Fall Recipe: Pork Sausage with Jerusalem Artichokes

Posted on September 02, 2015 by Don Roden | 0 comments

Welcome to the first installment of our new Fall Recipe Series! The weather hasn't exactly cooled off but school is back in session and our mindset has shifted away from summer and toward cozier nights.

This recipe is simple and flavorful, but won't heat your kitchen up like a stew simmering all day. It's originally from Nigel Slater's book Tender but we've adapted it to make it a bit easier.

This dish is both paleo and gluten-free IF you can find Jerusalem artichokes. Jerusalem artichokes, or sunchokes, are tubors that look like ginger root but have a flavor more in line with a potato. They can be mashed, roasted or pureed and boast less carbs than a sweet potato.

Sunchokes are in season from October - April, so should be in stores and farmers markets soon. We substituted small new potatoes and purple potatoes for some color in the meantime. The final product was delicious.

Pork Sausage with Jerusalem Artichokes
8 pork sausage links (our gluten-free Bratwurst or Mild Italian work well)
4 medium yellow onions, cut into thick segments
2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1 cup mushrooms, halved
2 cups Jerusalem artichokes or potatoes
1 large lemon, cut into segments
1 tsp fennel seeds 
1 tbsp grass-fed butter
Chicken stock or water to cover – about 2 cups 
Salt to taste
A small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped 

Heat the butter over medium heat, add onions and sauté until soft. Add garlic, mushrooms and Jerusalem artichokes (or potatoes) to the pan. Cook for a few minutes then squeeze the lemon segments and add them to the pan. Add fennel seeds and salt, then cover the vegetables with stock or water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until the Jerusalem artichokes or potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. 

When the Jerusalem artichokes are tender, uncover, and cook on high until all of the liquid has evaporated. Be sure to take your time and allow the vegetables to caramelize. Color equals flavor!

Meanwhile, grill or pan-cook the sausages until cooked through and browned. 

Sprinkle parsley on top and serve.

Wine suggestion:  Michael Shaps Cabernet Franc

 

Posted in Cooking Instructions, Fall Recipes, Gluten-Free, Organic, Paleo, Pork, Recipes, Sausages

A Primer on Cooking Oils & Fats

Posted on August 22, 2015 by Don Roden | 1 comment

The question of which dietary fats are good and which are bad has caused a lot of confusion lately. Some fats are heart-heathy, some are not. Some oils are processed with chemicals, some are not. Some break down at high temperatures, some do not. Some sound healthy because of the word vegetable in their name, but aren’t. What’s a cook to do?

We thought we’d put together a short primer on which fats to use and when. Bookmark this page and refer to it when in question.

BAD FATS/OILS
Most cooking oils on the market are processed with chemical solvents, steamers, neutralizers, de-waxers, bleach and deodorizers before they end up in the bottle. Highly processed seed oils contain very high levels of omega-6 fatty acids, that can have detrimental health effects when consumed in high quantities. Sadly, these oils are in nearly everything we eat nowadays. Grain-fed livestock, is also high in omega-6. A diet high in omega-6 is associated with an increase in inflammatory diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma and cancer to mention a few.

Here are the industrial oils to toss from your kitchen:
Canola oil
Vegetable oil
Cottonseed oil
Soybean oil
Sunflower oil
Safflower oil
Corn oil
Grapeseed oil
Rapeseed oil
Refined palm oil
Sesame oil
Refined peanut oil

GOOD FATS/OILS
These are the saturated fats and healthy plant-based oils from meat, seafood, eggs, nuts, and avocados that are loaded with omega-3s. It has recently been debunked that saturated fats cause heart disease. In fact, it’s the very removal of these from the American diet and the increase of sugar and carbohydrates that has attributed to a whole host of health issues, including obesity, diabetes and chronic inflammatory conditions.

Saturated fat has been shown to have positive effects on the body, including helping the liver to function more effectively, boosting the immune system and aiding in the regulation of hormones.

Some things to keep in mind during food prep:

  • Saturated fat is typically more heat stable and doesn’t oxidate as quickly as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which makes it more suitable for frying and other high temperature cooking.
  • Nut oils and olive oil are more fragile and can be cooked with but are best used unheated to retain the most antioxidants, vitamins and flavor.
  • Expeller-pressed or Unrefined oils (where the oil was extracted using a mechanical process rather than chemicals) are best for high temperature cooking such as deep-frying. Avoid anything labeled Refined.
  • The smoke point of a fat or an oil is the temperature at which it gives off smoke, and starts to break down and oxidize, losing nutrients and developing toxic properties. Most foods are fried at around 330°F so it’s always best to choose a fat or oil with a smoking point just above that.

