Friday, November 20, 2009

HypFoods Champagne Brined Holiday Turkey

Ahh, Thanksgiving.  The crackle in the atmosphere as weather and landscapes all signal the change of seasons.  The fragrances of fallen leaves and woodsmoke.  The memories of happy holidays past and the comfort of having a routine to guide you into this particular season.

We pause to consider that not everyone has happy memories of family holidays and note that grocery shortfalls are climbing this year in many American households.  As you plan for your own celebration, will you also commit to make a food/support gift to someone of lesser means this Thanksgiving?

We serve a turkey every year because our grandparents have done so for every preceding American generation.  At my table, we also serve an alternate protein to honor the original American Thanksgiving bounty and the melding of cultures breaking bread together in peace.  Venison, salmon, buffalo; each has graced our table at times and if any of our guests are vegan, we accommodate them, as well.  

Guests often think they don't like turkey until they have tried this preparation. Once perfected, there is really no going back.  A chemical-free, organically raised turkey rested in a good champagne brine is truly something to look forward to.  Sound excessive?  Read on...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

AgSec Vilsack gets the message from health-minded consumers:

I was happy to read in the Organic Consumers' Association newsletter that President Obama's chosen appointee for US Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, has put forward the following line-up of informed administrators to the National Organic Standards Board. This news was excerpted from the OCA newsletter directly:

It's clear that Tom Vilsack could feel the heat of OCA members looking over his shoulder as he made the Obama Administration's first appointments to the National Organic Standards Board. In past years, the OCA has had to protest NOSB appointees who represented big businesses with small stakes in organic. But Vilsack's are the best NOSB appointments in recent memory. The new members of the National Organic Standards Board include Jay Feldman of Beyond Pesticides (an OCA Advisory Board member), Joe Dickson of Whole Foods, Annette Riherd (a family farmer growing organic fruits and vegetables who is a long-time buy-local-and-organic advocate), Wendy Fulwider of Organic Valley and John Foster of Earthbound Farms.

Access the complete newsletter contents HERE.

Please help keep America's organic food free and clear of potentially harmful chemicals, treatments, nanotech and genetic modifications.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Making the Most of Buffalo Roast -- Dinner + Pizza

Now that certain members of the family have been told by a medical doctor to cut cholesterol intake, I am planning to use even more buffalo. I have been a fan of buffalo for many years, as a magnificent creature, symbolic of America's natural greatness (European conquerors aside) and as a holistic food source.

After the cholesterol report came in, I pondered pizza for several days. I had finally vanquished the gluten free bear in terms of finding a solution that works in our household: inexpensive, easy to prepare, nutritious and delicious to everyone. After some failed experiments, I located a good recipe for a quick and easy, pourable crust in a cookbook by Donna Washburn and Heather Butt, pages 50 & 51.

Even Hubbers, otherwise known as Mr. GlutenBomb, likes it a LOT. I started using Applegate Farms pepperoni and salami as toppings to ensure that we get gluten free variety in our toppings. I found good, organic Fontina cheeses at Whole Foods and PCC locally. Used sparingly, this is a cheese that I can tolerate occasionally, although I am clinically allergic to cow's milk.

Most of these toppings went off the menu with the new finding, at least until the statins kick in. So now what?

Suddenly, it dawned on me. Very lean buffalo, if raised without hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, etc, is one of the healthiest protein choices that omnivores can make. Our Thanksgiving Feast always includes an entree that honors Native American food traditions in appreciation for their expertise in helping white settlers to survive the wilderness conditions they encountered in the New World, so I have worked with buffalo for some time.

Click Read More (next line) for recipe solutions.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

HypFoods Savory Salmon Chowder

Ahhh. The first day of standard time in America, complete with it's precious extra hour of leisure time. Today we enjoyed sunshine and warmer outdoor temperatures than we have in many days. I stepped outside early this morning to pull back the frontals of my tomato tent so that the sun could shine on my crop. The plants and the fruits are still growing large and beautiful; I'm still hoping they will ripen in time for Thanksgiving.

During the weeks just prior to this glorious day, all the rainfall and blustery winds, the falling leaves and the scent of wood smoke in the neighborhood brought on a craving for cold weather comfort food. This year, I became hyper-focused on perfecting a new Salmon Chowder, one that doesn't rely on milk or animal fats for it's flavor, one that pays homage to this gleaming gift from the sea by relying on the flavor profile of the fish to satisfy the palate.

It seems my new friend, the fishmonger, at Whole Foods/Interbay shared my reverence for this gorgeous food. We selected the perfect side and when I told him it was for chowder, he immediately asked, "Would you like me to skin the fillet and cut it up for you?" I still smile when I think about it. What a nice guy!

It just so happened that Wellshire Dry-Rubbed Pork Bacon was on BOGO sale that day, so I bought one for use in chowder and one to freeze for the future. This is a tasty bacon, leaner than most, free from gluten contamination and hormones, antibiotics, etc. Now home to craft a new base for the meal.

Click on "Read More" (next line) for recipe and prep details.