Kipp Hill Farm
A dairy that’s gone to the goats
By Rebecca Eppelmann
Not too far from the hustle and bustle of Albany is the serene countryside of Schoharie County. Here, life is just a little more relaxed and the views are spectacular. When visiting the farm markets this fall, be sure to make a stop at Kipp Hill Farm – the first non-cow dairy farm to win the Dairy of Distinction award from the New York State Farm Bureau – to take a tour and enjoy some delicious, creamy goat cheese.
Located in Sloansville, Kipp Hill Farm sits on four acres, surrounded by 300 acres of empty land, where the bees aren’t the only busy ones. Suzann Kipp, who works full-time as a teacher at B.O.C.E.S. Maritime Academy in Schenectady and runs the farm with help from her husband and grandchildren, downplays the amount of work she does. Spend a few moments with her though, and you’ll soon realize it’s a lot more difficult than she makes it seem.
Eight years ago, it was unimaginable to Kipp that she and her family would someday be running a dairy farm, but it seemed like kismet. On a daytrip to Cooperstown with her husband and grandkids, they happened upon a series of For Sale signs and followed them to acres of land overgrown with grass and weeds, “easily over four feet tall.”
Kipp and her husband, who are raising their grandchildren (then 7 and 9 at the time), decided to purchase the property to give the kids a good country upbringing. As a child, Kipp grew up with sheep and wanted her grandkids to have the same experience. “Growing up with animals teaches responsibility and generally makes them better people,” she said.
In January of 2000 the family moved in, gave the land a manicure, and that spring the goats started coming.
“It started as a 4H project,” said Kipp. “We were only going to have a couple of goats and a couple of sheep and go to fairs.”
Both kids loved it from the beginning. Andrea, now in 10th grade, still enjoys working on the farm while Aaron, a high school senior, is ready to get out and see the world and will be leaving for the Navy next summer.
In just a few short years the farm grew, in part, because it had to. Kipp learned that in order to enter goats in an American Dairy Goat Association show, you had to breed them. “Anything over a year old that you show has to be in milk,” she said.
In other words, you can’t bring a “dry” goat to the show, so in order to keep entering fairs, they had to keep breeding. After the kids came the milk, which is when the cheese business started. “It just evolved,” she said. “I should have called it the ‘out of control farm.’” There are times now, she admits, that the farm is so busy they don’t have time to enter shows.
She learned to make cheese “by figuring it out“ and taking a workshop with her friend from Cornell University, the late Dave Brown. She also sought help from other local cheesemakers who were willing to share recipes.
Making the cheese
Kipp and Andrea begin their day by 5am. They milk, feed and give the goats water and are back in house by 6am to get ready for work and school. Later that evening, the process repeats itself. Of the 32 goats on the farm, 12 are currently in the milking cycle. “A good milker will give you a gallon at her peak,” Kipp said. At peak, the farm can get 24 gallons of goat milk a day.
The goats, which Kipp jokingly refers to as her ‘business partners’, are milked in a small room inside an Amish garage that was built to her specifications. There are two doors in the room; one through which goats come and go, the other leading into the creamery.
After the goats are milked, milk jugs are placed in a cooler that was customized to fit the farm’s needs. While larger farms use bulk tanks, which can cost thousands of dollars, Kipp “went back to the old style of cooling.” Mainly, she said, because bulk tanks are so expensive and don’t come in small versions. Years ago, milk was cooled in can coolers; insulated boxes with cold water and ice. For Kipp’s part, she purchased a freezer, the size that you would normally see used in a basement or garage for extra space. Inside, she placed a water and a circulating pump, which work to cool the milk to 45 degrees.
