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CookTeaser

Photos, Recipes & CookTales For Those Who Enjoy Cooking

Monthly Archives: July 2011


 

RECIPE

Serves 5

A CookTale

My first brave attempt at preparing a Porchetta. It was a step by step “learn by doing” experience. The procedure was more threatening than it actually turned out to be. Preparing the stuffing was a bit time consuming, but a very necessary step.
One observation, when I do it again, It will be removed from the oven when the instant thermometer reads 135 F. It continues to cook while resting. After all that effort, last evening’s roast was a bit dry.(I let it roast until 145F, and after it rested it picked up almost 10 degrees.
Another lesson on the road to doing it right.

RECIPE Porchetta Roast

INGREDIENTS

2 TB OF EVOO
5 2 medium Red Onions coarsely chopped + 3 Sliced
2 TB of EVOO
2 Cups of Broccoli Rabe, rinsed well, with any tough stems removed & coarsely chopped
½ loaf of day-old Tuscan bread, cut into 1-inch pieces, about 2 cups
1 tsp of Wild Fennel Pollen (available online)
1 5-pound boned Pork Roast, with the belly and skin attached
Coarse Salt and freshly ground Pepper

METHOD

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
2. In a large sauté pan, heat the EVOOl over medium heat. Add 2 of the Onions & cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until caramelized, stirring occasionally. Add the Broccoli Rabe & stir together with the onions for five minutes until the greens have darkened and are wilted.
3. In a large bowl, combine the Onion, Broccoli Rabe with the bread, & Fennel Pollen & stir until well mixed. Place the contents in a food processor along with 1 TB of EVOO & pulse until lightly ground.
4. Season the Porchetta roast with Salt & Pepper. Add 1 TB of EVOO to the roast. Generously spread the stuffing mixture on the meaty side of the Pork.
5. Carefully roll the Porchetta, and tie every two inches with kitchen string. Be sure to keep the stuffing intact.
6. Place the 3 sliced Onions in the roasting pan. Add the Porchetta & cook uncovered until an internal temperature of 135 degrees is reached at the roast’s thickest point.
7. Let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes. It will possibly add 10 degrees while resettling.

RECIPE Sauteed Baby Red Potatoes & Baby Artichokes

Serves 5

A CookTale

I consider this high on the list of my favorite vegetable dishes. It’s completely prepared on the stovetop in a saute pan with no more than a film of oil. (With less oil the vegetables seem to brown faster). On the other hand if the pan appears to dry, you can always add a splash more of oil. The dish is cooked in three easy stages. Described in Method.

INGREDIENTS

1 Pound of Baby Red Potatoes, halved
2 Packages of frozen baby Artichokes, defrosted
3 Garlic Cloves thinly sliced
1 TB of EVOO + 1 TB more for finishing the dish
Kosher or Sea Salt & Black Pepper

METHOD

1. Heat a deep sided saute pan, add a thin film of EVOO.
2. Add the Garlic & saute until tender & lightly colored.
3. Add the Artichokes & saute until deeply colored & tender. Remove to a bowl.
3. Add the Potatoes & saute until deeply colored & tender.
4. Return the Arichokes & the Garlic to the pan, cover & cook to be sure that everything is tender.
5. Add a splash of EVOO & season to taste.

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RECIPE Porchetta
Serves 5

A CookTale

My first brave attempt at preparing a Porchetta. It was a step by step “learn by doing” experience. The procedure was more threatening than it actually turned out to be. Preparing the stuffing was a bit time consuming, but a very necessary step.
One observation, when I do it again, It will be removed from the oven when the instant thermometer reads 135 F. It continues to cook while resting. After all that effort, last evening’s roast was a bit dry.(I let it roast until 145F, and after it rested it picked up almost 10 degrees.
Another lesson on the road to doing it right.

