Tuesday, May 31, 2011

It is feeling like summer - Keffir Lime Ice Cream


I pruned my Keffir lime tree this weekend. I was left with about 20 leaves and there was no way I was going to waste them. I had already bought Duck eggs and also cream from my farm that I belong to and had plans for ice cream anyhow.


Look at these beauties. They had the yellowest yolks that I have ever seen. The custard wasn't cold enough to make into ice cream so we will do that tonight. If it doesn't work out then I will just drink it (I AM JOKING..pffft). I used David Lebovitz's recipe and just stuck lots of Keffir lime leaves in it to soak. I really got the idea from Francis Lam who used David's recipe and then said to just add stuff.


We also had some planting to do. I had a bunch of starts and we bought lots of tomato plants.


It wouldn't be summer without some smoking big meat so Dr. Food was at it once again.


I got the rub recipe from my BFF Mitch Omer chef of Hells Kitchen (the real one). I have to tell you that Dr. Food has made lots of ribs but between this recipe (yes, I will give it to you) and Dr. Foods skills and the Bradley smoker these were THE best ribs that we ever made.


I also loved the BBQ sauce.


So, we were making sausage while these babies were smoking. After a long day of sausage and ducks and stock and and and....ice cream we were pooped so imagine how happy we were to have these all done by the time we were done with our project.


Oh, and someone else was really happy to get a bone or two.


Hell’s Kitchen Rib Rub

¾ cup hot paprika
¼ cup ground black pepper
¼ cup dark chili powder
¼ cup ground cumin
¼ cup granulated garlic
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 Tbsp cayenne

Mix all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Place rib rub in a stainless steel, glass, or ceramic container with a tight-fitting lid.

Hell’s Kitchen Barbeque Sauce

2 cups Open Pit barbecue sauce

1 small (1/2 cup) chopped white onion
4 Tbsp dark brown sugar
3 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp crushed red pepper
2 Tbsp dark molasses
2 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
2 tsp liquid smoke

Place Open Pit in a large saucepan, and warm over medium high heat. Puree onion in a food processor fitted with a steel chopping blade, and scrape into the saucepan. Stir in remaining ingredients. Heat mixture to a boil over high, stirring continually. Reduce heat and simmer 19 to 21 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let sauce to cool to room temperature and refrigerate. Makes 3 ½ cups.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

California eating and the Cutest kid alive...I swear


I was home from work and knew that I needed to be getting ready to go to California. I didn't feel like it so I cooked instead. I decided to try Amateur Gourmet's "The Best Chili of Your Life"

It was very very good. It also afforded me the time while it was cooking to get my stuff together for the trip. I also threw together some "Paula Deen" Cheddar and Garlic Biscuits. Meh.


Not my favorite. It could be because I can't bake worth beans (what does "not worth beans" mean in reality? We should take a look at this at some later date).


I also went to my farm store and when I saw these I couldn't help myself! Lookie here Mrs. Wheelbarrow Duck Eggs. Need I say more?


They have "ice cream" written all over then. Not literally. You know what I mean.

Now to the best part of my blog post. . .


I went to visit my baby Parker. I love my Annie and Tim, and was excited to see them, but it was Parker that has grabbed my heart and has me wrapped around his little finger. My meat man. Grammy set him up and got him started on the right path.


I think he had my number the minute I held him. All he has to do is smile at me and .... well, you know.

Parker and Gam

We got to spend lots of time together. Shut up, I know I look like a homeless person. It is called jet lag. Go away, it is dammit!


This little guy is getting started off right. Mom cooks all his food for him. No "Gerbers" for him.


What is that beautiful plate of food you ask? Even if you didn't I am going to tell you. Tim got us tickets to the Sharks hockey game. I love hockey but pretend I didn't tell you that, ok? It was the playoffs and before we went we ate brunch at Camino. I had the Sardine and asparagus. All ingredients were so fresh and flavorful. They cooked everything in a wood burning oven.

Can I just say that the food was amazing. To be honest the service was pretentious and standoffish (treated us sorta like we stepped in dog poop. It could have been I was still looking a bit disheveled. I am no spring chicken anymore [another phrase we will have to explore]. I recommend this restaurant highly though.


