butter

Blue Moon Braised Pork Cheeks Basquaise

Beer braised pork cheeks BasquaiseA few weeks back I was at the butcher shop and picked up some various pork parts, 2 pounds of cheeks being part of the haul.  They were really inexpensive at $2.49 per pound and I had intended on curing them but ended up putting the pork cheeks in the freezer to save for another day.  Last week that day came and the pork cheeks turned out to be Thursday night dinner.  Originally I wanted to make them for Wednesday Date Night dinner but we ended up going out instead.  With pork cheeks thawed and my creative juices flowing, I decided to make a kind of Basque style beer braised pork cheek.  (more…)

Advertisements

A Twist on Fruit Cake: Pan del Marinaio (Sailor’s bread)

Pan del marinaio1 Fruit cakes are synonymous with Christmas and ever since my mom sent me Carol Field’s ‘The Italian Baker’ I’ve had my eye on the ‘festive’ breads section.  There are a number of recipes for holiday sweet breads in it, including…fruit breads.  While thumbing through it the other day I came across a fruit filled bread recipe from Genoa: pan del marinaio, or sailor’s bread.  I don’t think it is particularly a Christmas bread but it looked to be a nice twist on the traditional fruit cake. (more…)

Christmas Cookie: Lemon Squares

Lemon SquaresThere is not much time left to get your Christmas baking in.  I’ve been churning out my regulars this week but I wanted to add a new one to the rotation: lemon squares.  They are pretty popular any time of the year but I think they’re great around Christmas since they are a bit lighter than my normal Christmas cookies.  Lemon squares also provide a nice citrusy contrast to all of the chocolate and gingerbread cookies you’ll find on most cookie platters.  I brought some to the office the other day and received a lot of nice compliments on them! (more…)

Rabbit in Mustard Sauce (ou en Francais, Lapin à la Moutarde)

Rabbit with mustard sauce - Lapin a la moutardeWednesday nights are reserved as date night for Cheryl and me.  Most of the time we go out for dinner but occasionally she lets me cook a ‘fancy’ mid-week one for her.  The whole point is to spend some quiet time together while trying something new.  I’m pretty sure the idea for rabbit came up while we were in a butcher shop (What’s that? Rabbit. Can you cook it? Sure).  So, when I was in my favorite butcher shop last week I picked one up.  While I was pretty confident I could successfully cook rabbit I still needed to figure out how to present it, and present it well enough for date night. (more…)

Since it’s Apple Season – Homemade Apple Pie

Homemade apple pie from scratchI looked back among all of my posts and discovered I’ve never posted about making an apple pie.  I’m not surprised as there are probably a million apple pie recipes out there, so why add another one?  I’ll tell you why.  Firstly, because I made one for Sunday Dinner this week; secondly and more importantly there’s a really good story to go with the apple pie and how it helped me woo Cheryl. (more…)

First Fall Dish – Lamb Stew with Backyard Garden Vegetables

Lamb Stew recipeI probably say this every year but fall is by far my favorite time of the year to cook.  It’s nice to get back in front of the stove after cooking on the grill all summer.  I just feel more creative in the fall, there’s only so much you can do with the grill, and the season brings lots of variety with it: soups, stews, roasts, braises, and baking (not that I’m much of a baker).  You can see why I was eagerly looking forward to building a lamb stew. (more…)

Ricotta Cake – What To Do With The Homemade Ricotta You Just Made

Ricotta Cheese CakeIf you saw last week’s post you know I made some homemade ricotta cheese.  It just so happened that immediately after making some there was a recipe in the Wall Street Journal’s weekend edition for a ricotta cheese cake.  Ricotta cheese cake (torta ricotta) can usually be found in Italian restaurants along with the tiramisu and panna cotta and is a nice alternative to those popular dolci.  Anyway, it was like the cooking gods took notice of my ricotta cheese making initiative and said “well done Peter, here’s a gift for you, make this ricotta cake with your fresh cheese.”  So I did. (more…)