INGREDIENTS

2 TB OF EVOO
5 2 medium Red Onions coarsely chopped + 3 Sliced
2 TB of EVOO
2 Cups of Broccoli Rabe, rinsed well, with any tough stems removed & coarsely chopped
½ loaf of day-old Tuscan bread, cut into 1-inch pieces, about 2 cups
3 Rosemary twigs leaves removed
1 tsp of Wild Fennel Pollen (available online)

1 5-pound boned Pork Loin or Pork Shoulder Roast, with the belly and skin attached
Coarse Salt and freshly ground PepperMETHOD1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
2. In a large sauté pan, heat the EVOOl over medium heat. Add 2 of the Onions & cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until caramelized, stirring occasionally. Add the Broccoli Rabe & stir together with the onions for five minutes until the greens have darkened and are wilted.
3. In a large bowl, combine the Onion, Broccoli Rabe with the bread, & Fennel Pollen & stir until well mixed. Place the contents in a food processor along with 1 TB of EVOO & pulse until lightly ground.
4. Season the Porchetta roast with Salt & Pepper. Add 1 TB of EVOO to the roast. Generously spread the stuffing mixture on the meaty side of the Pork.

5. Carefully roll the Porchetta, and tie every two inches with kitchen string. Be sure to keep the stuffing intact.
6. Place the 3 sliced Onions in the roasting pan. Add the Porchetta & cook uncovered until an internal temperature of 135 degrees is reached at the roast’s thickest point.
7. Let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes. It will possibly 10 degrees while resettling.


RECIPE
Serves 2
A CookTale

The ingredients that comprise this dish date back to 1790 with
deep Italian roots that originate in the tiny town of Amatrice in the mountains of the Lazio region. Traditionally there is only one way to prepare it. The ingredient list has been passed down for hundreds of years, and the only modification is the meat. When Guanciale isn’t available, Pancetta or even Bacon is the replacement. But do try to find a source locally for Guanciale. It definitely can be located & purchased on the Internet. You use very little and it goes a long way, supplying a unique flavor to any dish that it’s added to. I first posted this wonderful pasta sauce on May 16th. I simply couldn’t resist a redux.

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

1 TB of EVOO
1 Medium Onion thinly sliced
3 Garlic cloves thinly sliced
1/4 Pound of Guanciale cut into a 1/4″ dice
1/2 Cup of Dry White Wine
1 15 Ounce can of diced Tomatoes drained, the liquid retained & set aside.
Kosher Salt (to taste)
A pinch of Red Pepper Flakes (or to taste)
1/4 Cup of Pecorino Romano
4 Ounces of Bucatini

METHOD

1. Heat the 1 TB of EVOO in a 12″ saute pan.
2. Add Onion & Garlic, saute over medium heat until transparent. Add Guanciale (or Pancetta) & saute until beginning to lightly brown.
About 4 minutes.
3. Add the White Wine, bring to a boil & cook down for a few minutes.
4. Add the drained diced Tomatoes & cook for 15 to 20 minutes to create a sauce.
5. Season with the Salt & the Red Pepper Flakes, combine it all for a minute or so & remove from the heat.
6 Bring a large pot of Salted water to a boil & add Bucatini. Cook for 9 minutes or until Al Dente.
7. Drain & transfer to the saute pan, folding the pasta & the Tomato sauce together. If the mixture is seems too dry add a swig of the retained Tomato water.
8. Fold in the Pecorino Romano.
9. Plate & serve.
10. A bowl of Pecorino Romano on the table


 

RECIPE Basil Pesto

INGREDIENTS

3 Cups fresh Basil Leaves
1 1/2 cups chopped Walnuts
4 cloves Garlic, peeled
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 Cup of EVOOl
Kosher Salt and pepper to taste

METHOD

1. In a food processor, blend together Basil Leaves, Walnuts, Garlic, and Cheese.
2. Pour in EVOO slowly while still mixing.
3. Stir in Salt and Pepper.


 

 

 

 

RECIPE

Serves 3

A CookTale

Our friend Mindy Lesser came for dinner last evening. On her previous visit, we served Rack of Lamb. This time we had an easier menu, Broccoli Rabe, without the Orchiette, and Sweet Sausage from Adams Fairacre Farm. I would have opted for the addition of the pasta, but was talked out of it. I was reminded that one 2 ounce serving of Orchiette contains 41 carbs, (that’s more than a day’s worth), as well as 200 calories. The first course, was of course, Heirloom Tomatoes, fresh Mozzarella and Basil Pesto.No question that it’s our Summer standard.

