Split Pea Soup with Horseradish and Tarragon

img_9386In the heart of everyone is a little country and a desire for simpler things. I don’t care where you are from or where you are now, this is true in all human beings. A soup like this is meant to be created and not ordered. This is as old school and traditional country as it gets. I spiced this up with fresh grated horseradish root and Verde sauce (courtesy of my mother and inspired by the taco Christmas eve shared with employees at dairy).  The spice cuts through the sweetness and richness of the ham and peas. I also brighten it with Meyer lemon and tarragon from our garden. Fresh garlic, onion, bay leaf and a little nutmeg add warmth. I did not have any carrot at the time, but if you have some add a couple large carrots chopped, as this is a great addition! I love this as a meal served with crusty bread and fresh butter.  Make an extra batch to share!

Yield: Approx 6 large servings                               Time: Preparation; 30 min. Cooking: 4 hours

Ingredients: img_9375

  • 2 1/2 C Split Peas Dried
  • 2 1/4 Quarts Water
  • 1 1/2  Lbs Cubed Ham plus Ham Bone
  • 1 Tbsp Chicken Bouillon
  • 2 Tsp Fresh Cracked Pepper
  • 2 Stalks Celery
  • 1/2 Medium Yellow Onion
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 2 Tbsp Fresh Grated Horseradish Root
  • 1/2 C Verde Sauce
  • 1 Tsp Nutmeg
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 Tbsp Dried Tarragon or 2 Sprigs Fresh Tarragon
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Meyer Lemon juice

Directions:

Melt butter in dutch oven or large stock pot. Add chopped onion, garlic and celery. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg, and saute until transparent and softened. Grate fresh horseradish into vegetables. Add cubed ham and ham bone. Saute an additional 5 minutes to render flavor. Add Split peas, and cover with water. Add chicken bouillon and stir. Bring to boil an then turn heat to low. Cover and simmer for one hour.

Add bay leaf and tarragon, (I use something called a soup sock for herbs to be removed) and simmer an additional 3 hours, or until peas are cooked through and soup has thickened. Stir in Verde sauce and lemon. Garnish with additional fresh grated horseradish and serve with crusty bread and fresh butter! Enjoy this warm country meal and share with friends! May freeze for up to 4 months.

Dad, Uncle Jack, Aunt Angie and the kids at dairy Christmas Eve. Enjoying Oysters and fresh tacos with homemade Verde and guacamole prepared by the workers to share in celebration. A feast at the shop!

 

 

 

Spiced Pear and Pumpkin Yogurt Muffins with Graham Crumble

 

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Over flow topping makes great ice cream fixings!

“Spiced Pear and Pumpkin Yogurt Muffins with Graham Crumble”…I love seeing how far a recipe can go in giving to others. I seem to always double a recipe so that I can save for giving or to feed my family later…food hoarder? Maybe. I think it goes beyond that, I think we all connect with food. To value food and take the time to cook means a lot in terms of who you are. Its part of the essential skills of living, just as farming is. God gave us the ability to create, communicate and care for this earth. Growing food, preparing it and giving of it to others gets us in touch with something greater than ourselves. Those who understand this appreciate the gift of food immensely, and I love sharing with those who feel the same. One of these is our sweet auntie, or technically cousin, Sierra. She gave us this delicious home-made Spiced Pear Butter that was prepared in her kitchen on their family dairy farm, along with bread and something else I’m sure, all the while 5 kiddos running around! Amazing. I had never tasted it before and it was delicious. I almost hated to hide it in a muffin, as it would be so good on toast or pancakes…maybe we can get some more… I will share her recipe later as well.

 

This recipe, of course, incorporates our yogurt made fresh from our dairy. Try my method for simple Cultured yogurt in the oven.  I was happy this recipe yielded 30 good-sized golden beauties, and were shared not only on a camping trip but also with two special neighbors, and employees at the dairy! All gave rave reviews, so pat on my back and hoping to share with you a successful moist muffin recipe!

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Everything here but the pumpkin!

Ingredients:

  • 4  C Flour
  • 1 C Oats
  • 3 Tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 C Sugar
  • 1/3 C maple syrup
  • 2 tsp Vanilla
  • 2 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 2 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 2 Tsp Salt
  • 2 C Pumpkin Puree
  • 1 C Yogurt
  • 1 C Pear Butter (can substitute apple sauce)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Sticks Butter Melted

Crumble:

  • 2 Sleeves Graham Crackers( 3 C Graham Cracker Crumbs)
  • 1/2 C Butter Melted
  • 1 /2 C Brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp Flour

Directions:

Pre Heat Oven to 350 F. Prepare Muffin Tins: (Recommend Pam Baking Spray). Melt Butter in small pan and set aside. Measure out flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in large bowl. In separate bowl measure out oats. By hand mix in  yogurt, melted butter, pumpkin, pear butter and sugar until combined and free of lumps. Let oats sit for 5 minutes. Fold an egg at a time into wet ingredients.

