Saturday, January 28, 2012

Beef and Barley Soup

Yesterday I put some beef short ribs and soup bones in the oven to roast. I roasted them for several hours and when cool put them in the fridge over night. This morning I skimmed the fat from the pan, scraped out all the drippings and put them on the stove top covered with water. For the next couple of hours I let them simmer, covered. The resulting stock was deep and rich and delicious.
While the stock boiled, I put some hulled barley in the rice cooker.I like using hulled barley instead of pearled because the bran is still intact and therefore more nutritious. Once it was done, I assembled my soup.
I sauteed onion, garlic, mushrooms and carrots in a bit of butter. To that I added the shredded beef, strained stock and cooked barley. I also added some powdered Hen of the Wood mushroom. All of this was put in the crock pot and turned on low. Not finished quite yet, I scraped all the marrow from the beef bones, put that and the bones back in the pot, covered them with water once more and set to simmer again. I wanted to extract all the flavor and nutrition possible. Later, I added the second batch of broth. I allowed it to slow cook the better part of the day. The fresh mushrooms were store bought and the barley was from our bulk stash. Everything else was from the homestead. Tonight we will have a fresh spinach salad and soup... and that's what's for supper!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Kale Casserole

This was delicious!

Wash kale and tear into bit size pieces. I probably had about 16 cups or so. I placed the kale in a large pot and added about 1 1/2 cups of water, covered and cooked until tender. When done, I placed in a strainer to drain. In the same pot, I sauteed onion in a bit of olive oil until translucent. Then I added 4 cloves of minced garlic and cooked a couple more minutes. I stirred in 2 tablespoons of flour and cooked another couple of minutes. Then I added about a cup of half 'n half, maybe a smidge more and cooked until thick. Lastly I added about 4 ounces of cubed Havarti cheese. (Any soft cheese would do though) and stirred until melted. I stirred the drained kale back into the cream sauce and once thoroughly combined, put it in a casserole dish. Top with fresh bread crumbs and bake at 350* for 25- 30 minutes until bubbly.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Soaked Oatmeal Pancakes

This recipe makes a large number of pancakes. I refrigerate leftovers and the boys heat them for breakfast during the week. They can also be frozen. I like using spelt flour but whole wheat works as well.

The night before put 2 1/4 cups of oatmeal and 3 cups buttermilk in a large bowl. Stir to combine, cover and refrigerate.
 In the morning add:
1 1/2 cups spelt flour
1 1/2 tsp. each salt, baking powder, baking soda
3 eggs beaten
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup honey

Mix all ingredients together and cook until brown. Serve with maple syrup.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Massaged Kale Salad

This is a most delicious winter salad. With the lack of fresh lettuce this time of year, this has become our new favorite and we have gotten quite addicted to it I must say. Keep a bag of washed kale in your fridge and this is a super fast and super simple meal or side salad.

Tear kale into bite size pieces and place in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and a pinch of salt. Massage kale until dark green, slightly wilted and coated with oil. Add toppings of your choice, toss and enjoy.
Our favorite is slivered onion, diced avocado and feta cheese. We also like grated carrot, onion, Parmesan cheese and sunflower seeds.
This was lunch today~ kale salad and quinoa.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Chicken Noodle Soup

I made this soup using the leftover chicken carcases from this weekend's smoked chicken. I wanted a more brothy soup and with a few fresh ingredients from the garden and noodles from the pantry this soup was put together in very short order. Everything but the noodles was produced here on the homestead! Enjoy~

I boiled the chicken until the meat fell from the bones. I put strained stock and the chicken bits back into the pot and added chopped carrots, finely chopped onion and some garlic. When carrots were almost done I added some  farfalle or bow tie noodles. Lastly I added some torn kale and fresh rosemary.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Winter Garden Quiche with Savory Spelt Crust

The garden is blessing us with an abundance of winter vegetables. The chickens are enjoying the few extra minutes of daylight and have begun to lay again. Today's homestead meal incorporates all of the above for  a delectable lunch.

Savory Spelt Crust:
(2 crusts)
2 cups spelt flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Sift together and cut in with a pastry blender:
2/3 cup butter
Once butter in incorporated add about 6 tbsp. cold water, a couple of tbsp. at a time until dough comes together. Gather with hands and form a ball. Divide in half. Roll on a floured board and place in a deep dish pie plate. Set aside. You can refrigerate other ball to use in the next few days or freeze.

