Main

March 29, 2012

Food/Work: In The Kitchen at Giano

_MG_3311 - Version 2

Earlier this month, I was hired by ScoutMob to photograph at East Village Italian restaurant, Giano for their new Hand-Picked series.

I shot as Chef Matteo prepared a few dishes from cooking to plating to the final dish in order to show what customers can expect from their hand-picked experience. Given the time I spent in the kitchen, it's no surprise that many of the outtakes from the shoot seemed appropriate for the Food/Work series.

Get a look into the kitchen at Giano after the jump.

Continue reading "Food/Work: In The Kitchen at Giano" »

March 14, 2012

Kitchensurfing: Chefs & Photogs Meet

_MG_0894 - Version 2

A couple weeks ago, David Siegel, who I met while he worked at Peaches and later photographed as he made cookies for Fats and Flour, told me about a site called Kitchensurfing. The site plans to be a gathering point for chefs to share resources and compare notes. Earlier this month, they hosted an event which invited chefs and photographers to connect. Each chef brought a dish or two and the photographers styled, arranged and shot the food.

Of course, as much as I enjoy shooting food, it was the spectacle of all the people interacting with the food and each other that caught my eye. The result is more Food/Work than food porn. Get a look at what I saw after the jump.

Continue reading "Kitchensurfing: Chefs & Photogs Meet" »

November 30, 2011

Cuzco: The open kitchen at Cicciolina

_29_0101

While the eating options were a bit limited in Aguas Calientes, Cuzco was an entirely different story. One night, while looking for a place to grab a drink, we stumbled upon Cicciolina, an Italian place hidden in a courtyard of shops a block or two away from the main square.

We may have come for a drink, but as soon as I saw that our spot at the bar was directly in front of the open kitchen, it was pretty clear that we'd be spending hours there. See cooks, prep, pasta making and cocktail shaking after the jump.

Continue reading "Cuzco: The open kitchen at Cicciolina" »

August 23, 2011

Self-Promotion: David Kinch cooking demo on BonAppetit.com

David Kinch in the Bon Appetit test kitchen

Among all the work I did back in May, I got to do some work for Bon Appetit magazine, doing a little photographing for their website. The work included a photo shoot of Michelin-starred chef David Kinch demonstrating how to make the savory beignets he serves at his restaurant Manresa, in California.

It was a great shoot and I was very excited to see them published last week. See the slideshow here.

July 13, 2011

Kitchens: The Chef's Counter at La Lunetta

_MG_6115 - Version 2

After the Bastille Day fun on Sunday, Tammi and I had dinner at Lunetta, the wonderful Italian restaurant that happens to sit on the site of our first date, those many years ago. By chance, we managed to get a seat at the Chef's counter in the back. Whether it's at the counter at Osteria in Philly or at Cal Pep in Barcelona or I'm just watching demos at The Astor Center, I love seeing - and photographing professionals working in a kitchen. I've been doing more of it lately for some projects I don't think I can talk about just yet, but I take every opportunity to shoot in kitchens and this was no different. Check out the photos, including a rather dramatic flare-up and some delicious food after the jump.

Continue reading "Kitchens: The Chef's Counter at La Lunetta" »

February 18, 2011

In The Kitchen: Valentine's Day Dinner

_MG_7067 - Version 2

Monday night, Tammi and I skipped the amateur night crowds of Valentine's Day and had a nice meal at home together. I took a page from Amanda Hesser's recent New York Times Magazine piece on the standing rib roast and decided I wanted to try it at home. the final product came out wonderfully, but that was after having to make some last minute changes.

See more about how it went after the jump.

Continue reading "In The Kitchen: Valentine's Day Dinner" »

January 27, 2011

The Philippines: Cebu-style Pig

_MG_9189 - Version 2

It wasn't until after the ceremony that I found out that Julia and Toby held their wedding in Cebu for one reason: The food. They both have family in The Philippines, but mostly in Manila and hour's flight away. Instead of gathering friends and family there, they chose Cebu City, the home of a particular type of lechon or suckling pig.

Continue reading "The Philippines: Cebu-style Pig" »

January 25, 2011

In The Kitchen: Broiled Whole Branzino

_MG_1864 - Version 2

In pursuit of my goal of eating and cooking more fish, I decided to order some in a recent FreshDirect order. Part of my difficulty with fish is that I have a hard time keeping track of what fish have which textures. Some are firm, some or soft and mushy, some are oily and strongly flavored. I still don't have a lot in the way of a point of reference. So, I decided to go with the less imaginative option and just try to recreate the dish I had at Eataly the other day.

I ordered a whole branzino, just like I had there, butterflied and deboned. See how it went after the jump...

Continue reading "In The Kitchen: Broiled Whole Branzino" »

January 18, 2011

In The Kitchen: Improvised Lamb Ribs, Fatty Cue style

_MG_2823 - Version 2

Back in those far-flung days or warmth and happiness that I like to call 'summertime,' I came across Sam Sifton's 'The Cheat' column featuring Fatty Cue's delicious rib recipe. Given how much I enjoyed the meals I've had there, I was very excited about trying it out. But then I never managed to get out and do much barbecuing last summer and my window passed. Now it's ridiculously cold and I can't even get my back door open through all the snow.

Instead, I improvised my own take on the recipe using lamb ribs and letting my slow cooker do most of the work. The result doesn't have any of the smokiness that insinuates itself into every tender scrap of meat at the restaurant, but it's something I can make now without having to wait for the thaw. Check out the step by step after the jump.

Continue reading "In The Kitchen: Improvised Lamb Ribs, Fatty Cue style" »

December 31, 2010

Learning about fish at Eataly's Pesce

_MG_0773 - Version 2

As I've said in years past, I don't really do resolutions as such, but on my list of things to learn more about for the last couple of years has been cooking and eating fish. Yeah, yeah, health blah blah blah. It's good for me, but it's also a whole area of food that up until now I've been woefully unfamiliar about.

So, the week before Christmas, Tammi and I took a break from shopping and stopped in at Eataly for lunch at Pesce, the seafood restaurant by Esca chef, Dave Pasternack. Check out the courses after the jump...


Continue reading "Learning about fish at Eataly's Pesce" »

December 29, 2010

In the Kitchen: The best way to render lard at home

_MG_1180 - Version 2

The star of my Christmas haul this year has to be the meat grinder Tammi bought for me. After I read about the Alfa MC5 on Michael Ruhlman's holiday gift guide, it immediately made it to the top of my wishlist.

Once I opened it up, my first task was clear: grinding up some fatback to render lard. See the hows and wherefores after the jump.

