Sunday, March 16, 2014

Quick Corned Beef Dinner

Here is a quick way for those of you who want to make a great corned beef dinner without taking the time to brine your brisket ahead of time.
Cook Time 2-3 hours depending on weight of brisket.

St. Patty's Corn Beef Dinner


2 cloves of Garlic minced
15-16 All Spice Berries
1 Tsp Peppercorns
3-4 Bay Leafs
1 1/2 Tsp Thyme
1 Tsp Mustard Seed
1/2 Tsp Coriander (optional)
1/2 Tsp Fennel Seed (optional)
Salt to taste

Beef Brisket 4-6 lbs
4 Cups Beef Broth
1 medium onion cut into wedges
3-3 1/2 Lbs potatoes washed and quartered (peeled optional)
6-8 Carrots peeled, halved and cut into 2 inch lengths
1 head of cabbage cored and cut into wedges

How to:

Put beef into dutch oven with broth and spices. Add enough water to cover beef. Add onions. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 2 hours or until tender and falling apart with fork. 
Remove the corned beef to a platter, cover with foil and keep warm.

Add potatoes, carrots and cabbage to broth. Bring to boil and cover, reduce heat, cook on low until vegetables are tender. Approx 20-30 min.

Plate up and ENJOY!

Friday, March 14, 2014

How to Use Cabbage

Unless you just love coleslaw, cabbage may be one of the veggies that lingers in the bottom of your produce drawer. I know it does for me. But St. Patty's day tends to get me thinking more about cabbage and thanks to my BH delivery this week, I need to figure out what I'm going to make with it.

For the most part, I've found that the different types of cabbages are interchangeable in recipes. There are some differences between then though that lend them to different cooking methods. The tougher (stiffer) the leaves, the better it will do with long cooking methods like roasting or braising. More delicate cabbages, like Napa, do best with raw slaws or quick saut├ęs. But truly, I don't think it matters that much, unless you are a cabbage connoisseur. For pictures of the different types of cabbage, check out this link.

To get you prepared for St. Patrick's Day, or to just use up the cabbage you've received in your delivery, here are a bunch of recipes. Leave a comment and let us know which one you tried.

Have a healthy weekend!

Jenna Braddock, RD
Black Hog Farm Nutritionist

Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage
Wintery Braised Cabbage
Crunchy Cabbage Slaw with Ginger Miso Dressing
Stuffed Cabbage
Sauteed Cabbage
Baja Fish Tacos
Southern Cabbage
Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry with Peanut Sauce
Quick Kimchi
Roasted Cabbage with Black Bean-Garlic Sauce
Kid-Friendly Cabbage Salad - I used plain Greek yogurt instead of mayo
Rainbow Wraps with Chives

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Florida Avocados

Fortunately for us, Florida has it's own variety of avocados that are available fall through spring. "Florida avocados" actually represents about 50 different varieties but they are commonly just referred to by their season (fall, winter, or spring). They differ from California Haas avocados most notably by their higher water content, lower fat, skin that does not change color when ripe, and just being larger in size.  

Avocados were once thought to be too high in fat to enjoy regularly. However, the fat in avocados is extremely heart healthy and packed with powerful antioxidants that are anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogens. And interestingly, one study found that people who consume avocados weighed less than those who did not eat them. 

Florida avocados are not the best choice for the classic application of guacamole due to their higher water content. But there are so many other great ways to enjoy them. Slice them up and use them on sandwiches instead of mayo. Enjoy them on whole grain crackers as an afternoon power snack. Or try them on toast with an over easy BH egg for breakfast, which is one of my favorites. 

Here are a few other recipes to help you figure out some ways to enjoy the avocados you'll be receiving over the next few weeks. 

Have a healthy week!

Black Hog Farm Nutritionist

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving Leftover Makeover

If you're like me tonight, your fridge is now stocked with a lot of Thanksgiving leftovers. I seem to always have good intentions for eating my leftovers, but many years they end up going to waste unfortunately.

Well this year, maybe things will be different! I've done a little research for you (and me) to help reinvent those leftovers into some healthy meals for the upcoming week. Make these now and freeze them for later. That way, when the hustle and bustle of December hits us hard at dinnertime, we will be prepared!

If you have a favorite way of using your leftovers, please share them in the comments. The more ideas we have, the better!

And don't forget about Small Business Saturday this Saturday. Please shop our many small businesses and support our local economy.

Happy Holidays!

Jenna Braddock, RD
Black Hog Farm Nutritionist

BBQ Turkey Sandwiches with Celery Salad

Stuffing Meatloaf

Turkey and Sweet Potato Hash

Homemade Turkey Broth - one of my favorite things to do with leftover turkey

Turkey Tortilla Soup

Sunday, November 24, 2013

It's Turkey Time!

Happy Thanksgiving! It's hard to believe it's that time of year again for this day of thankfulness and the big feast. I'm sure you are already prepping for Thursday and hopefully, you are planning to pick up your Black Hog turkey this week. Our free-range birds are sure to be the best you’ve ever tasted, especially if you brine it first (which we highly recommend).

