Chicken bites wrapped in Bacon

Bacon, just the name makes my mouth water. What is better than bacon? Crooked Creek Farm pasture-raised bacon, of course.  As summer is comming to an end fast, why not try this out at your final BBQ of the season or even over the up coming holidays. 

Ingredients

  • 1 pack of Crooked Creek farm bacon (use the smoked or uncured smoked)
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes 
  • 3 teaspoons Montreal steak seasoning
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce (we like a sweeter one)
  • Preheat oven to 400°. Cut bacon into smaller prices. Cook the bacon in your skillet, oven or microwave. Cooked it until partially cooked but not yet crisppy.
     
  • Place chicken in a bowl; sprinkle with steak seasoning and toss to coat. Wrap a bacon piece around each chicken cube of chicken; secure with a toothpick. Place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet (so much easier for clean up). 
     
  • Bake 10 minutes. Brush over wrapped chicken. Bake 5-10 minutes longer or until chicken is no longer pink and bacon is crisp. 

 

 

 

 

Originally published as BBQ Chicken Bites in Taste of Home November 2015

 

Easter is Coming

Spring is in the air and Easter is just around the corner.  We all have our mom’s recipe for cooking a ham. My mom was famous for using Coke over her ham and my mother in law likes to use cloves and makes a glaze for her ham. But I wanted something all mine.  So, I headed to the internet (as I have been known to do) and found a simple and yummy glaze. It combines sweetness and herbs to make for a delicious ham. 

You may want to try this one and make your ham the star of the Easter table.

Ingredients

1/2 cup real maple syrup 

2 tablespoons packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons coarse-grained mustard

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary

In small bowl, beat all ingredients with whisk. Brush over ham the last 45 minutes of baking.

 

 

 

https://www.bettycrocker.com

Pasture Raised Pork vs Coventionally raised Pork (are there really differences?)

The number one question I get is, “What does pastured pork mean?” And it’s always followed up with, “What makes your pork different than the pork in the grocery store?”

Our pastured pigs live mostly outdoors. This is how pigs have lived for ages (not inside huge buildings). We have fields and woods for them root around and search for food. They are free to move around, with a shelter where they can sleep in small groups and give birth. It’s that simple. The pigs you buy in the store are raised in a commercial barn, never seeing sunlight or grass. We thought there was a better way, so ours pigs have a better life.

Our pastured pigs receive feed alongside the food they root for themselves. We are building up our pastures to provide more fresh feed for them.

Since they aren’t crowded together in unhealthy conditions, our pastured pigs don’t receive unnecessary antibiotics or any growth hormones.

Now how does pasture raised pork differ in taste than other pork?

Our meat often has a deeper, richer, and more complex flavor and color than factory farmed meat does. We often hear, “Your meat actually tastes like pork!”

The flavor comes from the higher fat content and the pigs ability to move freely.  Pastured pigs also deliver better quality fat, with a healthier omega 6’s and omega 3’s. The meat not only tastes better, but it is better for you.

We also use a local butcher to insure our meat stays natural. Our butcher does not inject salt water or perseverative into our meat. We have our meat packaged as natural as possible.  

Knowing that the animals we eat were raised humanely make them taste better too. We like to say, “A happy pig is a tasty pig”.

We welcome you to be the judge. You can find us April through December at the Bel Air Farmers Market or January through March at one of our drop dates.

Pork Shoulder for the Week

  A pork shoulder is the perfect cut for the family meals all week. It really can make it’s way to the table all week long. A typical six pound pork shoulder will yield a nice amount of cooked meat, but you need to know how to cook it, right?

  There are so many ways to cook a roast, but the trick is to go low and slow. When you are cooking with pasture raised pork from the farm you will not find any salt water injected into the meat. So, low and slow is the key to keeping the meat juicy. The added fat and flavor will render slowly and make for a yummy cut of meat.

You can slow-roast a shoulder in the oven at about 300 degrees until the meat falls off the bone (5-6 hours), or you can simply plop it in your slow-cooker and cook on low for 7-8 hours.  I love the slow cooker method with my family, but if you want a nice crisp crust you will want to use the oven.

  Today, I’m going to use the oven, but most of the time I cook our meat from frozen in the slow cooker. It takes a little longer, but it works for this busy mom.

You can see how I created this shoulder in the video below.

Now, here are the recipes you have been waiting for:

CARNITAS TACOS

INGREDIENTS:

• 12-24 small store-bought corn tortillas (5 1/2 inch)*
• 3 cups of shredded cooked pork shoulder (a.k.a. pork carnitas
• 1/2 of a medium onion, finely diced
• 2/3 cup of finely chopped cilantro leaves
• 5-6 limes, cut into quarter or eighth-sized wedges
• 1/2 cup of crumbled fetta cheese
• ½ cup of Sour Cream
• 1 cup of Corn
• 2 cups of Rice
Of course you can make the way you like it…

CROCKPOT PULLED PORK CHILI

INGREDIENTS:

1 (2.5 pound) pork shoulder
1 shallot, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1 (28-ounce) can tomato puree
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 (14-ounce) cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup tomato paste
4 tablespoons chili powder
2 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon chitpole chili powder
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

for serving:
sour cream or greek yogurt
grated cheese
sliced green onions or chives
fresh cilantro
tortilla chips

Add the garlic, shallot, peppers, tomatoes puree, crushed tomatoes, beans, tomato paste and remaining spices. Mix well to evenly distribute the ingredients. Cover the crockpot and cook on low for at least 4 hours, but up to another 8. If you’re home, taste the chili halfway through and add more seasoning, salt and pepper if desired. This is normal – everyone likes their chili a little differently! Before serving, taste again.

Serve with sour cream or greek yogurt, cheese, green onions, cilantro and tortilla chips. This freezes beautifully!

www.howsweeteats.com 

Pork Shoulder Pasta Recipe

INGREDIENTS:

2 pound shoulder
1 large jar of pasta sauces of your pick
1 pound tube-shaped pasta, cooked
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons zest from 1 lemon

Directions

When ready to serve, toss your sauce of course with pork, cooked pasta and garnish with Parmesan and lemon zest.

http://www.seriouseats.com/

Bounce: PORK POTPIE RECIPE

INGREDIENTS:

CRUST:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup shortening
5 to 6 tablespoons cold water
1 egg
1 tablespoon vinegar

FILLING:

1-1/2 cups cubed peeled potatoes
1/2 cup thinly sliced carrots
1/4 cup thinly sliced celery
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 cup water
2 cups diced cooked pork
3/4 cup pork gravy
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed, optional
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Half-and-half cream, optional

DIRECTIONS

In a bowl, combine flour and salt; cut in shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Combine 5 tablespoons water egg and vinegar; sprinkle over dry ingredients, 1 tablespoon at a time. Toss lightly with a fork until dough forms a ball; add additional water if necessary. Divide into two balls; chill while preparing filling. In a saucepan, cook potatoes, carrots, celery and onion in water for 10 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain well. Add pork, gravy, rosemary if desired, salt and pepper; set aside. On a floured surface, roll one ball of dough to fit a 9-in. pie plate. Fill with meat mixture. Roll remaining pastry to fit top of pie. Cut slits in top crust and place over filling; seal and flute edges. Brush pastry with cream if desired. Bake at 375° for 50-55 minutes or until golden brown. Yield: 6 servings.

www.tasteofhome.com