Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Cider-Braised Pork Tenderloin with Fennel, Apple, and Carrot Slaw

borrowed from


3 cups apple cider
3 whole cloves
2 bay leaves
1 cup chicken stock
2 1-pound pork tenderloins
Salt and pepper
1 fennel bulb, stems and fronds discarded
2 large carrots, peeled if desired and trimmed
1 Granny Smith apple, cored (no need to peel)
1/4 small red onion
1/4 cup of the reduced syrup (see step 2 below)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard


1. In a wide pan, combine the apple cider, cloves, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Simmer vigorously for 10 minutes. Add the chicken stock. Generously season the pork tenderloins with salt and pepper. Add the pork to the pan, cover, and lower the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook, flipping the pork every 5 minutes or so, until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 145°F. Remove the pork to a plate to rest.

2. Raise the heat to high and boil the sauce, uncovered, until it is reduced to about 2/3 cup and develops a syrupy consistency (about 10 to 15 minutes). You will notice larger bubbles forming as the syrup thickens. Carefully pour the syrup into a bowl and remove the cloves and bay leaves.

3. While the sauce is reducing, prepare the slaw. Quarter and core the fennel bulb and slice it very thinly with a knife or mandoline. Cut the carrots and apple into very thin matchsticks (the julienne blade of a mandoline works well here). Very thinly slice the onion. Combine these ingredients in a large bowl.

4. To make the dressing, whisk together 1/4 cup of the reduced syrup, the vinegar, oil, and mustard and a few good grinds of black pepper until emulsified. Toss the slaw with half the dressing, and slice the pork tenderloin. To serve, divide the slaw among four plates, top with a few slices of tenderloin, and drizzle with additional dressing if desired.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

More Shea 50th

Also made Fried spring rolls

For spring rolls
  • 7 1/2 oz very thin bean thread noodles
  • 2 oz dried shitake mushrooms
  • 1 medium shallot
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 cups grated carrots (4 to 5 carrots)
  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1/4 cup Asian fish sauce (preferably from Phu Quoc)
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 lb shrimp in shell, peeled and deveined
  • 25 (8-inch) square frozen spring roll pastry wrappers made with wheat flour, thawed
  • 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
  • About 6 cups vegetable oil

  • S


Make dipping sauce:
Stir together sugar and water until sugar is dissolved. Stir in remaining sauce ingredients, then chill, covered, at least 2 hours.

Prepare filling:
Put noodles in a large bowl and cover with hot water by several inches. Soak, pulling noodles apart and stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Drain noodles and cut into 2- to 3-inch pieces (you should have about 3 cups), then transfer to another large bowl.

Put mushrooms in a bowl and cover with hot water by several inches. Soak 15 minutes. Drain and rinse mushrooms thoroughly, then drain again. Trim off and discard any hard parts from mushrooms. Finely chop mushrooms. (You should have about 2 cups.) Add to noodles.

Pulse shallot and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped, then add to noodles along with carrots, chicken, fish sauce, sugar, pepper, and salt. Pulse shrimp in processor until coarsely ground. (Do not overprocess or it will become pasty.) Add shrimp to noodle mixture. Mix with your hands until well combined. Chill filling, covered with plastic wrap, until cold.

Assemble rolls:
Line 2 trays with wax paper.

Transfer one fourth of filling to a small bowl and keep remainder chilled, covered. Place 1 wrapper on a work surface, keeping remaining wrappers covered with a clean kitchen towel (to prevent them from drying out). Cut wrapper diagonally in half to form 2 triangles. With long side of 1 triangle nearest you, put 2 tablespoons filling along middle of long edge of triangle, and shape filling into a thin 5-inch log. Fold left and right corners of wrapper over filling, overlapping slightly and aligning bottom edges. (Wrapper will resemble an open envelope.) Dab top corner with yolk, then roll up wrapper away from you into a long thin roll, making sure ends stay tucked inside. Place on a tray, seam side down. Repeat with remaining triangle. Make more rolls in same manner with remaining wrappers and filling, keeping trays of rolls chilled, loosely covered, until ready to fry.