Once the milk is cooled, it goes through the pasteurization process. It is heated to 145 degrees, which is sustained for at least 30 minutes. The pasteurizer, which Kipp found used at a farm in the Adirondacks, holds up to 16 gallons of milk and has an outside jacket which is filled with water. A heating element is turned on to heat the water, and the milk is warmed. After the desired temperature is reached, cold water is run through the pasteurizer and dumped. This process is repeated until the cheese is 75 degrees, at which point cultures and rennet are added, and the cheese sits for 12–14 hours in the pasteurizer. Once removed from the vat, it is drained for about 24 hours through cheesecloth so the whey drains out. On average, Kipp makes cheese about every three days.
Pasteurization is recorded via various thermometers placed in the vat, including a recording thermometer. As simple as the process may seem, it is monitored very closely, and not only by Kipp. The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (A&M) makes monthly visits to the farm to check the recording thermometer’s records, which confirms that pasteurization did in fact take place. Kipp also records what the other thermometers read, how many gallons were pasteurized and then she initials and dates it.
The paper on which the readings are recorded cannot be moved without tearing because of a button in the center and the recordings cannot be altered. A&M representatives take the paper during their visits to confirm the proper steps have been taken. But thermometer recordings aren’t the only thing on the farm that gets checked.
“They do inspections of the creamery, check thermometers for accuracy, check the refrigerator, check inside the pasteurization vat and take samples of milk and cheese,” said Kipp. “Milk is checked for somatic cells to ensure the goats are healthy and there aren’t any antibiotics or any other kinds of medicine in the milk.”
When goats are being treated with antibiotics, they are taken out of the milking cycle.
The result of all of the hard work and attention to detail is delicious, homemade all-natural goat cheese. The goats are fed only all-natural ingredients that Kipp buys from local farmers. On average, she spends about $160 every two weeks on hay and $30 every week on grain.
The cheese comes in 14 flavors including: sundried tomato, garlic, horseradish, cranberry walnut and even chocolate pistachio. It can be purchased online or in person at the farm; plain goat cheese is $4, flavored is $5. Kipp has also impressed a few local restaurateurs who are now serving the cheese, including: Aperitivo in Schenectady, American Hotel and Restaurant in Sharon Springs and the Carrot Barn in Schoharie. Bowmans Orchard in Rexford also sells the cheese.
The farm’s recent Dairy of Distinction award from the New York State Farm Bureau is proof that Kipp is, as she puts it, is “not afraid to pick up the phone and let people know we’re here and have local food.”
Kipp Hill Farm also participates in multiple farmer’s markets in the area, including Cohoes, Empire State Plaza, CDPHP and Waterford. To see for yourself how the cheese is made, visit the farm, but plan to stay for a while. There are also seasonal offerings of fruit, vegetables, honey, garlic, gourmet granola and pastries. For those who aren’t just in it for the food, a petting zoo, custom tours and goat trekking are all available by appointment. Educational farm programs are also available for camps and schools.
For information on Kipp Hill Farm or to visit call 461.6547 or visit www.kipphillfarm.com.
Rebecca Eppelmann is a resident of Menands and freelances in her spare time. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Share your love of fresh healthy food with those who don’t get enough nutritious food. Capital District Community Gardens (CDCG) launched the Squash Hunger in 2004 and has since collected more than 24,000 pounds of donated produce from members of the community. They continue to increase this number by encouraging local farmers and gardeners to drop off their extra produce at one of the eight Squash Hunger collection sites in Albany, Schenectady and Rensselaer counties.
Here’s how you can help
• Harvest and share the extra produce from you own garden.
• Donate produce from your farm, your Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share or a farmer’s market.
• When picking strawberries or apples pick some for the hungry.
• When shopping for your family, buy extra produce to share.
• Bring the produce to one of eight collection sites throughout the Capital District.
2008 Drop off locations
Produce can be dropped off through October. The following drop off locations are ready for your extra produce:
• Roma Importing Co – 9 Cobbee Rd, Latham – 785.7480
• Capital District Community Gardens' Office – 40 River Street, Troy, 274.8685
• Delmar Market Place – 406 Kenwood Avenue, Delmar, 439.3936
• Greulichs Market Inc – 3403 Carman Road, Schenectady, 355.1530
• Honest Weight Food Co-op – 484 Central Avenue, Albany, 482.2667
• Hannaford Supermarket – 5 Maple Road, Voorheesville, 765.2629
• Hannaford Supermarket – 3703 NY Highway 43, West Sand Lake, 674.2846
• Troy Farmers Market – Troy Marina, 433 River St, Troy. Drop off Saturdays 9-1 at the community table
Facts about Hunger in New York State
• 50% of households receiving emergency food assistance include at least one employed adult.
