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Posts Tagged ‘pork’

Dinner Party in Less Than Two Hours

In Food on February 8, 2011 at 9:58 pm
Friday afternoon I had a last-minute work meeting that ended sometime in the 4 o’clock hour, putting me back at home closer to 5 pm. Guests would be arriving—with illegal Chinese ham—at 7:30 pm. Two of these guests would be food bloggers, which kind of freaked me out. Pressure was on. And one of these guests would be 33 weeks pregnant so I didn’t want to take my chances with shellfish. And so, I did what any pork lover in her right mind would do. I served more pork. This Herb-Roasted Pork Loin could not be easier and presentation is sooo pretty. Simply mix up a little dijon, chopped shallots and minced garlic and smooth over the roast. Set roast on a bed of herbs, and cover with some more and let it do its thing for a couple hours while you go into high gear on the sides.
This roast also means that you’ll be able to hang out with your guests rather than fussing last minute—it comes out of the oven picture perfect and so damn good.
So while the roast was roasting, I made up a batch of Suzanne Goin’s salsa verde with French feta that takes about two seconds in a mini Cuisinart (a bunch of Italian parsley, fresh marjoram, basil, anchovy, olive oil, lemon juice—blend it up and then add chopped capers and crumbled French feta). I took another page out of Goin’s book for her awesome salad of blood oranges, dates, parmesan, and almonds that she served at the SAG Awards last weekend. And because this evening was designed around the contraband ham I broke out a little contraband of my own: I drizzled some smuggled South African olive oil over the salad. (The recipe calls for almond oil, but the olive oil was plenty dreamy.)
Also, I pulled out one of my favorite quickie sides—an onion and Gruyère tart—using a secret WEAPON: frozen puff pastry from the supermarket. I’ll post that recipe tomorrow, but here’s a pic of the tart. I usually use bacon or lardons, but given our heavy handedness with the pork already, I went with cured black olives instead.
And because I had the time and the ingredients, I made a super-fast batch of tuna rillettes from Dorie Greenspan’s new Around My French Table cookbook to nibble along with the contraband ham. Recipe to come, but wouldn’t these make a great hostess gift?
Finally, I’m cheating just a little when I say I had dinner ready in less than two hours. Because I didn’t make dessert. Fittingly, since I’d borrowed from Suzanne Goin at every turn on Friday night, my friend Robyn brought “Snickers Bars” from the Larder at Tavern in Brentwood and some vanilla ice cream. There are no words. Well, maybe just two: THANK YOU!

Alphabet City in Laurel Canyon

In Food, Media on June 19, 2010 at 1:25 pm

Earlier this week—before I got struck down with the mother of all summer colds—I found myself high up in Laurel Canyon on a perfect June night at the treetop home of my friend Dana, who was hosting a book party for Jon Paul Buchmeyer. In Buchmeyer’s tell-all memoir, Alphabet City: My So-Called Sitcom Life, “a series of publicity jobs created madcap storylines, including a mishap with Whoopi Goldberg’s Oscar, a mistaken identity as Tyra Banks’ Turkish boy-toy, and finishing school lessons in the gossipy halls of publishing giant Condé Nast.” While Buchmeyer read from his book, an assembly of Condé Nasties past and present nibbled on a whole roasted pig from Eva’s Lechon and soba noodle salad and sipped Moscow Mules. Reason #1014 why we love LA nights…

The Romance of Ramen

In Food, On Location: Out and About in L.A. on February 11, 2010 at 9:59 pm

What, I ask you, is more romantic than a big old hunk of pork belly?

My friend Alex and I struck out this morning to shop for our Valentine’s Day dinner party this weekend and the first stop was Huntington Meats at the Farmers Market on Third/Fairfax. We’re doing a Japanese-themed extravaganza, and the main event is the ramen recipe from Momofuku, my favorite restaurant in NY. The broth alone takes 10 hours to make. Here is our menu:

Sashimi + Champagne


Roasted Mushroom Salad with Braised Pistachios, Pickled Sunchokes + Radishes


Momofuku Ramen with Roasted Pork Belly + Slow-Poached Egg


Japanese Pickles



It’s a ridiculous undertaking, but we plan to divide and conquer. This morning’s mission: pork. Alex picked up 6 lbs of pork belly (above) and butcher Jacob deboned a 6+ lb pork butt, below. Alex is slow-roasting the belly and butt; I’m making the broth so I snagged the pork bones and have asked Jacob to hang onto any more bones, which I’ll hopefully pick up tomorrow morning. I need 5 lbs. I have .75 lbs. Stress.

