Blue Moon Braised Pork Cheeks Basquaise

A 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…

Cavatelli with Duck Sausage and Brussels Sprouts

I’ve been trying out a Christmas present this week; Classico e Moderno, a new Italian food cookbook from Michael White.  It’s a great cookbook which is split into two parts, half contains classic Italian preparations and the other half contains his modern takes on them.  For Sunday dinner this week I handed the book to…

Guancialini – Homemade Cured Pork Cheeks

Things have slowed down a bit work-wise and as you may have noticed I’ve been doing some adventurous stuff lately.  One experiment I was eager to try was curing some pork cheeks into guanciale.  It’s been on my ‘to-do’ list but I always kept forgetting to ask about pork cheeks when in a butcher shop. …

Creamy Polenta and Mushrooms

We love polenta and during the fall and winter months I like to add it to dinners in place of pasta, rice, or potatoes.  It’s a perfect side dish which pairs well with roasted or braised meats, especially ones with sauces and/or gravies.  Depending on how much liquid you add when cooking, polenta can be…

Apple Onion Chutney and Canning for the First Time

So I’ve been making good use of the smoker this summer and one thing I feel you always need when barbecuing is a good sauce to accompany the meat.  Steaks have marinades and chimichurri but one condiment which I think goes great with cured and smoked meats is this apple onion chutney. 

New Sausage: Spanish Pimenton and Fennel Sausage

Not sure if you’ve noticed yet but it’s August, halfway through to be exact.  Where did the summer go?  Kids are going back to school and the NFL is already playing pre-season games.  Having eaten up all of our sausage supply I thought it was high time to come up with a new creation and…

How to Make Homemade Pastrami (a.k.a Smoked Meat)

Ok, enough with all those travel and event posts.  Time for an actual food-from-scratch post!  Pastrami!  This is one definitely one of our favorite dishes!  In New York where I’m from (Mid-Hudson Valley) there’s nothing like a good pastrami sandwich from a proper deli.  Head to Montreal and Quebec City and you’ll find it’s called…

Making Paella Valencia Style and Grocery Shopping in Spain

After seeing the Tour de France in the Pyrenees we traveled to Begur on the Costa Brava for a quiet and relaxing week of sunshine and some sand.  Since paella can be considered beach food it seemed appropriate to make some while we were within sight of the Mediterranean.  But first, we had to do…