Continue reading "In the Kitchen: The best way to render lard at home" »

December 7, 2010

Hong Kong Food Finds: Curry Beef Brisket & Tendon with Rice

_MG_2691 - Version 2

We landed in Hong Kong just before midnight. There wasn't much exploring to be done by the time we got to the apartment and our friend whose house we were staying in was out of town, so couldn't direct us anywhere. But we were both ravenous. We made our way to the nearby 7 Eleven in the hopes of anything to eat.

That's when I an across this particularly interesting Food Find: Maxim's Beef Brisket & Tendon with curry and rice. Adventures in TV Dinner after the jump.

Continue reading "Hong Kong Food Finds: Curry Beef Brisket & Tendon with Rice" »

November 16, 2010

In The Kitchen: It's Soup Season

_MG_8335

As I've mentioned in years past, the upside of fall is soup. Delicious soup, rich and warming and filling in a way that pretty much nothing else is. This soup, made with pork, a special stock I had on hand and some really good pasta turned out to be ridiculously easy to make.

Continue reading "In The Kitchen: It's Soup Season" »

November 15, 2010

In The Kitchen: Lamb Chili

_MG_8273

If you follow my Twitter feed, you've already heard a bit about this. Last weekend, I decided to take my cooking urges to new, improvised places. I was struck with the idea of making lamb chili with very little idea of how it would come out, but thinking that lamby flavors would make for a great meal in this chilly weather.

See the hows and wherefores after the jump.

Continue reading "In The Kitchen: Lamb Chili" »

November 6, 2010

NC: Fatback by the pound

_MG_4129

Probably the most bizarre moment of my recent trip to North Carolina was when we drove up to this pick-up truck, I got out, reached in the back and took something like 15-20 pounds of fresh pork fatback. True story.

So, here's the thing, while you might be able Liver Mush at the supermarkets in Chapel Hill, you can't find pork belly anywhere. I even hit the farmers market looking for it, but was told that that there's no demand, so they just use it all for bacon. (I think this all very odd in the land of biscuits, barbecue and Paula Deen)

Last time I was in Chapel Hill, I benefited from the different demands by finding a farmer who gave me 7lbs of fatback for $3. This time, I ran into him again and he had more he wanted to get rid of.

Continue reading "NC: Fatback by the pound" »

November 4, 2010

It's Cooking Weather

_MG_9555 - Version 2

With apologies to Ruhlman for blatantly ripping off his old logo, I was inspired to take this photo as I've been spending a lot more time in the kitchen lately. The cooling weather has my nesting instincts. As I've been in the house more working on portfolios and plotting my entry into the photography business, I've also been cooking more. There's been braising, roasting, making stocks and I even made my first risotto. (Lesson learned, cook hotter, stir more, but definitely use the cheese rind stock again.)

57_21

When in North Carolina last month, I cooked for a dozen or so people, the biggest audience I've had maybe all year. The big challenge was that I had to feed vegetarians and people with gluten allergies, hence the veggie stock prep above. It was a ton of fun and has only encouraged me to want to cook more. Hopefully one day I'm figure out how to cook and shoot at the same time and I could then actually blog about that from time to time. Here's hoping.

July 30, 2010

SF: Lark Creek Steak

_MG_0763 - Version 2

While in San Francisco, my colleagues and I had dinner at Lark Creek Steak upstairs at the Westfield Mall, the place with the awesome food court I mentioned last year.

The best part was that we scored seats at the counter, watching all the action in the kitchen. The food was great, but for me, the more entertaining part was watching (and shooting) the staff as they worked.

Check out some of the highlights after the jump.

Continue reading "SF: Lark Creek Steak" »

July 16, 2010

SF: Boccalone's Nduja

_MG_0317 - Version 2

While in San Francisco, I always try to swing by Boccalone in the Ferry Building. A couple years back, Chris Cosentino, the offal-loving chef of Incanto, opened up this Italian charcuterie shop selling all sorts of interesting salumi including 'fennel-orange' and this, nduja.

Pronounced, end-oo-ya, this spicy sausage evoked a bit of mystery last year when the NY Times wrote up a piece about it calling it "The Lady Gaga of pork products." So, yeah, that's a little stupid, but I had to taste it anyway.

Take a look under the wraps after the jump.

Continue reading "SF: Boccalone's Nduja" »

May 10, 2010

Butchery: The Offal Cook

_MG_1895 - Version 2

This is Chichi aka The Offal Cook. She blogs for herself and Serious Eats about cooking with all those wonderful bits of animals that get tossed aside and forgotten.

Much like I've taken my meat and photography interests to this butchery project, Chichi has followed her lifelong fascination with off-cuts to a similar end.

She has been writing a series called The Butcher's Cuts about traveling up to Kingston to learn about butchering at Fleisher's.

Given the similarities in our projects, It's really awesome to see where she's gone with it. Her posts have chronicled the lessons she's learned from her time butchering. She's also managed to come away with some awesome recipes for working with these cuts. I was especially excites to see what she did with a pig's head, resulting in both a terrine of head cheese and a batch of ramen stock. And because some things still shock me a little, I was fascinated with her account of (and recipe for) cooking scrambled brains.

If my posts on meat and butchery have been at all interesting, I'd definitely recommend taking a look at Chichi's column. Enjoy!


May 4, 2010

Butchery: Pure Ground Awesome!

_MG_1072 - Version 2

Sadly, I didn't end up buying this when I was at Fleisher's for the Pig to Pork trip, but a burger made of ground beef with ground bacon mixed in is something I have to try. Seriously.

April 18, 2010

Butchery: In the Cabrito Kitchen

_MG_9730 - Version 2

Last week, I took my butchery project out of the shop into a restaurant kitchen. I went to Cabrito, one of my favorite spots for Mexican in town. After months of email tag with the Chef, David Schuttenberg, we finally nailed down a time for me to come in to photograph him as he took apart a pair of young goats for the week's supply of the restaurant's signature dish.

_MG_9638 - Version 2

It was all very interesting for a few reasons. First off, goats are fairly different from most other animals I've seen taken apart before. David said they are more like rabbits than anything else. They're lean and lithe with fewer 'cuts' as such on them. That's particularly true of the young ones like they get at Cabrito and that they're carrying at Dicksons.

I was shocked at how quick the whole process was. That's in part because he wasn't cutting up chops or roasts like one would for a pig or a cow, but also because the goat just doesn't have nearly as much meat to it.

more photos and prep after the jump...

Continue reading "Butchery: In the Cabrito Kitchen" »

April 16, 2010

Gratuitous Bacon Shot

_MG_0035 - Version 2

April 7, 2010

Cooking: Easter Bunny

_MG_0052 - Version 2

This weekend, I took my own twisted turn at Easter dinner. Heathen that I am, I wouldn't have known when Easter even was if not for the Lenten lunch I had a couple weeks ago.

