Appetizer of the week (a forgotten post from summer): Pan fried oysters with corn tomato salsa and horseradish cream sauce

Oysters, such an odd thing.  People either love them or hate them.  Converts from hate to love can happen with a crossover recipe like this one.  Who doesn’t like something crispy, juicy, spicy and creamy?  Pan fried oysters with a horseradish cream sauce and corn tomato salsa fits the bill.

cornmeal crusted oysters on a bed of grilled corn tomato salsa with a dollup of horseradish cream sauce

My recipe is mostly based on this one from Emeril.  Except that I didn’t look at his recipe (may have helped) and I didn’t measure anything.  Every once in a while in a nearby store, fresh oysters appear. I am hoping they appear again soon!  It is much more fun to share these than eat them alone, so make sure you have an oyster lover in the house near by.

i’m out


Speck and Parma… Unna and Jr and a gobbler in between

speck going for a jog

yum apples and parma, our pig

It’s long overdue that I post about our piggie venture for the year.  Warning, there will be a lot of photos of meat or butchering in this post.

thirsty piggie

speck and parma, our pigs eating the garden veggies we brought them

I have mentioned our pig share in the past.  Last year’s pig’s name was Pancetta.  She was tasty but we ran out of our pork supplies in the spring, so this time we thought we would go whole hog – literally.  Last year we split one.  Now we have not just the whole hog, but 1.5 hogs and our freezers are full.  Add to the freezers 20 free range organic chickens raised by my brother (Leelanau Farm and Game) and you see I mean really full.  Oh and we still have part of the 1/4 of grass fed steer in there too and now a local leg of lamb.  Sounds like we are carnivores.  Yep, we are, esp Eby.  But to show you our versatilty we also eat tofu and have a pantry full of canned tomatoes from our garden.    By now you should have time to leave the blog before we get to the photos, I have given you ample warning.

thirsty piggie

parma and speck getting a shower

Those were all pictures of our pigs in July and about one month before we butchered them.  As you can see, they are happy.  They have treats, mud to wallow in and lots of water to play in or drink.

Ginger with her sides of pork

Here’s our co butcher Julius with the ban saw behind him. Note the honey boxes, yes we were in the honey house as it is full of stainless steel and easy to bleach after wards.

butching our pigs in the honey shack

making ground pork in the honey shack

We have about 45 pounds of ground pork now.  A lot you may think, but many cuisines use ground pork and we cook a lot of Asian and Mexican food.

For a little variety, below is a shot of my brother butchering our Thanksgiving Turkey (it was a small one) by hand (not his favorite thing to do) as we needed our a bit early to bring home with us. I watched the process from start (catching the turkey and killing it) to finish (de-feathering, gutting and putting it in a bag for transport home). I am glad I did as it makes me appreciate even more what it takes to put healthy, sustainably raised food on the table.
Our turkey is the black and white one on the right:

heritage turkeys

our thanksgiving turkey

Next up: Dexter cow and half Dexter/jersey steer. Stay tuned for the adventures of Unna and Jr.  Unna will be kept and bred, Jr will be many dinners of grass fed beef.
the new kids on the farm, Dexter cow and steer Unna's hut

This will be their winter home as soon as it is fixed up (it is structurally sound, but needs some minor adjustments):

old shed, changed landscape - no trees

i’m out

Menu Swap Dec 8th Bitter, no not me, the ingredient

The secret ingredient is not an ingredient this week, it is a taste:  bitter!  I think it is great, we are moving on from grounded items to the philosophy of eating this week.  I love bitter things, and sour things too.  Our lovely host this week is Manda of Asparagus Thin, who ironically has a new job as a cake decorator, ironic because it is not a GF bakery, but maybe it will be soon!

Saturday: Spicy grass fed beef and chorizo chile with hominy and cheese arepas

Sunday: Spinach and cheese stuffed shells (Tinkyada) with tomato sauce

Monday: Vietnamese Banh Xeo with our pork, bean sprouts, onions and nuoc cham dipping sauce.  I love these coconut rice crepes!

Tuesday: Lunch:  beans and greens – let the bitter begin! I have to make this for lunch as Eby will never eat it with beans in it.

Dinner: 1/2 organic free range chicken (raised by my bro) roasted on a bed of leeks and served with a dijon cream sauce, brussel sprouts (also a bit on the bitter side)and salad.

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday lunch:  At a convention – crossing my fingers the chef pulls through with GF meals for me.

Friday:  My birthday!  Giant shrimp with dill butter as an app or maybe dinner and perhaps a gluten free pizza from the new place on the other side of town.  Feuerzangenbowle for after dinner – a German version of hot spiced wine with kick.

i’m out

Menu of the Week Dec 1

Ok, fast and easy this week.   I am a day late again posting this. This week’s host is Heart of Cooking and the ingredient is persimmons.  Apparently they are in season somewhere, but since we are covered in snow and more snow already, it is definitely not in season here.

Monday: Indian:  Dosas with coconut chutney, saag aloo and ground lamb korma

Tuesday:  Green Chile Cheese fries – testing the Trader Joes green chiles vs the Whole Foods green chiles, both from a can.  Quick and easy and then we are out to see a friend of ours play in a local bar of ours.

Wednesday: French:  Scallops Gratin, using large scallops and GF bread crumbs and skipping the prosciutto as my pescatarian friend will be joining us for dinner.  Veg to be determined Do stuffed twice baked potatoes count as a veg?  They have lots of green onion and parsley in them!

Thursday:  Italian American:  Stuffed shells.  I don’t know what I am going to stuff them with yet, but I know that I am craving a tomato based sauce.

Friday:  Out on the town.  First we are going to San Chez, a Spanish Tapas restaurant in Grand Rapids.  They have a full allergen menu for each main allergen!  Then we are heading to see one of my favorite folksy rocksy bands, Donna the Buffalo and then to the Hideout, a small brewery that has cider and mead too.

i’m out