Dec 29 2011

When you finish the commute home, finally pull into the
driveway and look up to see a scene like this one going
“Waah-Waah-Waah, we’re HUNGRY,”
be thankful you made Scrapple over the weekend.

If you’re like me, you remember being a kid, loving scrapple and then, one morning, making the mistake of reading the wrapper of the commercial product. The realization that Scrapple was made of corn and pig snouts, well, it was a shock that I’m still getting over. But, if you’re also like me and have enjoyed homemade Scrapple with the Amish, made with first quality organic ground pork, then you know you were willing to start anew and go crazy over the stuff.

Scrapple is an old food, mixing cereal with pork, that has origins with the ancient Celts and medieval Germans. Brought to this country by the German Dutch into Pennsylvania, scrapple traveled out to western Ohio and into Pennsylvania’s border states, Maryland and Virginia. Each area has their distinctive treatment as some use oatmeal, corn or wheat for the cereal. But, the common use of cooking cereal mush, adding cooked pork and cooling the mixture into a loaf for slicing and frying ties the regions together.

You’re probably way ahead of me in realizing this post follows the previous one, Amish Fried Corn Meal Mush for a very good reason. To make Scrapple, you cook ground pork, then make corn meal mush and add it to the pork. The rest of the recipe will seem oddly familiar as it follows what we saw yesterday about slicing the congealed loaf of corn meal mush, flouring and frying the slices in coconut oil to a golden brown.

I use a potato masher to break apart two pounds of
organic ground pork into fine crumbles. Add salt,
pepper, and poultry seasoning to taste, but don’t
taste until the pork is fully cooked.

Pour the corn meal mush, the same quantity as
yesterday’s post and made the same way, into the
pan of seasoned cooked ground pork.

Pour the corn meal mush with ground pork, mixed
well together, into loaf pans, the same as yesterday.

Smooth out the surface, let cool at room temperature,
then refrigerate until congealed.

The recipe makes three loaf pans or one loaf pan and
a large refrigerator dish. Slice, dredge in organic
flour and fry in coconut oil.

Fry until golden and sneak eggs onto the griddle
if desired. 

And talk about economical! I bought two pounds of organic ground pork for a little over $10. Combine it with the Organic Polenta Corn Grits from yesterday at about $3 a pack and you have ton of food that will last through many meals for under $15. The taste of the pork moves into the corn satisfying the palate as if there was lots more of it. Satisfying and inexpensive show why this household favorite has been a staple down through history. Try some yourself. I am sure you will like it and go back for more!

BTW, notice how orange the Amish free range organic eggs are? That’s the way eggs should look! When hens are able to eat green plant material the beta carotene concentrates in the yolk making it dark, sometimes even orange. Free range eggs are bursting with vitamins A, E and minerals you just can’t find in industrial eggs. They are worth the extra price. Because they are nutirent dense, you need less of them to feel full so they are actually more economical. For a delightful discussion on egg yolk color, click here.

 

If you love Scrapple like I do, or are willing to try it
this book may interest you. For more information,
hover your mouse over the link below:

Country Scrapple

William Woys Weaver traces the origins of an American culinary oddity in Country Scrapple. Few twenty-first-century Americans recall their forebears’ scrapple, a hearty mixture of seasoned ground meat and grain that made delicious the scraps left over from butchering. Served sliced and fried, scrapple fed farm families heartily through dark winter months. Each immigrant group had its own scrapple recipe, and the Pennsylvania Dutch version made from pork and cornmeal came to dominate the scene. Ohioans still revel in goetta, which substitutes oats for corn. Weaver documents recipes for the many regional American variations and deftly explains the differences among them. The book even has a directory of German museums with scrapple-related displays. A comprehensive bibliography documents written sources.

NaBloPoMo 2011



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Filed under: Food,Organic — admin @ 5:05 pm Comments (2)
Dec 14 2011

Now, organic sweet peppers can be grown in summer
and purchased in winter allowing inexpensive stuffed
peppers to be enjoyed all year long.

Who doesn’t like stuffed peppers? I was leading the pack on loving them, but always dreaded softening them up in boiling water as it seemed too much fuss and bother. Enter the radiant convention oven, the one I have made by The Sharper Image. What an option! By putting a small amount of filtered water in the bottom, the peppers steam and soften while they cook. Yay! One less thing to do.