A recent article in The Times about rabbit as an upcoming food trend inspired me to finally seek out a rabbit to play with in the kitchen.

I've only cooked rabbit once, years ago, on a trip to Paris with Tammi. I found a whole rabbit shrink-wrapped in a market near our apartment in the Marais. I've wanted to do it again ever since, but prices and availability make rabbit more difficult to cook often.

I'm fond of rabbit, but the price point isn't really a good one for experimentation. This D'artagnan rabbit, purchased at The Meat Hook, cost about $30 at $10 a pound. Not cheap for something about the size of a chicken.

Follow the jump for the before pic and a blow by blow on how I cooked it.

Continue reading "Cooking: Easter Bunny" »

January 11, 2010

Cooking: Hearts Afire

_MG_1324 - Version 2

We got one last beautiful day for the year the Sunday after Christmas. Just before the current deep freeze, the temperature reach up into the 50s and I took the opportunity to fire up the grill.

Eric came over and we grilled the lamb and beef hearts that I got from Fleisher's at the WinterMarket.

I was attracted to heart initially for the spectacle of the thing. It just seems to odd and primal, how could I not try it after all my 'whole beast' talk? But after trying it, it's the flavor an texture that will have me going back for more.

The preparation was limited to cutting off the fatty and tough bits and seasoning it with salt and pepper.

We grilled them to about medium rare and cut them into strips with kitchen shears.

_MG_1348 - Version 2

The meat was dense and a bit chewy without being tough. The flavors were intense. They tasted like beef and lamb, just more so. The beef did have a slightly 'liver-y' flavor, but not overpoweringly so.

At this point it is far too cold for going back out to grill again, but expect hearts to be a staple come grilling season.

December 29, 2009

WinterMarket 09: Porchetta

dia_0663

Sara Jenkins' fantastic roast pork is what began my obsession with that rosemary and fennel scented lusciousness that is porchetta last year. So, it was wonderful to run into her booth at the Wintermarket on Sunday.

_MG_9792 - Version 2

My only disappointment was that the little porchetta sandwiches being served were not warm and fresh and custom made with requests for cracklins honored, but pre-made and chilled by the frozen temperatures outside. I guess that just means I'll have to make another pilgrimage down to the East Village one of these days.

_MG_9795 - Version 2

What was very cool was that she's now selling a packaged seasoning with Sicilian sea salt, fennel pollen and other ingredients that construct a semblance of the flavors she uses for her porchetta. I used it that night to season the pork roast I picked up at Fleisher's.

December 13, 2009

Hawai'i Cooks With SPAM

IMG_3667

Seriously.

November 12, 2009

Chef Michael Psilakis at The Astor Center

---_2470

This week for the Examiner, I visited a cooking demo at the Astor Center by Chef Michael Psilakis of Kefi and Anthos. I was just there to shoot and thankfully didn't drool on anything, but the smells and sounds of all the food he prepared were amazing.

My Examiner post went up this morning with a slideshow of images I took that night and a brief write-up.

_13_2438

In addition to the many digital shots I took while there, I also shot a few rolls of film, which I'm really happy with. This whole 'analog' thing has been fun and I'm falling further down the rabbit hole.

---_2494

After my old model broke a little over a week ago, I ran out immediately and bought a used Canon, which uses most of the same lenses that my digital uses. Ever since, I've been shooting even more film and redoubling my experimenting. I've even gone back to playing with Black and White, which I haven't done since I was in High School.

I think the results have been pretty good, what do you think?

_21_2446


August 3, 2009

Butchery At Home: The Fourth of July

_MG_3836

That's right, I cut up another pig. It's late for me to post this, but, hey, I actually have a little time for once.

All my talk of butchery got me interested in doing a bit of my own. For our July 4th shindig, I bought a 37 pound pig and cut it up myself. This was the biggest pig I've tackled to date, but after a 16 and a 20 pounder, I had the anatomy down.

Like my first porchetta attempt last year, I deboned the mid-section and seasoned it with fennel pollen, rosemary, garlic and this time, lemon juice instead of full slices.

I rubbed the ribs with a cajun seasoning, which would have been great if there had been any meat to speak of there.

The shoulders and front legs were marinated in a Cuban citrus mixture, what's been a fixture of mine for years. Orange, Lime and Grapefruit juice mixed with vinegar, cumin, onions and garlic.

One back leg was rubbed in an achiote paste and slow roasted on the grill. The other, I have frozen and plan to cure as a ham. I may wait until the humidity goes down so I can avoid the trouble I ran into last time...

And of course, there's the head. Appleman made the wonderful suggestion of braising and then roasting it. It sounded like a great idea, but then I was perplexed by what to braise it in.

I found inspiration looking in the freezer. There were a number of containers full of porchetta stock from the bones of the Christmas party porchetta that I had no idea what I was going to do with. This was the answer.

I slow cooked the head half-covered in the stock and a mixture of the leftover seasonings from the new batch of porchetta, then I put the head on a cast iron and threw it on the grill for a bit to get some smoke and to crisp up.

It worked out really well. I shredded the meat from the cheeks and the ears and snout and chopped it up. it became an unctuous, mass of pulled pork that everyone who tasted it loved. The flavors of fennel and rosemary permeated every bite without dominating and the texture was transcendental in its tenderness.

The pig was definitely a win all around (except for the ribs, which had no meat on them). I don't know the next time I'll be able to do something like this again, but I've certainly eager to braise/roast another head and make wonderful things out of it.

Continue reading "Butchery At Home: The Fourth of July" »

June 28, 2009

Curing: FAIL

IMG_0281

If I'm going to really discuss my curing experiments, I have to acknowledge my failures along with the successes. My first attempt at a country-style ham was, sadly, quite the catastrophe.

I've cured a ham before. It was wonderful. I put a pork leg in a brine of Apple juice and hard cider and left it to brine over our honeymoon. When we got back, I let it hang in the basement for a couple weeks. It worked out really well and I served it up at our holiday party in December.

After that, I decided to go a step further. Ruhlman has a recipe for a cure that aged a lot longer and ended up as rich and dry as a Spanish jamon serrano or a southern Country ham. It called for a minimum of 4 months aging after weeks buried in salt.

I think it was the salting where I messed up. I engulfed a 20 pound leg in kosher salt for the nearly entire month of January. Unfortunately, I was out of town for most of the month, so I wasn't able to keep it under observation for that whole time. When I got back from the X Games, a good deal of the top layer of meat was exposed. I'm presuming this is where it all went wrong. I dumped more salt on top, but perhaps the damage was done.

