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Corned Beef Saturday Evening. Corned Beef Hash Sunday Morning.

March 09, 2017

Corned Beef Saturday Evening. Corned Beef Hash Sunday Morning.
St. Patrick's Day is fast approaching. We've begun our annual brisket curing and they are ready for pre-order! You can pick them up anytime between now and March 17th. We vacuum seal each brisket so they will continue to cure until opened. If you are more of a Do-It-Yourselfer, hurry in for some uncured briskets and check out our post on brining at home here.   Corned beef and cabbage washed down with a tall, creamy stout is a must on St. Patrick's Day. But what happens when you are left with half of a cured brisket the next day? Well, luckily the next day this year is a Sunday. Call your friends and tell them to come back to your house for brunch — you're making Corned Beef Hash! Now, we know the thought of corned beef hash conjures up greasy, mushy, salty memories from a poorly lit diner, but the following recipe will change your mind for good.  CORNED BEEF BREAKFAST HASHCookbook author Cassy Joy Garcia has created a healthy Paleo version of this dish for her blog Fed + Fit. Photo Credit Fed+Fit Ingredients: 4 pounds red skinned potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 teaspoon fine sea salt 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon paprika 1 tablespoon butter 2 bunches collard greens, de-stemmed and finely chopped 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (about 1/2 a lemon) Leftover Corned Beef, chopped 1-2 eggs per serving, soft boiled, poached, or fried pickled onions, for garnish fresh chopped chives, for garnish Photo Credit Fed+Fit Directions: For the potatoes, toss the cubed potatoes in the olive oil. Spread them out evenly on two baking sheets. Sprinkle the tops evenly with the salt, garlic, and paprika. Bake at 375 F for 40 to 45 minutes, or until they start to brown and crisp, but not burn. Melt the butter in a large pan. Add the chopped collards, toss to combine, and cover to steam. Once the collards are wilted, add the lemon juice, and corned beef. Stir to combine and cook just long enough to reheat the corned beef. Remove from heat and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, toss the potatoes with the collards and corned beef. Plate and top with the eggs (cooked however you like), pickled onions, and chives. So go ahead, poach a couple of eggs (or duck eggs!), toss in some greens, and use up every last bit of that corned beef!

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January 06, 2016

Combat the Cold With A Warm Yet Light Cioppino
It's January, the winter chill has finally set in, and nothing sounds better than curling up with a hearty, filling stew. Don't sacrifice your New Year's resolutions just yet. Try this satisfying and light Cioppino instead of something that will weigh you down. Cioppino is an Italian-American fish stew that originated in San Francisco, California. Originally it was made on boats while out at sea and later became a staple in Italian restaurants.  You can add all sorts of seafood to this stew — clams, mussels, shrimp, white fishes, salmon, octopus — you name it. Serve it with white wine and some crusty bread to sop up the flavorful broth. Ingredients3 tablespoons olive oil1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced1 onion, chopped3 large shallots, chopped2 teaspoons salt4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped3/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes, plus more to taste1/4 cup tomato paste1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice1 1/2 cups dry white wine5 cups fish stock1 bay leaf1 pound clams, scrubbed1 pound mussels, scrubbed, debearded1 pound uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined1 1/2 pounds assorted firm-fleshed fish fillets such as halibut or salmon, cut into 2-inch chunksDirectionsHeat the oil in a very large pot over medium heat. Add the fennel, onion, shallots, and salt and saute until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and 3/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, and saute 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste. Add tomatoes with their juices, wine, fish stock and bay leaf. Cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until the flavors blend, about 30 minutes.Add the clams and mussels to the cooking liquid. Cover and cook until the clams and mussels begin to open, about 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and fish. Simmer gently until the fish and shrimp are just cooked through, and the clams are completely open, stirring gently, about 5 minutes longer (discard any clams and mussels that do not open). Season the soup, to taste, with more salt and red pepper flakes.Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.

