Spanish Influenced Pig Trotter Split Pea Soup

Split Pea and Pigs' Feet Soup with Spanish Influence
Split Pea and Pigs’ Feet Soup with Spanish Influence

It was a nice summer day in California and I wanted to cook something interesting with some Duroc pigs’ feet that I had in the fridge. Duroc pork is an heritage variety of pork. I was talking to my mum recently about my Grandmother’s days in Holland and how they used to butcher a pig that would be used for the entire year. At that time they didn’t have a freezer so they canned a lot of the meat. We also spoke about eating the entire animal and not wasting any of the meat. I’ve been on that kick these days myself. I was at an Offal Even in Sacramento on Sunday and the food prepared was outstanding, all made from meat that is normally discarded.

After this event, I picked up some pigs’ feet as this is another cut of meat that many people don’t eat. The question was what was I going to do with it. I know some people sous vide the pigs’ feet, others braise it, I wanted to make pea soup and use the pigs’ feet to add extra flavor. I didn’t have white beans in the house, otherwise I may have made white bean soup with the pig’s feet. Oh well, next time.

Duroc Pork trotters
Duroc pig trotters

As for seasoning, I just seasoned the soup as I went along. I had picked up some pebrella at the Spanish Table in Berkeley so I started with that. Pebrella is a rare form of wild thyme indigenous to the area in Spain between Valencia and Alicante. It has a flavor that is reminiscent of savory, oregano and thyme all at once. Then I added some Chimayo Chile Powder (not quite Spanish, but it did come from New Mexico). Finally I added some Spanish paprika, some dried thyme and a bay leaf. It as my version of a Pig Trotter Split Pea Soup with a Spanish Influence. Hope you enjoy it!

Ingredients

2 pig’s feet – split (I used Duroc Pork trotters)
2 cups green split peas
6 cups water
1 tsp dried thyme
1 large bay leaf
1/4 tsp pebrella (Wild Spanish Thyme)
1/4 Chimayo chile powder
1/4 tsp Spanish paprika
3/4 tsp salt

1 large carrot diced
1 leek diced
1 stalk celery diced
1 tbl olive oil (I used Spanish olive oil)

Directions

1. Boil water, cover split beans in boiling water and soak for 2 hours
2. Drain split peas
3. Add split peas to dutch oven
4. Wash pigs’ feet
5. Add pigs’ feet to dutch oven
6. Cover split peas and pigs’ feet with water
7. Add bay leaf and thyme to dutch oven

duroc pork trotter and split pea soup
Duroc pork trotter and split pea soup

8. Bring water to a boil, reduce to a simmer, skim off any skim and simmer for 2 hours.
9. In another pan saute the carrot, leek and celery in olive oil.
9. Remove trotters (pigs’ feet), add seasonings and vegetables and continue to simmer for another hour.
10. After trotters have cooled removed meat from the bone and reserve meat.
11. Add meat back to pan. I didn’t have a lot of meat, perhaps 2 ounces from the 2 pigs’ feet. Mix meat through.

Garnish with your favorite yummy tidbits.

I garnished with Pickled Watermelon Rind and Chocolate Sea Salt.

Split Pea Pig Trotter Soup
Spanish Influenced Split Pea Pig Trotter Soup

Enjoy!

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Halibut and Heirlooms – Bodacious Summer Food

It’s been a beautiful summer so far. Perfect weather in sunny CA.

I had a fantastic week. Two dinners with two dear friends both who sent me home with fruits of their labor: heirloom tomatoes grown with care by my friend Dan and CA halibut caught by line by my friend Jon. Yes, CA halibut caught by line. Dan is the master of the tomato garden, I can honestly say I have not had better tomatoes than his. Jon is the master of the sea. Who catches halibut by line, this was a big one, 15 pounds.

I wanted to eat both the tomatoes and the halibut quickly to take advantage of the freshness of both. So why not combine them together and top the dish with lovely fresh made pesto (I used basil, thai basil and almonds (instead of pine nuts) and garlic.

My friend Robert suggested adding some ascorbic acid (grind a Vitamin C tablet with a mortar and pestle) to the pesto to prevent oxidation and help to keep it green, even after sitting a while. He said to make sure it is pure Vitamin C (e.g., no rose hips or other vitamins) and use about 1/8 to 1/4 tsp. Briefly blanching and icing the basil will also help keep it really green.