Regardless, it obviously didn't work out. Back to the drawing board.

June 24, 2009

Markets: Garlic Scapes

_MG_0121 - Version 2

I discovered garlic scapes a few weeks ago at the farmers market. I had read the name before but had no idea what they were or what to do with them. That's generally enough to inspire me to try something out, but I was particularly interested because of its intriguing shape.

I've heard that a great way to prepare them is to grill or broil them, but so far I've only sauteed them. To date, I've tossed them in with noodles and sausage and Tammi stir-fried them the other night.

We have a few more in the house from our CSA haul, so I might find something else interesting to do with them tonight...

May 15, 2009

Finally! Provisions' Lamb Bacon

_MG_0878

After many failed attempts, I finally got my hands on this slab of lamb bacon from Provisions. Even better, they are now curing more on a regular basis so getting another batch won't take nearly so long.

First observation: As you can see here, it's very fatty. There's more meat in there that the sliver visible in this picture, but the fat is prominent.

My first experiment was to cut strips and wrap them in dates. I love bacon wrapped dates and I figured the combination of North African/Middle Eastern ingredients would go together well.

This wasn't as successful as I'd have liked. As my first try cooking the bacon, I realized afterward that I had no idea how crispy the bacon cooked on its own. When I cooked it more lightly, it was a little too gummy and was difficult to cut through with your teeth. When I left it to cook longer, it crisped up too much and had a burnt, gamy flavor that wasn't so great.

There is probably a perfect medium in there somewhere, but I didn't want to waste my entire slab trying this out, so I shelved that idea.


My second, more successful idea after the jump...

Continue reading "Finally! Provisions' Lamb Bacon" »

April 23, 2009

DC: The French Chef's Kitchen

_MG_8934

Despite our best intentions, we only managed to check out one Smithsonian museum in The Mall, The American History branch. I was annoyed that none of the old artifacts I remember like Fonzy's jacket, Archie Bunker's chair and Indiana Jones' hat were on display, but I was psyched to find one thing that I had no idea was there: Julia Child's kitchen.

It was really cool to see and only slightly tainted by some women describing Julia Child to her kid as "sort of like Rachel Ray." Horrifying.

March 25, 2009

Curing: Pancetta

_MG_5825

Two weeks ago, I picked up a pack of Pork Belly from HMart without knowing what I was going to do with it. I had planned on cooking it, but then realized that my schedule was suddenly packed. Instead of throwing it in the freezer and forgetting about it, I decided it was time for another cure. After the success of the guanciale, I wanted something sort of similar. Like the guanciale, pancetta has some of the same seasonings, cures for about a week and hangs and ages for another week.

To see how I turned that into this:
_MG_0229
follow the jump...

Continue reading "Curing: Pancetta" »

March 15, 2009

Guanciale

_MG_5568

I read a blog post the other day claiming that Cheek may be the new Belly. I could see that. It's fatty and streaked with lovely, tender meat. And it cures wonderfully.

This lovely piece of porky goodness is pork cheek I picked up at Marlowe & Daughters. Following Ruhlman's recipe, I cured it for a few days and then let it hang in the basement wrapped in cheese cloth for a few weeks. When it came out, it looked like this:

IMG_5564

Sliced thin and sauteed like bacon, it's a little fattier than I want. So I thought about using it as a bacon substitute for recipes that call for slab bacon or pancetta.

While chatting with Eric the other day he suggested using it in a pasta sauce. After the jump, my notes on putting it together.

Continue reading "Guanciale" »

March 12, 2009

Finding the Cure

IMG_5562

This is a pork jowl, cured and aged to become guanciale. It's one of the many meats I've cured in the last several months. I keep mentioning all the curing and aging of meat I've been up to lately in passing without going into nearly enough detail. My apologies.

A little over a year ago, Eric bought me what may be my most interesting cookbook ever: Charcuterie by Michael Ruhlman. I have to admit that at first I was a little put off by the necessity of special ingredients to avoid botulism, but ultimately the arcana required appeals to my particular strain of geek. Even before I was willing or able to make anything in the book, the theory of the concepts behind it had me reading it like a novel.

Once I finally got past my initial uneasiness, I made the following:

Guanciale
Pork Belly Confit
Pork Rillettes
Lardo
Bacon
Fatback
Pancetta

...and I've got a ham hanging until summer. We'll have to see how that one works out.

_MG_0419

This is a piece of cured belly just before I smoked it. Bacon and variations thereof have been the most common items I've made from Charcuterie. Of the bacons I've made, some were home smoked over hickory sawdust and lump charcoal, while others were soaked in a molasses mixture resulting in a sweet meat to accompany breakfast.

Others, like pancetta, salt pork and guanciale follow more of less the same directions, with adjustments in the cut of meat or the salts and spices used. They also tend to age longer, whether in the cure or not.

As I'm writing up more about the meat markets I've been going to, I've been neglecting where all that meat is going. I'll be putting a bit more effort into documenting this further, including an upcoming post on what I did with the guanciale that should be up in a couple days.

March 9, 2009

Markets

IMG_6422

While working on 'Butchery' posts, I've been thinking about the various other places I rely on to buy ingredients that aren't strictly speaking butcher shops. So, expect a few posts from time to time about those shops as well in the near future.

March 3, 2009

Meatball Madness: Batali's Neopolitan

_MG_1385

I've put these meatballs off for last because it was my least favorite. I totally flubbed these.

In this recipe, from Mario Batali's Molto Italiano he calls for a filler of bread chunks soaked in water. The chunks I used were apparently too big and/or soaked for too little time, because they became much too prominent a part of each meatball.

In contrast to the breadcrumbs and semolina, which disintegrated under the meat juices, the pieces of bread never really came apart.

_MG_1328

These soggy bits of bread did not shred apart as much as I would have hoped, which meant that I ended up with giant chunks of bread in each meatball.

Eric tells me that a traditional recipe for veal meatballs similarly calls for chunks of bread, but has them soaked in milk and uses ricotta cheese to keep it all together. That sounds remarkably creamy and unctuous given the high collagen found in veal. I just wonder about it being flavorful enough. I suppose this is where you are sure to use the best quality ingredients and proper seasoning.

Another reason I think these meatballs weren't successful was that I stuck to beef and veal and left out pork due to the dietary restrictions of my diners that night. I suspect that the right amount of fatty pork would have improved this greatly. But then I think that about a lot of things...

February 25, 2009

Meatball Madness: Lamb Meatballs

_MG_1393

I decided to do this version of lamb meatballs at the last minute. The morning of the meatball gathering, I saw Nigella cook it and it intrigued me.

