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Crystal's Kitchen

Crystal creates, photographs, and instructs us on preparing popular, home-made food using Triple S Farms products!  Then she blogs about it!

 

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Welcome to the blog.
Posted 5/17/2017 8:35am by Stan Schutte.

 

I like simple ingredients cooked to perfection. With that being said, one of my favorite things to make is roasted chicken. There is nothing like it!  The only problem is that it already feels like summer with a high of 80 degrees and the last thing I want to do today is turn the oven on.

The solution for me is to grill it. When we bought our house, we were pleasantly surprised to find that the previous owners had a gas line installed. We never have to worry about running out of propane while in the middle of cooking! Also, they added a roof to cover the entire area so, we can grill no matter what the weather is.

You might think that I would cut my chicken up before grilling but I like to spatchcock (butterfly) it. Leaving the chicken whole insures a more juicy chicken.

Spatchcocking is much easier than it sounds. All you need to do is cut out the backbone with a pair of kitchen scissors and lay it out flat. It's a great method that can be used with any sauce.

To spatchcock the chicken, open the package and take out the liver, heart, and neck. Set aside for another use. Lay the chicken, breast side down, on a cutting board. Using kitchen scissors, cut along one side of the backbone, then cut the other side. You may use a knife but, I find the scissors to be much easier. Turn the chicken over and press in the middle of the breast till you feel a pop.

Rub some olive oil on it and season with salt and pepper. I tossed my backbone in a pan, which I put some bacon grease in the bottom of, with my giblets and baked them in the toaster oven for a little snack.

  I always like to put what you might call the "presentation" side of meat down first on the grill. If you want to speed up your cooking time, you could heat up a cast iron skillet on the grill while your preheating the grill and lay it on top of the chicken.

 

I had several lemons left over from making over 100 lemon bars for a charity event so, I'm making a honey lemon sauce. While the chicken is cooking I start my sauce and chop some veggies to grill.

I flip the chicken over several times. This helps keep the juices in the middle of the chicken. Once it reaches an internal temperature of 155 degrees, I start basting the chicken with my sauce and also throw some veggies on to grill.

If you don't already have one, I highly recommend a long handled basting brush. This will help you not burn your arm off while reaching over a hot grill. Keep basting every few minutes until it reaches the right temperature. I drizzled my veggies with some really good 18 year balsamic vinegar someone gave me as a gift. That person really knows my heart!

I know some people like to use a beer can for grilling a whole chicken but, for me, I like this method best.  It doesn't take as long and I don't have to try to get it to stand up. Happy grilling!!!

Honey-Lemon Grilled Whole Chicken

1 Whole Triple S Farms Chicken
1/4 C. plus 2 Tbs. Olive Oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Juice of 2 Lemons
2 Tbs. Honey(raw and local preferred)
2 tsp. Dried Thyme or 1 tsp. Fresh Thyme

1. Heat grill to medium.
2. Remove and set aside for another use the liver,  neck, etc from the inside cavity of the chicken. Place chicken on a cutting board, breast side down. Using kitchen scissors,  cut along each side of the backbone of the chicken. Discard backbone. Open and press chicken flat. Rub with 2 Tbs. olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
3. Place chicken, skin side down, on the grill. Grill until skin has grill marks, is a golden brown and nicely charred. When it's reached this, turn the chicken over carefully. Turn every 6-7 minutes. If you have a lot of flare ups, turn one of the burners off and use indirect heat to cook. Continue to cook until internal temperature is 155 degrees.
4. Add remaining ingredients to small sauce pan and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 2 more minutes.
5. Brush with sauce. If you wish, you can also flip the chicken again and apply sauce to the underside, and flip back again. Continue basting every few minute until you reach internal temperature of 165 degrees. Remove from grill to a plate. Allow to rest for 10 minutes and then cut into serving pieces.

Posted 4/26/2017 9:38am by Stan Schutte.

