Cooking the Perfect Pork Chop

Uncle Rich's Pork ChopI’ve met many people who’ve had an amazing Niman Ranch pork chop at some fine establishment and wish they could make it at home. Most folks hesitate to purchase thick cuts like this, however, so they end up having to enjoy their favorite pork-centric dish in a restaurant.

You may be one of those people who’s intimidated when it comes to cooking a pork chop up to two inches thick, but figuring out the right way to cook it is well worth the effort. Though this may not be the same way great chefs are doing it today, this is a sure-fire way to get the job done with great results.

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Memorial Day Made Easy

Celebrate the memory of all those who have courageously served our country by enjoying what our farmers and ranchers work so hard to provide. When celebrating any holiday, though, you may find yourself staring at a list with a million tasks.

Getting your house ready takes enough time, why not take searching for the right recipes off your list? The best memories in life are forged over food, so let us take away the worry of what to cook and just enjoy yourself!

We’ve put together a list of a few tried and true recipes to help you create the perfect Memorial Day menu. Some are Niman Ranch originals, some come from our farmers’ kitchens and others come from our friends cooking in restaurants across the country. But almost all these recipes are ready in 30 minutes or less!

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2015 Culinary Trends

Culinary Trends to Look For in 2015

The National Restaurant Association releases its What’s Hot Culinary Forecast at the beginning of each year. This prominent report is a result of over 1,300 professional chefs’ responses to questions about everything from profit to pickles. Their responses have laid out their predictions on what people like you want to see on menus and grocery shelves for the next year. We’re thrilled to see that some of the top trends for 2015 fit with who we are and what we have to offer – let us know if you agree in the comments!

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Football Food Favorites from Uncle Rich, Part 3

With Super Bowl XLIX just around the corner, Uncle Rich wants to share a recipe that can feed and fill the masses. Ever had pork nachos? Rich believes that when you mix pre-cooked pork and your favorite ingredients, it can be one of the easiest and flavorsome dishes to serve your friends.

Seeing how we just started making our Pulled Pork with Smoky Chipotle Barbecue Sauce just came out, this recipe features our new flavor with your classic favorites from the nacho world. Cheese, green onions, cilantro, avocado – anything you love could find it’s way to the top of this dish. He’s recommended what goes best with the spicy, smoky flavor of our pulled pork. Trust us – Uncle Rich knows best!

Want to keep things clean? Always put parchment paper underneath your tortilla chips. Love cheese? Add a second layer on top of the pulled pork. Want to really step up your game? Add crumbled, cooked bacon to the mix.

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Football Food Favorites from Uncle Rich – Part 2

With the football season in full swing and the weather a bit cooler, Uncle Rich is eager to use quick and easy grill recipes that are sure to please the crowds. This one was created with simplicity in mind – all you have to do is marinade the meat and voila! Delicious skewers.

Be sure to marinate these as directed, not overnight – it really makes a difference. The thin pieces of marinated meat cook in a jiff so you don’t have to miss a single pass or play!

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Football Food Favorites from Uncle Rich

 

20140809_155517-809x1024One of our team members, Rich Sanders, is a huge fan of football. Family and friends gather every fall in his living room to watch their favorite team play, but they don’t just come to root for the home team.

Rich’s nieces all say “Uncle Rich’s is the place to feed your face,” and with football season in full swing, he wants to share some of the crowd-pleasers that keep his couch filled year after year.

His first recipe, Niman Ranch Bacon-wrapped Gulf Shrimp, is one of the family’s favorites. They love how the smoky bacon flavors the Gulf shrimp and the pop in spice from the jalapeño.
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The Next Generation Scholarship Fund Awards

Next Gen Schol Blog - Scholarship Winner
Anthony Scheer, David Serfling Niman Ranch Memorial Scholarship winner

As this generation’s farmers and ranchers near retirement, we work to persuade our children and grandchildren not to leave the family farm. As an incentive, we developed a scholarship program called the Next Generation Scholarship Fund.

This fund is designed to raise awareness to the loss of traditional farming and ranching practices, and to ultimately help maintain this way of life. Our goal is to help give the children and family members of Niman Ranch farmers or other family farmers a better opportunity to return to the farm by helping pay for some of their education.

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2014 Farmer Of The Year

Paul Brown of Alderland Farm, Iowa

BrownFamily
Paul Brown and his family; from left: Son Derek, Wife Andrea, Daughter Allison, Son Landon

All the independent family farmers who raise livestock for Niman Ranch practice sustainable farming methods, humane animal husbandry and work within their communities to promote the family farming model. There are some, however, that stand out above the rest. In order to honor their achievements, we honor one farmer every year with the Farmer of the Year award, which is presented at the Farmer Appreciation Dinner in Iowa.

The 2014 winner came as no surprise. Paul Brown of Alderland farm has opened his home on several occasions to share his knowledge of sustainable farming and Niman Ranch. He and his family have hosted many tours over the years, from Niman Ranch groups to college groups, and even local school children. In fact, Paul is known simply as “Farmer Brown” to many local kids in his community.

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Featured Chef: Lucas Sautter

Chef Lucas Sautter – Alderbrook Resort and Spa –  Union, Washington

Lucas Sautter“I love to use Niman Ranch products because of taste and consistency, not to mention the way the animals are raised and cared for, I think it speaks volumes for the families and farmers. It for me is the best product in America.”

Chef Lucas Sautter brings over 12 years of culinary experience to Alderbrook Resort and Spa. He is a graduate of Scottsdale Culinary Institute in Arizona. Lucas has been a loyal employee of Alderbrook since 2005, working his way up from Lead Line Cook to Banquet Chef. Before then, he worked at the Classical French, AAA Five Diamond Award and Mobil Travel Guide Four Star Restaurant, The Tack Room in Tucson, AZ. He was also the executive chef of Basilico Restaurante Italiano in Olympia, WA. Lucas is a member of the American Culinary Federation, Washington State Chef’s Association and is on the Culinary Arts Advisory Board at Olympic College. He resides in Shelton with his wife, Crystal and their six year old daughter.

We’re honored to have chefs with his expertise joining us in Iowa!

Featured Chef: Kelly Whitaker

Chef Kelly Whitaker – Basta – Boulder, Colorado

Kelly“Niman Ranch has always been our go to for sustainable antibiotic free pork.  We feel creating dishes with integrity is our responsibility as chefs.”

After completing a degree in Restaurant/Hotel Management at Colorado State University and at Hotel Institute Montreux in Switzerland, Kelly Whitaker cultivated his skills in the back alley trattorias and little-known cities north of Naples, Italy.  Returning to the States, Kelly perfected his craft in Los Angeles and Hollywood cooking in Michelin star restaurants, where he began developing his wood fire skills.  He opened his first wood-fire concept restaurant called Basta, located in Boulder, Colorado, after returning in 2008.

Kelly believes strongly in sourcing his ingredients as locally as possible, with his style of cooking being inspired by Southern Italian comfort farm food. He is currently expanding his talents with his newest concept, Cart-Driver, located in Denver Colorado.  This fast/casual autogrill-style eatery replaces the normal “to-go” repertoire with responsibly sourced and well prepared food. Kelly’s hospitality group, IE Hospitality, hopes to create approachable concepts centered on responsible, quality ingredients while maintaining the highest level of customer service.

We can’t wait to taste what Kelly cooks up in Iowa!