Brining is the process of submerging meat in a salt solution prior to cooking. Strangely, it dehydrates the meat initially but then enables the proteins to actually hold more water in each cell. The end result is juicy, moist meat that is difficult to overcook.  

It’s easy to brine and here are some keys for doing it successfully:
  • Follow a recipe (see below) because using too much salt will result in salty meat.
  • The larger the bird, the longer it needs to sit in the brine. For a medium to large bird, about 24 hours is perfect. If you are doing a small bird or only turkey parts, 12 hours or less would be sufficient.
  • Plan time to let the bird rest for a couple of hours after brining and before cooking. This gives time for the salt to evenly distribute throughout the meat.
  • Always discard the brine solution when you are done.
  • Brining needs to occur in refrigeration. I’ve done it in the fridge or in a cooler that I refresh with lots of ice as needed.
  • Find the right container to fit your bird and your fridge. A vessel that is taller than it is wide will require less liquid to cover the bird. You can also buy brining kits that include a large re-sealable bag that works great. Just make sure you flip the bird over in the bag at least once.
  • The brining solution should be cool before you add your bird. To avoid having to cool down a large amount of water, dissolve the salt in only half the amount of water needed. Then add the rest of the water as ice water.

We hope you enjoy your turkey this year, but even more your family and loved ones. We are thankful for you!

Happy Thanksgiving from the Black Hog Family!

Black Hog Farm Nutritionist

The All-Purpose Brine

1 gallon of water
1 cup Kosher salt
½ cup sugar
Optional Seasonings

  1. Refrigerate ½ gallon of water.
  2. In a large pot, bring ½ gallon of water, salt, sugar and seasonings to a simmer until salt and sugar dissolve. Remove from heat and pour in ice water. Stir to combine.
  3. Put raw turkey into vessels or bag large enough to be covered with liquid. Pour brine solution over turkey.  Weigh down turkey with a plate or other heavy object to keep it submerged. Seal or close container. (If brining in a bag, flip bird in solution half way through brine time.)
  4. Remove bird from brine at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours prior to when you need to put it in the oven. Discard brine.  Rinse bird then pat dry with paper towels.  Let rest in refrigerator at least 2 hours.
  5. Remove bird from fridge about 30 minutes before you need to put it in the oven. Prepare bird to your liking. Roast until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees – I recommend using a leave in meat thermometer.
  6. Remove from oven and let rest for 15 minutes before carving.

Seasoning Suggestions – use any or all of these: Bunch of your favorite fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary, parsley, sage), 2 bay leaves, head of garlic cut in half horizontally, 1 sliced onion, 3 tablespoons of whole peppercorns, 2 lemons halved

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Russian Kale

The large grey-green leafy greens in this week's delivery is Russian Kale. It is an heirloom variety that tends to be more tender and less bitter than other varieties of kale, so don't be afraid to eat it raw. Just remove the stems, regardless of how you eat it, as they are very coarse.

Here's a few ideas of how you can put your kale to good use this week:

Festive Kale with Fennel, Cranberries, and Walnuts

Simple Garlicky Greens

Krispy Kale Chips

Kale and Roasted Vegetable Soup

Enjoy and have a great week!

Jenna Braddock, RD
Black Hog Farm Nutritionist

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Kohlrabi and Collard Greens

In your delivery basket this week, you'll find a vegetable that looks like a green octopus-like space craft. This is kohlrabi my friends, and yes, you can eat it.
Kohlrabi and I have been getting to know each other over the past few years as a result of my Black Hog deliveries and every year I feel like our relationship gets more positive. The same can be true for you. Just stick with the crazy vegetable and one day it may be just as comfortable on your dinner menu as broccoli or potatoes.
Kohlrabi is in the same family as cabbage, kale, broccoli and cauliflower and can be eaten raw or cooked. The most important thing to remember though is that it must be peeled. That outer layer is just to thick to break down in cooking. It will leave you chewing indefinitely. To peel, first cut off the the leaves (these are edible too and can be used just like any greens). Then, using a sharp knife, cut off a sliver of the bottom of the bulb so that it sits flat on a cutting board. Slicing from top to bottom, cut off the outer layer of the bulb and discard. Now revealed is the inner flesh which resembles that of broccoli stalk in taste and texture.
On the nutrition side, kohlrabi has a lot to offer. It’s packed with phytonutrients that protect against cancer as well as many B vitamins and minerals like calcium (yes, calcium), potassium, manganese and even some iron.
Now let’s talk about the cooking part. Think of kohlrabi just like broccoli as it can do many of the same preparations (steamed, roasted, stir fried, raw). Here are a few recipes I found that look easy and very tasty.
Hope you enjoy your kohlrabi this week!

Have a healthy day,
Black Hog Farm Nutritionist

P.S. You may have also received some HUGE collard greens this week. Besides just throwing them into a smoothie, as I like to do, here are a couple of ideas of how to enjoy them.