Pork On Your Fork: Easy Pork Won Tons

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Times

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients Icon

Ingredients

1 pound Ground Pork
1/2 cup water chestnuts, chopped
pinch salt
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 egg
2 green onions, chopped
1 package Won Ton Wraps
Hot oil, for frying

Cooking Directions Icon

Cooking Directions

Mix together first six ingredients. Wrap one teaspoon of meat mixture in each won ton wrap (following package directions to seal wraps securely). Deep fry in 350 to 375 degree F. oil, turning until golden brown. Serve hot with Sweet & Sour Sauce.

Makes approximately 54 won tons. Nutrition facts for 2 won tons per serving.


Serving Suggestions Icon

Serving Suggestions

Set up an assembly line to make these fun won tons. Younger cooks can help fill and seal the won tons, but have an adult do the frying. Serve with Sweet & Sour Sauce and a side of Chinese Vegetables A La Florida.


Nutrition Icon

Nutrition

Calories: 90 calories
Protein: 5 grams
Fat: 3 grams
Sodium: 150 milligrams
Cholesterol: 20 milligrams
Saturated Fat: 1 grams
Carbohydrates: 10 grams
Fiber: 0 grams

Random Tip:

Don’t overcook your pork!

Recipe from: PorkBeInspired.com

Harvest: A Bountiful Time For Everyone Around The World

 

 

 

 

 

By: Levi McPhillips

There is only one time of year that can bring back so many good memories of nature, family, and what it means to be a farmer. Harvest has always been my favorite time of year. Both sides of my family are hard at work in the fields, hoping to bring in enough crops to earn a profit. There are many things about harvest that warm my heart. High school football kept me busy in my teenage years. Saturdays meant sitting in the tractor listening to the Huskers play. Fall also brought the most exciting time of the year, hunting season. My body knows when deer season is approaching. I get buck fever every time November 1st rolls around, and that excitement never dies down until after Thanksgiving. My favorite part of harvest time truly expresses my background as a hog farmer. When the fields start to clear out it means that we can start applying manure to the soils. I am sure that most find it strange that I have always enjoyed hauling hog manure, but that is precious time for me to enjoy in the tractor.

Harvest is an ancient tradition that dates back to when early man first learned to grow his own food. For many the success of harvest determined whether they would make it through the winter. My ancestors fled Ireland in the 1860’s during the Potato Famine. Many years of bad potato harvests forced thousands to search for a new place to call home where they would no longer worry about starvation. If it were not for unsuccessful harvests my family may have never immigrated to America, and we may all still be in Ireland.

My ancestors’ troubles did not end there. Once they homesteaded in Nebraska there were still many dangers that threatened their food supply and their livelihoods. Months of work could be destroyed in a matter of hours by wind, hail, or an early frost. The Dust Bowl forced many farmers around us to leave their farms for better work. Bad economic times and unfavorable growing weather forced many families to choose between going hungry and leaving for new opportunities. My family was fortunate enough to make it through the Depression and dozens of other years of floods, droughts, fires, and relentless economic downturns.

This year we experienced the worse drought since the Dust Bowl. All summer I listened to many people complain about the lack of rain and the unrelenting heat. This year was a good experience for me, and I am sure that my grandkids will ask me about the Drought of 2012. This year was a great example of the fact that drought is not good for anyone. Although it was a difficult year, we need to be thankful for all that we have. It could be much worse. Years ago a drought or famine meant that many would be without food. This year we need to be thankful that this drought is only a strain on the pocket book and not the stomach. Modern irrigation and plant technology are things homesteaders only dreamed of.  Modern agriculture can push through the worst of times to ensure that every harvest is a bountiful harvest for everyone around the world.

Pork…Be Inspired!

By: Carl Jacobson

October is pork month in the state of Nebraska. I spend my month celebrating pork a little bit different than most people would. For the upcoming show season I’m out heat checking and breeding my sows. I raise and sell show-pigs throughout the Midwest for kids to exhibit at county and state fairs. This is a major time for people to be breeding sows getting ready for the upcoming year.

How can you celebrate pork month? It could be as easy as cooking a dish that includes pork such as ribs, sausage, or bacon. It also could include going out and visiting with a local pork producer and talking to them about how they raise a safe, and quality product for our tables. No one cares more for the pigs than the producers raising them. It’s football season in Nebraska and tailgate parties are another perfect way to enjoy pork.  So, go out and enjoy delicious pork and help me celebrate this month no matter what it includes. Everyone can do his or her part to help support this industry that means so much to all of us.

