HELPING FAMILY FARMS FLOURISH. HELPING FEED THE HUNGRY.
Showing posts with label New York Times. Show all posts
Showing posts with label New York Times. Show all posts

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Vietnamese Shrimp Sliders adapted from Melissa Clark in The New York Times


         

I don't know when sliders took over the world but they're everywhere. And while they may have started out as mini-hamburgers, now you can find them on all kinds of menus, stuffed with everything from Turkey to Texas barbecue.  Let's face it, their size is ideal.  In one or two bites, you get the full-on slider experience.  They're just the right size for children, for whom a full-sized burger is a challenge.  In today's post, they're made with crispy fried shrimp dipped into a salty lime sauce and then tucked into tiny brioche buns that have been slathered with an Asian inflected mayonaise. They're a gift from the inventive Melissa Clark whose Wednesday food column in the New York Times is eagerly awaited in our house. This time, Melissa has gone East for her flavors.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

A Revelation: A Roast Beef that's almost Filet-tender at about 1/5 the cost. And it cooks with almost no effort at all.



         This one of those food discoveries like tasting Burrata for the first time and wondering if you’ll ever go back to regular Mozzarella. Or the discovery of Balsamic Vinegar and using it on everything from strawberries to chicken breasts.  It’s that earth shaking.  You take one of the least expensive cuts of roast beef – an top or bottom or eye round – you blast it with heat in a 500 degree oven for five minutes a pound then turn the oven off completely.  Two hours later, you pull out an absolutely perfect rare to medium rare roast, so tender it rivals a filet mignon.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year’s Day Black Eyed Peas, a delicious way to bring good luck and prosperity for 2012




When I was first learning my way around the kitchen, The New York Times Cookbook (Harper and Row, 1st published 1961) was my constant companion. Its editor was an immensely talented writer and cook named Craig Claiborne. So you can imagine my excitement when, quite a few years and many successful New York Times recipes later, I spied an open seat next to Mr. Claiborne on a Manhattan-bound Hampton Jitney, then my preferred way to get back and forth to the city. I took my seat and introduced myself.



Monday, May 2, 2011

A recipe for Clay Pot Pork from John Willoughby in the New York Times



Wednesday is the day New York foodies wait all week for. It’s Dining Out Day in the New York Times.  There’s a whole section to devour.  Restaurant Reviews, a column called “Off the Menu” which lists restaurant openings and closings along with chefs comings and goings.  There are  “Wines of the Times”, and then there are the recipes.  Here we’re treated to the superb Melissa Clark’s “A Good Appetite” (much more on that in a future post or two) and recently an intriguing article by John Willoughby, author of 8 cookbooks, the latest of which is called "Grill It". But in the Times, John wrote  about Braising.
I associate a good Braise with cold winter temperatures and a heavy pot on the stove cooking away for hours.  That means it’s almost time to put the Braise to rest for the season.  But I was intrigued by the premise of the article that Doc (as John Willoughby is called) wrote on the subject.  It was about his adventures in creating braises without the almost mandatory instruction to brown the meat before adding it to the braise. 
An authentic Vietnamese Clay Pot
but you can make this dish in a saute pan with a lid
The purpose of browning is to create something called the Maillard reaction:  As the meat is seared over high heat, the proteins and carbohydrates interact to produce distinct flavor compounds which come alive when the liquid is added to the pot.  The result is a richer, deeper flavor.  Doc wanted to find out if you could literally cook the spices and other aromatics into the meat—penetrating it in with flavor.  He performed this feat on a Lamb Tagine and he braised chicken with Indian flavors.  But what caught my eye was his recipe for Clay Pot Pork.
When I was last in Hong Kong, I’d really loved the Vietnamese cooking I encountered.  Clay Pot Pork is a Vietnamese classic and I couldn’t wait to try it.  It did not disappoint.  Doc pointed out that in place of browning the meat, the Vietnamese caramelize the meat by actually making caramel.
I used Organic Brown Sugar but you can use
White Sugar if you'd like
        That is really a very easy process.  I took Organic sugar, put it not in a Clay Pot but just in my large sauté pan.  It quickly caramelized at which point I added chicken stock and fish sauce and made a beautiful poaching liquid. The aromatics went in next and finally the Pork Shoulder.  It bubbled away on the stove for only an hour.  Served on Basmatic rice ringed with tender baby peas, the dish was an absolute winner.   Using very easy-to-find ingredients, it’s almost amazing how satisfyingly complex this wonderful sauce becomes.  Since Doc pointed it out, I should too: The fish sauce does not in any way make the dish ‘fishy’, it just provides a lovely saltiness. Go ahead and make this and I am sure whoever you cook it for will be astonished at your Asian cooking ability.
Recipe for Clay Pot Pork from John Willoughby
Using Pork Shoulder makes this a very economical dish
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup chicken stock, more if necessary
3 tablespoons fish sauce
3 shallots, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons minced ginger
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 small fresh chili, minced (optional)
3 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced on the bias, green and white parts separated
1 1/2 pound boneless pork shoulder (or pork belly) cut into 1-inch cubes
Steamed white rice for serving.