It’s great to have foodie friends! Thanks guys!!!

Halibut and Heirloom
Halibut and Heirloom

I prepared the dish very simply, poached the halibut in water, with some white wine added, fresh parsley, thyme, cilantro and garlic. It poached for about 8 minutes. I removed the fish from the poaching liquid, patted it dry and then laid it down on the diced tomatoes and topped the dish with freshly made pesto.

Delicious, perfect for a summer dinner. So fresh and tasty.

The pesto didn’t overwhelm the fish but complimented the fish and tomatoes perfectly.

Enjoy!

Serendipity: Green Lipped Mussels – Thai Style

I went downtown to the Asian market to buy herbs and other food.  I found the best fresh food at the market including the most beautiful fresh galangal that I have ever seen.  It was so fresh.   Galangal is a rhizome of plants in the ginger family.  It’s culinary uses originated in Indonesia.  It is used in various Asian cuisines (Thai, Cambodian, Laotian, Vietnamese and throughout Indonesian cuisine).  While it is related to ginger it does not taste similar,  It is more like a combination of citrus, black pepper, cedar and ginger.  I love this stuff and I have never seen such a gorgeous selection of galangal.  It was very well priced too.

Fresh galangal
Fresh galangal

While I was shopping I ran into Melanie and she told me that there was a Songkran (Thai New Year) celebration happening in downtown San Jose, just 1 block from the market. It is celebrated in Thailand as the traditional New Year’s Day from April 13 – April 15. So after I finished my shopping I packed my car with my goodies and wandered over to the street party.

Songkran
Songkran – Thai New Year

It was a beautiful sunny day with festivities and fun happening everyone.  There were tents and booths over a two block stretch. There was also a beauty pageant taking place at a stage at the end of one of the streets.  Another event that was taking place was a wrestling competition.  Can’t say I expected that.

As I walked through the festival I noticed people walking around with what appeared to be powder on their faces.  I asked someone about the significance of the powder on their faces.  A lovely young woman responded that a big part of the  celebration of Songkran is the throwing of water upon others. People roam the streets with containers of water or water guns. Also, many people  have bowls of beige colored powder and they mix it with water.  This paste  is then smeared on the faces and bodies of random people as a blessing for the new year. That’s what I saw everywhere, faces smeared with powdery paste.  After I asked, I thanked them and one of the guys squirted me with the water gun.  I laughed and said spray me more as it is hot.

After I finished my exploration of the That New Year celebration I came home and decided to make a mussel dish to celebrate the new year at home.  I had picked up the ingredients at the market earlier and thought how appropriate it would be to make Thai influenced green lipped mussels.  What a coincidence, go to the market to buy food, find out it is Thai New Year and then I make Thai green lipped mussels.  Serendipity for sure.

Songkran
Thai green lipped mussels in celebration of Songkran

Ingredients

  • 1 pound green lipped mussels (I used frozen green lippped mussels on the half shell as that is all I could find)
  • 1/2 medium onion diced
  • 3/4 cup white wine (I used Austrian Gewurztraminer, an old one that I lost in the cellar, I wanted the foral aromatics of the Gewurtz)
  • 3 tsp fish sauce
  • 14 oz can coconut cream
  • 1 1/2″ knob of fresh galangal (mine was about 1 1/2″ diameter) cut into 1/4″ slices
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass – smashed to open up the fibers and cut into 2 ” lengths
  • 3 tsp green curry paste
  • 15 leaves of Thai basil
  • 1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 tbl coconut oil

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a deep pot.
  2. Add onions and saute until softened
  3. Add curry paste and saute to extract the flavors
  4. Add white wine and continue to saute for a couple of minutes
  5. Add coconut cream, galangal, lemon grass, thai basil leaves, a handful of cilantro and bring to a simmer.
  6. Simmer for 30 minutes until thickened, reduced and until the flavors are incorporated.
  7. Add green lipped mussels and cook for 12-15 minutes or until done.
  8. Serve in a deep bowl with lots of liquid to soak up the juices, Garnish with fresh cilantro.  I topped mine with a mint/cilantro/basil pesto as well.
Yummy, all gone.
Yummy, all gone.

