Archive for ‘Flying J Farm’

October 7, 2010

Real Buttermilk Pancakes

After making several batches of butter this week (I keep telling you it’s really easy), I was left with several cups of buttermilk. 

Since I had more time yesterday morning, I made a big batch of buttermilk pancakes for Cherub.  I used whole wheat flour from Flying J Farm, home churned butter, Holistic Acres eggs and all that Snowville buttermilk. 

I used James Beard’s recipe from his American Cookery book, but added a little sugar, bumped up the soda just a bit and it needed a bit more flour (all purpose white) because homemade buttermilk is thinner than the cultured you’d get in the store. 

We’re not normally a whole wheat flour kind of a family, but these were really delicious.  They came out fluffy and with a nice texture from the whole wheat.  Cover them with lovely Ohio maple syrup and you’re laughin’.  Cherub devoured them and we still have nice leftovers for school mornings like this one.  You could even freeze them.

Try some this weekend.

Only non-local ingredients were baking soda, salt and granulated sugar.  For complete sourcing see the Farms and Producers page.

October 6, 2010

“Eat at a Locally-Minded Restaurant”: Let’s go to Skillet!

A great suggestion for one of the things you can do to participate in local foods week is eat at a “locally-minded” restaurant.  So to make sure we touched as many points on the Eat Local Challenge Pledge Card as we could this week, my family visited the cheerful Caskey family at Skillet for lunch today.  Even home-body Persephone loves a good meal out.  

Hades started with the Red Beans and Rice.  Chef Kevin Caskey really nailed the smokey, French Quarter flavor of this creole classic.  Sadly, we dug in too quickly and have no photo to prove its existence.

Mommy told Cherub the grilled cheese was a real winner.  So she ordered the grilled cheese and pumpkin and black bean soup for herself (she’s a very confident three-year-old).    

While we have worked hard to make sure she tries all types of foods with different flavors and textures, I have to say, I was shocked to see how much soup she vacuumed up.  Then I tasted it.  Well, of course.  It’s a fantastic combination: silky pumpkin with perfectly cooked and seasoned black beans.  What’s not to love?

I am no stranger to Flying J Farms beef.  It’s some of the best we’ve tasted.  I had to order the Diner Burger: made with ground beef from Flying J Farm‘s grass-fed and finished cows, on grilled brioche, topped with fontina,  a fried egg and peppery arugula.  The egg still had a delicious thick yolkiness, that  further “sauced” the burger (and my shirt, since Persephone is nothing if not a graceful eater).  It was tremendously good.  But what really set it off was the lovely tomato marmalade.  In a word: finesse. 

Hades ordered the Fried Green Tomato BLT, topped with a fried yard egg, a pretty ruffle of frisee and oo-wee sauce.  Let me tell you: oo-wee, it’s good sauce and a good sandwich.  I think fried green tomatoes can be kind of pain to do right.  And Chef Caskey does them right.  Nice, thick, meaty tomato (you can easily screw them up and make them mushy, not so here), along with thick, meaty bacon made a wonderful fare-the-well to summer sandwich.

Both Hades and I had small sides of different, but perfectly paired, potato salads.  His a homestyle and mine a cold German-style. 

All sandwiches were $9.  Not much for locally sourced, creatively conceived and downright delicious fare.

I really do love this restaurant.  It’s the kind of place that if we go out, which is rarely, we want to go here.  Make sure you visit them this week.

October 5, 2010

Lake Erie Walleye with Spaetzle and Cheese

Another play on a classic today, the eternal combo of fish sticks and mac and cheese. 

While I didn’t fry the walleye, you could.  I seasoned the walleye with salt and pepper, cut a shallow slit in the top of each fillet and stuffed them with a combination of fresh herbs.  Then a drizzle of olive oil and it’s into the oven for about 15 minutes, depending on the size of your fishies.  If you have the time, brown some butter in a pan with a sprig of fresh rosemary for a quick and flavorful brown butter sauce to drizzle over your fish.

Spaetzle is a simple batter to mix up.  I used about two cups (half whole wheat flour from Flying J Farm and half unbleached white flour from prairie Mills) along with 3 local eggs and about a half a cup of milk from Snowville.  You want it nice and thick (like pudding almost) so you can press it through a colander with the back of a spatula over a deep pot of salted boiling water.  You don’t want it running through of its own volition, you need to push it through, otherwise you’ll be left straining out a bizarre oatmeal-looking slop.  (Not that this has ever happened to competent Persephone.)  Each batch of teeny tiny dumplings are done in about a minute.  Lift the spaetzle out of the water with a strainer and place on a clean kitchen towel to drain.

Homemade cheese sauce is a snap to make.  Warm a chopped yellow tomato and some garlic  and add it to the cheese sauce to give a potentially heavy dish a nice touch of freshness.  Mix in a couple of generous spoonfuls of the tomato cheese mixture into the spaetzle that’s been moved to a saute pan to rewarm.

