ginger

New Orleans Inspiration: Ginger Beer Pork Cheeks with Basil Apricot Ginger Sauce

Ginger beer pork cheeks with apricot ginger basil sauceNew Orleans. How can a chef or home cook not draw inspiration from the Crescent City? It’s a very unique culinary city and I really don’t think there’s any place on earth which compares to it for the vibrant and diverse food combinations you discover there. As well as all of the other outrageous stuff of course. There’s so much good food and in such varieties, oysters, beignets, creole, seafood, Cajun, French, Spanish, you can eat and eat and eat. If you’re in a bit of a creativity rut like I’ve been lately, New Orleans is just the ticket to get back on track. (more…)

Happy Thanksgiving! One Last Bite, Homemade Pumpkin Pie for Thanksgiving

Pumpkin Pie for ThanksgivingHappy Thanksgiving!  Pumpkin pie has always been my favorite Thanksgiving dessert, ever since I was a little kid.  As I was making this the other day I was reminded how quickly pumpkin pie can be put together.  The dough takes about 2 minutes to make and 20 to chill.  In that amount of time you can have the filling all prepared and still have time for a cup of coffee.  I know a lot of people buy pies but there’s nothing like baking your own. (more…)

St. Patrick’s Day Corned Beef (Part 1 – brining the beef)

beef brisket in brine - corned beef

Sorry, there’s just no way to make meat sitting in brine look like a supermodel. But it’s going to taste really good.

Corned beef.  A staple of St Patrick’s Day here in America, along with green beer and a green river, at least here in Chicago.  This year instead of buying the supermarket corned beef I decided to make my own.  Armed with a brine recipe from Ruhlman’s Charcuterie I picked up a 4 lb slab of beef brisket (flat cut) and set about getting started. (more…)

Pork Breakfast Sausage Success

Ginger and Sage Pork Breakfast SausageNew year, new sausages.  So far in 2013 I’ve tried my hand at making two different ones.  The first was an initial attempt at dry curing which unfortunately didn’t turn out well and had to be abandoned.  In order to regroup and give myself a boost of confidence I went back to an easier “ready-to-eat” sausage and made some sage and ginger breakfast sausage from Michael Ruhlman’s Charcuterie.  A perfect recipe for washing away the stink of failure and a nice addition for our breakfast menu. (more…)

What’s for Sunday Dinner – Braised Leg of Lamb with White Beans

With all the turkey, stews, soups, and pork we’ve been eating lately I decided to change it up a bit and make a leg of lamb.  I saw there was a boneless one on sale at the market so I grabbed it.  A boneless leg of lamb is nice because you can stuff it with all sorts or herbs and mixtures.  I hadn’t cooked one in a long while so this was going to be fun.  Since I needed to reacquaint myself with preparing one I went to my stack of cookbooks and pulled out one I knew would have a good recipe: Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  (more…)