What Else Can I Make with Turnips?

Fisher Hill Farm - Rochester New York

Turnip cakes have a fresh and spicy taste and goes well with everything.

Some of our customers have been asking about turnips lately. We have some fresh turnips that we have been bringing with us to the market and there’s a number of people who have never had them before. The easiest thing to do with them is cut them up and eat them with a pinch of salt!


They can be roasted, sautéed, or steamed just as easily too. But in the past, we have made turnip cakes with them, or maybe one giant turnip pancake and split it up with a pizza cutter. It’s not too much work and can be a side, a main dish, or an appetizer.

Fisher Hill Farm - Rochester New York
Fisher Hill Farm – Rochester New York

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

A bunch of turnips (its usually between 3 and 6 depending on size)

Couple cloves of garlic

2 Eggs

1/2 cup of flour (maybe a little more)

Salt and pepper to your liking

Fisher Hill Farm - Rochester New York
Fisher Hill Farm – Rochester New York

WHAT YOU’LL DO:

Shred the turnips. We used a Cuisinart but you can do it by hand with a grater. After you’ve got them shredded up, squeeze out as much water as you can. Just using your hands should be good enough. Chop the garlic and throw it in there along with the shredded turnips. Add the 2 eggs and mix well with salt and pepper. Then add the flour (depending on how much water you were able to squeeze out you may need more) and mix well.

Fisher Hill Farm - Rochester New York
Fisher Hill Farm – Rochester New York

It shouldn’t stick together in a tight ball, but add just enough flour for the mixutre to stay together without completely coming apart. Grease a pan and flatten it into a pancake. We have a big non stick frying pan so we could fit all of ours in one pan to make one giant pancake. You can easily cook them in batches. Or really however you like. The thickness of a regular pancake you’d get at the diner is perfect.

Once they’re browned on both sides, they’re done, about 6 minutes on each side with medium high heat. You can serve them up immediately hot. We had ours with a bit of arugula, some sour cream, and some radish relish. But they’re really good cold too, dipped in a little ranch dressing!

Fisher Hill Farm - Rochester New York
Turnip Cakes with Sour Cream and Radish Relish – Fisher Hill Farm

Turnips are versatile veggies that don’t get enough attention. As great as this recipe is and as awesome as so many recipes can be, we still think that a fresh turnip with a pinch of salt is still the best way to eat them!

Smoke Box Chicken

One of the great things about the summer months is getting a good barbecue going. We wanted an easy way to get smokehouse chicken without worrying about burning our dinner.

There’s actually two ways you can use this Smoke Box. You can load it up and put it directly on your gas grill or you can get some hot coals and place it on them. We chose to try it that way because it was slightly more adventurous for a blog post! But putting the box on the grill makes it even easier and allows you to choose a temperature.

The smoker box.

The first step is to prepare the raw chicken. We used a store bought barbecue dry rub for the legs. We coated them in the morning and put them in a plastic bag in the fridge. For the breast, we poured a little Italian dressing over it and put it in the fridge. Simple preparation is often times the best!

We got our fire going and let it die down to just some hot coals. If you choose to use your grill make sure you preheat it to the desired temp you want to smoke at.

To load the smoke box you soak the wood chips in water about 30 minutes before loading them in the box. Place the wood chips down and then the tray with the meat on it, then close the box up.

The wood chip layer.
The meat goes on top of the wood chips on tray that inserts.
Smoke box goes on top of the coals.

The legs are smaller so they were going to be done a lot sooner. Make sure you use a thermometer to get the cooking temp right. Chicken should be at 180. The legs did cook a bit quicker, but they only took about 45 minutes on the fire before they were done. You could actually smell that they were done and boy oh boy did it smell delicious!

Smoked chicken legs.

We brushed on a little bit of barbecue sauce at the end and let it dry up a little on the leg before taking them off. They were incredible, soaking up a good amount of the smoke flavor without masking the dry rub. The sweet sauce was a nice little addition and added the right amount of sugar to it.

The breast took a bit longer. But we were really thinking that it was going to make excellent sandwiches after it was cold. We were right. It was. But we couldn’t help cutting into it when it was still hot.

Smoked chicken breast on the bone.

Overall this was a tasty experiment. It might be easier to just put the box on the grill and smoke it that way, but it was fun to have a fire and make a bigger even out of it. The chicken was delicious.

We’ll have fresh chicken all summer long for all your grilling and smoking needs!

Come visit us at the market!

Brighton Market Opens This Weekend; What to expect on our tables and more

Greenhouse Fisher Hill Farm Rochester NY

Hopefully spring is here to stay for a while.

