Category: Recipes

3 Easy Take-Out Fake-Outs for Beef Stir-Fry, Chicken Fried Rice and Chicken Quesadillas

3 Easy Take-Out Fake-Outs for Beef Stir-Fry, Chicken Fried Rice and Chicken Quesadillas

Life gets, well, busy. It seems as if we’re often running from one thing to another – work, errands, events – and it takes a toll, usually on the amount of time we have left to cook. Hey, I get it, and so do all the drive-thru places, take-out restaurants, and meal kit delivery services. Sometimes we want something quick and easy. Well, here are 2 super easy meals and one snack (who am I kidding, I totally eat quesadillas for dinner on a regular basis) that you can have on the table in about the time it takes to get take-out and drive home. How? By cooking a chicken ahead of time (I frequently have cooked chicken in the fridge for quick dishes) and using some pre-made items from our wonderful producer, Des Fresh! Now who wants beef stir-fry with veggies, chicken fried rice, and chicken quesadillas? Yeah, me too! NOTE: for vegetarian dishes, you can absolutely substitute sliced mushrooms or tofu in place of the meat.

Ingredients

For the beef stir-fry:

  • 1 to 1 1/2 lbs flat steak think flank, skirt, or iron
  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy or tamari sauce note: tamari is gluten-free
  • 3 TB sherry
  • 2 TB light brown sugar
  • 2 TB cornstarch
  • 1 TB minced fresh ginger
  • 3 – 4 cups chopped vegetables snow peas, carrots, celery, broccoli, mushrooms, onions – whatever you have on hand and like
  • 3 TB cooking oil
  • Precooked dumplings and fried rice use half for this and the other half for fried rice – yay, two meals! from Des Fresh

For the chicken fried rice:

  • 1/2 container of vegetable fried rice from Des Fresh
  • 1 cup of precooked chicken
  • 1 egg
  • 3 – 4 TB soy or tamari sauce

For the chicken quesadillas:

  • 3 TB cooking oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion – red or yellow
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 3 – 6 minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce use more or less dending on your spice preference
  • 4 ripe tomatoes seeded and diced
  • 3 scallions thinly sliced (optional)
  • 2 TB honey
  • 2 1/2 cups cooked chicken shredded or diced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup cilantro chopped
  • 6 or 7 8″ flour tortillas
  • 4 cups 2 8 oz. blocks shredded cheddar and/or jack cheese
  • sour cream & salsa for serving

Instructions

For the beef stir-fry:

  • In a medium bowl, mix together soy sauce, sherry, brown sugar, cornstarch, and ginger. Set aside half of the liquid, add the sliced beef to the bowl and toss to coat well.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the vegetables in batches – heavier, courser vegetables such as carrots, peppers, and celery should be added first, followed by mushrooms – broccoli and snow peas should be added last to prevent overcooking. Stir the vegetables frequently and cook until tender-crisp. Remove to a clean plate or bowl.
  • Allow the pan to get hot again, then add the beef in small batches, being careful to leave most of the marinade in the bowl. Allow the meat to cook for a minute or two before stirring. Turn or stir, to cook both sides – about 2 1/2 to 3 minutes total time. Remove to a separate bowl and repeat with remaing beef.
  • When the last batch of beef has been added to the skillet, return the cooked beef to the pan, followed by the vegetables. Pour the reserved marinade over everything and allow to cook, stirring constantly for about 30 seconds.
  • Serve immediately with fried rice and dumplings for a complete Asian-style dinner.

For the chicken fried rice:

  • In a large skillet sprayed with cooking spray or misted with oil, scramble the egg over medium-low heat & then remove to small dish to be used later.
  • To the same skillet, add the precooked fried rice, chicken, and 2 TB soy sauce. Gently warm the rice, stirring frequently and adding additional soy sauce if needed. Once the rice and chicken are completely warmed, about 10 minutes, gently stir in the scrambled egg.
  • Serve with dumplings for a complete Chinese take-out style dinner.