Potatoes cooked in Duck Fat.


Tim had this. It was the Polenta, poached egg and spring peas.


Annie (my meat lovin girl) had the Meaty thing with fava beans and poached egg.


I also had a baked egg that was baked in the wood burning oven. Yum! All in all this meal rocked. It made me even more homesick for California. California has my family and the best simple and fresh food and ...and... LOOK AT THIS FACE!


Off to the Sharks game. Tim got us box seats. Ooooh baby, Penthouse! Parker's first game.


I think I may have watched Parker more than I watched the game. "Sharks" lost anyhow.


I don't know if I told you but Parker is a chick magnet. This is one of his girlfriends.


He was more into the game than into her. I heard him ask her to go get him a beer but she was way too smart for that. She wasn't going to wait on him. She could get herself another guy. Maybe not as good looking but.... Ok, I will stop.


Before I knew it my heart was breaking as I walked out the door and my trip was over. I did leave my heart in San Francisco though. Really!

Michael Symon's Pork Cheek Chili
from "Live To Cook"
I got it from Amateur Gourmet Go read his blog!

1 tablespoon sweet smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
5 pounds pork cheeks or pork shoulder, cleaned, trimmed, and cubed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound slab bacon, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 jalapeno chilies, seeded and very finely chopped
2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and finely diced
1 12-ounce bottle amber ale or porter
2 cups chicken stock
1 28-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes, with their juice
2 canned chipotles in adobo, seeded and minced
1 pound dried black-eyed peas (1 2/3 cups) picked over and rinsed
1 small cinnamon stick

For garnish:
Shredded smoked cheddar cheese
Fresh cilantro leaves
Sliced scallions, white and green parts
Creme fraiche

IIn a large bowl, combine the coriander, paprika, and cumin and toss with the pork cheeks(or shoulder). Season with salt and pepper.

In a large enameled cast-iron Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat. Add half of the pork and cook, turning as needed, until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer the pork to a plate. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and brown the remaining pork. Transfer to the plate. Add the bacon to the pot and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until browned and slightly crisp, about 7 minutes. Add the onion, garlic, jalapenos, and bell peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.

Return the pork cheeks (or shoulder) to the pot along with any accumulated juices. Add the ale, chicken stock, tomatoes, chipotles, black-eyed peas, and cinnamon stick and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over very low heat until the meat and beans are tender, about 2-1/2 hours.

Season the chili with salt and pepper. Spoon off the fat from the surface and discard the cinnamon stick. Serve the chili in bowls. Pass the smoked cheddar, cilantro, scallions, and creme fraiche at the table.

Printable Version

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Mares eat oats and Doe's eat oats and Little lambs eat Ivy


Another Sunday and I wanted to cook something good for dinner. I really wanted to try something with Lamb. I have lots of it in the freezer. It is Leyden Glen Farm Lamb (Waving to Kristen...Hi Kristen! I wish you could come over for dinner). I didn't want something too fussy. I wanted simple.


I went looking in our cookbooks but I just didn't want what it took to make any of the recipes. Of course I could have always just done my own thing (which would have probably turned out pretty much like what I got using the recipe).


I finally found it online at Savuer. I made "Seven-Hour Leg of Lamb". That is so I could do what I want in those 7 hours. Turns out that we only cooked it for 5 hours because the piece of meat we used was smaller than what was called for.


Creme Fraiche in a recipe can never be a bad thing.


I liked this recipe a lot. It was comforting and let me be lazy. I also made a salad with fennel and greens and radish and other stuff that I can't remember but it is just a salad. People, you don't need a recipe for a salad.


We also finally took the meat we were hanging in the basement down. Man were these pretty and they tasted even better than they looked.


Guanciale came out great. I better say that. I bought a whole pig for those cheeks. You are so jealous of my pig cheeks I can tell.


