Rilettes

Rilettes are real food heaven. Also, they’re versatile to use and really easy to make. Thank the French! You can use rilettes both cold and hot. Cold they’re delicious as a pâté on toast or bread (or just as is); hot from the oven they’re exquisit as an appetizer or meaty side dish.

They provide plenty of healthy fats, protein and any variety of herbs you like. Also, you can make this in advance and keep it up to 3 months in the fridge (but here it never lasts that long).

Rub the herbs and salt into the meat and put it aside.
Dice the fat and render it over low heat in a cast iron skillet or anything else with a thick bottom.
Take out the remaining pieces of skin, unrendered fat etc.
Rub the meat with the herbs and gently place it in the skillet.
To keep the heat from rising too high, add a little water.
Please note: the water needs to be able to evaporate completely in order for the dish to last!
[b]Alternatively[/b], use a crock pot or adjustable temperature skillet. Since the temperature won’t rise over 90C in these, you don’t need any water.
Leave the meet and fat for about 4 hours on low heat, turn the meat every hour.
When the meat is overdone, take two forks and pull it apart into strings. Modern techniques often use a blender to soften the meat. This is possible, but you’ll end up with a soft pâté. Personally, I like the rough stuff better 🙂
Pour it into molds, like cupcake molds or a large cake tin.
The Rilettes will develop a thick layer of fat on top that will seal them from air. They’ll stay fresh for weeks on end. To use them, simply mix the fat and the meat and put it on whatever you like, or put the whole tin in the oven and make it hot and melty!

No-Fail Five Minute Hollandaise Sauce

As a busy mom, who runs a home business, homeschools her kids, and cooks real food, I can’t usually spare the time for “fancy” foods. Hollandaise sauce was one of those fancy foods I never thought to try because it seemed like it was too much fuss for a sauce. Who needs a sauce over eggs anyway? Who has time for sauces?
But after hearing so much about hollandaise–how nourishing it was and how delectable, and my mom telling me how easy it really was to make, plus I was trying to get my kids to eat more butter, I decided to see if I couldn’t make a busy mom version of the fancy stuff. Turns out, it’s no big deal to make and the taste is super worth it! Hollandaise is for more than just Eggs Benedict. Serve it over just about any lightly steamed veggie or over fish. My kids were excited to try as a dipping sauce for steamed veggies. Total win!
The extra sauce is easily reheated in a double-boiler…if there is any extra. 😉

Preheat your blender by filling with very warm tap water and allowing to sit. You may also make this recipe with an immersion (stick) blender.
Melt the butter gently over low heat until very hot, but do not allow to brown. Remove from heat.
Meanwhile, pour the water out of your blender, blend the egg yolks with the lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and salt (if using). This step can be done in a canning jar with an immersion blender, if preferred.
With the blender running, slowly drizzle in the hot melted butter. Mixture will thicken considerably into a velvety, smooth sauce. Once it’s thickened, it’s done! Enjoy!

Crushed Red Pepper

I had several nice Jalepeno peppers that I needed to use up. Most of them had matured and turned red. I decided to just slice and dehydrate them and then chop them up in the little electric coffee grinder. This gives me a charming little item to experiment with in my cooking. Actually, I think this would be a good thing to do with ANY peppers you might have on hand. I can envision a whole array of lovely spices made this way. 😀

Wash the jalapenos, and pat dry.
Slice off the stem ends and then slice the peppers thinly.
Arrange on dehydrator sheets and dehydrate until crisp. Be sure to use the SHEETS so the seeds won’t fall through.
After they are thoroughly dry, crush them into a powder in a little electric coffee grinder.
Store in an airtight jar in your cupboard.

Poor Man’s Pesto

In an effort to make pesto but save money, my husband and I created this delightful pesto. No need to buy expensive pine nuts and you don’t even need basil! The beauty of pesto is you can change the amount of each ingredient easily to fit your taste. We use this pesto as a sauce on our homemade pizza.

Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until fully combined.

Preserving Fresh Herbs

Preserving fresh herbs from your garden is very easy and can provide wonderful flavor (and a significant boost in nutrition) for your family’s meals for the whole year!

