Black Pepper

Confession Of An PT Addict

>
I confess !
I am a lifelong PT addict, ever since I was a child and my mother fed me my first dose of PT ………
I will eat PT (pig’s tails) with gusto, in whatever guise you set them before me – braised in soy sauce, salted, fried, in stews, souse, soups, or just by themselves with bread and condiments, as shown here.
For today’s lunch, one bucket of 5 lbs was the exact right amount for Bella and me to pig out (pun intended). Of course, there are a lot of bones, so the actual amount of meat is not really that excessive (well, maybe a little……).
One might call this a case of “PT Overdose” 🙂
>
>
Excerpt from an article by  Chichi Wang  on  Serious Eats :
” I want to make the case that pigs’ tails contain everything desirable in the pig, and in exactly the right proportions. Unlike ox tail, the tails of pigs come with the skin intact so that each segment is a perfect cross-section of skin, fat, tendon, and meat.
Fried or roasted, the skin of the tail is chewy and crisp, with a gelatinous layer underneath. Tail flesh is fork-tender like that of the neck bones, but meatier than trotters. There’s a modest amount of tendon around each bony hub–just enough to make the gnawing enjoyable, but not so much as to distract from the whole. All in all, a Pigs tail is a little porky universe unto itself. 
>
– Looks like I am not the only “PT Addict” 🙂
>
Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
>
>
Click here for more  PT  on  ChefsOpinion
>

>

Confession Of An PT Addict

>

Confession Of An PT Addict

>

serve with fresh pretzel bread (laugenstangen), hot and mild chilies and mustard (or fresh horseradish if available)

>

Confession Of An PT Addict

a bucket of heaven……

>
>
>
Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
>
>
>

>
>
>
>

Advertisements

Sliced Beef Shanks Braised In Merlot

Sliced Beef Shanks Braised In Merlot

>
Shank’s of beef, veal, lamb, or game is perfectly suitable to be braised slowly in wine. The cooking liquid and gentle heat of slowly simmering breaks down the collagen, producing a wonderful texture and great flavor, unlike any other part of the animal. One can use the shank meat for stews, soups, goulash, bulalo, braised whole, or, as shown here, braised sliced/cross-cut. But remember, no matter which dish or cooking method you choose, DO NOT overcook the meat. A big part of the appeal of shank is the superb texture of a tender, but NOT falling apart piece of muscle meat. Therefore, simmer the shank very slowly. It might take a long time, (after all the shank is pure muscle), but you will be rewarded with a spectacular texture and mouthfeel which no other cut of meat possesses 🙂
>
Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
>
>
Click here for  Bulalo  on  ChefsOpinion
<
Click here for more  Shank  on  ChefsOpinion
>
Click here for more  Beef  on  ChefsOpinion
>
>
P.S.
Traditionally, the bone marrow is incorporated into the sauce.
>
P.P.S.
But, also traditionally, the wise cook steals the bone marrow and prepares himself a great snack of “Bone Marrow On Toast” 🙂 .
>
>

>

Sliced Beef Shanks Braised In Merlot

>

Sliced Beef Shanks Braised In Merlot

>

Sliced Beef Shanks Braised In Merlot

>

>

Sliced Beef Shanks Braised In Merlot

>
>
>
Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
>
>
>

 

>
>
>
>

Grilled Veal Breast, Sauteed Potatoes, Chimichurri

Grilled Veal Breast, Sautéed Potatoes And Chimichurri

>

Sliced veal breast is a cut I use often at home, mainly for these three reasons:
1.- It’s cheap. 1 lb costs around $2.50.
2.- It tastes great.
3.- I love the texture.
Since veal breast is not a very tender part of an animal to begin with, most folks would braise it for a couple of hours to reach the tenderness they are accustomed to. While this will produce a great dish if properly done, it will lose most of that special veal flavor that some of us cherish. But if you prefer to grill or saute the veal breast, you must make sure that you do it right, otherwise, it will end up being dry and tough.
However, if you sear the meat at high heat, then cook it VERY ! slowly for the rest of the cooking process, you will be rewarded with a very fine piece of veal, full of flavor, juicy and tender. The veal breast slices I used for this dish cooked on each side for about 35 minutes until they were medium-well, then I let them rest another 10 minutes before cutting into them. They were perfect and an absolute delight 🙂
>
Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
>
>
Click here for more  Veal Breast  on  ChefsOpinion
>
>
>

