Posole

Posole

Posole is a traditional Mexican dish. It’s a thick soup made with meat and hominy.  Posole You can have your butcher cut a pork shoulder into pieces. The toppings are up to you. Use as many or as few as you like.

PosoleIngredients:
  • 5 or 6 dried ancho chiles
  • 6 cloves garlic (3 crushed & 3 finely chopped)
  • 2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
  • Salt & black pepper
  • Olive oil for browning
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 15-ounce cans white hominy, drained and rinsed
Remove the stems from the anchos and shake out as many seeds as possible. Put them in a small pot and bring to a boil. Remove them after about 15 minutes, let them cool a bit and then put them and 1½ cups of the liquid in a blender. Add the crushed garlic, and ½ teaspoon salt, and blend until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, pushing the sauce through with a rubber spatula.Posole

Season the pork with salt and black pepper and set aside. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the pork and cook until lightly browned on all sides. Remove and set aside.
Posole
Add the onion to the pot and cook until soft and translucent. Add the chopped garlic and return the browned meat. Increase the heat to medium high.

Stir in the chicken broth, oregano, bay leaf, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1 cup or more of the chili sauce (depending on your taste). Add enough water to cover the meat and bring to a low boil. Reduce the heat, partially cover, and slowly simmer,  turning the pork a few times, until tender – about 2 hours. Stir in the hominy and continue to simmer, uncovered, about 45 minutes more. Remove the bay leaf. Add some water if the posole is too thick. Check for seasoning.
Posole
Serve the posole with the remaining chili sauce and a topping  of fresh  diced avocado, shredded cabbage, diced onion, sliced radishes, and/or cilantro.

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Venezuelan Liver and Onions

Venezuelan Liver and Onions

Not everyone likes liver. I think that’s more because of the way liver is prepared than what it actually tastes like. Lots of people over cook it, giving it an unpleasant texture. The key to tasty liver is to serve it rare. Fry it quickly in a hot pan for just a few minutes until the exterior is brown. That’s all.

Venezuelan Liver and Onions
Ingredients:
  • 3 tbsps. olive oil for frying
  • 1 to 1 ½ lbs. calf’s liver cut into strips
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 2 tbsps. butter
  • 3 or 4 thinly sliced onions,
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 4 ozs. white wine
  • Fresh parsley, chopped
Pat the room temperature liver dry and season with salt and pepper.

Venezuelan Liver and Onions
Venezuelan Liver and Onions
Heat a large pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of oil. When the oil is hot add the liver strips and fry until browned on both sides. Don’t crowd the pan or the liver will steam instead of brown. Remove the liver and set aside on a plate.
Add the remaining tablespoon of oil and the butter to the same skillet. Add onions and sauté until soft and translucent. Add the garlic to the onions and sauté and blend for about 1 – 2 minutes. Add the liver back to the skillet and pour in the wine. Let the wine reduce for 2 – 3 minutes. Remove everything to a serving platter, pour the pan drippings over it and sprinkle with parsley.

Venezuelan Liver and OnionsGravy for Venezuelan Liver and Onions – If you’d like, use the pan drippings to make a gravy. Add 2 tablespoons of flour to the drippings. Stir constantly for 1 -2 minutes over medium heat, then add 1 cup of beef stock. Cook and stir until thickened. Serve over liver and onions.

Venezuelan Liver and Onions

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Gelatin Molds and Aspic

Gelatin Molds and Aspic
Kiwi, carrots, olives and Cheez Whiz . . .
Gelatin Molds and Aspic
Aspic is savory and traditionally made with some kind of animal stock, like chicken, pork, or beef. Gelatin refers to sweet or non-savory dishes, like a Jell-O salad.  I came across this article in Gastro Obscura that goes into this subject in more detail with interesting and very unappetizing graphics. 