Bring a quantity (large or small) of freshly picked herbs into the kitchen. The best time to pick them is just before they bloom, but they may be used later as well.
Wash herbs in plenty of cold water. Remove leaves from the stems and pat dry in a clean cotton dish towel or spin them in a salad spinner to remove excess water.
Process the leaves in a food processor just until they are chopped. Do not puree.
Put the chopped leaves into a glass jar. Pour raw vinegar over the herbs until they are covered.
Store this jar, covered, in the refrigerator.
The herbs will shrink over time, but they are still wonderful to use. You can scoop out the amount you need and squeeze out the vinegar, or not, depending on your recipe. They will keep for many months.
The vinegar is a wonderful addition to homemade salad dressings and marinades as well, being full of flavor!
I do this with basil, oregano, lavender, sage, thyme, and parsley. If you have other favorite herbs, they should do well also!
Raw apple cider vinegar is the most easily sourced, but there are other wonderful raw vinegars available, for instance, wine, rice, and balsamic. Keep your eyes open at your favorite health food outlet, and you can tailor the combinations to your own menus.

Spicy and Tangy Kombucha Barbecue Sauce

My dad makes THE best barbecue sauce that is both tangy and spicy. He always gets rave reviews every time he serves it (which is pretty much whenever anyone eats dinner at their house). After several failed attempts to make my own barbecue sauce by mixing up various spices and sauces in the kitchen, I recently asked him for the recipe so that I could have my own stash of the stuff.
Of course, I decided to “real-foodify” (yes, I did just make up a word) it. Over brewed, or surplus kombucha adds the perfect tangy flavor in barbecue sauces. Yes, the good bacteria perish when they are cooked, but the flavor remains. Plus, you can always serve the meat with extra barbecue sauce that hasn’t been cooked, thereby serving up some probiotic goodness unbeknownst to your guests.

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until well combined. Taste and add additional seasonings as required for your taste.
Pour into a 1/2 gallon mason jar. Cover and allow to sit out at room temperature for about 12 hours to allow the good bacteria to multiply. (You can skip this step and use it right away, but it definitely increases flavors.)
Divide and pour into smaller jars and store in the refrigerator.
Baste on your favorite meats before barbecuing and during. Serve more to dip on the side!
This will keep for up to a year in the refrigerator and the flavors only develop more and improve with age.
**If you don’t particularly enjoy spicy barbecue sauce, start with 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes and increase to taste.

Click the below banner to learn how you can start brewing kombucha at home or to order kombucha supplies!

Pastured Sausage Gravy Over Biscuits

This is a quick and easy breakfast to put together in the morning or even better made the night before and then finished in the morning. I make the gravy the night before along with starting some soaked biscuits then just have to reheat the gravy and finish the biscuits in the morning. To make this classic staple just make gluten free biscuits along with the gluten free version of the gravy.

To begin brown your sausage over medium heat in a large skillet breaking it apart it to small pieces.
Once the meat is brown, sprinkle the flour over the meat and drippings and then mix it in so that the flour absorb all the drippings (*Skip this step if you are making it gluten free*). Cook for 2-3 minutes to help get rid of of the flour taste.
Add the milk and cook over medium stirring frequently until it boils. Boil until thick. If you are going to reheat it you may want to leave it a little thinner than you would like as when you reheat it it will thicken even more.
Add salt and pepper to taste and you are done.
You can either serve right away or let it cool and then refrigerate.
Serve over your choice of fresh from the oven biscuits.
*To make this gluten free: after the meat is browned add the milk and bring to a boil. In a small bowl mix together 2-3 T of Tapioca or Arrowroot Starch with and equal amount of water. Mix this together well and when the milk boils slowly pour the starch slurry into the milk and stir until thick. Don’t add it all at once as you may not need it all.

Fermented Lard Mayonnaise

This recipe makes a mayonnaise that results is a great texture at room temperature. If you’re not going to use it all right away it is best if you store the leftovers in the fridge and set it on the counter 10-20 minutes before you want to use it. It’s still spreadable when cold, just very thick.

