dinner

Family Farm VS Factory Farm Chicken Challenge Video, part 3- the Eating

fried chicken
To watch part 3 of the Chicken Challenge click here 

So here it is, the final part of my factory farm versus family farm Chicken Challenge, the EATING.   What could be better than that??….NOTHING, that’s what.   I’ve cooked the chicken two ways, I fried the legs wings and thighs and pan roasted the breasts.  In the video I describe the frying and roasting techniques used .

Does the $17 chicken taste better than the $4 chicken? Check out the Video and see

chicken breast, pan roasted chicken, family farm, factory farm
Pan roasted chicken breasts. The chicken breast on the top is from a factory farm, the chicken breast on the bottom is from a family farm
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Vegan Cauliflower Casserole with a Gluten Free Option

"Creamy" non-dairy, Cauliflower Casserole
“Creamy” non-dairy, Cauliflower Casserole

I grew up with two brothers but no sisters.  Through the North Fulton, GA chapter of Mocha Moms I now have about 80 sisters and I am so thankful for them all.  Last night my sisters and I had a wonderful evening of chatting, chocolate and cooking.

Vegan cauliflower casserole with gluten free option

I was honored to have the pleasure of doing a cooking demo for about 30 ladies, but what to cook for such a large group with diverse tastes and dietary needs. This cauliflower gratin relies on vegan “cream cheese” for it’s creamy sauce and nutritional yeast for it’s cheesy taste.  If you need a GLUTEN FREE version of this recipe leave off the panko gratin topping, replace them with potato chips and enjoy.

Cauliflower Casserole for my Sisters

Demetra Overton
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Cuisine American
Servings 4 -6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup medium chopped onion
  • ¼ cup diced carrot
  • 1 cup red bell chopped pepper
  • ¼ chopped celery
  • 1 clove of garlic chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 head of cauliflower about 4 cups
  • 4 ounces vegan cream cheese
  • 4 teaspoons of nutritional yeast
  • ¾ cup vegan panko bread crumbs or potato chips
  • Salt

Instructions
 

  • Sauté onions, carrot, red bell pepper and celery in 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil until softened.
  • Add lemon juice, water and cauliflower to the pan.
  • Stir to mix all vegetables together and cover the pan.
  • Steam on low for about 10 minutes or until cauliflower is tender.
  • Stir vegan cream cheese, 2 teaspoons of nutritional yeast and salt to taste into the cauliflower.
  • In a bowl, mix panko crumbs, 2 teaspoons of nutritional yeast, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and sprinkle on top of cauliflower.
  • Broil for 1 minute or so (watch it closely) until the topping is browned

 

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Flank Steak Recipe – Marinated, Grilled and DELICIOUS

 

Flank steaks on the grill

 

It’s grilling season y’all!…well in the south its almost always grilling season, especially this past winter which was really no winter at all, but I digress.  Yesterday we put the grill to good use by cooking up some flank steak and some squash ( yes, squash again. When I told you yesterday that there was a ton of squash at the farmers market I was not kidding).

The flank steak was marinated for two days in the fridge, which was overkill but we had a huge electrical storm roll through on the original day I was going to cook it.  The extra day didn’t hurt it at all, but I wouldn’t go longer than that.  You don’t want your meat to break down in the marinade before you cook it. Here’s the recipe:
Marinated Flank Steak
1 flank steak
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup canola ( or vegetable) oil
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Score the flank steak on both sides. Put all the other ingredients into a ziplock bag and mix. Put the flank steak into the bag. Seal and refrigerate for  4 to 8  hours.

Remove the flank steak from the fridge and get your grill going. Build the fire to one side of the grill creating a hot zone and a cool zone. Remove the flank steak from the marinade a pat the steak dry. Cook the flank steak on the cool side of the grill for about five miunites on each side. The time depends on how hot your grill is so just watch it so it doesn’t over cook.  This will slowly bring your meat to the desired temperature. I like my flank steak cooked to medium, so when it gets close to medium I move it to the hot side of the grill, directly over the fire an let it brown for just a minute on each side.

here’s a quick snack to make with flank steak

I sliced the flank steak thin,  made a quick guacamole and served it as an open faced little sandwich with some serrano pepper, cilantro, red onion and sour cream.  The flank steak would be great in a lettuce wrap with white rice or as a taco with some slaw….I’m gettin’ hungry again just thinkin’ about it.

