Fresh off the Farm Part 2 

Your probably wonder what I have planned at this point. After a fun day at the Farmer’s Market,  I immediatly started preparing for the next few days of meal. 


The first one was for the Chicken with peach and cucumber salsa. This is what the salsa recipe included. 



After I was done with the peach and cucumber salsa into the fridge it went till dinner and off to the next salsa.


Next was the salsa for the Carribean Spiced Pork Tenderloin.  This salsa having more of a kick compared to the last. 

The last one I did was the pineapple peach salsa for the Carribean Shrimp Tacos.

Fresh off the Farm

One thing I love about living in a rural area, is the amount of fresh produce you can find fresh from the farm. I live in an area where we have 3 farmers markets every Saturday and one big one that is open everyday.  It’s the local one’s on Saturday where I feel the best taste of fresh off the farm is achieved. Farmers-Market

One of the local farms I love to visit  is Vacuna Farms. I love the fact that this farm like many others do, invite you to come and pick your own produce off the vine and branch. From the first time I ventured there to pick blueberries to now. I have always admired their hard work to bring the community a good quality product. There is something relaxing and fun when it comes to getting your own food vs. going to the grocery store, where you may more may not find the best produce.

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This weekend I found the most amazing peaches and other produce that I simply just could nor resist. You’ll soon find out this week what the ingredients I found are going to make.

My theme this week for cooking is focusing off what these local farms had to offer.

Grilled Firecracker Potato Salad

grilled potato

A few years ago, I went through a phase of liking spicy flavors. I still do, but this recipe was something I had been playing around with spices for a bit trying to think outside the box. By a hunch I entered this in one of Taste of Home’s contests. I was surprised when I got the email that my recipe had been picked as the Grand Prize Winner.

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds small red potatoes (about 30), quartered
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

 

  • DRESSING:
  • 1-1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

 

  • SALAD:
  • 6 hard-boiled large eggs, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, finely chopped
  • Minced fresh chives, optional

Steps:

  1. Toss potatoes with oil, salt and pepper; place in a grill wok or basket. Grill, covered, over medium heat 20-25 minutes or until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally. Transfer potatoes to a large bowl; cool slightly.
  2. In a small bowl, mix dressing ingredients. Add dressing, eggs and celery to potatoes; toss to combine. Refrigerate, covered, 1-2 hours or until cold. If desired, sprinkle with chives. Yield: 16 servings (1 cup each).
 Note: If you do not have a grill wok or basket, use a large disposable foil pan and poke holes in the bottom of the pan. I also on occasion just boil the potatoes.
Photo courtesy of  Taste of Homes

Chicken with Peach and Cucumber Salsa

Chicken with Peach and Cucumber Salsa

(Courtesy of Taste of Home)

This recipe is not only diabetic friendly and quick, but it’s ingredients you can easily find at a local farmer’s market. Here in Camden County we have 2 local farmer’s markets every Saturday it’s filled with the best tasting produce. I don’t know about you, but there is nothing better to a make a recipe with then something fresh off the vine, branch or land. This recipe is a great way to focus on what Georgia is famous for it’s peaches.

This is a great summer dish your sure to love, I paired with recipe with my Grilled Firecracker Potato Salad.

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cups chopped peeled fresh peaches (about 2 medium)
  • 3/4 cup chopped cucumber
  • 4 tablespoons peach preserves, divided
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh mint
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (6 ounces each)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Steps:

  1. For salsa, in a Mixing Bowl , combine peaches, cucumber, 2 Tablespoons preserves, onion, mint and 1/4 Teaspoon salt.
  2. Sprinkle chicken with pepper and remaining salt. On a lightly greased grill rack, grill chicken, covered, over medium heat 5 minutes. Turn; grill 7-9 minutes longer or until a thermometer reads 165°, brushing tops occasionally with remaining preserves. Serve with salsa. Yield: 4 servings.

Recipe Taste of Home Test Kitchen Approved

Created by Janie Colle

Mama’s Shepherd’s pie -cream base

 
As a kid my mother would make Shepard’s pie, up until a few years ago I thought the way she made it was the normal way. The way my mom makes it is a quick version for someone who needs something quick.

Ingredients:

1 pound of ground beef

1 15 oz can of Cream of Mushroom Soup

1 15 oz Green beans

1 15 oz can of corn

1 15 oz can peas

4 cups of mashed potatoes

Splash of heavy cream or milk

Salt and pepper to taste

Steps:

Pre heat your oven to 350

In a Skillet brown you ground beef till cooked all the way through drain and set aside.

In the same Skillet add the soup stir and cook over a medium heat, add the splash or milk or cream just enough to change the consistency just slightly. Once it bubbles add the meat back to the Skillet add salt and pepper to taste and mix.

Drain the liquid from the canned vegetables. Begin to layer in a 9×13 Baking Dish with the first layer vegetables, second layer meat mixture and lastly mash potatoes.

Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes.

*** You can top with cheese, also add any vegetables you like instead of the above and also use cream of onion or celery.

Stuffed Mushrooms

On occasion I like to help out and cook for a local group of people who help families in the area in need. The last one I sort of spoiled them since they love my homemade spaghetti and meatball and had ask for it, I decided to add a appetizer to the already 3 course meal. I’ve been making this recipe for 10 years now with no complaints this was passed down to me by a family member.

 

 

INGREDIENTS

24 ounces, weight White Button Mushrooms

1/3 pound Italian Pork Sausage

1/2 whole Medium Onion, Finely Diced

4 cloves Garlic, Finely Minced

1/3 cup Dry White Wine

3/4 cups Parmesan Cheese, Grated

Salt And Pepper, to taste

 

INSTRUCTIONS

Wipe off or wash mushrooms in cold water. Pop out stems, reserving both parts.