I use a stick blender and a wide mouth mason jar to make this quickly and easily with minimal clean up. You could also use a regular blender.

Separate the egg whites from the yolks and set the whites aside for another use. Blend the yolks with your blender for about a minute.
Add lemon juice and blend for 30 seconds, then add the sweetener of your choice and sea salt and blend again for 10 seconds. If you choose to use mustard then blend it in now.
Melt lard over very low heat. Remove it from the heat as soon as it’s melted, or even a bit before. The goal isn’t to cook the egg when you mix it in, but the lard does have to be liquified.
Add the melted lard 1 Tbsp at a time in the beginning, blending between additions. You may add 2 Tbsp at a time once the mayo has successfully emulsified and is getting thicker. If you add too much lard it will separate, so make sure you stop when they mayo has a good spreadable texture. 3/4 of a cup is usually good.
Once the lard is incorporated blend in 1/2 Tbsp of whey, then let it sit on your counter for about 7 hours before storing in your fridge.

Instant Taco Seasoning Mix

Everyone loves taco night. But when you’re in the pinch of the weeknight bustle, it’s easy to be tempted by expensive instant mixes (with ingredients that make you shudder). Save time and money by storing this simple homemade mix in your cupboard — and make taco night everyone’s favorite again.

Combine ingredients in a jar. Shake to combine.
2-3 TB of mix = 1 instant package of taco seasoning.
To cook, add 2-3 TB of mix to 1lb of beans and/or ground meat.
NOTE: Not a fan of traditional tacos or want to avoid corn? Make a salad using lettuce, cheese, salsa, meat (beef, chicken, etc), beans, and guacamole.
TIP: To save money, we buy our spices in bulk from a local health food store.

Easy No-Fail Mayo

Seriously. Why didn’t I think of this before? No slowly dripping oil in, only to not have it emulsify. This gives you mayo with a great consistency. If you are using your own pastured eggs, leave it on the counter. Refrigerating makes it firm. If you refrigerate, leave it out on your counter 15 minutes before mixing into anything so it has time to soften.

Food process until well blended.

Taiwanese Style Fish Sauce

A delightful and simple-to-make sauce that is wonderful with stir-fry, over fish or other seafood.

In a small saucepan, combine the ketchup, soy sauce (tamari) and Sucanat.
Bring it to a boil, stirring constantly.
Add the minced garlic and boil, stirring, for 30 seconds.
Remove from heat.

Sweet Cucumber Relish Recipe

A delicately sweet pickle relish is a delightful accompaniment to your grass-fed burgers and roasts. During the summer garden harvest, I like to make it fresh, but what to do in the winter when organic cucumbers are impossible to find? Here is a delicious and simple recipe for home-prepared and canned relish that your family can enjoy year round!

The cucumbers, onions and peppers need to be finely chopped. Although this can be done by hand, it is tedious and I would suggest you use a hand cranked “food chopper” or attachment for a Kitchenaide mixer, or, if you are very careful, it may be done in an electric food processor. If using the latter, cut your vegetables into small pieces first, and then process them with a metal blade in the food processor. Do each vegetable separately, and in short pulse bursts until the vegetables are finely chopped. You do not want to turn them to mush!
Chop, grind or process the cucumbers, onions and peppers.
In a heavy-bottomed stainless saucepan, 5 to 6 quarts in size, combine the vegetables, celery seed, mustard seed, salt, cloves, turmeric, vinegar and honey.
Quickly bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and then simmer for approximately 3 hours, until the relish has been reduced to about 5 pints. Stirring occasionally.
Prepare 5 pint – sized canning jars, lids and rings. (Please refer to a reliable source of canning instructions for a more detailed description of these steps. I recommend the Ball Blue Book of Preserving.
Process in a water bath canner for 15 minutes.
Of course we love and enjoy our fresh and live vegetable ferments, and yet it is also very nice to have home-canned relish, as we can prepare it with organically grown ingredients and preserve it in glass jars. This avoids the preservatives always added to commercial products. This relish also makes a welcome gift!