I have seen people use mason jars for many different things. But this one is my favorite. Salad in a jar.
I have seen people use mason jars for many different things. But this one is my favorite. Salad in a jar.
I thought that this would be handy to have in the kitchen. Love Alton Brown and his solutions. This outlines cutting techniques, different types of meats and the pieces that yield the cut too.
One of the most invaluable books about cooking I own is The Flavor Bible. It’s not a cookbook, per se, but an encyclopedia of flavors that compliment each other. Want to know what foods work well with cilantro? Cardamom? Honey? Kumquats? It’s in The Flavor Bible, which helpfully couples each food with its flavor affinities. There are familiar food combinations that just seem to resonate like musical chords: apple, cinnamon and pork; sesame, soy and rice wine vinegar; and the holy trinity of mirepoix, carrots, celery and onion; just to name a few. When I find a favorite culinary chord, I love to test its versatility. Such is the case with rosemary, fennel and orange — a trio I’ve played a dozen ways, which never disappoints. This flavor combination works equally (and surprisingly) well with pork, beef and chicken in a variety of cooking methods. Here are some that worked well for me:
1.) Grilled flank steak: Since you’ll be cooking high heat, you don’t want burnt rosemary bits all over your steak. Marinate the leaves whole or slightly bruised with the back of your knife along with orange juice, a bit of red pepper (or try a squirt or sriracha!), whole fennel seeds and some garlic. Pour out and scrape off the mixture before tossing the flank on the grill. Five to six minutes on both sides at high heat will get you medium rare. Grill orange halves and squeeze on the beef after slicing. The smokey flavor will moderate the sweet. The red pepper brings the entire dish into balance. An outstanding — and fast — summer cookout dish. You could even forgo the fennel seed and marinate with diced fennel bulb. Reserve some fennel bulb for the grill, then serve it with the grilled oranges and a little rosemary olive oil. THAT is an impressive plate of food.2.) Slow-cooked, pulled chicken: Toss frozen chicken breasts in a slow-cooker if you’re cooking all-day, or use your dutch oven of choice for a 40-minute simmer of fresh chicken breasts. Use whole or ground fennel seed, fresh rosemary, garlic, onion, red pepper, salt, pepper and olive oil. Squeeze fresh orange juice in the pot and toss in one or two halved oranges. Cook until chicken is tender, then pull with a fork.3.) Oven-roasted pork loin: Mix orange zest, ground fennel, rosemary, salt and pepper with olive oil and coat pork loin before baking.
You could, of course, switch things up and slow cook your beef or pork, grill your chicken, etc. Try this flavor combination when you need a new twist on dinner, using your favorite cooking method of choice, and let us know how things turned out in the comments below!
Bánh mì has always been a classic in our family. My wife is Korean, Vietnamese, and French; I am Korean and a blend of other Caucasian things like German and Irish. You can see why there is so much Asian persuasion already on this blog. But we always bought them at the Ba Le Bakery, a Vietnamese bakery with French influence. France continued to rule Vietnam as a colony until France’s defeat in the First Indochina War and the proclamation of Vietnam’s independence in 1954. Colonialism is always far more bad than good. But one indisputable good of this literal clash of cultures was the Bánh mì sandwich. It’s not the original baguette, which is just flour, but it’s a perfect blend of both cultures. Rice flour is added to make the bread more soft on the inside with a beautiful light crust on the outside. The kind of crust that won’t cut the top of your mouth like a spoonful of Lucky Charms. We ended up buying the bread. We didn’t have time to do this from scratch…yet.
For a week I had subjected my family, and Bougie Food co-creator Matt Harwood, to a Bánh mì explosion. We ate Bánh mì sandwiches for a week. Then this past Saturday we tried to perfect it. With Matt’s son still asleep in his car seat we had a small window to cook. So with my son hanging off of his legs we started to throw together our pork Bánh mì sandwich. Three bottles of Baby Prosecco later, we had something we both were proud of. And the biggest complement was that my mother-in law approved. She is Vietnamese and French.
Matt handled the meat:
- 1 Pork Tenderloin shaved into thin pieces. I learned that it helps to put the tenderloin in the freezer for a few minutes. It’s easier to cut when it’s a little stiff.
- 3 Cloves of Garlic.