Heat 1 1/2 inches of oil in a 5- to 6-quart pot over moderately high heat until it registers 365°F on thermometer. Fry rolls in batches of 5 or 6, keeping rolls apart during first minute of frying to prevent sticking, until golden brown and cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. (Return oil to 365°F between batches.) Transfer as fried to a colander lined with paper towels and drain rolls upright 2 to 3 minutes. To eat, wrap hot or warm rolls in lettuce leaves and tuck in mint and cilantro leaves. Serve with dipping sauce.

Shea's 50th Birthday

Hard to believe that Shea is 50 !!!!! Especially since most people think I look like her dad these days ....

So she wanted a classy 50th Bday party with our close friends and family. One of her friends Moira lives on this amazing CSA farm in Lincoln, Linden Tree Farms - Luckily, Ari and Moira allowed us to use their barn for the party.

Shea was hot to trot to have Vietnamese finger food at the party and I wasn't sure I was up to cook for a large group.

So I decided to take a field trip to Dorchester, Ma and do a test off between the top Vietnamese places and see if they might cater the party. Off I went to Pho So 1 Boston and Pho Hoa Restaurant to get take out . I brought home Fried Spring rolls , Fresh Summer rolls and Chicken Pho soup.

After tasting both restaurants food, we were disappointed since the food was just ok and not cheap at all if we wanted it catered. So I offered to cook it all with Natasha's help. I don;t think I have ever cooked Vietnamese food but I am always up for a challenge.

With Nicole Routhier's Foods of Vietnam book in hand , I ventured back to Dorchester to Truong Thinh II Super Market.

I wish I had a translator since all the signs and labels were in Vietnamese. Luckily I found a younger man who spoke perfect english with a dorchester accent. he guided me through the aisles , told me which were the best brands and even suggested a great dipping sauce. The prices are amazing . I got lemon grass for 2.99 a lb which sells for 10 bucks at whole foods.

I managed to buy all the materials for the party, except for meat and seafood for under $130. Amazingly cheap. Then I got shrimp, pork and beef at Whole foods.

The Menu included:

Fresh Spring rolls with Chicken, shrimp, noodles.etc

4 ounces thin rice vermicelli
16 raw medium shrimp, shelled and de-veined (optional)
2 large carrots, shredded
2 teaspoons sugar
16 rounds of rice paper (banh trang), each 8 1/2 inches in diameter
8 large red leaf or Boston lettuce leaves, thick stem ends removed and cut in half
2 cups fresh bean sprouts
1 cup mint leaves, washed and drained
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, washed and drained

2 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
1 small chili pepper, sliced
1 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup nuoc mam (Vietnamese fish sauce)
¼ cup water

1 tablespoon peanut oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon chili paste
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1/4 cup hoisin sauce


Combine garlic, sugar, lime juice, water, vinegar, and fish sauce. Stir to blend. Add chili rounds (to taste). Keep at room temperature for ½ hour before serving.

Heat oil in a medium saucepan. Add the garlic, chili and tomato paste and fry about 30 seconds until the garlic is golden brown. Add the water, sugar, peanut butter and hoisin sauce and whisk to dissolve. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 3 minutes. Remove from heat and serve at room temperature.

Combine the carrot with the sugar and let stand for 10 minutes to soften.

In a medium saucepan, bring several cups of water to boil. Add vermicelli and cook until just softened, 2-3 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water.

Boil the shrimp for 3 minutes, then refresh in cold water. Cut lengthwise in half, then set aside.

Lay out the spring roll ingredients before beginning to assemble the rolls.

Fill a shallow 9 or 10-inch cake or pie pan with very warm water. Working with 2 sheets of rice paper at a time, immerse the sheets and quickly remove. Spread out flat on a dry towel. The rice paper will become pliable within seconds (too long and they become soggy and tear when rolling).

