Easter is fast approaching. Come see us at the Wytheville Farmer’s Market and pick up some Easter lamb. We have bone-in legs, boneless shoulder roasts, and ground lamb. Choose a free recipe card with your purchase. I have Greek Meatballs for Easter, Easter Leg of Lamb and Southwestern Shoulder Roast.
Easter Leg of Lamb
On Easter, lamb may be what's on the menu for your big family dinner. It's a tradition that goes back to ancient times.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time1 hr 50 mins
- 1 leg of lamb bone-in (6-7 lbs)
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 8 cloves garlic minced
- 3 Tbl fresh rosemary leaves chopped (or 3 tsp dried)
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 cup chopped fresh herbs combination of rosemary, chives, and parsley
- 2 cups onions diced
- 2 cups lamb stock or chicken stock
- 1 cup red wine
Preheat oven to 400 F. Rub lamb all over with lemon juice. Pat garlic and rosemary evenly over the surface of the lamb. Season with salt and pepper. Place in a roasting pan in oven. Roast for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temp to 350 F and continue cooking for approximately 1 hour for medium-rare, or until thermometer registers 145-150 F (don't touch the bone with thermometer.)
Remove roast from pan and allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before carving.
Position roasting pan over stove burners. Add mixed herbs and onions to pan. Stir to combine with pan drippings. Add stock and wine to deglaze the pan. Reduce over high heat until it becomes a sauce consistency (approximately 20 min).
Slice lamb and serve with sauce drizzled over the top. Reduction sauce may sound complicated, but I guarantee you that if you give it a try, you will see just how easy it is to make. You’ll be off and running in a lot of other areas with that new skill.
Reduction sauce may sound complicated, but I guarantee you that if you give it a try, you will see just how easy it is to make. You’ll be off and running in a lot of other areas with that new skill.
Around here we are just waiting for the asparagus to peak its head up from the ground. Yes, it’s that time of year. From about April through June an abundance of fresh asparagus is available. Check out your local farmer’s market.
Cheesy Garlic Roasted Asparagus
Take advantage of your seasonal asparagus. This dish is easy to make and low carb and keto-friendly. Use a cast iron skillet or perhaps a baking dish handed down from your grandmother. It should be large enough for the asparagus trimmed of the woody stem to lay flat.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time20 mins
Servings: 4 people
- 1 pound asparagus spears woody ends removed
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon garlic minced
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). Lightly grease your baking dish.
Arrange asparagus on baking sheet. Set aside.
In a small bowl mix together the olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Drizzle the oil mixture over the asparagus and toss to evenly coat.
Bake for 10-15 minutes until vibrant and just beginning to get tender.
Remove from oven and top with the mozzarella cheese. Return to oven and broil until the cheese melts and becomes golden (about 4-5 minutes).
If you’re going to enjoy cheese, I can think of no better way than melted on some toasted bread slathered with butter. A grilled cheese sandwich is simple to make but improvements can always be made. This recipe will give you the confidence to make your grilled cheese sandwich spectacular. Here are some tips for making that perfect grilled cheese sandwich.
4 Tips for the Perfect Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Tip #1: Use a really great bread. I have some great bread recipes that will be coming along shortly. For now, you might want to visit your local farmer’s market. I don’t think I’ve seen one in a long time that didn’t have some local lady making some awesome bread. You can experiment with whole grain varieties, sourdough, or pumpernickel. Experiment to your hearts content. Just make sure its not sliced too thick and doesn’t have a lot of holes. Other wise you either don’t have enough cheese to bread ratio or the cheese leaks out. Yikes.
Tip #2: Using butter is great but have you tried mayo? Usually we use butter on the outsides for sure. Sometimes we butter the insides as well. But what if we used mayo on the outside and butter on the inside – or vise versa? Mayo is basically oil, eggs, and a splash of vinegar. The oil browns the bread really nicely when used on the outside and the vinegar adds a bit of tang.
Tip #3: Use the right cheese. American cheese melts really well, but man o man is it boring compared to other choices. You definitely want a cheese that melts well. Just about any aged cheese will work well, with the exception of really hard cheeses like parmesan. So, gouda, cheddar, gruyere, fontina, and so on. Look for availability of our Clau d’ ville Aged Cheddar, Ararat Legend washed-curd cheese and Pinnacle alpine-style cheeses this summer at the Farmer’s market in Wytheville.
Tip #4: Cook it slow. Keep the heat in the medium to medium-low range. You want the bread to toast at the same rate the cheese melts. You definitely don’t want to burn the bread before the cheese is fully melted. Press is firmly with a spatula. You can even put a heavy pan on top of it while it cooks. That pressure is going to give you that super crispy crust.
Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- 1/3 cup (3 oz) cheese per sandwich sliced or grated
- 2 slices bread of your choice per sandwich
- 1 tablespoon butter per sandwich
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise per sandwich
Apply butter or mayo to one side of the bread. Flip it over and apply butter or mayo to the other side. Lay it on a plate. Lay the cheese on top of the bread. Apply butter and mayo in the same way on the second slice of bread. Lay it on top to complete the sandwich. Repeat to assemble all sandwiches.