From there, we headed to the Little Tokyo Market Place on Alameda (an enormous Japanese/Korean supermarket) to do a serious shop. Thank god, Alex was with me or I would’ve been there for HOURS. (I don’t read Japanese, PS.) So here’s what we got: konbu, dried shiitakes, fresh ramen noodles, nori, fish cake, radish shoots, canned bamboo shoots, instant dashi, mirin, oyster and enoki mushrooms, shichimi togarashi…

Now all that’s left is to secure the rest of those pork bones, find some sunchokes to pickle and get my hands on some Japanese feathered “fleur-ever” eyelashes from Shu Uemera:

Things to Do with an 8lb Pork Butt: Part Two

In Food, Recipes on November 10, 2009 at 8:42 am

carnitas salad

We’ve certainly be hearing that the recession is over, but I for one have yet to personally experience that first hand so in the meantime I’m going to continue advocating pork butt. I mean, I bought an 8 pounder last week and it fed three adults for several dinners and as many lunches—and cost only $40, at Whole Foods no less. Of all our meals, my favorite was this incredible Carnitas Salad with Warm Cherry Tomato-Jalapeño Vinaigrette we had on Friday night. The inspiration came from the Jimtown Store Cookbook, which features a similar salad, but I think a copy editor was asleep at the wheel since several ingredients and steps are missing from the recipe as printed (but in general, this is one of my very favorite cookbooks). Never mind! Here’s our version, based on what we had in the fridge and a few blanks filled in, and it was fantastic.

Carnitas Salad with Warm Tomato-Jalapeño Vinaigrette

Serves 4 as main course

1 lb leftover carnitas from enormous slow-roasted pork butt

1/2 lb green beans, trimmed

1-2 poblano chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded, deveined, and chopped

3/4 lb red-skinned potatoes

1 yellow pepper, finely diced

1/3 cup red onion, diced

1/4 cup scallions, chopped

1/4 cup corn oil

1 jalapeño, seeded, deveined and finely chopped

1 lb cherry tomatoes

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1/3 cup chopped cilantro

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Freshly ground pepper

Bring a medium pot of salted water to boil. Add green beans and cook until beans are tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and transfer to bowl of ice water. When cool, drain and pat dry.

In another pot, cover potatoes with cold water and bring to boil. Lower heat and cook, partially covered, until potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes. Drain and cut potatoes into chunks.

While potatoes are boiling, make vinaigrette in a skillet. Heat oil over moderate heat, add tomatoes and jalapeño and cook, stirring once or twice, for 4 minutes. Add vinegar, cilantro, salt and pepper, and bring to simmer. Cook, stirring once or twice, another 3 to 4 minutes.

warm tomato jalapeno vinaigrette

In a large bowl, combine all vegetables, pulled pork and toss with warm vinaigrette. Serve. Leftovers of salad are great rolled up in a tortilla with avocado slices for lunch the next day!

carnitas salad

Things to do with a leftover 8lb pork butt: part one

In Food on November 7, 2009 at 9:23 am

slow roasted pork sandwich

Earlier this week, I slow-roasted an 8lb pork shoulder (aka Boston butt) forever, resulting in the best, most tender and rich pork I’ve yet to enjoy. And it couldn’t have been easier. We’ve already had two nights of AWESOME leftovers for three slightly piggy adults, and still have enough for several more meals. At least. So, at $4.99/lb, this roast was something of a steal. The first round of leftovers was inspired by a favorite slow-roasted heritage pork panini at Napa Style in Napa Valley. Taking a page out of chef Michael Chiarello’s book, I had my husband stop by Mozza2Go to pick up a jar of mostarda (an Italian riff on chutney made w/ pear and mustard). Of course, being too generous to say anything until he got home, he bought the damn jar, which cost NINETEEN DOLLARS. I mean, that is half the price of the freaking pork butt.


