Fri Mar 20, 2009
Pulled Pork Sugo with Chestnut Polenta
Let me start first by saying, no, we haven’t set a date yet. Neal and I might be getting married this fall, or we might be getting married next spring. Or maybe we’ll get married fall 2010—though I think I might lose my mind if I’m in planning stages for another year-plus. We figured we’d pick a date once we found a venue we liked. But that’s just it, trying to find a venue has been like Amazing Race meets Survivor. I’ve gotten lost behind the Orange curtain, hit by a cyclist who ran a red light, seen a wedding venue come menagerie and driven all around Sonoma County with Slingblade barking at me from my father’s GPS, “Bear left, cow right.” All this running around is exhausting. And when I get home from a weekend’s worth of talking about tables and chairs and luxury Porta Potties, cranky for having missed my Sunday morning at the farmers’ market, the last thing I want to do is spend a lot of time cooking.
Which brings me to reason number 2,356 that I love my Le Creuset Dutch Oven: No-fuss cooking. Continue reading
Mon Sep 22, 2008
The perfect autumn dish and way to use all the varieties of apples you find at the farmers’ market. I used Newton Pippins for the risotto and a combination of Spitzenberg, Red Stripe and Muutsu for the salsa.
Apple Risotto with Grilled Pork Tenderloin and Apple Salsa
1 cup brown sugar
¾ cup coarse kosher salt
1 tbsp juniper berries
1 tbsp peppercorns
5 cardamom pods
1 tsp fennel seed
Combine ingredients in a large zip-top bag. Add whole pork tenderloin and add enough warm water to completely submerge the pork. Shake to dissolve sugar and salt. Refrigerate minimum 1 hour and up to 3 hours.
Heat grill. Brush tenderloin with olive oil and place on grill. Cook about 7 minutes on each side or until the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees for medium rare (the temperature will increase about 10 degrees after you take it off the grill). Let rest 15 minutes before slicing into ¾-inch pieces.
adapted from Silver Spoon
1/2 tsp lemon zest
2 Newton Pippin apples, diced
4 tbsp butter
6 cups vegetable stock
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups Arborio rice
5 tbsp dry white wine
2 tbsp parmigiano reggiano, freshly grated
salt and pepper to taste
Melt 1 tbsp of butter in a sauté pan. Add apples and lemon zest. Sauté for 4-5 minutes, until apples are beginning to soften.
Bring the stock to a boil in a large saucepan. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a skillet. Add rice and stir until coated in oil. Sprinkle with wine and cook until evaporated. Add a ladleful of stock, stirring until it has been absorbed. Continue adding stock a ladleful at a time, stirring until absorbed before adding another. Add apples to the rice mixture about six minutes into cooking the risotto. When the rice is almost tender, stir in the cheese and remaining butter. Season to taste.
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp cider vinegar
2 tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp chile flakes
3 apples, cored ad chopped
1 tbsp tarragon
Stir sugar, vinegar, lemon juice and pepper flakes in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add a half of the apples and cook until the apples are soft. Remove from heat. Mash the apples with a potato masher or an immersion blender. Stir in tarragon and the other half of the apples. Chill for 1 hour.
Serve the sliced pork over the risotto topped with the apple salsa.
Sun Sep 21, 2008
Farmers’ Market Iron Chef: Battle in the Kitchen
With just 20 minutes remaining in Battle Apple I knew I was toast. I hadn’t made my apple vinaigrette, the batter for my apple fritters or heated my fry oil. Across fthe kitchen island stood my fellow food blogger and Foodbuzz Iron Chef challenger, Foodwoolf’s Brooke Burton, looking as relaxed as if she’d just come back from a beach vacation. And worst of all? The sweet-tangy smell of apples, caramelized sugar and cinnamon was making me hungry.
The competition seemed simple. Choose an ingredient at the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market to plan a 3-course meal around. Each blogger-chef would have two hours to prepare their food, which would be judged on taste, plating and originality by a panel of food savvy professionals. But less than 24 hours before we were to take up our knives, we suddenly found ourselves without a battlefield, for the second time.
Fri Jun 20, 2008
Smoke-Roasted Sage-Crusted Pork Loin with Mostarda di Frutta
I must have been about five the first time my family went camping. It was in New Jersey. But it was nothing like the New Jersey of suburbs and highways and brick and concrete. There were acres of trees in every direction surrounding our campsite and a shallow, clear creek that ran alongside it. Across the road there was a lake and a waterfall.
It’s easy to love camping for the proximity it puts us in to striking natural beauty. It takes us out of our constructed lives, so that we eat and sleep and play by the sun. And regardless if you’re the kind of camper who prefers to reach your outdoor destination by foot or by car, every camper knows the smell of wood smoke. It wraps its fingers around each person sitting around the fire, weaving its way into the fibers of your clothes, working into the follicles of your hair. It infuses your food, from pancakes to burgers to potatoes, with a sweet, earthy smell that is unmistakably simple and natural, like the family hearth from another time.