Homemade taco seasoning is the perfect base for your Cinco de Mayo celebration! You know exactly what the ingredients are and no running to the store to buy a single use package of seasoning! Old Time ground beef or a chuck roast combined with the taco seasoning below - Qué Delicioso!
1 tablespoon chili powder (see below for recipes)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt (or kosher salt)
1 teaspoon black pepper (optional - adds heat)
Mix all ingredients and use with one pound of Old Time ground beef, chicken or turkey (or store in an airtight container for later use). I add to the ground beef when browning it or to the chicken & turkey when being sautéed or with shredded leftovers before reheating.
Learning your ingredients allows you to tweak the flavors for your taste as well as substituting ingredients in your pantry for those that you may not have on hand when you wish to make a dish. Often, you can replace the garlic and onion powders with fresh onion and garlic. Cumin applies a smokey, earthy flavor to many dishes and is a staple in my pantry,
Chili Powder (Joy of Cooking)
3 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon tumeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
Mix together and use lots of crushed garlic in recipe or add 2 tsp of garlic powder. Store in an airtight container.
If you like a more potent chili powder, try this one:
Potent Chili Powder
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon oregano
2 teaspoons garlic powder
Do you have a recipe you use? Have a happy Cinco de Mayo!!
Seasonal eating while cleaning the pantry at its best! Nutritious pasture-raised Old Time Farm heritage turkey eggs are in season now! Combine the eggs with foraged nettles, ham loaf mix from Blackberry Meadows Farm pastured pigs (to clean out the freezer) and some stale Mediterra slider buns (to clean out the fridge)! Sprinkle a little Real Salt with Garlic and parmesan cheese grated at County Market and bake at 375 degrees for 30 mins = delicious dinner is served!! I could have foraged for some garlic mustard and used that in place of the garlic salt or used scallion sprouts from Harmony Grove Farm. Fellow farmers I seek out for pasture-raised pork are Auburn Meadow Farm and Who Cooks for You Farm would be a source for the pasture-raised pork as well as greens.
Nettles are a foraged green (AKA "weed") that tastes like spinach but is MUCH more nutrient dense than spinach found in any store! I originally discovered nettles when searching for new calves hidden by their mamas. I found the calves hidden in these 5-6 foot high stands of "weeds" with prickers on them. After touching the plant it STUNG for a LONG TIME, became numb and left a welt! I generally do not get poison ivy so I HAD to find out what this dastardly plant was about! I learned it was "stinging nettle" or "Urtica dioica" and an excellent source of iron, magnesium, potassium, calcium, vitamin A, protein, and dietary fiber as well as having a long history of being used for food, fiber and medicine going back to neolithic times! This incredibly tasty nutrient dense food is growing naturally right on our farm without me even planting it, BONANZA! Then we ate it and it was YUMMY and a peculiar thing happened ... our stuffed noses from seasonal pollen allergies cleared right up! You can discover why nettles may be "the most nutritious plant on earth" as well as how to identify it, harvest it, medicinal properties, how the nettle stings, how to avoid or mitigate the sting and more in this video by my favorite local food foraging instructor, Adam Haritan from Learn Your Land.
Strata is fairly simple to make and, if you leave the bread out, it is a "frittata" and if you put that in a pie shell it is a "quiche", if you make it flat in a skillet, it is an omelet and if you scramble the omelet it is fancy scrambled eggs! The main ingredient is the eggs with a little milk and seasoning along whatever needs to "go" from the fridge and freezer and seems like it would go together well.
Back to the recipe/mix I made this time:
1 lb of sausage or ham loaf mix
5 turkey eggs
4 stale slider buns
1 gallon bag of nettle tips (can also use spinach, kale, broccoli or other green)
splash of milk
garlic salt (or salt along with garlic or garlic mustard greens)
parmesan or grated cheese of some sort (approx 1/2 cup)
large pie plate
Prepare nettles by washing and removing leaves and tips from stems (use gloves - another link I found says to let it wilt to remove stinging but I have not tried that yet!!)
Brown the sausage in a skillet and crumble. Remove sausage and set aside.
