recipes & ALL THE NEWS THAT'S FIT TO EAT!

Meaty musing from Nicky USA and featured guest writers. Nicky is honored to feature Heather Arndt Anderson's writing on occasion in our News section. She is a Portland-based food writer, plant ecologist, and speaker, and is the author of four books on culinary history and her writing has been featured in numerous national publications. Heather is an avid home cook and will be working with us developing content and recipes featuring Nicky Farms products to share with any cooks interested in specialty game & high quality meats.

Elk Pörkölt

By Heather Arndt Anderson - 12/12/17

This warm and satisfying Hungarian dish (similar to a gulyas or goulash, but not as soupy) tastes like it takes all day on a slow simmer, but it can be on the table in about an hour. Serve with crusty brown bread and salted radishes (the radishes are optional, but the bread is necessary). Sour cream and herbs like parsley and dill aren't canon, but that's just how I like to eat a lot of things these days. Serves 4.

2 tbsp bacon fat, butter, or cooking oil

1 lb. Nicky Farms elk stew meat

1 medium onion, diced

½ tsp. crushed caraway seed

2 tbsp. sweet Hungarian paprika

salt & pepper to taste

2 tbsp. tomato paste

1 quart water

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

2 large potatoes; cubed

sour cream, fresh dill and/or parsley

Over a medium flame, heat half the bacon fat in a Dutch oven (or large, thick-bottomed pot) and brown elk meat; set aside. Add remaining bacon fat to pot and sauté the onions until translucent. Add the paprika and caraway, tomato paste, reserved elk meat, and a few pinches of salt and pepper, stir to combine. Add the water and Worcestershire sauce, and another pinch of salt and bring to a simmer. Simmer over low heat, covered, for about 30-45 minutes. Add the potatoes, another pinch of salt and pepper, and add more water if needed to cover the potatoes and meat. Simmer for another 10-15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Adjust seasonings to taste and garnish.

Alternately, you can do this in a pressure cooker, which will yield very tender stew. Follow the same directions as above up until bringing the pot to a simmer, and then cook the meat for 20 minutes on high pressure, allowing natural pressure release. Add the potatoes, then 5 minutes more on low pressure, allowing natural pressure release again before serving.

HamFlyer_2017_FNL copy.jpg

Hams for the holidays

12-6-17

We have a delectable assortment of hams from a host of producers who really know their pork. Smoky goodness awaits your holiday menu or table from Nueske's Applewood Smoked MeatsSnake River FarmsTails & Trotters, and Olympia Provisions. Give your friendly Nicky USA sales rep a call to reserve yours today.

NF Tomato Braised Rabbit 4 - Stuart Lane.jpg

TOMATO braised nicky farms rabbit

12/5/17 - By Chef Stuart Lane, Spinasse Restaurant (Seattle). This dish showcases the rustic Italian style of cooking from Chef Lane. The recipe uses a whole rabbit, including the bones for stock. To make a simple stock, simmer the bones and forequarters (add a little carrot, onion, and celery if you like) in 4 cups of water for a couple of hours. Strain and use as directed. Serves 2-4.

1  whole cut up rabbit, saddle (loins) boned out and set aside, forelegs and saddle bones reserved for stock

2 Tbs  pure olive oil

3  onions, small dice

2  carrots, small dice

2  celery stalks, small dice

1 Tbs  tomato paste

2 (12 oz)  cans whole tomatoes, pureed

1 – 1.5 cups  rabbit (from bones) or chicken stock

To finish: 1/4 chopped  basil leaves, (save stems), 1/4 cup chopped  parsley, 4 Tbs  butter, salt & pepper, and polenta, rice, or bread for serving

Season rabbit hindquarters and forelegs (only taken off the body not boned) with salt and pepper. Sear in oil until lightly browned and remove to a holding tray.  In the same pan used to sear the rabbit, caramelize onions, celery and carrots until nicely browned. Add tomato paste and cook for about 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add pureed tomatoes and cook 5 minutes more over high heat. Add stock and put in large casserole pan with basil stems. Put rabbit hindquarters in vegetable mix, cover with parchment and foil. Put pan on heat and bring to a simmer. Preheat oven to 300F. Cook until tender, around 1.5-2 hours. Take foil off and refrigerate overnight. The next day, remove hipbone from the hindquarters; it should easily come out of the tender meat.