 

Gelatin Molds and Aspic

How America Embraced Aspics with Threatening Auras

– From futuristic test kitchens to Under-the-Sea Salad, midcentury Jell-O took a turn for the weird. –

 

BY DIANA HUBBELL MAY 10, 2022

“The lamb ribs lie in a precisely arranged herringbone pattern, surrounded by nubs of green beans, hard-boiled eggs, and capers, all entombed in a flavorless, wobbling mass. A two-tiered tower harbors swirling clouds of mayonnaise anchored by erect stalks of asparagus. An acid-green, lime-flavored mound holds a can’s worth of tuna speckled with pimento olives. Few foods today feel as anachronistic as the gelatin “salads” (a catch-all term for dishes sweet, savory, and everything in between) of midcentury America.”

Gelatin Molds and Aspic


See the complete article here.

 

 


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Grill Pan Lemon Broccoli and Peppers

Grill Pan Lemon Broccoli and Peppers

This is a big recipe. You can serve half of it hot, and the next day serve the remainder as a salad.

Grill Pan Lemon Broccoli and Peppers

Ingredients:
  • 2 broccoli heads (about 1 ½ lbs.)
  • Olive oil for frying and drizzling
  • 1 red bell pepper cut into thin strips
  • 6 cloves thinly sliced garlic
  • 1 tbsp. anchovy paste or 5 anchovies
  • 1 large lemon cut into 8 thin rounds and 1 tbsp.  juice
  • 2 tbsp. chopped parsley
Trim the broccoli into small florets with some stem remaining. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the broccoli. Blanch the broccoli for 5  minutes, drain and set aside.
Bring about 5 tbsps. of oil to medium heat in a frying pan and add the peppers. Fry for 10 minutes, add the garlic and anchovy paste. Blend and cook for 5 more minutes. If you’re using whole anchovies, cook until they break down.Grill Pan Lemon Broccoli and Peppers

Heat a well-oiled grill pan. Toss the blanched broccoli with 3 tbsps. oil. Once the pan is hot, grill the broccoli, turning so there are grill marks on both sides.Grill Pan Lemon Broccoli and Peppers
Grill the lemon slices for 1 – 2 minutes on each side to get a nice char. Chop the slices and add to a bowl with the parsley, 1 tbsp. lemon juice and 2 tbsps. olive oil.
Grill Pan Lemon Broccoli and Peppers
Place the broccoli in a large bowl and add the pepper mixture and the lemon/parsley mixture and toss.Grill Pan Lemon Broccoli and Peppers
Arrange in a serving platter and serve hot or if you prefer, chill and serve as a salad.

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Peposo Beef

Peposo Beef

Peposo Beef

If you like black pepper, you should try Peposo Beef. It’s a simple recipe but with 3 hours of simmering be sure to give yourself time to make it. This is a basic recipe, and you can make some variations. I think the carrots add a bit of color and texture, but you can leave them out. Three hours of simmering soften the pepper corns and make them very edible but if you want you can add them in a spice bag that you can remove before serving. One thing you shouldn’t change is the wine. This is a Toscano dish and should be made with Chianti.
Peposo Beef
Ingredients:
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 tbsp. black peppercorns
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh herbs (your choice – parsley, thyme, oregano, etc.)
  • 1 – ½ lb. stew beef cut in chunks
  • 2 cups of Chianti
  • 4 or 5 carrots cut in ¾ inch pieces (optional)
Peposo Beef
Heat the oil in a pot on medium heat. Add the crushed garlic cloves and peppercorns and cook for one minute. Add whatever herbs you’re using and then add the meat. Sear until its lightly browned on all sides.
Peposo Beef

Peposo Beef
Add the wine, cover, and simmer on a low heat for about 1 hour. If it gets too dry add some water and continue simmering. Add 4 cups hot water, and the carrots if using, and cover the pot. Allow it to simmer slowly for another 2 hours, checking regularly to see that the liquid has not evaporated completely. Add water if necessary to keep the meat covered.
Peposo BeefAfter 2 hours remove the lid, and let the liquid evaporate until the meat is left in a thick brown juice.

Peposo Beef

Peposo Beef is traditionally served with polenta. I like it with pasta.

