Tag Archives: homegrown

Shepherd’s Pie

It's one big hug for your stomach.

This is easily one of our top five favorite comfort foods; we always go back for seconds. For our inaugural recipe we used homegrown carrots and took a couple of liberties with the fillings. Dark beer helps add flavor and complexity to the dish while peas provide substance and sweetness.

Equipment Needed: Casserole Dish, Frying Pan, Wooden Spoon, 3  QT Pot, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Potato Masher, Serving Spoon

Serving Suggestion: Family Style

Servings: 6

Suggested Wine Pairing: Old Vine Zinfandel, Malbec, Chianti, Cabernet Franc

Suggested Beer Pairing: Stout, Porter, Brown Ale

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs potatoes ($0.99/lb)
  • 1 lb ground lamb ($5.99/lb)
  • 1 C frozen peas ($1/10 oz)
  • 2 medium carrots (we used the fresh crop from Momma Brown’s garden; $1.99/lb)
  • 1 medium onion ($0.99/lb)
  • 2 cloves garlic ($2.99/lb)
  • 2 TBSP fresh rosemary ($1.50/bunch)
  • 1 1/2 C dark beer (we used a Lexington Brewing Company Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Stout; price varies)
  • 1 TBSP light brown sugar ($1.39/lb)
  • 1 TBSP smoked paprika ($4.50/2.3 oz jar)
  • 1 beef bouillon cube ($1/2.3 0z package)
  • 3 TBSP corn starch ($1.89/16 oz)
  • 1-2 TSP cayenne pepper ($3/2 oz jar)
  • 2 TBSP butter ($4.99/lb)
  • 1/4 C milk ($1.19/QT)
  • Extra virgin olive oil ($9.99/34 oz bottle)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preparation:

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Peel and wash the potatoes and cut into 2 inch chunks. Toss those spuds in your pot, cover them with water, bring to a boil and keep them there until you can slide a fork in them without resistance (about 30 minutes)
  • Put your frying pan over medium-low heat and coat the bottom with olive oil.
  • Mince the garlic cloves and the rosemary, add to the pan and cook for about 2 minutes until it starts to brown lightly. Add the ground lamb, cayenne, paprika, and a healthy dose of salt and pepper. Cook the lamb until it’s about medium rare, stirring occasionally (should take about 6 minutes).

Mince the rosemary finely so no one ends up chewing giant pieces.

  • While the lamb is cooking, dice the carrots and onion. Mix together the beer and the bouillon cube. As the meat starts to brown, reduce the heat to low and add the onions, peas and carrots.

Dice the carrots into bite-sized pieces.

  • Cook for another 2 minutes and pour in the beer mix, brown sugar and corn starch, stir everything together and cook on low until the sauce thickens (10-15 minutes). Adjust the seasoning as necessary and when you’re satisfied pour it into the casserole dish.

Using a nice stout will help develop sweet and smoky gravy.

  • When your potatoes are done, drain them, add your butter and milk and proceed to mash and whip until creamy.

Use fattier milks for richer potatoes.

  • Spoon them over the top of the lamb mixture and cover it completely in an even layer. Pop it in the oven for about 30 minutes or until the potatoes have browned. Serve keep an eye out for wolves.

Spread the potatoes evenly over the top.

Extra Credit: If you so desire (and we do from time to time) top with a grated sharp cheddar or Parmagiano for an extra hit of richness.

Fried Eggplant with Pistachio Pesto

Pistachio pesto brings this one to a new level.

At our parents house last week, Mom decided she wanted some eggplant. never content to leave well enough alone we decided to up the ante and add a delicious pesto variation, some fresh tomatoes from the garden, and some fresh mozzarella. The result was a delicious Italian-inspired lunch celebrating the final flavors of summer.

Equipment Needed: Frying Pan, Spatula, 2 Baking Sheets, Food Processor, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, 2 Plates, Bowl, Fork

Serving Suggestion: Individual Plating

Servings: 6

Suggested Wine Pairing: Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Sauvignon Blanc

Suggested Beer Pairing: Lager, Pilsner, Belgian White

Ingredients:

  • 1 large or 2 small eggplants ($1.49/lb)
  • 1 lb fresh mozzarella ($6.99/lb)
  • 2 C fresh basil ($3/bunch, you’ll need about 2 bunches)
  • 4 eggs ($2/dozen)
  • Panko bread crumbs (around $3/12 oz)
  • Flour ($1.89/2 lbs)
  • 1/2 C pistachios (about $8/lb)
  • Parmagiano Reggiano cheese ($10/lb)
  • Fresh lemon juice ($0.50/lemon)
  • Extra virgin olive oil ($9.99/34 oz bottle)
  • 2 cloves garlic ($2.99/lb)
  • 2 TBSP water (free)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Pesto Preparation:

  • Shell the pistachios and toss them in the food processor.
  • Wash your basil and take the leaves off the stems, measure out a loosely packed 2 cups and add them to the food processor as well.
  • Peel and halve the garlic cloves. For now, add only one of them to the mix. Drizzle in about 3 TBSP of olive oil and add roughly 1/4 C of cheese (you can add it in slices, small chunks or grate it). Pulse the mixture until it becomes a paste.

Don't be stingy with the oil, you want to be able to spread the pesto easily.

Ditto for the cheese. Don't be afraid to load it up.

  • Add 1 TBSP lemon juice (a big lemon’s worth), a pinch of salt and about 1/2 TBSP pepper. Hit pulse a few more times and adjust the pesto to your taste with more of any of the ingredients. We like to have a bit more of the pistachio and cheese flavor.