Add extra stock to tomato mix, bring to a simmer and gently reheat rabbit legs. Season the two set aside loins with salt and pepper and poach in braising liquid until just cooked.  Remove and slice loins, or don't if you want a more rustic look.  Add torn basil, parsley and butter to tomato mix, stir and adjust seasoning.  To plate, place rabbit legs in a hot bowl and cover with tomato mix and place sliced loin around leg.

FullSizeRender 6.jpg

Thanksgiving sides

By Heather Arndt Anderson - 11/14/17

It goes without saying: there's WAY more to Thanksgiving than the turkey. Lucky you, Nicky USA has your game day sides covered! We came up with a few fun ideas to get a little more protein and a LOT more flavor onto your table this holiday season.

Miso-creamed Kale with Ham: Who needs creamed spinach when you have miso-creamed kale with Nueske's ham? It's dead-simple to make. Brown a handful of finely diced ham with a minced shallot, then stir in a cup of cream mixed with a fat spoonful of miso (we used brown rice miso but any type will do). When it's all nice and bubbly, add one bunch of kale, roughly chopped. Cover and simmer over low heat for a few minutes; pull it from the heat after five minutes to preserve the bright color of the kale, or let it go a bit longer if you like it more tender. Add black pepper to taste -- the salt will be covered. Bonus: these leftovers go great with pasta -- stir in cooked penne and you're good to go. 

Chorizo Roasted Cauliflower: If you want to add a little color to your table, here's a new way to enjoy cauliflower. Onto a rimmed baking sheet, break a head of cauliflower into big bite-sized hunks. Then peel and crumble two Fermìn Iberico chorizo links onto the pan, and toss it all together. Add a minced shallot and roast at 375 until the cauliflower is beginning to brown on the edges and become tender. Sprinkle a pinch of salt over top, stir to coat in all that delicious chorizo fat, and serve. 

Duck Fat Smashed Potatoes: Looking for an alternative to the same old mash? Boil baby potatoes until tender and then toss them in a hot pan with Grimaud Farms duck fat and fresh herbs until the skins are tight and golden brown. Then smash them with the back of a wooden spoon and hit them with a fat pinch of sea salt. Done.  

Elk Huckleberry Sausage Stuffing: brown two diced Nicky Farms elk huckleberry sausages (our venison blueberry sausage also works well in this recipe) in a pan with a tablespoon of butter, two minced shallots, two ribs of celery, a clove of minced garlic, and a handful of your favorite Misty Mountain wild mushrooms (we used shimeji and maitake). When the celery becomes translucent and the mushrooms take on a little color, pour in two cups of stock (turkey stock will do nicely here) and scrape up those delicious browned bits with a wooden spoon. Cube six slices of stale brown bread (we used Russian rye) and in a large bowl, combine the vegetables/sausage/stock mixture with the bread. Add a teaspoon of Nicky USA's game seasoning salt and two tablespoons of chopped parsley, and 1/3 cup dried berries (we used tart dried cranberries and goji berries). Bake covered in a buttered casserole at 375 for about 15 minutes, then remove the lid and bake another five minutes until the top is slightly toasty.

Untitled copy.jpg

Now pouring our latest chef series beer

11/7/17 - For our latest Nicky Farms - Gilgamesh Brewing Chef Series Beer we decided to create a beer for all of the hard working chefs (home or pro) we know. We also couldn't pass up the chance to work with Bull Run Distillery spirit master, and former brewer, Lee Madoff and his offer to use 10 of their Pacific Rum barrels. The resulting Bull Run Brown is a full-bodied ale loaded with toffee and raisin notes, and a nice spicy kick with a dry finish from the light argricole-style rum. Giving thanks to all the great chefs out there who feed us and giving back to the community ($1 from every bottle sold goes to support Growing Gardens) is something we can all say cheers to!

