TDM Header another try

Monday, March 23, 2015

Oven-Roasted Pork Shoulder with Chipotle Dry Rub (Inspired by I LIKE PIG e-Cookbook)

Sunday night is the 37th annual International Association of Culinary Professionals Cookbook awards — in honor of my friend Jimmy Carbone’s e-book, I LIKE PIG: Recipes and Inspiration from New York City’s Pig Island, a well-deserved finalist, I pulled up my Kindle copy for some ideas on technique and created this Oven-Roasted Pork Shoulder with Chipotle and Spices Dry Rub Recipe. 
Pork Shoulder with Chipotle and Spices Dry Rub (Photo: Alexa Van de Walle)
Much like the pork shoulder recipe in the digital e-cookbook (and Julia Child’s high/low heat method for roasting a perfect crispy chicken), I used ingredients in my pantry as inspiration for the rub, browned the shoulder on high heat in a cast iron pan on top of the stove, cooked the roast in the oven on high heat for 30 minutes then lowered the temperature for a low and slow roast. I had a 6-pound shoulder — from stove to table it took 5 1/2 hours. 

Oven-Roasted Pork Shoulder with a Chipotle Dry Rub Recipe

Pork Shoulder, 4-7 pounds
8 T of chipotle pepper and spice dry rub (see below) 

Remove the pork shoulder out of the refrigerator one hour ahead to bring the roast to room temperature (allow at least a day for a frozen shoulder to thaw). Prepare the dry rub. Preheat oven to 425 degrees (F). Using paper towels, dry the pork shoulder of any excess liquid.  

Heat a stove top grill pan or cast iron pan over high heat for five minutes. When hot, caramelize the fat of the pork shoulder and brown the outside turning regularly to sear all sides (about 3-4 minutes per six sides). 

Once browned, carefully transfer the pork shoulder — it’s quite heavy — to a V-shaped roasting rack or other non-stick rack placed inside a large roasting pan. Allow the pork shoulder to cool a few minutes, then rub all of the 8 tablespoons of spice mix into the fat and the meat before placing the roasting pan in the oven.  

A Cast Iron Stove Top Grill Pan Creates Grill Marks on the Pork Shoulder (Photo: Alexa Van de Walle)
Cook at 425 degrees for 30 minutes then lower the heat to 300 degrees and cook for an additional 3 hours or until pork has an internal temperature of 180 degrees. 

After about 2 hours, check the roast at least every hour as cooking times vary greatly. When the dry rub has begun to create a crust, cover the pork loosely with several sheets of aluminum foil. Rely on your instant read meat thermometer to guide you on the cooking time -- smaller roasts may take less than 3 hours at 300 degrees and larger roasts more than 3 hours.  

When the roast reaches 180-190 degrees (F) internal temperature it is ready. Transfer the cooked pork to a cutting board, and using the aluminum foil to create a tent over the roast.  Let rest for 25-30 minutes before slicing. Serves a crowd. 

Recipe for the chipotle pepper and spice dry rub 
I used a coffee grinder dedicated to grinding spices to powder the brown sugar and chipotle peppers and remove the lumps and bumps from the other spices. Grind each spice one at a time and blend at the end, as each spice will need a different amount of time to become a powdery consistency. 
Clockwise: Salt, Paprika, Chipotle Pepper, Brown Sugar, Yellow Mustard. Center: Cumin (Photo: Alexa Van de Walle)
Blend together: 

2T each of: 
Brown sugar
Powdered chipotle peppers

1T each of:
Ground Cumin
Yellow mustard powder

About Jimmy Carbone’s I LIKE PIG
Jimmy is one of the most outgoing, energetic and generous people I know — he owns Jimmy’s No. 43 Craft Beer and Kitchen in the East Village and produces homespun food events, pop-up dinners, tastings and more in NYC. He’s a great storyteller too! At $1.99 for a download of this mini-cookbook, you can’t go wrong — the recipes are unique and approachable and the photo essays tell the fabulous story of Jimmy’s relationships with local area farmers, pig butchery and grand dame of all pig roasts — Pig Island — that he’s hosted for the past four years in New York City and will host again in September 2015. Rachel Wharton, the editor of I LIKE PIG, and author of EDIBLE BROOKLYN, does a fine job ensuring that Jimmy’s larger-than-life personality shines through. 