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Arctic Char — A Delicious Alternative to Wild Salmon

November 12, 2015 1 Comment

Arctic Char — A Delicious Alternative to Wild Salmon
As the season for wild-caught salmon comes to a close, you might be wondering what alternatives are out there. What fish is comparable in texture, flavor and healthy oils?  Well, we have the just the fish for you! The Organic Butcher is now carrying responsibly and sustainably farm-raised Arctic Char. Arctic Char has a distinct light, sweet flavor and firm pink flesh that is similar to salmon, though milder. It is nutrient-rich and an excellent source of heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids.  If you are turned off by farm-raised fish, know that the environmentally friendly method used to farm Arctic Char is completely different than farmed salmon. The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch gives Arctic Char a “Best Choice” eco-rating as opposed to Salmon which ranges from the lesser "Good Alternative" to "No, Thanks" ratings. We are careful to source our Arctic Char from responsible farmers. If you have never had Arctic Char, you are in for a treat. It's mild taste will appeal to a wide range of palates. ARCTIC CHAR WITH CHARMOULA (Food & Wine) This roasted garlic charmoula — a classic North African marinade and sauce packed with fresh herbs and spices — is excellent with a rich fish, such as arctic char or salmon. INGREDIENTSFour 5-ounce, skin-on Arctic Char fillets3 unpeeled garlic cloves1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves1/4 cup cilantro leaves2 tablespoons chopped green olives1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice1/4 teaspoon ground cumin1/4 teaspoon paprikaKosher saltPepper INSTRUCTIONSIn a small skillet, toast the garlic over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the skins blacken, 7 to 8 minutes. Let cool slightly; discard the skins.  In a food processor, puree 1/3 cup of the oil, the garlic, parsley, cilantro, olives, lemon juice, cumin and paprika until smooth. Transfer the charmoula to a bowl and season with salt.  In a large nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Season the fish with salt and pepper and place it skin side down in the skillet. Cook the fish over moderately high heat until the skin is golden, about 3 minutes. Flip the fish and cook just until it flakes easily, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain briefly on paper towels. Serve the fish with the charmoula.   

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October 31, 2015

Weeknight Meal: 5 Ingredient Honey-Mustard Chicken
School is in full-swing and evenings are jam-packed with sports, band practice, homework, etc. The last thing you need is to prepare a complicated dinner that uses every dish in the kitchen and ends up being something the kids won't eat. We present your new favorite weeknight meal — 5 Ingredient Honey-Mustard Chicken! Serves: 4-6Time: 55 mins (10 mins prep + 45 mins cook) Ingredients1/4 to 1/3 cup smooth Dijon mustard1/4 to 1/3 cup honey1 Tbsp olive oil2-3 pounds chicken thighs, legs or breasts2 sprigs rosemary (or a generous sprinkling of dried rosemary)SaltFreshly ground black pepper InstructionsPreheat the oven to 350°F (180 C). In a medium bowl, whisk together the mustard, honey, and olive oil. Add a pinch of salt and taste. Add more salt and mustard until you get the flavor where you want it. Salt the chicken lightly and lay the pieces skin-side up in a shallow casserole dish. Add rosemary springs. Cook until the skin is golden and crispy. Spoon the honey mustard sauce over the chicken.  Serve with greens and wild rice, or keep it paleo with cauliflower rice.

