Shhhh…It’s a Secreto


Way back in 2013 on one of our Spain vacations I was lucky enough to discover something on a menu mysteriously called “secreto.” With a mix of Spanish, English, and hand gestures our server told us it was a special pork cut hidden behind the belly. Hence its name. It is not a very common cut we see here in the US, making it even more mysterious. Even after all these years I think I’ve only seen it once on a menu here in Chicago, a city practically built out of pork. So what is it and where can you get it? I am glad you asked. (more…)


Ducketta – Elevating My Charcuterie Game

duckettaWhat’s a ducketta? I knew you’d ask. It’s my version of farce meat stuffed into or wrapped up in skin and cooked. Actually, it’s more like a zampone (stuffed pig’s trotter) or roulade (farce meat wrapped up in skin) than porchetta but duckpone and duckade just don’t sound as good. (more…)

Smoky Black Pepper Botifarra and White Beans

Smokey botifarra and beans2If there is one food which brings back fond memories of our honeymoon it is botifarra amb mongetes. Catalan sausage and beans. The food counters in the back of the big market, Mercat de la Boqueria, in Barcelona is where I had my first plate of this specialty and it was delicious. Looking back now with 20/20 hindsight, I could say this was the possibly moment I really started to embrace and become intrigued with the art of the sausage. (more…)

Chick Peas with Lardo (Ceci e Lardo)

Chick peas with lardoWhile cleaning out the fridge the other day I came across a package of white gold tucked away in the ‘cheese’ drawer. A luscious 250 grams of vacuum-sealed lardo from our trip to Tuscany. Christmas in July! (more…)

A Spin on Habas con Jamon – Kind of a Vacation Inspiration

Habas con jamonVacations inspire me to make something new or recreate something local or traditional we really liked while on vacation. Hang on, you say, you were in Scotland. What does Scotland have to do with a Spanish dish? Well, the Scottish dish I am definitely going to make (Cullen skink) isn’t one for our summer, fits more with fall or winter here. However there is a connection between our trip to Scotland and Spain. Let me explain. (more…)

Pinchos Morunos, Get Ready for Grilling

Pinchos morunosDidn’t take long for me to dive right into my new cook book and start sharing, did it? I’ve been going through it over the past week looking at sausages and getting ideas, but as I mentioned before there’s a lot more to Charcuteria than you’d think. This recipe for grilled kebabs with Moorish influenced seasoning jumped out at me and since summer is approaching I thought it would be a good one to try first. (more…)

Salami di Felino – Mmmm, Salami

Salami FelinoMeat service is back on the blog after a vegetable post last week! And not just any meat service but cured, dried, fermented salami meat service. Oh hells yeah! Salami di Felino is an excellent starter salami as its flavor profile is simply garlic and pepper. This is the kind of stuff I dreamed about making one day when I first went down the charcuterie rabbit-hole years ago. As you can probably tell from my enthusiasm, it turned out great. (more…)