Chop mushroom stems finely and set aside.

Brown and crumble sausage. Set aside on a plate to cool.

Add onions and garlic to the same skillet; cook for 2 minutes over medium low heat.

Pour in wine to deglaze pan, allow liquid to evaporate.

Add in chopped mushroom stems, stir to cook for 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set mixture aside on a plate to cool.

In a bowl, combine parmesan cheese, sausage, onion, garlic and mushroom stems together

Stir mixture together and refrigerate for a short time to firm up.

spoon the mixture into the cavity of each mushroom, creating a sizable mound over the top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown.

Allow to cool at least ten minutes before serving; the stuffed mushrooms taste better when not piping hot.

add parsley to garnish if desired.

Shepherds Pie- Tomato base

I watch a lot of Gordon Ramsey shows like Master Chef. I remember him talking in one challenge that his favorite dish was Shepherd’s pie, something that reminded him of his mother.

So when I was a kid my mom use to make Shepherd’s pie a lot. I wasn’t always a fan because she used vegetables that I hated as a kid and cream of mushroom soup. When I got old I of course altered her quick version of the recipe. This recipes is just one of the two ways I make Shepherd’s pie.

shepherds-pie-

Ingredients:

1 pound ground beef

1 onion, diced

1 carrot, shredded

1 stalk celery, chopped

1 can of whole green beans

1 can tomato soup

4 cups mashed potatoes ( either homemade or box)

1-2 cups shredded cheese (cheddar is great)

salt and pepper to taste

 

Steps:

Preheat your oven to 350, then in a Skillet brown you ground beef. Once the meat is drown drain and set aside, a Stock Pot place a Tablespoon of butter in the Stock Pot. Dice you onions and celery and place them in seasoning with salt and pepper. Cook till they are tender and the onions are translucent. Add the carrots and cook 1-2 mins more. IMG_6175

Now add the green beans and tomato soup and stir. Let it cook enough to heat the soup up and place in a large Casserole Dish.

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Top with the mashed potatoes and shredded cheese and place in the oven for 30 minutes till the cheese is melted. Sometimes the soup bubbles over when baking.

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Smothered Pork Chops

If you have never had a Vidalia onion, then you should surely try one. Vidalias are a sweet onion grown in Georgia. I use to be one of lose people who just thought a onion was just a onion. Until you savor the different types you really won’t understand.

This recipe is a great recipe to savor this sweet type of onion.

Ingredients: 

4-6 Pork chops ( bone in or out.)

1 onion ( preferably a sweet one)

6 oz of plain cream cheese

1 15 oz can of cream of onion soup and also use celery

4 envelopes of ranch dressing mix

3/4 cup of white wine

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

2 tablespoons of unsalted butter

2 tablespoons of flat leaf parsley

Steps: 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Coat the pork chops in the dressing mix.

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Add the pork chops and cook undisturbed until it gets a nice golden brown color. Turn the pork chops, add the butter to the pan, and cook until the pork chops are just golden brown on the reverse side, 3 minutes more. Transfer the pork chops to a large baking dish.

To the skillet, add the onion and a pinch of salt, i also add creole seasoning to taste cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Spoon the onions on top of the pork chops.


In a medium saucepan combine the soup, cream cheese and wine. Stir over medium-high heat until well blended and heated through. Pour the sauce over the pork chops and onions.


Bake, uncovered, until the pork chops are cooked through, 30-45 minutes depending the thickness of the chops. Sprinkle with parsley and serve. 

 

Greek chicken and rice

 

One of the few things I love when it comes to cooking is trying new recipes and trying foods from different regions. I love Greek food, since I moved back I have not been able to find one Greek restaurant close to me like I did in Washington State. I made this recipe a while back when we were doing a Greek food challenge among the Field Editors.

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Ingredients :

  • 6 Chicken breasts ( cutlet style)

Marinade:

  •  1 – 2 lemons, zest + 4 tbsp lemon juice
  •  1 tbsp dried oregano
  •  4 garlic cloves, minced
  •  ½ tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Steps:

Combine the ingredients the marinade in a zip lock bag and place the chicken in. Best to do this over night. if not possible 30 mins is ok.

Remove chicken from marinade, but reserve the Marinade.

Heat ½ tbsp olive oil in a deep, heavy based skillet over medium high heat.

Place the chicken in the skillet, skin side down, and cook until golden brown, then turn and cook the other side until golden brown. Remove the chicken and set aside.

For this dish I also like to pair it with a white rice seasoned.

rice

Rice

Ingredients:

2 cups of Jasmine rice ( uncooked)

2 3/4 cup of Chicken broth

1/2 cup of Water

1½ tbsp olive oil, separated

1 onion , finely diced

1 tbsp dried oregano

¾ tsp salt

Black pepper to taste

Steps:

in a Large pot, bring to a boil the water and chicken broth, add the rice and cook for 5 mins boiling then reduce the heat to low and cover for 20-30 minutes. While the rice is cooking heat 1 tbsp olive oil in the a skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion and sauté for a few minutes until translucent. Then add the remaining Rice ingredients and if you have left over marinade add that as well. Add cooked rice and let it cook on a medium low heat enough for the rice to absorb the flavor and serve garnishing with lemon zest and chopped parsley.

greek chicken

First time I made this I did it with normal chicken breast in stead of pounding them out thinner. It took a it longer to cook and got a little browner then I wanted, but still really good.

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