Grilled Veal Breast, Sautéed Potatoes, And Chimichurri

>

Grilled Veal Breast, Sautéed Potatoes, And Chimichurri

>

Grilled Veal Breast, Sautéed Potatoes, And Chimichurri

>
>
>
Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
>
>
>

>
>
>
>

Gravlax

Gravlax

I have prepared gravlax a thousand times over the years, starting at the beginning of the 70’s when I worked in  Torekov/Sweden  for the first time, and usually, it comes out perfect, or at least close to perfect. It is one of those dishes which actually require an effort to mess it up. So every time I prepare it, I am sure that the outcome Is a predictable “10” on a scale from 0 to 10. But then came this baby !!!
I had to increase the scale by another point to accommodate its level of excellence. It was so off the chart, in taste, texture, and color. Just a perfect “11” 🙂
It was probably a combination of the quality of the fish, the freshness, the amount and quality of the dill, the ratio of the ingredients of the brine and finally, the time I left the salmon in the brine to cure. Whatever it was, this gravlax is the one all future gravlax will be judged by.
But, I can not give you the EXACT amount of time or ingredients, only approximates. Like with most savory cooking, recipe-measurements and times can only serve as guidelines. Usually, there are too many variables to cook EXACTLY by a recipe. (I am sure you have often heard folks say “I followed the recipe to the dot, but it did not turn out to be like in the picture or in the book or the video?- well, that’s the reason why – too many variables. It is also the reason why a professional chef “interprets” a recipe because, with his/her experience over many years, he/she has learned to factor-in these variables and make the necessary adjustments accordingly.
To quote myself – “Cooking is easy – if you know how to do it !” 🙂
So here now is the recipe I used for this specific gravlax. Again, there are a million and one recipes out there. Every Scandinavian cook, housewife and home cook guards at least one gravlax recipe they swear by, and most of them are pretty awesome, just slightly different from each other.
>
2 lbs raw salmon, skin on
2 cup kosher salt
1 cup granulated sugar
2 jigger vodka
1/2 cup sliced dill leaves plus 1/4 cup
1/2 cup red beet juice
2 tblsp dijon mustard
1 tblsp fresh-cracked>
black pepper
>
Dill/Mustard Sauce
(Traditional condiment for gravlax)
Good quality mustard, white wine vinegar, kosher salt, neutral tasting oil, sugar, fresh dill leaves, pepper(optional), mix all ingredients well.
>
Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
>
>
Click here for more  Gravlax  on  ChefsOpinion
>
>
>

Gravlax

>

Gravlax

>

Gravlax

>

add the salmon and onions (for a prettier presentation / restaurant presentation) put the egg and capers together with the onions on top of the salmon, however, the way I did it here will keep the capers and egg from rolling off when you eat the sandwich)

>
>
>
Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
>
>
>

 

>
>
>
>

Crappy Weather Food – Beef, Beans And Other Stuff

Meanwhile, in Florida…….

>
Hurricane season has finally arrived in Florida, and boy, has it ARRIVED 😦
While God has spared us a hurricane so far, we had constant rainstorms for the past two weeks, resulting in extensive flooding, turning many streets into rivers and parking lots into lakes.
Hearty food is the partial answer to that misery, making up for the fact that outside grilling and outside cooking in general, is suspended for the moment.
This beef stew with potatoes, tomatoes, onions, garbanzos, white beans, red beans and black beans is the perfect food to enjoy while looking out the window, watching the world drowning in rain and misery 😦
>
Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
>
>
Click here for more  Stew  on  ChefsOpinion
>
>
>

Crappy Weather Food – Beef, Beans And Other Stuff

>

Crappy Weather Food – Beef, Beans And Other Stuff

>

Crappy Weather Food – Beef, Beans And Other Stuff

>

Crappy Weather Food – Beef, Beans And Other Stuff

>
>
>
Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
>
>
>

 

