Monthly Archives: January 2016

My Secret Ingredient and a Camp Potatoes Recipe

secIngredPeople often ask me what seasonings I use to make my foods taste so great, so today I’m sharing my secret ingredient. I call it, no surprises here, Herban Farmer’s Secret Ingredient. I make this myself, hand-grinding the peppercorns in an antique coffee mill which gives them a nice variety in consistency, adjusting the ingredient proportions and using sea salt, so that I finally have it the way I love it. And do I ever love it!

Although I have an entire kitchen cabinet devoted to spices, seasonings, oils… this is the one seasoning that I use so much that I have to make a new batch several times a year. Plus, I have a few friends that are addicted to this stuff and come to me with their empty jars for refills. Not to mention it makes great Christmas gifts! This seasoning just seems to disappear… but considering that I use it for breakfast (it’s great in egg dishes), lunch (great in salads, on sandwiches, in soup, etc), dinner (awesome on meat, fish, poultry, seafood, vegetables, mashed potatoes, in sauces, stews, soups, jeez, even on cottage cheese!) and anything in between (yes, try it on grilled peaches or vegetables, you can’t go wrong) it’s no wonder I’m always having to crank up the old coffee mill.

potatoesI’ve even had friends joke that it makes a great sachet for the underwear drawer and will also do in a pinch to melt snow off the driveway… but enough of the jokes. This seasoning has become my ~secret ingredient~ and I have decided to spread the wealth and sell it on my blog. Every bottle is filled with my personally hand-made Secret Ingredient. The price includes shipping and packaging (and that’s not cheap these days!). If you order any of my other products such as the fermentation kits, I’ll throw in a sample packet of my Secret Ingredient.

So… try it, you’ll LOVE it!

Here’s the perfect recipe to begin with. I’ve been making this for decades. Not only is it easy to make, delicious and satisfying, but it’s also the perfect dish to make when you’re camping. I’ve even backpacked into wilderness and made this—it’s so easy when all the prep (cutting up of food) can be done in advance and carried in baggies. You could also add some meat to this to make it a meal rather than a side dish. Diced ham is a nice addition. Want to get even fancier? Add some grated cheddar to the top and stick it under the broiler for a few minutes.

Potatoes with Peppers and Onions

potatoesThThis side dish is delicious, satisfying and easy to make. It's also a great camping dish since you can do all the prep at home. This goes especially great with grilled trout. It can also be served as a meal, just add some protein (ham is good) and cheese at the end. It's also a VERY good breakfast dish paired with eggs.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 large russet potatoes unpeeled, cut into 1" pieces
  • 1 large bell pepper red or green, cut into 1" pieces
  • 1 large yellow onion cut into 1" pieces
  • olive oil about 3 TB or so
  • 1 tsp HF Secret Ingredient or to taste

Instructions

  • [Optional] Cook potatoes in salted boiling water for about 2 minutes. This will remove some of the sticky starch that would otherwise make the potatoes stick to your skillet. It also speeds up the cooking process. This step can be skipped, but just know the potatoes will stick more to the skillet. Drain and rinse potatoes.
  • Heat olive oil in a skillet, then add peppers, onion and potatoes. Sprinkle liberally with Herban Farmer's Secret Ingredient and sauté until the vegetables are soft and browning nicely, about 20-25 minutes if you've parboiled the potatoes, about 30 minutes if not. You can add about 1/4 c of water and cover at this point to deglaze the pan.
  • If adding ham or cheese, that can be done at the end. Serve hot and enjoy!

Camp Potatoes with Peppers and Onions

This is a very simple yet satisfying side dish that can be eaten with breakfast or as a side dish with other meals. It’s also the perfect camping or backpacking recipe, as the ingredients can be easily packed and do not need to be refrigerated.

This smells wonderful when cooking and tastes even better!

Potatoes with Peppers and Onions

potatoesThThis side dish is delicious, satisfying and easy to make. It's also a great camping dish since you can do all the prep at home. This goes especially great with grilled trout. It can also be served as a meal, just add some protein (ham is good) and cheese at the end. It's also a VERY good breakfast dish paired with eggs.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 large russet potatoes unpeeled, cut into 1" pieces
  • 1 large bell pepper red or green, cut into 1" pieces
  • 1 large yellow onion cut into 1" pieces
  • olive oil about 3 TB or so
  • 1 tsp HF Secret Ingredient or to taste

Instructions

  • [Optional] Cook potatoes in salted boiling water for about 2 minutes. This will remove some of the sticky starch that would otherwise make the potatoes stick to your skillet. It also speeds up the cooking process. This step can be skipped, but just know the potatoes will stick more to the skillet. Drain and rinse potatoes.
  • Heat olive oil in a skillet, then add peppers, onion and potatoes. Sprinkle liberally with Herban Farmer's Secret Ingredient and sauté until the vegetables are soft and browning nicely, about 20-25 minutes if you've parboiled the potatoes, about 30 minutes if not. You can add about 1/4 c of water and cover at this point to deglaze the pan.
  • If adding ham or cheese, that can be done at the end. Serve hot and enjoy!

Brown Rice/Wheat Berry/Barley Pilaf

Brown Rice/Wheat Berry/Barley Pilaf

lamb shanksThis is a hearty, chewy pilaf that is the perfect companion to my Lamb Shanks recipe, as it uses the pan drippings from the shanks as flavoring.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 cups unsalted chicken stock
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1/2 cup wheat berries (I prefer Einkorn)
  • 1/2 cup pearled barley
  • soy sauce or tamari to taste

Instructions

  • Place stock and grains into a lidded sauce pan and heat to boiling.
  • If NOT using the lamb shank pan drippings: turn down the heat and simmer until grains are cooked (30-40 minutes). Flavor with soy sauce and serve.

    OR-->
  • If USING the lamb shank pan drippings: Turn down heat and simmer for 25-30 minutes, until the grains are "al dente" — not completed cooked. Set aside until lamb shanks are done.
  • Remove lamb shanks from their pan and set aside. Add some water to the drippings and deglaze. Add in the pilaf and stir well. Place shanks on top of rice, add a little water if needed and cook for about 10 minutes, until pilaf is hot and cooked. Serve.