No more snow, now more cold windy days, and only light freezes that barely impact the crops. Its amazing how fast the mornings warm up and a sweatshirt is just right for chores versus just a few weeks ago when winter gear was still needed the whole day through. The wind is getting warmer at the top of the hill and that means spring is here to stay.

Winter season on the farm is wrapping up quick. We are tying up loose ends before the summer season gets into full swing. It won’t be long. We are working on the last of the egg laying house expansion this week. We have been adding on to each laying hen house so we can accommodate more birds to cover the egg needs in the main season. We have some tractor maintenance to get done too and then its time to get planting. 

On March 23rd we panted the first peas of the season. They are just starting to break through the soil. By the end of the week they should make nice straight lines down the field.

The garlic is growing really fast too. Only 14 days between the two photos!

The greenhouse is in full swing and half full. So far peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, and okra have been planted. Onions, leeks, shallots, scallions, lettuce, chard, kale, and beets have been started by other greenhouse for us. it is at first a slow process, but it goes quick. Once things break ground anyway.

Greenhouse Fisher Hill Farm Rochester NY
Greenhouse Fisher Hill Farm Rochester NY

Chickens have been started so we can have them fresh every week starting May 8th. We get chicks every other week all summer so we can have fresh chicken for the market. We raise extra each week that we freeze so we can sell them all throughout the winter. We make sure they have as much free reign as possible and they have a steady diet of 100% GMO free and locally milled feed that is to our specifications.

Locally Grown Chicken at Fisher Hill Farm Rochester New York
Chicks getting accustomed to the new barn.

The Brighton Market is starting early this year. This Sunday April 11th to be exact. It will be nice to see everyone again and to get back into the regular swing of the markets. We’ll have a full table this Sunday for you and a similar one for the next few until the new crops break and ripen. We will keep you informed as much as we can so you can plan your shopping.

This week expect:

Micro Greens (spicy, radish, pea, sunflower)

Carrots, Parsnips, Onions, Potatoes, Rutabaga, Kohlrabi, Beets, Celeriac

Frozen Chicken, Frozen Chicken Liver, hearts, and feet, Frozen Turkey, Frozen Duck

Eggs

You can expect something similar at the Rochester Public Market on Saturday.

Hang in there! The season is about to break wide open in the next couple weeks. Coming soon will be scapes, asparagus, rhubarb, fresh chicken, and so much more. It’s been a long winter, but the payoff is a beautiful spring and summer.

Brighton New York Farmers Market Tent Set Up

It’s Almost Turkey Time: Is Thanksgiving Dinner Healthy?

Local Farm Rochester New York Turkey

It hasn’t gotten consistently chilly at night quite yet but as soon as it does it calls for some comfort food. The most comforting meal that we can possibly think about is Thanksgiving Dinner. Always a great day to spend time with family and of course, over eat. But is Thanksgiving dinner really that unhealthy?

The short answer is unfortunately, yes. It probably is. But it isn’t necessarily what we eat but how much. Plus, really hard to say no to delicious pies even after you’ve already eaten a few helpings. But what about the star of the show? How about turkey?

Corn Salsa Recipe - Fisher Hill Farm
Corn – Fisher Hill Farm

The question with turkey is always the same; white or dark meat? Which really comes down to whether or not you want to have a slice of turkey breast or leg. You might think that this is because of health, but in reality it’s more about taste, because health wise, there isn’t enough of a difference in calories or fat in the meat to make much of a difference.

Roasted Turkey Breast (Skin-On)
Calories: 160; Fat: 6g; Sat Fat: 2g; Unsat Fat: 2.5g; Protein: 24g; Sodium: 55mg

Roasted Turkey Breast (Skinless)
Calories: 130; Fat: 2g; Sat Fat: 0.5g; Unsat Fat: 1g; Protein: 26g; Sodium: 85mg

Roasted Turkey Leg (Skin-On)
Calories: 180; Fat: 8g; Sat Fat: 2.5g; Unsat Fat: 5g; Protein: 24g; Sodium: 65mg

Roasted Turkey Leg (Skinless)
Calories: 140; Fat: 3g; Sat Fat: 1g; Unsat Fat: 1.5g; Protein: 25g; Sodium: 70mg

Source: USDA

Where most of the unhealthy-ness of turkey comes from is the skin. So if you’re trying to watch out for fat than skip the skin. That being said its all unsaturated fats. So if you decide that crispy goodness is for you that day, you don’t have to feel guilty about deviating from the diet.