Look for the brew at area bottle shops and retailers including select New Seasons Market, Zupan's Markets, Whole Foods, and Green Zebra Grocery stores.

HAA - Cassoulet 2.JPG

Cassoulet

By Heather Arndt Anderson - 11/3/17

Now that the cold damp is settling in, you want the rich comforts of a pot a cassoulet. And you know what? You don’t need to spend three days on it. You don’t a bunch of fancy specialty ingredients. Remember, this is a peasant dish at its heart — it’s a pot of beans! Start with your favorite recipe, and Nicky USA has the meaty components covered. 

I simplified this hearty meal by making a few smart shortcuts and finding other ways to sneak in flavor. First, pick up confit duck legs and Tails & Trotters Toulouse sausages from Nicky. You don’t really need ham hocks and pancetta and all the fancy stuff, but if you have these things feel free to add them! Pick up a pound or two of dry beans — if you’re feeling flush you can order Tarbais beans from Rancho Gordo but Fred Meyer carries really good organic heirloom beans in their bulk bins, so I used the tender/creamy European soldier beans instead. Here’s where you can take another shortcut: if you don’t have time for an overnight soak and two hour simmer, you can cook the beans halfway in a pressure cooker (15 minutes) and then finish them in the seasoned stock (I used a combo of pork and duck stock, but a dark chicken stock is also good). 

Here’s another flavor-packing trick: crisp up your duck legs on a small pan over a rack so the excess duck fat can collect underneath. Slide the skin off and set it aside, then toss your bread crumbs in the fat that dripped out. Then put the skin back in the oven for a few minutes to get super-crispy, and crumble the skin into your bread crumbs.

If you’re craving the warm hug of cassoulet, don’t be afraid to take a few shortcuts, and let Nicky USA take away some of the guesswork

FullSizeRender.jpg

mien ga - vietnamese chicken noodle soup

By Heather Arndt Anderson - 10/1/17

The weather is finally following the calendar’s suit, and with summer’s last death-rattle comes a yearning for soupy, nourishing things like Mien Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup). Here I’ve taken a whole Grimaud Farms guinea hen and simmered it gently with some Chinese celery, shallots, garlic, ginger, lemon grass, makrut lime leaf, bay leaves and peppercorns (It’ll taste better if you char the ginger, shallot, and garlic over a flame before tossing them in). After about a hour I pulled the bird, picked the meat from the bones and strained the broth, then returned the broth to the stove with more slivered garlic, another rib of finely sliced celery and thinly sliced lime leaf, seasoning to taste with a bit of fish sauce and kosher salt; simmer this together for about 15 minutes or so to take the edge off the garlic and celery. Serve the meat and broth with glass noodles, bean sprouts, chives or scallions, and cilantro. (If you have a change-of-seasons sniffle I also recommend a good blob of sambal.)

This delicious guinea fowl is one of the proteins at Wild About Game on October 8th, and I can’t wait to see what the Northwest’s finest chefs do with it!

Nicky Farms Elk Ssam.jpg

Nicky Farms Elk Ssam

By Heather Arndt Anderson - 7/31/17

Just because the meat’s ground and in patty form doesn’t mean it’s destined for a burger! This lean, flavorful Nicky Farms elk lends itself perfectly to Korean lettuce wraps (ssam). Just crumble and brown a pound of ground elk with half a small minced onion, some minced ginger, garlic, and a pinch of chile flake. When it’s all cooked deglaze the pan with a splash of soy sauce, a dribble of sesame oil, and a spoonful of brown rice syrup or honey. Boom. just sprinkle on a few pinches of sesame seeds and sliced green onions and you’re good to go. Serve with butter lettuce leaves, steamed rice, and you favorite Korean banchan (pictured here is finely minced kimchi and julienned cucumbers). To eat it, just put a little rice, meat, and kimchi on the lettuce leaf, fold or wrap it like a little parcel, then stick it in your word hole.