- 1 tsp of Red Curry Paste
- Splash of Fish Sauce
- Splash of Soy Sauce
- Splash of Oil
- Lemon Grass with Chile peppers
I chopped the toppings for the Sandwich:
- Fresh Cilantro
- Fresh Daikon radish with shaved carrots. Soak this in rice vinegar with a pinch of sugar
- Persian Cucumbers cut to thin strips
- Mayo and French Butter (spread this on the bread)
- Pate’ your choice. We used mushroom flavored
- Green onions
- Thai Chili Peppers or jalapeno’s
- Splash Maggie Sauce on the final product
When I was in my late teens and early twenties, St. Patrick’s Day was about one thing: getting wasted. I remember one St. Patrick’s Day where my cousin and I took in the St. Paddy’s Day parade (CORRECTION below) going up NYC’s Fifth Avenue and then went off to drink ridiculously marked up Guinness. Somehow we made it onto the Long Island Railroad to go home to Bellerose, Queens. We woke up somewhere in Long Island and had to double-back home.
Now St. Patrick’s Day is about spending time with family, which of course means surrounding yourself with spirits (although in far more responsible quantities) and food. And in America when you think of St. Paddy’s Day food, you think of corned beef and cabbage, so that’s what we made alongside of that Irish staple: the potato.
It should be noted that the Irish do not consider corned beef traditional fare, as the Los Angeles Times noted this weekend.
In the 17th and 18th centuries, the cattle raised in the country were often used for corned beef — which then went primarily into the mouths of British civilians and the British and U.S. military, according to Serious Eats. The Irish people were too poor to afford their own corned beef. They dined mainly on pork and lamb.
What this should be a reminder of is that food is inherently political. What you eat largely indicates your class and position in society. And in English Protestant landowner-dominated Ireland, my people were the equivalent of African slaves and were treated roughly the same. For instance, the Irish Great Famine is called the Great Hunger in Ireland because there was enough food, although scarce because of the potato blight, but it was exported by the colonial British for their consumption. During previous famines, ports were shut down so food would remain for local consumption. This, however, did not occur during the Great Hunger and tenant farmers, dependent on the potato for sustenance, paid the price.
Corned beef is a simple preparation. Fill up a large pot with water, throw in a pound of bacon, some quartered yellow onions, a head of garlic, two tablespoons of pickling spice, and two bay leaves. Let it come to a boil and then slide the corned beef, bought seasoned, into the hot tub for about ten minutes. Then reduce the temperature to a gentle boil and let it cook for about two hours. Then quarter the cabbage, throw it in the pot, and let the concoction cook for another hour. Three hours later, your corned beef and cabbage are done. Boiled meat: it’s what’s for dinner, but only once a year.
Give or take an hour before the corned beef and cabbage are finished prepare the potatoes. Preheat the office to around 400 degrees F. Then cut up the peeled red potatoes, around eight, and at least half a yellow onion. Spread these out on a roasting pan and season with a bit of salt and pepper and some garlic and onion powder. Afterward drench the potatoes in about two tablespoons of clarified salted butter and toss. Shoot them into the oven for about 45 mins but be sure to check on them and turn them a time or two.
And there you have it, a St. Paddy’s Day feast. The corned beef is moist and tasty, especially when you get a nice bite with a little fat and some spicy mustard. The roasted tatters and crispy onions plunged in a bit of ketchup are simple and delicious. The cabbage is, well, pickled cabbage but with a nice bacon flavor. Whenever in doubt, add bacon. (It’s really true, exhibit A: bacon ice cream.)
I picked up the 4.5 pounds of corned beef, a head of cabbage, two yellow onions, and red potatoes from Whole Foods for about $40. All told, this St. Paddy’s Day feast for four came in at about $50. And the leftover corned beef and potatoes were used to fry up a mean-ass corned-beef hash. Throw that on a toasted baguette and a poached egg with some ketchup in the morning or whenever you have the munchies and you’ll thank me.