Heat your grill or frying pan to medium-low. You can raise the temperature to medium if your cheese is melting rapidly enough.
Place the sandwiches in the pan. Grill until lightly browned and flip over. Continue grilling until cheese is melted and bread is browned on the second side. Press down with a spatula to get a crispy panini bread crust.
In the early days, it took a little while to get enough cream to churn, and so it was collected over various days. Because the milk in these small old-timey dairies was not refrigerated, the lactic acid bacteria inherent in dairy would ferment slightly. This cultured butter has a very tangy and rich flavor. Most butters made in Europe still taste this way, although they are made from pasteurized cream inoculated with lactic acid. Uncultured butter made from straight-up pasteurized cream is called sweet cream butter, and is what we’re used to in the United States.
At its very essence, making butter requires nothing more than agitation. What you’re doing is separating the fat from the milk. You can use a blender, a stand mixer with the whip attachment, or just shake by hand in a mason jar. For those who desire to dedicate themselves to making it regularly, you might invest in a butter churn. If you use a stand mixer, be sure to place a kitchen towel over the mixer and the bowl to stop the buttermilk from flinging all over your kitchen, which will happen when the butter globules form. The buttermilk becomes thin like water at that point.
- 1 pint heavy whipping cream
- ice water
- salt to taste
Set a pint of heavy cream out to warm to room temperature, about an hour.
Pour cream into your device or into a jar with a tight-fitting lid. If using a machine, turn on low speed, then raise to medium speed. If you're using a jar, start shaking (you'll need some serious elbow grease if doing it by hand).
First, the cream will turn into whipped cream with soft, then stiff peaks. Keep going until the cream breaks. If you’re shaking the cream by hand, you’ll hear a sloshing, then you’ll begin to feel something more solid hit the sides of the jar. If you’re using a stand mixer, you’ll see the butter clinging to the beater. This usually takes anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes or even 20 with an electric butter churn. It’s gentler. Churning by hand will take longer. In this process, you are separating the butterfat from the liquid.
Once the butter has solidified, pour off the buttermilk and save it for baking (or drink it!). Scoop the butter into a bowl. Rinse the butter by pouring ice water over it and pressing the remaining buttermilk out with a small spatula or a spoon. Pour off the water and repeat the process. Keep rinsing and squishing the butter with the ice water until the water runs clear.
Add some salt if you like and work that through the butter.
Butter freezes really well.
What makes butter yellow? It is the beta carotene that creates the yellow in cow milk. Butter made from our Normande cows’ milk is an even deeper yellow than butter from the grocery store. The reason is a combination of the richness of our Normande cow’s cream and their 100% pasture-based diet.
An old fashioned cornbread recipe.
“Rub a piece of butter the size of an egg into a pint of cornmeal, make a batter with two eggs and some new milk, add a spoonful of yeast, set it by the fire an hour to rise, butter little pans and bake it.” Mary Randolph.
- 2 tablespoons butter melted
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups white corn meal
- 2 teaspoons dried yeast
- 2 eggs
On the Hearth
1. Heat butter and milk until milk is warm and butter begins to melt. Set aside to cool to lukewarm.
2. Combine cornmeal, yeast, and salt in bowl. Stir in cooled milk and butter.
3. Beat eggs lightly and stir into rest of ingredients. Blend well but do not overmix.
4. Pour into well-greased baking pan and set aside to rise one hour.
5. Carefully place filled pan in preheated Dutch oven on trivet or rocks. Bake, following general instructions for Dutch oven baking, for about 25 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean and bread is a rich golden brown.
1. Follow hearth directions one through four, using 8” x 8” square pan.
2. Preheat oven to 450°F. Bake cornbread 20 to 30 minutes or until done.
Crème fraîche is similar to sour cream. While sour cream and crème fraîche are both used to add richness and tangy flavor, they are not the same thing. And is it worth taking the extra time to make your own crème fraîche? I’m going to say absolutely, yes, depending on the use.
Use it anywhere you would use sour cream. Because sour cream has less fat but more protein, simmering or boiling it will result in curdling. Crème fraîche is a better choice for sauces or soups.
In France, crème fraîche was traditionally made from unpasteurized cream that naturally contained the right bacteria to thicken it. Since our cream is pasteurized here in the US, this crème fraîche is made by adding a fermenting agent with bacteria to heavy cream.
Prep Time5 mins
Total Time2 d 5 mins
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons cultured buttermilk
In a glass jar, combine the buttermilk with the heavy cream.
Cover the jar tightly with cheesecloth or other breathable material. Let sit at room temperature (70 to 75 degrees) for 24 hours.
Remove cloth, stir. It will be thick but will get thicker. Screw on a lid, and refrigerate for another 24 hours before using.