Cathy’s Cooking Corner: The Well Equipped Kitchen Workshop

I, Myron, am writing Cathy’s Cooking Corner this month for the husband or wife that is not doing the cooking, or that does not do most of the cooking.

You have kicked the cheap food and prepared foods mentality of our American culture and are eating real foods. In the cheap food culture, all that is needed is a coffeemaker, a microwave, a stove and oven and a few pots and pans. The kitchen is not a very important workshop. Most of the cooking is done in a big factory somewhere.

In changing to a real foods diet, your kitchen needs to be properly equipped to quickly and efficiently prepare real foods and health giving meals. View the kitchen as a very important workshop that needs to be properly equipped with quality tools and equipment. The tools and equipment do not need to be expensive, just good quality.

I have tried to make it a priority to make sure that Cathy’s kitchen is properly equipped with the tools that she needs. We keep adding things as we can afford them and when we can find them. Unfortunately, most kitchen stores such as Bed, Bath, and Beyond are filled with electronic gadgets and cheaply made small appliances that are not designed for real cooking with real foods. You can find quality made items, but it takes some looking around.

The take home message this month is: If you want to be healthy and eat right, equip your kitchen workshop so that you can eat right and be healthy.

After burning up several expensive homeowner type mixers, we bought this used 20 quart commercial mixer at an auction. It takes a lot of work out of making bread or large batches of cookies. Cathy can now make seven loaves of bread at a time. She puts some of the bread in the freezer to keep it fresh.

For more on this subject, read the article from last year: Selecting Pots and Pans.

Cathy’s Cooking Corner

Fried Turkey Cutlets 

This is by far Myron’s favorite way to eat turkey. It’s delicious, moist, tender, and so quick and easy. It is sure to get compliments from your guests.Cut turkey breast meat into 1/4 inch slices across the meat fibers. Dip in flour and sprinkle both sides of cutlets with salt. Fry in oil or butter just until no longer pink. Do not over fry it or it will get more dried out and tough.

Fajita Chicken and Vegetables on Rice

1 1/2 – 2 lbs. chicken breast
1 large onion, sliced
3 large carrots, peeled and sliced
1 lb whole green beans (can be frozen)
Rice, cooked
Oil for frying

1/4 c. oil
1/4 c. vinegar
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt

Cut chicken breast into into strips or bite size pieces. Stir the fajita sauce ingredients together and pour over the chicken. Stir to coat. Let set 1 hour and up to 24 hours. Fry the chicken pieces in a small amount of oil. Spoon into a large oven proof bowl. Set in a 200 degree oven to keep warm. Stir fry the carrots and onions in a little oil till crisp tender. Add to chicken. Stir fry the green beans in the remaining fajita sauce until crisp tender. Add to the chicken and veggies. Mix everything together. Serve over rice. (Note: You can also use leftover roasted chicken that you have taken off the bones.)

Have a blessed Christmas and Holiday Season!
Myron and Cathy Horst and Family

Jehovah-Jireh Farm

Cathy’s Cooking Corner: Selecting Pots and Pans

By Myron Horst

Cathy and the girls do the cooking and the boys and I take care of most of the farm work. One of my priorities is that Cathy’s workshop (the kitchen) is properly outfitted with the tools and equipment that she needs to work efficiently and provide good-tasting food. Before we started farming, I worked for 14 years in the Washington DC area in high-end houses, observing people’s kitchens and the pots and pans that they had in their kitchens. Actually, I was a carpenter and cabinet maker, and worked for months at a time in different houses and would see what kind of pots and pans that they were using. It was very interesting seeing firsthand how wealthy people lived. That lifestyle was not as appealing to me viewing it from the inside as it looked from the outside. One of the things that amazed me was the poor quality cookware that many people had. Some did not know how to cook, and felt a certain amount of inferiority because if it. Cathy’s pots and pans were better quality than what many of those people had, even though they had many times the level of income that I had.

Pots and pans do not make a good cook, but poor quality cookware makes it much more difficult to achieve good results. Poor quality cookware burns the food much more quickly and requires closer attention during the cooking or frying process. If the food doesn’t burn on the bottom of a pan, it is much easier to wash up. Price is not necessarily a good indicator in buying good cookware.

One of the most important things to look for is a thick, heavy bottom. You can see that the skillet on the left and the pot on the right have extra metal attached to the bottom. A thick bottom is important to distribute the heat evenly and prevent “hot” spots that burn easily. The center pan is a Farberware pan and is a good choice also. It has received a lot of use. It has a layer of aluminum to distribute the heat evenly over the bottom. Handles on pots and pans are attached by welding or with rivets. The best attachment is heavy rivets like what is on the skillet on the left.

The stock pot on the right is the best designed with a thick bottom and riveted handles. The glass lid is a nice feature also. I purchased it at the Asian grocery store, H-Mart, in Gaithersburg for a very reasonable price.