For the chicken quesadillas:

  • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until soft – about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in the chipotles, adobo, and tomatoes. Cook until the liquid from the tomatoes has evaporated and the mixture has thickened – about 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in the honey, chicken, scallions (if using), salt, and cilantro. Keep warm while you prep to tortillas.
  • Heat a second skillet or griddle over medium heat, spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Lay a tortilla in the pan, and heat until hot to the touch, but not crisp. Flip the tortilla over, then sprinkle with shredded cheese. Once the cheese is mostly melted, spoon the chicken mixture on half of the tortilla and fold over. Continue cooking until the tortilla is crisp, and then flip over to crisp the other side. Remove from the heat and allow to rest for 2 or 3 minutes before cutting into wedges.

Notes

Serve with sour cream and salsa

Corned Beef and Cabbage

Corned Beef and Cabbage

Corned beef and cabbage – ah, the quintessential Saint Patrick’s day fare! With this easy recipe, there’s no need to shy away from making this staple at home. The brine does all the heavy lifting, and since it can cure in as little as 2 days (though 4 is much better) it doesn’t require too much advanced planning. So pull up a stool, breakout the shamrock’s and enjoy this dish at home.

Ingredients

  • 1 flat cut beef brisket 2 – 5 lbs
  • 3/4 cup table kosher, or pickling salt
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tsp pink curing salt #1
  • 6 peeled garlic cloves divided
  • 6 bay leaves divided
  • 5 allspice berries
  • 2 TB peppercorns divided
  • 1 TB coriander seeds
  • 1 12 oz bottle of stout beer
  • 6 carrots peeled, halved crosswise, thick ends halved lengthwise
  • 1 1/2 pounds small red potatoes unpeeled
  • 1 head green cabbage uncored, cut into 8 wedges

Instructions

  • To cure the beef: Trim all but 1/8″ of fat from the outside of the brisket. Add 4 quarts of water to a large container (should be large enough to completely immerse the brisket). Add the curing salt, salt, and brown sugar – stir until everything is dissolved. Add 3 garlic cloves, 4 bay leaves, allspice berries, 1 TB of peppercorns, and coriander seeds to brine. Add the brisket and weigh it down with a heavy plate. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 6 days. The meat will turn gray on the outside, but will change to pink when it’s cooked.
  • Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Remove beef from the brine and rinse. Make a spice bundle by stacking 3 8″ squares of cheesecloth and placing 3 garlic cloves, 2 bay leaves, and 1 TB of peppercorns in the center. Tie the bundle securely with kitchen twine. Place the brisket, spice bundle, beer, and 1 1/2 cups of water in a heavy dutch oven. Over high heat, bring everything to a simmer; cover and transfer to the oven. Bake until a fork easily slides into the meat – about 2 1/2 hours to 3 hours.
  • Remove the brisket to heat safe, covered, baking dish, and add 1 cup of cooking liquid. Transfer to the oven to keep warm.
  • Add a steamer basket to the Dutch oven and place over high heat. Once the liquid is boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and add potatoes. Cook for 5 minutes, covered. Add the carrots and cook, covered for another 5 minutes. Add the cabbage wedges and cook for another 10 – 15 minutes, or until the cabbage is cooked through.
  • While the cabbage is cooking, slice the beef, across the grain in 1/4″ – 1/2″ pieces. Transfer to a serving platter and slightly moisten with cooking liquid. Transfer the cooked vegetables to the platter; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Notes

Serve with mustard or Irish soda bread for an authentic Saint Patrick’s Day meal.

Valentine’s Day Menu

Valentine’s Day Menu

Whether for Valentine’s Day, an anniversary, a birthday, or any occasion, this is my go-to steak dinner that’s sure to impress. Instead of heading out to a restaurant, treat yourself and a special someone to a lovely dinner in because this steakhouse quality dinner at home won’t let you down.