Bodacious Sous Vide – Thai Chicken

After my last misadventure of trying to make Sous Vide Chicken  I thought I’d try again. Lessons learned from the last time…. Don’t overfill the bags, leave enough time to process the chicken… Other than that it is quite simple, it just takes time.

sousvideingredients1

I found a recipe online for Thai BBQ chicken (it was a new one for me). I used it as a starting point. It was a good place to start as the recipe provided a base seasoning for the chicken and then instead of bbq’ing the chicken I cooked it using the sous method.

Directions

1. Heat the water to 62-64C in a large pot, fitted with a thermometer, that is large enough to hold the chicken.
2. Make the thai seasoning paste (recipe in the image below). I hand ground the paste with my mortar and pestle as I enjoy the process of hand grinding everything with a beautiful, classic piece of equipment. I truly believe the hand ground paste is far superior to a paste made in a food processor or similar piece of equipment.

sousvidechicken

sousvideingredients
3. Cut up the chicken into leg, thigh and breast portions. Reserve the backbone and innards for another use.
4. Pack the leg and thigh meat into one bag and the breast meat into another bag.
5. Split the paste between the two bags.
6. Seal and vacuum pack the bags with the FoodSaver.
7. Put chicken into the pot and continually check the chicken until it is done. You can tell how well it is doing because as it cooks the juices will be clear rather than red. It took about 5 hours to process the chicken. Yes it’s a long time but so worth it.
8. Remove the chicken from the bags and place on an ovenproof baking sheet.
9. Preheat the broiler in the oven.
10. Glaze the chicken pieces with a light coating of coconut milk
11. Broil for 4-5 minutes until chicken is nice and golden brown and skin is crisped up.
12. Remove and serve while nice and hot!

Enjoy!

sousvide

A Bodacious Day For the Body – Nourishing Body, Mind and Spirit

SPQR Restaurant San Francisco
SPQR Restaurant San Francisco

My idea of heaven on earth is a day spent nourishing the entire body: body, mind and soul and I look back on my day yesterday and feel so nourished. Good food to pamper the spirit (for me food is very spiritual) and body, a day at the baths to pamper the spirit and body and a good book to pamper the mind.

And so it was, spring lunch at SPQR on Fillmore St. in San Francisco followed by an afternoon at Kabuki Springs in Japantown, the quintessential experience of body, mind and spirit.

SPQR is a  San Francisco restaurant that takes its inspiration from Italian cuisine and wine.  SPQR translates to “The People and Senate of Rome” and was the emblem of the Roman Empire. It received a Michelin star for 2013 and offers amazing service in a comfortable atmosphere. I had a truly wonderful lunch, the service was perfect, the wine list is very well chosen, offering a variety of 3 ounce pours so that one can have a small pour with each dish.  Perfect.

Today I started with an asparagus panna cotta with hot smoked salmon, roe and seaweed served with a Terlan, ‘Vorberg’, Pinot Bianco Riserva, Alto Adige 2009.  Stellar pairing.  The beautiful freshness of spring.

asparagus panna cotta with hot smoked salmon, roe and seaweed broth
asparagus panna cotta with hot smoked salmon, roe and seaweed broth

I love that the courses are a  reasonable size so one can enjoy more than one course.  It took a long time to figure out what I wanted as everything looked amazing.  I finally decided on the carrot salad:   a sweet carrot and lentil salad, medjool date and vadouvan curry crema. What a salad, wow, flavor explosion.  I had “orange wine” with it:  a couple of small pours of “orange wine”: Monastero Suore Cistercensi, ‘Coenobium Rusticum’, Lazio 2010 and Elvio Cogno, ‘Anas-Cëtta’, Langhe Bianco, Piemonte 2011 Nascetta.  Both were beautiful with the carrot salad. I love orange wine.

sweet carrot and lentil salad, medjool date and vadouvan curry crema
sweet carrot and lentil salad, medjool date and vadouvan curry crema

A meal would not be complete at an Italian restaurant without pasta and so I finished with a pasta course:  buckwheat tagliatelle, cider and bacon braised suckling pork and rapini paired withI Favati, ‘Cretarossa’, Aglianico, Irpinia, Campania 2009.

buckwheat tagliatelle, cider and bacon braised suckling pork and rapini
buckwheat tagliatelle, cider and bacon braised suckling pork and rapini

An amazing 2 hour, 3 course lunch with lovely well chosen wines by the server.  Perfect spring lunch.

