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Monday, February 15, 2016

February

The Lighter Days of Winter

Time to relax, stretch and snuggle by the fire.


Time to review the year past and look forward to the year to come.


Time to go to the beach, dash in the waves, and remember we live near an ocean.


Time to bundle up, embrace winter and enjoy community events.


Time to make new friends.


Time to heat up the kitchen with making jam, soup stock and rendering lard.


YES, LARD!

I won't spend time in this post trying to persuade you that lard is healthy (it is), you can google that on your own (try this great article).  Although be sure to research the benefits of pastured lard, not conventionally raised pigs and highly processed lard.


Instead I will just mention that our Leaf Lard is:
1) local
2) sustainable
3) minimally processed
4) does not taste "piggy"
5) will make the best pie crust or pastry ever
6) will make your Little Ridge Farm veggies crispy and not greasy
7) will give you a boost of vitamin D, making you feel giddy while you smack your lips enjoying a meal graced with the delicate flavor of LARD!


Start Cooking with Lard (check out the entire article HERE)
"Rendered beef, lamb and pork fats are very different in texture and flavor,” Smith says. Beef tallow tends to be meatier in flavor and has a solid texture, while lamb is tender and delicately gamey. Fat rendered from duck or goose, called schmaltz, has a pleasantly meaty flavor and is nearly liquid at room temperature. Pork leaf lard will be nearly flavorless and unctuous in texture; lard made from excess pig fat will taste slightly porky. (ours -LRF- is not, it's made from pure leaf lard)

Like beef tallow, lard has a high smoke point, meaning it will not smoke or burn until nearly 425 degrees F. This makes lard a great choice for pan or deep frying. For crispy fried chicken and flavorful fries, simply melt rendered lard in a high-sided pot. A spoonful of lard in a pan of roasted vegetables or potatoes melts into a tasty, velvety sauce.

Traditionally, lard was used in America as a spread for sandwiches or bread. Eastern European cuisine still features salted, spiced and sometimes herbed lard as spreads. Chefs like Jonathon Sawyer, of The Greenhouse Tavern in Cleveland, are renewing this custom by including animal-fat schmears on their bread boards.

Pastry chefs around the world also agree that lard makes the finest crust. It’s solid at room temperature, making the resulting pastry pliable and easy to form. Because lard is 100-percent fat, it creates an exceptionally crisp and flaky texture with a pleasing mouth feel. There’s no residual flavor if you use leaf lard, while regular pork lard adds a pleasant meatiness to savory crusts.

Join the revival and learn to love lard, the nutrition-packed fat that’s easy to make and use at home.

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