Add a little bacon grease, lard or butter if there is not enough fat in the skillet to sauté your nettles or greens. Sauté the greens until wilted - cover a steam a little if necessary to soften (more necessary when using kale)
Crumble the bread and sprinkle about 1/4 cup parmesan cheese on it in a large bowl. Whisk the eggs and a splash of milk along with a couple sprinkles of the garlic salt and pour over the bread (it should be gooey, not dry but not all eggs either). Add the sausage & greens, lightly toss and dump into the pie pan or baking dish. Sprinkle with more cheese and put in a 350 or 375 oven to bake until brown and the center is set (you can poke it with a knife in the center to make sure the center is done - if the knife comes out clean vs with soft egg on it, it is "done". I generally set the timer for about 20 minutes then watch it.
Another option for a "hand food" would be to bake the mix in muffin tins for breakfast or dinner "on the go"!! Just make sure you adjust the baking time accordingly!
Have fun turning seasonal farm foods and "weeds" into delicious, nutritious foods for your belly and soul!
Let me know if you have any questions or what you decided to add to your strata, frittata, omelet or scrambled eggs!
I just LOVE beef stroganoff! The recipe I use is from an old compilation of recipes, "Among Pork Chops and Other Things, Navy Supply Officer's Wives Cookbook, Vol II" and was my grandmother's book. This poor old spiral bound book is falling apart, but has the very best recipes in it! This recipe was submitted by Judi Kern from Charleston, SC. Thank you to Judi, wherever you are now!
Beef Stroganoff (Old Time tweaks in parentheses)
1 1/2 lb round steak (or beef cubes or ground beef)
1/4 cup butter (or tallow)
4 oz can mushrooms (I use 8 oz fresh mushrooms sliced)
1/2 cup chopped onion (1 small onion is fine)
1 clove garlic -minced (I like a big one or 2 medium)
12 or 13 oz beef broth
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup flour
dash of salt & pepper
Cut beef into thin strips and dust with flour. In a large skillet, brown beef in butter. (If using ground beef, brown & crumble the beef then add the flour and cook about 5 more minutes until flour starts to turn to a more golden color - make sure to stir often).
Add mushrooms, onion & garlic - brown lightly. Add beef broth, salt & pepper. Cover and simmer about a hour stirring now & then. Stir in sour cream, cook over low heat for 5 minutes.
Serve over egg noodles, rotini, rice, baked potatoes or biscuits. YUM!!
Here is a good recipe for homemade egg noodles!
I had never sautéed or pan-fried a steak before ... always grilled them ... as of this week, that is going to change forever!! No more braving the wind, rain, snow and sub-zero temperatures to fire up the grill to make steak or burgers. The skillet is my new best buddy!
Heritage pastured poultry/eggs and grass fed beef produced on Old Time Farm are unique because the variables in production can distinctly change product on your plate while commercial meats are "carbon copy" duplicates focused on fast/cheap production. The age at harvest, the type of forage fed, the amount of exercise received, the mineral/supplementation provided, consistent weight gain through their life (and especially up to harvest), how much fat or "finish" they have, stress levels at farm and at harvest, how they are cut by the butcher and how long they were aged for after harvest all make a huge difference in the texture/flavor of the products we offer and combines the art of observation and timing as well as science to create a true artisanal product. Selective breeding for rate of growth, how fast they mature, weight of bone, richness of milk for cows to feed their calves, body/muscle type, how well they forage for food, and how docile and calm the temperament all play in to the flavor and texture as well. Variables in harvest age mean that there is not one cooking method fits all harvest ages or cuts of poultry or beef to accentuate the delicious depth of flavor and nuances of texture - some are better cooked "low and slow" while others like it quick & hot!
Contemporary recipes are created for commercial meats so I decided to take some cooking "coarses" to "bone up" on the science of cooking and to "stretch my wings" beyond the country comfort food I was brought up on. I wanted to understand "why" things cooked like they did and apply it to the range of grass fed, pastured and heritage meats we produce on Old Time Farm. Thank you Chef Todd for leading the way and to you for following on this journey with me!
One of our assignments in the cooking "coarse" was to choose a "protein" to sauté. Being a "good" student, I could not sauté just one protein, I had to sauté a variety of proteins! What is the key to the beautiful caramelized coating on the beef and the perfectly pink interior? You can watch this video by Chef Todd and/or follow these instructions:
So onward with the research into cooking these amazing foods and the nourishment they provide ... more cooking "coarse" classes along with many good reads like "Nourishing Broth" by Sally Morell, "On Food and Cooking" by Harold McGee, "A Guide to Modern Cookery" by A. Escoffier, "The DNA Restart" by Sharon Moalem, "Minerals for the Genetic Code" by Charles Walters and more!
Old Time Farm