The start of fall squash harvest

We do have some friends that deep fry their turkey. We’ve tried that too and these is very little room left for doubt that it’s really fantastic. But we don’t have to tell you that it’s not very healthy to eat anything fried. Our turkeys are raised to be very tender and juicy after hitting the oven. Plus we feel like the deep frying process takes away from the taste of the turkey itself, which we think is awesome!

One thing to consider when choosing a bird this year: Read the label. Some store bought turkeys are injected with a sodium solution to improve and retain flavor after freezing. When you buy a turkey from us it never gets frozen. It goes right from farm to table. So if you have someone in the family that might be watching their sodium intake make sure to keep that in mind.

Let’s get back to the original question; is Thanksgiving dinner healthy. The over eating part probably isn’t, but if you are selecting local fresh ingredients to put on your table and the star of the show comes from us, chances are it’s really not that bad for you. As long as after dinner you don’t have eleven pieces of pumpkin pie. Maybe this year just have five.

How to Make New York State Fair Style Chicken at Home

With the fate of the New York State Fair still waiting to be determined we got thinking about the great food that will be missed out on. You can keep deep fried Oreos, what we’re thinking about is the chicken!

There’s something that just tastes better in that chicken. You can go purchase the State Fair Sauce marinade but it just never comes out the same. So we tried a few things and came up with this recipe. The marinade is important, but what’s even more important is the smoke and heat. But don’t worry, we used a simple Weber grill with some store bought charcoal and a piece of maple wood.

First you’ll need a marinade. We made our own Italian Dressing but after trying this out a few times we realized that the marinade isn’t as  important as we thought. So if you want to skip this part and purchase an oil and vinegar based Italian Dressing that will work fine. We chose to make ours because it’s pretty easy and won’t contain any preservatives.

Basic Italian Dressing for Marinade:

1/2 Cup Olive Oil

1/3 Cup Red Wine Vinegar

1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar

1 Tablespoon Honey

1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt

1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard

1 Teaspoon White Sugar

1/2 teaspoon of the following: Dried Oregano, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder

(Optional is fresh thyme and mint, rough chopped)

If you put all of this in a jar or tupperware you can give it a good mix. Let it sit at room temperature for an hour. We made double this recipe to use what we didn’t pour over the chicken for a pasta salad as a side.

How to Make New York State Fair Style Chicken

The Chicken Part

Cut a whole chicken in half. Don’t trim any skin or fat it’s not necessary. Just split it in two and put it into a one gallon ziplock bag.

Pour in enough Italian Dressing marinade to almost cover the chicken. Then arrange the two halves so the bag can lay flat. This will effectively submerge half of the chicken at a time. Put it in the fridge (*pro tip: put the plastic bag into a tupperware or on a sheet tray just in case someone accidentally pokes a hole in the bag. You and your fridge will thank us later!)

24 hours in the marinade is what the goal is. Flip the bag over to submerge the other side of the chicken every 8 hours.

The Grill Part

Get your charcoal started by a chimney and let them get hot. Once they’re red hot, place them on half of your weber grill. We got a large piece of maple from a neighbor and used that. We butted it up against the coals to provide extra smokey flavor. But if you don’t have a large piece of maple, you can purchase smaller ones. Make sure you follow the directions on the package.

IMG_20200613_161922

Once the coals and wood is in place, rotate the grill so the part that was over the coals is now not over the coals. Once you take the chicken out of the marinade, let it drip dry while you get the fire going. Once the grill is ready, place the chicken on the grill skin side down, but NOT over the coals. Make sure the damper is wide open and close the lid.

Keep close. With the oil and fat with the chicken there’s always the chance that it’s dripping on the coals and you need to put it out. You can always put a tin of water underneath the chicken to make sure it doesn’t catch. But if you don’t line it up right it can catch anyway.

At the 30 minute mark, flip the chicken. Put the lid back on and close the damper half way. Let it go for 45 minutes.

Open up the lid. The wood should be burnt out and the coals should be hot but not red not anymore. Put the chicken directly over the coals skin side down and put the lid back on for 10 minutes. Then flip the chicken and open the dampers. Let it smoke another 30 minutes.

IMG_20200613_162334

The best way to know if your chicken is done is to use a thermometer and get an internal temperature of 165 degrees. But once the meat starts pulling away from the bone it’s usually close.

Let it rest for at least 10 minutes if not longer before eating. We served our with pasta salad. It’s really good that day. But somehow ten times better the next day, cold out of the fridge.