Archive | February, 2011

Hamburger Craving!

23 Feb

Hi Everyone,

I have been craving a good hamburger lately. Bad. It could be that I just got my hands on these pictures that Sarah Wilson took last spring and they are so good that I can’t resist or every time I turn on the TV there seems to be a show on burgers or my girl typically craves burgers at 10:30 each night or the weather is finally right for grilling. Let’s call it a combination of all of the above. A cheeseburger is the ultimate comfort food for me and we will be grilling these tonight. I can’t wait! The quality of beef is pivotal here, grass-fed and finished is the only way to go. You can go grab some this afternoon from Richardson Farms at the Triangle Farmers Market. I like a thin patty with cheese melted right up on it. I was able to get my hands on some arugula this morning at Boggy Creek. Tomatoes aren’t in season yet, but I am going to quick pickle some radishes to get that tartness. Veldhuizen, from Dublin, TX, has some of the best cheeses I have put in my mouth. I am partial to the Bosque Blue, but really you can’t go wrong with any of their products. If you are in Austin, you can pick them up at Antonelli’s Cheese Shop or Wheatsville.

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Grass-fed Burger Time

1 lb grass-fed beef

1 T Dai Due Fireman’s 4 mustard

1 T rock salt

1 t fresh black pepper

1 jalepeno

3 dashes Worshteshire

4 buns

cheese

lettuce or arugula

pickled radishes

Start your grill.

Make sure the meat is cold! Combine all ingredients and mix with your hands since they are the best tool for the job. Divide into 4 portions, roll into balls, place parchment or saran wrap around and squish the ball between two plates like you are stacking them. This makes for a uniform, thin patty.

Once the coals on your grill are nice and hot, place the patties on and cook for 5 or so minutes on each side. It will take longer the thicker your burger. I like to toast my buns on the grill, as well. That just takes a couple of minutes and picks up some really great flavor!

The Challenge

Last week we were in San Francisco which means EATING OUT, my friends!!! (And, yes. I was yelling.) My goodness, what a town to eat in. It really is heavenly there. I have a strong urge to write a love letter to places like Bi-Rite and the Ferry Building and then I would transport them here. I was astonished by how pervasive the farm to table movement is there. We would have had to try to find an establishment that doesn’t operate from that philosophy. Due to that, I can happily report that there was not a Tums consumed in San Francisco. I also couldn’t help but notice that the restaurants there are much smaller. They are geared to serve the neighborhood they are in and the service is familiar in that way. I loved it! It also occurs to me that the size of the restaurant has a corallary to the serving sizes. My take away from that is to seek the smaller restaurants, eat a little less of better food. Sounds like a good deal to me.

Thank you all for reading and have a great week!

Not That Martha

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Bison and Grass-fed Beef Chili and “Frito” Pie!

9 Feb

Hi Everyone,

I am going to join the blog world chili bandwagon. I have seen many a blog post about chili in the past few days and since I can think about cooking nothing but chili in this weather, I am going to throw in my two cents. This recipe would work for just straight up ground beef too. Bison and grass-fed beef are both very lean red meats. Fun fact: grass-fed beef and bison are far higher in Omega 3s than their corn fed cousins. Omega 3 is the good kind of fat that makes your cholestoral go down and your heart beat strong. Yay grass-fed red meat!!!! The bison I am using came from Thunderheart and the beef is from a Boggy Creek supplier.

In this version of the pie,  I am using blue corn tortilla chips, but you better believe I am missing those Fritos. I know that they don’t make me feel so hot, so on the blue corn high road I go. The cheese I am using is not the typical frito pie cheese either, but so melty and delicious is the mozarella from Full Quiver, that I can’t resist giving it a try. All of their cheeses are delicious, but I really have a soft spot for their moz. I have noticed is that I like to cook with beer and chili is no exception. I put some Negra Modelo in my chili and it really helps the flavors come along to drink the rest of the frosty beer while the chili cooks. This is totally a scientific fact.

In other news, I have gotten my website up at long last. I would love for you to visit and let me know what you think. There is a place in there for cooking questions under the classes section, so submit away!

Bison and Grass-fed Beef Chili

1 lb. ground bison

1 lb. grass-fed (and finished) beef

1 big yellow onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped

3 jalepenos, sliced

1/4 c. chili powder

2 T cumin

2 T olive oil

2 T salt

1 t. black pepper

1 c. crushed or chopped tomatoes

1/3 c. dark beer

3 T fine corn meal, optional (if your chili is thinner than you like, add this at the end and it will thicken it right up)

Heat oil in a pot over medium heat. Add onions and jalepenos and cook for 5 minutes. I like to get my onions just a little caramelized because I think it adds a great deep flavor. I leave the seeds in the jalepenos because I like my chili pretty spicy. If spicy is not your jam, remove the seeds. Once the onions take on a little brown color, add the garlic and let cook for a minute or so, then add the bison, beef, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper and let brown. Once the meat is brownish, add the tomatoes and stir, then the beer and stir. Cover and turn the heat down to low and let cook for 1.5 hours. Every once in a while take the the lid of and stir and smell it. It smells good!

for the pie

Corn chips, if you are going anti-Frito, the chips need to be pretty dang hardy to stand up to the moisture of the chili.