EGGROLL IN A BOWL

    

Spring is almost here! This is the time of the year that I start planning our summer. We always take a trip to the beach and go to a Major League Baseball  game or two. Last summer we discovered a drive-in movie theatre about an hour away. It was really fun getting to take our youngest and seeing him get to experience something I didn't think he would ever get to. Of course, we brought the giant bag of popcorn, a cooler full of drinks, and the mini egg rolls. Yes you read that right, mini egg rolls. Let me explain. When I was growing up, we had several drive-ins in my
hometown and we would go quite often. My brothers and I would wear our pajamas because we ALWAYS fell asleep and it was easier for my mom to get us into the house and not have to make us change clothes. It's hard to believe all of us kids could lay down in the back of our little hatchback car!  My mom would make the usual paper grocery bag full of popcorn, pack a cooler full of soda(glass bottles back then), and a huge cont
ainer of mini egg rolls. Just her and I would spend the afternoon in the kitchen prepping what seemed like hundreds of mini egg rolls made with wonton wrappers and she would fry them up right before we left for the drive in.
I'm not sure if it was because I was the oldest or because I was the only girl, but whatever it was, I was always glad to be my moms helper in the kitchen. When my oldest was little, they opened up a new drive-in in the town we were living in and of course I couldn't wait to keep with tradition and make my mom's mini egg rolls and
when we took our youngest last summer I was excited to once again share a family tradition. Even though I have become an expert egg roller, it is very labor intensive and sometimes I just want an egg roll without all that work. I was so happy to come across the idea of just cooking the filling and eating it alone without the wrapping and the deep frying.

One of the wonderful modern conveniences I have that my mom didn't is a food processor to make shredding vegetables so much faster and easier!

 

My mom always put bean sprouts in her egg rolls so I will put them in my Eggroll In a Bowl! I also like this dish because I only have to dirty one pan to make a complete meal. My mom and I hope you enjoy!!!

 

EGGROLL IN A BOWL

2 Tbs. olive oil, coconut oil, or ghee

1 lb. Triple S Farms ground beef

1 lb. Triple S Farms ground pork

1 tsp. dried pepper flakes,

optional Salt and pepper

5 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbs. fresh grated ginger

3 large carrots, shredded

1 large head cabbage, shredded

1/4 C. Tamari soy sauce

Optional ingredients, bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, sliced bell or hot peppers, sliced green onions, baby corn, Sriracha, chow mein noodles

Place wok over high heat on the largest burner your stove has. If you don't have a wok, I would recommend a Dutch oven instead of a skillet. Add oil. Add both ground meats, dried pepper flakes and season with salt and pepper. Go light on the salt because you will be adding soy sauce later. Cook till no pink is remaining. Add garlic and ginger and cook for one minute. Add carrots, cabbage, and if using, peppers. Season vegetables with salt and pepper, remembering to salt lightly. Cook, stirring often, for about 5-6 minutes. Add tamari and any other ingredients you may be using, except chow mein noodles. Cook for 1-2 more minutes. My youngest likes it spicier so he adds Sriracha to his bowl.

 

Posted 4/3/2017 3:06pm by Stan Schutte.

Crystal's Kitchen

Recipe's and ideas from Crystal

 

Hi! My name is Crystal Evans. I consider myself to be an suburban homesteader. I’m a wife and a mom who likes to do the things the old-fashioned way…although I do like my modern gadgets and appliances!  

My husband is the money earner of our home. Quite often his job takes him out of town and you know what that means when it comes to meals! Nothing but take-out or catered, dried out chicken breast. I always make sure to send plenty of snacks, like chicken salad loaded with celery and apples,  and hearty breakfast items, like baked oatmeal bars and kefir, to keep him nourished. I also make sure to prepare a comforting dinner before he leaves and also when he returns.  

Last week he was out of town for 3 days and knew that he would be wanting something that is cooked low and slow. I thought “Italian Beef”. It's always a winner in our house and the great thing for me is that it's so easy!!!  

I recently received an Instant Pot as a gift, so I used it to make my Italian Beef. I will also tell you how to cook it in the crockpot and the oven.  

I used the Beef Sirloin Tip Roast this time but I also like to use the Beef Tri Tip Roast. Both have very little fat. The only difference is that the Tri Tip doesn’t take as long to cook.

 

ITALIAN BEEF  

3-4 lbs.Triple S Farms Sirloin Tip Roast

Salt & Pepper

1 Tbs.Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 medium onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp. each basil, thyme, and oregano

2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar

1 C. Water (crockpot 1 ½ C. or Dutch oven, cover meat)  

Preheat pan. Season roast with salt and pepper. Add olive oil to pan. Sear both sides of roast for 5 to 7 minutes, each side. Take roast out of pan and set aside. Add onions and garlic and cook until onions are translucent, 4-5 minutes. Add herbs, vinegar, and water. Don’t forget to scrape up those brown bits of flavor! Return roast to pan and cover. If using an Instant Pot,, push the meat button and move time to 65 minutes. Use the slow release method. If using a crockpot, cook on high for 5 to 6 hours or low for 8-9 hours. If making in the oven, cook at 325° for 3 ½ hours. Shred meat and adjust seasoning.

 

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