Recipe                                                                                                                                                                                  This is a perfect light summer meal on its own, or you could serve it as a part of a large meal with noodles and side dishes. Serves four as a main dish or more as a side dish.

Ingredients:                                                                                                                                                                             1 Tbs neutral cooking oil                                                                                                                                                    ½ cup onion, minced                                                                                                                                                             2 cloves garlic, minced                                                                                                                                                         2 Tbs ginger, minced                                                                                                                                                             1 lb Nicky Farms ground elk patties                                                                                                                                 3 Tbs soy sauce (preferably golden soy)                                                                                                                        1 Tbs toasted sesame oil                                                                                                                                                     3 tsp brown rice syrup (available at Korean markets; or use 2 tsp honey)                                                          A few pinches of chile flake                                                                                                                                            Salt and pepper                                                                                                                                                                       1 tsp sesame seeds                                                                                                                                                               2 green onions, thinly sliced

For serving:                                                                                                                                                                             1 head butter leaf lettuce, washed & leaves pulled apart (small core can be reserved for another use)  2 cups steamed white rice                                                                                                                                                   2 Persian cucumbers, julienned                                                                                                                                         1 cup kimchi, finely chopped or roughly pureed

Instructions:                                                                                                                                                                           1.     Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat, then brown the onions, garlic, and ginger for a few minutes.                                                                                                                                                                            2.     Crumble in the elk patties and cook until browned, frequently stirring and breaking up the chunks, for about 7-10 minutes.                                                                                                                                                       3.     Stir in the soy sauce, sesame oil, brown rice syrup, and chile flake, then give it a little taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Dish the cooked elk into a serving bowl and sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onion. 

Because dads deserve pretty food, too

6/15/17 - By Heather Arndt Anderson

Father's Day doesn't have to be all meat and potatoes. Sometimes dads want to eat buttery flatbread with their Nicky Farms grass-fed bison ribeye cooked on a Finex grill pan, because it got rainy outside and no one likes cooking out in the rain. Sometimes dads want pickled ramps and green strawberries. Sometimes they want a gremolata of carrot tops, lovage flowers, mint, lemon juice, walnut oil, and garlic; sometimes they want it all sprinkled in opal basil flowers, parsley flowers, salad burnet leaves and Jacobsen Salt Co's  pinot noir sea salt. And because they care about their health, sometimes dads want some carrots and purple cauliflower on the side, because they heard that anthocyanins prevent cancer. Sometimes that's what dads want. 

Happy Father's Day to all the dads who appreciate the finer, prettier things in life.

Niihau Ranch Eland Antelope Marrow Bones.jpg

our newest find from the hawaiian islands - niihau ranch wild eland antelope

5/31/17 -  Eland are the largest of the antelope family. Native to the dry African deserts, eland thrive on the arid island of Niihau. Originally brought to the island for trophy hunting, the superior qualities of eland meat were soon discovered and now in high demand as a premium and delicious commercial protein.

Eland is fully sustainable and delicious, having been raised on pristine Niihau forage. The meat is over 95% lean and has half the calories of beef. It’s also rich in various nutrients and very low in saturated fat and cholesterol. 

Niihau Ranch livestock is 100% free range, all natural and produces a sustainable meat product that is raised on pristine Niihau forage. Our livestock are raised without antibiotics, growth hormones or steroids and is processed in a USDA certified abattoir.

