Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash
I personally LOVE squashes, but my family, not so much. However, with this savory Italian sausage stuffing, they are in for the squash! Perfect for Fall, this recipe is easy, delicious, and like our daughter says, "tastes like Fall in a bowl". Enjoy with your Starry Nights Farm pork Italian sausages!
For The Squash:
Cozy Chicken Dumpling Soup
This recipe is a favorite at our home for that leftover chicken after having our weekly Roasted Chicken (or "Chicken with Skin", as our girls like to call it!). I make broth in advanced about once a month and freeze it in bags for soups and other meals, so it is easy and fresh (and homemade is always best!)
The recipe is SUPER simple, inspired by Raddish Kids and it has become a family staple the girls can even help make. The dumplings make it extra special and are SOOO easy to make! Feel free to add whatever other veggies you have on hand- I like to add mushrooms and sometimes shredded cabbage and/or kale.
Hope you enjoy as much as our family does!
Peel onion, cut and dice. Cut carrots into rounds, then quarters. Cut celery into small pieces, add to onions and carrots.
Cut chicken into small 1/2 inch pieces and set aside.
Melt 4 Tbsp butter over medium heat. Add vegetables and 1/2 tsp salt. Cook until very soft, about 8-10 min.
Add chicken, garlic powder, thyme, pepper, and 1/2 tsp salt. Cook 1 minute.
Add 1/4 cup flour. Cook 1 minute stirring to coat chicken.
Add water and broth. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare dumplings. Heat 2 Tbsp butter in microwave-safe bowl until melted, 30-50 seconds. Add milk, baking powder, 3/4 tsp salt, and 1 1/3 cups flour to butter. Mix until just combined.
Scoop a tablespoon-sized portion of dough (although I prefer them smaller!). Use another spoon to scrape out dough and drop into pot. Cover and cook 8-10 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in a dumpling comes out clean.
Taste and enjoy!
Marisa's Easy Roasted Chicken
I don't even know how I learned to make roasted chicken or if this was even a recipe, but this happened YEARS ago and since then I've been making a roasted chicken for our family once a week. Unbelievable flavors, crispy skin, and so juicy! Nothing beats an easy to make and even easier to prepare roast!
"Chicken with skin" as our girls call it, is a family favorite and one that usually provides two meals for the week. Usually I make this roast with potatoes and carrots on the side (or I steam some vegetables), and the leftover chicken I use for pasta pesto with chicken, chicken tacos, or chicken salad.
And don't forget to save the carcass for bone broth!
Hope you enjoy as much as we do!
For a larger chicken, roast at 425°F for one hour. Then, reduce oven temperature down to 325F. Baste and cover chicken. Roast, basting 2 more times while cooking, until chicken is cooked through, about 45 mins to an hour. Internal temperature should read 165°F and juices run clear when chicken thigh is pierced.
A great customer and friend sent us this recipe she made with our chicken and it sounds DELICIOUS! also seems very easy and different with the combination of sweet dates, tangy lemon and slightly spicy crushed red pepper, I can't wait to try it myself!
DO AHEAD: This chicken can be made a few hours ahead, kept in the dutch oven. If you wish to reheat it before serving, pop it back into the oven without a lid for 10–15 minutes or so.
Original recipe credit to: "Nothing Fancy" by Alison Roman
Starry Nights Bone Broth
We make a whole chicken about once a week and save the carcass in a ziploc bag in the freezer. Once I have 2-3 carcass, I'm ready to make broth! This is SO easy to make, and please know you don't have to have exactly these ingredients at all (in fact, I usually don't!). I use whatever leftover vegetables I have on hand or frozen tips, ends, and stems I collect during the week and keep frozen in a ziploc.
This recipe is incredibly versatile. You can use beef bones, chicken bones, or even a combination, just go for it! Bone broth is SO good for you, your body will be thanking you!
You'll also need a large stock pot to cook the broth in and a strainer to remove the pieces when it is done.
* Collect ends of onions, celery, carrots, leeks, even broccoli stems when cooking your other meals. Freeze these in a ziploc bag and keep adding these veggie spares. In a couple of weeks you may have enough vegetables for your next bone broth recipe!
** Also keep the carcass from a roasted chicken and freeze it in a large ziploc for when you are ready to make broth. I usually use about 2 pounds of bones per gallon of water I’m using to make broth. This usually works out to 2-3 full chicken carcasses.
*** You don't have to have exactly these ingredients or herbs. Get creative and add what you like in flavor. ANY spices or herbs are acceptable, as well as any vegetables.
This dish brings back memories of childhood in Puerto Rico and eating at MANY Cuban friends' households!
A different and SUPER flavorful roast, inspired by Cuban Mojo, which is a sauce made of garlic and bitter orange. Marinating this roast for hours in the fridge and slow cooking it will create a fall apart tender and deliciously flavorful dish! Enjoy!
To make the rub, combine the garlic, jalapeños, brown sugar, cumin, and kosher salt in a small bowl and mix well. Add the orange juice, lime juice, and olive oil and stir until blended. Put the beef on a glass or ceramic baking dish that holds it snugly and pour the wet rub over it. Turn the roast to coat completely. Cover the baking dish and marinade for 6 to 12 hours in the refrigerator, turning it once.
Preheat the oven to 250 F. Roast uncovered until the meat shreds readily with a fork and an internal read thermometer registers 180F, 3 to 3 1/2 hours. Separate the meat along the natural seams, trimming the fat, and slice it thinly or shred. Stir the cilantro into the pan juices and pour them over the meat to keep it moist.
Alternatively, you can use a smoker to hot smoke this roast at 225F to 250F with a drip pan underneath to capture all the juices and recombine them with the sliced or shredded meat for serving.
Enjoy with some rice and black beans or fried plantains for a typical Cuban feast!
* Makes 6 servings with leftovers.
Ok, so that's a mouthful of a title, but it basically means... breaded, fried beef steak.
Milanesa is very popular in Latin American countries, especially in Argentina. Growing up in Puerto Rico my mom used to make Milanesa, and we kids LOVED it! Chicken fried steak, contrary to its ame is made with beef but is similar, eaten in southern US and usually topped with gravy. And schnitzel is the German version of fried steak, although the traditional form is with veal.
These all slightly vary in their preparation, but I found my favorite is the simpler one, without breadcrumbs and just using flour and eggs, (mainly because I don't always have breadcrumbs in the pantry and it's just as yummy!) Enjoy!
*6 (4-ounce) cube steaks (these are mechanically tenderized round steaks)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
**Avocado or Grapeseed oil, for frying
2 lemons (optional)
Season steaks lightly with salt and place on a large rimmed baking sheet.
In a wide, shallow dish or pie pan, whisk together the flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, onion powder, paprika, garlic powder, and pepper. In a second wide shallow dish, whisk together the eggs and milk. Working with one steak at a time, dredge the steak in the flour, pressing the mixture into the steak and then shaking off the excess. Dip the steak in the egg mixture, turning to coat and then letting the excess drip back into the dish. Finally, dredge in the flour a second time, pressing it into the steak and gently shaking off the excess. Return the steak to the baking sheet and repeat to coat all steaks.
Fill a large heavy frying pan with enough oil to reach 1/4 to 1/2 inch up the side. Place the pan over medium-high heat and warm the oil until hot but not smoking. In batches, fry the steaks, turning once, until the outsides are a crisp golden brown and the meat is just cooked through, about 4 minutes total.
Optional: cut your lemons in wedges and squeeze over the steaks. You can also prepare your favorite simple gravy, or as our daughters like it, dip your steak in ketchup! :)
*Note: We discovered cube steaks late in our beef farming venture, but boy has it been a game changer! I never knew what to do or how to properly cook round steaks as they tend to be tough. Cube steaks are already mechanically tenderized so they are easy to cook quick in a frying pan or grill, they have great flavor, and are a VERY economical steak!
**Note 2: I am all about healthy eating, but I am also about moderation. Frying every once in a blue moon is OK in my book. However, I'm not a fan of canola oil (which tends to be GMO) or "vegetable" oil (which is really soy or corn oil- also most likely GMO and we get too much corn and soy in our diets already!) So I invest in slightly more expensive avocado or grapeseed oil and use it for when we do fry or for high heat oven cooking.
Savory Slow Cooked Roast
I absolutely LOVE slow cooking! It seems like a lost art, and I really don't understand why. Well maybe I do- we think pan frying, grilling, or cooking fast is easier, but slow cooking is actually SO easy, and this recipe is proof of that. Prep, let it cook, and the result is a mouth watering, delicious, and comforting full beef roast meal. Enjoy!
• 2-3 lbs grass fed beef pot roast
• 1 ½ tsp kosher salt (or more to taste), divided
• 1/4 cup olive or grapeseed oil
• 1 ½ cups beef broth
• 1 tsp turmeric
• ½ tsp cumin
• Generous pinch cayenne
• ¼ tsp black pepper (or more to taste)
• 1 tbsp potato starch
• 1 tbsp cold water
• 2 bay leaves
• 3 whole garlic cloves
• ½ onion, sliced
• 6 oz green beans, trimmed
• ½ lb baby potatoes
• 2 whole large carrots
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Salt the roast with 1 tsp kosher salt. In a dutch oven or large pot with a lid, heat the oil and brown the roast on all sides.
2. Remove meat and drain any excess fat. Add 2 cups beef broth and bring to a simmer. Deglaze and scrape up any brown bits. Whisk in the turmeric, cumin, cayenne, black pepper and remaining ½ tsp kosher salt.
3. Dissolve the potato starch in the cold water. Whisk slowly into the broth. Starch may clump a bit at first, continue whisking until the sauce thickens. Add bay leaves and garlic cloves to the liquid, then add meat back to the pot.
4. Cover the meat with onion slices. Cover the pot tightly. Place in the oven and let roast for 2 hours.
5. Meanwhile, clean and trim the green beans, scrub the baby potatoes clean and scrub the carrots, then cut them into 1 inch pieces (no need to peel).
6. After 2 hours, take out the pot roast and flip over the meat. Add the vegetables around the meat, covering with the sauce as best you can. Cover again and continue to cook for an additional 60-90 minutes or until the meat is fork tender and the vegetables are tender. Salt and pepper more if needed, and to taste. Enjoy!
Irish Cottage Pie
Well, I stood corrected by my Irish friends. Shepherd’s pie is made with lamb, but the same, or similar version made with ground beef is called Cottage Pie- and here is the recipe, straight from Dublin! Enjoy and Happy St. Paddy's!
• 2 pounds baking potatoes, (peeled and quartered)
• 6 tablespoons milk
• 4 ounces butter (cubed)
• Salt and ground black pepper
• 1 tablespoon lard (or olive oil)
• 1 cup onion (chopped)
• 2 carrots (finely chopped/diced)
• 1 cup white mushrooms (chopped) OR frozen peas
• 1 clove garlic (minced)
• 1 lb ground beef
• 2 cups beef stock
• 2 tablespoons tomato paste
• 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
• 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley (finely chopped) or thyme if you prefer flavour
• 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 1 tablespoon butter (room temperature)
• ½ cup Irish cheddar cheese
Heat the oven to 375 F
Place the potatoes into a pan and cover with boiling water. Boil gently until soft (about 15 minutes) and then drain. Add the milk and butter to the pan, heat through until the butter melts, add the potatoes and mash. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
Melt the lard (or oil) in a large, deep ovenproof skillet or Dutch oven. Add the onion and carrot and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms OR frozen peas, then add the garlic
and cook for another minute making sure you do not burn the garlic.
Add the ground beef and roughly 1/4 of the beef stock, tomato paste, Worcestershire
sauce and cook, stirring constantly, until all the meat is browned. Add the remaining stock, parsley, and salt and pepper. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook for 15 minutes.
Mash the flour into 1 tablespoon butter to form a paste. Add small pieces of the paste to
the ground meat sauce, stirring until all the flour has dissolved, then repeat until all the
paste is used up. The sauce should have thickened slightly.
Place meat mixture into an ovenproof baking dish. Cover with the reserved mashed potatoes. Fluff up the potatoes and then sprinkle with the grated cheese and bake in the heated oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until the surface is crisp and browned.
Serve immediately and enjoy!
Asian Slow Cooked Short Ribs
Soooo yummy! These will be super tender, juicy, and delicious. A VERY simple recipe- get it prepped in minutes in the morning and come back home to the best comfort food all ready for you! (and don;t forget leftovers... even better!)
• 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
• 1/2 cup beef broth
• 1/8 cup brown sugar, packed
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• ½ tablespoon freshly grated ginger
• ½ teaspoon sesame oil
• ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
• 2.5 pounds bone-in beef short ribs
• 1 tablespoons cornstarch (or more for desired consistency)
• 1 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
• ½ teaspoon sesame seeds
1. In a large bowl, whisk together soy sauce, beef broth, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, sesame oil and red pepper flakes, if using.
2. Place short ribs into a 6-qt slow cooker, or pot in stovetop. Stir in soy sauce mixture until well combined.
3. Cover and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours
4. In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and 1/4 cup water. Stir in mixture into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high heat for an additional 30 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened.
5. Serve immediately, garnished with parsley and sesame seeds, if desired.
6. Enjoy over jasmine rice, mashed potatoes, or your preferred side dish!