Saturday, April 18, 2015

Taking Some Time Off

Hello  friends  and  fellow  foodies  . 
There  comes  a time  when you have  to take  time  off  and  regroup .
Well  that  time  has  come  for  me  .
Hubby's  aunt  had  a fall ,  no  she  didn't  break  her  hip  thanks  to  the  father  ,  she  broke  her  leg  and  it's  in a cast .
The  doctor says  she  will make  a full recover   but  she  has  a  strong  will  to  do as  she  wants  too  ;-D .
Aunty  is  89  years  old   , so  as  you can see I have  my  hands  fun .
I will not  be  posting  for  awhile   , but  I will be  visiting  you as  much as   possible .
I  ask  for  your  prayers  for  auntie   and  for  my sanity .

There  is  a silver lining  behind  each and  every  dark  cloud   and  with  our  Father  everything  is  possible  if  you believe .

Thank  you  , keep  the  good  stuff  coming .

Nee  Carano

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Braised Pork in Champagne Vinegar

TOTAL TIME: 4 hours 45 minutes SERVINGS: 6
1           3-1/2-pound fresh picnic pork shoulder with skin
3          garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4      cup extra-virgin olive oil
2         cups thinly sliced shallots
1         teaspoon ground cumin
1         teaspoon ground coriander
1         teaspoon powdered mustard
3/4      cup Champagne vinegar
2         cups dry sparkling wine
2         cups chicken stock
2         large sage sprigs
1         pound red grapes, stemmed
2         tablespoons unsalted butter
2         tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
2         tablespoons snipped chives

1 .   Preheat the oven to 300°. Using a sharp knife, score the pork skin in a crosshatch pattern. Make deep slits all over the pork and insert a slice of garlic into each slit. Season the pork with salt and pepper.
2 .   In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the olive oil. Add the pork and cook over moderate heat, turning occasionally, until browned all over, about 12 minutes. Transfer the pork to a plate.
3 .   Add the shallots to the casserole and cook over low heat, stirring, until lightly browned, 5 minutes. Stir in the cumin, coriander and mustard. Add the vinegar and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the casserole. Add the wine, stock and sage and bring to a boil. Return the pork and any accumulated juices to the casserole. Cover and braise in the oven for 3 hours, or until the pork is very tender.
4 .   Carefully transfer the pork to a platter and cover with foil. Set the casserole over high heat and boil the braising liquid until it is slightly reduced and thickened, about 10 minutes. Add the grapes and boil until they just begin to soften, 8 minutes. Remove the casserole from the heat and whisk in the butter, parsley and chives. Slice the pork and serve with the vinegar sauce.
Make Ahead The pork can be refrigerated in its braising liquid, sliced or unsliced, for up to 2 days. Reheat gently before serving.

Suggested Pairing

To drink with this dish, consider a good rosé Champagne.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Spring Vegetables with Garlic-Rubbed Pork Shoulder Roast

8            large garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
Kosher salt
2           tablespoons ground coriander
1-1/2    tablespoons chopped thyme
1-1/2    tablespoons chopped oregano
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2       cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1          7-1/2-pound butterflied boneless pork shoulder
2          pounds fava beans, shelled (2 cups) or 2 cups frozen shelled edamame
24       whole baby carrots or 4 medium carrots, sliced 1/4 inch thick
4         pounds fresh English peas, shelled, or two 10-ounce packages frozen peas
2        tablespoons unsalted butter
3        tablespoons mixed chopped herbs, such as parsley, chives and tarragon
1        tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar

1 .   Preheat the oven to 400°. With the side of a large knife, mash the garlic cloves with 1 tablespoon of kosher salt to make a coarse paste. Transfer the paste to a small bowl. Stir in the coriander, thyme, oregano, 1 tablespoon of salt, 2 tablespoons of coarsely ground black pepper and 1/2 cup of the olive oil until incorporated.
2 .   On a work surface, rub the garlic-herb oil all over the butterflied pork. With the fatty side up, fold the pork under itself into thirds and transfer to a roasting pan. Roast the pork for 40 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 300° and roast the pork for about 2 hours and 20 minutes longer, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 160°.
3 .   Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the fava beans and boil until the skins loosen, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the favas to a work surface; peel off and discard the tough skins and transfer the favas to a bowl. Alternatively, boil the frozen edamame for 2 minutes and transfer to a bowl. Add the carrots to the saucepan and boil until tender, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the carrots to the bowl. Add the peas and cook until tender, about 2 minutes; if using frozen, boil just until hot, 30 seconds. Drain the peas and transfer to the bowl.
4 .    In the same saucepan, melt the butter in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Stir in the vegetables and season with salt and pepper. Cook over moderate heat until just heated through. Stir in the 3 tablespoons of chopped herbs.
5 .   Transfer the pork to a carving board and let rest for at least 10 minutes. Strain the pan juices into a small saucepan and skim off the fat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, cover and keep hot.
6 .   Thickly slice the pork across the grain and transfer to plates. Serve with the vegetables, passing the sauce at the table.


Make Ahead The blanched vegetables can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated overnight. The sliced pork can be refrigerated in the pan sauce for up to 2 days. Reheat gently before serving.

Suggested Pairing
 Pair the dish with a cherry-inflected or floral Pinot Noir.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Parmesan & Spinach Sformati ----- Happy Easter to your Family from the Caranos

Prep /Total time : 1 hour 45 minutes Makes 6 servings

4          tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for coating
1/2       cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for coating and sprinkling
1/3      cup all-purpose flour
2         cups whole milk
1/8      teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
3/4      pound curly spinach leaves, stemmed
4         large eggs
1         large egg yolk
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

1 .  Preheat the oven to 325°. Butter six 6-ounce ramekins and dust them with cheese. Set the prepared ramekins in a large baking dish.
2 .  In a small saucepan, melt the 4 tablespoons of butter. Over moderate heat, stir in the flour until incorporated, then gradually whisk in the milk until smooth and thick. Cook, whisking often, until no floury taste remains, about 5 minutes. Add the nutmeg and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl, press plastic wrap directly onto the surface and let stand until warm.
3 .  Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling water, cook the spinach until just tender, about 1 minute. Drain and let cool slightly, then squeeze out as much water as possible. Transfer the spinach to a food processor and puree. Add the white sauce and process until blended. Add the eggs, egg yolk, 1/2 cup of cheese and 1 teaspoon of salt and process until smooth. Pour the sformato mixture into the prepared ramekins. Carefully pour enough hot water into the baking dish to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
4 .  Cover the baking dish with foil and bake the sformati for about 1 hour and 5 minutes, until just set. Transfer the ramekins to a work surface; let stand for 5 minutes. Run a small, thin knife around the edge of the ramekins and invert the sformati onto plates. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with cheese and serve.

Suggested Pairing

Fragrant, ripe Arneis from Italy’s Piedmont region.  

Friday, April 3, 2015

Ready for Easter ----- Smoked-Cod Deviled Eggs

TOTAL TIME: 30 MIN SERVINGS: makes 8 deviled eggs (16 halves)

8         large eggs
1/2      cup finely chopped smoked cod (2 ounces)
1/3      cup mayonnaise
2         cornichons, cut into 1/4-inch dice, plus 2 teaspoons pickling liquid from the jar
2        teaspoons Dijon mustard
Old Bay seasoning, for sprinkling

1 .  In a large saucepan, cover the eggs with water and bring to a vigorous boil. Cover the saucepan, remove from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes.
2 .  Drain off the water and shake the pan gently to crack the eggs. Cool the eggs slightly under cold running water, then peel them under running water. Pat dry.
3 .  Cut the eggs in half lengthwise and carefully remove the yolks. Transfer the yolks to a bowl and mash well with a fork. Stir in the cod, mayonnaise, cornichons, cornichon liquid and Dijon mustard. Season with salt. Mound the filling in the egg-white halves and sprinkle with Old Bay. Serve lightly chilled.

Great  way  to  use  the  left over  Easter  eggs  and  very delicious .