 

Slowly fold wet into dry ingredients until just combined, being careful not to over mix. Lumps at this point are fine! Spoon 2 large spoon full into each muffin tin. Should yield approx 30 muffins. For Topping melt the butter in same pan as prior and once melted add crumbs, brown sugar and flour. Add a pinch of salt. Using a pinching method mix until forms a rough crumble, adding more flour if needed. Add 1 tbsp toppings to each muffin, and bake for 20-25 minutes until firm in center and golden brown. Enjoy and spread the love!

Harvest Short Ribs; Braised in Brown Butter and Tarragon on Bed of Creamy Yogurt Polenta

img_8608Tried to sound fancy; got you didn’t I?? This is simple as food gets, but we can make it sound pretty elevated. This is “peasant food,” which by the way is the kind of food I love to eat and cook. It is about using what you have, making the most of it. When cooking my recipes, have fun be creative. Don’t have nutmeg? Don’t drive to the store, use something you may have, cloves or coffee can warm up this dish with flavor just as well, then it will be truly your creation.

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The short rib is by no means a fancy cut, but when cooked right it is buttery melt in your mouth divine. I used the last of our garden vegetables as I prep our garden beds for a fall garden. I roughly chopped up the vegetables, letting them cook down through out the day, and then puree in a blender. I plan to use the other half for a vegetable based soup. The ribs are braised with tarragon,  butter and coconut oil, then allowed to stew with the sauce until tender. The coconut oil allows the butter to get to a high temperature without burning. I serve this over polenta. My mother and grandmother always had polenta, I was shocked at how little other people use this Italian staple!  I like my polenta creamy, but not watery, similar to a thick “grits,” with the grain of polenta is finer. I stir in my yogurt made fresh from the dairy farm to give the polenta extra creamy.  If you haven’t tried to make your own yogurt try it using my method! This is a perfect meal for a cold fall night. Make extra and invite friends!

Ingredients:

  • 4-8 Qts vegetable puree. (A full 8 Qt Pot of chopped vegetables)
  • 4- 6 lbs Short Ribs
  • 2 Tbsp Fresh Chopped Tarragon
  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1/4 C wine
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • 1 tbsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 C molasses
  • 1/3 C balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 C sugar

Polenta:

  • 1 1/2 C Corn Meal
  • 6 Cups of Chicken Stock
  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • 2 Tbsp Yogurt
  • Parmesan Cheese

Directions: Roughly chop what vegetables you have on hand (carrots, celery, onion, kale, garlic, eggplant, zucchini etc) Add olive oil, salt and pepper and cook until all vegetables are tender. Puree in blender or with immersion blender in pot.

In separate pan, brown short ribs. I will explain the method of braising; start by heating the butter and coconut oil in saute pan. Season short ribs with salt and pepper. Chop tarragon and add to pan. Pace ribs in pan and let brown on one side, then flip. Approx. 3 minutes a side at very high heat. Make sure you get a nice “crust,” this will allow the ribs to seal in any juices and lead to tastier meat. Now you will have some burnt looking bits, this is the fat that has been rendered and is full of flavor. Add a little liquid of your choice, wine, water or chicken stock. About 1/4 cup. Using spatula scrape these bits with the liquid and let it reduce a bit. Add ribs and browning liquid to vegetable puree.

Add molasses, nutmeg, sugar and vinegar. Simmer on low heat for 1 hour. Place in 350 F oven for 2-4 hours. Make polenta by boiling chicken stock and butter. Add Polenta slowly with whisk to avoid lumping. remove from heat and let sit for 30 minutes stirring occasionally. Serve short ribs over polenta with extra juice and a little parmesan if desired! Enjoy.

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Because if I ever become a mother who keeps their family from eating to get a good picture, please tell me to stop

 

Raw Butter With Yogurt

 

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Is this  a new dairy product? Probably not, there is probably another name for this but I don’t know what it is, let me know if you do! I add my raw yogurt to this butter which gives the butter a nice tang. It may be too strong in flavor for some, and if so feel free to omit the yogurt. Butter is easy to make at home, only problem is it takes alot of heavy cream. I create our butter with milk from the dairy. I allow the milk to separate from the cream by letting it sit for 24 hours. I then carefully skim the cream off the top. Using a wide mouth container helps. By adgetating the butter in a blender, food processor or other means, it begins to form butter that you them pat into a desired shape and place in serving dish. I created this Holstein Butter Dish  to benefit Art to Feed and your local food bank.

Making your own butter is worth the work and time, fresh butter really tastes amazing. I plan on using if for my Cultured Chocolate Chip Cookies, try it out! Get creative, add things to butter like garlic or other seasonings to make a very special treat!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 C or more of Heavy Cream
  • 1 tsp Yogurt
  • 2 tsp Salt or to taste.
  • I Bowl of Ice Water

Directions:

Place Heavy Cream in bowl of blender or food processor. Blend until milk starts to form little clumps.(Approx 3 -5 Minutes)

Strain the “clumps” from the whey. Press the clumps together and place in ice bath. Slowly begin to pat and shape encouraging any excess whey to drain. If butter gets too soft place back in ice bath and repeat until all whey has been removed. Place on parchment paper and roll into log shape. Or place in desired container and refrigerate until firm. Enjoy!

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