Fire Cider Recipes

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Archive for the category “Healthy Meal”

Fall Favorite: Cauliflower 3 Ways

Now that Fall is officially here I’ve been getting into some new recipes for one of the seasons most versatile vegetables: cauliflower and her cousin, romanesco.  Part of the Cruciferous family, one cup of cauliflower has more than 73% of your daily vitamin c!  Cauliflower can also help you to detox, it’s got anti-inflammatory properties and is an excellent source of dietary fiber.  As you’ll see from the wide variety of recipes I’ve gathered here, cauliflower is super versatile and full of as much flavor as nutrition.  Happy Autumn eating!

From LowCarbSlowCarb.com

From LowCarbSlowCarb.com

My first recipe suggestion is to make rice out of cauliflower, a low carbohydrate, high fiber, nutrient packed alternative to a grain side dish.  I’ve eaten this rice as a side with baked chicken, in lettuce wraps with shredded pork, basically it can be substituted anywhere you’d usually use rice.  How cool is that?  Check out this super simple recipe on www.lowcarbslowcarb.com under, you guessed it, Cauliflower Rice!

cauliflower-steak-au-poivre

Cauliflower Steak au Poivre by Jacky Hackett

Next up, Cauliflower Steaks.  This recipe was sent to me by a friend who I have shared many a steak tartare and pork chop with so I knew it had to be delicious.  I was a bit skeptical but he assured me this was no wimpy vegan alternative, it’s filling, awesome plant food thank you very much!  The recipe I like best comes from www.jaxhouse.com, aka Jacky Hackett, a food enthusiast mom blogger.  You can find her simple and easy recipe under ‘Cauliflower Steak au Poivre.  The trick is using your cast iron skillet in a very hot oven and the results are wickedly good.

Photo from TheIronYou.com

Photo from TheIronYou.com

This last recipe is sure to convert you to the power of what you used to think of as a bland white vegetable: The Cauliflower Grilled Cheese.  Yes, it’s gluten free, it’s a full serving of veggies and it’s got a gooey cheese center.  This recipe can be found on www.TheIronYou.com a blog run by a guy named Mike who thinks we could all eat better and exercise more for a more awesome us, I think he’s onto something!  Search for ‘Cauliflower Grilled Cheese’ and you’ll find a recipe for what will become one of your fall favorites, no matter what your relationship is to gluten.  Pair this with a hot bowl of tomato soup and call it lunch.

Be sure to check out the other recipes and ideas these bloggers have to offer!

Curry Fire Cider Marinade

This past Father’s Day weekend I did what all good children do: grilled with my dad!  It was really fun, especially since I was trying out a new marinade that Chef and Butcher James Burden recommended to me.   I went to Berkshire Organics in Dalton to stock up on everything we needed for dinner.  I picked up fresh, organic veggies: eggplant really soaks up marinade so it’s great for grilling, plus onions, zucchini and some red and orange bell peppers.

Red Apple Butchers, at Berkshire Organics, had 30 day, dry aged steaks, so I had to try a few of those.  And I also bought about 2 and 1/2 pounds of chicken thighs with the skin on.  Here’s the marinade recipe plus a bonus curry mix from Mark Bittman’s How To Cook Everything, which is as useful as it sounds.   Last week I wrote to Mr. Bittman about Fire Cider and his assistant wrote me back saying she had tried it the last time she was in the Berkshires and would be happy to share a sample bottle with her boss.  How cool is that?!

Marinade for 2-3 pounds of Chicken 

Yes, of course you can use this marinade on tofu, fish or veggies.  For fish and veggies, about 20 minutes in the marinade will do.  For meat, like the chicken, make the marinade the day before and let the meat marinate overnight.  I made double this recipe, one half for the chicken and one half for the veggies.