Now fed I wandered over to Kabuki Springs & Spa for my afternoon of bliss.

Kabuki Springs & Spa is an urban oasis in San Francisco, a place of serenity and deep relaxation.  I love it,  it’s a magic place, I feel so nourished after an afternoon at Kabuki.

kabukispring

You are offered a robe and a key for your personal locker when you check in at the front desk. Fluffy towels are rolled and stacked inside the spa for use. No need to bring anything, all you need is offered. They offer communal baths in the tradition of Japanese public baths, Kabuki’s communal bath is designed to encourage harmony and deep relaxation. They have a hot bath, a cold bath, a wet steam room, dry steam room, showers, salt if you want to do a salt scrub, lounge chairs, beverages (cucumber water, lemon water and regular water). I love to go into the hot bath, then cool off in the cold bath and then go back into the hot bath. I’ll go into both steam rooms as well. Relaxing music is piped into the entire spa. Serenity abounds.

kabuki2

Along with the amazing baths, Kabuki offers a variety of spa services including massages, facials, body treatments and acupuncture. I love to spend a couple of hours in the baths and then have a massage as was the case yesterday, an amazing shiatsu massage. The best I’ve ever had, deep relaxing massage. Four hours later I emerged, a relaxed, revitalized person.
kabuki

Sablefish with Japanese Influence

misoblackcodopt

Lunch for the day was broiled miso black cod accompanied by a daikon, cucumber, red onion salad dressed with a ponzu, ginger dressing.

I had picked up black cod at the market yesterday and was looking forward to eating this delicate lovely fish that was marinated with miso, sake and mirin for about 4 hours. The recipes for miso marinade vary but usually call for miso, sugar, ginger and rice wine stirred together. Some people marinate salmon, ahi and aku in this mixture, but the favorite is black cod, also known as sablefish. I started with a recipe from Nobu Matsuhisa found here: However, I didn’t want the sugar so I tailored it quite a bit for flavoring.

The filets were quite small so I marinated them the night before and then removed them from the marinade so they would not be overly salty.

Black cod, it’s not a cod, it’s a sablefish belonging not to the codfish family, but to another family its own. They have black skin and get their name from the sable, a North Asian marten with black fur. This was my first time cooking black cod and I admit I found it to be intriguing. My filets were quite tiny and smelled beautiful.

I made a daikon, cucumber, red onion salad to accompany the cod prepared with my handy, dandy Japanese spiral slicer. It had been collecting dust in the box since the day I bought it over 6 ago. I had never used it so I thought, this is the time to break in the device. The slicer allows me to create ribbons of zucchini, carrots, cucumbers, potatoes, onions, and daikon radish. It grips the top of any firm vegetable and rotates it against the changeable stainless steel blade. My slicer comes with 3 removable serrated blades to cut thin ribbons and a non removable blade to cut larger ribbons.

I started first by slicing the daikon and then salting it and putting it in a strainer so the excess liquid would drain out. Next I sliced the ribbons of cucumber and added them to the strainer. Finally I sliced the red onion.

japanesespiralsliceropt

While the daikon was straining I removed the black cod from the marinade and then put the reserved marinade into a small pan and reduced the marinade down to a thick syrup.

The black cod was then put under the broiler to broil for about 8 minutes (be careful not to overcook).

To serve, I combined the daikon, cucumber, and red onion and then topped it with a bit of ponzu and ginger dressing. Then the black cod was served on the side topped with the reduced marinade.

Lovely combination of crunchy, sweet, peppery salad with the sweet delicate black cod!

misoblackcodoptimized

Bodacious Grains of Paradise, Chicken & Lentil Soup

I felt like cooking soup today and had some grains of paradise that I had purchased at Boulette’s Larder at the Ferry Market in San Francisco.

Grains of Paradise from Boulette’s Larder in San Francisco

Grains of paradise are peppery seeds from the Aframomum melegueta plant. They have been used in their native West Africa for centuries, and in Europe since at least the 800s. Today, they are commonly in used in Northern Africa. Stores which specialize in spices may carry grains of paradise. They can also be ordered through companies which import spices.