Ingredients

  • 2 steaks beef tenderloin, NY strip, top sirloin, ribeye – whatever makes you happy
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheese such as Gouda Parmesan, or Lost Lake special reserve
  • 4 1/4 ” thick red bell pepper rings
  • 3 cups of 1/2″ cubed butternut squash
  • 2 TB honey or maple syrup
  • pinch of cayenne
  • 1 head of romaine lettuce
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
  • 2 slices of bacon diced and fried
  • Creamy salad dressing such as creamy Italian
  • 1 TB + 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp ghee
  • Salt & Pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 450F. Toss the cubed squash in 1 TB of olive oil and spread out on a rimmed baking sheet. Season with salt & pepper. Roast until easily pierced with a fork – about 20 minutes.
  • While the squash is roasting, heat a heavy, oven safe skillet (I break out my cast iron for this) over medium high heat. Add the olive oil, and the pepper rings. Cook until slightly charred on each side about 2 minutes per side. Set aside. Pat the steaks dry with paper towels (this helps you to get a nice sear). Add the ghee to the skillet, once melted, add the steaks. Sprinkle with a liberal amount salt and little pepper to taste. Allow the steaks to sear without moving them for 2 to 3 minutes, flip and sear for another 1 minute. Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook to desired doneness – about 5 to 6 minutes for rare/medium-rare, 8 minutes for medium. Remove skillet from oven and sprinkle on shredded cheese. Return to oven and allow cheese to mostly melt – about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from oven, twist pepper rings into a figure 8 and place 2 on each steak. Allow steak to rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Using a fork, mash the cooked squash, stir in the honey or maple syrup and a pinch of cayenne (more or less depending on your preference). Set aside.
  • Trim the end off the romaine, leaving the connecting stalk intact, and cut the head in half from stalk to tip. Arrange each half on a place or in a shallow bowl. Divide the blue cheese and bacon between each wedge and drizzle with the dressing of your choice.
  • Pour a glass of wine, beer, or mix up your favorite cocktail. Serve the steaks with the mashed butternut squash and enjoy your incredibly easy steak dinner that rivals anything you can find in a steakhouse.

Notes

For an extra special treat, serve one of our amazing baked goods for dessert – this meal pairs perfectly with cheesecake or cream puffs.

Super Bowl Pork Nachos/Tacos

Super Bowl Pork Nachos/Tacos

Who’s ready for some football? Whether you’re cheering for the NE Pats or the LA Rams, you and your friends will surely be cheering for these easy to make, great to eat nachos & tacos. Grab a few friends, your favorite beer, and get ready for kick-off because this recipe can easily be made the day before and warmed up in crock pot for the big game.

Ingredients

  • 4 to 6 pounds pork shoulder/Boston butt
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 TB salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder or 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 2 TB white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 TB onion powder or 1 whole onion, finely minced

For serving: flour tortillas, butter lettuce, tortilla chips, charred bell pepper slices, lime wedges, sour cream, jack or cheddar cheese

    Instructions

    • In a small bowl, combine oregano, cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, garlic, olive oil, white wine vinegar, brown sugar, and onion. Mix well – if you’re using garlic cloves or a whole onion, puree everything in a blender. Pour mixture over meat, coating all sides.
    • Either preheat oven to 300 degrees, place coated meat in a Dutch oven, and pour 2 cups of water into the pot. Cover and roast for 5 hours, or until meat is fork tender. Alternatively, place meat in a crock pot with 1/2 cup of water, and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. This can also be made in an Instant Pot, by using 1 cup of water and cooking on high pressure for 75 minutes, with a natural pressure release.
    • Remove the meat, shred or cube, and then return to the liquid to prevent drying out.

    Notes

    Serve as pork tacos, over nachos, a mixed salad, or in lettuce cups with your favorite toppings. Squeezing a bit of lime over it before serving, gives it a nice, fresh, pop of flavor.

