Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Pork Loin Chops with Potatoes in Tomatillo Sauce

This was based on Rick Bayless' Tomatillo-Braised Pork Loin recipe in his Mexico One Plate at a Time cookbook. I had some end cut, pork loin chops in the freezer, and didn't have any idea what to do with them. I sent a tweet to Rick and he suggested that I braise them in a tomatillo salsa.

1 1/2 T Olive Oil
2 pounds thick-cut pork loin chops
1 pound tomatillos, husked and rinsed
1 jalapeno (for a very mild dish, more for a spicier sauce)
1 medium white onion, sliced
3 large garlic cloves, pressed through a garlic press
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
salt to taste
1 1/2 pounds creamer size yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed and quartered

Preheat the broiler with a rack placed about 4" from the heat source. Place the tomatillos and chile(s) on a sheet pan lined with foil. Broil for 5 minutes until the tomatillos and chile begin to char. Turn over and broil 5 minutes more. Remove from the oven and let cool. Turn the broiler off and turn the oven to 325 degrees. Once cool, transfer the tomatillos, chile and all the the juice from the tomatillos in a blender. Blend until smooth.

Bring the potatoes to a boil and simmer in salted water for about 10 minutes or until tender.

Heat the oil in a dutch oven over medium high heat. When the oil is almost smoking, add the pork chops. Brown well on both sides and remove to a plate. Remove the pan from the heat and let the oil cool slightly. Place the pan back over medium heat, then add the onions and cook until soft. Turn the heat to medium high, add the garlic and cook another minute. Add the tomatillo mixture and cook until the mixture thickens and darkens. It will be very fragrant. Add 1 1/2 cups of water and cilantro. Add salt to taste.

Transfer the pork chops to the pan, and cover with the sauce. Cover the pan, place in the oven, and cook for about 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, add the potatoes to the pan and mix so both the chops and potatoes are covered with sauce. Return to the oven and cook 10 minutes more. Remove from the oven and check the internal temperature of the chops. They should be 140 degrees. If not return to the oven and cook another 5 minutes.

Remove the chops to a plate, cover with foil and let rest 5 minutes.

Adjust the sauce for salt, then serve the chops with sauce on top and potatoes on the side.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Garlicky Kale with Toast and Poached Eggs

Ever since my wife had the Boiled Kale with Toast and Poached Egg at Zuni Cafe, it became a standard at our house. Natalie Coughlin tweeted about a Garlic Soup she made which inspired me to change my recipe a bit. This recipe is so simple I was willing and able to make it after completing the California International Marathon earlier in the day.

6 large cloves garlic, sliced
1/4 cup plus 1 T olive oil
1 onion, minced
2 bunches Kale, center ribs removed
salt and pepper to taste
4 slices crusty bread (I like a sourdough batard)
4 poached eggs
Cheese to grate over finished dish (parmesan, asiago, etc.)

Cook the garlic in the 1/4 cup olive oil over very low heat for 30 minutes or so until soft.

In a large pot, cook the onion in the 1 tablespoon olive oil until soft. Meanwhile, cut the Kale crosswise into 1/4" ribbons. When the onion is soft, add the kale and continue cooking. When the kale has wilted completely, add enough water to cover and cook over low to moderate heat for 30 minutes. Once the garlic is soft, remove from the olive oil and add to the Kale. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Reserve the olive oil.

Toast the bread and place one slice in each of four bowls. Cover with the Kale and some of the broth. Top with a poached egg. Drizzle some of the oil used to cook the garlic over the egg. Grate cheese over the top and serve.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Tuna Pasta

This is a "I don't feel like going to the grocery store, in fact I don't even really feel like cooking" dish.

Mince some onion and saute it in olive oil. Add some minced garlic and red chile flakes. Chop up a can of imported tuna and add it to the pan. Throw in some white wine and let it cook down a bit. Throw in a tablespoon of butter. Cook some spaghetti noodles until almost done. Drain the pasta but reserve some of the pasta water. Add the spaghetti to the tuna. Add some of the pasta water and finish cooking. Toss with some minced parsley and serve.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Stir-fried Shrimp, Kerala Style

This was based on a recipe from Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid's Seductions of Rice cookbook. If I were to make it again, I might cut back on the dried coconut and add some coconut milk. It seemed to need something to make it more saucy.

Stir-fried Shrimp, Kerala Style

1-1/2 pounds peeled and deveined large shrimp
1/2 cups dried grated unsweetened coconut
1 T minced garlic
1/4 tsp dried chile flakes
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 T rice vinegar
2 T vegetable oil
1/4 tsp mustard seed
1 tsp raw long grain rice
1 tsp minced ginger
1 large minced onion
1 minced anaheim chile

Chop half the shrimp into 1/2-inch pieces. Set aside with the whole shrimp

Combine the coconut, garlic, chile flakes in a bowl. Stir to blend. Add a few tablespoons of water to make a paste. In another small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons water with the vinegar and set aside.

In a heavy pot, heat the oil over high heat until almost smoking. Add the mustard seeds and rice and stir once or twice. Lower the head to medium high and add the ginger, onions and green chile. Cook until the onions are softened, then keep warm over low heat.

Heat an oiled wok over medium heat. Add the coconut mixture and stir for a couple of minutes until the coconut begins changing color. Add the shrimp and stir to coat with the coconut mixture. Add the water and vinegar, raise the heat to medium-high and steam for 3 minutes. Uncover and add the onion mixture. Cook another minute or so until the shrimp are cooked through. Serve with steamed rice.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Fresh Dungeness Crab

Okay, so I didn't cook. I did make a Caesar salad though.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Green Chile Stew

Dos Coyotes is a Southwestern food cafe that opened in Davis back in 1991. One of my favorites is their Green Chile stew. My recipe is adapted from the recipe they have posted on their site.

Green Chile Stew

2 pounds Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 large Yellow Onion, diced
5 cloves Garlic, minced
2 pounds Yukon Gold Potatoes, 1/2 inch dice
28 ounce can Diced Tomatoes (preferably fire roasted)
1 pound fresh chiles, roasted, seeded and diced (I like a mix of Anaheims and Pasillas)
1 quart Chicken Stock
3 T Olive Oil

Seasoning for Chicken
1/2 cup Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
1/2 tsp Ground Cumin

Spice Mix for Stew

2 T Mexican Oregano
1 tsp Salt
1 T Ground Cumin
1 tsp Ground Black Pepper

Cut the chicken into 1/2 inch cubes. Mix the chicken seasonings in a large zip-lock bag and add the chicken. Toss to coat the chicken pieces. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large dutch oven. Add the chicken pieces and cook until browned. Remove the chicken and set aside in a bowl. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pot along with the onion. Cook, scraping the browned chicken bits from the pan, until the onion is soft. Add the garlic and spice mix and cook another minute or two. Add the potatoes, tomatoes, chiles, broth and chicken to the pot. Cook about 10 minutes or until the potatoes are soft and the chicken is cooked through.

We like to eat this topped with creme fraiche and served with steamed flour tortillas.