To make stuffed peppers in a convection oven, don’t worry
about softening them in boiling water.  Just see how many
will fit in, cut the tops off and clean out pith and seeds.

I actually baked these peppers last August when the garden had so many peppers getting ripe, it was hard to imagine they would ever stop. But, as I photographed and readied the post for an August, I realized that although it would be timely with the seasonal pepper harvest, this recipe should be saved for Christmas. With all of the vivid red and green, I thought, this meal is a holiday affair, whether it likes it or not.

Make the stuffing by cooking two pounds of grass fed hamburger
with onion, salt, pepper, oregano and basil. Add a glass jar of
organic spaghetti sauce
and two cups of uncooked basmati rice.
Fill skillet up with water and let cook down until rice is done.

We had only grown hot peppers before this year.  I don’t know why I felt intimidated to grow sweet peppers, how much different could they be? But, seeing them at the store, so large and radiant, I thought that surely we could not grow something so wonderful as they must be difficult. WRONG! They were a delightful treasure all summer long, produced prolifically and made us feel like real homestead gardeners.

Fill the raw sweet peppers with the rice mixture, top with
croutons and pats of grass fed organic butter. Pour in
filtered water, 1″ deep, so the peppers will be steamed.

Having so many, however, begged for stuffed peppers, but, as I mentioned, I always dreaded the tapping of my fingers, waiting for the water to boil and the dipping of the peppers in to the boiling water. In addition, I never could master the timing on when to take them out of the water. Underdone, they were too crunchy after baking and overdone, they tore, daring you to fill them and successfully stand them up in the baking pan. I found boiled peppers to be as cooperative as a couple of napless two year olds.

Sprinkle stuffed peppers with paprika and turn on the radiant
convection oven to 375° and cooked until peppers are wilted.

That’s when I decided to try and make stuffed peppers in my radiant convention oven. Especially beneficial in summer, when I avoid heating up the large kitchen oven and the rest of the house, the convention oven is a miraculous addition to any store of appliances. Sitting on the counter like a little space pod, it takes me where “no cook has gone before.” In short, I love the thing.

Wow! Here sweet stuffed peppers are aboard the
Mother Ship making yummies for our tummies.

With all of the voluptuous organic sweet peppers in the stores right now, grab a radiant convection oven at the store, or dust yours off after finding it in the cabinet, but please! Start enjoying this economical entree more often, because now you don’t have to deal with dipping the peppers in boiling water.  And, by filling the oven to capacity with stuffed peppers, you can make enough to get yourself or the family though more than one meal by cooking ahead for the week. Save a few for lunch and dinners, then individually wrap and freeze the rest. These freeze very well and can easily be heated up in the radiant convection oven for quick nourishment.

Once the peppers are wilted, cut slices of organic sharp
chedder raw milk cheese and place on top of the stuffing
of each pepper. Heat at 375° until cheese is melted.

Although I have had convection ovens since Graham Kerr, the Galloping Gourmet, made a splash with them in 1993, the heating element of the radiant convection oven makes it easier to brown and melt. It really is a nice feature and now, I wouldn’t want a convection oven without radiant heat. I bought my radiant convection oven by The Sharper Image at Bed, Bath and Beyond, using one of their great coupons AND waiting for a sale.

Here’s how the stuffed peppers looked just before
I turned off the oven to EAT THEM!

Christmas Stuffed Peppers are a tasty entree made easy by the convenience of a radiant convection oven. The sweet peppers can be filled raw and set standing in the oven to be steamed by adding about an inch of filtered water to the bottom of the oven bowl.  The radiant convection oven is a time saving, money saving addition to any kitchen as it uses far less power than a regular oven and doesn’t heat up the kitchen in hot summer weather. In addition, a radiant convection oven is easily cleaned by adding four inches of water and a few drops of soap.  By placing the top back on and turning the dial to “clean,” the oven will vortex the water without heat to emulsify any fat and make the bowl easy to rinse. You will be amazed at how fast food cooks and I bet, if you haven’t tried one before, you will decide its your favorite kitchen helper. See what you think! Thanks for stopping by and come back to see us!

NaBloPoMo 2011

 



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Filed under: Food,Recipes — admin @ 3:46 pm Comments (0)

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NaBloPoMo November 2012