But begrudgingly—and I mean begrudgingly—I admit it was incredible on the sandwich. As well it should be at prices that rival gold. I lightly toasted some potato buns from Ralph’s, where we also picked up a bag of pre-shredded slaw and mixed with mayo & apple cider vinegar.

cole slaw

And then reheated the pork in a 300-degree oven for 10-15 minutes, and piled it high topped w/ slaw on the sandwich. I’m guessing we will be porked out by the time we’ve reached the end of the bounty, but next time I’d love to try this with a bone-in heritage Boston butt, though it’d be almost triple the price. Hmm…Santa, baby?

slow roasted pork

Pork Shoulder with Salsa Verde

In Food on November 4, 2009 at 9:32 pm

pork shoulder with salsa verde

We are going on Day Three of the entire family being wiped out by Tiny G’s cold. It’s a killer, and demands comfort food so the first night we ordered extra spicy Thai curry, the next it was chicken noodle soup, and then today I threw an 8-pound pork butt into the oven and slow roasted it for almost seven hours. I used another flawless recipe from Bruce Aidells that ran in Bon Appétit last year. There was pretty much zero prep other than throwing a few things into the food processor to make a garlicky salsa verde to spoon over. Quite by accident [read: I was totally spaced out on cold meds and not paying attention], I tripled the garlic in the salsa verde. You don’t need to do that. But I’m certainly breathing [fire] a lot better now. You won’t believe how easy and how satisfying this is. Just rich, decadent goodness topped with a bright, fresh Italian parsley salsa. Total prep time for pork and salsa? Maybe 10 minutes. Tomorrow night I’m thinking pulled pork sandwiches for dinner, maybe with some mostarda if I’m up to swinging by Mozza2Go….we’re happily going to be eating pork for days to come.

pork buttslow roasted pork

The pork gets a spice rub (chopped rosemary & sage, some garlic, salt and pepper), and then goes into a 450-degree oven for 20 minutes. Then you cut the heat to 300 and roast until a thermometer reads 185 degrees.

parsley lemon anchovysalsa verde

As for the salsa verde, throw some chopped Italian parsley, garlic, anchovies (I didn’t have any so used a healthy squirt of anchovy paste), lemon juice and zest and some more rosemary and sage into a food processor, along with some red wine vinegar. Then, while food processor is running, add a stream of olive oil and THAT’S IT. Huge payoff, next to no effort. And sure to get the troops back on track.

Yes, You Want to Make This

In Food on July 30, 2009 at 8:27 am


Anytime you see a recipe by Jeanne Kelley—whether it’s her cookbook Blue Eggs and Yellow Tomatoes, in the pages of Bon Appétit or Cooking Light magazines, or on her Eat Fresh blog—make it. A few nights ago we tried these Pork Chops with Chiles Rellenos and Ancho Sauce from the August issue of Bon Appétit, and had our friends Booth and Adam over for dinner. The four of us are serious chiles rellenos freaks, and have together spent marg-fueled nights devouring hop-the-next-flight-they’re-that-good rellenos at the Sayulita Café in Mexico. But I digress. For this recipe, both the chiles and pork are done on the grill, which is a lot less work than going the whole battered and fried route w/ the rellenos, and certainly a hell of lot time efficient than traveling to Mexico. We also had some leftover potato filling from these rellenos, which we used the next night for potato tacos.

Here’s the potato filling, couldn’t be easier. Essentially boiled Yukon Gold potatoes, toasted cumin seeds, fresh oregano (which is growing out of control in the back yard—how do I prune that stuff?), and sharp white cheddar. Like I said, great in a tortilla the next day.


Before grilling, you do have to roast the chiles over an open flame, and then you stuff with the above mixture and place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Then transfer the foil and chiles directly onto the grill.


Oh, and a word about the pork. Ninety-nine percent of the time, I’ll take my pork chop with nothing more than a little cracked salt and pepper on it—particularly if we’re talking Heritage Foods chops. But this recipe proves an exception—the chile powder and salt rub is fantastic, and that ancho sauce sublime.

And the Winner Is…

In Drink, Food on June 6, 2009 at 10:50 pm



Carolina! Here she is claiming her prize bottle of Casa Noble Reposada Tequila. True, Carolynn is only half Mexican, which means we cannot entirely dismiss her victory as being genetically predisposed. Quite simply, her guac ROCKED. My husband voted for Carolynn’s guacamole. (To keep what little dignity I have left after today’s crushing loss, my ego needs to point out that Jimmy Shaw of Loteria voted for The Foodinista’s guac.) But it was a fierce competition and all five guacamoles were exceptional! Thank you Oscar, Carolynn, Katie and Adam!

And thank you all who came and voted! We had buckets of beer, killer catering from Loteria, super smooth sipping tequila and cocktails from Casa Noble, roasted tomatillo slaw from competitor Adam, Kurobata pork tinga from champion Carolynn, pineapple jicama salad from Trisha, agua fresca from Andrea, empanadas from Missy, tomatoes from Rachel, carne asada from The Foodinista’s one true love, Mezcal from Jimmy, Mexican wedding cookies from Nina, and Valerie tea cakes from Lesley. If you can believe this, I didn’t get a shot of the food. I’m livid. So anyone who has photos, please send!!!

