As per my standard method of operation, I sampled this dish in Mobile, Alabama 20 years ago and have been trying to duplicate it since - unsuccessfully, I might add.
Regardless, it is delicious - one of my favorite meals to this day, and the sauce that emerged from the experimentation has actually become one of my "Base Sauces" that I use in restaurants..
In sticking with the old adage that simple recipes are best, they don't get much simpler than this. I buy large strips of Pork loin, usually purchased in 8 to 10 pound strips. I slice the loin into 4 equal lengths, lightly sprinkle with cracked black peppercorn and place it in a roasting pan with about a inch of water in the bottom.
Slicing quarter inch strips of onion and adding the sliced carrots and celery stalks, adding all to the roasting pan, cover in foil and place in a 400 degree oven, then reduce the heat after 20 minutes to 325 and continue to roast for 40 minutes.
When reducing the oven temperature, use that as your cue to get the rice going and to make your carrot glaze...make sure that everything is ready to go when you pull the roasting pan from the oven because you will pull the pork from the roasting pan and let it rest for 5 minutes, slice it and serve it - and you've got a sauce to make and carrots to glaze, so five minutes is not a lot of time - be prepared!
Once the pork is out of the roasting pan and the carrots have been skimmed, pull out the celery stalks and place the entire pan over medium heat on the stovetop. Add 4 ounces of roasted green chiles and four teaspoons of concentrated stock and allow it to dissolve, and have your thickening agent handy. I prefer to make a roux but a more low fat option would be arrowroot or corn starch. Once the mixture is at a rolling boil, whisk in your roux and whisk continuously until the sauce comes to a gravy-like consistency, then reduce heat to low.
The carrots that you skimmed from the roasting pan can now be placed in the saute pan containing the glaze of brown sugar and butter on medium heat, tossing them in the substance until ready to plate.
To plate, scoop on the steamed white rice, slice the pork into 1/2 inch thick medallions, 2 per plate, and immediately top with the onion sauce. using a slotted spoon, scoop a large spoonful of carrots from the glaze, allowing for most of the glaze to run off back into the pan and arrange the carrots around the meat.
The saltiness of the sauce combined with the sweetness of the carrots creates a flavor explosion and becomes very comforting on the palate...a nice Merlot or Cabernet Sauvingnon goes very well with the dish, as does and ice filtered beer, and always top it off with fresh baked pecan tarts...
2 pounds pork loin strip
2 large carrots
2 stalks celery
2 large Spanish onions
4 oz sliced mushrooms
4 oz roasted green chiles, chopped
4 tablespoons concentrated stock (or base)
1/4 pound darkened roux
4 cups cooked white rice
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/8 cup whole butter, melted
dash cracked black peppercorn
4 huge appetites
Thursday, June 14, 2012
This is the best cheesecake recipe I've ever used - and true to form, I vary from the original recipe to satisfy my own palate...
You will need a springform pan - if you do not have one, they are relatively inexpensive from just about any department store.
The baking directions may seem a bit over the top and labor intensive, but the variation in temperatures ensure that the top fo the cheesecake doesn't crack, which always pisses me off...
Graham Cracker Crust:
2 Cups Graham Cracker Crumbs
1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 Cup Butter
Snap together your springform pan. in a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients by hand to ensure even distribution of ingredients. When properly mixed, pour mixture into the pan and use your fist to lightly pack the mixture. Make sure that the entire bottom of the pan is covered evenly. You will probably have some of the mixture climb up the sides, but it's cool because it makes for a nice looking finished product. Place the pan in the fridge or even the freezer while you prepare the filling.
Four 8 oz. packages of cream cheese
1 Cip Sugar
3 tbspn flour
1/3 Cup Sour Cream
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tspn Vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, sugar and flour. Mix with your hands until ingredients are well incorporated. Add eggs one at a time, whisking each egg into the mix before adding another. Add sour cream and whisk in well, then add zest and vanilla. Whisk for about 15 seconds until all ingredients have been incorporated. Do not overmix, for this will also cause the top to crack.
Take pan from the cooler and immediately pour the filling on top of the crumbs, using a spoon to smooth the top. Place pan on a sheet pan and place in the 350 degree oven. After 15 minutes, reduce heat to 250 degrees and back for one hour, checking the cheesecake for firmness at about 45 minutes. Cheesecake outer edges should be completely firm, and center my still be spongy, which is fine.