• America’s Second Harvest estimates that more than 900,000 New Yorkers rely on Emergency Food Programs (EFPs), or soup kitchens and food pantries, each week.
• According to the New York State Department of Health, the total number of meals provided by soup kitchens increased by 3.9 million pounds (61%) from 1987 to 1996.
• An estimated 340,080 children in NYS are hungry, according to the Nutrition Consortium of New York State.
• During the summer months, the problem is more acute when children, who are most affected by hunger, don’t have access to school-based meals.
• Nearly 80,000 of those using the Food Pantries of the Capital Region were infants or children, 86,000 were adults and 13,500 were seniors.
To freeze… or not to freeze…
By Alissa Lubanski
Freezing foods help you waste less food and saves money and time. There are some foods that just freeze better than others, and there are some foods you probably didn’t know you could freeze. To make your life a little easier, we’ve done the research and hopefully have taken some of the guesswork out of what you can and cannot freeze.
As for safety, foods stored constantly at 0 °F will always be safe; it is only the quality that can deteriorate. However, freezing does not kill bacteria or parasites already present in food, it only keeps them dormant. So practice food safety when de-thawing any foods, such as beef and poultry.
Foods that don’t freeze well:
• cooked egg whites, meringues
• most dairy, including cream pies, sour cream, cottage cheese and yogurt
• raw watery vegetables (lettuce, cabbage, cucumbers, tomatoes)
• cooked potatoes (as in soups, stews and potato salads)
• fried food (except for French fries and onion rings)
• spices and seasonings such as curry, paprika, celery and salt, can alter their flavor, become bitter or more strong
• anything with a crumb topping
Foods that do freeze well:
• meat, raw freezes better but cooked can freeze well
• unfrosted cake
• pizza, pizza dough
• cooked dried beans
• cooked rice
• soups and stews
• sauces, i.e. tomato sauce, pesto
Did you know you can freeze raw eggs? As long as they aren’t stored in their shell and instead in plastic containers. You can stir together the yolk and white and freeze together in a plastic container or bag, or freeze the yolk and white separately. Raw egg yolks will need to be broken and stirred with either a half teaspoon of salt per cup of egg or one tablespoon of sugar per cup of egg if using for a dessert. The salt and/or sugar helps prevent the yolks from becoming lumpy during storage. Cooked egg yolks can be frozen without a problem. The opposite is true of cooked egg whites. Raw, on the other hand, freeze just fine (freeze in ice cube trays, one per cube, then transfer to container). Eggs should be thawed in the refrigerator a day before you use them.
Freezing cheese can make the texture crumbly and mealy, yet the flavour remains unscathed. So if you are going to grate or melt the cheese, the consistency won’t make a difference. Roquefort, bleu cheese and gorgonzola freeze well, as they are generally crumbled, and should keep up to six months in the freezer. If you are going to melt or grate firmer cheeses such as Gouda, cheddar and Swiss, they can keep for about six months as well. Hard cheeses like parmigiano-reggiano and romano will keep for up to a year.
Freeze food as quickly as possible— don’t wait until overripe or until it has been in the fridge too long.
As a rule, the greasier the food, the less time it will hold up in the freezer. Leaner fish last up to twice as long as oilier varieties. Trim excess fat off of meat; it will freeze better and longer.
Blanch vegetables (boil in water for 1-2 minutes then immerse in ice-cold water) before freezing; this prevents deterioration.
Always wrap foods in heavy-duty aluminum foil, freezer bags or both. Make sure there is no moisture and no extra air in the bag or wrapping.
