For about four years now, I’ve been looking for a meat CSA in my area. I’ve also looked into (but have never committed to) buying whole and half cows, purchasing pastured pigs and goats, heritage chickens and turkeys, all of which require a fairly large financial commitment and can result in a substantial amount of meat to store. What I really wanted was a subscription service where I could pay monthly, quarterly or bi-annually and be assured a certain quantity of meat without having to commit to any one type or cut.
Finally, after much research and years of buying from a variety of local and regional farms either at the farmers market or at Harry’s, I decided to bite the bullet and test the waters with a local meat CSA. Riverview Farms is a farm in northwest Georgia, about 50 miles north of where I live. They offer both produce and meat subscriptions, but right now I’m only taking advantage of the meat (our garden is still producing, so we’re going to utilize that as long as we can). They are a certified organic farm and they specialize in Berkshire pork and grass-fed beef. And they have a drop-off point that’s about four miles from my house.
We received our first box last week. We pay $68 a month for 10 lbs. of meat. This month we got a chuck roast (about 2.5 lbs.), two pounds of ground beef, two pounds of breakfast sausage, four bone-in pork chops (totaling a little over 2 pounds) and a pound of chorizo. I love that we don’t know what we’re getting ahead of time, because it forces me to be creative with my dinner menus. You can also place orders for certain items to be added to your box if you know there’s something you want.
Tonight, I was struggling to think of something to make for dinner. I knew I wanted to use some of the chorizo, and I’d pulled some spinach from our garden earlier in the day. I also had some quinoa in the pantry. I was drawing a blank, though, when it came to putting all of those things together into a cohesive meal – it was like a Chopped chef’s worst nightmare (although, on Chopped they probably would have thrown in peanut-butter or some kind of terrible fruit candy just to screw with me). I decided to google those three ingredients, on a whim, and was delighted to find a recipe that fit the bill perfectly. It even utilized those eggs I’d gathered.
I changed things up slightly by using fresh chorizo rather than dried (since that’s what I had), and I baked everything in the same pan I used to saute the chorizo, onion and spinach which resulted in a nice crisp brown crust on the bottom and edges.
Baked Quinoa with Chorizo, Spinach and Cheese
adapted from A Foodie’s Footnotes: Baked Quinoa with Spinach, Cheese and Chorizo
prep time: 20 minutes
bake time: 25 minutes
yields: 4-6 servings
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 1/2 pound fresh chorizo
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 cups fresh spinach, chopped
- 2 large eggs
- 4 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese (about 1 cup)
- 2 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
- Preheat the oven to 400F
- Cook quinoa according to package instructions
- Remove chorizo from casing and saute in a large heavy skillet or saute pan until browned. Break up the sausage as it cooks.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove chorizo from the pan and set aside.
- Add chopped onion to the fat rendered from cooking the chorizo and saute until browned and translucent.
- Add chopped spinach and stir around until wilted.
- Add the sausage back to the pan and remove from the heat.
- Drain the quinoa and place it back to the pan you cooked it in.
- Scramble the eggs and add them to the cooked quinoa along with 3/4 of the cheese and 2 teaspoons of the sage. Stir to combine.
- Add the quinoa mixture to the sausage mixture and mix to evenly distribute the ingredients. Spread it evenly in the pan.
- Sprinkle the remaining cheese and sage over the top
- Bake at 400F for 25 minutes, or until top is browned
Y’all, it was delicious. I went back for seconds and my husband went back for thirds and fourths. The kids were kind of indifferent, since the chorizo was spicier than what they’re used to, but I don’t think that will keep me from making this again. I might try it with a milder sausage next time, but I’ll definitely be revisiting this recipe. And I hope you’ll try it, too. You could even do this as a vegetarian meal, eliminating the chorizo and spicing things up with some chipotles or chile de arbol.
If you try it, let me know. I’ll be knocking on your door right around dinnertime.