Posts from the ‘Pork’ Category

P.E.I. Mussels w/ Chorizo & Crispy Oven Baked Fries w/ Sweet & Spicy Dipping Sauce

This recipe was supposed to be my very first post…but there were no good mussels to be found anywhere so I had to make some pasta. But now I got me some…and they are amazing. The mussels from Prince Edward Island in Canada are exceptional…big, meaty, plump and tender and somehow have the least amount of grit in them, which makes for a more pleasant eating experience. Best of all, P.E.I mussels, a top quality ingredient is $3-4 a pound. I buy 1 pound per person so a meal for two costs me $6 in mussels! That’s as inexpensive as it gets so take advantage of it. Make sure you try and get a piece of chorizo with every bite…its ridiculously delicious!

Oven Fries Ingredients:

I think I prefer these fries to deep fried fries. If done well, they are every bit as delicious and possibly even better.

2 Russet Potatoes (good rule of thumb, buy 1 potato per person)

Olive Oil

Paprika

Salt & Pepper

Sweet & Spicy Sauce:

Heaping Spoonful of Mayo

Heaping Spoonful of Ketchup

1 Teaspoon of Siracha Sauce (Asian chili sauce)

1 1/2 Teaspoons of Honey

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The fries will take 40 minutes to cook so start them first. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Scrub your potatoes under water to get some of the dirt off them and dry them off. Slice the potato in half and then cut into wedges. Put the wedges in a bowl and run under cold water until the water runs clear. This helps to wash away a lot of the starch in the potatoes and it helps them crisp up when they cook. The longer you keep them in water, the better but you can use them right away.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spread the fries out. Add oil, salt, pepper and paprika and toss to cover. Space them out on the baking sheet so most of the surface of the potatoes are making contact with the foil so they get nice and crispy. Throw them in the oven and bake for 40 minutes turning them half way through cooking. After about 40 minutes or when they look browned and crisp, take them out of the oven and plate with the dipping sauce.

Sorry for not having any pictures for the sweet and spicy dipping sauce, didn’t know if it would come out good so I didn’t shoot it. It turned out to be so good so I kept it. To make it, add a heaping spoonful of mayo and a heaping spoonful of ketchup, about a teaspoon of Siracha sauce and about a teaspoon of honey in a bowl and mix to combine. Taste it and adjust…if its too spicy add more honey, if its too sweet add some spice…you want a nice balanced sweet and spicy sauce.

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Mussels Ingredients:


2 Lbs of Fresh Prince Edward Island Mussels, Rinsed and De-bearded (or about 1 lb/person)

1  – 1 1/2 Cups of Good Quality Chorizo, Sliced into Half Moons

1 Spanish Onion

5 Garlic Cloves, Halved and Thinly Sliced

1 Cup of Good White Wine (One you’d like to drink)

2 Tablespoons of Cream

Handful of Flat-Leaf Parsley

A Knob of Butter

Salt & Pepper

Olive Oil

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First you’ve got to clean and de-beard your mussels. The beard is basically the mussels umbilical cord that attaches to things when they are growing. Its not yummy to eat so find it along the side of the mussel and just kinda yank it off. Also look for mussels that aren’t tightly shut…if they don’t close when you grab them then they are dead and need to be tossed. Then just go through the rest and scrub them under cold water with your thumbs. Toss them in a bowl of cold water and refrigerate it until your ready to use them.

Halve and slice the chorizo and garlic.

Chop the top off the onion, slice it in half, make vertical cuts across the onion then dice.

So your fries should be in the oven now and your mussels are prepped and ready to go. Your gonna want to start the mussels about 20 minutes before the fries are done so everything comes together at the same time.

Get out a heavy bottomed pot or a dutch oven and heat over medium-high heat. When its hot, add some olive oil and toss in the chorizo to brown. Once browned, use a slotted spoon to transfer to some paper towel then add the onions and garlic to the pot. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. After the onions and garlic are soft, add the wine and cream and cook for about a minute.

Add the mussels, give it a quick stir and then put the lid on and let the mussels steam for 8-10 minutes or until they are fully opened. Once cooked, add 3/4 of the chorizo and  3/4 of the parsley (reserving some to sprinkle on top when plated) and butter.

Plate the mussels in a bowl along with some of the yummy broth and sprinkle on the remaining chorizo and parsley.

All that’s is left to do is eat and enjoy…let me know what you think!

Grilled Marinated Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce/Grilled Pancetta Wrapped Asparagus/Perfect Garlic Basmati Rice

I love to grill. I love that its just hot grates over a scorching flame that you throw food on, stand around with a drink and make sure shit doesn’t blow up or set fire…more or less. Of course there are nuances that distinguish good grillers from bad grillers but its nothing that a little practice can’t fix. A few things you’ll learn from some time in front of the flame is that all grills aren’t created equal and that getting to know your grill, its hot spots and how well it cooks food can really improve the outcome of what your grilling significantly. You also want to generally not fuss with whatever your grilling, you want those nice marks so just leave alone and let it happen. For the most part, grilling is all about prep, getting everything ready to just go outside and slap it on the grill. In this recipe, I’m using an electric grill…its really the only option I have. I also use a trick I picked up to make sure your rice comes out perfect every time. Its just a solid meal that I love to eat.

