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Category: Recipe Box

It’s about time to head back to school so I’ve been thinking a lot about how to make things easier; yet keep things healthy.  These are the ideas I have come up with so far.  Email me if you have ideas and I’ll add them to the list!

1.  Easy breakfasts:    Cook several pounds of sausage patties all at once on my big griddle.  Put the patties in a freezer baggie and take them out one at a time for a quick breakfast.  Defrost patties in the microwave while cooking a scrambled egg.  Or, defrost patties int he microwave and add to toast for a breakfast sandwich on the run.

2.  Another easy breakfast:  Make a batch of sausage balls.  These will keep well in the refrigerator for about a week.  Think about the ingredients: biscuit dough, cheese and sausage.  Make them with maytree farm sausage and your other fresh ingredients = they are quick to grab and eat on the go and better for the kids than a fast food sausage biscuit.

3.  Easy snacks: Boil a dozen eggs at a time and keep hard-boiled eggs in the refrigerator (along with the usual assortment of fruits and veggies) for quick snacks.

4.  Easy sack lunches:  Cook chicken in the crock pot.  Pull the meat off and place in a freezer baggie.  Use instead of nitrate-laden store bought lunch meats for sandwiches.  (I’m doing this with chicken, ham and roast beef;  I have three gallon size baggies full of meat ready to pull out for sandwiches.  I did this last year and it worked great:  you can just pull out the meat still frozen and make the sandwich.  The meat thaws by lunchtime.)  If your family gets bored with plain sandwiches you can also use the meat to mix up chicken salad, ham salad, barbeque, etc.

5.  Easy Dinners:  I am cooking up some sausage (scrambled like ground beef instead of patties) and putting it in the freezer in baggies.  I can pull out the precooked meat for a quick dinner of spaghetti, homemade pizza, or mix the meat in with pasta cheese and veggies. 

6.  More Easy Dinners:  I’m also cooking up some ground beef to use for spaghetti, homemade pizza, “dirty” rice, etc.    Precooked ham can be chopped up for quick barbeque sandwiches. 

If you don’t have a lot of freezer space or you don’t like to cook ahead, here are some other quick, easy ideas…

1.  make individual meatloaves by mixing ground beef and sausage with egg, bread crumbs and spices (I use thyme, marjoram, garlic, salt, pepper and onion)  mix in some ketchup and milk to moisten.  Shape into serving size “loaves” and cook on the stove top in a large skillet.  Brown both sides then turn the heat down to low, cover and cook until the insides are done, about 15 minutes.  Meanwhile steam your veggies for a quick, healthy meal.  The individual loaves cook much quicker than a family size meat loaf and you don’t have to heat up the oven.

2.  Easy beef stroganoof – recipe in the recipe box

3.  Breakfast dinner – sausage patties, scrambled eggs, fruit and toast.  Quick, delicious and nutritious.

4.  BLT’s.   Broil bacon, slice tomatoes and lettuce.  Dinner in less than 30 min.

5. We love tacos and burritos.  It only takes about 10-15 minutes to brown the ground beef.  Load up with plenty of veggies and whole wheat tortillas and it’s a quick but healthy meal.

Sausage pizza

Sausage Pizza

-pizza crust (make your own or buy dough at the supermarket)

-sauce (prepackaged or make your own by adding oregano, basil, salt, pepper, and sugar to tomato sauce)

-toppings:  May Tree Farm sausage (hot or mild, as you like), mushrooms, roma tomato slices, cheese, onions, pepperoni

Directions:   1.  prepare crust, prick with a fork and bake for 5 -10 minutes at 425 until barely golden.  2.  brown sausage in a skillet; remove sausage to a seperate bowl  then cook mushrooms and carmelize onions in the same pan.  3. spread crust with a light layer of sauce.  4.  Add  shredded cheese, tomato slices, mushrooms, sausage, pepperoni and onions 5.  pat some water on the crust to keep it from getting too brown; return to oven until cheese is melted and bubbly; about 3-5 minutes.

Grilled Ham

Grilled Ham

 3-4 lb. May Tree Farm fresh ham

1 c. soy sauce

1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced

3 T. minced garlic

1. mix all ingredients and pour over ham in a 9×13 glass pan

2. marinate overnight in refrigerator

3. remove ham from marinade (reserve marinade) and grill over indirect heat 2-3 hours until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.

4. baste occaisonally (every 20-30 min) with reserved marinade until last 30 minutes of cooking.  Do not add marinade during last 30 minutes.