Lay one piece of lettuce over the bottom of the rice paper. Add 1 tablespoon of noodles, 1 tablespoon carrot, bean sprouts and several mint leaves. Roll the paper halfway. Fold both sides of the paper over the filling. Lay 2 shrimp halves, cut side down, along the crease. Place several cilantro leaves above the shrimp. Keep rolling the paper into a cylinder to seal. Place the rolls, seam side down, on a plate and cover with a damp towel so they will stay moist. Slice each roll in half on a bias.

Serve rolls with the dipping sauces, preferably in individual dipping bowls. The rolls are dipped into the sauce and eaten out of hand.

the Ultimate Chicken Pot Pie

Sautee some chicken breasts cut into bite sized pieces in butter till half done. Remove and let cool.

Add chopped onion, leek, carrots, celery, parsnips to pan and let cook till onions are translucent. Remove veggies from pan, add a little more butter, a couple of tablespoons of flour and make a roux. After several minutes, add warm chicken stock and let it come to a simmer. It will get thicker.

Add all the veggies, chicken, frozen peas, or any other veggie, and mix together

Place the chicken veggie mix in a casserole and lay on top puff pastry . Brush egg wash on top of puff pastry and bake at 375 till the pastry is golden.

Fall comfort food , roast lamb with Baby Artichokes and polenta

Sorry to have been MIA but I have no real excuse other than avoidance....

For the lamb, Pound out a leg of lamb till its 3/4" thick, Lay on mint leaves, Grate some garlic, really cold goat cheese and salt and pepper and roll it up and tie it.

Sautee on all sides and roast in a 400 degree oven till the internal temp is 140 (medium).

Baby Artichokes-

Clean the artichokes and cut them in 1/4s. let them soak in lemon water so they don't turn brown.

Sautee an onion in olive oil. when slightly brown, add the chokes and sautee for another 7-10 min. Add some chicken stock , fresh herbs and cover for 15 min on low/medium. Remove cover near end and raise the heat to thicken the sauce.

Polenta -

Cook polenta as you normally would with chicken stock, add a little milk or cream at the end and add 1 cup of grated cheese .

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Back to School Ribs and chicken Rub

This is a very easy rub to make. Make a lot of it and put it in cool dark place and it will last for months.

1/2 cup chile powder
1/4 cup paprika
1/4 cup ground cumin
1/4 cup ground coriander
1/4 cup ground fennel
1/8 cup salt
1/8 cup pepper
1/4 cup brown sugar

Mix all together and make sure you break up any clumps

Rub into ribs or chicken and let rest for a few hours. Cook low and slow !!!!!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Xmas Tamales in Sept.

Tzadie’s Tzensational Tamalez

Anthropologists found a long lost recipe in 2008 on the lower east side of Wayland for a Winter solstice Eastern Eurpoean Speciality

Wild mushroom, Linguica and Carmelized Onion Tamales with a Chocolate Apricot Mole sauce

Steam the tamales in the foil package for 25 min and serve with heated sauce.

Zei Gesund amigos !!!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Kudos to Michael for his great meal of shrimp and Chicken

Hats off to Michael on this meal.The grilled lemons really made it sing too. Michael, add your recipe in the comments

Grilled Pizza on Scraggy Neck

Refer to my first set of Pizza recipes that we made in Tuscany. This time we cooked for over 15 people. Michael King and Natasha were the sous chefs and we churned out over 9 pizzas in about 20 min.

incredibly easy clams and pasta

Cook Pasta as you would normally cook it - al dente.

Take clams, chopped garlic, a little pepper flakes, 1/2 bottle white wine, 1/4 stick of butter, salt and pepper and add it all to a large pot.

Cook on high heat covered until all the clams are open. Remove the clams from the pot and let the sauce reduce.

to gild the lily more, right before serving , swirl some more butter in the sauce to make it silky

Cumin and coriander rubbed grilled shrimp over Israeli cous cous

Peel a pound of large shrimp and add equal parts ground cumin and coriander, a little salt and pepper and olive oil and put in a ziplock bag . shake it around to cover all the shrimp and let marinate for at least an hour

Take 1 cup of Israeli Cous cous and sautee in 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat until a lot of the cous cous is brown .