The recipe is more notable for what it doesn't have than what it does. Lamb in general and ground lamb in particular is almost always matched with garlic, mint, rosemary or some combination there of. That's certainly what was going to be in the kefta I initially planned on making.

Instead, Nigella uses semolina flour and scallions. There were some familiar flavors, with the additions of cumin, and interestingly cinnamon and allspice for a touch of North African flavor.

_MG_1368

The only thing I can say about the semolina is that I didn't really notice it in eating the meatballs. That's good because while making them, I was concerned that the gritty texture of the flour might carry over into the finished product.

These were only pan fried meatballs, which I think helped out a lot. It made the exterior wonderfully crisp in a way none of the oven-cooked ones quite managed.

In the end, these were very successful. Given the intense flavor of this batch of lamb, the more subtle flavors of the spices here were an aside to the main attraction.

That said, the strong flavor makes my think it could probably have stood up well to the garlic and herbs of a traditional style as well.

February 24, 2009

Cabrito, Jalisco Style

_MG_2362

When I heard that Provisions was going to be getting an entire baby goat, I knew I had to have some. Goat has been on my list of meats I would like to learn how to cook for a little while now. I first tried this recipe last year with an adult goat, but found it way too gamy. Using kid, it was perfect.

The meat was moist and flavorful, but with no gaminess. Tammi, who was entirely apprehensive about eating goat, loved it.

No step-by step this time around, but here's the broad strokes of the recipe, which is adapted from Rick Bayless' Mexican Everyday after the jump...

Continue reading "Cabrito, Jalisco Style" »

February 23, 2009

Meatball Madness: Chipotle Pork

_MG_1388

The chipotle pork meatballs were the one familiar recipe of the Meatball Madness batch. I made these over and over again after coming home from Mexico City in 2007. I love this dish. The sauce and the meat are flavored with bacon and chipotles. Wood smoke of one sort or another is integrated into every single bite, some time doubly or triply.

The bacon I used was home-cured and smoked with hickory sawdust over the last warm weekend. I experimented with one thing that I wouldn't do again here. I cut the rind into slivers and mixed it in with the meat. I felt it in every meatball I ate. That skin is just a little too chewy for something like that. Next time I'll toss it in a stew.

Otherwise, this was my great success of the evening. It was a little too spicy for some folks, but I thought it was perfect.

The recipe is from Rick Bayless' Mexican Everyday. The other variation I made was adding dried, ground chipotle pepper to the seasoning of the meat. This built up the heat and smoke from within instead of it just coming from the sauce. Again, I like spicy foods, so your mileage may vary.

After the jump, the step by step:

Continue reading "Meatball Madness: Chipotle Pork" »

February 19, 2009

Meatball Madness: Tsukune

_MG_1275

Full disclosure: the idea of ground chicken, whether in a sausage, a patty or a meatball is not one I'm completely behind. I've had good chicken sausage once or twice and the Japanese meatballs I've had at izakaya in the past have been very good. But the fact is that I have a strong bias against the idea of ground chicken. So maybe my heart just wasn't in this one.

That said, I have other issues with the way these grilled chicken meatballs turned out. First, this was meat I had planned to grind myself. I already had it on hand and had to improvise with the food processor. As mentioned, I just don't feel a food processor does this particular job well. The meat mixture, below, was far more pasty than I think good ground meat ought to be.

_MG_1261

Besides that, I discovered at the last minute that I had recently finished my Mirin, essential to both the tare sauce suggested for the Tsukune and the teriyaki sauce I hoped to use in its stead. I substituted Chinese rice wine, which just isn't the same thing. I had to add a lot more sugar to compensate for the flavor and consequently ended up charring in the broiler more than it would otherwise have.

The final product was ok, and I used the leftovers in a noodle soup that turned out pretty well, but I'm pretty sure I won't be making this again, more out of my own tastes than anything intrinsically wrong with the dish. I'll leave this one to the grillmasters at the Izakaya.

Meatball Madness: Leftovers

IMG_1686

So, after you've already made 4 different types of meatballs, but you still have ground meat on hand, what do you do? Clearly, making more meatballs was not a part of the plan. For the next week Tammi and I will be eating them in soups, on pastas and just on their own.

Much of the raw meat went in the freezer where I'll go back to get it once I'm ready for more meatballs or burgers or some other such thing. But the lamb, I knew what to do with right away: Shepherd's Pie!

I love Shepherd's Pie. I mean how can you not? It's sauteed ground meat, in this case the traditional lamb, topped with veggies (including the baby carrots we had for a snack before the meatballs were ready), which soften in the meat's fat, then topped with rich, creamy mashed potatoes and then baked until an awesome crust forms over the top. So good.

The lamb I used here was some of the pricier meat I picked up at Provisions in Fort Greene. The lamb flavor is forward and unapologetic. It's not excessively gamy, but it'll never be mistaken for beef. It was perfect here and I'm glad I decided to hold on to some of it for this.

The specks on top are bits of potato skin. I have never been one to peel potatoes, I just don't see the point. The skin is always so yummy, why would I toss it??

For those looking to see below the surface, here's a close up of the profile shot:

IMG_1682 - Version 2

February 17, 2009

Meatball Madness

_MG_1379

After a month and a half of thinking about it, I finally had the time (and the mouths to feed) to actually have my meatball fest. On Sunday, I tried my hand at 4 different meatball recipes and had a few people over to sample them.

My first major challenge was that my Kitchenaid, which supplies the motor for my meat grinder is on the fritz, so grinding the meat myself didn't work out. This really bummed me out, because I think fresh ground meat is vastly superior, particularly when I get to season the meat while grinding. I almost always mix salt, pepper and minced garlic (when called for) in with the meat as it goes through. That way there's less handling necessary when prepping the meat. In my experience, whether it's meatballs or burgers or meatloaf, I find that minimal handling makes for a juicier, firmer final product.

This led to two compromises (1) I had to just buy pre-ground meat in cases where I hadn't already purchased pieces to grind already and (2) I had to use the food processor for the rest. In the end, neither of these compromises ruined the final product. In fact, the veal and lamb I bought was ground fresh by request not an hour before at Greene Grape Provisions. The compromise there is more the cost, where ground meat tends to cost $9/lb. Given that the genius of the meatball is to make something good out of cheap and leftover meat, this does go against the spirit of the dish, but sometimes you just have to have an expensive meatball.

