Posts tagged ‘Cook’

October 10, 2011

Posh yet Inexpensive | Pork Belly with Somen

Pork belly has been my weakness lately.  So lovely and meaty.  And fatty.  In the best kind of way.  It’s also inexpensive and a cut that a lot of chefs love.  Add it to your repertiore and you’ll find a hundred ways to make it.

This meal is a completely fix-it-and-forget-it kind of dinner.  Toss the belly in some dashi and braise all day.  Cook up some somen in two minutes, toss all together with some seasonal vegetables (last of the green peppers, a few green onions, a carrot) or just some finely sliced shiso.  Some fresh ginger would be great, too.  Dinner’s done.  Who’s hungry?

PK’s Pork Belly with Somen, serves two to three

1 pound pork belly

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October 5, 2011

Local Foods Week | Rabbit

 

Sometimes dinner is completely off the grid.  Tonight’s rabbit was an example of that.  Not purchased at a store or farmer’s market, simply gifted to me from generous friends who have local farmer friends.  The dinners, over two nights, could not have embodied the essence of local more than that.

Spot the backyard bunny. No, this was not dinner.

For the squeamish, let me tell you that a beautifully raised, local rabbit might strike you as tasting a whole lot like turkey.  For the more adventurous, it is light, meaty and absolutely delicious.  It is a protein entirely worth hunting down (albeit grocery shopping or the actual in-the-woods kind) to find responsibly-raised meat.

I wasn’t home last night and Hades took it upon himself to braise our rabbit with leeks and carrots and some decidedly non-local French vermouth.  He served it with warm red cabbage, beet and apple salad and a butternut puree.

I cannot begin to express my bitter disappointment at not being home for this meal.

Freakishly, there were leftovers. 

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October 3, 2011

Local Foods Week | Curried Pumpkin

Local pumpkins are now prolific at farmer’s markets and my Whole Foods.  They are tasty, vitamin-packed treasures that are as versatile as you care to make them.  Add in some of the last of my backyard chilies and yellow cherry tomatoes, and you’ve got a dish that’s downright good for you.

Tonight I yearned for some Indian food and so I spiced up a leftover half of roasted pumpkin to accompany the fish I baked.  With the new addition of mustard oil to my pantry and now this dish, I even felt like I might be breaking some sort of law.  And after dinner there was a very distinctive warmth (not spicy heat) in my mouth that couldn’t be attributed to anything but that mustard oil.  Who says cooking is boring?

Curried Pumpkin, serves two hungry people, originally inspired by a dish by Aktar Islam of Lasan

2 t mustard oil (or grapeseed oil, or other oil with a fairly high smoking point)

1 t whole fennel seeds

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September 28, 2011

A New Southern Favorite | Green Grits

I am currently hoarding the last of my Nora Mill Granary yellow speckled grits.  These stone milled grits are honestly the best I’ve ever tasted.  My favorite way to make them is with half stock and half Snowville whole milk; then stir in a few pureed greens, anything that’s seasonal, even lettuces are lovely.

And do I need anything to go with them?  Not really.  But if you have a bit of a fresh ham that you’ve brined and baked, that’d go just beautifully.

Green Grits, Serves 4 to 6, Inspired by original recipe in Jamie’s America

2 c stock, chicken or vegetable, preferably homemade

2 c whole milk, Snowville, if it’s available in your area

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August 20, 2011

Simplicity from the Farmers’ Market | On the Grill

Honestly in the summer I can’t be bothered with much.  Dinner of a meat and a veg.  Perhaps a second veg.  If it doesn’t require cooking.  And if Cherub loves it.   Only then.

So if you’re like me and don’t feel up to much, stop by the farmers’ market in your town on Saturday morning and pick up two or three things for a Saturday night grilled dinner: some chicken thighs with the bone removed but the tasty skin left on, some fresh sweet corn and some grape or cherry tomatoes.

If you buy your ingredients from reputable and local farmers, you can be assured of freshness and flavor you wouldn’t normally get at the grocery store.  And if you’re a lazy cook in the summer, these are the greatest things you can buy because you have only the slightest work to make something really tasty.

Spiced Chicken Thighs with Grilled Corn and Lime Butter, serves four

6 chicken thighs, bone removed, skin left on

1 garlic clove

1 T chili powder

1 T whole cumin seeds

1 T brown sugar

1 t salt

2 T olive oil

4 ears sweet corn

4 T butter

1 t chili powder

Zest from 1 lime, juice from 1/2

Salt

Prepare grill (I prefer a charcoal).

In a mortar and pestle combine garlic, all spices and olive oil and mash to a consistent paste.  Rub onto chicken and allow to marinate from 15 minutes to two hours.

Grill chicken for 15 to 20 minutes or until meat is no longer pink and juices run clear.

While chicken is cooking, gently peel back husks to remove silk from corn, carefully replacing husks to cover back over the corn.  Mix lime zest with juice and spices along with softened (not melted) butter to create an even mixture.  Place corn in husks over cooler coals after chicken is cooked and resting and cook for approximately 10 minutes, turning frequently.

To serve, eat outside, for God’s sake.

Remove husks from corn and slather with butter mixture.  Serve with chicken.  And perhaps some of those tomatoes that you didn’t bother to cook, merely wash.  And a wine, maybe an A to Z 2009 Pinot Gris.

Playlist included Thursday, the mixtape by The Weeknd.

March 22, 2011

Three Ingredient Garnish | Avocado Lime Crema

A Saturday shopping trip to my favorite little Mexican grocery store turned up tortillas that rival many I’ve had in Texas, dried corn husks, great cheeses including cotija and Oaxaca, bulk beans, and avocados.

I’ve been kind of obsessed with avocados since reading this fantastic short article in Eating Well (helpfully compiled in Best Food Writing of 2010) about a tiny spot in the Mexican state of Michoacán that is perfectly suited to growing the best avocados in the world, year-round.

On Sunday, I was remiss in posting this three ingredient garnish (one of which is avocados, natch) that is delicious on spicy tacos, as a substitute for mayonnaise in chicken salads (I will be doing this a lot during the summer for sure) and perfect on, what else? huevos rancheros.  It is not guacamole: because it’s not spicy and it’s got crème fraîche in it.  Use it as a cooling counterpoint to hot and spicy foods.  Perhaps some chipotle wings… hmmm…

Avocado Lime Crema

Note the teeny tag that says it's from Michoacán.

1 ripe avocado (Haas are my favorites, choose one that gives a bit in your hand, but isn’t mushy – or alternately – hard as a rock)

1/2 c crème fraîche, or crema or sour cream

Zest and juice from 1/2 lime

Salt to taste

Scoop the avocado flesh into a food processor, add the crema, lime and salt and process until smooth.  Careful you don’t process too much- could this Snowville crème fraîche turn into butter?

Serve. Perhaps in the scooped out avocado hulls?

Playlist included Whirring, by The Joy Formidable.

March 16, 2011

Irish Cooking | Poached Salmon on Brown Bread

It’s a marvelous, make ahead kind of a lunch.

Poach a bit of salmon the night before, bring along a slice of leftover pint bread, a tiny cup of homemade crème fraîche and add a few thin slices of onion, some fresh dill if you have it, a caper or two if you want.  It is perhaps one of the healthiest things you could take for lunch, plus it’s simple, and tastes luxurious.

PK tip: this assembles in moments.  Pack the salmon along with the dill and onion, but pack separately the crème fraîche and the bread.  Yet another thought: wouldn’t this also make fabulous little quick appetizers?

Your cube mates will be jealous.

 

 

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