This is a very easy recipe. You can incorporate it to several different dishes. Let's go over the basic recipe first. Then I tell you how by using this one simple recipe you can come away with several new dishes for your family's table.
You will need:
* 2 cup Shiitake mushrooms sliced thin
* 6 T unsalted butter
* 4 T finely mined fresh ginger
* 2 T finely minced garlic
* 1 tsp. kosher salt
* 3 T sweet Marsala wine
* 1 cup unsalted butter
This is so simple! The taste is amazing with this earthiness accompanied by the zest of the ginger with a hint of sweetness from the marsala.
Now, what to do with it:
1- Just place over rice and serve. (This could be a side dish or you could have it for a complete meal.)
2-Add thinly sliced beef cooked with a little salt and pepper.
3-Add to a pot beef broth with rice noodles and beef tips. Top with chives and you have a fresh soup.
What do you like?......Think, explore and try. You might be amazed at what you can create.
When you come up with your new amazing dish, please share.
That's us or at least one of the titles we claim. We chose shiitake mushrooms for three reasons: we love to eat them, they grow on cut logs in the woods, and NC State had the spores.
These hearty mushrooms have a rich and meaty flavor. While often prepared and cooked like a vegetable, they are actually a fungus. Now for some people, like my mom, they can't get past the thought of it being a fungus. While there are those who use them to replace the meat in their dishes to add flavor and texture. Then there are people like me who just love mushrooms.
I have to admit that button and portabella mushrooms are the ones I have cooked with for years. Last year was when I first used shiitake mushrooms. I fell in love with these wonderful earthy, meaty flavored mushrooms. Their heartiness makes them an excellent choice for soups, stews or to stand alone on their own.
So, when Gary told me that we had the opportunity to get some spores and inoculate our own logs to do a shiitake mushroom forest farm. I was excited. Well, after I went what??.......How do we do this?.......Inoculate?.......What?......How?.......Are you sure?......Well, then I did what any other wife would do....I googled it. Then, I was excited!
OK, here is the jest of how we are growing our shiitakes. Gary and Carson cut down hard wood trees on our land and cut them into 4 ft. length logs. Once they were cut we took and drilled holes in the logs 1 1/4" deep in a staggered pattern around the log. We then used this little tool (I don't know the name for it) to put the spores into the logs. Now the spores looked like sawdust with white and brown dirt looking stuff mixed in with it. Next, we took melted wax and sealed the spores in and also covered the ends of the logs with wax. Once, the wax was dry the logs where then soaked in water. After that they were stacked in a crib like formation for 10 months (this is usually done any where from 6- 18 months). We cleared a 8 ft. wide trail in our pines to place the stacked cribs. The pines offer shade to the mushrooms which will help them thrive. Once they start fruiting, ( I know that sounds like a crazy term for a fungus but that is the appropriate terminology.) we unstack the logs and put them into a leaning formation to make harvesting easier. For harvesting we are trying both methods this year 1-all you do is twist and pull the mushroom off the log 2-take a sharp knife and cut the mushroom off flush with the log. We are doing one method on one half of our lean and the other on the other half. We will watch and see which one we feel works best for us.
Now, storing the harvested mushrooms is easy. You take a very damp cloth and wipe anything off on the surface of the mushroom. Next, place the clean dry mushrooms in a paper bag and store in the fridge. By placing them in the fridge you can extend their shelf life from 4-5 days to 2-3 weeks. Another way is to dry them and place in a freezer bag, remove all the air from the bag and store in the freezer for up to 6 months. When you remove them from the freezer, just place in a bowl of water to rehydrate them.
When we had that warm spell in last week following the rain, we harvested over 7 lbs. of mushrooms. We are keeping a daily report on harvesting and weather info to follow how our season goes. This way we will know if we need to add the "soaking method" to our mushroom production. We should harvest any where from 100-175 lbs. of mushrooms this year.
Last year, we did over 200 logs. We will pick up our spores for this year next week. We will be doing another 200 logs this year. The logs production life is 5 years.
There really is not a hard part to mushroom farming. The inoculation process, the drilling, filling and waxing of the logs is the most time consuming. Everything else is pretty simple. OK, Gary I'm sure would say cutting and moving the 200 logs is not easy. But that's why it is great that we are a team.
Well, that is shiitake mushroom farming. It is not that hard. The reward of fresh shiitake mushrooms right out of my woods is pretty cool.