Food Approximate length to freeze
Tomato sauce…………………………6 months
Meatballs in sauce……………………6 months
Uncooked meat (steaks/roasts)…….4-12 months
Uncooked meat (ground)……………3-4 months
Cooked meat…………………………2-3 months
Uncooked poultry…………………….9-12 months
Cooked poultry……………………….4 months
Baked muffins/quick bread…………2-3 months
Invitation to fun times
By Alissa Lubanski
There’s nothing more fun than having friends over for a party. But if you’re stuck in a party rut, try out these ideas that will take your party from subdued to spectacular!
Martini Theme Party
• Dress up! Break out that LBD (little black dress) and get your guy in a tie.
• Martini-making station with chilled glasses, different vodkas, gins, vermouths, olives, cocktail onions, lemon.
• James Bond movie soundtracks.
• Hors d’oeuvres (i.e. caviar, fruit & cheese tray, stuffed mushrooms, marinated olives, cocktail nuts)
• Contest: create and name an original martini. Prize goes to the winner (maybe a set of cool stemless martini glasses?)
Wine & Cheese Party
• Sophisticated attire.
• Purchase wine charms for all; they will serve both as a token of appreciation to your guests and a way to keep track of wine glasses.
• Everyone brings his/her own bottle.
• Everyone brings their favorite cheese to share.
• Vote/rank best wines and cheeses.
• Blind taste tests: Put wine bottle in a brown paper bag and secure with rubber band. Number each bottle. Have everyone guess and write down the type wine, the price and the rating he/she gives it.
Thrift Store Theme Party
• Scavenge thrift stores for the goofiest, craziest, ugliest, out-of-date outfit you can find.
• Have everyone bring (wrapped) the ugliest knick-knack they can find and later exchange these precious gifts!
• Make it “bring your own beer/beverage” of choice.
• Chips, dip, veggie tray, rye bread bowl, gourmet pizza.
• Punch (i.e. gin, Tom Collins mixer, fruit juices, club soda).
• Vote for best costume/couple’s costume; prize to winners.
Movie Night Theme Party
• Popcorn bar. Have lots of popcorn with a choice of condiments, such as butter, salt, parmesan cheese, and flavored salts and herb seasonings.
• Nachos and cheese.
• Candy – bowls of M&M’s, junior mints, Swedish fish.
• Fizzy drinks – soda or spritzer; alcohol optional.
• Put a mix together of favorite and recognizable movie theme songs that run the gamut and play before and after movie.
• Trivia questions (make them up ahead of time) after the movie.
Halloween Theme Party
• Costumes mandatory
• Replace regular light bulbs with colored ones, i.e. red, black.
• Cover furniture with white sheets for the abandoned haunted house feel.
• Have a b horror flick playing in the background.
• Have scary sound effects or music playing
Jack-o-lanterns, fake body parts, and spider webs strewn about.
• Punch (i.e. light/dark rum, cointreau, fruit juices, fruit).
• “think “murderous meatballs”, “death by chocolate”, and “killer cheese dip” for food”.
Game Show Party
Create your own version of “Match Game,” “The Newlywed Game,” “Jeopardy,”.
• “Wheel of Fortune,” and others.
• Finger foods and cocktails.
• Be creative and make stage props out of cardboard, etc.
• Prizes such as money (fake or real) or small gifts
• Download game show tunes for authenticity and to get your guests psyched for game show night!
Mexican Fiesta Party
• Colorful Mexican-inspired attire.
• Give each guest a sombrero and maracas.
• Decorate with festive lights, cacti and chili pepper props.
• Lots of fresh salsa, quesadillas, guacamole
• Margaritas, coronas, tequila shots in festive glassware
• Play Mariachi band music…
• Don’t forget the piñata!
Cooking with the experts
Exclusive tips from area chefs
By Alissa Lubanski
We’re lucky to have many fabulous restaurants to choose from in the Capital Region. Have you ever wished you could bring some of that culinary excellence to your own kitchen? Well now you can! Read on to learn a few cooking tips from eight local chefs. Perhaps you will be inspired to get in the kitchen and give them a try.