And, get your early bird and VIP tickets now: 


I am rooting for several of my friends and colleagues to win an IACP award, Jimmy included: 

For a complete list of this year’s IACP Cookbook Award finalists, click here . Announcement of winners on Sunday, March 29th. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Risotto with Mushrooms and Butternut Squash Two Ways Topped with Pancetta

Inspired by a vegan version at Candle Cafe on the Upper West Side, this autumnal Butternut Squash and Mushroom Risotto Recipe is made with cubes of butternut squash, sliced mushrooms and onions and is served on top of a butternut squash puree. Homemade turkey, duck and chicken stock and crispy, salt-cured Pancetta bacon provide additional layers of flavor.   

Butternut Squash and Mushroom Risotto Served Over Puree of Butternut Squash and Topped with Pancetta
I had a homemade stock leftover from the holidays stored in the freezer though any good quality chicken broth will work. Superfine Italian Arborio (risotto) rice and generous amounts of aged Parmegiano-Reggiano make for a creamy risotto — perfect for this cold and snowy weather. 
Ingredients Prep

Stir Constantly Slowly Adding Liquid Makes for a Creamy Risotto

Puree of Butternut Squash Awaiting a Generous Heap of Cooked Risotto

Crispy Pancetta Adds Salt and Crunch

Risotto with Mushrooms and Butternut Squash Two Ways Topped with Pancetta  
(2-3 entree servings or 4 appetizer portions)

3 1/2 cups of chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2” cubes (divided evenly - half for the puree and half for the rice)
8 ounces of Pancetta bacon, sliced thin 
1 onion, diced
1 pound of mushrooms, sliced thinly
1 cup of superfine Arborio (risotto) rice
1 cup of dry white wine
1/3 cup of Parmegiano-Reggiano Cheese 

Butternut Squash Puree and Braised Butternut Squash Cubes
Bring 3 1/2 cups of chicken broth to a simmer. Add one half of the butternut squash cubes and braise until tender in the stock, about 5 minutes. Remove the cooked squash with a small sieve and set aside in a bowl for the puree. Add the other half of the cubes to the hot broth and when they are cooked through set aside to add to the risotto below. To make the puree: add one half of the cooked butternut squash cubes and several tablespoons of stock to a food process and process until slightly thicker than soup but thinner than a traditional vegetable puree — add stock as needed. Set aside then reheat when the risotto is done. The puree is the base of the dish and provides a creamy sauce to mix in with the rice.  Save the hot chicken broth which has been infused with butternut squash to make the risotto. 

In a large sauce pan,  cook Pancetta slices over medium heat turning regularly to cook evenly.  Set aside cooked pieces on paper towels to remove grease. Reserve the bacon fat and use to cook onions over medium-low heat until translucent. Add mushrooms and cook through, stirring frequently. Add the rice to the pan and toast, stir constantly, about 2 minutes. Add the white wine and stir the rice until the wine is fully absorbed, 2 minutes. One cup at a time add chicken stock that was used to braise the butternut squash, return to simmer. Stir constantly until the stock is absorbed, then add another cup of stock until fully absorbed, 15-20 minutes. Add the braised cubes of butternut squash right before adding the third and final cup of stock and stirring constantly cooking until the rice is al dente. Stir in the grated cheese right when the rice is done. 

To Plate; 

Reheat the puree in the microwave and ladle 3/4 of a cup into a soup bowl. Serve the risotto on top of the puree and top with Pancetta. 

Butternut Squash and Mushroom Risotto Served Over Puree of Butternut Squash and Topped with Pancetta

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Seared Scallops with Orange-Saffron Cream Sauce with Spaghetti Recipe

Scallop season is in full swing — this Seared Scallops with Orange Saffron Cream Sauce with Spaghetti Recipe takes advance of the fresh ingredients of winter. 

An easy-to-make sauce that I make fairly often will impress your family and your guests. It can be served with seared fish and shellfish over rice, pasta or a bed of spinach.  My favorite type of seafood for this sauce is local bay scallops from Long Island's Peconic Bay.

Seared Scallops with Orange Saffron Cream Sauce with Spaghetti 

Sweet and local Peconic Bay scallops. Citrusy, fresh squeezed orange juice.  Smooth and velvety heavy cream. A hint of butter and slightly bitter saffron.
Serves Four

Boil a large pot of water and follow the directions on the package. Cook the pasta at the last minute after the sauce is done and the scallops have been added to the skillet. 

Orange-Saffron Cream Sauce (Photo: Lexi Van de Walle)

2T olive oil
4T diced shallots
1/2 C of fresh squeezed orange juice and pulp
Generous pinch of saffron (20-30 long strands)
6T heavy cream

Heat olive oil in a small one quart pot over medium low flame and saute shallots until translucent being careful not to brown or carmelize. Add orange juice and saffron and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in heavy cream and simmer for 2 more minutes. Add salt to taste. Reheat on a low flame 3 minutes before serving. 