This spice is also known as alligator pepper, Guinea grains, or melegueta pepper. It has a slightly peppery flavor, but the taste of grains of paradise is a bit more complex than pepper. The spice tastes a bit like coriander, ginger, and cardamom, with a bit of a citrus flavor. It is milder than black pepper, but it still packs a punch, especially when applied in large amounts.

Grains of Paradise

I had a few ingredients that I wanted to use up along with some home made veggie stock. I had not one onion in the house (I turned the veggie drawers over and could not find one) so I used leeks instead and that was a success as leeks are wonderfully sweet and complex. I also had some lovely small garnet yams in the fridge and added those as well for more sweetness.

The Recipe
Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/3 cups leeks, finely chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup carrots, finely chopped
2 cups diced garnet yams
8 ounces chicken breast cut into 1/2 pieces
1 cup red lentils
1 cup tomato sauce
8 cups vegetable stock
3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon grains of paradise
1/4 tsp celery seed
1/4 tsp ground dried thyme
1 bay leaf
parsley and pea shoots for garnish
Directions
1. Heat the olive oil in large pot and add the leeks and saute until softened, about 8 minutes.
2. Add the carrot and sweat until the carrots are softened, about 7 minutes.
3. Add the chicken breast and continue to saute until the chicken is slightly browned.
4. Add the remaining incredients and stir to combine. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil.
5. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 40-50 minutes. Check from time to time and add additional stock (or water) if the soup is too thick.

I topped mine with a bit of parsley and some delicious pea shoots for some additional pepperiness. Be warned if you munch on a grain of paradise you will get a good hit of peppery flavor. But a lovely pepper it is.

Enjoy, serve with a side salad for a healthy meal.

Lentil Soup With Grains of Paradise
Finished Lentil Soup With Grains of Paradise

Bodacious Chili – East meets Southwest, Peru and Koronis Purple Beans cooked in Columbian Black Clay Pot

I love the fall season and the ingredients that come to market. Gone are the days of heirloom tomatoes, corn and fava beans. These are the days of winter squash, turnip and dried beans. My Saturday mornings are spent at one of the local farmer’s markets looking for interesting food. One of the local purveyors, Lonely Mountain Organic Farm, sells interesting dried beans. On this day he had Koronis Purple Beans. The Koronis Purple is a bush bean, a shelling bean. It was developed by Robert Lobitz and was grown for its shelling beans with deep purple seeds. They were far to pretty to pass up. I was speaking to Kevin, the farmer from Lonely Mountain that grew these beans, and he said that they had just been harvested and were so fresh they didn’t need to be soaked overnight. We thought they would work well for chili. And so I thought what kind of chili would be interesting. Let me do an east meets southwest, Peru, Koronis Purple for some bodacious fun. I was hoping that the glorious purple would remain. But alas that was not to be the case.

Gone are the days when our only choices for chili were red pepper flakes and chile powder. Cayenne, jalapeño, anchos, pasillas can be found at most grocery stores. But there are even more interesting varieties that are not mainstream and I had a couple in my pantry that I wanted to use in this chili. I opted instead for the Peruvian, Southwest dried chili powder : chimayo style chile powder (from New Mexico), amarillo chile powder (from N. Mexico), ground aji panca (from Peru) and aji amarillo (from Peru).

“Aji” means chile pepper in Spanish. I could find no English translation of panca. Aji panca is a type of chile pepper that is commonly grown in Peru. It is dark red and mild with a smokey, fruity taste.

I also used aji amarillo. “Amarillo” means yellow. Aji amarillo is often thought of as the most important ingredient in Peruvian cooking. It is worth seeking out for its unique flavor, which offers a lot of fruitiness for its heat. It’s a different kind of fruitiness: less sharp and harsh, more full-bodied, and a lot more subtle and tastes like sunshine. This is a comforting hot chile, which may seem odd. Aji amarillo is used in many classic Peruvian dishes and I thought why not try it in a classic American dish “Chile”, the ultimate comfort food made with the comforting hot chile.