This probably serves about 4 people but I’ll make it for two, get some heroes and make a ridiculous Vietnamese Banh Mi sandwich to have for lunch the next day…but I’ll shoot that recipe another time.

Marinade Ingredients:

About a 1 1/2 Lb Flank Steak, Preferably No Antibiotics or Growth Hormones and Grass-fed

4-5 Limes

2 Scallions, Chopped

3 Garlic Cloves, Grated

A knob of Ginger, Grated

2-3 Tablespoons of Soy Sauce

A Heaping Pinch of Red Pepper Flake

Salt & Pepper

Oil for the Grates

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To make your marinade, combine the lemon juice, the grated ginger and garlic, the scallions, the soy sauce, the red pepper flake and salt and pepper. If you want to add a little sweetness, like I did after the picture above was taken, you can add a little honey or agave nectar if you’ve got it on hand. Either put the steak on a large freezer zip-lock bag or a tupperware container and season the steak generously with salt and pepper. Add the marinade and make sure the whole steak is gets some marination love. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.

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Chimichurri Sauce:

Chimichurri is a tangy green sauce from Argentina. Its basically just some herbs, garlic, vinegar and oil. Its real good!

Ingredients:

A Big Handful of Flat-Leaf Parsley

A Small Handful of Cilantro

2-3 Tablespoons of Red Wine Vinegar

3 Garlic Cloves

Pinch of Red Pepper Flake

About a 1/2 cup of Olive Oil

Salt

A Blender

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Chop the the herbs and the garlic. If you have a good blender, you wont need to chop it but since mine is a little whimp, I chop to give it a little head start…

Toss into the blender with red pepper flake, red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and zap it up nice! Throw it in the fridge until your ready to plate.

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Grilled Pancetta Wrapped Asparagus:

2 ingredient…that all. If you don’t like asparagus, you probably had it the wrong way. You don’t need salt or pepper or oil or lemon in this recipe. The fat and the saltiness from the pancetta is all the flavor you need and the grill kinda caramelizes the asparagus, its amazing, just do it!

Ingredients:

1 Bunch of Fresh Asparagus. Avoid the limp asparagus when shopping, limp is not good 😉

1/4 Lb of Paper Thin Pancetta

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Cut off the wooden ends of the asparagus. Some people say to shave the outside of the asparagus but what a pain in the ass that is, plus I don’t see the need. Wrap the asparagus with the pancetta and throw it in the fridge until your grill heats up and you’ve started on the rice.

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Perfect Garlic Basmati Rice:

When I say perfect, I’m not trying to brag, there’s merely an easy system to make sure your rice comes out perfect every time. I picked up this little trick for perfect rice but I still cannot believe anyone actually figured this thing out. I was watching Everday Exotic on the Cooking Channel and the host, Roger Mooking or something, made perfect rice without having to measure it out. I included measurements just in case this scares you but I promise, it works.

Ingredients:

1 cup of Basmati Rice

2 Cups of Vegetable Stock

4-5 Garlic Cloves, Thinly Sliced (You don’t have to use that much if you don’t like too much but I love garlic, big time)

A Knob of Butter

A Few Tablespoons of Olive Oil

Salt

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Halve lengthwise then slice the garlic. Heat a small pot over medium-high heat and add the butter (flavor) and olive oil (to make sure the butter doesn’t burn). When its hot, add the garlic and cook until it just begins to brown, probably about 3-5 minutes, but make sure not to burn the garlic…use your judgment.  Add the rice, a pinch of salt and a little bit more olive oil if the pot looks a little dry. Stir the rice to cover in oil and toast for about 1-2 minutes again making sure not to burn anything (I’ve done before, its a waste).

When the rice starts to smell nutty, its time to add the stock. Here is where the crazy shit goes down. Add the stock but the amazing trick here is to stick your middle finger into the stock and just touch the top of the rice (not the bottom of the pan)…you’ll know you have enough when the stock just reaches the first joint a the top of your middle finger. Bring it to the boil, drop the heat to low and put a lid on. Cook for 15 minutes and your rice is fragrant and perfect, every time.

(get the dirty thoughts out of your head)

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By now your grill should already be preheated on high so its nice and hot…my faux indoor grill heats up fast so I can wait to turn it on and avoid increasing the temperature in the apartment any more than it has to (I mean its only the hottest summer EVER!).

Take the meat out of the marinade and dab it with a paper towel to dry it off…let it sit for 15-30 minutes (whenever you cook meat, you always want it come to room temperature before you cook it and ALWAYS let it rest after you cook it before cutting into it. This lets the juices redistribute and it also continues to cook a little bit more). Put the steak on the grill on an diagonal and cook for 2 1/2 minutes…then turn it 90 degrees and cook for another 2 1/2 minutes. After about 5-6 minutes cooking on that side, flip it over and repeat the same steps on the other side. After the last turn of the steak, you can start throwing on the asparagus. After 10-12 minutes, your steak should be a little under medium rare but when you take it off to rest, the residual heat will cook the steak to medium rare. Finish grilling the asparagus, basically, they are done when the look done…again, use your judgment.

When the steak is done resting, slice it on the bias (or really thin slices on an angel against the gain…this will make it extra tender and tender is good).

To plate, just make a pile of the rice and lay the asparagus next to it. Lay a few slices of the meat out and then spoon the chimichurri sauce over the steak and digg in.

What do you think?