When the flank steak was done the fire was still roaring so why let it go to waste.  I took some of the squash from the farmer’s market, sliced it about 1/3 inch thick, drizzled it with olive oil and seasoned it with salt, pepper and fresh thyme.  Over direct heat it only takes a few minutes for it to soften and it was delicious.

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Squashed

Seared Patty Pan Squash

I love this simple vegetarian dish, I’m using patty pan squash ( I don’t know the specific varieties) that I bought from the farmers market this weekend.  They were so beautiful that I almost couldn’t bring myself to cook them….actually I didn’t cook one of them, it’s just too pretty.  When you make this, cut the squash so that you show off the beautiful flower shape.

Seared Patty Pan Squash Steaks

2 Patty Pan Squash (about 2 1/2 inches in diameter)

1 teaspoon of canola or olive oil ( I used canola oil for it’s mild flavor)

1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Slice the squash into 1/3 inch steaks ( see the picture attached to this note for an example)

Coat the patty pan squash slices in oil and season with thyme, salt and pepper

Let this stand (or sit) at room temperature for about 5 minutes

Heat a frying pan over high heat…let the pan get really hot.  Sear the patty pan squash slice quickly over high heat for about 1-2 minutes per side..until beautifully browned

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JAM! ooooooh JAM!

Jams and jellies (wait, did anyone get my obscure “80’s musical reference in the title of this blog post?)  where was I…OH YES!! Jams and jellies are pantry staples in my kitchen. They are great in desserts like thumbprint cookies or between layers of cake but I also like to use them in savory dishes.

Last summer I was fortunate enough to get a bushel of ripe peaches and I made peach/rosemary jam for my first canning project. It was a beautiful thing. One night I needed an hors d’oeuvre  for a casual party and the peach/rosemary jam was the perfect answer. I roasted chicken wing sections with a little salt and pepper and at the end of cooking I coated the wings with the jam and broiled them for a few minutes just to get a bit of char on  them. They were a huge hit; guests were licking the sweet sticky jam from their fingers ( I guess I should have given them napkins…oh well, hindsight is 20/20).

I needed a quick solution for dinner  the other night and I needed to cook some chicken drumsticks I had in the fridge.   I remembered that delicious party dish, but unfortunately I was out of the homemade peach/rosemary jam.  I did , however, have some store bought apricot jam that I bought at a half price sale a few weeks before. I roasted the chicken drumsticks just as I did the chicken wings, but I sprinkled a bit of dried rosemary on them along with the salt and pepper. Delicious, easy and pretty darn quick.

fresh summer peach and rosemary jam with brie

Peach, guava and apricot jams go really well with turkey, pork and cheese;  for beef dishes blueberry and blackberry jams would make great sauces with red wine reduction and pan juices.

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Brisket! It’s what’s for dinner….again

I knew it was going to be a ridiculously busy week.  Three extra kids staying over and lots of activities to participate in. So how do you feed all of those hungry people night after night without wearing yourself out?? BRISKET! that’s how.  With a little advanced planning you can slow cook a 5 pound flat cut beef brisket (seasoned with salt and pepper) at 300 degrees on a bed of sliced onions, and a half cup of water in a roasting pan tightly covered with foil for  about 4 hours and feed your family a variety of different meals for days.

The first night was taco night. We just heated some sliced brisket  and served it with chunky salsa, shredded cheese, fresh leafy salad greens and a choice of flour or corn tortillas….not to shabby.

The second night we had ramen noodles (yes, the cheap stuff) but instead of using the awful seasoning packet we served the noodles in a pool of the brisket broth with sliced brisket, green onions and a boiled egg, not authentic but it was deeeelicious!

We skipped one night and had chicken instead, but the next night we sliced the brisket and glazed it with tangy, sweet barbecue sauce. That was the family favorite hands down.  You can take a peek at that in the picture over there served with some buttered egg noodles with broccoli and garlic.  We still have a big hunk of brisket and some broth left.  Not bad for about $4.50 a pound.  The flat cut of brisket is usually sold with a layer of fat about 1/4 inch thick on one side, cook it with the fat on and trim it before you eat if you like.

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