Pull cheesecake from the oven and put entire pan on cooling rack. After it cools for about a half hour, unclasp the sprimform pan and remove the side ring, exposing the entire cheesecake. Place in refriderator for 4 to 5 hours. When ready to serve, cut cake into slices using a knife dipped in warm water, wiping the knife dry (You really only want the heat, not the water). Slice carefully so as not to cause cracking. Serve with you favorite topping, but it is delicious plain as well.
Sunday, June 10, 2012
Italian foods have become so ingrained in american society that it has become perverted and generic at the same time - so much so that just about anyone that you meet will profess to have "The Best" recipe for marinara or alfredo, etc...in that respect, you can chalk it up to personal taste.
And in that light, I'll refrain from posting my meat sauce recipe and concentrate on these hearty and large golden nuggets.
6 Cups flour
1 1/2 tspn Salt
3 large Eggs
3/4 Cups Butter
1 1/2 Cups Sour Cream
Combine flour and salt in a large mixing bowl, leaving a small crater in the middle. in a seperate bowl, crack the three eggs and mix well, then add the softened butter and mix well. Pour the egg/butter mixyure in the crater in the flour. Using only your hands mix the ingredients together. Don't worry if the mixture looks like chaos. Add the sour cream and continue mixing it in by hand until the dough forms and becomes smooth. Separate the dough ball into 3 smaller dough balls, wrap in plastic wrap and place in a refridgerator to chill for at least a half hour. While it is chilling, prepare the filling.
1 lb groud beef
1 lb italian pork sausage
1/2 tspn chopped garlic
1 tspn oregano leaves, finely chopped
1/2 tspn basil leaves, finely chopped
2 oz. grated parmesan cheese
1 large egg
in a large sautee pan, brown the ground beef and sausage together on medium heat until about half cooked. Drain the grease from the mix and return to the hot pan. Add the garlic, oregano and basil and complete the browning. remove from heat and add the parmesan cheese until the mixture forms a loose paste, set aside to cool.
Fill a medium sized pan with water and bring the water to a slow boil.
Take a chilled dough ball from the fridge and turn onto a floured board. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to a thin sheet, perhaps 1/16 of an inch thick. Using a small drinking glass, cut circles from the dough sheet like you would do for biscuits. Once all of the rounds are cut out, take your filling, crack the egg into the mixture and mix well until the egg is incorporated thoroughly. Using a teaspoon, spoon the mixture into the center of half of the rounds. moisten the edges of the rounds with cool water, then place the other halfs to top the filling rounds, pressing with your fingers around the edges to seal. Use a fork and press around them again to ensure a good seal.
Once all of the ravioli's are sealed, drop them one by one into the boiling water. The ravioli are ready to remove from the water when they float to the surface. Remove with a slotted spoon to a layer of waxed paper and let cool. Brush the ravioli with olive or vegetable oil to keep them from drying out.
Repeat these steps for each dough ball until all are cooked and cooled. In the interim, you should have prepared your favorite sauce. When ready to serve, put another pot of boiling water over medium heat until it comes to a slow boil. Place the ravioli in the boiling water for about a minute and a half, remove to a strainer, then place them on a serving platter, top with cheese and douse with your sauce. Serve immediately.
On a side note: These cookies are essential for bringing good luck to the New England Patriots football team. Any attempt to use them as good luck for any other football team will result in sub-par cookies (lol)
1 Cup Butter, softened
1 Cup Peanut Butter
1 1/2 Cups Granulated Sugar
1 1/2 Cups Brown Sugar
4 Large Eggs
2 tspn Vanilla Extract
4 1/2 Cups Flour
2 tspn Baking Soda
1 tspn Salt
2 Cups Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips
Preheat oven to 375 Degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter, peanut butter, both sugars, eggs and vanilla, whip together until smooth. In a smaller mixing bowl combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Once these dry ingredients are mix together, add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients 1/3 at a time with a wodden spoon until mixed thoroughly, then add the chocolate chips.
scoop dough from the bowl one teaspoon at a time, molding the dough into a ball before placing on a dry baking sheet. Place baking sheet in preheated oven and bake for 9 minutes or until the peaks on the dough just begin to brown. Immediately remove the cookies from the baking pan to a cooling rack. Makes 5 dozen cookies.