Winter Garden Quiche Filling:
Saute 1/2 medium onion, in 2 tbsp. butter, until translucent. Add about 8 cups of torn Kale and 3 cloves of garlic. Cook until wilted. Layer in crust. Top with broccoli. Top broccoli with grated carrot. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
Beat 8 eggs with 1/3 cup of milk, cream or half 'n half and pour over vegetables.
Bake at 350* for about  45 minutes.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Oatmeal Rolls

Whenever we attend a gathering and I ask what to bring, it is always my oatmeal rolls. This week while learning to use my rice cooker I had an abundance of oatmeal so I made a batch. You can use either steel cut oats or regular oatmeal. The steel cut oats give a bit more texture. You can also use most any type of flour, whole wheat of course making a denser roll and white flour creating a light airy one.

Oatmeal Rolls
2 cups cooked oatmeal
3 tbsp. butter melted in hot oatmeal, stir and let cool

In your mixing bowl:
1 tbsp. yeast
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup warm water
Let this mixture sponge in a bowl until bubbly.

1 1/2 tsp. salt
4 1/2-51/2  cups flour

In a bowl with dough hook attached add oatmeal, salt and enough flour to make dough pull from sides. Let knead until smooth and elastic and continue to knead for 5 minutes or so. Cover and let rise until double. Turn dough on to greased board and with greased hands divide dough in half, each half in thirds and finally each third into thirds, forming 18 rolls. Place in greased 8x8 pans and allow to rise until they reach the top of the pans. Bake @ 350* 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans and place on racks to cool or serve immediately.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Spicy Mexican Chicken Breasts

I pulled a few things from the freezer and pantry to put this tasty dish on the table tonight.
I thawed some boneless chicken breasts from the chickens we processed in the spring.(I also made a mental note that we are running close and may need to up the number we process this year.)
I grabbed a jar of salsa that I made during the summer. I diced a few jalapenos, also put up this summer. Next, I processed the end pieces from bread made earlier this week in the blender with chili powder and cumin. I grated some pepper jack cheese and beat a fresh egg in a bowl.

To assemble:
Wash and pat chicken dry. Dip in egg and then in bread crumbs. Pan fry in a bit of butter & olive oil on each side until brown. Transfer to a baking dish and top with salsa and jalapenos. Bake at 375* for about 25 minutes. Top with cheese and bake until melted. I served it with steamed rice and re-hydrated black beans bought from our coop in bulk.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Stuffed Cube Steak

For some reason our freezer seems to be running over with cube steak. Bored with the usual baked or fried I was looking around for something different. I found a recipe for stuffed cube steak. It called for a lot of canned soups of which I don't use but thought I'd give it a try with what I had. Here is the end product and quite tasty I must say. I served it with mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli and carrots fresh from the garden. And of course, homemade biscuits! Enjoy! ( no pics on this one, the guys inhaled it before I got my camera!)

I had some herb stuffing mix left from New Year's Eve and to that I added finely diced sauteed onion and celery and enough water to moisten. I then flattened the cube steak with my hands between wax paper. I put stuffing in each steak and rolled them up, browned them in a bit of butter and placed in a baking dish.
For the sauce I sauteed more onion in butter and added some dried mushrooms (re hydrated) from the pantry. I stirred in a couple of tablespoons of flour and cooked. Then I  added 3/4 cup of cream and 3/4 cup of  milk and cooked until bubbly. I  poured that over the steaks, covered and  baked them for about 1 1/2 hours at 350*. After baking I sprinkled with fresh parsley.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year's Dinner

Traditional fare calls for Hoppin' John and greens. The rice and peas for good luck and the greens for money.
I served a Hoppin' John soup and not one but three types of greens this year. Surely, someone will when the lottery! ;o))

Hoppin' John Soup
3 cups cooked black eyed peas
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 large onion
3 cloves garlic minced
3/4 lb. sausage
salt & pepper to taste
Cook black eyed peas in chicken stock until done.( I used a spicy all natural chicken sausage but any type will do or omit all together.) Saute sausage, onion and garlic together and add to peas. Add cooked brown rice. Simmer until thick.

I picked lots of fresh greens from the garden. Spinach, kale and collards graced our table. I cooked the collards the way my grandmother did by boiling a ham hock covered with water for an hour and then adding the collards. They cooked until tender and were served with a splash of vinegar. I also served a pan of crispy kale to top the peas and spinach salads. The salads had chunks of local apples, cranberries, feta and walnuts. A delicious and healthy way to start the new year!