INGREDIENTS For the Broccoli Rabe

1 Bunch of Broccoli Rabe (Andy Boy brand preferred)
A pinch of Red Pepper flakes
2 Garlic Cloves thinly sliced
Kosher Salt & fresh Pepper
2 TB of EVOO

METHOD

1. Heat a deep sided saute pan to high. Add the EVOO.
2. Add the Garlic & the Red Pepper flakes. Saute until tender
3. Remove 1″ of the tough stems off the Broccoli Rabe, retain the large leaves & peel the stems. (Not necessary, but helps tenderize them).
4. Heat a large pot of water & steam them for 6 minutes.
5. Remove from the pot & flush with cold water. (This retains their bright color.) Chop into bite size pieces.
6. Add the Broccoli Rabe to the saute pan (be careful, it will splatter when it hits the hot oil). Saute until well coated with the EVOO & the Garlic.
7. Set aside, covered, in the saute pan.

INGREDIENTS Italian Sweet Sausage

5 Large Italian Sweet Sausages
1 TB of EVOO

METHOD

1. Heat a grill pan to high. Add the TB of EVOO & 3 ounce of water.
2. Add the 5 Sausages, cover the pan & allow them to cook for a few minutes. Uncover & cook them until they have aquired definite sear marks. Turn them & repeat.
3, Cover the pan & let them cook until tender.
4. When they are ready, cut them in half. Allowing 3 pieces to each plate.


RECIPE
Serves 2

A CookTale

We got our signals crossed. On her way out the door, Cathie indicated “I’m going to have broccoli for dinner”. That meant that I could have pasta, not just pasta, but Bucatini all’Amatriciana. But when she arrived home , she said, “what’s for dinner?”. There went the pasta and I had not gone food shopping. I rummaged through the fridge and the freezer and scared up dinner.

INGREDIENTS Chicken Thighs

2 7-to 8-ounce Chicken Thighs (skin on, bone in)
1 TB of Jamacian Jerk Spice (powdered)
3 TB of Butter
1 TB of EVOO
Kosher or Sea Salt & Pepper
A pinch of Aleppo Pepper (or any hot ground pepper)
1/4 Cup of Parsley (finely chopped)

METHOD

1. Combine the Jerk Spice & the Butter, whisk it until smooth.
2. Lift the Thigh’s skin & with a dinner knife or a small spatula, coat the flesh with 1 TB of the Butter/Jerk mixture. Careful not to tear the skin.
3. Repeat with the second Thigh. If there is remaining Butter/Jerk, spread it on the skin.
4. Heat the cast iron pan or electric fry pan to 300F. Add the Thighs, skin side down, & cook for about 10 minutes, or until the skin is crisped & brown. Turn them over, cover the pan, & cook until an instant thermometer inserted in the fleshiest part, registers 140F. That would indicate medium rare. Unless you like your Thighs on the well done side, remove to a platter, & proceed to make the Butter/Jerk sauce.
5. Add 1 TB more of Butter & the TB of EVOO, whisk it together with the pan juices.
6. Plate the Thighs, spoon over the Butter/Jerk sauce & sprinkle on the Parsley.

INGEDIENTS Sauteed Spinach

1 10 0unce bag of washed Spinach (rewashed)
1 small Onion (1/4″ diced)
2 Garlic Cloves (thinly sliced)
1-1/2 tsp of Butter + 1-1/2 tsp of EVOO

METHOD

1. Heat a deep sided saute pan to high. Add the Butter & EVOO.
2. Add the Onion & Garlic. Saute until tender & translucent.
3. Add the washed Spinach (in stages), be careful it will spatter when it hits the oil. It won’t take long for the Spinach to wilt.
4. Toss it all together & tilt the pan to drain off as much liquid as possible.


 

 

RECIPE

Serves 2

A CookTale

The crisper drawer in the fridge contained a Cauliflower, It was use it tonight or forget about it. It turned out to be a good side dish to our Chicken Thighs and Sauteed Spinach dinner. The addition of Pimenton Paprika added another dimension of flavor to the Cauliflower. It was an experiment that worked.

INGREDIENTS

1 Head of Cauliflower, cut verically into 3/4″ slices
1 TB of EVOO
1-1/2 tsp of Pimenton Smoked Paprika (sweet or semi sweet)
Kosher Salt & White Pepper
Parsley (optional)

METHOD

1. Heat the oven to 425F.
2. Place the Cauliflower slices in an ovenproof casserole dish.
3. Coat both sides with the EVOO, the Pimenton Smoked Paprika & the Salt & White Pepper.
4. Place in the oven for about 30 minutes or until it begins to brown & becomes tender.
5. Remve from the oven & spoon the juices in the dish over the Cauliflower.