Friday, March 26, 2010

Braised Fresh Pork Shanks with Egg Noodles

Prepared March 25, 2010. Adapted from an online recipe for veal shanks.
1/2 c all-purpose flour
6 fresh pork shanks (hocks)
salt and pepper to taste
6 T olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, peeled, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 leek, white part, cleaned and sliced across
1 oz fresh dill, chopped
1 fresh rosemary sprig
1 bay leaf
about 1-1/2 c chicken stock
1 12 to 16 oz bag egg noodles, boiled 8 minutes in salted water and drained
To skin the hocks, push a sharp narrow knife into the space between the skin and the meat. Always cut away from your hand. Cut all the way around the meat, freeing and discarding the ring of skin and fat. Season well with salt and pepper.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 C). Place flour in a 1-gal zipper-lock plastic bag. Heat 2 T of oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high. Add hocks to bag, tumble to cover, and shake excess free. Saute three pieces at a time, until thoroughly browned on all sides, about 10 minutes for each batch. Remove to a platter to rest when cooked. Discard the oil and wipe out the pan. Heat 2 T olive oil to pot. Add the vegetables and herbs and saute until vegetables brown, about 12 minutes. Season vegetables to taste with salt and pepper. Place hocks atop cooked vegetables and add enough stock to half cover the meat. Bring to simmer; cover and place in oven. Roast about 90 minutes, turning the meat every 30 minutes. Turn off the oven and let the roast rest to let juices to settle. Remove the meat carefully from the pot to a bowl. Pour the pan drippings through a strainer into a bowl.  Put the liquid into a fat separator. Discard bay leaf and rosemary sprig from the strainer. Combine the roasted vegetables and the defatted liquid to form a pan gravy. Place cooked noodles in a serving bowl (or the dutch oven), arrange the hocks on top, and cover both with the pan gravy.
Serves 3 to 4. Paired with roast asparagus, peppers, and mushrooms. Original:

Friday, March 19, 2010

Turnip Greens with Country Ham

A Signature Dish. Recorded 4 July 2000; updated October, 2006 and January, 2009. Serves 4 generously. In this two-step recipe, first, a flavorsome stock is quickly prepared, and then, the greens are slowly cooked in this 'pot liquor'. Both greens and liquor are served together.
1 lb frozen chopped turnip greens + turnip pieces, or 1 lb fresh greens (turnip, kale, and/or mustard; collards) washed, drained, trimmed, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 c of water
3 T low-fat margarine
1 oz country ham trimmings, coarsely chopped
2 T dried minced onion
1/4 t crushed red pepper
1/2 t salt
1 T apple cider vinegar

1 t sugar
1/4 t ground black pepper
1/2 t mustard powder
Combine all ingredients except the greens in a covered 1-1/2 qt glass bowl. Microwave for 4 minutes on high, stirring once. Add the greens and stir. Microwave 2 minutes on high. Stir and microwave another 2 minutes. Stir and microwave for 30 minutes on 20% power, stirring half way through.
Stove top:
all ingredients except the greens in a large saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil and simmer 5 minutes. Add the greens, return to a gentle boil, turning a few times, for 5 minutes. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer for 30-35 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. Add water as needed.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Baked Fish and Rice

[Prepared February 2010]
1-1/2 lbs cod filets, or other firm white fish
1 c ripe tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
1/2 small onion, blossom cut
2 green onions, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
2/3 c dry white wine
fish or chicken stock as needed
2 T fresh dill, chopped
2 T fresh parsley, chopped
zest and juice of half a lemon

1/3 c kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
1-1/2 c boiled rice
Preheat the oven to 300 ºF. Place the fish, cut into serving-size pieces, in a large covered glass baking dish. Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the tomatoes, and cook about 5 minutes, with stirring. Add the aromatics. Cook a few minutes to soften, and add the wine. Reduce by half, and add the herbs, lemon, and olives and enough stock to cover fish. Cook for a few minutes more to combine flavors. Pour the sauce over the fish, cover and bake 30 to 40 minutes until fish flakes easily.
To serve, push the fish out of the way, and fill the space with rice. Let stand 10 minutes for flavor to absorb. Serves 4.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Buffalo Drums

Recipe inspired by Alton Brown's recipe for buffalo wings, 2007.
8 chicken drumsticks
3 T unsalted butter
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/4 c Frank’s Original Redhot Sauce™
1/2 t kosher salt
Steam the drums over 1 inch of vigorously boiling water for 20 minutes over medium heat. Remove the drums from the steamer and arrange on a wire rack set in a shallow pan lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil to keep the pan clean. Let stand a few minutes to cool and dry, turning once. Place on the middle rack of a preheated 375 degrees F (190 C) oven. Roast for 20 minutes. Turn the drums and rotate the pan and roast another 20 minutes or until meat is cooked through and the skin is nicely browned. Then sauce the drums in the next step.
While the chicken is roasting, melt the butter in a large plastic or glass bowl along with the garlic in a microwave oven until it sizzles, and the garlic is aromatic. Stir in the hot sauce and salt and heat for another 1 minute. Add the drums to the bowl of hot dip and toss to cover. Serve warm. Offer cool blue cheese or ranch dressing as a dip. Serves 3 to 4.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

General Purpose Breader and Pan Fry Method

Devised July 20, 2007; revised August 31, 2007; revised November 16, 2008 again after Paul Prudhomme's recipe for chicken fingers on his PBS TV program by addition of baking powder. The semolina gives extra crunch but can be left out.

1/4 c each unbleached wheat flour, coarse semolina, yellow corn meal, and white rice flour
1 T baking powder
1/2 T salt
1 t paprika
1 t ground pepper
1 t granulated garlic
Measure ingredients in a one-gallon sliding zipper bag. Mix well. Store in the freezer. Made initially for pan-fried soft-shell crab. Also good for fish fillets, pork chops, whole trout, chicken breast, frog legs, hamburgers, chile rellenos, etc.
Rinse food pieces and dry lightly. Place moist food items into breeder, a few at a time . Tumble to coat thoroughly. [For extra crispness, allow the food items to sit covered with breader for 10 minutes.] Knock off excess breader and place food in bubbly hot butter-oil mixture. Pan fry 2 to 3 minutes, turn and finish cooking another few minutes. A bit longer for thick pieces. Remove to a hot platter. Don't overload the pan. Cook in small batches. Note: Prudhomme added baking powder to his breader to increase crispness. In his recipe, he seasons chicken strips, dredges in flour, dips in milk/egg mixture, and then into dry breader. Fries in 350 ºF oil in skillet 7 minutes total.