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October 01, 2015 4 Comments

GUEST POST: Home-curing Duck Prosciutto
Friend of the store and loyal customer, Sean Vineyard (@chezsean85), was gracious enough to detail how he makes duck prosciutto at home with very little equipment. Read on and get inspired! HOME-CURED DUCK PROSCIUTTOWords and photos by Sean Vineyard Coppa. Bresaola. Lomo. Panchetta. Prosciutto. American’s love cured meats, and with good reason; we’ve been curing meats for centuries. What once was done out of necessity as a means of preservation is now done out of a passion for rich, concentrated, meaty deliciousness. Why did we stop curing meats? Mostly because of refrigeration, but ultimately it’s the same reason we no longer have cassette players in our cars. Something better came along.  Many people now associate charcuterie with low production artisans, tucked away in the back of a small store-front, legs of prosciutto hanging from the window, skillfully stuffing natural casings with pork, fat, wine, fennel, pepper, and garlic to make finocchiona salami. So, what if I told you that you could make cured meats at home? Most people don’t believe me. What if I told you that you could do it in less than three weeks, start-to-finish? Usually people look at me as though I’ve proven string theory when I tell them that.  The least complicated of all of the variety of charcuterie is definitely whole muscle cured meats. That is to say, essentially everything less salami and cured sausages. Of the whole muscle cured meats, duck prosciutto is the easiest way to gain entry into the vastly addicting world of home curing and that is largely because it is quick. You can see results in a couple of weeks and adjust recipes to your liking instead of 6-18 months if you were to cure a whole hog leg to make traditional prosciutto. Okay enough talking, let’s get started – trust me – those who know me know I love to talk and will gladly do so if not intervened.  What You Will Need2-3 duck breasts¼ cup juniper berries2 TBSP peppercorns (mixed black, green, red, and white if you can)2 TBSP fennel seed2-3 whole star anise4 bay leaves4 cups of sea saltLight vinegar (not distilled) or white wine for rinsingCheese clothButchers twine How to Select Your DuckJust as with any dish you make, selecting the right ingredients is one of the most essential parts. No matter how good of a Chef or cook you are, you can’t turn bad products into something that tastes good. My recommendation is create a relationship with your grocer. Know your butcher. And if you can, know your farmer.  When selecting which type of duck breast to use I thought it best to ask The Organic Butcher, Don Roden, what his thoughts are on the subject. Don says that there are three widely available breeds of duck available. Those being Peking, Moulard, and Muscovy. If anyone has ever eaten at a decent Chinese restaurant, you’re probably quite familiar with Peking duck. Peking duck has a lower fat to flesh ratio making it the least ideal for curing. Remember, fat is good! And truthfully, if you don’t like fat, we can’t be friends. Moulard is the Rolls Royce of duck breasts. Rich, fatty, deep in color and flavor. But just like with a Rolls Royce, they are expensive. They are well worth the price but certainly not the best option to try out your hand in curing. That leaves the Muscovy. Don says the Muscovy has the best fat to flesh ratio, portion sizes, and flavor, and they are very affordable.  Once you have decided the type of duck to buy, you need to select your meat. Freshness is imperative in curing meats because any ‘funk’ will be exacerbated by the curing process and while stinky cheeses always have a place in my fridge, stinky meats are not good eats! There are three senses that are important to remember when selecting your meat. Sight, feel, and smell. First, you want to make sure that the duck is not greying along the flesh or yellowing along the fat or skin. Second, you want to make sure that the duck is wet but not slimy. Last, and probably the most important, make sure that the duck smells relatively neutral. Yes, any good butcher will let you smell their products! As strange as it may seem, do it. It should smell like raw meat, not like a trash can. If it’s not pleasurable to your nose, it won’t be pleasurable to your stomach.  Preparing Your CureThe cure is a very important part of the process. This is what draws out the moisture in the meat. The moisture, being a veritable bacteria playground, is not something that we want a lot of. In fact, the curing and aging process should reduce the overall weight of your meat by about 25-30%. The curing process is also what imparts a lot of the flavor to the meats based on what spices you put in the cure. While I have my favorite spices, I recommend that first-timers use just salt. By doing that you are going to really taste the meat itself and then you can figure out which spices you want to add based on your preferences and not just listening to what I say works. Create your own cure! That’s part of the fun. My basic ratio for my cures are 1 part spices to 3 or 4 parts salt (depending on how thick the meat is and how much of the flavor of the spices you want in the meat). The key thing to remember when making your cure, regardless of what spices you use, is to use whole spices and toast them! Toasting them brings out the oils of the spices and brings an added layer of complexity to the flavor. To toast your spices, places your whole spices in a pan on medium heat. You will want to nearly constantly stir the spices for 5-6 minutes until they begin turning golden brown on the outside and become very fragrant. Put them into a spice grinder (or you can grind them by hand) and blend them all together. Then mix the spices into the cure. Let the cure cool down. You do not want to bring any heat to the raw meat. I will often times put the cure mixture into the fridge for an hour or so to let it cool.  