Coppa. 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…)
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 replenish the stock. The result: a hybrid of smoky Spanish chorizo and sweet Italian sausage. Just call me Dr. Franken-furter-stein. (more…)
Cassoulet is one of my favorite wintertime French dishes. On the surface it doesn’t seem like anything too special, basically a white bean stew with some meat in it, slow cooked into a rich, hot, warm your bones dish. I don’t think you simply “cook” or “make” cassoulet, it’s something you actually “build.” In her French cooking opus, Julia Child offers a “Note on the Order of Battle.” I don’t think assembling cassoulet is quite a battle but you definitely need a plan because the dish is not one of your quick- throw-together weeknight dinners. In fact almost everyone recommends days to assemble it. They’re not me though! (more…)
Postcard from abroad: There is one place Cheryl and I always stop in at whenever we travel to Edinburgh, Scotland. Oink. It’s a little shop on Victoria Street close to the Royal Mile and the Castle which serves up great roast pork sandwiches. Once you get to Victoria Street just look for the big roast pig sitting in the window. That’s how you’ll know you’ve found Oink. (more…)
Yesterday was a beautiful day in Chicago. The sun was shining, temperature was in the mid-60s, and everyone was out soaking it all up. It reminded me of something I read once about Calvados, the French apple brandy, being like a glass of summer sunshine. That description has always stuck with me and I think it accurately describes good Calvados. Who wouldn’t want a little sunshine in glass? So for Sunday dinner I decided to make some pork ribs Normandy Style, where apples and a good amount of Calvados are used in the sauce/braising liquid. Pork and apples. Two great tastes that taste great together! The only other combination that may be better is chocolate and peanut butter. I knew there was a good recipe for this dish in my mother’s recipe books so I pulled it out. But wait, what’s this in the title about curry? (more…)
Whew! So happy Thanksgiving weekend is coming to a close. I didn’t overindulge too much, but just enough to make going to the gym tomorrow a must. Sorry, no leftover turkey recipes for this Sunday Dinner. All turkeyed out after eating it non-stop for the past few days. We still have almost half a turkey left so don’t worry, there will be a recipe using it sometime this week. Just not today! (more…)
It’s the weekend before Thanksgiving and I haven’t done the shopping yet so the fridge is looking a little bare today. Cheryl noticed and commented that it didn’t look like there was much to make a dinner out of, then said “but you could probably figure something out.” Indeed I could.
I knew there was some ground veal in the freezer and we had some eggs so I decided to make pasta and ragu Bolognese. Normally I use ground beef but sometimes you have to work with what you have. This particular sauce is one whose recipe is debated and debated and debated and there are many different sides. Do you add milk or not? Veal, beef, pork? Don’t even get into the type of pasta you’re supposed to use (not spaghetti). (more…)