West Mountain Farm

Pastured Pigs, Free-Range Chickens, Biodynamic Gardening, Homesteading

Archive for the category “Recipes”

Cooking Fresh Green Beans

Most people are used to bland canned or frozen green beans from the grocery store that are basically season, heat, and eat.  Fresh green beans take a little more effort, but are more than worth the extra time. The best way is to have a friend with you as it does get monotonous.

First step is to pick the green beans. Pick your plants heavy and often and they will keep producing, all season. Before you know it you’ll be wondering when the freeze is going to kill them out!

Next, sort the beans, pick the tender, young pods free of rust for yourself and give the big fibrous ones that you missed last picking to the hogs, worm bed, chickens, or wildlife.

Third, string them if they are a string variety. Did you know the first stringless green bean was named ‘lazy housewife’ ? You want to pick the strings from all four ‘corners’ of the bean removing as much as you can. I hear a green bean frencher makes this job a breeze, but then they are all french-style. I’m sure I’ll try one day, but so many gadgets, so little time. Then you snap them into bite size pieces or leave whole for other dishes. Give the ends of the beans to the critters also.

Fourth, Cook them in a bit of fat, liquid, seasoning. My favorite fats are extra-virgin olive oil, butter, and pork drippings (and add the meat back toward the end if available). I like my liquid to be broth and a splash of dry wine in the end. You can season with sauteed garlic and onions (if so do this in the beginning before you add your beans and liquid) or the convenient route- garlic and onion powder. Salt and pepper of course, and some herbs out of the garden the last 5 minutes of cooking time. Different beans have varying cooking times and preference for eating. Tender yellow bush beans only need a quick steam, a drizzle of lemon juice, salt and pepper, and olive oil to make for a delicious side. Pole beans often need 20 -40 minutes to cook down and become tender. This property makes them more suitable for canning.  Adding tomatoes, squash, and mushrooms during the cooking will make a meal out of your green beans.  Play with the recipe, taste test often.   You will have you feel for bean snapping and cooking in no time.  And the plant will give you plenty of beans to experiment!

Last, Eat them!!!

Here’s a heartier, soupy version I made after working in the garden all day. The liquid is chicken broth, tomatoes, and maitake mushrooms cooked down with some fresh herbs (lemon thyme, parsley, and basil) powdered garlic and onion. Add parmiggiano reggiano for a rich treat. Olive oil and butter bring out the flavors and make the nutrients more bioavailable.  These pole beans, a mixture of kentucky wonder and bush blue lake, took about 20 minutes at low-medium to cook down to my desired tenderness.

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Savor your bounty, you earned it. 

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Avocado Omelette

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Ingredients: 

2 eggs

1/2 of a ripe avocado

2 tbsp of milk

pat of real butter

1/4-1 cup of grated cheese (I use muenster with eggs because it melts so well, colby/monterey-jack is my second favorite cheese)

Optional:

Ranchero sauce, salsa, pico de gallo, or hot sauce

Sour cream

cilantro

cooked diced meat (ham, bacon, etc.)

diced black olives

Directions:

Heat up a medium (6-8 inch) skillet on medium, spray with non-stick if you are using anything other than teflon, which I highly recommend. I use an enameled Copco cast iron skillet, bought used on Ebay for a great deal. Add your butter and melt.

Lightly whisk two eggs and the milk in a separate dish, when the butter is melted and the pan is hot, dump the eggs into the skillet, immediately begin ‘pushing’ the egg mixture toward the center of the pan with a soft spatula, scraping the bottom. When the egg begins to set up turn the heat down a bit and let it continue to set up. This process shouldn’t take long, about 3-5 minutes.

Add your filling, allow to cook a little longer, when it is almost cooked through fold over and let it continue to cook and the cheese to melt. The edges of the omelette shouldn’t burn or stick to the bottom, but have a little crisp to the edges and be cooked thoroughly when you are done. You can add more cheese to the top, and add your ranchero sauce, cilantro, and/or sour cream.

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Season to taste and enjoy any time of the day!

Fluffy Scrambled Eggs

Non-stick spray a small-medium sized pan with some depth (anything but teflon!) add a pat of butter (or two), while the pan is heating up and the butter is melting hand whisk up your eggs with milk, but don’t over whisk. Add no more than 5 teaspoons milk per egg (I eyeball it), the milk is the key to fluffiness as it creates steam pockets as the egg cooks. I cook 3 eggs per person who will be eating, this makes sure everyone is full and the dog may get some leftovers. Pour your eggs in the pan once it is heated, be careful not to overheat and burn your butter. Let the eggs begin to set up, then begin to gently fold and stir, waiting for the eggs to set up some before moving and mixing. Eggs taste best when care is taken to not overcook and left slightly moist. And a generous helping of fresh cracked blacked pepper!

If you want to spruce up your scrambled eggs add diced onions and/or peppers to the butter, let it saute a moment, maybe add some chopped meat (ham and bacon would be a favorite, strive for local humane sources) or mushrooms, then add your eggs, top with cheese near the end of cooking, and maybe some salsa if you like it spicy.

Remember, milk is the key to fluffy eggs, not beating the eggs to death.

Mexican Garden Burritos

Quick, light, and easy burrito recipe:

Tortillas

Tofu strips or a free range meat fried in oil cumin and paprika

Grated cheese

grated carrots

corn

black beans

bell pepper

sliced tomato

avocado

lettuce

cilantro

salsa

sour cream or plain yogurt

Heat up a healthy oil, fry your spices, add tofu strips to your hot oil/spices, build your burrito, fold and enjoy. Feel free to get creative with ingredients, and don’t stress if one ingredient isn’t in your pantry or garden. Get the freshest ingredients possible,  choose tortillas with no hydrogenated oils (whole wheat/sprouted grains is a plus), choose local/organic/environmentally friendly/humane ingredients as often as possible…you know the drill.

Some fresh baby star romaine, carrot, and cilantro for the burrito and apple slices for dessert

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