1. Put the sugar in a medium-size heavy-bottomed pot and cook over medium heat, shaking gently every once in a while, until it starts to melt. Start stirring with a fork and continue, crushing clumps of sugar so that the sugar melts evenly. When the sugar is liquid, continue to cook for another minute or so until it darkens, then remove from heat.
2. Combine the chicken stock and fish sauce and carefully add at arm’s length to the sugar (it will splutter and pop). Turn heat to medium high, return sugar mixture to the heat, and cook, stirring constantly, until well combined. (If the sugar clumps when you add the liquid, don’t worry, it will melt again.)
3. Add the shallots, garlic, ginger, pepper, chili if using, and the white portion of the scallions. Cook, stirring frequently, until the shallots are nicely softened, 2 to 3 minutes.




4. Add pork to the pot and bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, partly cover and simmer gently, stirring occasionally and adding a splash of stock or water if the pan looks too dry, until the pork is very tender and the liquid has reduced to a medium-thick sauce, about 1 hour.


5. Remove from heat, add the green part of the scallions, and serve over steamed white rice.
Yield: 4 servings.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Duck Confit, the easy way.



While we were making our Duck Confit, we got a call from Andrew’s sister, Lauren, asking us how we’d describe the difference between duck and chicken.  We didn’t really have an adequate answer until we finished cooking this recipe and tasted this wonderful result.   Duck cooked this way is richer, meatier and has so much more character than a chicken leg ever could.  


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Braised Pork Chops

I love a good braise almost as much as I love a good Pork Chop.  And in a November ‘09 column in the New York Times, Melissa Clark put the two together to create this dish.  If you follow Melissa at all, you know she gets an idea about what she is going to cook, checks out her pantry and her freezer and, if that fails to yield something she wants, she’s off to the supermarket.  In this case, she wanted a cold-weather meal, a satisfying long-cooked dish that’s soaked up flavor for hours.  Or, at least, something that tastes that way.  So she hit upon big, thick bone-In Pork Loin Chops.   Because they cook in no time, her braise had to be as big as the chops.  What she put together were ingredients that seem to marry with pork—garlic and rosemary—and, because the meat would not braise for hours and hours, she goosed up the sauce with tomatoes and, hold your breath, anchovies to give it a salty, hearty taste. 


Thursday, December 10, 2009

The 10 Best Cookbooks of 2009 and the Top 20 Worst Restaurant Foods in America



It’s that time of year when everyone comes out with their end-of-year lists.
I haven’t been at this long enough to choose last year’s 10 Best Cookbooks.
But I’d have a lot of competition out there if I did. Everyone you’ve ever heard of and never heard of has a list. Since there are still 15 shopping days til Christmas, here are some of my ‘best of the best’ lists. And an intriguing Worst list that got my attention.