Feb 14, 2013

Nourishing Meals: Pizza, Kale, Liver and Steak

HB here. I hosted a little get together tonight in honor of my son learning to read.  The kiddos each made their own pizzas and had a ball! I got brave and decided to try this pizza crust recipe. The dough did need just a smidge of white flour when it was time to knead it (maybe  1/2 a cup). I have tried many wheat crust recipes and I have to say that this one is the best I've tried. You can easily do this in a Kitchenaid stand mixer or a Bosch. It is definitely doable by hand, but will be messy because the dough is more wet than a bread dough would be. You can see in the pic above that I rolled the crust fairly thin and I think this was definitely a good move. Be sure to sprinkle corn meal on your pan before baking.

Monday night, I decided to take the bull by the horns and cook up some beef liver. Oh yes I did. I have Julia Child to thank. I can't post the recipe tonight, but I will soon. It was super simple and I made some of the best potatoes I have ever eaten to go with it (another Julia recipe that I will post asap). I also fixed a couple different salads with lettuce and kale from Kellogg Valley Farm. The kale salad is similar to the kale salad at the salad bar at Whole Foods. Here is the recipe as best I can figure:

Kale Salad
4 cups fresh kale (I remove stems) torn into bite size pieces
1/2 cup (more or less) EVOO
2-4 tablespoons lemon juice
2-3 generous dashes red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons chili powder
real salt, season to taste

Combine the above ingredients and stir well. Correct seasonings as you like. This salad keeps for 24 hours in the fridge. It is so yum mixed with a traditional lettuce salad and topped with blue cheese dressing. I also like to eat this salad as is and top it with a handful of crumbled goat cheese.

And, last night, I fixed steaks. They were Kansas City Strip steaks from Falling Sky Farm and they were delicious. Recipe:

Steaks in the Skillet
2- 1" thick steaks
salt, pepper, any other seasonings you like (I used Trader Joe's Everyday Seasoning Mix)
8 tablespoons butter, divided

Heat oven to 500. Generously season steaks on both sides. Pat dry beforehand if you are feeling ambitious. Heat skillet with four tablespoons butter till butter is nearly smoky. Saute steaks on both sides for 3-4 minutes each. Transfer steaks and skillet to hot oven. Bake for about 7-8 minutes, turning steaks halfway through baking. Check for doneness. Ours were very pink in the middle and nice and crisp on the outside (i.e. almost perfect!). Remove to a large plate, dot with remaining butter, tent with foil 5-10 minutes. I encourage you to really play with this recipe till you perfect it. I have also used this method to cook flatiron steaks and they turn out great every time. The key is to check for the right amount of doneness and not overcook the meat.

What's cooking at your house this week? I'd love to hear.

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Feb 3, 2013

Reader's Question: Where to Get Eggs?

Frequently I (Julie) am asked, "Where can I find pastured eggs?"  Today I received such a question and typed out a fast response then decided to post it here.  I'd love to hear in the comments where you source your eggs.  This is the time of year when it can be a challenge to find a good egg.

Options for finding pastured eggs in central Arkansas:

1. I get mine through a "farm share."  I think I've told you about picking up my veggies once a week.  I also get a dozen eggs.    I can't remember what I paid for the egg share, but I think it averages out to be about $4.50/doz.  The good thing about buying an "egg share" is that you've got first dibs on eggs...which are sometimes hard to find this time of year.  (Because the days are shorter and temps are lower, the girls just aren't as productive....)

2.  You can buy from an on-line farmers' market like this one (pick up Saturday) or this one and pick up is Wednesday.

3. Find a neighbor who raises chickens.

4.  I saw today at Whole Foods organic eggs from chickens on pasture.

The key to healthy eggs is for the hens to have access to real bugs and green grass...this is where the good vitamins and minerals are.  The egg cartons that say "free range" or "cage free" are probably from chickens squished into a nasty smelling warehouse.  This article gives more details.

Related Links:
Apples to Apples or Eggs to Eggs - Not All Eggs Are Created Equal - This is an article I wrote to try to convince you to take the time to find a quality egg source AND to pay more for quality protein.

Where Do You Get Your Eggs? - Lisa Lipe wrote this egg-celent and informative article on the importance of knowing your grower and finding a quality source for eggs.

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