Joe Ferrari, Ferarri’s Ristorante Schenectady
“When starting dinner it’s always good to have your ingredients at least an arm’s length away. You don’t want to start going through your cabinets while you’re in the middle of cooking. Using tongs is important when cooking meats so you don’t pierce the meats and lose the flavor; you could also use them to stir pasta. Tongs are easy to handle. Always clean up after yourself so have a kitchen towel in hand, or as I like to call it a ‘mapine.’”
Carmine Sprio, Carmine’s – Albany
“Cooking should be fun. It’s best to do it in the company of family and friends, maybe with some wine, and definitely with lively conversation. Everyone eats, but no one should do it alone. Cook something, then share. If I can do it anyone can.”
Brian Molino, Marché – Albany
“Don’t be afraid of salt! It is one of the most basic, but important ways of enhancing the flavors in a dish. Meat or fish should be seasoned immediately before the protein goes in the pan, oven or on the grill. With soups, sauces and even risotto, season lightly at the beginning of cooking and finish seasoning to taste at the end because they are likely to reduce and concentrate in flavor. If you season it perfectly in the beginning, there is a good chance it will be too salty at the end. An important tip to seasoning is to taste often.
“Also, fresh herbs have a very important role in cooking. Marinating with fresh herbs helps layer flavors by creating amazing aromas and very distinct flavors. With soups and sauces, heartier herbs like rosemary, thyme and sage can be added in the beginning to extract maximum flavor, but should be removed before serving because they will not have a desirable texture. More delicate herbs, such as parsley, tarragon, chives and dill should be added right before serving to finish soups and sauces so they retain their fresh flavor and color.”
Justin Engineri, Franklin’s Tower and Pearl Street Public House – Albany
“When cooking your proteins such as a seared steak or pan seared halibut, be sure to cook it around 75 percent on your presentation side then finish cooking it on the bottom side. This will give your ‘star of the plate’ more of a golden brown color. Also, always keep some room temperature butter around to finish sauces.”
Glenn Kakely,Mochablend Café, Brunswick
“It’s all about the ‘spread’. Try something new and unique. Instead of plain white mayonnaise or a simple mustard, try a flavorful chipotle mayonnaise, a garlic and herb spread, a pesto sauce, or a stone ground spicy mustard.”
Mark Graham, Mezza Notte – Guilderland
“Search out the farmers markets and buy local when at all possible, and make it part of your dieting regimen. This is important for three reasons: it’s healthier, it’s fresher, and tastes better. Beyond that, you are supporting local farmer’s families, and keeping money in the Capital Region.”
Shaw Rabadi, BFS – Albany
“Don’t pay attention to a recipe when it calls for 1/8 a teaspoon of this, or 1/2 teaspoon of that. Throw out the tools and cook from your heart. We pinch salt and pinch pepper. And remember to avoid the Big S’s: sugar, salt and saturated fats, because they have a big influence on your health and well-being.”
Jaime Ortiz, 677 Prime – Albany
“Indispensable kitchen gadget: cupped heat resistant rubber spatula. It scoops, spreads, stirs and flips. Also, season your steak with organic sea salt prior to cooking.”
No-fail dinner party menus from
Executive Chef Michael Niccoli of The Century House
Are you a seasoned pro at hosting dinner parties and have your go-to menus on hand? Or, are you a newly married and dying to host a party to make use of all of your new china, but not sure where to begin? Not to worry. We asked Executive Chef Niccoli to come up with three fool-proof dinner party menus that will have your guests asking when the next party is. To download these recipes, visit www.crlmag.com. Bon appetite!
Salad–Seasonal Greens, Apple Cider Vinaigrette, Candied Walnuts & Goat Cheese
Entrée–Roast Turkey Breast with Chestnut Stuffing, Cranberry Relish
Dessert–Apple Crumble Tart
Roast Turkey Breast with Chestnut Stuffing and Cranberry Relish
Yield: 10 servings
Oil as needed
Salt and pepper t.t.