Best fats for hot use (with their smoke points):
Beef tallow (400°F)
Lard (370°F)
Duck fat (375°F)
Schmaltz (375°F)
Ghee (450°F)
Avocado oil (400°F)
Coconut oil (350°F)
Extra virgin olive oil (325°F)
Grass-fed butter (350°F )

Best for cold use:
Extra virgin olive oil
Macadamia oil
Avocado oil
Hazelnut oil
Almond 
Walnut oil
Flaxseed oil
Grass-fed butter
Coconut oil

At The Organic Butcher, we carry a wide array of high quality oils and animal fats, and can help guide you toward the right choice for your needs. Just ask!

Posted in Coconut Oil, Cooking Instructions, Diets, Ghee, Grass-Fed, Health, Oils & Fats, Olive Oil, Organic, Paleo

How to cook the perfect steak on the Big Green Egg

Posted on June 11, 2015 by Don Roden | 0 comments

Ingredients:

Ribeye Steaks about 1.5" thick

Organic butcher steak rub

Olive Oil

Grass-fed butter

Set the egg up for direct cooking. Wait until the temperature is above 500 degrees.

Place the steaks on the grill and cook for 2 minutes. Flip and cook for 2 more minutes. Close all vents on the egg and cook 2 more minutes for medium rare. 

Take off the grill and top with a generous scoop of grass-fed butter!  Let rest for 3-5 minutes.

Enjoy!

If you have any grilling recipes you would like to share we would love to hear about them!

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Grilled King Salmon with Avocado Salsa

Posted on May 13, 2015 by Don Roden | 0 comments

We can't get enough of our Wild King Salmon.  Troll-caught in the North Pacific these Kings are high in oil content, rich in flavor and prime for eating. Add some avocado and consider it one of the healthiest meals on the planet.  We love this great recipe sourced from the Cookie Rookie.  There is nothing that we love more than recipes that taste so delicious that you don't even realize how healthy they are. This is one of those recipes! The combination of the flavorful rub and fresh ingredients really enhanced the salmon and made for a fantastic dinner. 

 

Grilled King Salmon with Avocado Salsa

INGREDIENTS
2 lbs salmon
1 tbs olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika powder
1 tsp onion powder
½ tsp ancho chili powder
1 tsp black pepper
Avocado salsa ingredients:
1 avocado, chopped
½ small red onion, chopped
Juice from 2 limes
1 tbs finely chopped cilantro
dash of salt
INSTRUCTIONS
In a small mixing bowl combine salt, cumin, paprika, onion powder, ancho chili powder and black pepper.
Rub the salmon fillets with the olive oil and rub with the spice mix.
Grill the salmon on medium heat for about 3-5 minutes or until desired doneness.
Mix the avocado, red onion, chopped cilantro, salt and juice from the limes in a small mixing bowl. Top the salmon with the avocado salsa.

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Morel Mushrooms - Get them while you can!

Posted on May 11, 2015 by Don Roden | 0 comments

Delicate and elusive, morels are a gourmet prize that can be hard to find whether searching the forest or your local markets.  The Organic Butcher has sourced beautiful Morels just in time for Mother's Day weekend.  Stop by soon to pick some up or to be on the safe side call to have us reserve some for you.  Pricey but well worth it you can expect to get a handful for around $10 - $12.  

For those who may be new to cooking Morels we've included a list of recipes courtesy of Mushroom-Appreciation.com.

Salmon and Morels

Morels are excellent with fish. Their buttery flavor makes a delicious topping, and they're strong enough to not be overpowered by seafood.

If you think salmon tastes too "fishy" you can replace it with something else. Halibut and morel recipes are also delicious, as are cod, trout, or even shrimp and scallops.

Some people like to cook morel recipes containing fish with a few tablespoons of cream or mayonnaise during the last minute to make a thicker sauce. I prefer them with just the white wine reduction. It's your call!

3 cups morels, sliced lengthwise
4 large salmon fillets (portion sized, 8 oz or so)
3 tablespoons butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup white wine
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for one minute. Next add the morels and cook until they are just beginning to brown.

Pour in the wine and cook until it has almost evaporated, stirring frequently. Transfer the mushrooms to a bowl when finished.

We're going to broil the fish for quick and easy cooking. Arrange the fillets skin side down in a broiler pan and sprinkle them with the lemon juice. If you like, you can add a little butter on top of each one.

Broil, without turning, until cooked through. Check them after 6 minutes but you may need to go a little longer.

Once finished, remove the fish from the broiler and add any desired salt and pepper. Spoon the morels evenly over each fillet.

Serve to friends with wine to show them what an amazing cook you are.

Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup

This cream of mushroom soup recipe beats the pants off of anything you'll ever have from a can. Potatoes give it the perfect texture, while retaining the great flavor of morel mushrooms.

I adapted this from one submitted by David on the Great Morel recipes page.