Chesa Fermin Dinner - Chorizo Quesadilla 2.jpg

Hamming it up at the fermin IBéRIco dinner

5/22/17 - by Heather Arndt Anderson 

On Sunday, May 21, about thirty of the luckiest people in town (including yours truly) were treated to a seven-course dinner featuring Spain's famed Ibérico pork at Chesa. The dinner was sponsored by Nicky USA, Wagshal's Imports, and Fermin Ibérico. The meal included two jamón-based appetizers, giving us a total of nine different ways to enjoy an acorn-fed pig. If that weren't enough, slices of jamón Ibérico de bellota were carved by Raul Martín, the charming grandson of the Fermin Ibérico founder.

Chef Jose Chesa's menu was a global exploration, giving diners tastes of China, Mexico, Italy, Japan, Morocco, Spain, and the good ol' U.S. of A. The Chinese "char sui" was two medallions of boneless loin, served mid-rare, in a velvety jus with stir-fried vegetables, paper-thin omelet, and a sprinkling of nasturtium and cornflower blossoms. The quesadilla consisted of chorizo sandwiched between two toothsome tortillas with a pretty quenelle of adobo-spiked goat cheese wrapped in an avocado veneer, with a brunoise of grilled pineapple. (My dining companions and I agreed that the Spätlese from the first course would have been a better pairing than the slightly dryer moscato that came with the course, but this is such a hair-splitting quibble that I feel like a snob even bringing it up.)

The risotto was a relaxed bowl of creamy heaven: perfectly chewy, Manchego-cheesy bomba rice with spoon-tender pork cheek, a scattering of spring vegetables, and sweet freeze-dried eggplant wafers (called "crystals" by the chef). The yakitori course that followed was the mildest dish by contrast; a very light miso-jamón dash with white soba, a pretty little over-easy egg, and sweet hunks of pluma (a tender cut off of the shoulder). I wanted a little bit of combo in the broth, but the wine paired with it - a 30-year old Palo Cortado sherry from Spain - helped me forget all about it.

After all of this food, next they expected us to eat ribs. I started sweating. The ribs came out, so tender that they melted at a stern glance, sitting atop a bed of mercifully light saffron-scented couscous with currants and ras-al-hanout yogurt.

I am woman enough to admit that I cried 'uncle' by the time we hit Spain, managing only a bite or two of the succulent cochinillo (suckling pig) before tapping out and requesting a to-go box. Fortunately, a stroll to the patio (and an extra glass of bubbly rosé) was the bracing jolt I needed to make it through dessert: a flaky apple galette laced with more of the  Iberico jamón, served à la mode.

Fermín Ibérico is Spain's first producer of Ibérico pork to pass the USDA's muster, and you can get a nice selection of their excellent fresh and cured products from Nicky USA.

Nicky Farms - Gilgamesh Brewing Chef Series beer #4 Now available

5/14/17 - Chef Andy Ricker has created the Pok Pok Rhubarb Som Shandy for our latest Chef Series Beer. The Pok Pok Som drinking vinegar gives the brew the classic shandy profile of fruit, acidity, and a touch of sweetness that complements, not competes with with food, especially boldly seasoned and spicy fare. As always the beers in the series donate $1 from every 22oz bottle sold and a portion of every keg sale to a local nonprofit. We are thrilled to be partnered with Growing Gardens on this beer and helping them continue their great work in the community reducing hunger and transforming lives through the experience of gardening and growing your own food. The beer is available at all Pok Pok locations in Portland, and at Green Zebra Grocery, Zupan's, and select local bottle shops. Chaiyo!

Principe italian cured meats & Charcuterie now available

3/20/17 - Nicky USA has added a selection of cured meats and charcuterie from Italy's renown Principe Foods. Look for a range of prosciuttos (Italian hams) - di Parma, San Daniele, and Italiano, as well as other Italian deli meats like roasted pancetta, truffle ham, speck, bresaola, and porchetta. Principe's high quality standards and exacting production methods results in the finest authentic Italian charcuterie available. 

