Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Chicken Uses

So now that you have mastered the roasting of a chicken, what can you do if you have a little bit of it left over? Many, many things, of course. You probably already know many. I will list a few that we like that we can do over the winter with the produce we have fresh and in the freezer, and perhaps anyone who cares to can send in some suggestions via the "comment" tab. Particularly any involving potatoes, beets, turnips and/ or frozen corn and zucchini.

Chicken and Stars Soup

1/2 to 1 cup chopped onions
1/2 to 1 C chopped celery
1/2 to 1 C chopped carrot
2 cloves smashed garlic
1 Tbs olive oil
4 to 6 cups chicken broth
1 cup chopped, cooked chicken
fresh herbs (such as sage, rosemary, thyme, parsley)
1/2 to 1 C frozen corn off the cob
1/4 to 1/2 C small pasta (we use little stars)

Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot. Add vegetables and saute until slightly tender (5 minutes) on medium heat. Add the broth and bring to a boil. After it is boiling add the chicken, herbs and salt and pepper (to taste). Cook for 6 minutes over low heat. Add corn. Return to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer. Add pasta. Cook for whatever time the pasta box/ bag suggests (ours says 6 minutes). (6 servings)

Open Faced Chicken Sandwich

4 slices of good quality white or wheat bread
4 tsps olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic
2 cups tomato sauce
1/4 c sun-dried tomatoes
1/8 cup dehydrated peppers
1/8 cup frozen basil leaves (don't take these out until you are ready to crush them right into the sauce)
1 C sliced, cooked chicken breast
4 Oz. sliced mozzerella cheese
1/4 C grated parmesan

Pour the tomato sauce into a saucepan and add sun dried tomatoes, dehydrated peppers, and frozen basil that you have crushed with your fingers. Bring to a gentle boil and then simmer, covered, for at least ten minutes (more won't hurt anything).
Slice some good quality wheat or white bread (Mediterra, Wood Street, your own). Lay it on a cookie sheet. Use a pastry brush to spead on a teaspoon of olive oil per slice. Spread on some crushed garlic. Cook in 350 degree oven for 7-8 minutes -- until crisp. Remove the bread from the oven and top with sliced chicken, tomato sauce, then mozzerella and parmesan cheese. Cook in 350 oven for 10-15 minutes (until cheese is thoroughly melted and chicken is heated.). (4 servings)

Stir Fried Chicken

Thaw some zucchini, broccoli and sweet peppers you froze this past summer.
Heat 2 tablespoons canola oil in a wok or large saute pan. Add chopped onion, grated fresh ginger, garlic, and celery (I just can't give it up). Saute for 1-2 minutes. Add 1/2 of a cabbage chopped into smallish pieces. Cook until cabbage is tender. Next add 1 cup of sliced zucchini, 1 cup broccoli, 1/2 cup peppers, and 1 Cup chopped, cooked chicken. Add 2-3 tablespoons soy sauce. If you have it and you like it, add some lemon juice (1 tablespoon), Hoison sauce (2 tablespoons) and rice vinegar (1 tablespoon). Maybe also some honey (1 T). Add salt (not much needed because of soy sauce) and pepper to taste. Cook until heated through. (4 servings)

Orzo with Chicken and Parmesan

2 Cups chicken broth
1 1/4 uncooked orzo
1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
2 C chopped, cooked chicken
1/2 C grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper

Combine broth and 1 Cup water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Add pasta, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 12 minutes (or whatever package indicated for cooking time). Drain some of water. Leave enough so pasta sort of slides around in the pot. Remove from heat and stir in the chicken, 1/4 cup of parmesan and the rest of the ingredients. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon additional cheese. (4 servings)

Well, that's enough for now. Got to save more for another day :)

Monday, January 21, 2008

East End Food Co-op

After sadly neglecting this blog, I was inspired to add to it after seeing how many people are reading it. Or at least viewing the page. It is amazing. In looking over my previous posts, I realize I've neglected to devote the amount of space it deserves to the East End Food Co-op. http://www.eastendfoodcoop.com/. Now that the farmers markets are almost all shut down, this is where I do most of my shopping. And you should too. It is $100 to join. Then you get a discount on all of your groceries. One Sunday a month there is a 10% off discount. And if you volunteer to work you also get a 10% discount.

They stock many local products and are very aware of issues surrounding food and the politics therein. They are a clearinghouse of information and are very responsive to their members. For example, they may be starting a local foods challenge. If you are interested, e-mail memberservices@eastendfood.coop. They will soon be putting signs by their produce indicating state of origin as well. And, in their most recent newsletter, they carried an article by a local beef farmer. His cows are fed on grass and locally-produced grain. He is interested in selling shares from a group of local producers in Westmoreland County. If you are interested, e-mail steve.hasley@comcast.net.

Some products I pick up at the Co-op are as follows: Kistaco Farms apple cider, Kistaco Farms apples (right now, golden delicious. which are.), Frankferd Farms soft winter wheat and local honey (there is a wide selection) in the bulk foods section, Mediterra bagels, Wood Street Bakery bread (I like the honey wheat), Frankferd Farms pancake mix, and cheese and butter (salted and unsalted) from Minerva Farms dairy in Ohio (within 100 miles) http://www.cheesehere.com/. They have every kind of cheese you can imagine (swiss, cheddar, monterey jack, mozzerella, goat cheddar, American and a parmesan approximation just to name a few). They are not gourmet cheeses by any stretch, but they are very tasty and not too expensive. The Co-op does carry some more gourmet style cheeses from local producers such as Stone Meadow. I also purchase eggs there (usually from Nu-Way farms -- free range) and they now carry Brunton Farm milk in glass bottles. They are having a supply and demand problem with this milk (in that their supply can't keep up with the demand). I also get Woo City ice cream (from Ohio also) and anything else I should happen to want or need. I trust that these people know where their food is coming from and that it is the best they can get.

They also carry local meat (including bison and elk) in their freezer along with a very limited assortment of fresh meat -- most of it local. Of course they have lots of organic stuff from all over the place, including the best looking produce in the city, supplements, cleaning products, etc. See you there!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Heilman's Hogwash Farm

A little announcement for those intersted in locally raised, pastured pork. . . Although I am no expert, I imagine that these pigs are probably MRSA free (if you don't know what I'm talking about, here's a link to an article from The Economist http://www.economist.com/science/displaystory.cfm?story_id=10205187.)

So, to avoid infections from Superbugs (I am making some real logical leaps, here), you should support small scale, local and pastured meat sellers. Here's one!

I got this e-mail yesterday from Karen and family at Heilman's Hogwash Farm. These are the folks who were often at the Saturday Farmer's at Firehouse Market. They will be setting up a stand in areas around the city where you may pick up orders. Here is what they sent:

"We will be offering our usual assortment of pastured pork:

ham slices
1/2 ham
pork chops (sold 2 / package)
shoulder roast (Boston Butt)
pork steaks (the top cut off of the shoulder)
salt and pepper ground sausage
unseasoned ground pork
spare ribs

Our plan is to let you know when we will be in your area if you would like to place an order with us. I will be stationed in different places around the city for an hour at a time. We would ask that you pick up your order then."

We ate their bacon for much of the summer and it was great. If you're interested, e-mail them at heilmanfarm@nauticom.net.