Season the turkey with salt and pepper. Rub with oil. fill cavity if desired with mirepoix, citrus and herb stems.
Place the turkey on a rack in a roasting pan. Roast in a convection oven at 350°F for approx. 1 ½ hours at 40 percent steam until the internal temperature is 160°F.
Remove the turkey from the roasting pan and allow it to rest. The chef will demonstrate carving for service.
Meanwhile prepare the dressing, Madeira sauce, cranberry relish and seasonal vegetable.
Carve the turkey into portions and serve with the Madeira sauce, vegetable, relish and chestnut stuffing.
Yield: 10 servings
Onions, minced 1/2 lb.
Celery, small dice 12/ lb.
Rendered turkey , duck , bacon fat, or butter 4 oz.
Sausage, breakfast,chopped 1 lb.
Bread, day old, medium dice 3 lb.
Chicken stock (adjust as necessary) 1-2 qt.
Eggs, beaten 3 ea.
Parsley, chopped ½ Cup
Salt and black pepper as needed
Sage, fresh, chopped ¼ Cup
Chestnuts, roasted, rough chop as per chef demo 1 lb.
Sauté the onions, celery and sausage in fat until tender. Break up the sausage pieces as it cooks. Reserve.
Combine the bread cubes, chicken stock, and egg and add to the onion/celery/sausage mixture.
Add the parsley, salt, pepper, sage and chestnuts. Mix them all well.
Place the stuffing in 2 buttered half pans and cover it with aluminum foil. Bake the stuffing at 350°F for 45 minutes.
Yield: 10 portions
Cranberries 1 1/2 lb.
Orange zest, grated 1 ea.
Oranges, juiced 2 ea.
Granny Smiths; peeled, small dice 2 ea.
Sugar 1 1/2 Cups
Cinnamon sticks 1 ea.
Apple cider 1/2 Cup
Combine all ingredients and simmer in a heavy pan until the berries pop; remove the cinnamon stick.
Hold the relish at room temp until service
Seasonal Greens with Apple Cider Vinaigrette Candied Walnuts & Goat Cheese
Yield: 10 portions
Apple cider 1 Cups
Cider vinegar 1/2 Cup
Granny Smith apple,small dice 1 ea.
Vegetable oil 1 ½ Cups
Tarragon leaves, chopped 1 Tbsp.
Salt 1 tsp.
Black pepper, ground 1/8 tsp.
Tabasco Sauce 1 tsp.
Maple syrup 1 Tbsp.
Aged White Cheddar,Grated 1 Cup
Honey Roasted Walnuts, chopped 1 cup
Reduce the apple cider in half. Combine the cider reduction, the vinegar, and the apple.
Whisk in the oil gradually.
Add the tarragon, salt, maple syrup, Tabasco and pepper.
Toss Your Favorite Greens with Dressing
Top with Walnuts and Grated Cheddar
Apple Crumble Tart
Yield: 2- 10” Tarts
Pie Dough 1 Sheet
Granny Smith Apples 6ea.