Curing and AgingTo begin the curing process, place about half of the cure in the bottom of a baking dish. I generally prefer glass. You want to make sure there is at least one inch of cure on the bottom of the dish. Place your duck breast on the mixture. You will see some recipes tell you to score the skin and fat. Truthfully, I never do. It makes the duck too salty and makes it more challenging to slice afterwards. Not to mention it doesn’t look as uniform when you slice it. It’s all about the presentation! You will also see recipes that tell you to place it skin-side down. I have never seen any difference in taste or texture with doing it skin or flesh side down so you do whatever your heart desires.  You want to make sure that your duck breasts are spaced about an inch apart to ensure that the cure gets in contact with every bit of the duck. Pour your remaining mixture over the meat (again, you should have at least an inch of mixture on top of your duck). Cover the whole thing and put it in the fridge for between 2 and 3 days depending on the size of your duck breasts. I will usually stick with 48 hours unless they are particularly large.  After the two days, take the duck out of the fridge and remove it from the cure. The duck breasts should be firm but not hard, a little smaller in size, and slightly darker in color since much of the moisture has been removed. You’ll want to remove any excess cure by pouring a little vinegar over it. I usually use a white wine or apple cider vinegar. You can also use white wine if you have some lying around and for some strange reason you don’t want to drink it.  Now it’s time to wrap it, tie it, and hang it. You wrap the duck in cheese cloth to prevent direct air contact when it is drying/aging. Direct air contact will dry out the outside of the flesh too quickly and it may prevent the inside of the duck from properly drying. Take your cheese cloth and lay it on a flat surface. Place the duck at one edge in the center. Roll it (like you would a sandwich) and about half way through fold in the ends and then continue rolling it. Use the butchers twine to tie the duck. It is easiest to YouTube videos on “how to tie a roast” to show you how to properly tie the duck. It’s hard to explain how to properly tie without a video. Make sure to leave a loop of twine at the top to hang it. For the drying process you can get an S-hook or a suction cup hook from the hardware store and place it in your fridge. Unless you want to go all out and build an in home curing fridge like I did. Hang the duck and place a Tupperware container underneath it filled with salt water. It should be about the same as ocean water. This will create a micro humid climate since refrigerators are notoriously dry and that is not what we want. Make sure that the duck breasts are not touching each other or anything else. If they touch, the contact points could create warm, high humidity areas that could grow bad mold. You want to keep the duck hanging for two weeks. After that you’re ready to eat it! Slicing and ServingYou have a couple of options for slicing and endless options for serving. You want to cut the duck prosciutto paper thing. If you are have a meat slicer at your house, you are already far more prepared than most. If you don’t have a meat slicer, a very sharp slicing knife will work just fine. I find it easiest to lay the duck fat side down if slicing by hand. The key is to go slow and take as few strokes as possible when slicing.  For serving, I love the duck prosciutto just like it is. No accompaniment, no accoutrement, just duck. But you can pair it with figs and bread or crisp it up and put it in a salad. Whatever peaks your interest, do it.

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September 02, 2015

Lacking Ideas for Labor Day? Let Us Help!
Labor Day is fast approaching and if you're anything like us, your weekend is packed with get-togethers, parties and plenty of opportunities to flex your culinary muscle. If inspiration hasn't struck yet, here is a list of ideas to get you motivated. Whether you're into smoking, grilling or slow-cooking, we've got you covered. It's a busy week, be sure to call ahead to place your order. Labor Day Items Berkshire Pork Baby Back or St. Louis-Style Ribs Berkshire Pork Shoulder Brisket - whole packer cut for smoker Whole Fish - wild-caught Red Snapper, Bronzino Bone in Chicken Breast and Thighs Waygu Hot Dogs Bison Hot Dogs Sausages - Wild Boar, Green, Bratwurst, Lamb Merguez   Too many great steaks to list here! A wide variety of spice rubs and sauces   And don't forget about our great selection of wine and beer. Happy cooking!

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