I'm going to head out and get the car loaded. We are doing a family road trip out to Little Rock for the Southern SAWG conference and then onto Kansas to visit with Frank Reese at The Good Shepard Poultry Ranch. Looking forward to time with my family, not like I'm not with them all day every day LOL! Feeling excited and blessed to be able to do this. And Yes, I packed coffee.
Growing up, I can remember many days standing in my Mawmaw Walls'
kitchen on the stool Pawpaw made out of tin cans. Thinking back now
of that time in my life, just brings all of those amazing smells of her cooking
back to me. I loved spending time with her in the kitchen. I would
sometimes be torn though, as whether to stay with her and cook or be outside
with Pawpaw. Decisions, decisions, as a child it was so hard to decide and
you know it has not changed for me now that I'm older.
But one of the memories I have is of watching her cut up a chicken. She
made it look so simple and easy. It was snip snip, cut cut, and done.
Now, I know this may seem crazy but I don't have a vivid memory of my mom
doing this at all. (I think I may have to ask her about that.) But even
though I watched Mawmaw do this many many times, I never did it.
I had not really thought about it and to be honest, because after I married I
always bought a cut up chicken if I didn't want a whole one. Until the day
I went to Jennifer's, my roommate from college, and there in her kitchen she was
cutting up a chicken. Now, some of you may think why was that my ah-Haa
moment........well, when we first started out Jenn (that's what I called her)
was not a wheeze in the kitchen.
Example- the first time she had Gary and I over for dinner after she married
Paul. Here is how the story goes: When Gary and I arrive, he goes
off with Paul to watch a game in the den. I find Jenn in the kitchen starting
dinner. She had browned the hamburger and was adding the sauce. In
another pot she was starting to boil the water for the noodles. She put in
the noodles and we continued to talk. I didn't realize the water was not boiling
yet. A few minutes later, she was like that's not right. She poured that
one out and started over, as we where talking, she did it again- put the water
in the pot on the stove and threw in the noodles. Not again. Luckily, she had
more noodles. This time, we stopped talking and concentrated on getting it
right the 3rd time. We did and had a wonderful dinner and a great evening
So, now you know that when I walked in Jenn's kitchen that day and to see her
cutting up a chicken- I was like I want to do that to. I got some
instructions and with practice, I got it down just like Mawmaw.
Now, if you don't know how to cut up a chicken yourself and want to learn, it
is real easy. Follow these simple instructions and after a few practices
you'll be just like Mawmaw Walls snip snip, cut cut and done.
Now let's get started:
So grab a heritage chicken, a cutting board, and a sharp knife, and you
are ready. (if you have kitchen shears they work great- that is what I usually use)
Step 1: Place your chicken on its back on the cutting board.
Step 2: Using a sharp knife, slice the skin in between the drumstick and body.
Pulling the leg away from the body of the bird.
Find the joint and pop it out of it socket with your hands.
Finish the cut to remove the leg and thigh from the body.
Cut through the joint between the thigh and the leg.
You can also use your hands to pop this joint out of its socket first.
Repeat on other side.
You should have 2 legs and 2 thighs.
Step 3: With the chicken on its side, pull the wing away from the body.
Cut through joint and remove wing.
Repeat on the other side.
You should have 2 wings.
Step 4: Starting at the rear of the bird,
Slice down each side of the ribs.
Continue to cut to remove entire spine.
(SAVE THE SPINE- this is a great piece to use for making chicken stock!)
You should have 1 spine to save for stock.
Step 5: Place knife on the breastbone and apply pressure to cut the breast into two halves.
You should have 2 breast.
Yay!!! You are done.
Now, that was not to bad now was it?!..........you should have 8 pieces of
chicken to fry, roast or grill. Some people will stew them but for me if I'm
going to stew it I just put the whole bird in and don't bother to cut it up.
You should also have a spine to use for stock. I'll post my stock
recipe for you to use.
Now, I have not had my coffee because of working on cutting up this
NOTE: Please be careful when handling raw meat. Gather everything you
will need before you begin. Don't answer the phone or have something to
drink or touch your computer to look at the directions after you start unless
you WASH YOUR HANDS! If you wipe your hand on the dish towel in
between cutting the chicken with out washing throw it in the dirty towels and
don't leave it out. Yuk! I want you to be safe, I don't want you to end up
sick or getting someone else sick.
Hope this is helpful. Because if you buy a whole chicken you can save
money and I'm all about saving where I can. I think we will have fried
chicken tonight now that I have a whole cut up chicken in my kitchen.
But what will I serve with it.........Well, it is time to go grab a cup of
coffee and go work on my grocery list.
