Located just south of Buellton, the large “Pork Palace” sign with the cartoon logo of the crowned hog peering outside of his castle is clearly visible in either direction on Highway 101.
Established in 1975, this ranch is one of the more recent additions to our weekly certified farmers markets, offering its incredible line of meats derived from farm-raised heritage breed of hogs, as well as Boer goats. Limited beef is also available.
The quality of the ranch’s product is exceptional, with a unique offering of pork sausages (the chorizo as well as the apple are my favorites), chops, belly and pretty much every other cut you may be in the market for.
This week, for the first time, I grabbed a package of their deli sliced smoked ham, and I must say, it was a huge hit with the family. It delivers a smoky, salty and rich flavor. I likely won’t be purchasing that standard deli meat from the grocery store any time soon.
Once I was home, it didn’t take very long for my family to devour the package. My kids stacked a hearty pile atop those deliciously sweet Hawaiian rolls, with a little extra rolled up and served on the side.
My wife, who rarely goes a day without eating some sort of salad, diced it up and used it to top her mixed greens, along with heirloom tomatoes, sliced cucumber, red onion and Drake Farms garlic and herb chevre.
For myself, I immediately ate a couple large rounds right out of the package. And the rest, I diced and worked into a breakfast stuffed poblano chili pepper dish.
Loaded with eggs, cheese and Pork Palace ham, then topped with avocado and homemade salsa, this really hit the spot and is a great way to start the day.
Breakfast Stuffed Poblano Chili Peppers
4 Poblano Chilies
1 tablespoon butter
4 eggs, scrambled
4-5 slices Pork Palace Smoked Deli Ham, diced into small pieces
1 cup shredded cheese (Jack, cheddar, pepper-jack or any good melting cheese you prefer)
1 large firm-ripe avocado, quartered and sliced
Sour cream (optional)
Blister your poblano chilies and remove the skin. Cut a slit from the stem towards the base and remove the seeds and membrane inside.
Melt butter in a pan and add eggs. Cook for about a minute, then scramble in ham. Cook until just done but try not to overcook.
Fill the cavity of each pepper with your egg and ham mixture, then top with cheese. Place under the broiler for about 2 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Top with avocado and fresh salsa. You can also serve with a dollop of sour cream if desired.