Serve the two together and you might be able to get your kids to try your version every once in a while.  And every once in a while is not a very bad start.

The only items in dinner that were not local were the olive oil and the salt and pepper.  Neat-o.  Complete sourcing can be found on the Farms and Producers page.

Playlist included Superior, by Columbus local Colin Gawel.

October 4, 2010

Dinner, Day Three: Braised Short Ribs from Flying J Farm

I can’t tell you how much I love short ribs.  They’re cheap, they’re easy to prepare, and with a little forward planning, they’ll give you more flavor than cuts that are five times the price.  Unfortunately, they’re also terribly underutilized in the home kitchen.  Even if you aren’t that comfy in the kitchen, they are very forgiving.  So go ahead and keep your filets – this unsung cut is the one for me.

For this dish I used grass-fed short ribs from Flying J Farm, which were second to none.  They were dense and meaty, with just the right amount of fat for succulence.  And marvelously bordering on just a bit wild tasting because of the grass diet.  Just remember: low heat, long time, and you’ll have a smile on your face at the dinner table.

Braised Short Ribs with Red Pepper Gravy and Sweet Potato Mash

3 pounds of grass-fed, Flying J short ribs, or grass-fed if you’re not from Ohio

1 T of bacon fat (Curly Tail Farm)

2 green onions, roughly chopped

3 garlic cloves, diced

2 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped

2 medium red bell peppers

1 small, red, spicy chili

2 T of flour

3 cups of stock, 3 cups of water

Salt/pepper

To get started add a thwack (that would be a heaping tablespoon, more or less) of bacon fat to a large, heavy-lidded roasting pan.  Turn up the heat pretty high.  Generously salt and pepper the ribs, then add them to the pan, searing on both sides.  I must emphasize two points here: 1.  Sear them until they begin to brown, and 2.  Do this in batches so as not to crowd the pan.  I will repeat:  do not crowd the pan.  Stack your ribs on a plate and set them aside.

Turn the heat way down, and add the onion, the chili, and the garlic.  Scrape the bottom of the pan somewhat obsessively to release all that goodness.  When soft, then add the peppers and tomatoes, and soften them somewhat.  Then put the ribs back in, along with any juices on the plate.  With flair, sprinkle everything with the flour, then add the liquid.

PK Tip:  After last night’s Chicken dish, we had leftover bones.  While cleaning up, I put them in a pasta pot, filled it with water along with some vegetable trimmings (like leek tops, carrot tops, radish tops, the odd tomato), bay, thyme and peppercorns, brought it to a boil, and simmered over low heat for 45 minutes.  Voila…stock.  In all honesty, if at this stage you don’t have stock made this way (or something similar), I would say just use all water and not a boxed stock.

Back to the show:  Place the lid on the pot and place in the oven at 300˚.  Two and a half hours is an absolute minimum.  Three is better, Four better still.  When it’s done, pull out the bones (won’t be hard – and save them!  That’s beef stock!), skim/remove any fat, and pull the meat apart with two forks.  Lovely.

Meanwhile, you’ll have plenty of time to make the sweet potato mash.  That’s one mammoth Beauregard sweet potato (thank you Northridge Organics), cubed, boiled, drained and mashed.  Add heavy cream, milk, salt and pepper to taste.  At the risk of repeating myself, lovely.  If you’ve got some fresh corriander (that’s cilantro), chop it and sprinkle it over the top, it’s fantastic.

According to James Beard, short ribs are best served with beer.  As a rule, you should never, ever disagree with James Beard.  So Columbus Brewing Company’s Scottish Ale it was.

Playlist included Bloodbuzz Ohio, by The National.  God, I love his voice.

Complete sourcing for local produce used in this meal can be found on the Farms and Producers page.

October 3, 2010

The Big Sunday Breakfast

There’s something magical about the big, stick-to-your-ribs kind of breakfast I enjoyed on the weekends growing up in Texas.  Demeter and Zeus really know their way around a kitchen.  So breakfasts like this one are really up there in terms of comfort foods for me.   How happy was I that we could find OH so many local products to recreate the kind of breakfast that will give you a nice food coma to nurse for the rest of the afternoon?  Let me answer that: very.  

One of the first things I was dying to try this week was making my own butter.  I get it: you think I’m off my rocker for trying something like that and that you would never have the time to do it yourself.  Let me ask you a question: do you have ten minutes on the weekend?  You do?  Do you have a food processor?  You do?!?  Well guess what?  You’ve got no more excuses.  It’s a totally great thing to do with your kids, if you got any.  It’s downright fun! (I realize now, that was more than one question.)  

