Saturday, October 5, 2013

Chicken Stock

Gilcrest Chicken Stock

Amy Foster of Gilcrest Farms offers her recipe for creating a delicious chicken stock for soups, to flavor rice, creating a wonderful aromatic gravy, or to make the sniffles go away.


One  package of Gilcrest chicken backs
One package of Gilcrest chicken necks
One teaspoon each of kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
One bay leaf
One TBL of apple cider vinegar


Roast chicken backs and necks in a roasting pan in the oven at 350 degrees (F) for 30-45 minutes. When they smell divine and are browning, they are ready.

Boil water in a stockpot and move the chicken parts to the stockpot with enough water to cover the bones. Pour a little hot water in the roasting pan and loosen any brown bits from the pan. Pour this golden liquid into the stockpot.

Add the salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer. Simmer for at least 60 minutes, two hours is even better. Let the stock cool and then remove the bones and skim if needed. If you want a darker brown stock, add one TBL of Soy Sauce or Tamari (decrease the salt).
Package and freeze or begin the make your soup.

One of Gilcrest's local experts (below) in the Art of Soup-Making, has been known to oversee preparation when necessary:

Saturday, September 21, 2013


As we were buying egg plant at Sheila and Johnny Greene's this morning, we got into a discussion of using the egg plant in moussaka, one of very favorite dishes. It has such a rich, wonderful flavor that we thought it necessary to share with our vast readership . . .

Here is the recipe for Moussaka that Carol uses.  ** Please see note about freezing part of the full recipe.
The basic recipe is lifted from the "Great Cooking: The Best Recipes from The Time-Life Books ", a venerable, ancient cookbook series no longer in print. 

This recipe serves 6-8 people. You can make the whole recipe and then cook only the portion you would use and see note at bottom about the remaining moussaka. Or  if you only want to make half a recipe, cut everything in half.


 Three one-pound eggplants, peeled and cut lengthwise into ½ inch slices.
1 cup of flour
1-2 cups of olive oil( I tend to use less than this)
1 cup of finely sliced onions
2 pounds of ground lamb
3 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped fine or 1 cup of chopped, drained tomatoes ( I use canned tomatoes)
1 cup of canned tomato puree
1 teaspoon of finely chopped garlic
1 teaspoon crumbled dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Freshly ground pepper
6 tablespoons freshly grated kefalotiri or Parmesan cheese( I use the parm)

 Rich cream sauce

2 cups of milk
1 tablespoon of butter
3 eggs
¼ cup of flour
½ teaspoon salt

To prepare:

Sprinkle the eggplant slices with salt, place them side by side on paper towels, and weight them down with heavy platters or casseroles.  Let the juices drain for 20-30 minutes, then dry the slices with fresh paper towels. Spread the flour on Wax paper or in a dish large enough to hold a few slices at a time and dredge the slices in the flour and tap off any excess.

In a heavy 12-inch skillet, heat enough of the olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan.  When it is hot, but not smoking, place a few eggplant slices at a time in the skillet, being careful to leave enough room between the slices so you can turn them as they brown, about a minute or two per side, watching to be sure they do not burn.  When they are browned enough, transfer the slices onto clean paper towels to drain.  Add more olive oil as needed.  Continue with the browning until all the slices are browned.

In the same skillet, put a bit more olive oil in the skillet, and heat over a moderate heat.  Add the onions and stir frequently; cook them for 8-10 minutes or until they are soft and lightly colored. Stir in the ground lamb,  mashing it with the back of a spoon, to break up any lumps, and cook until no traces of pink show.  Add the tomatoes, tomato puree, garlic, oregano, cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of salt and a few grindings of black pepper and bring to a boil over high heat. Stirring frequently, cook briskly until most of the liquid in the pan evaporates and the mixture is thick enough to hold its shape almost solidly in the spoon.  This will take about 30 minutes or so.  Taste for seasoning. 