Ingredients:

a generous 1/4 cup Fire Cider

2 Tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

2 teaspoons salt

1 big tablespoon fragrant curry powder blend (see photo below for the recipe! Yes, you can use store bought as well.)

a pinch of asafoetida

a pinch of chipolte pepper

1 teaspoon garam masala

 

Method:

First, make up the fragrant curry powder blend, this will make enough for this recipe plus plenty left over for all your curry spice needs, it’s awesome on pop corn!

Mark Bittman's curry blend.

Mark Bittman’s curry blend.

Get the spices together and toast the spices in a dry skillet.

Whole spices ready to toast!

Whole spices ready to toast!

Mmm, toasty and very fragrent!

Mmm, toasty and very fragrant!

Use a small spice grinder to turn toasted spices into powder and then add

Use a small spice grinder to turn toasted spices into powder and then add powdered ginger and turmeric.  Homemade curry powder!

Once you’ve made the curry blend,  combine all the marinade ingredients in a bowl.

Yes, that's a gallon of Fire Cider. Beware the underdose!

Yes, that’s a gallon of Fire Cider. Beware the underdose!

Pour all the marinade over the chicken and marinate over night in a sealed bag or sealed container.

The next day, when you are ready to cook, remove the chicken, discard any leftover marinade and grill the chicken til it’s done!

For veggies: chop bite sized pieces of onion, bell peppers, zucchini and eggplant, make up more marinade and marinate for about 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally to coat each piece.  Slide onto skewers and grill with the chicken.

Grill ready chicken, veggies and steak.

Grill ready chicken, veggies and steak.

The 30 day dry aged steaks were perfect as is so I let them sit out at room temp for about an hour, lightly salted them and then grilled them for a few minutes on each side for perfectly rare, melt in your mouth awesomeness.

Happy grilling, all summer long!

Happy grilling, all summer long!

A Perfect Meal: Bo Ssam

The Candida Diaries

Bo Ssam is a traditional Korean meal of slow cooked pork shoulder that you eat in lettuce cups topped with ginger scallion sauce and ssam sauce made from oil, vinegar and fermented black beans.   Since this meal is made by slow roasting meat on the bone it is one of the best ways to get the most nutrition from cooked meat.  The ginger scallion sauce compliments the savory, fatty meat and is also a digestive aid and immune booster.  The ssam sauce is made from fermented beans, which means they are easy to digest and full of microbes for your internal rain forest.  The lettuce cups provide some green and make this meal more like a salad you eat with your hands.  To top it all off this is meal is a group dinning experience Bo Ssam is food for your mind, body and soul, in other words, a…

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Jafakin’ Jerk Sauce

Recipe by Noel Prophet

Last summer Dana and I went to a pot luck beer and food pairing: everyone brought a dish and a beer that went with it.  Dana made a summer saison that was a bit citrus-y  and it went well with the berries n biscuits I brought for dessert.  However, I thought the best dish was the jerk chicken that Noel and Kristen brought along with some very appropriate Red Stripe.  Just recently Noel sent me his jerk sauce recipe which I was pretty darn excited to see if I could replicate.  As per his suggestion, the recipe can be modified to suit, the one that follows is enough to marinate 3 pounds of chicken/meat/tofu with enough leftover to serve as a side sauce for greens.   I only made a few changes to Noel’s recipe and the end result was deliciously hot and there were no leftovers!

Bright ingredients makes for a spicy brown sauce.

Bright ingredients makes for a spicy brown sauce.

Suggested Ingredients:

  • Up to 6 scotch bonnet peppers or whatever hot peppers you like – I used the one Habanero that was ready in our garden and then some of the chili peppers that Pete and Jennifer from Woven Roots Farm gave us at the Harvest Festival.
  • 2 Tablespoons each: dried thyme, ground allspice, Fire Cider, salt and black pepper
  • Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger (fresh or powdered), to taste.
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 3 medium onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup or less olive oil
  • 1/2 cup or less tamari
  • Juice of 1 lime or lemon, or more, to taste.

Method:

Chop up everything and then put all in the blender.   Or, put all ingredients into a wide mouth mason jar and use a wand blender to puree, same difference.  The marinade is done, ready to eat now on cooked greens or…

Poke holes in your chicken (or tofu!) before you jerk it so it will hold the flavor better.