This is the Ventreche. It was amazing. This was the Ventreche that Dom rolled at the Charcuterie Workshop we went to. We smoked it lightly and then hung it up to dry. There is LOTS of it so if you want to come over for a taste I will cook you up some. It taste like the best bacon you ever had. Don't mention this to Dr. Food but I liked the Ventreche better than the Guanciale. Uh, when I hinted at that Dr. Food got a weird look on his face and said "We have a whole pig because of this Guanciale. You BETTER love it" ok so here it goes, "Yes, honey I love it, BUT I love the Ventreche better" I can say that in a blog post but I wouldn't dare say that to his face. He doesn't read this blog anyhow so I can say whatever I want. "Hey Dr. Food. I bought a bracelet online" "I also bought some Yarn" Heh heh ...that will show HIM for not reading my blog.

Printable Version

Seven Hour Leg of Lamb
SAVEUR October 2009

1 4-lb. shank end leg of lamb or
a 4-lb. piece of shoulder, trimmed
3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper,
to taste
1 750-ml bottle dry white wine
20 cloves garlic, unpeeled
10 sprigs each fresh rosemary,
thyme, and savory
5 fresh or dried bay leaves

2 cups dried white beans, preferably cannellini
or white coco, soaked overnight
5 cloves garlic, smashed
3 sprigs fresh thyme and parsley and a bay leaf
tied together with kitchen twine
10 whole cloves
1 large onion, halved
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper,
to taste
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. crème fraîche

1. Cook the lamb: Heat oven to 300˚. Rub lamb with oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Heat a 6-qt. Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add lamb and cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 12 minutes. Transfer lamb to a plate. Add wine and 2 cups water to the Dutch oven; scrape up browned bits from bottom of pot. Nestle garlic and herbs into a large oval casserole; place lamb on top of herbs; add pan juices from Dutch oven. Cover lamb with foil; transfer to oven and roast, basting frequently, for 3 1⁄2 hours. Uncover, flip lamb, and continue to cook, basting frequently, until lamb is very tender, 3–3 1⁄2 more hours. Transfer to a rack and let cool for 20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, prepare the beans: About 1 1⁄2 hours before the lamb is done, drain beans and transfer to a 4-qt. saucepan along with 6 cups water, 4 cloves garlic, and the herb bundle. Insert the cloves into the onion and add to the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until beans are tender, about 1 hour. Remove pot from heat and season with salt and pepper. Discard herbs and strain beans, reserving cooking liquid. Transfer 2 cups beans, 1⁄4 cup cooking liquid, oil, crème fraîche, and remaining garlic clove to a blender and purée. Stir puréed bean mixture and about 1 cup of the cooking liquid back into pot and cover to keep warm until lamb is cooked. Serve the lamb sliced or torn into chunks, alongside the beans.

SERVES 6 – 8

Monday, May 16, 2011

Bwhaaa! Secret Recipe Club


I joined Amanda's Cookin' Secret Recipe Club. What you do in this club is sneak on over to someone's blog (another person in the club that Amanda picks for you) and steal (ok, recreate) a recipe that you find there. You can join too.

I was given Aiessio Recipe Taster blog. (Hi Aiessio sweetie!)


I adore Mexican food. It isn't easy to find here in New England. I grew up in California and between living in Southern California and Northern California most my life I am spoiled. So, I take as many opportunities to make it at home. That is why when I saw that Alissio had This Aint Lasagna on his website I had to give it a try. Alissio adapted his from "Fine Cooking".

I was home for the day so I decided to really get into this dish. I started off with the grill. It was a beautiful day and a perfect excuse to be outside.


I love standing out there smelling the food on the grill and making the neighbors jealous. Actually, I don't think the neighbors care or can smell it but it sounded good.


Before I put the chicken on the grill I doused it with Jane's Krazy Mixed Up Pepper. I put Jane's Krazy Mixed Up Pepper on everything. I love it. No they don't pay me for singing its praises but I wish they did. Shut up, I don't just like it because it is called Krazy pepper.


Alissio lives in Bonn, Germany and he adapted this recipe to what he could find in the way of the ingredients. I adapted this recipe from Alissio.


I used the original recipe but I added some Cumin and Garlic. I couldn't imagine Mexican food without it. I also couldn't find Anaheim peppers so I used Hungarian Waxed peppers. The dish had a kick but not too much.


Tortillas are browned just a bit.