Add 1 small chopped onion and cook until the onion is translucent.

Add 2 cups chicken broth , bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer and cook till the cous cous is tender - 20 min.

Grill the shrimp over charcoal and add fresh chopped herbs to serve.

Scraggy neck meals for 15 or more

Take a look at my earlier recipe for Bologonese sauce. This time, I made it with all beef since my daughter Natasha won't eat pork since pigs are cute. DON'T GET ME STARTED.

We served this twice during our week on the Cape

Kofta and middle eastern dinner

Lebanese Kofta


2 1/2 lbs finely ground lamb
1 bunch of parsley, washed and coarsely chopped
1 large red onion, coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Bamboo Skewers, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes prior to using


1. Pulse onion and parsley and onion in a food processor until finely chopped. Transfer to a large bowl and add the ground lamb, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, salt, and pepper and mix with your hands until thoroughly combined.

2. Form lamb mixture into 1 1/2" meat balls. Thread one meatball on a skewer, then form meat into a log shape around the skewer. Repeat until all lamb is used.

3. Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread coals out evenly over the charcoal grate. Clean and oil your grilling grate.

4. Grill skewers over high heat until browned on all sides and cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Remove from the grill and serve.

  • 1 lb spaghetti or bucatini
  • 1/3 lb grams guanciale or pancetta — diced or cut into strips
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 4 medium eggs scrambled
  • 2 cups mixed Parmesan and pecorino Romano (or all pecorino) – grated
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

  1. Cook the guanciale in a pan along with the whole peeled garlic clove and a little oil, until the guanciale is well coloured. Discard the garlic.
  2. Beat the eggs in a bowl with a little of the cheese and a pinch of salt.
  3. Cook the pasta until al dente, drain and add to the pan with the guanciale.
  4. Lower the heat to a minimum and add the egg mixture. Mix well. Be careful not to let the eggs set.
  5. Remove from the heat and add the rest of the cheese. Mix again and serve immediately.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

roast leg of lamb with goat’s cheese, mint and rosemary, mint & lemon vinaigrette. served with garlicky white beans and tuscan kale


  • 5-6lb leg of lamb, boned and butterflied
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • Large handful of mint leaves
  • Firm goats cheese, (such as Crottin), half frozen
  • 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • Few sprigs of rosemary
  • Mint and lemon vinaigrette
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • Handful of mint leaves, finely chopped
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 450 and put a roasting tray in the oven.

2. Put the lamb on a board and open it out. Season with salt and pepper and rub all over with olive oil. Scatter the inside with the fresh mint leaves, rubbing the leaves into the meat.

3. Take the goats cheese from the freezer and using a microplain, grate it over the mint leaves, followed by the garlic.

4. Roll the joint up and over to form a nice long sausage shape, tucking the ends in, if needed. Secure the joint in place with kitchen string at 3-4cm intervals. Tuck some rosemary sprigs under the knots of string around the lamb.

5. Take the preheated baking tray out off the oven, scatter with a few more sprigs of rosemary then sit the lamb on top. Season once more and drizzle with a little more olive oil. Roast for 20 minutes.

6. Reduce the temperature to 350 and continue to roast, allowing 20 minutes per lb, basting every 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to rest. To serve, cut into thick slices and serve with mint and lemon vinaigrette.

7. For the vinaigrette pour the olive oil into a small mixing bowl. Add the mint and lemon zest and season with salt and pepper. Whisk in lemon juice to taste, until emulsified. Check for seasoning then drizzle over the lamb to serve.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Herb de Provence Crusted Pork T-bone with Red Quinoa and an Apricot and Peach Chutney

Make the Apricot and Peach Chutney first

Sautee 1 tablespoon of chopped ginger, 1 small chopped onion, 1 small chopped Jalapeno, in olive oil till translucent

Add Chopped apricots and peaches and sautee till medium soft.

