I’m finally at the point where I’ve been able to eat the bacon we made way back in November. I’m super sensitive to smells and until now, the smell of the smoke wasn’t allowing me to eat the bacon. I’ve finally reached that point where I can, so we’ve finally be eating up the bacon we made.
So far we’ve tried our German Bacon and the house bacon, both have been great. I can’t wait to try to River Cottage bacon next.
Now that we’ve tried the bacon I can start to give away some bacon. We were reluctant to give any away until we had tried it ourselves.
Now that it’s bacon time, we have a lot of bacon to consume in the next year! No doubt next year will be better for me as far as smells go, now that I’ve gotten through it once, it won’t bother me the next time around.
Are they any food smells that you have a hard time with?Filed under Around the House, Cooking | Comments (19)
I grow most of my own onions, as a result I end up with some smaller onions that can be a bit of a pain to peel if you need lots of onions for a recipe. These smaller onions are perfect for making stock.
Onion peels contain a lot of vitamins/minerals but they’re not very palatable as is. Throwing them in stock is the perfect way to glean some of that nutrition. Some people I know even save all their onion skins in a bag in the freezer along with carrots peels and celery trimmings to use when making stock. I love using them because I can make use of even more of what I grow in the garden.
Do you use your vegetables trimmings for making stock?Filed under Cooking | Comments (12)
Yesterday we celebrated a birthday. When I asked Mr Chiots what he’d like for a birthday meal, he said “Lasagne”.
It was a slow meal, a very slow meal. It all started way back in the fall of 2012 when we first moved to Maine. I planted garlic in the back garden. This garlic was harvested this past summer and it seasoned the sauce and the sweet Italian sausage that used in the lasagne.
The next step towards reaching this meal was starting onion seeds in January. Then in March seeds were started for tomatoes and herbs used in the sausage and the sauce.
I canned this sauce last fall, it’s perfect. The tomatoes and herbs are roasted for many hours in a low oven. The result is a deeply flavored sweet sauce, with none of the acidic bite of a sauce made with fresh tomatoes.
On Thursday evening I made a batch of ricotta cheese with Jersey milk from a local farm and lemons from Lemon Ladies Orchard. I procured whole milk mozzarella, parmesan and romano at the local co-op. I also purchased mushrooms to add to the lasagne.
The hens provided eggs for the pasta, King Arthur Flour provided the flour.
I wrote a post on Eat Outside the Bag about making your own pasta if you’d like to give it a try.
Mr Chiots ended up eating three servings, so I guess he thought it was delicious. The good thing is, there are only two of us, so it will take us a few days to eat up the rest of the pan. I always find that lasagne is much better when reheated.
It’s certainly satisfying to see all the different ingredients that were grow and raised right here coming together to form a delicious meal. For my birthday I always used to request chicken and dumplings, luckily, another meal with ingredients that can be mostly grown or raised right here.
What dish do you request for your birthday meal?Filed under Cooking | Comments (21)
Last night we went to a holiday party. We were supposed to take a snack of some sort. Knowing there’d be the usual snack items already there, I decided to make roasted chickpeas. Mine were dried beans that I soaked overnight then cooked. I tossed them with coconut oil and roasted them in a 400 oven for about 40 minutes (or until most of them are crispy). I then removed them from the oven, poured them in a bowl and tossed them with ghee, honey and various spices like smoked paprika and cinnamon. Back into the oven they went for 5-10 minutes. They should all end up crispy and delicious, a little like pretzels.
Sometimes I also love to add smoke chipotle to add some nice heat, but usually avoid that when I’m taking them elsewhere as most folks don’t enjoy that level of spiciness. One of these days I’m going to add mustard powder instead of paprika because I think honey mustard ones would be heavenly!
What crazy snack foods are you taking to holiday parties?Filed under Around the House, Cooking | Comments (7)
It’s squash season and I’m happy. I love butternut squash soup, really love it. I’d eat it a few days a week if I could. My favorite recipe combines sweet squash, creamy butter, savory sage and smoky chipotle peppers. In fact, there’s a batch on the stove right now.
Here’s my favorite Butternut Squash recipe.
Butternut Squash and Chipotle Soup
from Fresh & Light (Williams-Sonoma)
1 butternut squash, 2.5 lbs
1 tablespoon of butter
2 slices of coarse country bread, each about 1/2 inch thick cut into 1/2 inch cubes (for croutons)
1 teaspoon of dried sage
1/2 yellow onion chopped
2 small chipotle peppers (I’d start with 1 without seeds and then taste) I use canned ones
3 1/2 cups of chicken, turkey, ham or vegetable stock
salt to taste
fresh sage leaves (optional)
Freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 350. Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Using spoon, scrape out the seeds and any fibers and discard. Place the squash halves, cut side down, on a baking sheet and bake until just tender, about 35 minutes. Remove from the oven. When cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh into a bowl.
In a large saucepan over medium high heat, warm the butter. Add the bread and dried sage and saute, stirring often, until the bread cubes are browned on all side, about 4 minutes. Using a spoon, transfer croutons to a plate and set aside. Add the onion to the pan and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the squash chiles, and broth. Simmer over medium heat and cook, uncovered, until the squash is very soft, about 30 minutes.
Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender until smooth (or with immersion blender), be very carefully blending hot soup as it has a tendency to explode the top off the blender. It’s best to start with bursts of power then to full blend. Its also wise to keep a kitchen towel draped over the blender. I have found an immersion blender to be indispensable since we make many pureed soups.
Return soup to the pan and reheat gently. If desired add some whole milk and butter. Taste and add salt and freshly ground pepper as needed. Ladle into warmed bowls. Divide the croutons among the servings and garnish with sage leaves. Serve hot.Filed under Cooking | Comments (13)