Ham Salad Sandwiches

Ham Salad

2-4 lb May Tree Farm Fresh (uncured) ham

1-2 stalks celery

1/2 – 1 onion

1 small jar diced pimento

garlic powder (about 2 tsp)

mayonaise (1/2 – 2 cups)

salt and pepper

2 heaping Tablespoons of dill pickle relish

1.  Sprinkle ham with garlic powder and cook ham in the crock pot on low for 6-8 hours until it falls off the bone

2.  Finely chop ham (or if you like your ham salad less ‘chunky’ put the ham in the food processor) finely chop onion and celery

3.  In a large bowl combine ham, celery, onion, pickle relish and pimento.  Use as much pimento as you like; if you’re making a large batch, you could use an entire small jar.  It’s up to you.

4.  In a seperate bowl combine 1/2 cup mayo with a tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp pepper.  Stir.  Begin adding it into the ham mixture until the desired consistency is reached.  If you use the 1/2 cup and it’s still too dry; mix up another half cup and add that a tablespoon at a time.  It will depend on how much ham you’re using and personal preference.  If you would like it to be even creamier; add a dollop of sour cream to the mayo.  Yum!

Easy Beef Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff

1 lb. May Tree Farm ground beef

olive oil

2 Tbsp. all purpose flour

1-2 cups sour cream

1 lb. fresh baby bella mushrooms, washed and sliced

1 vidalia onion, chopped

2 tsp garlic powder or minced garlic

1-2 can(s) beef broth, or 2 beef bouillion cubes with 1-2 c. water, or 1 Tbsp beef base with 1-2 c. water

salt and pepper

egg noodles or rice for serving

 

1.  Brown ground beef and onions in olive oil over medium heat; sprinkle flour over beef and onions  just before they are done and stir in as they finish browning (the mixture will be quite dry and the flour may begin to make the bottom of the pan look brown; that’s o.k. just don’t let it burn) 

2.  Stir in 1 can beef broth, scraping the bottom of the pan as you stir to loosen any bits that stuck during browning; add garlic, salt and pepper; cover, reduce heat to low and let simmer about 15 minutes (check after 10 minutes; if it has begun to dry out, add more liquid.  it should be fairly runny at this point)

3. Meanwhile, in a seperate skillet, cook mushrooms in olive oil until light golden brown.

4.  Remove cover from stroganoff and stir in half of mushrooms.  (Reserve other half for topping) 

5. Fold in 1/2 to 3/4 cup of sour cream (do not use light sour cream) gently but quickly until well blended. Remove from heat.

6.  Cover the stroganoff and let it sit, off heat, for about 5 minutes (the sauce will thicken as it stands)

7.  Serve over egg noodles or rice and place a spoonful of reserved mushrooms on top along with a dollop of sour cream.

Tastes great with garlic bread.

Pictured here with egg noodles and french bread.

* a note about sour cream:  Light sour cream does not work well for this recipe because it won’t give the sauce the body it needs to cling to the noodles.  Also, you can’t have too much sour cream.  If you put in half a cup and the sauce doesn’t look creamy enough – throw in some more, it won’t hurt.  Also, if you accidentally make the sauce too runny, just add more sour cream to thicken it up; you can always do an extra mile on the treadmill tomorrow:))

 

Porketta (Italian pork roast)

Porketta

3-5 lb May Tree Farm pork boston butt roast

1 tsp dried thyme

1and 1/2 tbsp fresh basil or 1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp celery salt

1 tsp garlic pepper

2 tsp kosher salt

1.  Rub seasonings onto the boston butt

2.  Brown on all sides in olive oil in a large sauteuse pan or large cast iron skillet

3. remove meat to platter and cover bottom of pan with sliced onion and minced garlic – put meat back on top of onions

4. bake at 325 degrees for 3-5 hours (depending on the size of the roast) until internal temperature reaches 160.

5.  Let stand 10 minutes before carving.

The one in the picture I made for Easter dinner.  It was a big hit!

Breakfast Fritatta

BREAKFAST FRITATTA

1 lb May Tree Farm sausage

6-8 May Tree Farm fresh eggs (depending on the size of your pan)

1 lg. Vidalia onion, diced

1 lb mushrooms, sliced

¼ – ½ lb cheddar cheese

½ – 1 c. whole milk

salt and pepper to taste

 

1. Cook sausage in a cast iron skillet or other ovenproof pan; remove sausage but leave grease (there won’t be too much)

2. cook onions and mushrooms in hot sausage grease until tender; return sausage to the pan

3. in a separate bowl, beat eggs until frothy add up to 1 cup of milk, salt and pepper to taste (about ½ tsp each)

4. pour egg mixture over sausage, onions, and mushrooms

5. cover and reduce heat to low for about 7 minutes (the center and top will still be runny)

6. place pan under broiler and broil for about 5 minutes until the center is firm and the top is beginning to look golden (don’t overcook!)