Grated cheese, Full-Quiver or other local cheese

More jalepeno, mine are fire roasted and pickled by Larry from Boggy

Green Onion

Sour Cream, if you like it

Get a bowl, put the chips in it, top with chili and whichever of the condiments that suit your fancy. Then, dig in!!!

Challenge Update

The universe or global warming or whatever caused that cold snap last week tested our mettle with the challenge, but we stayed true. Here is what happened: our water heater busted on Wednesday and due to a part being shipped in, it wasn’t back up and running until yesterday. For a pair of women that aren’t eating out for a year, that meant boiling water to wash our dishes Laura Ingles Wilder style and mooching showers off of our dear friend Mandy. When our hero plumber Michael Hickey showed up yesterday I actually did a dance of joy. I was seconds away from a trip to Taco-Mex to avoid boiling my 110th giant pot of water to do the dishes. We made it, though and I feel way grittier for it!

If you want to get involved in the fight to protect our small farmers and artisan food makers, I encourage you to meet at the Capitol at 10 AM on February 21st for a lobbying day. It is put on by the fine folks at FARFA and a great way to show support and speak up! For information, click here.

I hope that you all keep warm and eat some chili or something really good!

Thank you for reading,

Not That Martha

Its Cold Out and I Want Pork Butt!

3 Feb

Hi Everyone,

You heard me, I want butt today-all weekend, in fact. I am going to dedicate the rest of this day to slow roasting a 4.5 lb piece of ass, the cut is actually from the shoulder. It will see us through the rest of this cold snap in several different applications. Tonight it will be the star of tacos with lettuce from Boggy Creek and avocados from Farmhouse. Tomorrow night it will compliment the posole I am making with a south of the border inspired slaw, perfection for a snow day. My fingers are crossed for the snow. Its final appearance will be in a pumped up mac and cheese with cauliflower and broccoli or a quick ragout with paparadelle. I will let you know which way we go with it. This is one of my favorite time saving ways to cook.

I feel compelled to share with you all the amazingness of all of our hardworking farmers in weather like this. This kind of cold is incredibly hard on the crops and our brave farmers pray and care for the food that feeds us. Yesterday Boggy’s market was reduced to the greenhouse in back of the usual market area. There was about a 10th of the normal traffic, but Carol Ann and Larry were there with the staff bundled up and smiling through the worry. There is something really special about showing up when the weather is nasty. I suppose I can liken it to sticking with a sports team through the good and bad seasons. I promise that I will not be a fair weather fan of farmers, football probably. I encourage you all to get out the beautiful farmers markets this weekend! It is an experience well worth braving the weather. If you are lucky, you may even get to hug a farmer!

Now, on with the cooking. This would be the perfect thing to make for the Superbowl. Roast the pork slow and low on Saturday, pull it while it is still hot and then you have the perfect filling for tacos, quesadillas, or sliders. It is melt-in-your-mouth-good and it totally makes sense to eat pig while the guys in tight clothes throw the pig skin around, right?

Slow Roasted Pork Butt

4.5 lbs, pork butt

1 Fireman’s 4 or amber beer

1 head garlic

1 onion

1/4 c. olive oil

2 T Sriacha

2 T honey

salt, pepper

Preheat oven to 250. Rub pork with a generous amount of salt and pepper, sriacha and honey. Heat oil in an oven safe pot on the stove and brown all sides of the meat. Pour beer over the meat. Make sure that the fattier side of the meat is facing up, this will keep the meat tender, because the fat will melt all down in it and make it extra delicious. Put a lid on it and place it in the oven for 4.5 hours, or until it pulls apart easily with a fork.

(check out that little halo on the pork!!!)

Challenge Update

All is well with the challenge. I do want to share our funny story of the week though. Last weekend was just one of those weekends that we didn’t want to leave the house. We had a lot to do and were just not feeling like getting out even just to go to the store. Come Sunday we had a near empty fridge and bare pantry, so we wound up having tomato sauce on lasagna noodles. To make up for the lack of cheese we ground pine nuts for the top and I have to say the meal was pretty ok! Much better than the alternative of getting out of the house or not eating at all at least.

You all have a great weekend and cross your fingers for a snowball fight!!!

Thank you for reading!

Not That Martha