I have a beautiful clay bean pot that I bought at La Toque in Half Moon Bay.

lachamba

It is hand-crafted black clay La Chamba bean pot from La Chamba, Colombia and can go directly from microwave, stove or oven to the table top. There are no toxins in the La Chamba because no glazes are used and there is no lead in the clay. The black color comes from the firing process and the smooth, satiny finish is accomplished by hand-rubbing the surface with stones. La Chamba is exclusively made in a village in Columbia and the women and craftsmen who make these pots are their own bosses and set their own prices.

Cooking in clay is different than cooking in metal. The clay retains heat and moisture and there is less harsh steam in the pot, so food is able to cook in its own juices and not dry out. Beans, come out of La Chamba pots tasting earthier and with a creamier texture. I love this pot because it works beautifully on the stove as well as in my oven. I have a gas stove and it works perfectly on the flame. (no sticking at all). I have used this pot to make soups, beans and and braises and am always happy with the results. Somehow, the food I cook in this pot seems more infused with flavor. It keeps the food warm for a long time. It is my go to pot now, over my enameled cast iron pots. I love using this cookware and cooking with clay. It’s amazing, the food never sticks and cleanup is a breeze. So perfect, fusion chile made in a clay pot made in Columbia.

Ingredients

2 tbl olive oil

1 large white onion – diced

2 medium red onion – diced

2 celery stalks – fine dice

1 poblano pepper – diced

chicken stock – 3 cups

tomato sauce – homemade – 3 cups

1 1/2 tbl chimayo style chili powder

3/4 tsp amarillo chili powder (from N. Mexico)

1 1/2 tbl ground aji panca

1 1/2 tbl aji amarillo

½ bunch of fresh thyme

2 bay leaves

3 tbl cumin

2tsp alderwood smoked sea salt

cilantro – chopped

1 ¼ pounds heirloom purple kidney beans

firm tofu- 1 ½ pounds

Method

  1. Because these beans were so fresh, no soaking was required
  2. Saute onions in olive oil until softened in clay bean pot
  3. Add celery and poblano and continue to saute
  4. Add chicken stock, tomato sauce and spices (except salt) and stir to mix
  5. Add purple kidney beans and bring to a simmer
  6. Simmer for 2 hours or until beans are tender
  7. Dice fresh tofu into 1 inch pieces.
  8. Add to kidney beans.
  9. Simmer for an additional 1/2 hour. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Add cilantro to finish

Enjoy!

Bodacious Fresh Sablefish with Tender Pea Shoots

I went to the farmers market.  The heavens opened and the rain came pouring down. I huddled under my umbrella and looked at all the beautiful offerings. A lot caught my eye including fresh chickens (slaughtered yesterday), heirloom variety hard squash, pea shoots and lovely fish. I wanted something for lunch so I picked up some gorgeous sablefish also known as black cod and pea shoots.

Pea shoots are harvested after 2-4 weeks, are tender and bursting with a distinctive pea flavors. Since the earliest times people have harvested wild leafy plants. In the middle ages salads were very popular when people looked to spring greens after eating salted meats and pickled vegetables all winter. Today salads are a regular part of our diet however many people are adding the pea shoot to the salad for a fresh taste.

Fresh Pea Shoots with Japanese Influenced Dressing

Pea shoots can be cooked or eaten fresh. They can be stir-fried, in a wok, as an addition to a healthy salad, wilted into a risotto or pasta dish, added to a marinade or sauce or on their own as a salad. Pea shoots are nutritious, delicious packed with vitamins A, C and folic acid. They will keep in the refrigerator for close to a month.

I love sablefish, also known as black cod. I have prepared it before and typically I like to do it with a Japanese type of seasoning. The fish purveyor at the market said it had been caught the day before. So I had to buy it as fresh fish is gorgeous. I thought it would pair beautifully with the fresh pea shoots.

I made a  Japanese influenced dressing that paired very well with the pea shoots. The sablefish was marinated with a similar Japanese marinade for about 30 minutes and then cooked in a 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes and finished under the broiler for about 3 minutes. The pea shoot salad was plated and topped with the sablefish and finished with sesame seeds and the pan juices from cooking the fish.

RECIPE

Pea Shoot Salad 1 cup fresh pea shoots Pea Shoot Salad Dressing 1 tbl sesame oil 1 1/2 tsp rice wine vinegar 1 tsp shoyu 1 tsp mirin 1 tsp sesame seeds 1/8 tsp fresh grated young ginger Method 1. Mix dressing ingredients together. 2. Dress pea shoots with the dressing.