The stacks are made. This recipe isn't hard at all but it does take some time. I also don't think that it is a dish that would hold up well if it were to have to sit for a long time. I don't think it would sit for a long time because it is so good that there will be none left after your first taste.


Thanks Recipe Taster! I love this recipe.

Alissio's This Aint Lasagna


1½ pounds Fresh Anaheim chiles (about eight 6 to 8 inch chiles) 24 ounces 678 grams - roast, peel, remove seeds, chop coarsely. Other green chiles (NOT bell peppers) could probably be substituted but be conscious of heat and size!) (*I* used hungarian waxed and it was fine)
7-8 ounces Tomatillos (about 4-5 medium) 212 grams - peel, remove stems
4 cups Chicken broth (32 ounces/920 grams)
1 clove Garlic , minced
2 teaspoons yellow onion , minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ tsp Kosher salt (add more to taste)
¼ tsp Black Pepper (add more to taste)
2 tablespoons Cornstarch (dissolve in 2 tablespoons water, for thickening)
Hot sauce , your favorite, optional
2 Boneless chicken breasts (you can also use bone-in chicken breasts or thighs)
3 tablespoons Olive oi l or other neutral vegetable oil (use more as needed)
Kosher salt and pepper
12 Small Corn tortillas (5-6 inch/13-15 cm). (you can also use wheat tortillas or other wraps)
6 ounces grated Monterey Jack , 170 grams (other cheeses (cheddar, pepper jack, Mexican cheeses) can be used. Just be sure they melt well and complement the filling)
Cilantro for garnish , chopped and sprinkled optional
** I added about 1 Tbl of Cumin and 1Tbl of minced garlic to Tomatillo sauce)

Roasting Fresh Chiles

1. Coat each chile with a little vegetable oil. If you are doing only a couple chiles, using the gas stove works. For larger batches (as in this recipe), grilling or broiling is faster.
2. Lay the oiled chiles on the grill or baking sheet (line pan with foil for simpler clean-up). Place the grill or broil close to the element, turning the chiles so they char evenly. They should be black and blistered.
3. As they are completely charred (they will probably not all be done at once), remove them to a bowl and cover with plastic, or close up in a paper bag. Let them rest until they are cool.
4. Pull on the stem and the seed core MAY pop out (it rarely does for me). Open the chile and remove the seeds. Turn the chile skin side up and with a paring knife, scrape away the skin. Sometimes it just pulls right off, sometimes you really have to scrape it.
5. DO NOT RINSE! (I rinsed. I always do...I am such a rebel.)

Green Chile Sauce
1. Put a medium saucepan of water on to boil and remove the papery outer skin from the tomatillos. Boil the tomatillos until soft, 5 to 10 minutes. You can also grill the tomatillos until soft.
2. Drain and puree in a blender or food processor.
3. Return the tomatillos to the saucepan along with the chicken broth, chopped green chiles, minced onion, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper.
4. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
5. Add the cornstarch/water mixture and stir well. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened and reduced to 4-5 cups, another 10-15 minutes.
6. Adjust seasonings and add hot sauce if you want a little more heat.

Stacked Green Chile and Grilled Chicken Enchiladas

1. Heat a gas grill to medium high or build a medium-hot charcoal Coat the chicken with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Grill the chicken until just cooked through, 4-5 minutes a side for boneless chicken breasts.
3. Cool and then slice into thin strips or shred.
4. In a small skillet, heat 3 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat until very hot. Dip the edge of a tortilla into the oil to check – it should sizzle immediately.
5. Using tongs, put a tortilla into the pan and cook until soft and lightly brown on each side, about 15-20 seconds per side (at the most).
6. Drain on paper towels.
7. Add oil as needed and continue until all 12 tortillas are done.
8. In a baking dish large enough to hold four separate stacks of tortillas, ladle a thin layer of sauce.
9. Lay four tortillas in the dish and ladle another ½ cup (4 ounces/112 grams) of sauce over the tortillas.
10. Divide half the chicken among the first layer of tortillas, top with another ½ cup of sauce and 1/3 of the grated cheese.
11. Stack another four tortillas, top with the rest of the chicken, more sauce and another third of the cheese.
12. Finish with the third tortilla, topped with the remaining sauce and cheese.
13. Bake until the sauce has thickened and the cheese melted, about 20 minutes. Let rest for 5-10 minutes.
14. To serve, transfer each stack to a plate. Spoon any leftover sauce over the stacks and sprinkle with cilantro, if you wish. The stacks may also be cooked in individual gratin dishes.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Charcutepalooza is My Life - Challenge 5... I think


This months Charcutepalooza challenge is all about the Grind. Yup. We were up for the challenge since we had some pork to deal with anyhow.


