Monthly Archives: February 2011

pork loin waiting to be cooked

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A beautiful pork loin, waiting.

Fresh cracked black pepper and lemon salt on it. Seasoning done.

Now, what will you do with it?

carnitas for lunch

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Sunday afternoon. Friends are over for lunch.

We laugh around the table, waiting for the food. Our daughter runs two feet behind Iris, who is 7 and her idol. They bounce on the bed, read books side by side, and run through the house. Lu is in heaven.

Matthew stands at the stove, heating up the fixings for the carnitas. Carnitas! Cabbage, warm tortillas, cilantro, wedges of lime, hot sauce. And well-spiced, tender pork carnitas

The sun was shining too.

It doesn’t take much to make me happy.

This was enough.

pizza with prosciutto

pizza crust without the gums

Please tell me you have started putting prosciutto on your pizza.

Pepperoni? Perfectly pleasing. Canadian bacon? Also good. (I still don’t like pineapple.) Salami is swell.

But prosciutto might be the best of all.

One tip? Bake your pizza with all the toppings you want — this one has goat cheese and pine nuts, along with capers and olive oil — but leave the prosciutto until the last moment. When you take that pizza sizzling out of the oven, lay the proscuitto on top of the melted cheese. It settles in well.

Slice and eat.

Kate de Cadmont and pork

charcuterie

If you love charcuterie, you simply have to see this series of photographs by Tim Clinch of charcuterie made by Kate Hill.

Tim Clinch is an incredible photographer, “…splitting his time (when not travelling for work) between England, Bulgaria, France, Spain and his newly discovered passion, the wonderful country of Ukraine.” Now that sounds like quite the life.

Kate Hill, also known now as Kate de Camont, lives on an 18th-century farm in Gascony, teaches culinary retreats, loves her local farmers, and writes a wonderful blog about it all. She has a charmed life. She's a charming woman, devoted to her craft.

Together, these two crafted an incredible series of photographs. Really, they should have a book.

I want to buy that book.

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sausage and eggs

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You know, we love quinoa for breakfast. On a cold winter morning, I adore the big pot of oatmeal simmering on the back of the stove. Yogurt and cereal? our toddler asks and we spoon out our homemade yogurt and granola. There are so many ways to start the day.

However, the breakfast experience that makes us the happiest, the ones we sigh into the bowl about, is something like this one.

A hash of sauteed escarole, tomatoes, and smoked paprika. A frizzled fried egg (that one is cooked exactly how I like it). And a couple of sausages on the side.

Now that’s a way to start the day.

Applegate Farms pork breakfast sausage

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We like all kinds of pork sausages for breakfast around here. We make our own. We buy from a local butcher’s. We spy whatever is on sale at the store and looks good and we try that brand too.

Lately, our favorite is this Applegate Farms breakfast sausage. It’s a pork breakfast sausage, well-spiced, and pretty aggressively peppery. There’s a kick to this sausage.

Applegate Farms sent us some samples of the sausage to try, not only because of this blog but also because of the other one we write. I’m not entirely sure these are even on the market yet.

Watch  your stores for them to appear. Look in the freezer section. They’re good.

roasted pork and lemony squash salad

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I was going through old blog posts from our other website the other day. We switched over to WordPress (partly because this site is on WordPress and it’s so much easier to navigate!) and I’m still categorizing recipes. I think I will be for all of 2011. Sigh.

Anyway, I re-discovered this recipe from 2005. This was before I met Danny, before I learned how to really cook. However, I made up this recipe with pork tenderloin and butternut squash. The sensory memories came rushing back when I read this. I have to say, I’m kind of proud. This was good. (Even if the photograph was pretty awful! Back then, I thought that shooting under a yellow light at night worked out okay.)

I think I’m making this for lunch today.

Pork roast and butternut squash salad

one half of a butternut squash, seeds removed
liberal splashes of pumpkin seed oil
Meyer lemon sea salt

one small pork round roast
a splash of rich, green olive oil
enough herbs de provence to cover the top of the roast
Meyer lemon sea salt, to taste
cracked black pepper

two good handfuls of wild greens
dibs and dabs of herbed goat cheese
a sprinkling of sunflower seeds, salted

Lap waves of pumpkin seed oil on the cut-open half of butternut squash. Sprinkle with sea salt. Roast in a 400° oven for forty-five minutes, or until the flesh yields to your fork. Take it out of the oven and let it cool.

Smear the top of the pork with olive oil, Meyer lemon sea salt, the herbs de provence, and cracked black pepper, enough to make a crust on top. Roast it in a 425° oven, or until the meat thermometer reads 145°. Don’t worry if your oven smokes.

Slice the pork roast into large bites. Save half of it aside for the next day’s festival of eating.

Lay down a bed of wild greens, then arrange the pork neatly on top of it. (Who am I kidding? Just throw the pork in there, because you’re only going to eat it.) Layer chunks of soft butternut squash, gobs of goat cheese, and more pork on the greens. At the last, sprinkle some sunflower seeds on top.

You probably won’t even need dressing. Everything else is so richly textured and five-thousand tasted that anything else would be overkill.

different breeds of heritage pig

Have you ever eaten pork from a Mangalitsa pig? This pig, big in Europe, is now becoming more widely raised in the United States as well. Why? Their fat makes incredible leaf lard, prized for pie crusts and lardo.

I had no idea, but apparently Red Wattle pigs, raised first in New Orleans, “…have a wild, porky taste that’s ideal for Creole cuisine. ‘You can get an aggressive sear on the meat,’ says Vinegar Hill House’s Brian Leth, “’without overcooking it.’”

Raising a pig specifically for its taste? Now that’s an interesting culinary idea.

If you’d like to learn more about heirloom breeds coming back into style, check out this chart from New York magazine.

bacon baklava

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photo from Sweet Napa

“If someone had the singular genius to publish a cookbook entitled Bacon Desserts, I’d be all over it. I’ve yet to have a bacon dessert that I didn’t love. Bacon can go sweet/salty, chewy/crispy, smoky/simply savory, and star or supporting player.”

So begins an enticing entry from Nina, the force of nature behind Sweet Napa. When she began the blog, she was a culinary student at the CIA in Napa (and thus the sweet Napa title). Now, she's a professional candy maker, with a book on candymaking due out in the spring of 2011. She runs a company called BonBonBar, which makes delectable candies. I want a Scotch candy bar!

Before she was running that company, however, she had the time to create an incredible dessert: bacon baklava.

“This baklava recipe plays with bacon’s infinite variety. It is mixed into a filling of almonds and dates — the almonds bring out its crisp savoriness while the dates bring out its sweet chewiness. The syrup poured over the baklava is made of maple syrup, orange peel, and bourbon. All contribute generally to the depth of flavor and the requisite stickiness, but the maple syrup and orange peel also remind me how much I like to eat the bacon that falls into pools of maple syrup on my breakfast plates, and the bourbon goes so well with smokiness.”

How could you not want some?

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