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Corn Flake Chicken

Corn Flake Chicken

Corn Flake Chicken

My mother used to make what she called corn flake chicken. She got the recipe from one of the women’s magazines she used to read. The corn flakes and deep fry make this chicken extra crispy. The brining was my idea and so was the addition of Cajun Spice.
Ingredients:

Corn Flake Chicken

For the brine –
  • 4 cups warm water
  • 4 tbsps. kosher salt
  • 2 tbsps. sugar
For the egg wash –
  • 2 or 3 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp. paprika (hot or sweet)
  • 1 tbsp. Cajun spice
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 3 tbsps. milk

 For the chicken –

  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 ½ cup ground corn flakes
  • 1 whole chicken cut into pieces
  • Enough vegetable oil to cover chicken in a deep fryer
Cut the chicken into 10 pieces – 2 wings, 2 legs, 2 thighs, and 2 breasts each cut in half. Place the pieces in the brine and leave for at least 3 hours or as long as overnight.
Pre-heat oven to 400o and fryer oil to 350o.
Blot the chicken pieces dry. Dredge in the flour and coat evenly. Shake off excess and place in a dish.
Corn Flake ChickenBeat the eggs in a bowl and add the paprika, Cajun spice, garlic powder, salt, black pepper, and milk.

Corn Flake ChickenYou’ll need a cup and a half of ground corn flakes to coat the chicken. A 12 ounce box of corn flakes will give you 2 cups. Pour it into the blender and whirl until the consistency is like coarse breadcrumbs.  Dip the floured chicken in the egg wash and let the excess drip off. Press it into the corn flake crumbs and thoroughly coat it.

Corn Flake ChickenPlace the chicken in the 350o oil and fry for 2 – 3 minutes, turning once. You only need to brown the corn flake crumbs. The chicken will cook in the oven. Fry as many pieces as fit in your fryer without touching. Place the fried chicken in a lightly oiled roasting pan and roast for 25 minutes. Drain on paper towels and serve.


The same recipe, minus the brining and oven, works well with fish too. Just deep fry for a few minutes longer.

Corn Flake Chicken

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Seared Scallops

Sea scallops are found in deep, cold ocean waters—up to 200 meters deep—around the world. In the U.S., they are typically caught in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean, from Newfoundland to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Sea scallops are up to three times larger in size than bay scallops, with some reaching up to two inches in diameter.

Seared Scallops

Seared Scallops

Seared Scallops Ingredients:
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 olive oil
  • 1 lb. sea scallops
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

For The Lemon Butter Sauce:

  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Juice of ½ lemon & ¼ cup white wine or chicken broth
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

Seared ScallopsRince scallops in cold water and dry. Season with salt and black pepper. Add 1 tablespoon each of butter and olive oil in a frying pan over high heat. Working in batches, add scallops to the pan in a single layer and cook, flipping once, until golden brown – about 2-3 minutes per side. Don’t crowd the pan. Set aside and keep warm.

Seared ScallopsFor the lemon butter sauce, melt 2 tablespoons butter in the skillet. Add garlic and cook, stirring for about 1 minute. Stir in lemon juice, wine, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

Seared ScallopsServe scallops with lemon butter sauce and garnished with parsley.

Seared Scallops

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Chicken Kyiv

Forbes Advisor How to Donate to Ukraine Relief Efforts

 

Chicken Kyiv

Chicken Kyiv

Chicken Kyiv (the Ukrainian spelling, not the Russian Kiev) used to be menu standard at most white-tablecloth restaurants. I suppose it’s gone out of style. I thought of it lately because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. I looked at a few different recipes online and came up with this fairly traditional one. It’s a bit involved, with lots of steps, but it’s worth it. Oddly, the chicken in this recipe spends more time in the freeze than in the oven.
 
