Great news from the backyard chicken front

It seems that there is growing support for backyard chickens in the Town of Huntington.  Follow up on the progress that Tim Jurik and his family are making:

North Shore of Long Island Article

Newsday Article

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Happy Holidays from the Long Island Foodies

Happy Holidays all!  The Foodie kitchen has been extremely busy these past few weeks.  Delicious latkes, chicken noodle soup as well as gourmet mac and cheese.

But the thing we are most excited for is a dinner with one of our readers.  Macho Brendacho and K Scan invited the Long Island Foodies over to their place for the traditional family Christmas dinner and we got to provide Bren with the recipe for the main course.  After a crazy food shopping experience at Fairway on Tuesday, the day before Christmas Eve at like 3:00pm, we picked up all the supplies that we all needed for Thursday night’s meal.  So, good luck with the crown roast Bren. I will be bringing my appetite.

Macho Brendacho’s Traditional Christmas Crown Roast with SAC Stuffing

11 lb Roasted lean pork roast, center rib loin with bone
1 cup Fresh parsley, chopped
3/4 tsp Salt
3/4 tsp Black pepper
3 3/4 tsp Thyme, ground
3 3/4 tsp Sage leaves, ground
5-6 Granny smith apples, peeled and chopped into chunks
1 1/2 cup Canned chicken broth, low sodium
1 1/2 lb Precooked pork sausage
8 cup couscous
1/4 cup Salted light butter
2 Large Spanish Onions, chopped into a small dice, slightly smaller
than dice on apples

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Place foil covered rack in roasting pan with pork roast on top;
cook uncovered 1 hour.
3. Butter a square 8 x 8 x 2-inch deep baking dish; set aside.
4. In a large skillet over medium-high heat melt butter; add sausage and onion.
5. Cook until sausage is cooked through, about 10 minutes.  Add
apples, cook additional 2 minutes.
6. Remove from heat; mix in couscous, three-fourths of the broth,
parsley, sage and thyme.
7. Season stuffing with salt and pepper.
8. Remove pork from oven; loosely fill cavity with stuffing, mounding in center.
9. Place remaining stuffing in the baking dish and cover, after
moistening, with aluminum foil.
10. Moisten pork roast and stuffing in dish with remaining chicken
broth; cover rib ends and the stuffing in pork cavity with foil.
11. Return pork to oven and place stuffing in dish in oven.
12. Roast pork and stuffing in dish until thermometer inserted into
center of pork registers 155 degrees F., about 45 minutes for stuffing
in dish and 55 minutes for the roast.
13. Place pork on a platter and cover until ready to serve; carve pork
between bones into chops.

Update: I think it is important that I state that this year’s latke making experience has probably been the best in my life ever.  Now, obviously it couldn’t replace the years of cooking them next to my grandmother, being responsible for grating the potatoes on the small box grater that my mom had (always remember grating my knuckles whenever they were made).  This year, using the 14 cup Cuisinart Food Processor and Arthur Schwartz’s recipe, the latkes were made with such little fuss and mess that I think I might just make them all the time.  They were delicious and convenient.  All I did was peel the onion and peel the potatoes; the food processor did the rest of the work.  Plus, they came out great.  Here is a photo of some of them cooling on the rack before being eaten up with applesauce and sour cream.

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Chickens in Huntington Station

One of our local readers (yes, do actually have “readers” of this blog and not just our friends throwing a little support our way) is involved in what could be the greatest psuedo-political/policy issue of our time.  Now, I realize that this is a bold statement, and you may disagree with us when we say this, but here at the Foodie we feel that this issue’s time has come and we need to lend some support.

I’m talking about backyard chickens.

Now, you’ll notice that I said nothing about roosters.  And for those of you who have forgotten what was learned in High School Sex Ed, female chickens can lay all the eggs they like without the need for them to be “fertilized.”  So sorry Mr. Rooster, you’ll get no attention here on this page unless you can find a way of laying eggs without waking up the neighbors.

This page, is all about the ladies.

So, the story about Tim and Jennifer Jurik can be found on Newsday’s website here. I feel like they tell the story pretty accurately from what Jennifer told me, so I’m not going to bore you with my retelling of the tale.  Instead, I’d like to address some of the comments and questions posed on Newsday’s comments page.  (Now, for those of you that don’t read Newsday online and have never before been exposed to the comments page on their articles, I warn you now; Long Islanders are some racist fucks.  Sorry to use such harsh language, but sometimes it is appropriate given the circumstances.  So I’m just saying, read the comments page and be exposed to a new view about your neighbors).

I’d like to start on a point that Tim brings up at the end of the article; that people sometimes see his chickens and wonder what they even are.  This is because so many of us have been conditioned to think that chicken comes on a styrofoam plate, covered in shrink wrap and priced per pound.  And this just furthers our cause here at the Foodie which is to expose people to where their food comes from.  Maybe if people realized that a living, breathing animal has given its life so that you can enjoy that McDonald’s Southern Style Chicken Biscuit sandwich then maybe, just maybe we’d either have a few more vegetarians out there or we could at least prevent some of the sub-human actions that some of our fellow Earth dwellers have done in order to pass the time. Enjoy that hamburger, enjoy that chicken salad, but just pay attention and realize that no, it did not come from the guy at the deli but came from a living animal.  Tasty.