Great tasting nutritious farm fresh eggs......each time I crack one open it is like sunshine in my kitchen. Just the thought of these little jewels brings a smile to my face. (Even after spending 2 hours cleaning and packaging 20 dozen eggs.) Inside these little brown bundles lies a precious little ray of sunshine filled with so much healthy goodness.
The egg..... when you hear those two words, what do you think of first?....to some this means breakfast, to others they think of Easter and believe it or not there are those that think - yuk! Well, I'm out to change those that have that last opinion of the egg. I hope to have y'all thinking of eggs daily and not just for breakfast.
First let's talk chicken- we can't talk about the egg unless we first talk about the chicken. I believe the heritage breeds to be the starting point for the best egg possible. These hens come from reliable heritage breeds and are allowed to grow and mature at their natural rate. A hen has to be in premium health to produce the best egg. The quality of life she lives, housing and of course feed, all contribute to what we will one day eat. We provide plenty of pasture for them to roam so they can forage for worms, grubs and other insects while eating the best grass with no pesticides. Raising them in a humane and natural way. That's why our chicks are healthy happy chicks providing excellent eggs..
Now let's talk nutrition- a farm fresh egg, from a hens that are allowed to eat bugs, seeds, grass and other goodies from our pasture. This produces an egg with a dark rich color more than that of factory-eggs. This deep color indicates higher nutrition; rich in choline, selenium, folic acid, vitamin B-12, beta carotene, lutein, vitamin A, vitamin E, omega-3, vitamin D and iodine, which equals an egg with more nutrition for your family.
pastured, free range eggs have-
Now for reason that will surely hook you on at least one a day.
Taste...now this is one that is easy. Just try ONE. Fix it your favorite way, doesn't matter, whatever way you enjoy it.
As for me, I like omelets myself. Yesterday for New Year's I fixed an asparagus, mushroom and onion omelet with a little parmesan cheese for breakfast. Oh my! It was rich and cream with a soft fluffy texture that makes my mouth water just thinking about it now. Gary and Carrie love to eat them hard boiled with a little salt. Mekayla loves deviled eggs- hard boiled eggs chopped with mayo, salt and pepper. Carson is a boy after his Mom's heart, he is an omelet guy but he likes bacon and cheese. Which ever way you fix your egg, I know once you have tasted one from the farm you will never go back to store bought.
Great tasting nutritious farm fresh eggs......each time I crack one open it is like sunshine in my kitchen.
All this talk of eggs has gotten me hungry for one. I think I'll go put on a pot of coffee and make some eggs, country ham, grits and biscuits. Let me know how you fix your eggs.
Author: Kelly W. Sikes
Who is she? I am wife, mother of 3, daughter of 2 wonderful city parents, a sister to one sis, a home school mom, an office manager and a farmgirl!
Well, this really does not tell you about me just some of the titles I have. I am a 40 something girl who has found herself very blessed by where life has taken her ….to the farm kitchen! I am a fun loving girl who loves to be in the kitchen cooking or looking thru cookbooks or the internet for new healthy delicious recipes for my family. I am happiest when I have a spoon in my hand (and a cup of coffee in the other) and my 2 girls in the kitchen with me cooking up our next creation.
How she ended up on a farm……I come from a small southern town right outside Charlotte, NC. I thought I lived in the country! Until my college roommate, Jennifer took me home with her for the week-end. (I lived 20 min. west of Charlotte; she lived a 1hr. 20 min. east of Charlotte.) Wow!! What a difference. That’s when I really found out what it meant to be country. Rolling fields of corn, soybeans, and stuff I didn’t have any idea what it was (and still don't), then poultry houses after poultry house. It was not uncommon for you to go several miles without even seeing a house (for people).
A year later, Jennifer set me up on a blind date with one of those country boys……well I guess you could say I was blinded by love and fell head over heels for my true love, Gary. We have now been married for 22 adventured filled years.
Even though he was a country boy, we didn’t start out on the farm. We waited until 1996 to buy our land which is next to his family farm. We didn’t consider farming until 7 years later after Gary became sick. In 2011, we started Bountiful Harvest Farm. So here I am a farmgirl …….
What’s on our farm? We raise heritage poultry. We are a full circle farm- laying hens, breeders, a hatchery, chicken and turkey growers, and on the farm processing.
If you are still reading, I’m impressed. I don’t claim to be a writer. I’m just a regular girl who is going to share about life on a chicken farm, some of my favorite recipes and a few funny stories of my family along the way. I hope you'll come back - just grab a cup of coffee (or whatever drink your hand desires), pull me up and visit.