Results for category "farmstead kitchen"

Farmstead Kitchen- Baked Beef Curry

While the name of this recipe is not too enticing, I can assure you the end results will blow your mind! IMG_20160205_172256
SO much flavor, so tender, and really a perfect way to cook leaner meat with delicious results. This recipe came from my neighbor Lisa, who makes it with venison. Since highland beef is so similar to venison in flavor, and also lean and more mature than regular corn/soy-fattened beef, I had a feeling that this recipe would be a perfect match for my beef. She served a big salad, hot rice and a big pot of yellow split pea daahl with the venison curry….one of the best meals I’ve ever had, seriously a restaurant quality meal. Thank You So Much Lisa for sharing the recipe so I could recreate it with my Highland beef. The original recipe is from Madhur Jaffrey. I made a few adaptations like using beef stock instead of yogurt, adding garlic and black pepper. I served this with a daikon radish/kimchi salad, Red lentil daahl, roasted sweet potatoes/leeks, and clove spiced basmati rice.12697020_10153448380701448_5636793758334377371_o

Baked Beef Curry
“Beef is eaten by Muslims throughout lndia, Pakistan, and
Bangladesh and is often referred to as bara gosht, or “big meat.”
It is sometimes “baked” using an ancient top-of-the-stove
method known as dum. A tightly closed pot with the meat inside
(or it could be rice and meat) is placed over low embers and
more charcoal is placed on top of the flat lid. With heat coming
from the top and the bottom, a slow baking ensues. When the
pot is opened, the aromas permeate the room to great cries of
appreciation. I find that an oven can, very conveniently, do a
dum with similar results. Serves 4-6″
2 pounds stewing beef, cut into I inch pieces (I have used sliced up round steak as well as with diced chuck roast)
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6 tablespoons olive or canola oil
6 cardamom pods
Two 2-inch cinnamon sticks

1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
2 cups (8 ounces) chopped onions
l cup yogurt  (I used beef stock instead)

2 tablespoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons finely grated peeled fresh ginger or l teaspoon powdered ginger
l teaspoon cayenne pepper (I used 2 chopped fresh chiles)

4-6 cloves of fresh chopped garlic

1 teaspoons salt, to taste
Preheat oven to 350’F.
Pour the oil into a large, wide, ovenproof pan and set over medium-high
heat. When hot, put in the cardamom and cinnamon. Stir once, and put in
only as much of the meat as will brown easily. Brown on all sides and remove
to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Brown the remaining meat this way. Add the
cumin seeds and coriander and onions to the oil in the pan and fry until the onion pieces
have just begun to turn brown. Add chopped fresh garlic. Turn off the heat.
Return the meat and all accumulated juices to the pan as well as all the
remaining ingredients. Stir to mix, and bring to a simmer. Cover, first with
foil, crimping the edges down tightly, and then with the lid, and place in the oven. Bake for
one and half hours or until the meat is tender. Enjoy!



Farmstead Kitchen- Katty’s Duck Egg Crepes

Back in the day at Seward Co-op, Katty and I worked together in the grocery department. She is a dear young lady, so intuitive, talented and kind. Before I left to start working at the co-op in Stillwater in 2006, she was hired on as my replacement Merchandising Manager and she rocked it so hard the store had to move to a bigger location!

Katty recently came out to the farm for a catch-up visit and she made ME crepes! It was the first time I’d ever eaten them…………and NOW I get it!!! Crepes are insanely decadent and complicated sounding, I thought you needed tons of butter and cream to make them, so never even thought of trying to make them. Turns out you can make them totally dairy free – Katty used duck eggs, almond milk and Earth Balance non-dairy butter. The trick to the perfect crepe is the low and slow cooking technique, which leads to silky smooth crepes that melt in your mouth!

In a cuisinart mixer, mix 3 eggs with 1 1/2 cups of a milky beverage, together til real fluffy. Then add to the cuisinart:  5 Tbl melted earth balance, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1/2 tsp salt and 3 Tbl Sugar. Get a large skillet warming with a bit of “butter” on low. A well-seasoned cast iron pan is ideal and will require less oil to grease between the crepes. Mix the wet ingredients together well, then pour into a bowl and add 1 cup white flour and just barely mix it in.