Brown Sugar !/2cup
1. Roll out dough and and pre-bake @ 350. (do this first)
2. Bake until tart shell starts to take color.
3. Peel & Slice Apples coat with sugar and fill shell.
4. Mix Sugar cinnamon sugar and flour by hand and cover apples.
5. Baked in 350degree oven until top is golden brown.
Salad–Frisee & Bibb Lettuces, Cranberry Port Vinaigrette, Toasted Almond & Cherve
Entrée–Cornbread Stuffed Cornish Game Hen, Caramelized Shallot Mashed Potatoes Madeira Glaze
Dessert– Spiced Cranberry Bread Pudding
BIBB LETTUCE & FRISEE CRANBERRY PORT VINAIGRETTE TOASTED ALMOND & CHEVRE
Yield 6 Portions
1 cup tawny Port
1/3 cup packed thinly sliced shallots
1 cup fresh cranberries
1/3 cup safflower oil
3 tablespoons raspberry vinegar or red wine vinegar
8 cups frisee and chopped Bibb
2/3 cup crumbled Chevre
1/4 cup slivered almonds
Combine Port and shallots in heavy small saucepan. Boil until liquid is reduced to 2 tablespoons, about 10 minutes. Add cranberries, oil and vinegar. Boil 3 minutes. Season vinaigrette with salt and pepper. Let cool slightly. Combine greens in large bowl. Pour vinaigrette over greens and toss. Sprinkle with cheese and nuts. Toss lightly and serve warm.
CORNBREAD STUFFED CORNISH GAME HENS SHALLOT MASH POTATOES
Yield 6 Portions
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 1/2 cups diced peeled cored Granny Smith or Golden Delicious apples
2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cups 1/2-inch cubes purchased cornbread or corn muffins (about 11 ounces)
1 large egg, beaten to blend
1/2 cup (packed) coarsely grated sharp cheddar cheese (about 2 ounces)
6 tablespoons (about) fresh apple cider or fresh apple juice.
4 1 1/4- to 1 1/2-pound Cornish game hens, rinsed, patted dry
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 bacon slices, each halved crosswise
For stuffing: Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and celery; sautÈ until beginning to color, about 5 minutes. Add apples; sautÈ until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Mix in sage, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; transfer to large bowl. Let stand until almost cool, about 10 minutes.
Mix cornbread into vegetables. Add egg and toss to blend. Mix in cheese, then enough apple cider by tablespoonfuls to form stuffing that is moist but not wet.
Game hens: Sprinkle cavity of each hen lightly with salt and pepper. Pack 1 cup stuffing into each (place any leftover stuffing into buttered ramekins and cover with foil). Skewer cavities closed with toothpicks or turkey lacers. Tuck wing tips under; tie legs together to hold shape. Mix sage, coarse salt, and pepper in small bowl; sprinkle over hens.
Preheat oven to 400∞F. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Place 2 hens in skillet. SautÈ until brown, turning often with wooden spoons (to prevent tearing skin), about 10 minutes. Transfer to rimmed baking sheet, breast side up. Repeat with remaining hens. Drape 2 bacon strip halves over breast of each hen. Using kitchen string, tie bacon strips in place. (Place any ramekins of stuffing on baking sheet with hens.)
Place hens (and extra stuffing) in oven. Roast hens until cooked through and juices run clear when thigh is pierced, about 45 minutes. (Roast stuffing 30 minutes.) Cut strings off hens. Transfer hens to plates. Spoon maque choux around hens and serve with extra stuffing.
SPICED CRANBERRY BREAD PUDDING
Yield 6 Portions
1 cup sugar, divided
1/2 cup organic frozen cranberry juice cocktail concentrate, thawed
1/2 cup orange juice
2 teaspoons finely grated orange peel
3 cups cranberries (about 12 ounces), unthawed if frozen
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
12 slices white sandwich bread
1/4 cup apricot preserves
Freshly grated nutmeg
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
2 cups heavy whipping cream.
Bring 1/2 cup sugar, cranberry juice concentrate, orange juice, and grated orange peel to boil in heavy large saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves. Mix in cranberries; return to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low; gently simmer 3 minutes (cranberries should not break). Pour cranberry mixture into strainer set over bowl and drain. Return syrup to same pan. Boil until very thick and reduced to generous 1/2 cup, about 7 minutes. Fold berries into syrup. Cool to room temperature.
Spray six 1- to 1 1/4-cup ramekins with nonstick spray. Line bottom of each with round of parchment paper. Cut round from each bread slice to fit bottom of ramekin. Spread each bread round with 1 teaspoon preserves, then sprinkle with cinnamon and grating of nutmeg.
