Each Sunday, I take most of the day to prepare and revel in the amazing farm products that we are fortunate enough to have at our disposal. Jon and I get an entree veggie share from the farm, as well as a 1/2 dozen eggs each week, and a meat share every second week.
Yesterday I was excited to try the new nitrate free bacon. It looks a lot different than the regular bacon we have been getting from the farm: for one thing, this batch was really fatty. It was actually difficult to separate the bacon pieces, despite having thawed them, and my hands were all covered in greasy bacon fat in the process. I took this as a sign to cook the bacon really slowly and carefully (I tend to overcook bacon at the best of times). I cooked it on med-low for about 20-25 minutes, until it was looking brown and delicious-->
Then, after removing the bacon from the pan, I made sure to rescue all that precious fat. Those who know me well know my love of bacon, and that my secret to most culinary endeavours is-- vegetarians beware-- bacon fat! Now I have almost a full 250 ml jar of bacon fat, which I used already to make maple bacon roasted sweet potatoes, and to help brown last night's quail. So, I paired my new nitrate-free bacon with TapRoot Eggs, a breakfast salad of sprouts, pea shoots, and grape tomatoes, roasted potatoes and sweet potatoes, Just Us coffee and Foxhill milk. Moments like these make me so thankful we do what we do!
We've been eating like kings lately... Partly because I've been trying to use up all the "different" meats in the freezer... So that I don't have three ducks taking up all my freezer space!
Here's a photo journey through my yummy meals:
TapRoot Duck with mashed root veggies and baked potato
I thought this was a bit lazy of me, but Jon LOVED it. Like seriously, said he would eat it every day: the veggies were turnip, carrot, and celeriac, cut up, boiled (Yes, BOILED) in a pot with some herbs and butter, drained and then all mashed together (with more butter). It was a "rustic" chunky consistency, not my most precise kitchen work, but it WAS good, so I guess that's all that matters. AND hella easy!
It was my fourth time in life cooking duck, and I (finally) really enjoyed it! I just roasted it. Dry rubbed with salt to help it get nice and brown, and some spices, propped up with some onions so it wasn't stewing in it's own fat, and just threw it in the oven for a few hours (was thawed first for a couple days in the fridge). Yum! I always start birds upside-down and then flip to get the breast side nice and golden, and then rest meat for at least half an hour in a tinfoil tent, breast-side down. I have become expert and getting perfect poultry skin this way, it is always crispy and mouth-watering!
Roasted Beet Salad with Feta, walnuts, and pea shoots
We are not huge fans of beets, but this was pretty good, and simple: I didn't use a recipe, but this looks close:
Sausage Pasta with kamut noodles, root veggies, and grape tomatoes
This is adapted from my favourite pasta recipe from Jamie Oliver: Proper Bloke's Sausage Fusilli
I make this ALL the time, and love it. The best part is the fennel seeds, in fennel season I use fresh fennel and it's even better!
Roast quail with maple bacon roasted sweet potatoes and mushrooms and April TapRoot Salad
Jon was downstairs throwing in a load of laundry yesterday, but when I took these little guys out of the package I called-- No, I exclaimed "SQUEEEEEEEEEEE!!" and YELLED for Jon to come see. The 6-pack of quail looked like little baby chickens sitting in a hot tub, or a slightly demented chorus line! They were totally anatomically chickens, all the same bones, just tiny. And SO delicious! It could have had something to do with the bacon fat I rubbed on them, but still. Roasted in the oven with lots of garlic.
The sweet potatoes were peeled, pan rubbed with bacon fat, and then tossed in spice mixture (cumin, garam masala, cinnamon, maple syrup, olive oil) and roasted until soft. Mushrooms added with 20 minutes left to cook.
Salad was Foxhill feta, shredded beet, pea shoots, grape tomatoes, alfalfa sprouts, and PURE maple gastrique as a dressing.
And check out my weekend nitrate-free bacon adventures, too!