nicky farms - gilgamesh brewing chef series beer #3 now available

2/22/17 - We are thrilled to announce the release of Chef Aaron Barnett's  La Moule de L'Amour Red Brett Saison with Oyster Shells. Chef Barnett worked with the brew masters at Gilgamesh Brewing to create a refreshing, crisp beer in the French farmhouse style with a slightly funky wild side courtesy of the Brett yeast and the addition of oyster shells for some mineral complexity. Chef Barnett wanted a beer that would pair well with La Moule's diverse menu, but especially seafood dishes. The restaurant is a nod to the dimly lit bistros and bars of Europe, where a lively evening in cozied in a booth with rich bowls of mussels, crispy frites, and good company isn't an indulgence, but a part of life. It's a fabulous late winter beer that pairs well with the signature mussel dishes at La Moule and also holds up nicely to more hearty seasonal fare. 

$1 from every bottle sold goes directly to support the programs at The Portland Kitchen, Inc. which help underserved and low income aspiring teen chefs, and now also young adults, pursue a culinary career. This year a generous donation by The Richard & Helen Phillips Charitable Trust will match that buck and double the contribution from each sale!

The beer is available at Green Zebra GroceryZupan's Markets, and other area retailers and bottle shops, and on draft at La Moule and ST. JACK restaurant & bar. Cheers to a good beer and a great cause.

valls_nickyWAG2016_181.jpg

Nicky Farms - Gilgamesh brewing chef series beer #2 now available

12/21/16Nicky USA and Chef John Gorham are thrilled to release the second offering in our Gilgamesh Brewing Chef Beer Series with his Shalom Y'all Turkish Coffee Stout, a rich, classic toasty stout with coffee notes (thanks to some beautiful beans from Water Avenue Coffee) and hints of vanilla and cardamom. The beer is equally at home paired with savory and sweet dishes and of course, is perfectly delicious on its own. The stout is available on tap at Shalom Y’all and Mediterranean Exploration Company, and is available in bottles at Gorham’s other restaurants (Toro BravoTasty 'n SonsTasty 'n Alder, and Pollo Bravo) and in 22oz bottles at retailers like Green Zebra, Zupans, and area bottle shops.

The series launched in August with a collaboration between Gilgamesh Brewing and chef Carlo Lamagna of Clyde Common, raising over $1,500 for The Portland Kitchen with Lamagna’s Hibiscus Lager. Chef John Gorham’s Turkish Coffee Stout will be available through January 2017, and will be followed by collaborations with Chef Aaron Barnett of La Moule, and Chef Andy Ricker of Pok Pok.

All beers in the series donate $1 from every 22oz bottle sold and $10 from every keg sold to The Portland Kitchen. TPK sets the table for successful futures by using food and cooking to empower underserved teens to create healthy lifestyles, prepare for meaningful employment, and become engaged citizens in our community.

Just another example of our passion in bringing together the best ingredients and culinary talent to create delicious experiences for our community. 

Hudson Valley Foie Gras Terrine w/ duck confit crust, Cascade huckleberry gelée, and candied pistachio by Chef Shaun McCrain - Copine

Hudson Valley Foie Gras Terrine w/ duck confit crust, Cascade huckleberry gelée, and candied pistachio by Chef Shaun McCrain - Copine

customer spotlight - copine

12/15/16Chef Shaun McCrain and his team are cooking exceptional contemporary American cuisine executed with classical French technique and attention to detail at Copine in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle. We were fortunate enough to have them cook for us at this year's Wild About Game, where they partnered with Hudson Valley Foie Gras to present one of the most well received dishes at the event. Their foie gras terrine with duck confit, Cascade huckleberries, and candied pistachios was an absolute stunner for the eyes and the taste buds. They served over 500 of the delectable morsels to the attendees that day. The presentation and execution was flawless on every single plate. Imagine the possibilities when you go to dine at their restaurant and they are cooking just for you. You are in extremely capable hands.

They also have a cold case for take away items featuring everything from soups to smoked amarena cherries that will seriously upgrade your cocktail game. Copine should be at the top of your must visit list.