Spoon 1 tablespoon cranberries (with as little syrup as possible) into each ramekin. Top with 1 bread round, preserves side down. Repeat 1 time with berries and bread rounds. Reserve berry syrup.
Whisk eggs, liqueur, vanilla, salt, and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in medium bowl until well blended. Add cream and stir until sugar dissolves. Pour custard, 1/4 cup at a time, over bread in each ramekin (generous 1/2 cup in each). Let stand at least 15 minutes and up to 1 hour, occasionally pressing bread to submerge.
Preheat oven to 350∞F. Place puddings in 13x9x2-inch metal baking pan. Add enough lukewarm water to pan to come halfway up sides of ramekins. Bake until puffed and firm to touch, about 45 minutes. Remove from water. Let cool 10 minutes. Using small sharp knife, cut around each. Turn out onto plate; peel off paper. Spoon some reserved syrup over. Serve warm.
Salad—Spinach Salad White Balsamic & Bacon Vinaigrette, Candied Walnuts, Gala Apple & Lardons
Entrée—Roasted Pork Tenderloin Apple Chutney
Dessert—Maple Hazelnut Pie
Roast Pork Tenderloin apple Chutney
Yield 6 Portions
1- to 1 1/4-pound trimmed pork tenderloins
1/2 cup apple cider
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 cup C. H. Apple Chutney
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves plus sprigs for garnish
2 tablespoons olive oil.
Rinse pork and pat dry. Place in shallow bowl. Mix cider, wine, chutney, garlic, and thyme leaves in small bowl. Pour mixture over pork; cover and marinate at room temperature 1 hour or chill up to 3 hours.
Preheat oven to 375∞F. Heat oil in large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Remove pork from marinade, reserving marinade. Add pork to skillet, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook until light brown on all sides, about 6 minutes total.
Pour reserved marinade over pork. Transfer skillet to oven; roast pork, basting occasionally, until instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part registers 145∞F, about 20 minutes for medium (temperature will rise about 10 degrees). Transfer pork to cutting board. Tent with foil; let rest 5 minutes.
Slice pork; transfer to platter. Pour pan sauce and juices over. Garnish pork with thyme sprigs.
SPINACH SALAD WARM APPLEWOOD-SMOKED BACON VINAIGETTE
Yield 6 Portions
1 lbs. Applewood=smoked bacon, cubed
1/3 cup packed minced shallots
3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 cup rendered bacon fat
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
8 cups spinach
2/3 cup candied walnut
1/4 cup sliced Gala apples
Salt to taste
Cook bacon on medium heat until golden brown , reserve fat. Combined mustard & vinegar pour in warm fat slowly while whisking. When the all the fat is whisked in add the shallots and season with salt to taste. Poach walnuts in equal parts sugar and water for 5-8 minute. Remove walnuts from liquid and toast in the oven at 350 degrees until golden brown. Slice the apple in to thin pieces with skin on. Combined vinaigrette, bacon, apple and spinach in a mixing bowl and toss. Garnish with candied walnuts.
MAPLE HAZELNUT PIE
Yield 1 Pie
3/4 cup pure maple syrup (preferably Grade B)
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons bourbon
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1 refrigerated pie crust (half of 15-ounce package)
1 large egg white, lightly beaten to loosen
1 cup hazelnuts, husked, coarsely chopped (about 5 ounces)
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
Bring maple syrup, brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt to boil in medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Continue boiling 1 minute, reducing heat as needed to prevent mixture from boiling over. Remove pan from heat. Add bourbon, then butter; whisk until butter melts. Let cool to lukewarm, whisking occasionally, about 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350∞F. Spray 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish with nonstick spray. Unroll pie crust. Line dish with crust. Crimp edges decoratively. Brush crust with enough egg white to coat. Scatter hazelnuts over. Whisk eggs and vanilla extract in medium bowl until blended. Whisk cooled maple-sugar mixture into egg mixture. Pour mixture over hazelnuts in crust. Bake pie until filling is set and slightly puffed, about 50 minutes. Cool completely on rack.