    Biscuits + Gravy


    You don’t need to live on a farm to enjoy a farmhouse breakfast. This sausage gravy is perfect for a weekend brunch, a weeknight breakfast-for-dinner, or make a batch over the weekend, and then reheat it for a quick breakfast during the week by simply adding a splash of milk before reheating.

    Ingredients

    • 1 lb seasoned breakfast sausage pork or chicken sausage
    • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
    • 4 cups whole milk
    • 1/2 tsp seasoned salt
    • 1 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
    • 1 to 2 TB cooking oil only if using chicken sausage
    • Biscuits eggs, and bacon for serving

    Instructions

    • In a large skillet over medium-high heat, break apart the sausage and cook through. If using chicken sausage, add 1 TB of cooking oil.
    • Sprinkle in the flour and stir to coat the sausage. If you’re using chicken sausage, and it’s too dry, add a bit more oil and stir until the flour is thoroughly coating the meat. Allow to cook for about a minute.
    • Slowly stir in the milk, 1 cup at a time, stirring to combine after each addition. Stir in the seasoned salt and 1 1/2 tsp of black pepper.
    • Reduce heat to a simmer and allow to cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until it reaches desired consistency. Taste for seasoning and add more if needed. If the gravy gets too thick, and in a bit of milk and stir.

    Notes

    Serve over warm biscuits with eggs and bacon for a complete farmhouse breakfast. Leftovers can be frozen for several months – simply thaw, add a splash of milk, and reheat.

    Egg Nog French Toast

    Egg nog is one of those holiday traditions that many of us look forward to as soon as the air turns crisp in autumn. This decadent French toast allows you to extend that tradition to brunch! Whether you’re making breakfast for a crowd, or a cozy morning for two, this French toast will quickly become one of your favorites. –Robin

    Egg Nog French Toast

    Ingredients

    French toast:

    • 1/2 loaf of brioche or other dense bread, but I highly recommend using brioche, sliced into 1" thick slices - about 5 or 6 slices
    • 1 1/4 cup of egg nog
    • 1 to 2 TB rum or bourbon add to your personal preference (optional, but recommended)
    • 2 TB whole milk
    • 3 large eggs
    • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
    • 1 tsp vanilla exract
    • About 3 TB ghee
    • Whipped cream see below for fresh whipped cream for serving
    • Maple syrup for serving

    Fresh whipped cream:

    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 tsp powdered sugar

    Instructions

    Whipped cream:

    • Using a hand or stand mixer, whip the heavy cream, vanilla, and powdered sugar until stiff peaks form. Set aside until serving time.

    French toast:

    • Combine the egg nog, rum or bourbon (if using), milk, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla extract. Whisk until the eggs and milk are completely combined with the egg nog.
    • In a large skillet or griddle over medium heat, melt about 1 tsp of ghee per toast slice.
    • Dunk the bread slices into the egg nog mixture and allow to soak for 10-15 seconds per side (more or less depending on how you like your toast - though the longer it soaks, the more batter you'll need). Place in the skillet and cook until lightly golden brown on each side - about 2 to 3 minutes per side.
    • Serve topped with maple syrup and fresh whipped cream.

    Crispy Baked Capon Wings

    Here’s a recipe from producer Holdeman Poultry.

    Holdeman Poultry is family owned business. We started raising Capons in early 2012. These chickens are minimally processed with no fillers or additives added.For those of you that are not familiar with Capons here is little info. Capons are a very old tradition. Many old timers will remember raising these on the farm. A capon is raised quite large and is much more tender and juicey than your average chicken. Most people say this is the best chicken they have ever had.