Butter  

  

In a food processor pour in heavy cream (we used, of course, Snowville, because it’s the best tasting stuff around here) to the liquid fill line.  Flip on processor.  Process for approximately 3 to 4 minutes, stopping the machine and scraping down the sides two or three times during the process.  First you’ll have whipped cream, then really firm spreadable whipped cream, then butter!   

Cherub is not the best photographer, but she tries.

 

Remove the butter to a very clean kitchen towel over a bowl.  Wrap up the towel and twist to squeeze out all the liquid.  Buttermilk!  I am such a food nerd.  

At this point you can do whatever you want to it, salt some, leave some plain for baking, add some herbs or a wine reduction (awesome).  It’s tremendous and I think a lot cheaper than the stuff you get at the store.  Plus, it’s freezable, so you can make a bunch and chuck it in the freezer until you need the rest of it.  I’m sold.  

The Big Breakfast, in Pictures:  

Fried eggs from Manchester Farms, sausage from Curly Tail Farms, grits from Stutzman Farm, scratch whole wheat (from Flying J Farm) buttermilk biscuits, sausage gravy (keep the sausage drippings, sprinkle a bit of flour over them while still hot and cook over medium heat for a few minutes, pour in milk and whisk, adding more until you get the gravy the consistency you like, season with salt and pepper), homemade butter and local honey.  And Silverbridge coffee.  Thank goodness for the coffee.  

   

  

  

   

   

   

Complete sourcing can be found on the Farms and Producers page.  

In a nod to my Texas roots, the playlist included Twenty Cycles to the Ground by Molina & Johnson.  Jason Molina (of Magnolia Electric Co, from the great lakes area) and Will Johnson (of Centro-matic from that hotbed of music Denton, Texas).  Gosh, I just love Will’s voice.  He’s the music version of comfort food for me.

October 2, 2010

Dinner, Day One: Fall Fest at Flying J Farm

Photo credit, Ely Brothers

 

Hades, Cherub and I headed to Johnstown this afternoon for some fun on the farm. Cherub enjoys chasing the chickens and enticing Jewel the farm dog to play fetch. 

Hades and I were looking forward to the organic, grass-fed beef burgers for which Farmer Jensen is famous. 

While once again it managed to rain when we were there (same as the Slow Food dinner back August), but the rain never seems to dampen anyone’s spirits when they’re there. Dinner was pot luck, so I brought along a green bean and tomato salad from all the produce loveliness we bought this morning. Original credit for this salad goes to Chef Brian Polcyn, cited in Ruhlman’s Soul of a Chef

This is an easy salad that is great for entertaining and for pot luck meals like this one.  And it could hardly be more local. 

Wishwell Green Bean Salad  

½ pound green beans, tipped and halved if too long (Wishwell Farms

3 oz bacon ends, chopped (from Curly Tail Farm

1 Roma tomato, sliced in strips the approximate size as the beans (Wishwell) 

1 yellow tomato, sliced in strips (Wishwell) 

1 very large green onion, sliced (from Northridge Organic Farm) 

Apple cider vinegar, grapeseed oil, salt and pepper 

In a large pot of heavily salted boiling water, cook the beans for 3 to 4 minutes, or until just done. Remove the beans from the water to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. 

Render the chopped bacon ends until crispy. Remove to a plate lined with a paper towel. Reserve the drippings. Yes. Do it. 

In a large bowl, combine the bacon fat, 1/8 c grapeseed oil, 1/8 apple cider vinegar and the salt and pepper. Whisk to combine. Add the beans (that have been drained and dried slightly), yellow and red tomatoes, green onion, and crispy bacon. Mix lightly to keep the tomatoes in strips. 

For more pictures of Slow Foods Columbus‘s Shake the Hand That Feeds You Dinner, check the Ely Brothers’ Facebook album.

September 1, 2010

Local Foods Week is Coming Soon

One of the events that will be here before you know it, Columbus foodies, is Local Foods Week.  This year’s is October 2 through 8.  Part of the events this year is an Eat Local Challenge.  Hades and I are already starting to think about what we’ll do for those seven days.  Will we end up making our own butter from the cream from Snowville Creamery?  Will we research old pioneer recipes?  Will we buy flour from Flying J Farm and make a wild yeast sourdough?  Who knows, but we’re going to treat that week like it’s the Super Bowl.

Consider taking the plunge with us this October.  Even if it’s just for a day, there is a lot of fun to be had cooking in a new way.  It will be one of those days where you’ll go to the farmer’s market (if you can) or the grocery store and decide what looks great.  What’s from around here?  What can I do to make this taste fantastic?  To give you some ideas, I’ll be posting seasonal recipes almost daily.  So hopefully, by October, I’ll have given you an idea what you can do with those super sexy leeks and ravishing butternut squash you’ll have in your hands.

%d bloggers like this: