USDA to Let Poultry Industry Oversee there own Operations?

Is the USDA Really Serious?


   I recently read several online articles on how the U.S. Department of Agriculture plans to cut costs of up to $85,000,000 dollars by laying off up to 1,000 poultry inspectors that oversee and regulate standards in the raising of poultry. Does the USDA even care about the civilians it is supposed to protect. This news coming right after the whole "Pink Slime/ supposed finely textured beef" controversy! Maybe if our government and not big industry controlled things this would not be happening. Some of these poor chicken farmers are so deep into debt that they are barely scraping by. Some of them making as little as $20,000 per year because of contracts they are forced into by the largest poultry producers. Meanwhile our USDA inspectors are being paid $85,000 per year? Seems like we need a little better balance in the pay scale.  Repost on FB if you agree.

Easter Kielbasa Special Recipe from Martin Rosol's

Martin Rosol's Special Recipe Easter Kielbasa


Martin Rosol's Easter kielbasa is in high demand so dont wait until the last minute and wait in line for hours. Order online http://stores.martinrosolsinc.com/-strse-11/*Special-Recipe-Easter-Kielbasa*/Detail.bok or check with your local supermarkets to see which stores carry the smoked or fresh Easter kielbasa. Most supermarkets will hold the product for you with just a simple phone call. Don't spend hours waiting in line at their main location. Check with your local supermarkets for availability and reserve yours today.





Beef Sirloin Tri Tip Steak Grilled

Grilling Beef Sirloin Tri Tip


Beef Sirlon Tri Tip is cut off of the top sirloin or hip portion of a cattle. A very tender and flavorful cut that can be grilled or roasted and is a butcher's prized cut for its variety of uses.

Beef Sirloin Tri Tip Steak about 1.5 lbs.

Choose a nicely trimmed Tri Tip steak that has been well trimmed and has had all silver skin removed. Also if you are not sure of which way the grain of the beef runs, ask your butcher to lightly mark the grain with a knife mark so you can tell which way to correctly slice it after its been cooked. Always allow the meat to reach room temperature before cooking to allow for the most tender steaks. While your grill is preheating, liberally season with your choice of dry rubs ( I like Montreal Steak Seasoning from McCormick). Also rub with a light coating of olive oil. Place steak directly onto a preheated grill and cook on a medium flame setting for 3-4 minutes. Give the steak a 1/4 turn without flipping to achieve criss cross grill marks and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Flip the steak over and repeat the process. Turn front or rear burner off and place steak over the shutoff burner. Close lid and allow to slow cook for an additional 5-10 minutes or until desired doneness. Remove from grill and allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing. Be sure to slice across the grain. Serve with a fresh garden salad.



CORNED BEEF AND GUINNESS DRAUGHT FOR ST. PATRICK'S DAY

DON'T FORGET THE GUINNESS

To get in the spirit of St. Patrick's day don't forget to grab some Guinness Draught ! Add one can to your corned beef simmer for some added flavor and some Irish Spirit!
What most people don't realize is that Guinness is not that much higher in calories per 12 oz. serving than the average light beer. Enjoy your Guinness with a smile while your corned beef is simmering away. At 125 calories per 12 oz. serving compared to your typical 110 calorie 12oz. light beer it is slightly higher in carbohydrates but much higher in flavor.
Add 1 can Guinness draught per 1 corned beef brisket to your St. Patrick's Day simmered meal. Remember don't boil but slow simmer your corned beef for several hours for best results.

How to Make Chicken Breast Florentine

Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast Florentine


   Chicken breast florentine is an easy dish which can be prepared in little time. Purchase enough boneless skinless chicken breast to serve your party, 1 boneless breast half per person. If you don't have sharp knives at home ask your butcher to butterfly the breasts to create a stuffing pocket. Lay the breasts out on a cutting board opened up to expose the pocket.  Place one thin slice of mozzarella cheese inside the pocket. Next place just enough baby spinach inside the pocket to be able to fill yet still fold over.

Butterflied Boneless skinless chicken breast halves with mozzarella cheese and baby spinach

Fold the chicken breast over and secure using butcher twine. 2 ties per breast should be sufficient.



The chicken can now be lightly seasoned with salt and pepper. Preheat a large skillet or saute pan and add 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Add the chicken to the pan and lightly brown on both sides. Remove from heat and place into a glass baking dish. Cover with your choice of tomato sauce, tomato soup, or cream of mushroom soup. Cover and place into a preheated 350 degree oven to finish. Bake for 40 minutes. Serve with white or brown rice.












Easy Braciole Instructions Using Thin Sliced Top Round Steak

How to make Beef Braciole


   Beef braciole is a classic Italian dish which can be prepared many different ways. This recipe uses thinly sliced top round steak which is an inexpnsive cut of beef from the hind leg. If you can't find this particular cut in your grocer's meat case, ask the butcher if he can cut it for you between 1/4 and 1/8 inch thick. It needs to be thin enough to roll. If you don't have any kitchen twine ask the butcher if he will give you some or if it is available for sale.

Thinly sliced top round steak for braciole

    Lay the beef flat on a cutting board and season the top side with Italian style breadcrumbs, grated Parmesan or Romano cheese, freshly chopped (or dried) parsley, fresh (or dehydrated) garlic, and black pepper.

Thin Sliced Top Round steak seasoned for braciole


Beginning with the edge nearest you roll steaks tightly in a forward motion. When completely rolled use butcher twine to secure. You will need 2 to 3 ties per piece depending on the size.


At this point your braciole is ready for cooking. Preheat a large sauce pot or dutch oven on top of the stove over medium heat. Add 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Place the meat in the preheated pan and turn several times until the meat is browned on all sides. Cover the meat completely with your favorite tomato sauce. To cook on top of stove, reduce heat to low and cover. Allow to cook on low heat for 2 to 3 hours until braciole is nice and tender. To cook in dutch oven cover and place into a preheated 325 degree oven for 2 to 3 hours. Serve with wour favorite pasta and garlc bread.






Regarding Lake George, New York in February 2012

Winter Festival Lake George, New York February 2012

  Being my first visit to the lake since I was a young boy, I had high hopes for the annual winter festival. However due to a very mild winter the lake had not frozen over. Many of the major events had been cancelled and many local restaurants and shops were not open for business on the final weekend of the festival (February 24-26 2012).

  I stayed at the Fort William Henry Hotel which was decent for the price and the staff seemed friendly. They did have an indoor pool, sauna, and jacuzzi, but no fitness center. They also had a tavern which was opened from 5 P.M. till midnight and had a dining area opened for breakfast (7-11 am) and dinner (5-10 pm).  The food was mediocre but the convenience of dining in and the tavern in the hotel were nice.
   One of my pitstops was at the Old Post Grille right on route 9. More of a lunch stop I would say, dinner menu wasn't very impressive. Grab one of their Irish specialty sandwiches and a pint of Guiness. Don't forget to ask them about the soup de jour "MMMMM that sounds good...I'll have that." Waitstaff  had a good sense of humor.
   In kind of a ghost town-like weekend the highlight was at Shepards Cove. They offered a full restaurant downstairs, and full bar featuring live entertainment upstairs. Good pub food, and great atmosphere. Live entertainment courtesy of Scott Price. Check him out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5QE54usVoc Also thank you to the Southern Comfort girls for the free samples and T-Shirts. GRRRRRR.



Chicken Sausage with Spinach, Pasta, and Chick Peas


Roasted Garlic Chicken Sausage with Spinach, Chick Peas, and Pasta


Here's what you need:
  • 1 to 1.25 lb package of boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 12 oz. package of roasted garlic chicken sausage (or your favorite) I use precooked AlFresco brand, sliced into thin 1/3 inch slices
  • 8 to 10 oz bag of fresh spinach (I use baby spinach) chopped
  • 1 can chick peas drained and rinsed
  • 1 lb dry rotini pasta (or whatever pasta you prefer)
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove elephant garlic minced
  • 8 oz chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 cup light cream
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet or saucepan add olive oil to a preheated pan over medium heat. Add chicken and lightly season with salt and pepper. Toss chicken for 5 minutes until it is almost cooked through. Add onion and garlic reduce heat slightly and cover. Continue to cook for 10 minutes. Add chopped spinach and toss well. Replace cover for about 5 minutes until spinach is lightly wilted and add lemon juice. In a small blender combine stock, flour, and cream and blend until well combined. Add the stock blend to pot. Add strained chickpeas to pot. Season with salt and pepper,taste, and reseason if necessary. Reduce heat to medium low and cook uncovered. In a large stockpot bring 5 qts of water to a boil for your pasta. Follow pasta directions and cook until al dente. Strain pasta but reserve some of the pasta water(1/4 cup)and add to chicken and sauce pot. Toss well and remove from heat. Pasta will absorb much of the excess sauce.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

     
 
 





LAKE GEORGE NEW YORK

Off to Lake George, New York in the morning. I will be visiting local restaurants and pubs, writing reviews, and giving you my opinions. Off season? Yes! Lake Frozen? No. Plenty to do? More to follow. 

Mangalitsa Pork

What is Mangalitsa Pork?


   Mangalitsa are a Hungarian breed of wooly pigs that have a thick curly coat like that of a sheep. They are a lard-type pig which were originally bred for the large amounts of fat they produced. With less of a demand for lard the breed had  almost gone extinct. Today it is becoming increasingly more popular for its strong distinct pork flavor and double the amount of marbling of more commonly available pork. Don't expect to find Mangalitsa in your local U.S. supermarket. Look for specialty farms that raise mangalitsa exclusively.Check this link for U.S. farms :http://woolypigs.com/_others.html Also look for it on the menu of some of the more upscale restaurants. Restaurants pay anywhere between $10 to $15 per lb. for butchered cuts of mangalitsa pork, so you can expect a hefty markup if you are able to find it at all.
   Other links:http://www.pastureprimewagyu.com/category-detail/2/mangalitsa-pork

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/01/dining/01pigs.html?pagewanted=all



Superbowl Wings Superfast

Superfast Superbowl Wings


If you've got a need for speed and need to crank out large amounts of wings during the big game follow these simple tricks.

  • Buy wings pre-cut (disjointed) with the tips removed. Sometimes frozen bags of wings are offered at local supermarkets for a lower price already cut. If you want fresh look for large savings packs (many supermarkets will cut the wings for you and remove the tips)
  • Bring a large stock pot of water with 2 tbsp salt to a boil. If you have a large deep fryer or want to splurge for the oil the wings may also be deepfried.
  • Cook in boiling water or oil for 15-20 minutes
  • Remove from water and place in collander, pat dry. Or remove from oil and place on paper towels to soak up excess oil.  Toss in your choice of sauces.
  • Place wings into a preheated 425 degree oven or  onto preheated grill and cook until desired level of skin doneness(10-20 minutes) turning halfway through cooking time.
  • Remove from grill or oven and toss in a large mixing bowl with more sauce if desired. Serve with bleu cheese dressing or ranch. Garnish with carrot sticks and celery.

Easy Hot Wing Sauce

Ingredients:

Equal parts of hot sauce to Melted butter(unsalted) or margerine
1 1/2 tablespoons  vinegar
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
salt to taste


WTF IS PINK SLIME ????

         Why Was McDonalds Adding Pink Slime to Burgers?


 Ammonium Hydroxide commonly used in household cleaners, fertilizers, and possibly homemade explosives, is the chemical additive Mcdonalds' once used in their ground beef production.
It is used by the food industry as an anti-microbial agent(An anti-microbial is a substance that kills or inhibits the growth of microorganisms such as bacteria or fungi). This process can make lower quality (dog food quality) meat safe for human consumption. According to the USDA ammonium hydroxide is considered "generally recognized as safe" not very convincing if you ask me. Thankfully McDonalds' announced that they stopped using the chemical additive in their production of its ground beef patties as of last August.
See more food additives you might not be aware of:http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/blogpost/post/pink-slime-removed-from-mcdonalds-burgers--but-other-weird-food-additives-remain/2012/02/01/gIQAdfvAiQ_blog.html


Superbowl Crockpot Recipes

Gameday Crockpot Dishes


  Try these simple crockpot recipes to keep your guests snacking during the big game. Crockpots are excellent for preparing large portions for a crowd as well as keeping your food warm for hours on end.

  BBQ Pork or BBQ Beef Sandwiches

3 lb boneless pork shoulder-butt roast or 3 lb boneless beef chuck eye roast
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp worcesershire sauce
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon of liquid smoke
salt and pepper to taste
your choice of dinner or sandwich rolls

   Place pork or beef into slow cooker. Set on low heat setting. In a medium bowl combine the other ingredients (except the rolls) . Pour mixture over meat, cover and continue to cook on low for 8 to 9 hours. Remove some of the liquid from the slow cooker, leaving enough to evenly coat the meat. Using two forks shred the meat. Meat should pull apart easily. Mix in your favorite BBQ sauce if you like or serve as is on rolls.

Beer Chili
2 pounds lean ground beef (or turkey)
1 large onion diced
4 cloves garlic minced
1 large can crushed tomatoes
1 small package frozen corn 8-10 oz
1 can dark kidney beans
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup (8 oz) dark beer (I like Guiness)
1 tbsp curry powder
3 tbsp chili powder
3 tbsp hot sauce or tabasco sauce
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup diced chiles (use hot or mild chiles depending on how hot you want your chili to be)
2 beef bouillon cubes
2 tbsp all purpose flour

   Heat oil in a large skillet. Add meat and onions and cook over medium heat while stirring. Cook until meat is thoroughly cooked. Drain fat (if desired) and transfer meat and onions to slow cooker. Add all remaining ingredients and mix well. Cover and cook on low setting for 8 hours or high setting for 4 hours.




Spicy Pork Tenderloin Stir Fry Marinade

Spicy Sriacha Pork Tenderloin with Ginger


To make marinade mix 1/2 cup rice wine or sake, 1/2 cup soy sauce, 2 tablespoons sriacha hot sauce, 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes,  and 1 tablespoon freshly grated or minced ginger. Combine ingredients well and set aside.  This amount of marinade is enough for approximately 2 whole pork tenderloins( 2-2.5 lbs total)For best results let marinade rest in refrigerator for 3-6 hours.

Take pork tenderloins and split in half with sharp knife lengthwise Next slice across into 1/4 inch thick slices( or ask your butcher to do this for you). Place pork in a ziploc bag and cover with previously made marinade. Allow to marinate 12-24 hours under refrigeration. Remove from fridge one hour before cooking. Stir fry in a preheated pan or wok with assorted vegetables (carrots, onions, peppers, garlic, mushrooms, broccoli) which have been prepared (washed, dried, cut into bite sized pieces) for 5- 10 minutes total until desired degree of doneness. 



Information about Farm Raised Salmon

Facts About Farm Raised Atlantic Salmon

     Salmon farming is fairly new and has progressed rapidly over the past 30 years.  Atlantic Salmon is farm raised in many different countries. The majority comes from the countries of Chile, Norway, Canada, Scotland, Ireland, and the U.S.(Maine and Washington). In the U.S. any retailer of fresh or frozen seafood must label their product with a country of origin label to determine where the fish was raised. Farmed salmon are fed a processed feed derived from wild fish, including fishmeal, fish oil, byproducts of other fisheries, and soy. Many farmers now are replacing part of the fish oil in their feed with soybean and canola oil which can help reduce the amount of PCB concentration in the fish. Click the link for more info on PCB's.http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/hazard/tsd/pcbs/pubs/about.htm

The color of salmon can vary between farms based on the feed. The reason being that carotenoids are added to the feeds. Carotenoids are part of a salmon's natural diet in the wild and are essential for the overall health of the species. Carotenoids are a naturally occurring biochemical found in many plants and animals that are responsible for the yellow, orange, and red colors. There are two types used in farmed salmon feeds, Astaxanthin and Canthaxanthin, both of which can be found in wild salmon. Astaxanthin occurs naturally but can also be derived synthetically, however their chemical structure is identical. The synthetic version can be derived from a natural source of yeast and microalgae used for farming organic fish and seafood. Farmed salmon that are given these carotenoids in their feed are required by the FDA that they be labeled as a "color added" product. There is no color added directly to the flesh of the fish it is merely a product of the fish's diet.
   .
  

   

Mercury Content in Fish and Shellfish

How Do I Know if My Fish is Safe to Eat?

   Certain types of fish like predatory fish at the top of the food chain(shark,swordfish,king mackeral, and tilefish) contain significantly higher amounts of methyl mercury.  Methyl mercury can potentially affect unborn and developing children's nervous systems and can also cause damage to other organs such as the kidneys and brain. Women who are pregnant, nursing, or intend to become pregnant should avoid the types of fish listed above. Young children should also avoid thes types of fish.
   Fish that are low in mercury are cod, flounder, sole, haddock,halibut, catfish, salmon, rainbow trout, tilapia, and light canned tuna.(white canned tuna often contains higher levels of mercury.) It is safe for pregnant,nursing women, and young children to eat these types of fish in moderation, up to 12 ounces per week. Fish is a high quality protein source full of vitamins and minerals which should not be avoided entirely. Certain types of fish such as salmon are excellent sources of Omega-3 fatty acids which can protect the heart, lower triglyceride levels, and may help to reduce the risk of stroke.

Other sources for information on mercury content in fish:


Hearty Beef Stew-How To Instructions

How to Make Hearty Beef Stew with Roasted Veggies

    Begin with a 2-3 lb boneless beef chuck roast cut into stew size pieces, or 2-3 lbs. of chuck stew meat that has already been cut for stew. In a large stockpot or saucepan heat 2 tbsp. of olive oil over medium high heat. Add meat and cook until browned on all sides. Add 2-3 cups of water depending on the amount of meat you are using. Also add 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce, 3-4 cloves of  minced garlic, 2 bay leaves, 1 tsp. paprika, 4 large carrots sliced, 2 cups of fresh mushrooms sliced, 3 medium potatoes cut into 4-6 pieces each, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer, cover pot and cook for about an hour. Use a ladle and carefully remove about 1 cup of hot liquid. Use a whisk to combine liquid in a seperate bowl with 2-3 tablespoons of cornstarch. Blend until smooth and return mixture to pot. Cook for several more minutes uncovered and stir until mixture reaches desired consistency. Remove bay leaves before serving.

  Try serving with broiled veggies like broccoli, cauliflower,  and vine ripened tomatoes. Wash veggies well and cut into bite sized pieces. Arrange on a non stick baking sheet in a single layer and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place baking sheet under a preheated broiler until veggies are slightly golden and tender. Serve veggies on the side with a whole grain roll or add to your stew for a more colorful dish.



Red wine or beef stock may be substituted in place of water. Try using a cup of each.