>
>
>
>

Tuna Steak Poached In Olive Oil

>

Tuna Steak Poached In Olive Oil

Tuna Steak Poached In Olive Oil


My
 
friend Peter came over for lunch today. Usually, he is a big fan of down to earth home cooking, never getting enough meatloaf, pasta, potatoes, stews, pigs feet, tripe, and other offal.
However, right now he is on a strict diet, so he asked me to prepare something gluten-free, starch-free and sugar-free. This tuna steak with salad was the result of his request, which made him happy and content (or so he said).
I, on the other hand, feasted on some left-over pork belly with potatoes, which made me happy and content 🙂
>
Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
>
>
>

1 cup EVO, 2 ea garlic confit, 2 ea scallion, kosher salt and fresh-cracked pepper to taste

>

5 ea grape tomatoes, 1 ea quintisho chile, 3 slices lemon; simmer slowly on low heat while basting with the oil until tuna is cooked to your preferred temperature; serve with a salad of your choice

>

Tuna Steak Poached In Olive Oil

>

Tuna Steak Poached In Olive Oil

>

Tuna Steak Poached In Olive Oil

>

Tuna Steak Poached In Olive Oil

>
>
>
>

Malbec-Braised Pork Belly With Napa Potatoes

Malbec-Braised Pork Belly With Napa Potatoes

.
For a long time, nobody around here would touch Pork belly with a ten-foot pole.
Pork belly was deemed to be inferior, unhealthy and fattening. However, during the past couple of years, secondary meat cuts (as well as offal) have become “IN”, so all of a sudden pork belly, almost always “Asian Glazed”, has popped up on every menu in town. While this could be a good development, the sad fact is that a tiny portion of pork belly now costs as much as a steak and most preparations leave a lot to be desired.
The smart solution? Cook it at home, naturally 🙂
I grew up with pork belly and most other secondary cuts, as well as offal, so I have been eating this stuff all my life and have a number of recipes for all of them.
Yesterday I prepared pork belly in one of the most simple yet also most delicious way:
Braised in red wine and veggies, served with mashed potatoes.
When I was a kid, my Mom used to mix the mashed potatoes with fresh cabbage to make a very hearty and tasty dish. Although I don’t remember the name of this dish, it stayed in my memory because my brother and I loved it, but my Dad hated it because in his opinion it was not traditional and therefore should not be served for a proper meal. This dish approximates the Italian “Lesso di Patate e Cavolo Verza” and the Irish “Colcannon”. Apparently, my Mom was right-on with her creation 🙂
>
Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
>
>
Click here for more  Pork Belly  on  ChefsOpinion
>
>
>

Malbec-Braised Pork Belly With Napa Potatoes

>

Malbec-Braised Pork Belly With Napa Potatoes

>

Malbec-Braised Pork Belly With Napa Potatoes

>

Malbec-Braised Pork Belly With Napa Potatoes

>
>
>
Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
>
>
>

>
>
>
>

Sunshine On A Plate – Penne With Raw Tomato And Basil Sauce

Sunshine On A Plate – Penne With Raw Tomato And Basil Sauce

>
>
To  prepare a successful raw “Tomato Sauce”, it is essential that the tomatoes are VERY ripe, sweet and soft.
Other than that, there is not much wizardry to be employed, just make sure that the pasta is cooked perfectly, your basil is fresh, young and sweet, the olive oil is of great quality and the cheese you use is the best you can afford. (Any hard, fresh-grated cheese you prefer will do).
The result will proof once again that if prepared with love and gusto, bringing together a few simple, good quality ingredients will add up to a wonderful meal (Even if the sunshine is lacking) 🙂
>
Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
>
>
Click here for more  Pasta  on  ChefsOpinion
>
>

>

Sunshine On A Plate – Penne With Raw Tomato And Basil Sauce

>

Sunshine On A Plate – Penne With Raw Tomato And Basil Sauce

>
>
>
Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
>
>
>

>
>
>

>

Falscher Hase (Fake Rabbit)

“Meatloaf With Sautéed Cabbage, Horseradish Potatoes And Mushroom Cream”
>

Falscher Hase (Fake Rabbit) (Meatloaf)