Chicken Kyiv
Chicken Kyiv Ingredients:
  • 2 small cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 6-8 tbsp. butter depending on chicken breast size
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut in half lengthwise and pounded to 1/4-inch thickness
  • salt and pepper
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1 cup unseasoned breadcrumbs
  • 2 cups vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 pinch sweet paprika
Grind garlic and a pinch of salt together with a mortar and pestle until garlic is completely smashed. Add parsley and mix. Mash the butter into the garlic mixture with the pestle until parsley and garlic are fully incorporated into the butter. You can also do this with a fork and bowl if you’d like. Wrap the butter mixture in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes.Chicken Kyiv

Season the 4 chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Divide the chilled butter into 4 pieces. Place one piece in the center of each chicken breast. Fold the chicken breast up over the butter to form a tight pocket around the butter. Gather the sides of each chicken breast to the center to form a round ball. The top of the chicken will be smooth, and the bottom will be gathered.
Chicken Kyiv
Tightly wrap each chicken breast ball in plastic wrap, put wrapped breasts on a plate, and chill in the freezer until the gathered bottoms hold together and are slightly firm about 30 minutes.

Whisk flour and 2 teaspoons salt together in a shallow bowl. Whisk eggs together in another shallow bowl. Pour the breadcrumbs into a third bowl. Remove chicken breast from the plastic wrap. Gently press each chicken breast ball into the flour mixture to coat and shake off any excess flour. Dip into the beaten eggs, then press into breadcrumbs. Place breaded chicken onto a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and return to the freezer to chill until firm it, about 15 minutes.
Chicken Kyiv

Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large saucepan to 350 o. Preheat oven to 400o. Lightly oil a baking sheet.
Chicken Kyiv
Working in batches, cook chicken, gathered side down first, in hot oil and until lightly golden. about 1 minute per side. Once fried, the balls will hold their shape. Transfer them to the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle salt and paprika over them. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 17 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165o. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.Chicken Kyiv

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Chicken KyivForbes Advisor How to Donate to Ukraine Relief Efforts

Chicken Kyvi

Chicken Kyiv

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Roman Grain and Greens Soup

Roman Grain and Greens Soup

Every so often I make a recipe with my doctor in mind. She always tells me, “Less meat and more grain and greens.” Roman Grain and Greens soup is just what the doctor ordered. In addition to barley, lentils, split-peas, and chickpeas there are 5 kinds of greens.

Roman Grain and Greens Soup

Roman Grain and Greens Soup

Ingredients:
  • 1⁄2 cup pearled barley
  • 1 cup yellow split peas
  • 1 cup lentils
  • 10 cups water or more
  • 1 14 oz. chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground fennel seed
  • 2 Tablespoons coloratura de alici
  • 1 large or 2 smaller leeks, white part and 3 inches of green part, split, rinsed and chopped
  • 3 cups coarsely chopped Savoy cabbage, packed
  • 1⁄4 cup chopped parsley, packed
  • 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh dill, packed
  • 1⁄4 cup chopped fennel leaves, packed
  • 1⁄2 cup olive oil
Place barley, peas and lentils in a heavy pot. Rinse and drain. Add water and bring to a boil. Skim off foam. Simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are becoming tender. Add water if too thick.

Meanwhile, prepare leeks, cabbage and greens. In a frying pan, cook them gently in olive oil until wilted.Roman Grain and Greens Soup

Add the chickpeas, salt, oregano, oregano, ground fennel and coloratura de alici to the soup. Simmer 5 minutes.Roman Grain and Greens Soup

Stir the greens into soup. Simmer, stirring frequently, just until cabbage is tender, about 10 minutes.
Taste, and add salt as needed.

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Spaghetti Spoon

Alberto Sordi in An American in Rome, 1954.  Spaghetti Spoon


 

 

I can’t remember how old I was when I first ate spaghetti with a fork and spoon.  I learned that technique because I grew up in America.  If I’d have grown up in Italy, I wouldn’t have been able to use the spoon because it’s considered poor etiquette.  Either way, it doesn’t matter much to me how you eat it as long as you don’t cut it with a knife.
Spaghetti Spoon

 

ITALIAN CURIOSITIES: SHOULD YOU OR SHOULD YOU NOT USE A SPOON TO EAT SPAGHETTI?

You know Italians are passionate, sometimes even too much. You just need to look at them when it comes to soccer. In the kitchen, if there is something likely to start up a heated discussion around the table – besides soccer, of course – it must be the way you eat your spaghetti (and long pasta in general) . . .

See the full spaghetti spoon article here:

Spaghetti Spoon

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