Eggplant Preparation:

  • Wash your eggplant and slice it into 1/4 inch discs (peel the eggplant beforehand if you like for a more tender bite; we did them half and half). Place on a baking sheet and salt liberally. Let them sit for 5-10 minutes to allow the salt to draw out some of their natural bitterness.

Cut into even-sized discs for quick, even cooking.

  • While the veggies are doing their osmosis thing, mix your eggs in a bowl with about 2 TBSP warm water. Pour the breadcrumbs on one plate and flour on another plate. Use about a cup of each at a time so you don’t get everything eggy all at once.
  • Pat the eggplant slices dry. To coat them,  dredge the pieces in flour, give them a quick dip in the eggwash, and then coat them with Panko. Return them to the baking sheet. Slice the mozzarella into 1/4 inch slices and have at the ready.

Pat the eggplant dry before you coat them.

Double coating it helps everything adhere better.

  • Preheat your oven to 250° F (this is to keep the eggplant warm while you fry the other pieces). Put your frying pan over medium head and coat the bottom of the pan liberally with olive oil.
  • Fry the eggplant pieces until nicely browned (about 3-4 minutes per side). Add back to the baking sheet and when a full sheet is done cover each slice with mozzarella and put them in the oven while you finish the others. Add more olive oil to the pan as required to keep things running smoothly.
  • Serve with the pesto, balsamic vinegar and sliced tomatoes if desired (highly recommended).

Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Your new favorite way to eat bacon and eggs.

Sometimes the best meals can be made from the most basic ingredients. One of these hearty fail-safes is spaghetti alla carbonara, a creamy, deliciously savory pasta made from kitchen staples. Quick, easy and consistently satisfying, this classic Italian dish is easy to master.

Equipment Needed: Frying Pan, Wooden Spoon, 3 QT Pot, Colander, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Cheese Grater, Measuring Cup

Serving Suggestion: Individual Plating

Servings: 6

Suggested Wine Pairing: Oaky Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon

Suggested Beer Pairing: Pilsner, Lager, Lighter Ales

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb angel hair  pasta ($0.99/lb)
  • 1 small onion ($0.99/lb)
  • 1/4 C fresh parsley ($3/bunch, you’ll need about 2 bunches)
  • 2 eggs ($2/dozen)
  • 6 strips bacon ($6.99/lb)
  • About 1C Parmagiano Reggiano cheese ($10/lb)
  • 2 TBSP white vinegar ($1.99/32 oz)
  • Extra virgin olive oil ($9.99/34 oz bottle)
  • 3 cloves garlic ($2.99/lb)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preparation:

  • Fill your pot 3/4 full with water, cover and bring to a boil. Add the pasta once it’s bubbling and cook 8-10 minutes until it’s al dente.
  • While the spaghetti is doing its thing put your pan over medium heat, cut the bacon into 1/2 inch strips and toss them into the fire, stirring occasionally.

Yes, it's another excuse to show a picture of bacon.

  • Dice the onion and mince the garlic while the bacon is cooking; once it’s browned (6-8 minutes) add the veggies and continue cooking until they’re tender (another 5 minutes or so).

Dice the onions finely for this one.

  • Drain your pasta, saving some of the water. Add the pasta to the bacon pan and remove it from the stove. Pour in about 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta juice and the white vinegar, stir and let sit for a couple minutes to cool a bit (you don’t want to scramble the eggs).

Adding water back to the pasta will thicken things up nicely.

  • Mix the eggs together and stir in with the pasta along with plenty of grated cheese and fresh pepper to taste.

Whisking the egg first will help it incorporate with the pasta easier.

  • Mince the parsley and garnish the pasta liberally.

Lavender and Rosemary Pork Loin

Behold our juicy loin!

Growing our own herbs has inspired us to seek out flavors that we normally wouldn’t work with. Enter lavender leaves, imparting a delicate floral note that complements our fresh-picked rosemary like mustaches do hipsters. Lean pork makes the perfect protein to bring everything together and pairs well with roasted veggies and/or mashed potatoes. Cook up a loin tonight and smile smugly knowing you’ve got sustainable flavor.

Equipment Needed: Roasting Pan (w/ rack if possible), Cutting Board, Chef’s Knife, Gallon Freezer Bag (or) Plastic Container (for marinating the pork loin), Meat Thermometer

Serving Suggestion: Individual Plating

Servings: 4

Suggested Wine Pairing: Pinot Noir, Beaujolais, Chardonnay

Suggested Beer Pairing: Pilsners, Fruit Beers, Hefeweizen

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb pork loin ($5.99/lb)
  • 4 TBSP fresh lavender (not sure, we grew our own but the plant was $3)
  • 2 TBSP fresh rosemary (around $4 for a fresh bunch)
  • 4 TBSP extra virgin olive oil ($9.99/34 oz)
  • 2 TBSP apple cider vinegar ($2.79/32 oz)
  • 2 TBSP honey ($4/12 oz)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preparation:

  • Trim and wash the pork loin then place it in the plastic bag or container.
  • Chop the herbs and sprinkle over the meat.

Chop the herbs into the smallest pieces you can to release their oils, ergo their flavors

  • Add the vinegar and oil, salt and pepper (about a TBSP each), seal the bag and squish things around so the meat is evenly coated. Toss it in the fridge overnight like a mafia informant.

Be careful not to overseason, you don't want to dry the meat.

  • When you’re ready to cook the next day preheat your oven to 400° F. Take the meat out of the fridge and let it sit for 20 minutes to bring it up to temperature. Place in the roasting pan and cook fat-side down for 20 minutes. Flip it over so the fat’s on the top and put it back for another 20 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven, coat with honey and cook for another 5-10 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 150°F. Let rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing to serve.

Coat in honey for a sweet finish.