ribs, cut into two-rib sections

1 pig’s trotter, about a pound, split (just ask)

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October 2, 2010

OH So Good Omelette

The parent sized portion

 Today started off with a classic French bistro lunch made with entirely local ingredients.  This was after we ran out to The Hills Market, didn’t find what we’d hoped and then scurried through the Worthington Farmer’s Market, just under the bell.  Where we found just about all we’d hoped.  You’ve gotta get there pretty early to snag local leeks. 

I’ll be doing some linking this week in the posts, but tonight I’ll start a page with suppliers for the week. 

OH So Good Omelette 

2 to 3 tomatoes, chopped (ours were backyard tomatoes) 

1 t bacon drippings (ours was from Bluescreek Farm Meats) 

2 eggs (these were from Holistic Acres in Ashland) 

1 T finely chopped herbs (today it was tarragon, basil, parsley, from Cronus’s garden) 

¼ c shredded strong cheddar (from Ohio Farm Direct in Fredricktown) 

The cherub sized portion

 

In a small nonstick pan, cook the tomatoes over medium low heat until you are left with a thick paste.  Season with a bit of salt.  Remove from heat.  Melt the bacon drippings in a small nonstick pan over medium low heat.  Scramble the two eggs and mix in the herbs, whisking firmly to incorporate.  Pour the eggs into the pan, allow to firm slightly then pull the edges of egg toward the center of the pan, allowing the uncooked egg to run to the bottom of the pan.  Spread half the tomato mixture over the eggs, sprinkle with cheese.  Season with salt and pepper.  Reduce heat to low.  Allow eggs to set a bit more, then fold omelette in half.  Flip, if you’re feeling sassy.   

Serve with Honey Run Farms greens with fennel frond vinaigrette. For the vinaigrette mix 3 T grapeseed oil, 1 T red wine vinegar, 1 t mustard, 1 T finely chopped fresh fennel fronds, five twists of pepper, a pinch of salt and a drizzle of local honey.  Toss lettuces in the dressing and serve immediately. 

Playlist included Devo’s Fresh.  Of course.

September 9, 2010

Greek, Only Not | Roasted Lamb Shoulder with Olives

Didn’t they always serve roast lamb on Sundays back in the Mad Men era?  This Greek-inspired lamb shoulder with an olive sauce is worth all the trouble and forward planning you might have to do.

Hades and I had a hankering for some lamb after the Greek Festival last weekend.  Maybe with some olives.  And eggplant.  Ooo!  And some of our home grown tomatoes. You know, Mediterranean flavors , but not quite so literal.  And that started us thinking about all the Columbus purveyors of locally made, grown and produced deliciousness; we decided to see how local we could go.  Consider this one of our first forays into the Eat Local Challenge that will be happening later this October.

We ordered our lamb shoulder from Bluescreek Farm Meats, our Cherub selected the local eggplant and garlic with a little help from Colleen at the Greener Grocer.  The olives and pita were from Firdous Express, and the tomatoes and herbs were from our backyard. The shallots were from Cronus’s garden.  Not local was the salt, pepper, olive oil, and butter.  We’ll work on those.

You might be tempted just to enjoy the pictures and read the description, but please don’t do that!  Try this out on a Sunday soon, before all this summer’s tomatoes are gone.

Roasted Lamb Shoulder with Olive Sauce served with Eggplant and Tomato Fondue

Lamb Stock – Yeah, I know.  Keep reading.  We made ours the day before.

1 pound of lamb bones (ask your butcher, lamb neck works well)

2 carrots (tops left on, please), scrubbed and broken in half

1 yellow onion, paper left on, quartered

Small handful of parsley and thyme, 1 bay leaf, 10 peppercorns

In a roasting pan, spread out the bones and place in a 350˚ oven for 30 to 45 minutes turning once or twice, until golden.  When roasted, place bones in large pasta pot, along with the rest of the ingredients.  Cover with water.  Place over high heat to bring to a boil, then turn down so that the water is barely simmering.  Skim regularly.  Allow to gently cook for two hours.  Strain through a fine mesh or cheesecloth.

Roast Lamb – Preheat Oven to 500˚

2.5 pounds bone in lamb shoulder

1 head garlic, cloves separated, but paper still on

Very large handful of fresh sage, fresh parsley and fresh thyme

Salt, pepper, olive oil

In a large, heavy, lidded roasting pan, cover the bottom of the pan with all of the garlic cloves then layer over the herbs on top of the garlic.  Using a sharp knife, shallowly slice a crisscross pattern into the top of the lamb shoulder, rub liberally with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper.  Put the lid on the pan, slide the pan in the oven and immediately reset oven temperature to 325˚.  Roast for four hours.  (Yes, four hours.)   To serve, shred roughly off the bone with a generous ladle of olive sauce and some pita for scooping.

PK tip: keep the bones once you pull out the roast.  Throw them in the freezer so you have roasted lamb bones next time you want to make stock.

Olive Sauce, inspired by Marco Pierre White

4 c. Lamb Stock

1½ c. olives from your grocery’s olive bar (pits removed, but not stuffed with feta or jalapeños, please and roughly chopped)

4 T butter

In a sauce pot, reduce the lamb stock over medium heat by 2/3 (this takes about an hour to an hour and a half).  When you’re about ready to serve dinner, whisk in the butter and add the olives and warm through.

Tomato Fondue, inspired by Marco Pierre White and Escoffier

½ shallot, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

Scant ½ cup olive oil

6 to 8 large, very ripe Roma tomatoes, skinned, deseeded and chopped (Hades insists he would never bother with skinning and deseeding, but I did, and it was worth it)

¼ bay leaf (really, Marco?), 1 sprig of thyme, salt

In a pan, heat the olive oil over low heat.  Add the shallots and garlic and sweat, without coloring, for a few minutes.  Add in the tomatoes and cook gently, stirring occasionally, until reduced to a thick paste.  Remove bay, and tip mixture into a blender or food processor.  Blend until the mixture is smooth.  I found it actually emulsifies into an almost mayonnaise-like consistency.  Add a pinch or two of salt.

Eggplant Preparation

1 eggplant, sliced into ½ to ¾ inch thick rounds

Olive oil, salt (preferably fleur de sel:  it adds a nice texture)

In a large frying pan, cover the bottom of the pan with ½ inch of olive oil and heat over medium high heat.  Prick the eggplant rounds with a fork.  Place the rounds in the hot oil and fry until golden brown on both sides (six to eight minutes).  Remove to a plate lined with paper towels and sprinkle with salt.  To assemble, place a slice of eggplant on a plate and cover with a generous spoonful of the tomato fondue.

Are you still there?  You are?  That’s great.  I’m guessing you’re still reading because there’s a little tiny bit of you that wants to make this, but you read the post and said, “no way, that’s too hard.  I don’t have time for that.”  You have the time if you really want to.  You’d be so proud of yourself.  I was so proud of myself.  Hades and I love cooking together.  The greatness of the meal is that it highlights one of the most amazing cuisines as well as lots of different techniques.  Like lifting weights, it will make you a stronger cook.  And heck, it tastes great, too.

Wine:  PK recommends a Greek white that Hades and I were introduced to at Gordon Ramsay’s London Bar.  It’s a Moscofilero, Domaine Skouras.  A white with Lamb?  A white indeed.

Playlist included the lovely Rose Elinor Dougall’s debut album Without Why.

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