Carmelized Peconic Bay Scallops (Photo: Lexi Van de Walle)
Seared Scallops:
2 T butter
1 1/2 pounds of bay scallop

In a large skillet, heat butter over a medium heat. Add scallops and sauté until just cooked through and scallops begin to caramelize and brown — about 5 minutes. Turn the scallops over and cook for another minute.

Combine the cooked spaghetti,  seared scallops and warm sauce in a large bowl or use the pasta pot, toss and serve in individual pasta bowls. Garnish with orange zest and parsley, if desired.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Cold Beet Borscht Soup

With beets abundant this time of year and the weather still warm, I love to make my favorite Cold Borscht  Soup Recipe. Low calorie, easy to prepare and simply delicious. 

Roasted Beets are Peeled and Chopped (Lexi Van de Walle)

 A Dollop of Greek Yogurt (Lexi Van de Walle)
So simple, my version of Joan Nathan's recipe from Foods of Israel Today contains just a few ingredients -- roasted beets, onion, fat-free Greek yogurt, honey (I prefer to substitute local honey for the sugar in Nathan's recipe), dill and chives, water, and lemon.

Four large beets are cooked soft, peeled, chopped and pureed in the food processor with one small chopped onion, 1 1/2 T of sugar, 2 C of cold water, and the juice of half a lemon (for the "sour"). Stir 1 C of plain yogurt (or sour cream) into the blended soup and add a tablespoon of fresh dill and chives. Garnish with a dollop of yogurt.

Cold Beet Borscht with Dill and Chives
can be found in the article by Joan Nathan "Borscht: Hot and Cold and Red All Over"

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Simple Peach and Blueberry Crumble

Juicy and Flavorful Peaches Make the Best Pies and Crumbles (Lexi Van de Walle)

With skins removed, sliced peaches and blueberries tossed with sugar 
and flour just enough to coat the fruit (Lexi Van de Walle)
This "crumble" is made from quick cooking oatmeal and lots of brown and white sugar
blended with diced butter. Texture should be crumbly as shown in the picture. (Lexi Van de Walle)

Just out of the oven, and overflowing with very juicy peach and blueberry filling. (Lexi Van de Walle)
A better cook than baker, I prefer low stress desserts made with fresh, in-season fruits. 

A crumble topping should be just that, crumbly, with pieces of butter still visible. The best way to make the topping is either fingers or on a very low speed with a mixer and plastic paddle. I like Ina Garten's recipe with oatmeal, flour, brown and white sugar and butter. I substituted blueberries for the raspberries and lemon zest for the orange zest.

There's nothing like the smell of fresh baked fruit pie mixed with early fall breeze.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Grilled Tomato Salad with Mozzarella, Charred Basil and Balsamic

Fit for Roman Gods, this mozzarella salad with grilled cherry tomatoes and slightly charred basil is super easy -- the grill flavor of the tomatoes adds a layer of sophistication to the more typical mozzarella, tomato and basil salad.
Creamy Mozzarella Topped with Grilled Tomatoes and Charred Basil (Lexi Van de Walle)
5-6 metal or wooden skewers (if using wood, soak in water to prevent burning)
1 quart of cherry tomatoes - mixed colors and local, if available
20 large basil leaves
1/4 plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound of superior quality mozzarella, preferably handmade

Preheat an outdoor grill (a stove top grill pan can be substituted). 

Coat a quart of local cherry tomatoes and fresh basil leaves with olive oil. 
Coat the tomatoes and basil with olive oil (Lexi Van de Walle)

Thread the tomatoes onto skewers being careful not to split the tomatoes. Place 4-5 oiled basil leaves one on top of the other and fold into quarters before threading onto their own skewer. Repeat until you've used all the basil leaves. 
Yellow and Red Cherry Tomato and Basil Kebabs (Lexi Van de Walle)

Grill tomatoes and basil over a low heat turning every 1-2 minutes (or more often so as not to burn) until the tomatoes and basil have char marks. The basil will be done very quickly. Remove and set vegetables aside to cool. 

Using a sharp knife, slice cheese into 1/4 inch thick rounds and arrange on a platter. Top cheese with tomato and basil. If desired, salt sparingly and drizzle additional olive oil over the salad before serving.
 Tomato and Basil Kebobs Sizzling on the Grill (Lexi Van de Walle)

Optional (add a drizzle of good quality balsamic vinegar)
A Light Dizzle of Balsamic Tops Mozzarella and Grilled Tomato Salad (Lexi Van de Walle)

Saturday, August 16, 2014

In-the-Shell Manhattan Clam Chowder with Roasted Plum Tomatoes

Manhattan Clam Chowder (Lexi Van de Walle)
Clam Chowder. Traditional. Regional. Quintessentially American. From clam shacks and fine dining to secret family recipes, there are as many versions of clam chowder as there are cooks on the east coast, where there's also no shortage of opinion about what constitutes an "authentic" chowder. 

