Category Archives: Recipes

Braised Pork Shoulder with Rosemary White Bean Puree’

 

pork shoulder

3 ½ pounds – Pork Shoulder (boneless)

1 teaspoon – Kosher Salt

1 teaspoon – Freshly Cracked Black Pepper

½ cup – All Purpose Flour

½ cup – Olive Oil

2 cups – Chicken Stock

1 – Yellow Onion, diced

2 – Carrots, peeled and diced

4 – Stalks of Celery, diced

1 – 14 ounce can, Diced Tomatoes (San Marzano)

½ bottle – Chianti

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Season the pork liberally with salt and pepper, then dust with flour shaking off the excess. In a large heavy bottom stockpot, heat the ½ cup of olive oil until it shimmers (if you keep your eyes on the oil you will see what I mean). Add the meat and cook on each side until browned deeply, and long enough to develop a crust. Total browning time will be about 15 minutes.

Once the meat has browned remove from the pot and set aside. In the same pot add the wine and allow to cook for several minutes to allow the alcohol to cook off of the wine. Add the onions, carrots, celery, diced tomatoes, and chicken stock. Place the meat back into the same pot, cover with aluminum foil and set it on the middle rack of the preheated oven. Roast for 3 hours or until the meat is easy to pull apart.

Rosemary Scented White Beans

1 pound – Dried Navy Beans

1 – White Onion, diced

1 – Russet Potato, peeled and diced

2 stalks – Celery, diced

1 – 14 ounce can, Diced Tomatoes (San Marzano)

2 tablespoons – Rosemary, minced

¼ cup – Extra Virgin Olive Oil

¼ cup – Italian Parsley, chopped

2 tablespoons – Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

¼ cup – Parmigiano Reggiano, grated

Rinse the beans thoroughly. Soak them overnight in a bowl covered in 3 inches of water.

Transfer the beans and soaking water to a large pot. Add the onion, potato, and celery. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and cook over medium heat until the beans are tender.

When the beans are tender add the tomatoes and rosemary, cook for another 10 minutes.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Transfer to a bowl, top with chopped parsley, sprinkle with a little olive oil, crushed red pepper flakes, and grated Parmigiano Reggiano.

Risotto al Barolo

barolo risotto

½ Bottle – Barolo Wine

1 quart – Vegetable Stock

2 – Shallots, minced

¼ cup – Olive Oil

1 pound – Arborio Rice

4 tablespoons – Unsalted Butter

½ cup – Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese, Grated

In a medium sized stock pot add the Barolo wine and bring to a boil to cook off the alcohol in the wine, reduce liquid by continuing to simmer for about 10 minutes, you should be left with roughly 8 ounces of wine when you are finished with the reduction. Add 1 quart of vegetable stock to the wine and heat until the stock begins to simmer, then turn off heat and let sit as you will be using this stock to cook your risotto.

In a large stock pot, on medium heat, add ¼ cup olive oil. Heat oil until it shimmers (if you keep your eyes on the oil you will see what I mean). At this point add in the shallots, stirring continuously using a wooden spoon and cook until translucent, 4-5 minutes.

Increase heat to medium high and add the rice, stirring quickly to keep the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan and to lightly toast it. After you begin to hear little snaps and pops, which is the grains of rice toasting, with a ladle add 1 cup of the reserved Barolo and vegetable stock, stirring vigorously.

Lower the heat to medium and begin adding the stock ¼ cup at a time, stirring continuously, this is very important as you do not want the rice sticking to the bottom of the pot. The rice should always look creamy and a little watery. Continue adding the stock until the rice is cooked, the entire process should take about 30 minutes.

When the rice is cooked remove it from the heat. Continue stirring and add 4 tablespoons of butter and ½ cup of grated Parmigiano Reggiano. Stir vigorously to make as creamy as possible. FINITO!

Puttanesca Sauce

puttanesca

2 tablespoons – Garlic, minced

¼ cup – Cured Olives, chopped

¼ cup – Capers

¼ cup – Anchovies, chopped

1 – 14 ounce can, Diced Tomatoes (San Marzano)

On medium heat add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, garlic, anchovies, olives and capers. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring often as to not burn the garlic. After 5 minutes, add the dices tomatoes. Stir to combine all ingredients, reduce heat to low and let simmer for 10 minutes, remove from the heat and toss with linguini, spaghetti, or spaghettini pasta.

Pesto Cream

pesto shells

1 cup – Fresh Basil Leaves

½ cup – Grated Parmesan Cheese

½ cup – Pine Nuts

½ cup – Extra Virgin Olive Oil

In a food processor, combine basil leaves, parmesan cheese and pine nuts, pulse until all ingredients come together. Slowly add the olive oil with the food processor on low, stop when you have reached your desired consistency or you have poured in all of the olive oil.

In a heavy bottom sauce pan, combine 1 cup of pesto and 2 cups of whipping cream over medium heat. Allow cream to simmer on low for 5 minutes, remove from the heat and toss with a pasta that is designed to hold on to sauce, such as medium or small shells, and orecchiette. This will ensure you a creamy bite every time.

Fennel Cured Salmon with Lemon Mascarpone

IMG_5841

1 each – Salmon Fillet (roughly 3 ½ – 4 lbs.)

2 cups – Kosher Salt

1 cup – Sugar

¼ cup – Fennel Seeds

2 tablespoons – White Wine

Directions:

In a large bowl mix the salt, sugar and fennel seeds together thoroughly. Add the wine and mix together, consistency should be that of wet sand.

