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Carp – It’s what’s for dinner

4 Jun
Hi there! Today our friend Mike Bartz shares his recent FarmerChef experience.  It is really a FisherChef experience.  We NEVER thought of eating carp but now with this insight it might be a possibility. However, I’d invite myself to Mike’s home before I’d actually catch a carp and gut and skin the fish. :)   Thanks Mike!

Photo of Marinated CarpCarp – It’s what’s for dinner

A few days ago my buddy Kurt called and wondered if I might enjoy a beautiful fresh caught Carp from the Cottonwood River. Now most people shun the ruff fish and most anglers heap them up on the bank hoping to rid the river of the “garbage” fish but Kurt and I know a little kept secret – Carp are quite delicious if prepared right. Here’s how I fix my carp…

Grilled Carp

First, gut and skin the fish. An ideal fish is about 3-4 pounds (just big enough to fit on a charcoal grill, about 2 inches thick across the back). To skin the fish simply slice the skin behind the head and use pliers to pull the skin and scales towards the tail.

Next, “brine” the fish, soak the fish in salt water over-night in the refrigerator – I don’t know is this does anything but the fish seems less fishy…

The next day…An hour and a half before dinner, prepare the marinade. Remove the fish from the brine and let it dry slightly, next “score” the sides of the fish, (slice the side of the fish every half inch or so, along the side. This allows the marinade to penetrate the meat and for ease of grilling. Marinade the fish for 1 hour in a baking pan in the refrigerator…

Start the grill…enjoy a cool beverage…say hello to the neighbors and when they ask you what you are grilling tell them carp and enjoy the funny looks you’ll get…

The grill must be HOT. Don’t skimp on the coals…this is carp not Ahi Tuna…

Grill each side 6-9 minutes, depending in thickness. Turn the fish 1 time. The fish is done when the meat begins to flake. I like to pour the left over marinade over the fish while grilling…

The carp is sure to be tasty and a big surprise for those dining…Most people know carp are a very boney fish however the majority of the bones are in the top half. We eat from the middle to the bottom of the fish and avoid most bones…

Photo of scored carp

I served mine with a fresh cabbage salad and Garden Asparagus gifted from the neighbors, very delicious! Happy eating!!!

Marinade

2 Limes – squeezed

Small bunch of chives – finely chopped

5-7 Cloves of garlic – minced

Teaspoon Cumin

Cup of Cilantro – chopped

¼ cup olive oil

Sea Salt to taste

Dash of heat (cayenne or other pepper) – if desired

Photo of Plated Carp

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Adventures in Raspberry Jamming

17 Jul
Hi there! Today our friend D’Lisha is sharing her recent FarmerChef experience.  D’Lisha works with us at our restaurant; and her family is definitely into growing and eating real food…last fall she brought us some beautiful red tomatoes. We’ve never made jam (or canned anything for that matter!) so it was interesting and helpful to hear about her experience.

Adventures in Raspberry Jamming

Hello Real Local Cookers!  Thank you to Deanne and Francine for inviting me to share my experience of making raspberry jam for the first time.

Last week was hot and muggy, but I had the opportunity to gather raspberries from the family farm.  There’s a large patch that grows wild; my father-in-law found it in the grove this year.   (For those of you that don’t live in on the prairie, a grove is a bunch of trees strategically planted as a  windbreak.)   In addition to the wild bushes hidden among the trees, my husband, Brian, also has an established patch in one of our many garden spaces.  As our buckets grew full and I chased my energetic 3 year old, Tyler, in and out of the grove, I knew that whatever I made with these berries, it would need to be straightforward and somewhat quick since most of my is spent running after my little man.

A photo of raspberry jamI found this quick and easy recipe on the Seattle Examiner’s Farmers’ Market recipes.  The recipe only called for berries and sugar and promised to take less than an hour to make a few jars. Hooray! Just the ticket, I thought as Tyler climbed to the highest point of our couch, ready to jump from his imaginary mountain.

I’m new to jams so I was unsure how to seal the jars after I got the jam ready. Thank goodness for all the information on the internet! There are many ways to seal jam jars. I discovered that most people use the hot water bath method.

Meanwhile I had purchased Gulf Wax (household paraffin wax) at our local grocery store. I saw that it was for canning and many other uses…who would have thought that you could seal jars and wax a surf board with the same product!!  I was a little put off by its many waxy uses, but I was still willing to find out more about using wax for canning. The more I researched, I found it was not the safest product to use. If you don’t get a good seal you could encounter mold problems in your jams and jellies…and no one wants moldy jam!!

I decided that the best jam jar-sealing method for my family would be to get the jam ready while boiling the lids and jars and preparing the sugar+berry jam mixture.  The recipe I found was very easy to follow.  But next time I would use a different pot and a big whisk, if you use a spoon to stir the boiling jam mixture for 15 minutes you’re bound to get a few burns, like I did…oops!A photo of raspberry jam

After the jam reached my desired consistency, I carefully poured it into the already hot jars (which I’d boiled when making the jam).  Then I put the lids on and flipped them upside down and left them until they were cool to touch which was about an hour. By the time I flipped the jars back over, they were cooled and a nice seal had formed.

I’m so glad that I figured out how to make raspberry jam! My family has been enjoying our raspberry jam with bread I made.  That is a first too!  Tyler really likes to eat the jam on vanilla ice cream.

Have you ever made raspberry jam?  Which method for sealing the jars do you use?

Thanks again for letting me share my FarmerChef experience.  Happy jamming everyone!

Aren’t these hedgehogs by Anne Solfud cute!?  Francine loves hedgehogs and Deanne went strawberry picking a few weeks ago…perfect!