Made from local hard shell clams, also known as quahog clams, clam chowder is a popular summer dish from New York’s Long Island to the coast of Maine. Red vs. white? Pink vs. clear? Shuck the clams or steam them open? The controversy rages. No matter what type of chowder you favor – New England, which is a white chowder made with heavy cream, Manhattan, a red chowder that's tomato-based, Rhode Island which can be either clear made with fish stock or pink and utilizes both cream and tomatoes) --- it’s important that the chowder have layers of flavor that develop when you nurture the ingredients with good culinary techniques. This recipe uses browning, slow roasting and poaching in flavorful liquids to achieve its flavor and body. A good chowder, regardless of color, should be neither too thick nor too soupy.

Roasted Plum Tomatoes Add Flavor to Manhattan Clam Chowder (Lexi Van de Walle)

Steam Open the Clams in a Poaching Liquid of Clam Juice,
White Wine and Deglazed Bacon Bits (Lexi Van de Walle)
Manhattan Clam (and Roasted Plum Tomato) Chowder 

6 plum tomatoes
2 leeks
Olive oil
4 ounces lean back bacon or salted pork, cut into half inch pieces
4 cups of fish stock
½ cup of white wine, such as sauvignon blanc from Long Island
18 small cherry stone (also know as middlenecks or topnecks) or 36 little neck clams, preferably wild
1 cup of bottled clam juice (Snow’ brand)
1 carrot, diced into half inch pieces. 
1 stalk of celery, diced into half inch pieces
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons of fresh thyme, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons of fresh parsley, roughly chopped
2 medium potatoes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Cut each tomato lengthwise into 8 slices and remove the seeds. Trim the leeks so only the tender white and light green remain being sure to rinse between the layers to remove any sand or dirt. Dry the leeks.  Spray a thin layer of olive oil in two roasting pans. Add the tomatoes to one pan and the leeks to another pan and spray the vegetables with a light coat of olive oil. Roast the leeks for about 20 minutes, until wilted. And, roast the tomatoes for an hour. Set aside.

While the tomatoes are roasting, pull together the rest of the ingredients, including preparing a bouquet garni by wrapping the bay leaf, thyme and parsley in cheesecloth.  Carefully scrub the clams to remove dirt and sand. Put the clams in a large mixing bowl and fill with water. Using a stiff scrub brush such as good quality vegetable brush, and vigorously scrub the clams. Discard the muddy water and replace with fresh water.  Repeat several times until the water is clear.  Remove clams from the water. Refrigerate until ready to use. 

Heat a large 4-quart sauté pan or 6 quart Dutch oven with a lid on medium-low, and slowly cook the bacon pieces about 8 minutes until crisp. Stir every few minutes so the bacon doesn’t burn. Take the roasted leaks and cut them into thin slices, about ¼ inch thick, and add to the cooked bacon for one minute. Remove the bacon and leeks and set aside.

Using the same pan, deglaze the bacon bits with ½ cup of the fish stock and ½ cup of white wine over medium high heat. Add the clams to the poaching liquid and cover to steam them open. After three minutes, check the clams and working quickly move any open clams to a bowl and replace the lid on the pan to allow the steam to build up. Repeat every 60 seconds until the last clam is steamed open. Set aside to cool. Strain remaining liquid in the pan using a fine mesh strainer or coffee filter and reserve the liquid for the chowder.

Pour strained liquid into the pan and add the remaining 3-½ cups of fish stock and bottled clam juice.  Add the diced carrots and celery and the bouquet garni and heat to boiling. Reduce heat to an active simmer, cover with the lid and cook five minutes. While the carrots and celery and cooking, chop the roasted tomatoes into half inch pieces and add to the pan along with the crisp bacon and roasted leeks. Continue to simmer for 30 minutes. Remove bouquet garni. Add diced potatoes and cook until potatoes are tender but not overcooked and mushy or about 15 minutes. In the meantime, cut the clams into small pieces, being careful to reserve all the juices that collect on your cutting board.

Mix the cut clams and the juices into the sauté pan to heat though right before serving. Garnish with parsley and a clamshell stuffed with some cut clams, if desired. Serve with French bread, organic saltine crackers, oyster crackers or the more traditional pilot biscuits (also known as hardtack or "sea biscuits") if you can find them.