The stock pot on the left is a piece of junk as cookware. The bottom is very thin. I bought it at a thrift store for $3 and it had a spot of burnt food tightly stuck to the bottom. I bought it as a stainless steel container for making cheese and uses other than cooking. The stock pot on the right has spot welds that hold the handles in place. So far they have held up well, but it is a weak point that is not as strong as rivets.

This is Cathy’s favorite roaster pan. The lid can be used as a skillet. Both the pan and the lid have thick bottoms. It is also attractive enough that it can be set on the table to serve from.

This is Cathy’s favorite non-stick skillet. It is a cast iron skillet with a wood handle. The wood handle is nice because you do not have to use a pot holder to handle it. It is probably over 50 years old and will last many more years of hard use. We have tried many kinds of non-stick skillets. Some were guaranteed to last 25 years. Before long, they got scratched and the coating started coming off. After hearing about the dangers of the chemicals in non-stick pans, we abandoned them. To make a cast iron skillet non-stick, “season” it by coating it with oil and let the pan get hot until the oil starts to smoke a little before you put food into it. Do this any time the cast iron gets the oil washed off. It has to have the oil to make it non-stick. A cast iron skillet is so easy to wash. Do not wash it with soap, because it will remove the oils in the metal. Just scrub it with a stainless steel scrubbing pad while running hot water over it. Dry it with a paper towel.

We do not have a microwave because of what it does to the food when it cooks it. To cook things quickly, Cathy bought this new style of pressure cooker that is much easier to use than the old style of pressure cooker, and it cooks food in a short period of time. If you buy one, get a cookbook that explains how to use it. One that we recommend is Cooking Under Pressure by Lorna Sass.

When it is hot, Cathy sometimes uses this large electric roaster and sets it on the porch. That way, she does not have to use the oven and heat up the kitchen.

Cathy’s Cooking Corner

Brunch Casserole

3 cups bread cubes
3 cups cheddar cheese
3 cups meat of your choice
6 eggs, beaten
3 cups milk
1 Tbsp mustard
2 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. salt

Layer bread cubes, meat and cheese in a 9 X 13 pan in that order. Mix the rest of the ingredients and pour over the top of the bread, cheese and meat. Refrigerate overnight. (Or bake immediately.) Bake at 300 degrees for one hour.

Cheesy Eggs on Toast

4 eggs
1 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup cheese
2 Tbsp. mayonaise
1 Tbsp. onion, minced
4 pieces toast, buttered

Mix cheese, mayonaise and onion. Melt butter in skillet. Add the eggs. Fry on one side. Flip eggs and top with cheese mixture. Cover skillet with lid. Cook eggs to desired doneness. Serve eggs on buttered toast.

Cathy’s Cooking Corner

In our family we eat lots of eggs for breakfast. Broth poached eggs are a favorite of ours.

Broth Poached Eggs

Pour chicken or beef broth into a kettle or skillet to a one inch depth. Bring to a boil. Crack each egg gently into the broth. Simmer till they are the done to your preference.

Broth poached eggs have rich flavor.

Barbeque Chicken
After selling fresh chickens in May, all the chickens that were left were on the smaller size. So we cut them into split halves. We sell them as grilling halves for $5.29/lb. We think they are fabulous grilled with the following recipe.

2 cups vinegar
2 cups water
1 stick butter
8 tsp. salt
4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

Bring to a boil. Marinate the chicken in this sauce for one hour before grilling. Brown both sides of the chicken well on the grill. I recommend grilling each side twice. Put into a hot crockpot on high for two to three hours, until the meat is very soft. You can also bake the chicken in the oven in a tightly closed casserole dish at 300 degrees for one to two hours instead of in the crockpot.

Have a wonderful Spring!

Myron and Cathy Horst and Family

Jehovah-Jireh Farm

Cathy’s Cooking Corner

This month I’m going to give you a recipe that I believe I’ve put in the newsletter before. I decided, however, that I wanted to put it in again for those of you who didn’t receive it the last time and for those of you who might like to add it to your recipes. It is probably the all around favorite way of baking chicken in our family. This recipe is super fast and easy to prepare. Butter chicken stars with pasture raised chickens because the butter enhances the superior flavor of the chicken so well.

Butter Chicken

1 chicken, whole or cut into halves or pieces
1/4 c. butter, melted

For a whole chicken, brush the chicken with the butter. Sprinkle the whole chicken with the desired amount of salt. Set into a roaster and cover. Bake at 350 degrees 1 1/2 to 3 hours or till the chicken is tender. (The time will vary quite a bit between a 3 pound chicken and a five pound chicken.) You can add vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, onions, squash or sweet potatoes around the chicken and bake them with the chicken for a complete meal.

For chicken halves or pieces, sprinkle the underside of the chicken pieces with salt. Place them in a baking pan. Pour the butter over the chicken pieces and sprinkle the tops with salt. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for1 to 1 1/2 hours or till fully baked and tender. For an optional idea that we positively love, slice the desired amount of potatoes and place them in the bottom of the baking pan. Top the potatoes with onion slices and then with a little thyme. Place the chicken pieces on top and bake. Absolutely delicious!