7. sprinkle cheese evenly over top; return to broiler for 2-3 min until cheese is melted and bubbly. Check seasoning; add salt and pepper if necessary

8. let sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes before slicing.  Cut into wedges and serve with toast, biscuits, fresh fruit, etc.

*picture taken in the kitchen at May Tree Farm.  My favorite cast iron skillet!  I use it for everything!

Steak Sandwich

Steak Sandwich

 

2 lb. May Tree Farm London broil (flank steak)

1 lg. vidalia onion, sliced

1 lb. mushrooms, sliced

provolone cheese

hoagie rolls

olive oil

mayo, salt, pepper, garlic powder

 

prep: season London broil with salt, pepper and garlic powder

  1. place London broil on broiler pan set on second highest rack in oven, broil for 7-10 minutes on each side, let sit on cutting board for at least 10 minutes before slicing
  2. meanwhile, saute onions and mushrooms in olive oil until tender and beginning to turn golden
  3. slice hoagie rolls and drizzle with olive oil, place on cookie sheet under broiler until very light golden brown, lay a slice of provolone on each and return to broiler just until cheese begins to melt
  4. slice London broil at a diagonal across the grain, VERY thin
  5. pile meat, onions and mushrooms on hoagie, add mayonnaise if desired

*picture taken in the kitchen at May Tree Farm

Sunday Pot Roast

SUNDAY POT ROAST

 

3-4 lb. May Tree Farm rump roast  (thawed)                                    salt and pepper

1 can diced tomatoes or 2 cups fresh diced tomatoes                       flour

1 lg. Vidalia onion, chopped or diced                                               olive oil

garlic powder (not garlic salt) or 3 or 4 fresh garlic cloves

 

It is important to have a HEAVY pan to cook this in.  I use a big, deep cast iron skillet with a cast iron lid and it comes out perfectly every time.

 

Prep:  – mix ½ c. flour with 1 tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper –heat about ¼ c olive oil (or veggie oil) in cast iron skillet or heavy casserole with lid  –chop veggies

  1. dredge rump roast in flour and brown on ALL sides in skillet over med-high heat, it should cook fast and get quite brown on all sides (it will still be raw inside, don’t cut it open, you want to seal in the juices)
  2. sprinkle roast with garlic powder; pour tomatoes and onions over roast.  Add about a cup of water.
  3. put the lid on the skillet and reduce heat to low so that it just simmers for 2-3 hours. (check periodically to see if you need to add more liquid)

 

When it is done, the meat will shred easily with a fork and the vegetables will have cooked down into almost a “mush”.  Use a food processor, blender, magic bullet, wand or whatever to finely puree the mush in the bottom of the pan.  This is the most delicious gravy.  It has the pan juices in it and the onion, tomato and garlic. Pour it over the roast.  Yummy!  Shown here with garlic mashed potatoes and steamed carrots.

*picture taken in the kitchen at May Tree Farm.  I fixed this plate for one of the kids and it looked so pretty I took a picture.  When I looked at it closely to put it in my “recipe box” I noticed it was on a chipped plate.  Oops!  we’re not real fancy around here!

(sorry I don’t have a picture of this one;  I’ll take one the next time I make it)

3-6 very ripe apples (any variety will do; I just pick the ones that smell the best and that varies at different times of the year)

1 vidalia onion

1 whole May Tree Farm chicken (thawed)

1/2 jar apple jelly (any brand)

2 cups apple juice

1/2 stick of butter

1. cut apples and onion into quarters; stuff into cavity of chicken (as much as will fit)

2.place chicken in roasting pan and pour apple juice over chicken

3. put remaining apple and onion pieces around chicken in the pan

4. roast chicken in pre-heated 350 degree oven for 2-3 hours * Baste chicken with apple juice/pan drippings every 30 minutes or so, if it starts to get too brown; cover it with a foil tent until you put the glaze on

5. in a small saucepan, make a glaze by cooking the butter and apple jelly together until bubbly

6. pour glaze over chicken and continue to bake another 30 minutes until dark golden brown and the juices run clear when you pierce the thigh with a fork

*cooking time is approximate.  it will depend on the size of the chicken and your oven.   Use your best judgement about how long to cook the chicken.  we like to cook ours until it is falling off the bone but if you prefer yours less “cooked” just make sure that it reaches an internal temp of 180-185 and the juices run clear when the thigh is pierced with a fork.  If it seems to be cooking too fast, you can turn the oven temp down to 300.