Marinate overnight.

When you are ready you can bake, grill, roast, etc your jerked chicken.  This would also work well with tempeh or tofu or other meat.

Here’s what I did with the chicken I let marinate in the fridge, well covered, for over 12 hours:

Pre-heat the oven to 365.  Spread the chicken breast (I had about 2 pounds) and the jerk sauce I used to marinate it, in a wide glass baking dish.  I covered the dish with aluminum foil (or a glass lid if you have one) and baked it for about 45-50 minutes, until the thermometer read 142 and when I sliced into it, it was juicy and cooked through!

Dana made coconut brown basmati rice to go with the baked jerk chicken.  I made a huge side of broccoli rabe dressed in olive oil and salt, which we ate with the remaining jerk sauce.

All covered in Jafakin' Jerk Sauce!

All covered in Jafakin’ Jerk Sauce!

Updated Egg Salad

I love this new version of  egg salad that Heidi posted on her blog 101 Cookbooks, which if you don’t already rely on it for great recipes, now you know!  This is a nice, light update on a familiar classic, perfect for a new light filled season.

Here’s her recipe, I didn’t want to change a thing, except maybe adding a few dashes of Fire Cider!

hard-boiled-egg-1

Ingredients:

6 eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 small head of radicchio, shredded
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1 medium shallot, chopped
3 baby radishes, shaved thin

to serve: little dollop of salted creme fraiche and/or a drizzle of olive oil and Fire Cider

Method:

“Place the eggs in a pot and cover with cold water by a 1/2-inch or so. Bring to a gentle boil. Now turn off the heat, cover, and let sit for ten minutes. Have a big bowl of ice water ready and when the eggs are done cooking place them in the ice bath for three minutes or so – long enough to stop the cooking.

Crack and peel each egg, then use the big holes on a standard box grater to grate the eggs. Place in a bowl and use your fingers to gently toss the eggs with the salt and pepper.

At this point you can add whatever you like to the salad –  shredded radicchio, fresh dill, shallots, and shaved baby radishes.

Serve topped with tiny dollops of something creamy – like creme fraich or plain yogurt, and a drizzle of olive oil and Fire Cider.  Just a bit of each so you don’t weigh it down.”

Serves 2-4.

Prep time: 5 min – Cook time: 10 min

Serve this salad on top of homemade flax crackers or store bought flax crackers!

Dana’s Pork or Chicken Stock Recipe

The secret to amazing pork stock?  The answer is trotters, aka pigs feet!  The same goes for chicken stock, it’s best with chicken feet.  Now don’t get all ewwww about it, the feet are perfectly clean.  You eat animals, they have feet, it’s really not a big deal. When we kill animals for food we should use every bit, nose to tail, because all those bits in between are full of health building essentials!  The reasons this specific part of the animal is so great for making stock are threefold:

1. Trotters especially are known for their gelatin, so when you simmer them for hours, they make a naturally thick, deeply flavorful stock that is soothing to the digestive system, full of cartilage repairing collagen and deep immune support.

2. They are cheap and plentiful.  For every hog that’s butchered, there go 4 more trotters.  Your local butcher or farmer can hook you up with feet for cheap, just ask!

3. Waste not, want not: chicken feet and trotters can certainly be deep fried into one of the best bar snacks you’ll ever eat but I’d argue that making stock from the bones and feet of an animal is the best and easiest way to use them.  And you’ll be sure you are making the most out of the food you raise or buy.

Bone Broth or Stock is relatively easy to make in large amounts, it just takes some time.  I eat a bowl of broth a day during the winter months, dressing it up with a shot of Fire Cider, kelp, mushrooms and chickpea miso.  Or making traditional chicken soup.  You can also add frozen cubes of stock concentrate to all kinds of recipes to add deep nutrition and lots of flavor.  I recommend a bowl a day to stay warm and healthy til Spring.  Here’s the basic recipe and method my husband Dana uses-

Simple whole foods waiting to be transformed into liquid gold!