    Capon wings are on sale for just $2.20/lb for the holidays. Add them to your cart then try this recipe:

    CRISPY BAKED WINGS

    Ingredients

    • 3/4 cup flour
    • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
    • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
    • 3/4 tsp. salt
    • 1/4 tsp. paprika
    • Approximately 5 lbs. wings
    • 1/2 cup butter
    • 1/2 cup hot pepper sauce Louisiana
    • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
    • 1/4 tsp. black pepper

    Instructions

    • Line a cookie sheet with foil. Grease well. Mix first 5 ingredients well. Dredge wings in flour mixture, place on greased pan, then cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Melt butter and mix in the hot pepper sauce, garlic powder, and black pepper. Dip wings in the sauce then place on prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, then turn wings and continue baking for another 30 minutes or until done. Wings should be crispy and delicious!

     

    Recipe: Sunday Pot Roast (Company Optional)

    Have you ever had gravy that’s so good that you want to eat it in a bowl with a spoon? This simple pot roast renders that kind of gravy – it’s rich, flavorful, and has a perfectly silky texture that stands up to anything you want to ladle it over. This roast is good enough for Sunday dinner with company and easy enough to make on a lazy afternoon with family.

    Recipe: Sunday Pot Roast (Company Optional)

    (Pictured with a round roast from Ebersole Cattle Company) Have you ever had gravy that's so good that you want to eat it in a bowl with a spoon? This simple pot roast renders that kind of gravy - it's rich, flavorful, and has a perfectly silky texture that stands up to anything you want to ladle it over. This roast is good enough for Sunday dinner with company and easy enough to make on a lazy afternoon with family.

    Ingredients

    • 3 to 5 lb beef roast chuck, round, or rump
    • 4 TB ghee
    • 2 yellow onions peeled and halved
    • 8 carrots washed, unpeeled, cut in 1/2" circles
    • 1 cup red wine
    • 2-3 + 1/4 cups beef stock or broth
    • 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary or 1 TB dry
    • 4 springs of fresh thyme or 1 TB dry
    • Salt
    • Ground black pepper
    • Smoked paprika *can be found at Trader Joe's, Penzey's, or online
    • 2 TB corn starch

    Instructions

    • Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
    • Generously sprinkle the roast with the salt, black pepper, and smoked paprika. Set aside.
    • In a heavy Dutch or French oven, melt the ghee over medium-high heat. Add the onions and carrots to the pot and cook until browned on both sides. Remove to a clean plate.
    • Place the roast in the pot and sear on each side for about 3 minutes - don't move it around so that you get a good, brown crust going. Remove to the plate with the vegetables.
    • Pour the wine into the pot and scrape the brown bits off the bottom as the wine boils.
    • Once the pot is deglazed, put the roast back in and place the vegetables on top. Pour in enough beef stock to come at least halfway up the roast. Place the herbs on top.
    • Put the lid on the pot and move to the preheated oven. Roast for 3 1/2 to 4 hours, or until the meat is fork tender.
    • Remove the roast to a plate and keep warm. If using fresh herbs, remove the herb sprigs from the pot and discard. Using an immersion blender, or carefully transferring the cooked vegetables and liquids to a blender, blend until smooth. If the gravy is thinner than you would prefer, mix 2 TB corn starch with 1/4 cup beef stock and pour into the gravy while bringing to a boil over medium-high heat and cooking until desired consistency.

    Notes

    Slice the roast and serve topped with the pan gravy along side roasted or mashed potatoes, vegetables, and of course bread for sopping. Leftovers can be frozen by storing the beef and gravy separately - add a couple of TB of beef stock in with the meat to prevent it from drying out when reheated.

     

    Greek Yogurt Cream Cheese

    This can be used under a spicy jelly like Boone County Organic’s Aronia Peach Habanero or Clear Creek Orchard’s Mango Habanero, Raspberry jalapeno or any of their spicy flavors. This is also great as the base for a layered dip with salsa, beans & cheese.