The next point I want to bring up is that it’s extremely economical to raise backyard chickens.  The chickens themselves are not expensive, especially if you get them as chicks.  The Jurik’s 5 birds provide them with about a dozen fresh, organic eggs a week.  That is almost a $200/year savings.  Plus, after you’ve provided this living creature with a long, happy and healthy life (in which in return is it has provided food to sustain your family), should that animal pass on and leave this earthly domain, the stewed chicken made from this bird would be tremendous.  In return for a happy and healthy life, this bird is happy to give it’s all to you as long as you treat it with respect.  (Here’s a great article on a new movement involved with giving respect to the animals that we consume)

So we’ve addressed the fact that the chickens don’t make noise (the roosters do) and that in return for a happy life these birds are more than happy to provide you with sustenance to feed your family.  Also, their “droppings” are great fertilizer for your garden and they just love to eat all the little bugs and insects that ruin your harvest.

So, to wrap it all up in that fast, curt Foodie style you’ve come to know and love, I will say that Huntington should amend it’s Town Code to allow a small number (less than 10) of backyard chickens to be kept on residential property as long as the chickens are provided with the necessary living arrangements (a coop, water, etc.)

Remember, no roosters.

For those of you interested in backyard chickens and are looking for more information, take a look at these links for more information:

Backyard Chickens

A Flock of Your Own

HenSpa

My Pet Chicken

Backyard Poultry Magazine

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Clean out yer pantry Soup

Along the lines of our last recipe, this is a hearty, warm soup that is easy to pull together and doesn’t require measurements or any special instructions. Plus, it uses up stuff that you’ve got lying around in your pantry which is always a good thing as we don’t believe in waste around here (renew, reuse, recycle).

The inspiration for this post comes from our friend Deb at Smitten Kitchen who posted her Beef, Leek and Barley soup back in the beginning of October. Since that post, we’ve made this soup two or three times, so we’re pretty sure we can vouch for its awesomeness. You’ll need a package of short ribs (you know how much we love them, so don’t be shocked that we’ve got a package of them lying around), a couple of leeks, some onions, garlic, barley, mushrooms (we’ve used dried, fresh and a combination of the two).

Beef, Leek and Barley Soup
Adapted from Deb Perelman’s Beef, Leek and Barley Soup

1. Trim the fat off of a couple of meaty short ribs and put them on the bottom of your soup pot.

2. Sear the short ribs so that they have some nice color on both sides.

2. Add 1/2 cup of barley, four cloves of garlic chopped up, two chopped onions, and three leeks cut lengthwise and then into segments–use both the white and the green parts. Add some fresh mushrooms now, or if you have any other vegetables that you’d like in this soup, add them as well. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Cover the ingredients with beef stock and let it simmer on the back burner for at least three hours. Now is when we like to add dried porcini mushrooms (because we usually have them in the pantry at all times). Deb says that we can also add lima beans, cube potatoes, peas, corn, string beans and chopped tomatoes now or even on the second day, should you have any leftover.

4. Before serving, skim off the fat–there will be a bit, as short ribs are quite fatty–take the meat off the bones, chop it and put it back in the soup.

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Gotta love soup

For today’s lesson, boys and girls, we’re going to be making soup. The perfect, home cooked dish that will keep you warm all winter long. A great thing about soup is that they usually freeze well, which means you can break it out later on and serve it up when you’re not looking to do too much cooking.

On an aside, you’ll notice less and less photos on this website, especially of food. This is because we have finally learned our lesson in that in order to take great food shots, one needs a real camera, not one of these point and click doo-hickies. So, until Hannuakah Harry brings me a new digital SLR, don’t be upset if I can’t show you photos of the fabulous stuff we’re making in the Foodie kitchen these days.

Ok, on to soup. The first recipe we’re making comes from the City Mama blog which we came across when searching for a split pea soup recipe. The fact that this recipe calls for smoked ham hocks (readily available at Forest Pork Store) didn’t hurt in making it to the top of the pile.

SPLIT PEA SOUP

The most flavorful split pea soup you will ever eat. Start it well ahead of dinner time. I didn’t add any salt to this soup. I found the hocks and sausage made it plenty salty enough.

  • olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 whole onion, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 3 carrots cut into 1/2 in thick coins or large chunks (I like lots of carrots)
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 3 (yes 3!) smoked ham hocks
  • 2 quarts of water
  • 1 quart of low sodium chicken broth (or just 3 quarts of water)
  • 1 bag of green split peas, rinsed
  • 2 sausages such as Aidell’s chicken or even a polska kielbasa will do (or you can omit entirely)
  • pepper to taste
  • plain yogurt, creme fraiche, or sour cream to garnish (optional)

In a large soup pot over medium heat, cook the garlic, onion, celery, carrot and bay leaves in about 3 glugs (tbsps) of olive oil until onions start to turn golden brown (about 7-10 minutes). Add hocks, water and broth. Bring to a boil, skim any foam, then reduce heat to low and simmer partially covered for no less than 2.5 hours. At this point the ham hocks should be falling-apart tender so remove them and set them aside to cool, then shred the meat. Add peas, bring to a boil then reduce heat to low, cooking uncovered for about 45 minutes to an hour or until peas are melty and soup is thickened. During last 15 minutes of cooking time, add sliced sausages and the shredded ham meat (not the skin, cartillage etc.) from the ham hocks. Remove bay leaves before serving and pass the pepper. Makes 8 servings. (And is even more delicious for breakfast!)

Couple of points -

1. This is a stand-your-spoon-in-the-soup kind of recipe. Think spackle or mortar and not consumme.

2. We added the kielbasa to the soup, but it got a little bit “meaty” when we added the ham. I would forgoe the kielbasa and stick with the ham only, as it was delicious.

3. If for some reason you have extra ham left over, it is delicious on a salad with ranch dressing. I’m just saying.

We have a large container of this in the freezer, perfect for that night when we don’t feel like cooking. Next up will be a beef, leek, mushroom and barley soup that is to die for.

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Fall/Winter

The season has definitely changed and those of you not wearing a jacket when you go outside are just plain crazy!

Now I know it has been a while since our last post, but things have been busy around the Kavner household, and besides, our cheapo digital cameras don’t visually represent what we’re cooking, so we may have developed a little bit of a complex about it. But excuses aside, I am promising to post two new recipes within the next week or so. One will be for split pea soup and the other for leek, mushroom and barley soup.

There’s something about homemade soup that really satisfies when the weather outside is nasty. Both of these recipes take a hella long time to cook, but the results are well worth the wait.

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Breeze off the Peconic

A story is a beautiful thing.  It could be a gentle breeze off the Peconic when in reality it’s the air conditioning while on the couch in Huntington.  Luckily this weekend, it is a gentle breeze off the Peconic.  And while the gang of approximately 10-12 (it would change up on a daily basis) would provide an entertaining landscape for the weekend, the setting is the real leading role in this fairytale.

We descended onto Cutchogue on Friday afternoon; Stefani was already there with Julie, Bonnie and Fran while I had Gil in tow a few hours later.  K Scan and Brendacho were only a few minutes ahead of me and we were going to be met over the next few days by Brian, Mary, Dan, Marcus and Nikki.  A full schedule was on deck even though Tropical Storm Hanna had other plans. Farm fresh eggs, Long Island heirloom tomatoes and fresh seafood would fill our bellies till they bust.  Topping all of that off would be bottle after bottle of North Fork wine.

There’s not much in the terms of recipes that I can share, although I will provide a few tips on how to serve food for 10-12 semi-intoxicated 30 year olds.

Frittatas are an easy way to serve a healthy dose of protein while cleaning out the fridge of leftovers, all at the same time, in one pan.
Start by chopping up some onions, garlic and peppers and saute them in a cast iron pan with some unsalted butter.  (I don’t have to tell you to put the onions in first before the garlic or it’ll burn, and I probably don’t have to tell you to salt and pepper with each addition to the pan, hence the unsalted butter)

Then, add to the pan whatever is leftover in the house.  Julie’s mom knows how to stock a kitchen, so there was plenty of ends of cheese, breakfast sausage, broccoli rabe, spinach and tater tots; all frittata magic.

Once all of these ingredients are cooked in the pan, it’s time for the eggs and herein lies on of the true secrets to this fabulous dish.  Don’t whisk the eggs, just throw them in the pan whole.  When you combine the eggs with the rest of the ingredients, the yolks will break and start to mix with the whites, but not entirely like you would with an omelet.  This leaves you with bits of white scattered with bits of yolk all throughout the dish. The whole thing then goes into a preheated oven at about 350 until the eggs are cooked 3/4 way up; the top will remain a little uncooked when you switch on the broiler.

Take the pan out and top the eggs with some more shredded cheese and put it under the broiler to finish cooking the top and serve when there’s a nice brown char of cheese on top.

How I could forget the pie, I’ll never understand.  Too much wine I’m sure.

At two separate occasions over this weekend, pies were purchased from Briermere Farm.  And while all the baked goods at Briermere are excellent, there is one pie that claims top prize; the Raspberry Creme Pie.

This is better than any pie I’ve ever eaten, just thinking of it now brings a tear to my eye.  The raspberry preserves on top are seedless which is a big help plus they are super fresh, and the creme is sweet and works well with the tartness of the raspberry.

A little bit pricey (although not as much as the $26 peach creme pie) at $18.50, but well worth the drive and the expense.

Go out right now and buy one.

Not on the road yet?

What are you waiting for?  The North Fork awaits.

Briermere Farms
4414 Sound Avenue
Riverhead, NY 11901
Open daily from 9:00am – 5:00pm
(631) 722-3931

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