On a large piece of aluminum foil, sprinkle an even layer of the salt mixture, about ½ cup, and lay the salmon fillet down over the salt. With the remaining salt liberally coat the top of the salmon fillet then wrap completely in 2 layers of aluminum foil.

Place the wrapped Salmon fillet on a baking sheet. Place another baking sheet directly on top of the salmon fillet and weigh it down with a few bricks or several items of canned goods. The idea is that there is enough pressure to compress the salmon fillet, pushing out some of the moisture and allowing the salt, sugar and fennel to act as a curing agent and infusing it with flavor. Allow the salmon to sit in the refrigerator untouched for 48 hours.

After 48 hours has past, remove the salmon from the refrigerator. Unwrap the fillet and gently rinse it under cool water, removing the salt mixture. On a cutting board, pat both sides dry with a paper towel. Your Fennel Cured Salmon is ready to slice. With a sharp knife, preferably a meat slicer, at an angle slice 1/8 inch thick slices.

Because this salmon has been cured it has a longer shelf life than raw salmon, keep it wrapped in an airtight container for up to three weeks.

For the Lemon Mascarpone:

1 – 8 ounce container of Mascarpone Cheese

½ cup – Whipping Cream

½ – Lemon, juice only

2 tablespoons – Lemon Zest, minced

½ teaspoon – Kosher Salt

1 teaspoon – Freshly Cracked Black Pepper

 

Combine mascarpone cheese, lemon juice and lemon zest in a mixer and whip until all ingredients have been incorporated. Slowly add the whipping cream and whip together until light and fluffy, add the salt and pepper and continue to mix until evenly distributed.

Remove from the mixer and place in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Will keep for up to 3 days.

Sugar Roasted Pumpkin Soup w/ Pomegranate, Pumpkin Seeds, Crème Fraiche & Nutmeg

pumpkin_soup

Makes 10 – 8 ounce servings:
1-3lb Pumpkin: skinned, seeded, cubed, roasted and pureed or 2-29oz. cans Organic Pumpkin Puree
4 cups Whipping Cream
2 cups Milk
2 cups Vegetable Stock
1 teaspoons Sea Salt
¼ teaspoon Freshly Ground Nutmeg (another ¼ teaspoon for roasting)
¼ teaspoon Ground Allspice (another ¼ teaspoon for roasting)
¼ teaspoon Ground Cinnamon (another ¼ teaspoon for roasting}
2 tablespoons Light Brown Sugar (another 2 tablespoons for roasting)
1 Lemons, juiced
Cayenne Pepper to taste (usually depending on how you prefer, it should give a subtle kick on the back of your tongue)
¼ cup Sour Cream
¼ cup Whipping Cream
1cup roasted and salted Pumpkin Seeds (Pepitas)
2 Pomegranates, seeds only
¼ cup Pumpkin Seed Oil

Directions:
Combine the ¼ cup whipping cream and the ¼ cup of sour cream (you just made crème fraiche) and place in the refrigerator to use later as part of the soup’s garnish. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees F. Meanwhile, cut your pumpkin in half, remove the seeds and place on a backing sheet. Season the pumpkin with Nutmeg, Allspice, Cinnamon, and Brown Sugar. Place the pumpkin in the oven and bake for 40 minutes or until fork tender. Remove the pumpkin from the oven, with a large spoon remove the pulp from the rind and discard the rind, place the pulp in a blender and blend until smooth. In a large pot combine the pumpkin puree, vegetable stock, milk and cream. Whisk together for 2-3 minutes on medium high heat until all of the pumpkin puree has been incorporated into the liquid, being careful not to allow the cream to scald the bottom of your pot.
When the pumpkin puree has been incorporated and the consistency of the soup is smooth it is time to season.

While whisking the soup add the Nutmeg, Allspice, Cinnamon, Brown Sugar, and Sea Salt (if you do not have Sea Salt substitute with any other salt you may have). Simmer for 10-15 minutes allowing the spices to permeate the soup. If the consistency of the soup is too thick now would be the time to add more liquid to thin it out (you can use vegetable stock or milk). At this point, taste and adjust the seasoning.

The amount of seasoning I use for my recipe is what I recommend, however you may like it a little more savory or sweet, depending on your taste. Make adjustments according to your preference.
Remember when adjusting seasoning, you can always add but you can never take away. Meaning don’t be heavy handed when adjusting the seasoning, you do not want to ruin what you’ve worked so hard to make.

Tips: After you have reached the desired flavor and level of seasoning you want, there’s a little secret to take your soup to the next level. Because this is a creamy soup it has the potential to be very rich and heavy. One way you can cut through the richness is to add a little acid. Lemon juice, that’s an acid in the culinary sense. The acid in the lemon juice will lift the flavor and cut through the fat of the cream just enough so that it still coats your tongue, it is very subtle. Next, cayenne pepper, a little will go a long way. All you want is enough to feel a little bite on the back of your tongue.

Garnish: Retrieve the Crème Fraiche from the refrigerator, and gather the remaining ingredients, Chopped Chives, Pomegranate Seeds; there’s a great YouTube video on how to get the seeds out of a pomegranate, Roasted and Salted Pumpkin Seeds (Pepitas), and Pumpkin Seed Oil.

Ladle 8 ounces of soup into a bowl and garnish. Drizzle some of the Crème Fraiche in the middle of the soup, top with several Pomegranate Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds and Chives, drizzle with Pumpkin Seed Oil and you’re done. The contrast in colors is beautiful and the combination of sweet, savory and tart combines to make the perfect soup. I know you’ll agree.

This soup has become a family favorite and holiday tradition at my house, maybe it will be at yours too.