Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Cooking Pumpkin

I would love to say I grew this lovely pumpkin but I did not. It did come from the NC mountains though. I only paid 5.00 for it and the amount of puree I get, it will last us all winter! I will freeze it in 2 cup increments since that is what most pie and muffin recipes call for.
I like to bake mine. There are some that boil it but when you bake, you can just put in the oven and walk away.
To begin with, I wash it well and with a large sharp knife cut it in half.
Scoop out the seeds and goop in the middle.

Lay cut side down on baking sheets and cover with foil.

Bake at 375 for 1 1/2 hours or until you can stick a knife through the flesh and it is tender.
Allow to cool and then scoop all the flesh into a colander and let drain in the refrigerator overnight. Once it has drained completely, process in a blender or food processor for a smooth and creamy puree.
Now you are ready for all of your favorite pumpkin recipes!

Our Favorite Pumpkin Pie
2 cups cooked pumpkin
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 2/3 cup heavy cream
2 eggs, beaten
Mix all together and pour in a deep dish pie shell.
Bake at 350* for 45 minutes to and hour or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.
Top with sweetened vanilla whip cream.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Slow Cooked Beef Roast

Tonight's homestead meal is a slow cooked beef roast. I pulled a chuck roast out of the freezer to thaw yesterday. I love to cook this roast long and slow with nothing but a bit of salt & pepper. The slow roasting makes it extremely flavorful and tender.
Place roast in a large covered casserole dish. Salt & pepper to taste. Cover and cook on 300* for about 3  hours. When almost done, place large cubes of carrots and potatoes in pan along sides of roast. Continue cooking until vegetables are tender. A large salad made fresh from the garden and homemade biscuits complete the meal!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Lunch Meats

It is extremely expensive to buy pre-cooked lunch meats not to mention the fact that they are full of junk. The last time I checked roast beef was about $12 a pound! Even if you don't raise your own beef or hunt you can certainly purchase inexpensive cuts of meat and make your own lunch meats at home. We have a slicer that we purchased years ago. Amazon has one very similar for about $50. That may seem like a lot but if you purchase a 3 pound roast for $3.oo a pound, cook it, and slice it you have already saved half of what the slicer cost! We use ours for turkey, chicken, deer and beef. It will also slice bread and cheese.
This weeks lunch meat is a deer roast. I seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder and rubbed it with yellow mustard. I baked it for about 40 minutes at 350* or until the thermometer reached 140*, we like rare, so cook to your own liking. Wrap and chill overnight and slice while cold. You are ready for lunch!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Wild Mushroom and Kale Risotto

The way I make risotto is a quick and easy side if you cheat like I do!
I had some hen of the wood mushrooms in the fridge and a basket of kale and made this yummy dish.
First saute onion and mushrooms in butter until tender. Add 1 cup arborio rice and cook until browned. Add kale and cook until wilted. Add several cloves of minced garlic and cook for another minute or so. Next add 2 quarts of chicken stock. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook stirring occasionally for 30 minutes or until stock is absorbed and rice is creamy. Remove from heat and add a large handful of Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!