Simple whole foods waiting to be transformed into liquid gold!

Ingredients for 2 ½ quarts Chicken /Turkey /Pork Stock:

  • 5 pounds assorted organic, local farm raised chicken parts (2-3 pounds of feet plus backs, necks, legs, and wings), rinsed.  For pork stock, use the bones from your last roast plus several trotters.
  • Handful dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped into 2-inch lengths
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped into 2-inch lengths
  • 2 medium leeks or one onion, chopped into 2-inch chunks
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar, or 1-2 Cups wine/hard cider

Optional, but highly recommended for ultimate, health enhancing stock add:

  • 2-4 tongue-depressor sized pieces Astragalus root (available from mountainroseherbs.com)
  • Small handful dried Reishi and/or Maitake mushroom
  • 1-2 ginseng roots

Method:

  1. Place all of the ingredients in a stockpot large enough to hold them with about 3 inches of room above (an 8-quart pot should do) and add enough water to cover by at least 1 inch (about 3 quarts).
  2. Heat until bubbling, then reduce heat to a bare simmer (bubbles should just gently break the surface). A slow cooker works well for this if you have one. Simmer for 8-48 hours.  I think the longer the better.
  3. Pass stock through a sieve into another bowl or pot, line the sieve with cheesecloth if you want clearer stock.  I never bother.  Discard the solids, I recommend composting them, or feed to your chickens.
  4. You can use the stock for soup right now, yummmm!
  5. If you are planning to store it without reducing it, stick it in the fridge or freezer.  The fat will rise to the top as it cools, and you can remove it, or leave it in. You can also boil the stock uncovered and reduce it by as much as 90%.  This makes for easier storage of large amounts of stock concentrate.
  6. Note: I use ice cube trays to freeze cooled stock.  Then I keep the cubes in a container in the freezer for use whenever I need.  It’s easy to make a cup of hot broth by adding cubes to a mug with boiling water or throw a bunch into soups.  Sometimes I sauté greens until almost done, then add a cube of stock to finish for extra flavor and health benefits.

Grilled Chili Shrimp

Here’s the next spicy, healthy recipe from Chef Joe Dewey.  It is pretty similar to Nina’s recipe, which she sent us after meeting team Fire Cider at the Big E this year.   Nina marinated and grilled the shrimp and then made fire cider shrimp tacos! According to Nina “they were SO good!” Here is the Chef Dewey’s version of a chili shrimp marinade plus Nina’s taco serving suggestion:

 Organic Ingredients:
  • 2 red chili peppers chopped
  • 3 tablespoons Fire Cider
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • 2 lbs raw shrimp, peeled
  • 2 limes squeezed
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • salt and pepper to taste
Looks like dinner to me!

Looks like dinner to me!

Method:
Combine all ingredients as a marinade, add peeled shrimp and let marinate for 2 hours.  Grill 3 minutes per side.  Or saute til cooked through.
Serve cooked shrimp in corn tortillas with a coleslaw made of shredded cabbage, shredded carrot, a little mayo, a squeeze of lime juice, salt, and pepper.
Top with sliced avocado for a healthy delicious meal.

Instant Green Bean Salad…

Just add green beans!

Pretty beans in the garden.

Pretty beans in the garden.

This is Brian’s raw salad recipe and it’s ready to eat in just a few minutes.  If you have a garden or know someone who does, chances you’ve got fresh, crispy green beans in your fridge or backyard right now.  I love to eat them raw, straight off the plant, something I started doing as a kid, grazing in my dad’s garden.  If you want to fancy up your beans a bit, try this:

Grab a couple of fistfuls of fresh raw green beans and cut each one into bit sized pieces.

Chop up some red onion and colorful bell pepper.

Combine all the veggies in a container with a fitted lid, like a wide mouth mason jar.

Dress with a drizzle of olive oil to coat plus course ground salt and a healthy splash of Fire Cider.