Given all of that, I found a lot of areas I would improve on what came out. Some were really good, some weren't quite what I'd hoped for. Over the next few days, I'll go over them critically and take a look at what I can do to make them better next time. In the meantime, here's what was on the menu:

*Mario Batali's Polpette Napolitano

*Rick Bayless' Chipotle Pork Meatballs

*Nigella Lawson's Lamb Meatballs

*Japanese Tskune Chicken Meatball skewers

More to come...

February 8, 2009

Porchetta at Home, Take 2

_MG_9700

With my January travels complete, I finally have some time to spend in the kitchen. In the last week, I've cooked 4-5 meals and begun aging a ham and curing bacon, lardo and guanciale. More on that later.

The point is, that I've finally gotten a chance to take another whack and porchetta, that fragrantly herby rolled pork I tried out with a suckling pig back in December.

Back then, I was happy with the final product, but not entirely satisfied. In particular, the two trouble spots were the lemons, which mostly got in the way and the herbs, which I was too light-handed with.

My initial thoughts were to use a pork belly, which would tie most easily and provide the crispy skin as well as a remarkably tender layer of meat automatically basted by the outer layer of fat, all the while soaking in the spice rub.

Eric had also been considering ways to improve the porchetta since my first attempt. He thought that a belly on it's own would not yield enough meat for all the trouble and advised using a pork loin in the middle to balance that out. The idea being that the inherent dryness of the loin would be be countered by the salty rub of fennel pollen and minced rosemary. He also suggested continuing to use lemons, but limiting it to the zest and the juice. Finally, he mentioned that Porchetta the shop in the East Village scores their porchetta in a diamond pattern to maximize the crispy skin.

After the jump, the blow by blow...

Continue reading "Porchetta at Home, Take 2" »

January 15, 2009

Paris: French Onion Soup

IMG_9661

In Paris, I discovered that I love French Onion soup. This shouldn't have surprised me, as it involved butter, onions and lots of cheese, but the soup we had at Au Pied Cochon was the best I've had. I tried to make some when I got back, but wasn't quite satisfied. The broth and the onions were great, but I got the cheese wrong, which is crucial.

Based on the weather lately in New York, I'll have plenty more opportunities to need a great soup to warm up chilled bones.

January 14, 2009

Porchetta at Home

IMG_2555

Just after Christmas, Tammi and I hosted our annual holiday party and here you see the guest of honor. This was my attempt at the Porchetta I watched Nate Appleman prepare at the Astor Center early last month.

While it was generally a success, I feel there was some room for improvement and I hope to try to do better in some future (smaller) attempts.

Regarding the finished product, it was very tasty. Honestly, I barely had any of the actual porchetta, which is the abdominal section of the pig. Once it cooled, I cut that part up and served it for our guests. Nothing came back, so it definitely went over well.

That said, I'm writing this as a critique so I know what I want to do differently in the future, so most of the rest of this post is going to be the challenges I had or the things I want to fix the next time around.

First thing, the lemons. this was ann idea I picked up from Appleman's class. He mentioned that he learned this some time ago and found that the citrus added another layer that he enjoyed. I didn't like it at all. Immediately after cutting into the pig, the strongest scent was hot citrus, which wasn't what I wanted. I scraped out the lemons before serving the pork because I thought it was just too strong. I wouldn't use them again in the future.

All of that also points to an issue that was entirely my fault: not enough seasoning. I sought out fennel pollen, which I manage to get a friend to source for me from his wholesaler. It's an unusual ingredient and on the pricey side, but when used well, as they do at Porchetta in the East Village, it's transcendental. I guessed at the amount, using a gentler hand with it because I had heard it described as being as strong as saffron. Between its strength and the 3 day seasoning time, I thought it best to be cautious with the amount I used. I should have used more. Again, it was very good, but the fennel flavor, which I wanted to be primary was more subtle than I would have liked. I think I could have used more rosemary as well, but generally I was ok with the way that flavor turned out.

Finally, the skin is always awesome, and it was great here, but it wasn't as crisp s I would have liked, even though I finished it off at 500 for an hour. I think it would have benefitted from a rubdown with fat of some sort when I turned the heat up. I had confit on hand, so I could have used some of the fat from that, or even olive oil, I suppose.

After the jump, some photos from the prep and my notes on my first major attempt at butchery.

Continue reading "Porchetta at Home" »

January 5, 2009

Paris: Oven

IMG_0987

Another spiffy thing about the kitchen in our apartment in Paris was the oven. I'm not sure what type of heat it was, surely electric of some sort, but nothing more specific than that. What made it cool was that it had this dial which selected the direction of the heat source. In addition to above or below, there were options to rotate the heat source to provide a rotisserie-style cooking environment for your roast.

January 4, 2009

Paris: Induction

IMG_0969

The kitchen in our apartment in Paris was equipped with some pretty cool features, which according to the guy we were renting from are pretty standard. That includes this induction range, above, which brings liquids to a boil faster than anything I've ever seen. It took some getting used to and I almost ruined a roast while browning it, but it was very cool to cook with.

I don't know the science of the thing, but the whiz-bang factor comes from the fact that the range stays completely cool. You can have hot pan on it one second and put your hand in the middle of the cooking circle the next and not feel the slightest warmth. Also, the smooth surface also makes it significantly easier to clean than the stovetop I have at home.

January 2, 2009

Paris: Thanksgiving Dinner

IMG_7969

This year, Tammi and I broke our long held tradition of not celebrating Thanksgiving. As usual, we were far from home in a country that doesn't celebrate this very American holiday of mass consumption. But this year more than others, we had much to be thankful for. So, I took advantage of the local ingredients and cooked up dinner in our little kitchen in the apartment.

What you see above is the finished product, a roasted Poulet de Bresse, the famous French Blue-footed chicken.

A month or so before the wedding Eric first mentioned this breed of chicken to me and shortly afterward, I read Jacques Pepin's description of the bird in his memoir, "The Apprentice," so I was excited to find it so readily available, if highly priced at the outdoor markets we visited in Paris.

When I bought it, the seller asked something I didn't understand. Figuring he knew what he was doing, I answered, "Oui." He chopped off the feet and the head, but then appeared to be ready to cut the bird up. I stopped him in time and had the bird intact to roast whole. But it wasn't until I started to prep it that I realized that the bird hadn't been gutted. Unlike every other chicken I had ever cooked, the internal organs did not come in a paper bag stuffed in the cavity.

After the jump, the gory details (with pictures!)...

Continue reading "Paris: Thanksgiving Dinner" »

December 22, 2008

Porchetta Class at The Astor Center

IMG_1492

I'm ridiculously behind in posting this. And at this point, I'm so behind on posting anything that there's much more to say, but here's the start.

On Friday, December 12th, I attended a class at The Astor Center led by Nate Appleman and Shelly Lindgren from A16 in San Francisco.