Morel mushroom soup recipe1 lb fresh morels, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1 cups stock (chicken, mushroom, beef, whatever)
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup white wine
2 cups water
1 leek, chopped and using only the white part
3 potatoes
Salt and pepper to taste
Add the water to a soup pot and bring to a low boil. Once boiling, toss in the potatoes and let them cook until quite soft. This usually takes around 20 to 30 minutes.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the morels and leeks and cook until the morels are just beginning to brown.

Pour in the wine and cook until it has almost entirely evaporated. Then add your stock, stirring frequently. Remove from heat if the potatoes aren't done yet.

When the potatoes are tender, allow the water to cool a little before putting the mixture into a blender. Blend until smooth and then return to the pot, water included.

Add the morel and leek mixture to the potatoes and bring to a simmer. Cook for a few minutes until it's heated through.

Add the cream, salt, and pepper and stir until the soup is warmed and thickened to your liking.

Drool and serve!

Morel Pasta

Morel recipes with pasta are absolutely delicious. You can dress them up as much as you like with tomatoes, asparagus, nutmeg, or other spices. I often leave them plain to showcase the fungal flavor, and because I'm lazy. ;)

Pasta recipe for morel mushroomsYou can use any pasta you want here. I like the wide, flat egg noodles but wheat, rice, artichoke, or gluten-free pasta is fine. Just cook it according to the instructions on the package.

1/2 lb of morels
3 tablespoons butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped (Vidalia is a great choice)
1 cup shredded cheese (use your favorite, I like cheddar)
8 oz egg noodles
Boil water and cook pasta to your desired tenderness. I prefer mine al dente.

As the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, and morels. Cook until the mushrooms have given off most of their liquid and are slightly browned. The pan will be crowded so stir frequently. If the mushroom/onion mixture finishes before the pasta does, turn the heat down to low.

Don't forget to check on the pasta while the mushrooms are cooking! When finished, drain it and put it in the skillet with the other ingredients, mixing them all together.

Cover everything with the shredded cheese and cook until it has melted. Some think that covers the taste of the mushrooms in morel recipes. I think it's just fine here!

Easy Chicken and Morels

Morel recipes with chicken breasts. The mild taste of chicken compliments rather than overpowers, allowing the earthy taste of the mushroom to shine.

There are so many different ways to prepare this dish. I've used a cream sauce here, but you can substitute the cream with white wine for a lighter meal. Feel free to add any spices; just don't let them mask the taste of those mushrooms!

3 cups morels, sliced lengthwise
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (pounded flat if you have the patience)
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup flour
3 shallots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. As it's melting, flour the chicken breast. Don't worry about using all the flour; just make sure you have enough to dust every chicken piece.

Put the chicken in the skillet and cook, turning over, until lightly browned on both sides. This will probably take 8 to 10 minutes.

Remove the chicken from the skillet and place in a casserole pan. When the oven is ready, pop in the pan and bake until the chicken is heated through.

As the chicken is cooking, melt the other 2 tablespoons of butter in the skillet over medium heat. Add the morels, shallots, and garlic. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

Pour in the chicken stock and cook until it reduces by half.

Add the cream, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Cook until the liquids have reduced to a sauce of the desired consistency.

Keep checking on the chicken as the morels are cooking. When both are done, remove from heat and spoon the sauce over the chicken.

Delicious!

Crab Stuffed Morels

The shape and hollow center of morels make them perfect for many different stuffed mushroom recipes. From seafood to other meats to nuts and cheese, the only limit is your imagination.

I'm easily turned off by mayonnaise, so there is very little in this recipe. Feel free to add more mayonnaise, oils, and cream if that's what you like.

12 medium to large morels, sliced in half lengthwise
1 cup crabmeat
2 tablespoons butter
1 egg, beaten
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
2 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl combine the crabmeat, mayonnaise, beaten egg, garlic, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper. Mix the ingredients well.

Spray the bottom of a baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Melt the butter in a skillet and spread it on the bottom on the baking dish. Place the morels on the bottom of the dish with the hollow inside facing up.

Stuff each morel with the filling. Place in the oven and cook until the mushrooms are golden brown, around 8 to 15 minutes.

Serve immediately and forget about anything else except morel recipes for dinner.

Scrambled Morel Eggs

Morel recipes with scrambled eggs are some of my simplest but most sought-after culinary pleasures. It makes for a perfect breakfast. Or dinner, if you're not in the mood to cook something complicated.

This recipe makes a lot of eggs so feel free to adjust it to your needs. You can also add extras like cheese, peppers, parsley, salt, or onion.

I usually make this with shiitake. Yet when morels are around, they're my Morel mushrooms used in recipesmushrooms of choice!

1/2 lb morels, sliced lengthwise
1/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons butter
3 green onions, chopped
1/2 dozen eggs, beaten
Melt the butter in a large skillet and add the morels and green onions. Cook until the morels have started to brown.