>

There is a little story about the origin of the name Falscher Hase.
(Also: Hackbraten, Faschierter Braten, Heuchelhase)
(It might be funny now, but back then it was not funny at all, since it tried to cover-up the poverty and embarrassment of ordinary folks who were too poor to put a meal  on the table of which they could be proud of)
You see, not too long ago there was a time in Germany, Baden-Wuerttemberg in particular, when ground meat was not considered a proper entrée. It was ok for burgers (buletten), which were mostly consumed as a vesper (snack), served cold with bread and mustard.
But meatloaf was perceived as nothing to be proud of, an inferior dish only served when there was no money for a real cut of protein. Usually, it contained hard-boiled eggs in the center and sometimes blanched carrots, celery and bell peppers, not to make the meatloaf prettier but to further stretch the budget, since eggs and veggies were even cheaper than ground meat.
>


>
So, in order to trick casual visitors or passersby to think there is a more prestigious piece of roast in the oven or on the table, “Hase” (Rabbit) was the usual answer to the question what smells so great at lunch or dinner time. This was a time before A/C and long notices before one went to visit one’s neighbor for a chat. Kitchen windows were always open, especially while cooking, everybody stopped by for a quick chat, either the passerby talking to the person inside or the person inside talking to the passerby. After all, before TV came along, leaning on the window and seeing the world go by was some of the choice entertainment as well as the main local news source – who walks with whom, who has new clothes, whose clothes are not properly ironed, how does this or that look……. 🙂
>

>
Of course, everything has changed considerably since then (at least in our “advanced, modern” part of the world, what with tv, the internet, and so forth, a/c which requires closed windows and therefore less personal contact with our neighbors. etc…….. 😦
However, to get back to the dish at hand, if one is able to prepare a good meatloaf, one can and should be proud if this once “inferior” dish. Unfortunately, it is not easy to find a good meatloaf around here, neither in restaurants or in many homes.
Therefore,  I give you this recipe which has been in my repertoire for 50 years. It was one of the very first things I learned to cook as an apprentice when I was 14 years old and I have done it with minor variations ever since. 🙂
>
Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
>
>
>

Falscher Hase (Fake Rabbit) (Meatloaf)

>

Falscher Hase (Fake Rabbit) (Meatloaf)

>

Falscher Hase (Fake Rabbit) (Meatloaf)

>

Falscher Hase. Fake Rabbit. Meatloaf

Falscher Hase (Fake Rabbit) (Meatloaf)


>

>
>
Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
>
>
>


>
>
P.S.
Each meatloaf serves 10-12.
Potatoes and cabbage – 5 servings each
>
>

Braised Beef Back Ribs With Glazed Baby Rainbow Carrots

>
All chef’s, once in a while :

WTF did I come in here for ??? 🙂


>
>
Once in a while, I come across an unbelievable food bargain that I just MUST buy; these ribs are a typical example.
I had to go downtown Miami this morning, so on the way back home, I stopped at my Argentinian butcher in Hialeah to get some empanadas for lunch. There I saw these beautiful beef ribs for $ 3.95, which is less than a pack of chicken wings of equal weight will cost me at my neighborhood grocery store – go figure 😦
So, I had the empanadas for lunch, then started the ribs for a full-fledged, big and yummy dinner 🙂
(My butcher’s empanadas are as close to Argentinian empanadas as can be, nothing like the crappy ones one can usually get around here. After all, he is Argentinian)
But now let’s talk a bit about today’s beef rib dinner.
If you look at the pics of the preparation below, you might notice that the ratio of onions to meat is very high, about 2 to 1 in quantity. The reason is that since I usually don’t use red wine (or any other alcohol) in my cooking anymore, I like to add additional flavor and color by increasing the amount of caramelized onions and add some apple cider. It does not replace the red wine taste, but rather substitute one great flavor with another one. Also, instead of using flour to thicken the sauce, once the meat is tender, I remove it and set it aside, then push the onions through a fine mesh sieve and simmer the sauce another few minutes to thicken it.
And there you have it – another day, another wonderful meal 🙂
>
Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
>
>
Click here for more  Beef Ribs  on  ChefsOpinion
<
Click here for  Pork Ribs  on  ChefsOpinion
>
>

Braised Beef Back Ribs With Glazed Baby Rainbow Carrots

>

Braised Beef Back Ribs With Glazed Baby Rainbow Carrots

>

Braised Beef Back Ribs With Glazed Baby Rainbow Carrots

>

Braised Beef Back Ribs With Glazed Baby Rainbow Carrots

>
>
>
Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
>
>
>


>
>
>
>