In a bit of serendipity, I discovered the class in November just a day after deciding that I wanted to make some sort of Porchetta for next weekend's Holiday Party. Except I had no idea how to do it. I was going to wing it, but then I came across this.

I've mentioned Porchetta before, but for the uninitiated, it is roast pig, usually whole, seasoned with salt, rosemary, garlic and fennel that is rolled and roasted. What you get is meltingly tender meat, scented with the herbs in every bite and surrounded by crispy skin. It's amazing.

I had heard of A16 during my research for my last visit to SF in the summer, but never made it out there. I just found out I'll be going back to SF in two weeks, so I'm definitely going to check it out. I don't know if Porchetta is on the menu, but from the morsel handed out at the session, and the rummaging through the A16 book I picked up while there, they definitely have food I need to eat.

After the jump, my notes on how to turn that fine specimen above into this:

IMG_1627

Continue reading "Porchetta Class at The Astor Center" »

June 25, 2008

Food Finds: Fresh Pig's Head


IMG00431.jpg, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Western Beef, Meat Packing District, NYC. 2007.


June 15, 2008

SF: The Ferry Building Farmers Market

IMG_4846
IMG_4846, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

I have market envy. I love everything about the Ferry Building and its weekend farmers market. I only stumbled on the Farmers Market at the Ferry building on last day of my visit last year, I had no idea what to expect. Again, I passed through it with only a few hours left before my flight home, but this time I knew what I was looking for: Oysters.

It never occurred to me, but it seems obvious out there. Unlike New York, where the market is 99 percent produce with one or two relatively pricey stands selling meats, the sellers are much more varied. Some sell produce, of course, most even, which is great. But you've also got fresh whole chickens with the feet still on, aidell's sausages, locally made cheeses, vendors selling cooked food and of course, Oysters. I had six Sweetwater and one Kumamoto from Hogs Farms. It's amazing to me to be able to walk down to the market on a Saturday morning and slurp down a half dozen oysters while I shop for groceries. Truly amazing.

June 5, 2008

Cherry Season


IMG_0519, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Last weekend Tammi and I went to Chinatown for Dim Sum with friends. I usually avoid the Canal Street area like the plague, especially on the weekends, but I may have to reconsider that.

While wading through the crowds, I was reminded that Chinatown is the best place to find tons of seasonal ingredients on the cheap. After seeing these mounds of cherries at 3lbs for $5, this recipe for cherry jam suddenly seemed like a great idea. I may have to suck up my distaste for the crowds when next I have some time to spend in the kitchen.

May 28, 2008

Supermarket Finds: Lean, Juicy Pork?


IMG_9370, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Brooklyn, 2008.

May 9, 2008

Pig Parts: Leaf


IMG_4582, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

I'm not a baker. As soon as I hear dough is involved, I lose interest. It just always seems like too much trouble and way too messy. I'm sure Tammi will laugh at that - she's typically pretty horrified by the mess left in my aftermath after a day of cooking. In any case, the most complicated thing I'm likely to bake is a batch of cookies baked from the recipe on the bag of chips.

So, I can only attribute my fascination with leaf lard to my love of the arcane and the porcine. I suppose I just like being reassured of my fundamental belief that everything is improved with the addition of pork.

The leaf, seen above, is a fatty cushioning around the kidneys and loin. When actually inside the animal, it's compressed around the organs, removed and unfolded, it has this odd, leaf-like shape from which it gets its name.

Bakers I've talked to describe the richness this particular lard adds to pie crusts as transcendental. When the pork parts were being split up, I briefly considered going for the leaf, but I decided it's benefits would be lost on me. Pearls before swine, you might say.

April 30, 2008

Supermarket Finds: Blood Sausage


IMG00283.jpg, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

I'm starting a new feature with shots of various odd or otherwise interesting items I've found on the shelves and often the meat departments of supermarkets in my travels.

I'm pretty sure this is Blood Sausage and Eric agrees, but I've never seen it presented like this.

Condesa, Mexico City. 2007.

April 24, 2008

Pig Butchery!


IMG_4482, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Tuesday night I attended a class in Pig Butchery at The Brooklyn Kitchen in Williamsburg. It was led by Tom Mylan, the butcher for Diner, Marlowe & Sons and Bonita.

A dozen of us watched as Tom dissected a 105 pound half pig into it's various tasty cuts.

It was glorious.

When it was all done, we took turns picking out cuts to take home. The only piece left was the kidney, which was cooked right there and passed around on toothpicks.

Tom mentioned a proposed similar class butchering a lamb. I hope that happens, I'd definitely check that out.

Among us in the class was Scott Gold, author of The Shameless Carnivore, who also shot many photos of the event. I hope to see them on his site at some point. Mine are posted on Flickr, here.

March 5, 2008

Photo of the Day: Spice Rack


IMG_8712, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Kalustyan's has one of the best spice selections in New York. I love to go there and just find something I've never cooked with before to take home and play with. ::c::

Kalustyan's
123 Lexington Ave
New York, NY 10016

December 16, 2007

The Winter Market


IMG_1568.JPG, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

At more or less the last moment this afternoon, I came across a blog post about the WinterMarket put on today at the old Fulton Fish Market by New Amsterdam Public.

I'm not so familiar with the group, but I believe their goal is set up a standing sustainable food market in that building. It sounds like a great idea to me. Why should we forsake the Seaport to the tourists, when we can actually use it for something worth visiting?

Despite the crappy weather, I had to leave the house anyway to work tonight, so I figured I'd head out a little early and catch the tail end of the event.

I got there about an hour before it ended. Half the booths were either gone or wrapping up, but I managed to pick up some cool stuff:

1 Jar of Rick's Picks Pickled Beets. I've been curious about them before but never wanted to commit to a whole jar until I had tasted them. The sweetness of the beets are balanced out by the tang of the vinegar and kick of spice that I can't quite place. These will clearly be passed around the next time I have people over.

1 Bottle of Sparkling Cider from the Sly Boro CiderHouse upstate.

And, 1 Pint Honey Nougat Ice Cream that was recommended to me by Robert, Mary and Blake, who I ran into on the way. I was suspicious of the thought of eating ice cream on such an awful day, but one sample spoon was all the convincing I needed.

The shot above is from the Wild Edibles table. They were selling scallops in the shell and Sweet Maine Shrimp. I would have bought some, but I figured my co-workers wouldn't appreciate the smell of raw shrimp permeating the office fridge.

This is said to be the first of many such events, so I look forward getting a better haul next time.
::c::

November 13, 2007

Photo of the Day: What's Beef?