While the meat mixture is cooking, prepare the sauce. 
Heat 1 ½ cups of the milk and the butter in a small pan until bubbles appear around the edges. Remove from the heat.  In a heavy 2-3 quart saucepan, beat the eggs with a wire whisk,  blend in the flour, the salt and remaining ½ cup of milk and whisk until smooth.  Place the saucepan over moderate heat and, stirring constantly with the whisk, slowly add the milk mixture in a thin stream.  Still stirring, cook until the sauce thickens heavily, this may take about 7-10 minutes.  When thick enough, set the sauce off to the side. 

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  To assemble the moussaka, spread half the eggplant slices in overlapping rows in the bottom of a 14-9-3 inch baking dish.  Sprinkle the slices evenly with 2 tablespoons of the grated cheese, and pour the lamb mixture evenly over the slices being sure to spread to the corners of the dish, using a rubber spatula.   Arrange the rest of the eggplant slices  on top and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the cheese. Pour the cream sauce over the top and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.  Bake in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes, then increase the heat to 400 degrees F and bake for an additional 15 minutes  or so to brown the top.  Let the moussaka rest at room temperature for 5 minutes before serving it. 

** If you make the full recipe but will only use half of it, place the moussaka in two dishes.  Cook one and at this point, once it has cooled, cover the second dish tightly with foil and freeze to use another time.
And I know, now that your taste buds are fully alert, that you would love to know about wine pairings with the Moussaka. The Moussaka is so rich and flavorful that it needs a red wine, but not one that is too heavy. Here are some suggestions:
Tempranillo: A wine with black plum, boysenberry, and secondary flavors of pepper and vanilla
Syrah/Shiraz: A red wine with blackberry, plum, and pepper.
Ch√Ęteauneuf-du-Pape: A spicy red wine with ripe flavors of black fruit, coffee, and pepper.
So, relax and savor the Moussaka and wine. You might even want to toss up a nice Greek Salad, but perhaps we can add that later.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Herb Crusted Sirloin Tip Roast

Herb Crusted Sirloin Tip Roast

1 ¼ TBL paprika
1 TBL Kosher salt
1 TSP garlic powder, or minced garlic
½ TSP each: ground black pepper, onion powder, ground cayenne pepper, dried oregano. Dried thyme.
2 TBL olive oil
One 3-pound Gilcrest sirloin tip roast
1.       In a small bowl, mix the paprika, Kosher salt, garlic powder, black pepper, onion powder, cayenne pepper, oregano, ans thyme. Stir in the olive oil, and allow the mixture to sit about 15 minutes. It will make a thick paste.

2.       Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

3.       Place the roast on the prepared baking sheet, and cover on all sides with the paste spice mixture.

4.       Roast one hour in the preheated oven, or until a minimum internal temperature of 145 degtrees F. Let sit 15 minutes before slicing thinly.

Hungarian Goulash

Hungarian Goulash

Amy Foster of Gilcrest Farms supplied this flavorful dish, using Gilcrest beef of course.
Two Lbs. of Gilcrest stewing beef
One medium onion, sliced
One small clove garlic, minced (Amy says that she uses more garlic)
¼ cup shortening or olive oil
¾  cup catsup
Two TBL Worcestershire sauce
One TBL packed brown sugar
Two TSP salt
Two TSP paprika
½ TSP dry mustard (or 1 TSP prepared)
Dash of cayenne pepper
¼ cup cold water
Two TBL: flour
Egg Noodles
Cook and stir beef, onion and garlic in olive oil until beef is brown; drain. Stir in 1 ½ cups water, the catsup, and the next six ingredients  (down to the Cayenne pepper). Heat to boiling, reduce heat, cover and simmer until beef is tender – 2 to 2 ½ hours.  Add water if needed.
Shake ¼ cup cold water and flour  to mix and stir gradually into beef mixture. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir one minute. Serve over hot needles. Enjoy!