Add 1/2 cup of the batter to the warmed skillet and IMMEDIATELY tip the pan around in a circle to get the batter to cover the entire bottom of the pan evenly. Let the batter sit in the pan undisturbed, cooking slowly until you can see the edges are pulling away from the sides of the pan, then carefully lift and flip. There are apparently special crepe spatulas you can find which make this much easier. You are not looking for a browned crepe, just one that is cooked and holds together. I find each side takes about 5 minutes, depending on your temperature. Compared to a traditional looking pancake, crepes will look underdone and much flatter,   which is not quite as exciting, but Crepes are WAY more fancy when you are eating them! Oil the pan as needed between crepes to ensure they don’t stick, but if you’re using cast iron you may not need to do this.

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Katty also made a blueberry sauce by simmering fresh berries with some sugar for a few minutes, and we rolled that sauce inside the warm crepes and shoveled them into our mouths with our fingers, barely making any sounds other than guttural oohs and ahhs! I just put some slices of uber juicy peaches on mine and snarfed them down!11999079_10153000472217751_894657438021719049_n


Farmstead Kitchen- Preserving the Harvest

11222646_10152867171507751_383718360300309371_nThings are simpler on the farm this summer, without trying to fill CSA boxes each week. I cannot lie, it’s a relief. When you cannot do something extremely well, it is better to let the ones who DO, do that! Hopefully you are supporting your favorite local farmer by participating in a CSA this season, or going to the farmer’s market near you and patronizing your most treasured local farms. Buy as much as you can from them! They depend on this short window of the growing season to make their living. Don’t  just buy what you want to have for dinner- put it up! Eating local year round by preserving the summer’s bounty is just so rewarding, frugal and lower carbon-footprint.

Here on the farm, the garden is growing amazingly well. I have previously done canning and freezing and drying of single ingredients, to allow for flexibility in their eventual use – like canning tomatoes, drying herbs, or freezing chopped garlic scapes. I am still doing that too, but also trying something new- freezing “leftovers.” This is a very simple way to put things up- make your dinner in a slightly larger fashion with your fresh local goodies, and then freeze some of it in dinner sized portions. 11866406_10152944273367751_7941376092407105345_n11800261_10152944409457751_581708455700096187_n

Not all leftovers freeze and the reheat perfectly, and this will be a learning curve to be sure, but many leftovers do freeze extremely well. Use up all those reused plastic cottage cheese containers, label what’s inside, and then mark down a “monitor freezer inventory” on your December/January calendar to remind yourself that you have all sorts of ready to use meal ideas already stockpiled. Just an idea for you as you deal with mounds of cherry tomatoes, zucchinis, peppers, green beans, kale and chard, etc. I have made and then portioned and froze giant pans of roasted herbed cherry tomatoes and zucchini chunks, braised greens (yummmmm, and this reduces the space they take up in the freezer,) and curries with all sorts of veggies. I also want to remind you this is the time of year to make a batch of herb salt which I posted here last winter.


I just started a big pan of it today and added slices of fresh garlic too, it will be divine! And it is so EASY! You can make it in any quantity, it’s a great way to put those abundant summer herbs to use (and also makes a fantastic gift!) other than boring old dried herbs in the cupboard.

Don’t forget fermentation as a means of preserving. You can ferment many combinations and end up with an absolutely delicious probiotic-rich condiment that will keep in the fridge for over a year!11863301_10152943384932751_3959796014741046254_nMany of the co-ops offer classes on fermentation but you can also go your own way by utilizing the DIY spirit of Sandor Katz, he has written a most inspiring book called Wild Fermentation, and there is also tons of info on his website. I hope you have a great summer full of enjoyment and the reward of capturing the season by putting up food using many methods for eating local through the year!

The Farmstead Kitchen- Duck Eggs

Summer’s here, the grass is lush, the trees and weeds glow emerald. Every year it is simply breathtaking to behold this magical transformation. It is truly the most fulfilling time of year for pastured animals and the people who tend them!

