The Quick Pickle

pickled onions - Fisher Hill Farm

Pickling has a couple of purposes.

The first is to alter the flavor of the veggie to create something new, a compliment to a dish or sandwich. But the second part is to allow the same veggie to last a bit longer in your fridge or if you practicing canning and preserving, your pantry or cupboard.

This recipe is a quick pickle recipe that does not include canning. Canning is a separate art and takes some time and extra equipment that not everyone has. But you can use this quick pickling recipe and it only takes a few minutes to prepare.

As you’ll see in the video, we used three different types of vinegar. Honestly that’s not necessary at all. Any vinegar will work just fine but if you have different types of vinegar, combination of them produce slightly different flavors. Balsamic vinegar produces a fruity flavor, especially when sugar is added that enhances the red onion and makes it very sweet.

What You’ll Need:

Two medium size or one large Fisher Hill Farm Red Onion

3/4 cup vinegar

3/4 cup water

1/3 cup granulated sugar

2 heaping Tablespoons of Kosher Salt

What You’ll Do:

Put all that stuff in a pot and put it on low to medium heat. You don’t want it to boil, but rather get hot enough to dissolve the sugar and salt and help quicken the pickling process. Slice your onions as thin as you can and place them in a non reactive container. Once the vinegar solution has dissolved all the sugar and salt, pour it over top of the onions, lightly put the top on, let it get to room temperature and then put it in the fridge.

12 hours is best before you eat it, more is fine too. But if you don’t wait long enough the onions will not have time to macerate and the flavors will have yet to combine. We’ve used this basic recipe on:

Onions

Jalapenos

Cauliflower (chopped thin)

Carrots (chopped thin)

Green beans

Scapes

Asparagus

Parsnips

Fennel

Try it out! See what you think. Maybe you want it to be spicy and you could add some crushed red pepper. Or maybe you could use rhubarb and add allspice and clove to it. The options are endless and delicious.

Stewing Hen Tacos with Yogurt and Pickled Red Onions

Stewing Hen Tacos - Fisher Hill Farm

We love our stewing hens for two reasons: taste and recycling. 

That might sound odd, but it’s the truth. Our stewing hens are the egg layers that no longer produce. They aren’t great for grilling like our other chickens but it would terrible to let that chicken go to waste. We wish we could let them live out their lives naturally, but it wouldn’t be cost effective or would we have enough space. To our vegetarian friends it might seem cruel, but it’s the best way for them to serve two purposes.

The problem is, it’s not something that is normally sold in grocery stores. It’s just not that common. So we get a lot of questions on different ways to prepare these hens. The easiest way is soup, but no one wants to eat the a slightly different variation of soup every week. So we’ve come up with a few different ways to use them. Including this ragu which several people have tried and told us the whole family loved!

So here’s a different way! Tacos! Who doesn’t like tacos! And these are sure to please.

Here’s a video that explains the process. Below you’ll find the general ingredients that you’ll need.

What You’ll Need: 

1 Fisher Hill Farm Stewing Hen

1 Fisher Hill Farm Carrot

1 Fisher Hill Farm Red or White Onion

2 Ribs Celery

2 Cups chicken stock (homemade is best but store bought works)

Corn tortillas

Plain Yogurt

Cabbage (or kale or lettuce or whatever you can find/prefer)

Chili Powder, Cumin, salt and pepper – the rest is optional

What You’ll Do: 

Watch the video for the process. But a couple of footnotes:

-We’re working on a pickled red onion video and we’ll post that soon

-We use yogurt instead of sour cream because it’s easier to find locally and it’s better!

-Substitute flour tortillas if you prefer (We should do a flour tortilla recipe video!)

– We had leftover bacon from breakfast and so we chopped it up and included it

 

If you have questions or ideas or would like to see some recipes in video form let us know! We want to help! Thank you everyone for your support!

 

 

 

Learn to Break Down a Whole Duck

How to Butcher Locally Raised Whole Duck

We have whole duck for sale and wanted to help our customers be assured that breaking down a whole duck is not that difficult to do! This video is a step by step tutorial to help you do that. 

We are sympathetic to our friends who do not eat animals and we do not want to be offensive in anyway, but this question has come up several times at market over the years. Some people would like to buy a whole duck or chicken but are unsure how to cook it other than putting the entire thing in the oven! It’s actually pretty simple and once you get chicken or duck down, pretty much all birds are the same.

You do need a good knife, one that is sharp and not too stiff. The knife used is this video was purchased at a local popular grocery store for less than $10 and worked perfectly. One thing that people often worry about is having to get through the bones of the bird. In this video, you’ll see that you do not necessarily have to saw through any bone.

A bird, a knife, a cutting board, and some patience and you’ll be a butcher in no time.

We plan on releasing some more videos as we get them on how to use this very same duck for the following recipes:

Crispy Skinned Duck Breast

Duck Liver Mousse

Duck Confit

The more we can help you use these products the better for both of us!

