Month: May 2014

Coppa – Here’s Where Curing Pork Gets Serious

Home cured CoppaCoppa. This is the one where I’ll look back and say ‘that’s where it really began.’ Of all the curing I’ve done in the past year this coppa is my best. I’ve wanted to make some since I first got Salumi but had to learn how to walk first with some smaller, quicker cures. I’m now jogging. As I slowly progress to bigger, more flavorful cuts, it’s only a matter of time before there’s a whole leg hanging in the curing fridge. When that time comes please remember, it began with coppa. (more…)


Bresaola – Home Cured Dried Beef

Home cured bresaolaWhen we were in New Orleans a few weekends ago we ended up eating dinner at an Italian place where one of the appetizers on he menu was a simple salad of arugula, parmigiano reggiano, and bresaola. I pointed it out to Cheryl and said something like ‘you know that beef I cured and hung downstairs? well this is what it’s going to turn into.’ Of course, we ordered it.  (more…)

Yellow Lentils with Pickled Ginger and Watercress

Yellow Lentils with Pickeld Ginger and watercressAs promised here’s the second part of last week’s NOLA inspired dish of Ginger Beer Pork Cheeks. These lentils are a really flavorful side dish which, while fantastic when paired with the pork cheeks, can easily stand on its own as a separate dish or even side salad. Like revenge I think they’re best served cold to contrast the cooked pork. (more…)

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…)

Beurre Manié and French Style Spring Peas

French PeasThis week I’m kneading things up a little bit (wait for it…) and incorporating a simple yet useful technique into the post. Cheryl picked up a package of shelled peas at Trader Joe’s so I made some French peas to go with our Sunday dinner roast. Since I’d made this dish before, I knew there was a recipe for it in my CIA cookbook (the school in my hometown not the spy agency), but I had forgotten about a certain trick used to thicken the sauce; mixing in a butter-flour combo at the end to make a rich, smooth, buttery sauce which envelops the peas. (more…)