The lady ducks are doing SO awesome, enjoying their rotational grazing paddocks where they forage among the grass, milkweed, brambles, bushes and goldenrod for tasty treats. The yolks of their eggs are golden and vibrant, reflecting all the nutritious goodies they feast on each day. 11221840_10152746531777751_1671917935355263859_n

We’re excited to have our Duck Eggs available at a few new places this year, including Fresh and Natural Foods in Hudson, WI and served at Broder’s Terzo Vino Bar and Le Town Talk Diner in Minneapolis. Support the awesome food establishments who are making the effort to work directly with small scale, local and sustainable farmers! We’d also love to extend our on-going appreciation for the Twin City Co-ops who regularly stock our pastured Duck Eggs on their shelves: Lakewinds, Mississippi Market, Wedge, Seward, Linden Hills, Eastside, River Market, and also Willy Street’s 2 locations in Madison, WI.

Here are a couple of delicious Duck Egg recipes:

Anyone-Can-Do-This “Omelet”

Sautee a handful of (any kind of) mushrooms and onions in olive oil on medium heat, until the mushrooms soften and then just begin to turn a bit dry, then crack 2 duck eggs on top, break the yolks and swirl around to get the eggs to completely cover the mushroom and onion pieces. Salt and pepper, turn off the heat and then cover the pan (leave it on the burner to soak up residual heat) and let it sit ten minutes. Slow cooking Duck Eggs will lead to the most unbelieveable silky texture! The meaty/woodsy flavor of the mushrooms is ridiculously complimentary to the richness of the eggs. I know you will enjoy!11220913_10152813842697751_2572291420390475465_n10419618_10152813842997751_4206226250641488458_nDuck Eggs with Wild Greens

Gather a generous handful of nettles, lambsquarters or any other wild green you have growing, or use kale or chard. Chop and sautee in olive oil with a bit of green pepper, onion and garlic, then crack a couple of duck eggs on top. Turn down the heat to low/medium, and as soon as you can flip the eggs, do that and finish cooking to your desired doneness. This is a splendid way to get the amazing nutrition from wild greens, and is a perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner!


Duck Egg Power Breakfast Salad!

Fry up a bit of Pastured Pork Breakfast sausage and a duck egg as well. Shred and serve on top of a bed of spinach, with a spicy and probiotic kimchi and drizzle some of the juice on top as a “dressing.” We are currently in love with the Daikon and Ramp Kimchi (her original classic one is fantabulous as well!) made my our dear friend Angelica of Angelica’s Garden, which you can pick up at many of the Co-ops in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Don’t you just want to shove your face into that salad?!





Farmstead Kitchen- Hard Boiled Duck Eggs

The PERFECT hardboiled duck egg

Have you forgotten how delicious a hard boiled egg is? Wait…maybe you are thinking of that “other” kind…. the bland and boring hard-boiled-chicken-egg, so disliked after all the easter egg excess many of us endure. Those are just so *not* enticing. Get yourself a few delicious duck eggs and set yourself up for luxurious perfection in a simple pearly shell. Hard boiled duck eggs are simply a whole other experience!

Did you know a duck egg has twice the protein of a chicken egg? Each duck egg has 9 grams of protein, real FOOD protein, which is much more useful for your body than a protein bar or protein shake could hope to be. Fuel yourself with delicious pastured Duck Eggs from happy ducks!!

Hard boiling duck eggs for your upcoming weekday snacks or lunches is as easy as boiling water. All you have to do is time it properly. Here’s how we do it, and honestly, no fancy schmancy anything. Just perfectly wonderfully light and lovely hard boiled duck eggs.


Put your eggs in a pot and cover them with water. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer and THEN set the timer for 9 minutes. When your buzzer goes off, take the pot off the heat, pour off the water and roll the eggs around in the pot to crack the shells. Let them sit in the pot (off the heat) for another ten minutes to cool, and then peel and eat, or stick in the fridge for later use. Use up within 4 days, as once they are cooked they won’t keep as long as raw eggs in the fridge. They make a great and seriously satisfying snack, are awesome in salads, you could make egg salad sandwiches (hot ones are AWESOME with some sauteed garlicky greens,) or use them as part of a delicious Ethiopian style dinner such as this from Nom Nom Paleo. Here are two sample eggs in mid-devouring stage, which I just had to test after double checking my timing on the hard boil. What a hard job….NUMMMMMMMMM. Look how fluffy and perfect they are!!!