If you are reading this and you have a recipe that you use feel free to post in on social media and tag us. We love to know how you use what we’re growing and it helps to pass it along.

Thanks for reading and thanks for watching!

 

Stewing Hen Ragu

A shortage of meat chickens in the market has prompted a lot of questions on our Stewing Hens. Yes, they are available. Yes, they are frozen. No, they cannot be put on the grill.

So, what exactly do you do with a stewing hen?

The simple answer is “low and slow” is the key. It needs to stew, hence the name. But if you try googling stewing hen recipes you get a lot on how to make stock but we have not seen anything with tomato sauce. The acidity in the tomatoes breaks down the protein on the hen and it comes out fantastic.

We’re not chefs, so these recipes won’t call for exact measurements. Unless your baking, farmhouse cooking rarely does.

What you’ll need:

A stewing hen (defrosted)

28 oz can of crushed tomatoes

A few ribs of celery, half an onion (we used a few shallots!) and a carrot

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

What you’ll do:

Cut the hen up into parts. Here’s a youtube video on cutting up a chicken. Same process for the hens:

Put a stock pot on the stove, put some olive oil in it and get it hot. Salt and pepper the chicken and then brown all sides in the oil. Take the chicken out and set it aside.

Rough chop the veggies and put them in the pot and cook for about 5 minutes. Salt and pepper the veggies too.

Put the chicken back in. Open the can of tomatoes and pour over top. Add water to the pot until it just barely covers the chicken. Turn the heat down. Put the cover on the pot.

Forget about it for 2 hours. Check in on it then. If you can easily insert a fork into the chicken it’s ready. If not, let it go for awhile longer.

When it’s ready take the chicken out of the pot and let it cool.

IMG_20200329_151038

Once it has cooled down to the touch, discard the skin and then take all of the meat off the bones. Throw the bones away.

Take your reserved liquid that the chicken cooked in and use an immersion blender. If you don’t have an immersion blender we highly recommend getting one! They’re amazing!

Do not take anything out of the pot! Blend it all up together. It will naturally form a thick and very rich sauce. Then simply add the shredded chicken into the blended tomato sauce. Turn the heat to very low and let it simmer for another 20 minutes or so before serving. Or store in a non reactive container in the fridge for another day.

IMG_20200329_161240

Serve over your favorite style pasta with some Parmesan cheese.

 

The Dirt is Finally Flying: A Crop and Field Report

Fisher Hill Farm - Tractor at night in field

It has been a super busy stretch here at the farm. We’ve had a few consecutive days without any significant rain and the wheels have been turning.

Since last Thursday we have been going hard and nonstop. Thursday we transplanted broccoli, cabbage, kale, swiss chard, and beets. Also had time to fit in a 15th wedding anniversary dinner with my beautiful bride. Friday we transplanted more beets, pumpkins, planted fall ornamentals, did some discing to smooth out the recently plowed soil. Saturday after market I picked up huge rocks with the loader. Sunday I did more discing. Monday we laid down black and white plastic mulch. Tuesday we transplanted celeriac, scallions, fennel, eggplant, tomatoes.

Fisher Hill Farm - Eat Local
Fisher Hill Farm – Eat Local

We’re finally starting to see light at the end of the tunnel. The only big items left are peppers, sweet potatoes, and winter squash. It doesn’t sound like much but they are all really big plantings.

The weather this spring has really been a downer. All the rain kept the fields saturated and the cool weather slowed down the drying out. I feel lucky that we have been able to chip away at the early spring crops and they are looking OK.

Fisher Hill Farm - planting in the field
Fisher Hill Farm – planting in the field

The cooler weather crops are doing great (onions, kale, lettuce, radishes, etc). Unfortunately, the warmer weather crops are pretty slow to get going (summer squash, cucumbers, beans, etc). Everyone on the farm has been working hard and the market table should reflect that.

This week’s share is a combination of new spring crops and storage crops from last season. We have really dialed in how to store many different veggies through the winter and you’ll enjoy them.

Veggies:

Asparagus

Lettuce

Radish

Bok choy

Micro greens

Pea & sunflower shoots

Rhubarb

Scallions

Spinach

 

Storage Veggies:

Potatoes

Onions

Carrots

Parsnips

Sweet potatoes

Rutabaga

Turnips

Kohlrabi

Beets

We also will have fresh chicken, eggs, and duck eggs available too.

 

Here’s where to find us from now through October:
Monday, Thompson Hospital (Canandaigua), 2:30pm-5:30pm
Tuesday, Victor Central Schools, 3:30pm-6pm
Wednesday, On-Farm pickup, 4:30pm-6:30pm
Thursday, Rochester Public Market 7am-12noon
Saturday, Rochester Public Market 6am-1pm
Sunday, Brighton Farmers Market, 8:30am-12:30pm

Fisher Hill Farm - Tractor at night in field
Fisher Hill Farm – Tractor at night in field