 

Pork on Your Fork: Tex-Mex Stuffed Peppers

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Times

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients Icon

Ingredients

12 ounces lean ground pork, 96% lean
1/2 cup water
6 tablespoons couscous
4 large bell peppers, red, orange, or yellow, or a combination
3/4 cup salsa, plus more for serving (optional)
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
2 teaspoons chili powder
Salt and black pepper
1/4 cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese, Monterey jack, or Mexican blend cheese

Cooking Directions Icon

Cooking Directions

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.
In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring water to a boil. Stir in couscous, cover, remove from heat, and set aside for at least 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook pork, stirring occasionally and breaking it up, until no longer pink, about 4 minutes.
Also while couscous is softening, remove tops from peppers and scrape out seeds. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine couscous, pork, salsa, corn, and chili powder. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Fill peppers with pork mixture. Arrange peppers in a shallow baking pan and bake for 10 minutes.
Sprinkle cheese on top and continue baking until peppers are tender and stuffing is heated through, about 5 minutes.
Serve peppers with additional salsa on the side if you like.
Serves 4

Serving Suggestions Icon

Serving Suggestions

Stuffed peppers get a Tex-Mex update.  Serve with a salad and some cornbread.

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Nutrition

Calories: 280 calories
Protein: 26 grams
Fat: 6 grams
Sodium: 470 milligrams
Cholesterol: 55 milligrams
Saturated Fat: 2 grams
Carbohydrates: 55 grams
Fiber: 5 grams

Random Tip:

Remember! A little pink is ok.

recipe from: PorkBeInspired.com

Kids Say the Darndest Things

 

 

 

By:Emma Likens

Every fall 4th graders from schools across Douglas, Sarpy, Lancaster and Saunders counties board school buses and head down to visit the Agricultural Research and Development Center near Mead to learn about agriculture.  Students learn about beef, dairy, grains, swine, production technology and agricultural products.    This festival has been an annual event since 1996 and has helped educate more than 10,000 students about agriculture.

This year I got to take part in this fun festival, and accompanied Kyla on the Friday afternoon of the festival to help teach 4th graders about pork.  We taught them basic pork vocabulary, talked about all the great foods and products that come from pork, and showed them a miniature version of a finishing barn.

The Ag Awareness Festival is especially important because many of today’s elementary students in urban areas have an increasing disconnect with agriculture and little knowledge of where their food comes from.  These students are bright kids and enthusiastic to learn more, and some of their questions took me by surprise.  I’ll share with you a few of their questions:

Q:  How big can a pig snout get?

A:  It depends on the breed of pig and how old it is.  Pigs have very strong snouts because in the wild they root around for food.  Also as pigs get older their snouts continue to grow.

Q:  Why do all the girls here wear sparkly belts?

A:  I like to wear my sparkly belt with my boots whenever I’m showing hogs.  Today’s a little different, I’m showing you guys lots of cool stuff about hogs!

Q:  How long can pigs live?

A:  Most pigs only live to be about six months old, after which they are sent to packing plants to be processed into all the pork foods you love to eat.  However, a pig lifespan could be up to around 14 years.

Q:  How do pigs get pregnant?

A:  Just like any other species of animals it takes two to tango.  Each piglet is a unique combination of the genes from the sow, the mother pig, and the boar, the father pig.

Q:  Where do the dad pigs go?

A:  Hogs on farms are always separated by gender to keep the pigs comfortable.  One boar will the father to hundreds of piglets.  We keep them separated so that the sow can do a better job taking care of her piglets.

Pork On Your Fork: Beer-Grilled Chops

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Times

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Marinating Time: 24 hours

Ingredients Icon

Ingredients

4 bone-in pork chops, about 3/4-inch thick
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons ginger root, grated
1 cup beer

Cooking Directions Icon

Cooking Directions

New USDA Guidelines
Place chops in a self-sealing plastic bag; add remaining ingredients and seal bag. Gently massage bag to evenly distribute marinade ingredients. Refrigerate 4-24 hours.

Prepare medium-hot coals in kettle-style grill. Remove chops from marinade and discard marinade; place on grill directly over coals, cover grill and grill for 8-9 minutes, turning once, or until thermometer inserted reads 145 degrees Fahrenheit, followed by a 3-minute rest time..

Serves 4.


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Serving Suggestions

This simple chop recipe is perfect for the grill. It calls for boneless pork chops, but substitute any type of pork chops you have on hand. Serve with Blue Cheese Macaroni Salad and grilled vegetable kabobs.


Nutrition Icon

Nutrition

Calories: 134 calories
Protein: 23 grams
Fat: 5 grams
Sodium: 305 milligrams
Cholesterol: 57 milligrams
Saturated Fat: 1 grams
Carbohydrates: 3 grams
Fiber: 0 grams

Random Leftover Tip:

Make a salad with leftover pork!