The Cubano Sausage

Cubano SausageThe Cuban sandwich is one of my favorite sandwiches, and ever since I started getting creative with sausage flavors I’ve wanted to make one based on the delicious Cubano. I came up with the idea after eating a ‘gyro sausage’ for lunch one day and thought the Cubano’s flavors (pork, ham, cheese, and pickles) would be pretty easy to incorporate in tubular form. I’m sure someone somewhere has come up with this already, but since I’ve never seen one I decided it was time to give it a go. (more…)

Pane di Chiavari (Olive bread)

Pane di Chiavara - Olive breadThis week has been a particularly nasty winter week so I thought it would be a good time to follow through on one of Cheryl’s recent kitchen requests: bake some bread. While looking at my favorite bread cookbook, Carol Field’s Italian Baker, I came across a pretty low maintenance recipe for an olive bread, Pane di Chiavari. (more…)

Vieux Carré – A Crescent City Cocktail for Mardi Gras

Vieux carreWhat is it about New Orleans cocktails that they are all so inherently potent? Of the three you’d normally associate with the city, Sazerac, Vieux Carré, and Hurricane, only the Hurricane gets ‘watered down’ with any fruit juice. The other two are just straight up combinations of booze. This week I’m skipping over Valentine’s Day and getting ready for Mardi Gras with the Vieux Carré cocktail. Laissez le bon temps rouler! (more…)

Blackstrap Molasses Picnic Ham: The Final Piece from the Cold Smoking Experiment

Blackstrap molasses picnic ham3It’s been over two months since I cured, cold smoked, and hung up a picnic ham to dry. A few days before Super Bowl Sunday I checked the weight and saw it was ready for slicing! (more…)

Choucroute Garnie

Choucroute garnieOne benefit of all my charcuterie experimenting is we usually have some sausages and cured meat tucked away somewhere, just in case. At the moment we’ve got quite a variety with some speck, coppa, sausages, and bacon, so there occurred a great opportunity to cook up a pot of cured meat deliciousness: choucroute garnie. (more…)

Homemade Chicken Soup From Scratch

Chicken Soup2I was a little under the weather last week and really needed some good old-fashioned chicken soup. As you may have heard, chicken soup is supposed to help cure the common cold or at least alleviate some of the suffering. Over the years there have been studies about chicken soup’s alleged healing properties and from what I can gather it’s a combination of certain things: cold fighting compounds in the chicken and carrots; the hot liquid which…um loosens things up; and vitamins and nutrients in the broth which make easier for the body to absorb. Of course I wasn’t really thinking of the science behind it all, I just wanted some homemade chicken soup to make me feel better. (more…)

Riso al Salto: All Leftovers Should Be This Good

Riso al Salto with truffle hunter sauceNormally, when you make risotto you make just enough that it all gets eaten. Even if there is little extra you finish it off leaving just an empty pan. However, this past weekend I made an extra-large serving for us and lo and behold what was in the fridge the next day but a small plate of leftover risotto. Of course you can just do what you do with normal leftovers; re-heat and eat. Or you can take that leftover risotto and make riso al salto: a quick and easy crispy fried rice cake. Now that’s a good leftover! (more…)