Sablefish with Japanese Influence Ingredients 4 oz. sablefish Marinade for sablefish marinade 1 tsp shoyu 1 tsp sesame oil 1 tsp mirin 1/8 tsp fresh ginger

Method 1. Preheat oven to 400F. 2. Mix marinade ingredients together. 3. Marinate sablefish for 30 minutes. 4. Add sablefish and marinade to oven proof dish and bake for 15 minutes 5. Remove fish from oven and turn on the broiler 6. Broil fish for 3 minutes or until nicely golden

To serve: plate the pea shoot salad and top with fish and pan juices. Finish with sesame seeds.

Japanese Influenced Pea Shoot Salad with Fresh Sablefish

Enjoy!

Duroc Pork and Fuji Apple Stew – Bodacious Food for Cool Fall Evenings


Bodacious Pork and Apple Stew

I love the fall and fall weather. Warm days and cool fall nights beg for food that is comforting and warming for the body and soul. Lately the evenings have been particularly cool, perhaps I am not used to the cool weather yet. I went out to find some meat to prepare a comforting, soul soothing fall meal. I happened up locally raised, Napa Milk-Fed Duroc pork (in many cuts) that I thought would fit the bill perfectly and make for a special treat. But what is so special about Duroc pork and Duroc pigs.

Duroc pigs were used as the foundational genetics of the pig industry beginning in the 20th century. In 1812, early “Red Hogs” were bred in New York and New Jersey and these would be the ancestors of Duroc pork today. The meat and the fat are superb in taste, texture with a sweetness to it. Dairy raised pork is said to be the best, the creme de la creme, with best of pork.

Milk-fed pigs are very special pigs that are selected for the great honor of being fed fresh Jersey cow milk every day of their lives. This creates a sweeter, more tender meat that really looks and tastes unlike most other pork I’ve ever tasted. Duroc meat is clean and crisp. Its taste and texture are easy on the taste buds. Duroc pork is not too fatty, not too lean, not too strong but certainly more flavorful than its farm raised counterparts.

So what to make with this delicious meat? Well fall is the time for the new crop of apples. I found some fresh fuji apples at the market. Fuji apples were first developed in 1962 at the Tohoku Research Station in Morioka, Japan. They quickly became one of the most commonly grown apple varieties in Japan and in the 1980’s they were made available in the United States where they are primarily grown in Washington State and California, my state. Fuji apples have flesh that is dense, juicy and crisp. Low in acid its flavor is mild and sweet with hints of both honey and citrus. The thick skin of the fuji apples and their dense flesh helps them hold up well in when cooked. So decided, fuji apples to pair with the Duroc pork. Apples and pork are a match made in heaven. So there was my recipe to take the chill out of the cool nights; Duroc Pork with Fuji Apples, sweetened with leeks and red onions. Perfect in fact.

Ingredients

One pound 1 ounce Duroc pork stew meat – cut into 1 inch pieces

¼ cup flour

¼ tsp sea salt

¼ tsp alderwood smoked sea salt

2 tsp olive oil

1 cup diced leeks (about 1 large leek)

¾ cup red onion diced

1 cup diced celery

½ tsp smoked Spanish paprika

½ tsp sweet Hungarian paprika

½ tsp dried French thyme

2 cups organic beef stock

2 medium apples – cut into cut into 1/8ths

Method

  1. Mix flour, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper together
  2. Dredge meat with flour/salt/pepper mixture
  3. Sauté meat until browned
  4. Remove meat from pan
  5. Add diced leeks and red onions
  6. Sauté until softened
  7. Add diced celery and continue to sauté
  8. Add meat with juices back into pan
  9. Add beef stock and spices to pan
  10. Simmer for 20 minutes
  11. Add apples to pan
  12. Simmer for an additional 20 minutes until apples are softened. Add additional water if needed.

Bodacious Duroc Pork and Apples

Serve with rice and enjoy the ultimate of fall comfort foods. Wrap yourself up in a cozy blanket next to the fire. Pour yourself a nice glass of crisp German Riesling (the sweetness and acid pair perfectly with this dish) and enjoy the body warming Duroc pork and apple stew.

Bodacious Duroc Pork and Apple Stew