We absolutely love hard boiled duck eggs, and hope you enjoy them as part of your satisfied, healthy and delicious diet as well!! Our ducks thank you for your support of our farm! You can find our Duck Eggs at these fantastic co-ops: Willy Street in Madison WI, River Market in Stillwater MN, and in Minneapolis: the Wedge, Seward, Eastside, Linden HiIls, as well as both Mississippi Markets in St. Paul, Lakewinds in Richfield, Minnetonka and Chanhassen. Also on the menu at Le Town Talk Diner in Mpls and Farm Table in Amery, Wisconsin and soon Terzo Vino Bar also in Mpls!10394140_10152238091396448_7703458258978665096_n

The Farmstead Kitchen- Applesauce Fruit Leather

fruit leather

In 2013 we had a phenomenal apple harvest, and I canned up about 200 quarts of honey cinnamon applesauce. I was a canning freak that year, it was like a factory in the kitchen all summer and fall. Making applesauce by the 5 gallon pot full is SOOO easy- all you do is core and quarter (do NOT skin them) apples to fill a pot, add a bit of water to start the apple steaming process, cover the pot and simmer gently til the apples all soften. Stir occasionally to make sure there’s no sticking onto the bottom happening. Add honey to taste (about a quart for a 5 gallon pot), and stir well. When you are ready to can, sprinkle on cinnamon ( a 1/4 cup or so) also to taste. Don’t add the cinnamon too early or some of it’s aromatics will be lost as the sauce cooks. Then I ladled the chunky applesauce into the blender hot, pureed it to a velvety smooth sauce and poured it straight into my canning quart jars. Each canner load holds 7 quarts at a time, and I had two canners going, so you can see how quickly and easily I became a canning rhythmist. I did this with apple syrup, pickled beets, dilly beans, tomato puree, pickled peppers, and green hot sauce. 2013 was truly an extremely bountiful year in the garden and orchard.


Anyways, long story short, it’s 2015 and I still had about 30 quarts of 2013 applesauce left and had been looking for some creative way to use it up. I don’t bake much, so using it as an egg substitute in baked gods wouldn’t help much, and I can chug it down straight from the jar, but…variety is nice too. I found a simple DIY Fruit Leather how-to on Pinterest and decided to try it.

LIFE CHANGING! This is SO EASY, especially if you have premade applesauce to use:

1 quart poured out onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet

Smooth and “Bake” at 170 for 3-6 hours until a little shiny and dried out but still a bit sticky to the touch.

This is the biggest variable as it’s hard to perfectly & evenly smooth out a very thick sauce across the baking sheet. You may want to try putting less than a whole quart of sauce onto your baking sheet if you want to have a thinner fruit leather more quickly.

fruit leather making

Once completely cooled, remove the “leather” from the parchment carefully and loosely roll up, or you could cut it into strips right on the parchment if you want to make for a cute presentation and lessen the chance it will stick to it’s self. That doesn’t matter to us, we just eat it! Knowing it’s made from WHOLE ORGANIC APPLES and honey instead of sugar, means this fruit leather is really nutritious as well as being a satisfying sticky, sweet and chewy snack!

.fruit leather peeling off parchment

I love how you can see the attempts to make an even surface on the sauce failed! Hey, it’s still delicious no matter how it looks!fruit leather 2

There’s me and a tiny fraction of the 2013 apple harvest!


All of our apple trees are wild and grown from seeds that cows “planted” (if you know what I mean) about 25 years ago- this means our apples are mostly not table apples at all. Some are sweet and amazing, some are “meh” and we’ve even found gross ones. Interestingly, there are also trees which have bitter apples that become sweet after a good hard frost. Such diversity, it’s really an adventure. Let’s hope for a bountiful apple year in 2015, and that I’ve gotten through all the 2013 applesauce before then! What do you do with a good apple year? What’s your favorite way to preserve apples, and use up surplus? Hard cider, apple wine, apple vinegar, savory and sweet apple chips are on the docket for trying this year, if we have a good apple year!

Last apple note- I found one tiny wild apple tree down in the gully that was loaded with these tiny and extremely unusually colored apples, they were sweet too but crab apple sized. Not a great size for processing, but they sure were unique, bite sized snacks. How cool, eh?P1080460