Kick’n Chicken Drumsticks

Kick’n Chicken Drumsticks

Three new recipes from Amy Foster of Gilcrest Farms. The first one here is Kick’n Chicken Drumsticks. The other two can be found under beef. One, a Hungarian Goulash, and the second, an Herb Crusted Sirloin Tip Roast—see Beef.
Kick’n Chicken Drumsticks
8 Gilcrest chicken drumsticks

2 cloves minced garlic

¾ cup bottled BBQ sauce

¼ cup orange juice

2 TBL maple syrup

Salt & Pepper

2 TSP cooking oil

1.4 cup catsup

¼ cup molasses

Hot sauce to taste 

Lightly coat a 15 x 10 x 1 baking pan with cooking spray. Skin chicken, if desired. Arrange chicken in the prepared baking pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare sauce. In a medium sauce pan, cook garlic in hot oil over medium heat for 30 seconds. Stir in BBQ sauce, catsup, juice, brown suga, molasses, and, if desired, jot pepper sauce. Heat through.
Carefully brush chicken with sauce. Turn chicken and brush other side with sauce. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink (180 degrees). Reheat any remaining sauce; drizzle some of the sauce over chicken.
Makes 8 servings.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Scallops With Pasta

Scallops with Pasta

This recipe comes to us from Carol Schmidt, who periodically just invents a dish on the spot--lucky me, cuz I get to enjoy her very creative cooking talents.
Recipe serves two, but you can expand it for more people.
Six Scallops from the Fish Guy, aka Lucky Fish, at Piedmont Market
Pasta for two (I use angel hair pasta)
Either one large or two small chicken bouillon cubes for pasta water
Four green onions from Barbee’s-- sliced to include a bit of the greens as well
Russian Kale from Barbee’s--three stalks, thinly sliced
Few broccoli spears from Buddy's Produce at Piedmont, cut into bite sized pieces 
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Two TBL finely chopped parsley
Olive oil for frying scallops 

Marinade for scallops:
½  cup of soy sauce
One TBL oyster sauce
Two TBL rice vinegar
Mix together and then add scallops.  Marinate for at least half an hour. 

Add bouillon cubes to a pot of water and boil water for the pasta.  When water comes to a boil, add the pasta and cook until done.
Pour enough olive oil to cover the bottom of a fry pan. Turn to high heat.  When a sprinkle of water sizzles, reserve the marinade, put in the scallops, which have been cut in half, and fry scallops for about three minutes per side, or until they are well browned on both sides, but not over cooked.
Turn down the heat under fry pan to medium. Set aside the scallops.  Reserve a half cup of the pasta water and put into the frying pan where you cooked the scallops; add the onions, broccoli and  kale and stir to blend and cook for about a minute.  Add the pasta and mix well. Finally, add the scallops, stir some more, and add some of the remaining marinade to taste. 
Serve the completed veggie, pasta and scallop mix into two bowls. Sprinkle some of the parsley on each dish. Lastly, sprinkle some parmesan cheese on each dish.  Enjoy!
This was a dish I invented as I put it together on the spot. So, if you try it, you may want to adjust the amount of ingredient’s or change them to suit your own preferences.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Orange Honey Drumsticks

Another honey of a recipe  from Amy Foster of Gilcrest Farms.

4 Gilcrest chicken drumsticks
Salt and pepper
2 TBL orange marmalade
2 TBL honey
1 TSP soy sauce
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Place chicken in a baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, combine marmalade, honey and soy sauce. Brush chicken with sauce and cook 10 minutes longer. Brush again with pan drippings and continue cooking until chicken is done.
Then chow down, and enjoy . . . maybe with a nice glass of Sauvignon Blanc???

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Crockpot Beef & Broccoli

Amy Foster of Gilcrest Farms provided this recipe, which she asserts confidently is an easy dish to prepare, and provides wonderful flavors.  Try it:

1 lb Gilcrest stir fry beef
1 cup beef broth
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1 TBL sesame oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 TBL cornstarch
4 TBL sauce (from the crockpot after it is cooked)
Frozen broccoli florets (as many as desired--suggests 2 cups)

In the insert of the crockpot, whisk together beef broth, soy sauce, darkbrown sugar, sesame oil, and garlic. Place your sliced beef in the liquid and toss to coat. Turn crockpot on low and cook for 4 hours. After 4 hours, remove about 4 TBL from the crockpot and whisk in the corn starch. Return to the crockpot and stir to mix well. Add broccoli on top and cook on low for an additional 30 minutes to thicken the sauce and steam the broccoli.
Serve over hot rice.