Spices were in order and we had our kitchen set up to be a virtual meat packing plant. Well not exactly but you know that I lean on the side of a bit of exaggeration. Shut up, that is why you love me.


Yes, that is liver. Notice that those are not MY hands. Once again my trusty assistant (heh, cough) did the dirty work for me. Dr. Food stepped in once again to bail me out of something I got myself into that may have been a wee bit over my head.


This Caul fat was soaking to wrap the little Crepinettes in. Crepinettes are little sausage patties that are way prettier than average sausage patties. They are also way fancier too. I learned how to do these at the Charcuterie workshop that Kate and Dominque taught.

I do have to stop here to say something. (Stepping up on soapbox) I just want to say that I know that some of these pictures are graphic. I also noticed that a few people stopped following this blog (probably my mother) and it could be because they were bored with my antics and silliness or it could have been that I have been dealing with parts of animals that disgust some people. I never said I was Vegan or Vegetarian. I do however have a conscience. I don't take the experience of dealing with the whole pig or lamb that I have lightly. I joke. I can't help myself. You make me nervous and when I am nervous I joke.


Having said that I have to say that what this experience is giving me is learning to respect the food that I put into my mouth. Stop groaning, it is true. I have stopped mindlessly feeding myself and the people I love crap from the grocery store. I will leave it at that. (Stepping down from soapbox and tripping). (Dog may appear smaller than in real life) Ok, I didn't know what picture to use for my serious moment.


Look how pretty this caul fat is. I wish I had more of it.


Cripenettes going into a water bath.


Crepinettes out of the oven. I have to tell you that we did all of this in a weekend. I was determined not to waste a thing.


Yes, that is the heart. I asked @Podchef what to do with it and he said "I would stuff it". Perfect. I had ground pork.


I stuffed with the Merquez sausage meat.


I lightly floured it.


Browned it.


Braised it in some beer. I thought "Smutty Nose" was a good choice. Ya know, Nose..Snout...also, Matt (waving to Matt but don't have a picture of him) left it at our house.


I let it braise in the oven for about 1.5 hours.


How did it taste? Um, not my favorite (as my mother taught me to say when something was disgusting and I had to choke it down). It was really a good recipe and if someone wanted to make Pig heart I would suggest this recipe. I just t didn't like pig heart. Dr. Food loved it though.


So we had enough stuff to make more pate. We figured we could just keep begging people to come over to help us eat it all. I shipped some of it off to my brother in San Francisco.


The above is a pate recipe we made that we got from Kate at our workshop. How pretty is that? I wanted to just stare at it but it went into the refrig to stay overnight.


We started making the Marquez sausage. By this time I think we were a bit slap happy and may have been nipping at the bottle.
We used the recipe from Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn.


We had bought some Merquez at the Hay market in Boston the week before to taste it before we made our own. It was Halal and of course had no pork. It was also way milder. The one we made was way spicier than the one we bought. They tasted like two different things but I did like both of them.


The other sausage that we made was saucisse de Toulouse. This is a mild sausage that I use in lots of stuff. We use it in Cassoulet as well as weeknight meals of beans and sausage.


So when it came time to pick something to make with the Merquez sausage (other than stuffed pig heart) I decided on Moroccan Merguez Ragout with Poached Eggs. I found it on Food 52 and it was by epicureanodyssey


I picked up some GOOSE (not duck) Eggs at the farm I belong to because I thought it would be funny to see those huge eggs poaching in this dish.


How pretty is this dish?


I also made some crusty bread to go along with it. This just may be my new favorite favorite favorite (stop me or I will go on) recipe.

Whew ok.... going off to eat a salad.