CORRECTION: Yesterday, I got an anonymous call from New York instructing me that I had made one of the worst blunders anyone of Irish heritage can make: I referred to St. Patrick’s Day as “St. Patty’s Day” rather than “St. Paddy’s Day.” I had that immediate reaction we all do when we think we’re wrong, I lied to myself and said either shorthand would do. Alas I was wrong, dead wrong, and I thank that anonymous Mick from Gotham City for setting me straight. For those who actually care why “St. Patty’s Day” is wrong, read this very funny and fast tutorial. You’ll also learn it’s never polite to order an Irish Car Bomb, which is something I almost did drunk in a pub in Ireland once. But I think describing the drink was probably just as bad. The bartender knew what I was ordering and I’m sure she probably wanted to take the shot of whisky herself, throw the Guinness in my face, and just pour out the Baileys Irish Cream, because it is, after all, pretty nasty. And I would have deserved it. The ugly American: unfortunately, that is me.
Sounds fancy, eh, but it’s really just Italian Pot Roast. Traditionally this dish is made from veal shanks, but I substituted pork shanks because of price. I picked up the pork shanks at Society Fair, a gourmet shop, in Old Town, where the butcher hand-sawed them because the bone-saw wasn’t working. The vegetarian that once inhabited my body for five years shuddered, but then I asked if I could suck out the marrow after it was cooked. He recommended I shouldn’t. Blood, sweat, and tears for about $3 a pound. Veal shanks, however, can run as high as $20 a pound. Therefore the price point and the ethics of veal make pork the easy choice.
Although there are a number of recipes floating around the web, I used Tyler Florence’s Osso Bucco recipe for two reasons: he uses red wine over white wine and he dumps a whole bottle into the dutch oven. Now Tyler’s recipe calls for an Amarone wine, but that’s the good stuff so I went with a $10 Barbera from Fern Street Gourmet just off King Street/Rt-7. I also substituted chicken broth for beef broth because, well, that’s what was in the fridge. Otherwise, it’s the man from Florence’s recipe to the T sans lemon zest and the cranberry gremalota. While you can go with pasta or quinoa to rest comfortably underneath the osso bucco, I whipped up some garlic mash potatoes. The result is ridiculously tender pork slathered in dark rich gravy over some tasty tatters. The yield is four large servings for about $35-$40. It’s a good dish for company, which doesn’t set you back too much.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 pieces pork shank for osso bucco
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 celery stalk, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 1 lemon, zest peeled off in wide strips with a vegetable peeler
- 1 head garlic
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 bottle Barbera wine
- 8 ounces of chicken broth
- 1 (28-ounce) can whole San Marzano tomatoes, hand-crushed
DIRECTIONS (via Food Network with slight edits): Put the flour in a large shallow platter and season it with a fair amount of salt and pepper. Get in the habit of always tasting your flour; once it coats the veal it is harder to adjust the seasoning. Dredge the veal shanks in the seasoned flour and then tap off the excess (extra flour will burn and make the dish off-tasting).
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat and hit it with a 3-count drizzle of oil. Add the butter and swirl it around the pan to melt. Sear the veal shanks, turning carefully with tongs, until all sides are a rich brown caramel color. Drizzle with a little more oil, if needed. (Do this in batches if the shanks are big and look crowded in the pot.) Remove the browned veal shanks to a side plate. There will be a lot of flavor left over in the bottom of the pot. You’re going to use that to create your sauce.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Using the same pot, saute the onion, celery, carrots, garlic, bay leaf, and parsley over medium heat. Cook the vegetables down until they start to get some color and develop a deep, rich aroma. Season with salt and pepper; add a little oil if needed. Nestle the shanks back in the pot. Pour in the wine and let it simmer down for 20 minutes, until the wine has reduced by half. ( My dutch oven is on the smaller side so I let the wine reduce for nearly an hour to make room for the tomatoes and broth.) Reducing is key for intense flavor. Add the chicken broth and tomatoes and stir everything together. Cover the pot and put it in the oven. Braise for 1 and a 1/2 hours. Then remove the cover and continue to cook for another 30 minutes. The sauce should be thick and the veal tender and nearly falling off the bone.
Remove bay leaves
POSTSCRIPT: A word of advice for anyone who wants to make Pork Osso Buco: call your favorite grocery store or butcher ahead of time. I got lucky at Society Fair, because as the butcher told me, “I got a pig hanging up in the back.” If he hadn’t, I was out of luck until mid-week when they got more inventory. I was told the same thing at BRABO’s The Butcher’s Block at the Lorien Hotel.