Put the lid on and shake well to combine all the ingredients.

Eat now or pack it for lunch or a picnic!

Chef Joe Dewey’s Avocado and Black Bean Salad

I love Joe’s new recipe, it’s made using many of my favorite foods and flavors.  Avocados are full of vitamins, fiber and healthy fats, the kind that protect your heart, have anti-inflammatory properties and also taste really, really good.  Black beans, and beans in general, have a bit of a bad reputation for being difficult to digest.  Don’t avoid this super food because of improper cooking!  It’s easy to cook delicious, digestible beans, using a crock pot and adding kombu seaweed during the cooking process.  You can find easy to follow instructions on the website Nourishing Days.com under the post titled, ‘Why Beans Are Hard to Digest & 8 Tips For Making The easier on the Belly’

Alternatively, canned beans are super convenient and when combined with plenty of good for you fats, like the olive oil and avocado in this recipe, they are an easy to digest source of vegan protein and fiber.  This quick and easy salad is full of flavor that gets better with time. Take this to your next picnic or pack it for lunch!

The following recipe was created by local Berkshire County Chef Joe Dewey.  Joe has been helping us in the Fire Cider kitchen and he’s come up with a whole bunch of exciting new recipes for us.  So if you love this, stay tuned for next week’s Fire Cider blog post by our new guest chef!

avocado black bean salsa

 Ingredients:
  • 2 firm avocados
  • 4 large garden fresh tomatoes
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1 and 1/2 cup black beans or one 15 ounce can
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro (or, if you dislike cilantro, substitute with parsley)
  • 2 jalapenos (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons Fire Cider
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 2 or 3 cloves garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
Method: 
Chop the avocado, tomatoes and onion into bite sized pieces.  Roughly chop the herbs,  mince the hot pepper and garlic.
Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and marinate together for 1 hour on your counter or in the fridge, well covered.
Aside from eating this salad with a spoon, it’s a great take along meal for school or work and is delicious with corn tortilla chips.  Or eat it over salad greens that have been lightly salted, tossed, lightly oiled, olive is fine, tossed again and then squeeze fresh lime juice on top, add Avocado and Black Bean Salsa and perhaps some grated cheddar cheese?  Or roll this salsa up in a large corn tortilla with some baby spinach, queso fresco and top with hot sauce.  Basically, any way you eat this, it’s good and good for you!

Sweet and Spicy Cajun Corn Salsa

Elise came up with this new marinated salad using Fire Cider and Cajun seasonings to bring some sweet heat to the seasons freshest veggies: corn and tomatoes!  Pick some up on your next trip to the farmer’s market and then give this recipe a try.  And remember, you can stop by and see Elise at the Fire Cider booth at select Sowa Farmer’s Markets til the end of October.
roasted Cajun corn salad
 Ingredients:
  • Garlic 1-3 cloves
  • 1/2 medium white onion
  • 4 ears corn cut off the cob
  • 2 ripe tomatoes
  • 1-2 cups Black, kidney or other beans
  • Fire cider
  • Lemon juice
  • Cajun spices, for example: one teaspoon each paprika, coriander, cumin and dried oregano; one-quarter teaspoon each cayenne pepper and cinnamon.
  • Cumin
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Honey
 Method:
Finely dice the onions and garlic, and marinate in fire cider with lemon juice, salt, pepper, cumin, honey, and Cajun spices, all to taste, in a large bowl.  Add diced tomatoes and beans and stir to combine.  Set aside.
Heat a cast iron skillet on high.
Toss corn and your favorite Cajun spice mix with a small amount of olive oil in a bowl and then add to the hot skillet.
Cook until corn begins to brown/crisp, stirring often.  Taste and add more spice of you’d like!
Add the hot cooked corn to the onion tomato and bean mixture and let it marinate for at least an hour at room temperature.
Enjoy, preferably outdoors, with a Fire Cider Gimlet or some Extra Tangy Lemonade!

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