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Counter the Winter Doldrums + Playoff Football and Valentine's Day Highlights for February

Winter in New England can be wonderful - snowy landscapes, crackling fires, lively ski slopes - but it is also very long. And some of us are starting to suffer from the lack of sunshine. So let us help you power through until Spring. Try one (or a few) of our mood boosting recipes, and make the best of the February holidays with our SuperBowl and Valentine’s Day recommendations. And remember, the days are getting longer and Spring is near!

MOOD BOOSTING FUEL

Yes, what’s on your plate can help lift your spirit! Read on to find our recommendations on some of our team’s favorite Walden cuts when they need a boost of energy, and find these cuts and more of our favorites in the Featured Specials page!


Walden’s locally caught Walleye is rich in healthy omega-3s which support brain health and can contribute to mood regulation. For delicious Baked Walleye, Brush the filets with olive oil and sprinkle with your favorite spice rub (we like a simple blend of garlic, herbs and lemon), and bake until cooked through. Or, for something a bit more indulgent, try breading the fluke filets in a bread crumbs and parmesan coating. Dry the filets with a towel and coat them in a light layer of flour, dip in beaten eggs, and cover in breading (try roughly equal parts bread crumbs and parmesan, with a touch of black pepper). Bake or pan fry. Serve either version with oven-roasted baby potatoes and broccoli. 


Prioritize lean protein and make sure you get plenty of vitamin B12 to maintain your energy levels. Use our Cube Steak to make Swiss Steak: add salt, pepper and garlic powder to ¼ cup of flour and use to coat ~ 2lbs of cube steak. Brown the steak in a Dutch oven and set aside while you saute 1 diced onion and ~3 diced carrots in the same pot. Mushrooms are great too! Once cooked, add 1 can (15oz) of diced tomatoes and 2 cups of beef broth, thyme, 1tbsp each of Worcester sauce and tomato paste, and the browned meat. Cover and place in the oven at 350 F for 2 hours. Serve over pasta or mashed potatoes. 


And, don’t forget to indulge on occasions and let comfort food… comfort you on those cold gloomy Sundays. Use our Chicken Broth to add flavor to your favorite risotto recipe. Braise our Beef Brisket and serve with potatoes, peppers and onions for some instant warmth (and use the leftover brisket in tacos or quesadillas). Or use our Sweet Italian Sausage Mix to add flavor and protein to your pasta dishes.  


SUPERBOWL STAPLES

What better way to impress your guests than to showcase your favorite Walden staples in classic Football Sunday apps’? Visit our Superbowl Specials page to add your selection to your next Share! 


Buffalo Chicken Dip, anyone? Just the right amount of kick to keep you alert through the game. Cook ~2lb of Ground Chicken or boil and shred ~2lb of Chicken Breasts. Mix the chicken with approximately 3/4 cup buffalo sauce, 1 cup ranch dressing, 16oz cream cheese and ~1.5 cup grated Cheddar Cheese. Leave all of this in the slow cooker for 1hr or 2, or in a baking dish in the oven for ~40min. All you need now are scallions to top and tortilla chips to dip. 


Sloppy Joe’s are, yes, sloppy. But they are also finger-licking delicious. Simply saute 1lb of Ground Beef until no longer pink. Add 1 chopped onion and 1 chopped green bell pepper and cook for 5 more minutes. Season with garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste. Add 8-12oz of your favorite tomato sauce, 1 tbsp of brown sugar, 1tbsp of Worcester sauce, and 1tsp of yellow mustard, and simmer until the thickness is right, about 15min. Find your favorite buns, have napkins handy, and enjoy! 


Homemade Potato Skins will bring the sports bar atmosphere to your home without its unruly patrons. Win-win. Boil russet potatoes in a salted pot of water. In the meantime, simply bake or pan-fry our Bacon Ends and Pieces until crispy. Once the potatoes are cooked (a knife can easily go through), cut them in half and scoop some of the flesh out (you may have to let some of the steam escape). Fill with chopped Bacon Ends and shredded Cheddar Cheese, and pop in the oven for ~5min until the cheese is melted (you can broil for a couple of minutes). Top with sour cream and scallions. 


You can also bring a little sunshine to your party by making Ham & Pineapple Skewers with our fully cooked Diced Ham, or use our Pork Round Roast to make Slow Cooker Pulled Pork.

And we have Split Chicken Wings and Spare Ribs - but you don’t need us to tell you what to do with those! 

Or, if you want a slightly more sophisticated flavor profile, visit our Recipes page and try our Slow Cooker Fig-Balsamic Glazed Chicken Drumsticks.


And, if you’re in it for the game but don’t want to spend the rest of your weekend in the kitchen, let us do the cooking and serve our Smoked Chicken Wings to enjoy the quality of Walden Meat without the hassle of cooking. Simply pop them in the oven to warm them up before the game, have your favorite dipping sauce ready, and voila! 


VALENTINE’S DAY SPECIAL OCCASION

If you don’t want the frustration of restaurant crowds to get in the way of your special evening, there are plenty of options to make a special dinner at home. Find our recommendations below and don’t forget to visit our Specials page to add our fanciest cuts to your next Share.


For a truly special meal, impress your other half with our Rack of Lamb. Prepare a marinade by mixing ~½ cup of finely chopped fresh parsley (there cannot be too much), ~5 minced garlic cloves, 2tbsp olive oil, and salt, pepper and rosemary (feel free to use a food processor). Rub on the rack of lamb and leave at room temperature for 1hr. Place on a sheet pan fat side up and bake at 450 degrees F for about 20min, until the temperature 120-140 degrees F for rare to medium rare cook (recommended). Try carefully flipping the rack after 15min of to ensure an even browning. Serve with oven-roasted baby potatoes. 


Whether you’re planning a proposal or not, what meal sends a more loving message to your partner than Marry Me Chicken? Add salt, pepper and garlic powder to ¼ cup of flour and use to coat 2 Chicken Breasts. Melt a tablespoon of butter in a skillet and cook the chicken breasts, until golden and cooked through. Put aside and add 1 cup of chicken broth, scraping the bits stuck to the skillet with a wooden spoon. Add 1 cup of heavy cream and half a cup of parmesan, simmer for ~5min and season with salt, pepper, oregano, and a pinch of red pepper flakes for an extra kick (optional). Add ~¼ cup of chopped dried tomatoes and the chicken breasts, simmer for ~5 more minutes, and serve over pasta with fresh basil. 


Let us know if you have any other suggestions on how to make the best of wintery February, and don’t forget to tag us in your pictures featuring your favorite Walden cuts! 


Stay warm,

– The Walden Local Meat team.