As the mushrooms are cooking, beat the eggs and the milk together in one bowl.

Pour the beaten egg mixture into the skillet with the mushrooms. Scramble until the eggs are cooked as desired.

Morel recipes with eggs are amazing served over toast.

Asparagus and Morels

Experienced hunters know that asparagus is a tasty combination with morels. If you're not familiar with this pairing I suggest you give it a try. You'll be surprised how delicious, yet simple, this recipe is.

Asparagus recipe for morel mushroomsMorel recipes are often served with some sort of meat or animal product. Yet this is an easy creation that lets non-meat eaters enjoy the fresh fungi as well. Replace the butter with olive oil for a truly vegetarian recipe.

1/2 lb fresh morels, sliced lengthwise
2 tablespoons butter
2 bunches asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 shallot, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot pieces, garlic, morels, and asparagus. Cook until the morels are browned and the asparagus is tender, usually 8 to 10 minutes.

Too easy!

Morels Stuffed with Cheese 'n Stuff

The last of these morel recipes uses whole mushrooms. It requires a little more care and preparation, but the end result is worth it. These little bombs of flavor make the perfect appetizer.

I used Ricotta and Swiss cheese here but you can use any type you like that's not too strong. Parmesan, cheddar, or cream cheese would also be good choices. Brie may be overpowering, but I'm definitely going to try it after my next successful morel hunt.

Many whole medium morels, at least 12 to 16. Don't slice them.
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 lb spinach (8 oz), finely chopped as much as possible
1 cup Ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
2 tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts, chopped
4 green onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

First we'll make the stuffing. Melt the butter over medium heat in a skillet. Fry the green onions and garlic for 5 minutes, then remove from the heat and let cool.

In a large bowl, combine all cheeses, spinach, nuts, salt, pepper, garlic, green onions, and nutmeg. Mix well.

Prepare your mushrooms by cutting off any protruding stalks, leaving an opening at the base. Save those stalks for other morel recipes.

Spray a baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Carefully stuff each morel, brush them with a little olive oil, and put them in the pan. Cook until the mushrooms are golden brown, usually 10 to 20 minutes.

Serve immediately. 

Come see us! This delicacy won't last long. Have a great weekend!

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Shrimp with Basil and Garlic

Posted on May 06, 2015 by Don Roden | 0 comments

This 15 minute meal is amazing and so simple for a weeknight dinner. The aroma of the fresh basil, garlic and shrimp will have your mouth watering as it cooks. The beauty of this recipe is that you will only need a couple of ingredients to make a delicious meal. You will need a good olive oil, fresh basil, garlic, and our wild caught Sustainably harvested shrimp

 

Ingredients: 

1/3 cup olive oil

4 cloves of fresh garlic

4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1 lb shrimp (about 16 shrimp) peeled and deveined

Simply mix all of the ingredients in a bowl coating the shrimp. Melt butter and olive oil in a heavy bottomed pan over medium-low heat. Add the shrimp and sprinkle with salt (love our pink himalayan sea salt with seafood) and pepper.  Saute for a few minutes a side until shrimp are cooked through and pink, about 6 minutes. 

 

 

For those non-paleo eaters the sauce is delicious with crusty french bread dipped in it. Our bread is delivered fresh daily from Leonora bakery. Roast some asparagus and sweet potatoes, chill a bottle of crisp wine ( Elizabeth Spencer Sauvingnon Blanc really complements this dish) and you have the perfect spring dinner. It's a piece of cake. Enjoy!

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Grilled Berkshire Heritage Pork Chops: Extremely Flavorful & Full of Fat (in a good way!)

Posted on May 01, 2015 by Don Roden | 0 comments

Tired of chicken breast for dinner but not in the mood for red meat? Throw our Berkshire Heritage pork chops on the grill for an easy, but over-the-top delicious meal.

Berkshire pork is a heritage breed of pig, which was discovered over 300 years ago in Berkshire County in the United Kingdom. Berkshire pork is renowned for its richness, texture, marbling, juiciness, tenderness and overall depth of flavor. It is thought by many to be the Kobe beef of pork. It is said to have a very specific taste, not generic and bland or mild like regular pork.

Berkshire pork is a richer pink, almost red color and heavily marbled. They were specially bred for the King of England for his own personal meat supply, because of the excellence in the meat.

To take this pork to the next level, rub both sides with our Butcher Shop Steak Rub. For medium-thick pork chops sear both sides of the chops briefly over high heat to get a nice crust and then move them to an area of less intense heat, cover the grill, and let them cook through.  Or leave a little pink inside for the perfect chop.

 Served with an arugula salad and a nice vinaigrette, and you've got yourself a meal fit for a king!

Posted in Berkshire Pork, Butcher Shop Rubs, Cooking Instructions, Dinner, Gluten-Free, Grilling, Organic, Paleo, Pork