What's Beef?, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Kyoto, Japan. 2007.

November 6, 2007

Liquid Gold


IMG_0344, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

After the success of the Pork Confit, making another batch was really just a matter of time. To facilitate, I figured I could use another batch of lard. I picked up several packages of pork skin and fat back for the task. What's great is that the packages cost as low as 70 cents.

The process is so profoundly easy, there's no reason not to keep some on hand. All you need to do is put the skin or fatback in the oven at a low heat for several hours. I like to throw in a few cloves of garlic and twigs of thyme for flavor. When it's all done, you'll have a pan full of fresh, non-hydrogenated lard. Strain it into something that won't melt and use at your leisure.

After the jump there are a couple lessons I've learned after doing it a few times...

Continue reading "Liquid Gold" »

October 23, 2007

Pork Confit

IMG_4239

I've always been intrigued by duck confit. It hits the slow cooking impulse and is made even more appealing just based on the somewhat unusual method of cooking in it's own fat.

When it came down to actually making duck confit myself, I've always found it to be terribly impractical. The price of duck legs is never quite economical when compared to a whole duck and the cost of duck fat is not cheap for a relatively small portion that will probably not have another use. Part of what appealed to me about making confit is that it seems like the sort of thing that should be easily done with parts on hand. And I'm sure it was 200 years ago. These days, not so much.

On Eric's recommendation, I bought "The Whole Beast" by Fergus Henderson a few weeks ago. I pretty much read it cover to cover. His writing style is so unlike any I've ever read in a cookbook.

When I got to the section on confit and discovered that he doesn't limit the method to ducks, it was a revelation. Immediately I wanted to give it a try. The recipe is ridiculously simple, especially if you pathologically keep home-rendered lard in the house, which I do.

The Foodtown in Bed-Stuy sells pork shoulders cut into slices with a band saw and packaged back together. It was great for pork steaks. Or would have been if the meat wasn't so tender that many of the steaks broke into yummy bite sized chunks before hitting the table.

Continue reading "Pork Confit" »

Nuts!


IMG_8687 - Version 2, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

According to SlashFood this morning, today is "National Nut Day." I usually don't give any of that stuff a second thought, but the fact is I had these on hand since I made them as a snack for Saturday night. Also, I'm exactly juvenile enough to be highly amused by talking about my roasted nuts, so there's that too...

I got the recipe months ago from an episode of Nigella. She adapted the recipe from Union Square Cafe. The recipe is posted on The Food Network's site. I adjusted it by adding more pepper and using a lot more butter.

::c:

October 22, 2007

Open For Business

This weekend Tammi and I hosted our first guests at the Apartment. After nearly 7 months, we finally have the place presentable, albeit with some boxes and laundry bags hidden away in corners and crevices.

Saturday night, Robert and Mary allowed us to repay all the wonderful hospitality they've shown us over the years. I came up with a remarkably stress-free meal, which was the biggest surprise. Typically my menus have me sweating away in the kitchen for days before and then throughout the evening.

This time is was mostly a matter of chopping, tossing and sauteing. The most exotic part of the meal was the centerpiece, pork confit that I prepared a week before (more on that later), and all that took was reheating them sticking in the broiler.

The laidback pace was perfect. It left me time to spend relaxing in great company.

Of course there was plenty of food left, so the next day Eric, Marni and Anna came through and hung out over the last of the pork - I saved a batch just for the occasion. Eric picked up some charcuterie from a place in Chelsea I'm definitely going to have to check out.

It was so much fun to spend the weekend at home with friends. I missed that a lot and I'm glad to have the opportunity again.

October 16, 2007

Cooking Chili


IMG_8500, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

It's braising time again! With the cooling weather, we can actually have the stove of the oven on for 8+ hours at a time without passing out from heat exhaustion. I had been considering how to usher in the season when Dorla emailed last week asking for a chili recipe. Chili is much more Tammi's area than mine, so I deferred to her and then took her recipe and tweaked it a bit. The base recipe is after the jump.

Since I happened to make a trip to Fette Sau the night before so I made a few yummy adjustments with what I had on hand:

I tossed in the bone from a smoked pork shank. It still had some chunks of meat on it, which took very well to the braise.

For liquid, I used what was left of a growler of beer from the night before (about a pint) and some pork stock I made a while back. You don't hear about pork stock too often, but it has come in handy.

Continue reading "Cooking Chili" »

April 29, 2007

Duck Eggs

I bought Duck Eggs. Tee hee! I'm psyched. I got half a dozen from Bedford Cheese Shop after Brunch at Dressler.

The idea of cooking Duck Eggs has been in my head for the last couple of weeks. I saw a recipe in Olive, a British cooking magazine. The recipe just called for soft-boiling the egg and sticking long sticks of toast in. It's a variation on a British breakfast staple. It gave me the idea of making a regular breakfast with Duck Eggs. I'm really curious about how scrambled duck eggs are going to taste, or maybe fried over easy. The only time I've eaten them has been at Casa Mono. They're rich and wonderful.

I'll be sure to report on them next weekend.
::c::

April 27, 2007

Cooking: Slow Honey Roasted Belly of Pork

While I was locked up in the house with my swollen face, I worked with some of the meat I picked up at this new supermarket. For whatever reason, despite the warming weather, I'm still all about braising. I found this recipe on Australia's ABC web site.

It came out with a crispy skin and a sweet, meltingly tender flesh. I would (and probably will) make it again.
The copied recipe after the jump. Note that the measurements are in the metric system.

Continue reading "Cooking: Slow Honey Roasted Belly of Pork" »

April 4, 2007

Slow Cooker

Part of the kitchen 'booty' I've acquired in the move is a small slow cooker Tammi had. She'd never really used it. I've been wanting one for ages. I read a Bittman column about it a couple years ago, shortly after I discovered braising and realized that I had to have one. Now I do.

Yesterday I threw some seared short ribs, chopped chorizo, garlic, onions and what was left of a bottle of red wine from the other night in the slow cooker and left it. When I got home, it was ready to eat. Unfortunately, I had just stuffed myself at Fette Sau, so I was in no shape to eat it. Tammi had it for dinner went back for seconds. Sadly, I forgot to put it away and left it 'warming' for the next 20-odd hours, so it's ruined before I could dig in.

But, I made a point of picking up some pork belly from the supermarket in Koreatown. I'm going to season it up tonight and leave it cooking in a pork broth I made that's been waiting for just such an opportunity. Tomorrow night: Porky Goodness.
::c::


Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
www.flickr.com
This is a Flickr badge showing public photos from ultraclay!. Make your own badge here.
Bookmark and Share
Add to Technorati Favorites



Categories