Add 1/4 cup champagne vinegar, 1/8 cup rice wine vinegar and 1/8 cup mirin.

Reduce till syrupy and add chiffonade of fresh basil.

Quinoa - just make the grain as you qould rice in a rice cooker with chicken stock.

Pork chops - rub the chops with olive oil and dried herb de provence. Grill till medium 15 degrees internal temp

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Talk about Pan Asian Sauteed tofu and veggies over buckwheat soba and Ming tsai's pork and ginger sauce

This is truly a mishmash of Asian styles but it worked really well ....

For the pork sauce -

Sautee garlic and ginger for 1 minute no more in peanut oil

Add ground pork and sautee till medium

Add 1 tablespoon of hoisin and Black bean sauce

ADD I/4 CUP OF SHAOshing wine

ADD I/4 CUP OF chicken stock and cook down till sauce is syrupy

Boil udon noodles in salted water and drain and cool

Sautee veggies in a very hot wok - broccoli, bok choy, asparagus, onion. pepper , whatever you like . Cook each veggie separately and then sautee some garlic and ginger and then add veggies

Add some chicken stock and reduce for a bit

Remove veggies and clean out wok and reheat

Add some peanut oil

and put the drained noodles in wok and friy till the outside is crispy

Serve with noodles on bottom , veggies on the side and pork sauce on top

Monday, June 15, 2009

Potato and onion Focaccio with olives, capers, buffalo mozz and Manchego , and oregano leaves

The pic is the focaccia with a over easy egg on top for breakfast

To make the dough-

1 tsp yeast,

2 cups unbleached flour

1/2 cup corn meal

1/4 cup olive oil



Combine all ingredients in a cuisinart and mix till ball forms.

knead for a few minutes and put away in warm place overnight to proof

Punch down a couple of times before going to sleep. It will help get rid of any stress.

Roll out day next day to fit large cookied sheet.

Chop green and black olives and capers into large chunks

Shred mozz and manchego

Preheat oven to 500

place another cookie sheet in oven to get really hot

Slice potatoes and onions very thinly and put in a bowl. Lightly coat with olive oil and place on heated cookie sheet

Bake for 10-15 min til lthe potatoes are soft and the onions are beginning to carmelize. Remove from oven.

Roll out dough - add the potato mixture, cheeses, olives and capers and put into 500 oven till golden brown

For the breakfast dish pictured, fry an egg in olive oil and place on top of foccacia wqith a runny yolk !!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Cod Provencal


  • 2 cod fillets,
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 red peppers
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 fennel bulbs
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups very ripe cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • handful pitted black olives
  • 1 tbsp capers in brine, drained
  • small handful each lemon thyme,oregano and basil leaves, with a few small basil leaves kept aside
  • Deseed and finely slice the peppers, then finely grate the garlic and lemon zest over the peppers. Carefully slice the fennel on a mandolin, or as finely as possible with a sharp knife, then tip half the fennel into a bowl of iced water and set aside.
  • Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large non-stick pan, cook the fish, skin side down, for 4 mins until the skin is crisp and browned, then remove from the pan.
  • Put 1 tbsp more oil into the pan. Fry the fennel and the marinated peppers together for 4-5 mins until soft and starting to brown. Throw in the tomatoes and the balsamic vinegar, then continue to cook for 2-3 mins until they soften and release their juices. Scatter over the olives, capers and herbs, then toss everything together.
  • Nestle the fish fillets, skin side up, among the vegetables, then lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 5-6 mins until the fish is just cooked through. Lift the fish from the pan and give the sauce a final simmer and stir, then turn off the heat. This dish is better served warm rather than hot, so don't worry about the vegetables or fish resting before you serve.
  • Drain the reserved fennel and pat dry with kitchen paper. Toss with the juice from half the grated lemon, 2 tbsp olive oil. To serve, spoon the vegetables into the middle of two large dinner plates. Sit the cod on top of the vegetables and top with a little fennel salad on top. Drizzle everything with a touch more oil, then scatter with the small basil leaves