Archive for the ‘Dinner’ tag
Apricot, Prune and Gorgonzola Stuffed Pork Tenderloin, Wrapped in Prosciutto, with a Mushroom Sherry Sauce
Quite possibly the longest recipe title to date, today’s post was born from the combination of a simple stuffed pork loin married with one of my favorite appetizers, the “Devil on Horseback”. While there are variations on the theme, the dish as I know it is a fig, stuffed with gorgonzola, wrapped with bacon, and cooked until caramelized. This pork loin dish combines fruit (prunes and apricots) with cheese (gorgonzola) and cured pork (prosciutto) finished with a mushroom sherry sauce. How can you possibly go wrong?
Every once in a while you just need to have a good steak. In the summertime you can always throw a few on the grill, but in the winter the idea doesn’t usually come up as frequently. I have started cooking petite filets in a cast iron skillet, searing them on the outside before finishing them under the broiler. For those of you in New York and CT, Fairway sells them in 2-packs, which is perfect. They come out with a little crust, very juicy and tender, and they cook in less than 10 minutes. Throw in some sauteed brussel sprouts with some cayenne and parmesan, and you’ve got a quick, easy meal that doesn’t have to wait for a special occasion or an outdoor grill.
It has been a long time since I have contributed to Food52, and I’ve felt like a total slacker. But this week’s contest was for “Your Best Seafood Pasta”, and anyone who reads this blog with any frequency knows that I cook lots of seafood, and lots of pasta, so I had to work up something great to submit to this contest. What I decided to do was a twist on a traditional recipe that I’ve been cooking for years (the first iteration of this dish was when I was back in High School in Arizona, and my Mom would have leftover salmon, and my favorite dish in the world was fettuccine alfredo).
See, this dish is GOOD FOR YOU, because it has peas and salmon in it! Nevermind the cream, butter, and pasta. It’s totally healthy. Or something…
Yesterday I went to the beach to watch the sunset, and it happened to be low tide. I had planned to make a big pot of red sauce with spaghetti for dinner, but as I walked out onto the flats I saw the telltale marks of a clam bed, and within 5 minutes I had a dozen steamers. Dinner plans changed from a red sauce to a white wine and butter sauce with clams.
Back in the winter of 2000, I had the opportunity to live and teach scuba diving on a tiny island off the East Coast of Thailand called Koh Tao. Koh Tao is the furthest North in a small island chain in the Gulf of Thailand, consisting of Koh Saumui (anyone seen Meet the Parents?), Koh Phangan, and Koh Tao (translated, it means Turtle Island). It was, to put it mildly, paradise. My beachfront, private bungalow was $5/night, and the food was incredible. This may be one of the reasons that I don’t cook Thai food very often…because there is absolutely no way that I could begin to replicate the dishes that I ate over the course of that winter, and I most times don’t even want to attempt it.
That being said, I have no problem making a spicy Thai peanut sauce. Why? Because while I was there I never once ate a spicy peanut sauce. I want to say that it’s an American adaptation to Thai food, because while they cooked with peanuts quite often on Koh Tao, they were always left whole and cooked into a dish, or crumbled on top of pad Thai. Peanut butter was not a staple on the island, so I feel no compunction about cooking this meal. And while it certainly can’t be called “authentic”, it had a lot of the flavors that I remember, and was, in short, delicious. And it’s super easy, and quick.
This past weekend, for Labor Day, we cooked up 2 pork shoulders for tacos and pulled pork sandwiches. My friend Katherine Horsman was kind enough to send over her favorite pulled pork recipe, which is a citrus-based, spicy sauce that was absolutely delicious. Since we were doing two pork shoulders, I mixed up a batch of home made barbecue sauce for pulled pork sandwiches the next day. Behold the beauty of the pork shoulder:
During my recent trip to San Francisco I stayed with my friends Ilse and Tommy in their home in the Haight-Ashbury district. To thank them for their hospitality I decided to cook them dinner the night before I left, and since I was wandering around down in the Fisherman’s Wharf district earlier that day, the obvious choice for a special dinner was fresh dungeoness crab.
Le Chef has been busy. Busy traveling, busy sailing, and busy eating food that for the most part doesn’t belong on this blog. So now, after a solid month of not posting anything, I am returning to post a meal that I cooked for my family at the Cape this summer. This is not a quick meal, by any means. It involves a homemade smoker and about 8 hours of cooking time. But the results are worth the wait, and I will show you how to make a $50 smoker that works as well as the $300 model from Home Depot.
It’s summertime, so grilling season is upon us. This recipe harkens back to my days as my fraternity’s “Grillmeister”. It was handed down to me by the presiding Grillmeister, a Southern gentleman named Ben Patch. Ben taught me many things, including how to make my own barbecue sauce from scratch. Being appointed as Grillmeister gave me the perfect opportunity to elevate the fraternity barbecue from burgers and dogs to something more interesting. During the two years of my tenure, I cooked whole sides of marinated swordfish, grilled New Zealand mussels, smoked pork shoulders cooked in pits dug in the front yard (with considerable help and inspiration provided by Mr. David Weiss, who is a frequent reader of this blog, and a great cook himself), roasted Thanksgiving turkey on a tripod, and every manner of side dish we could think of. These grilled stuffed tomatoes have become a favorite, because they are so incredibly easy, and the “wow” factor is a great bang for your buck in terms of prep time. Over the years I’ve realized that if you have an oven at your disposal (which I did not in college) it’s easier to make these in muffin tins and bake them. If you’re grilling them it can be tricky to keep them from falling over, so you need to make little tinfoil “life preservers” to keep them standing upright. Roll a 1-ft long piece of tinfoil into a cylinder and form a ring. Place the ring on the grill and the tomato on the ring, and proceed from there.
Today and tomorrow, Saturday June 12th, Citarella on the Upper West Side is celebrating National Lobster Day with an amazing deal: live lobsters for $4.99/lb! Though I’m a bit spoiled, and I eat a lot of lobster in the summertime since I have my own traps out in Long Island Sound (and let me tell you…Long Island Sound lobsters are SUPERB. I’d eat them over a Maine lobster any day, but I digress) I had to take advantage of the sale for dinner tonight.
One of my favorite ways to eat lobster is to bisect them and cook them in a pan with butter, white wine, shallots, garlic, rosemary, and crushed red pepper. The lobster juices infuse with the sauce, which is served along with the lobster for dipping. A little squeeze of lemon at the end, and you’ve got the best lobster you’ve had in your life. But don’t take my word for it…go out and get some lobsters and give it a try!