     

     

    Greek Yogurt Cream Cheese
    Ingredients
    • 1.5 to 2 times as much yogurt as the amount of cream cheese required for the recipe.
    Instructions
    1. Line a fine mesh strainer with multiple layers of cheesecloth.
    2. Pour in approximately 1.5 to 2 times as much yogurt as the amount of cream cheese required for the recipe.
    3. Cover and let the whey strain out until it reaches the consistency of cream cheese. This can take up to 24 hours.
    4. Chill and use in most of your recipes requiring cream cheese. This can be used under a spicy jelly like Boone County Organic’s Aronia Peach Habanero or Clear Creek Orchard’s Mango Habanero, Raspberry jalapeno or any of their spicy flavors. This is also great as the base for a layered dip with salsa, beans & cheese.

     

    No Bake Squash or Pumpkin Cheesecake with Homemade Maple Whipped Cream

    No bake squash or pumpkin cheesecake made with homemade Greek yogurt cream cheese can be a very healthy and rewarding dessert to add to your holiday menu. By making your own squash puree & Greek yogurt cream cheese (instructions below), you can drastically cut down calories, increase protein & feel good about the quality of ingredients you are using. I recommend you start by making the cream cheese and squash puree at least the night before.

     

    No Bake Squash or Pumpkin Cheesecake with Homemade Maple Whipped Cream
    Ingredients
    • 18 gingersnap cookies or equivalent Graham crackers
    • 3 tablespoons (1 1/2oz) WW Homestead butter, melted
    • 1 cup (8oz/225g) Greek yogurt cream cheese*
    • 2-3 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
    • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • 2 cups homemade squash/pumpkin puree, chilled*
    • Maple Whipped Cream
    • 1½ cups (12floz) Hanson Dairy cream
    • 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup
    • Maple sugar (garnish)
    Instructions
    1. Directions
    2. In a small bowl combine cookie crumbs and melted butter, mix until evenly coated. Press into the bottom of 6 jars or glasses.
    3. In a separate mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until fluffy.
    4. Add the honey or maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and salt and beat for 2 minutes.
    5. Add the squash/pumpkin puree and beat until blended.
    6. Taste for level of sweetness & add more honey or maple syrup if needed. Beat to incorporate.
    7. Divide cheesecake mix between the 6 glasses.
    8. Maple whipped cream
    9. Put a metal mixing bowl and your beaters into the freezer for five minutes to get very cold.
    10. Pour the heavy cream & maple syrup into the mixing bowl.
    11. Beat on whipped (usually highest setting) until the cream begins to form soft peaks and has nearly doubled in size.
    12. Top the cheesecakes with whipped cream.
    13. To garnish, shake maple sugar on top or fresh ground cinnamon or nutmeg.
    14. Chill until ready to serve. May keep refrigerated for up to 48 hours.
    15. How to make squash/pumpkin puree
    16. Use a meaty, rich, full flavored squash such as a Seminole, Red Kuri, Buttercup, Butternut or your favorite variety of pumpkin.
    17. Roast squash. I roast mine whole then cut it open & scoop out the seeds because I’m lazy but you can also cut your squash in half, remove the seeds & roast.
    18. Roast until you can easily pierce the squash with a fork.
    19. Let cool slightly then scoop the flesh out.
    20. Puree using a food processor or blender.
    21. Place cheesecloth into a fine mesh strainer, place over a bowl & pour the pureed squash into the strainer.
    22. Cover & let the excess moisture drain out.
    23. If you have extra this freezes very well & can be used for lots of recipes.
    24. How to make Greek yogurt cream cheese
    25. Line a fine mesh strainer with multiple layers of cheesecloth.
    26. Pour in approximately 1.5 to 2 times as much yogurt as the amount of cream cheese required for the recipe.
    27. Cover and let the whey strain out until it reaches the consistency of cream cheese. This can take up to 24 hours.
    28. Adapted recipe for sampling at Iowa Food Cooperative. Use whole milk Greek yogurt, substitute sweetener & don’t use crust for Keto friendly version.