I will post my guac recipe in the next few days, and Carolynn says she will post hers on her blog as well, but in the meantime, here are some highlights from the afternoon:

The winning guac - note the red jalapeño!

The winning guac - note the red jalapeño!

Carolynn's salt box, which Nancy Silverton was coveting...

Carolynn's salt box, which Nancy Silverton was coveting...

Team Katie, aka "Fighting Irish"

Team Katie, aka "Fighting Irish"

Nobelitas: Casa Noble Organic Tequila, Orange and Pomegranate Juices

Nobelitas: Casa Noble Organic Tequila, Orange and Pomegranate Juices

Hot Guys who Act, Write, Design, and Negotiate.

Hot Guys who Act, Write, Design, and Negotiate.

Carne asada from Liboria Market, grilled by Mr. Foodinista

Carne asada from Liboria Market, grilled by Mr. Foodinista

NPR's Ina Jaffe and novelist Lenny Kleinfeld

NPR's Ina Jaffe and novelist Lenny Kleinfeld

Oscar "No Pictures Please" Garza

Oscar "No Pictures Please" Garza

Crazy good kurobata pork tinga

Crazy good kurobata pork tinga

Mr. Sulkin, Blue Harvest creator, taking a call

Mr. Sulkin, Blue Harvest creator, taking a VERY important call

Fountain of youth!

Fountain of California Dreaming...

Bailey, Carolynn, Jimmy, Oscar

Bailey, Carolynn, Jimmy, Oscar

Matt and Katie (note nail polish)

Matt and Katie (note nail polish)

Thank you, Darris.

Thank you, Darris.

Roasted Tomatillo Slaw

In Food, Recipes on April 4, 2009 at 6:45 pm


Last Saturday night we had friends over to grill Berkshire pork chops and drink cheladas. Our friend Adam, who has a superb fashion piece on that disturbing neighbor kid from Mad Men in tomorrow’s Los Angeles Times (preview: the kid wears a monocle in real life; he’s 8), brought over some Mexican slaw. But not just any slaw. This was super delicious, super spicy, roasted tomatillo slaw from the Jimtown Store Cookbook. You roast garlic, tomatillos and chiles for smoky spicy heat, while jicama and cabbage give a refreshing crunch. It takes slaw to a new level.

And it was great the next day in pork tacos with sliced up pork from a leftover chop. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, The Jimtown Cookbook is one you should have in your arsenal. Here’s the slaw recipe to give you a taste of just how inspired these recipes are, while being very rustic and unpretentious—just plain GOOD.


Roasted Tomatillo Slaw

From The Jimtown Store Cookbook

4 ounces (about 4) tomatillos, husked

4 whole garlic cloves, unpeeled

1 serrano chile, split, most of the seeds removed

6 scallions, green tops only, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)

1/2 cup coarsley chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems

1/4 cup corn oil

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

3 cups finely hand-shredded green cabbage (about 1/4 medium cabbage)

2 cups julienned jicama

2 cups julienned carrots

Lime wedges for serving

Line a heavy medium skillet with foil and set over moderate heat. Add the tomatillos, garlic, and serrano chile and roast, shaking the pan and turning the vegetables occasionally, until all are brown and soft, about 5 minutes for the serrano and up to 20 minutes for the tomatillos and garlic. Remove the chile when it is done, and set aside. Remove the garlic from the pan. When the garlic is cool enough to handle, peel it.

In a food processor, combine the tomatillos, garlic, serrano, cilantro, scallions, salt, sugar, pepper, and vinegar. Process until smooth. With the motor running, gradually add the oil through the feed tube.

In a medium bowl, toss the cabbage, jicama, and carrots with the dressing. Serve immediately, if you like your slaw crunchy, or let your slaw sit for up to 1 hour to soften a bit. Adjust the seasoning just before serving. Squeeze a little lime for extra zing.


In Food on March 26, 2009 at 8:05 am

Six-Spotted Berkshire

Six-Spotted Berkshire

Apologies for the pork-heavy week, but little did I know when I served an herb-roasted pork loin on Tuesday night that yesterday a heavy box bound from Decorah, Iowa, would land on my doorstep.


My heritage pork chops are here! I can’t tell you how excited I am to have a freezer full of big, beautiful Six-Spotted Berkshire pork chops! I had initially thought I’d be getting Red Wattle chops, but I am thrilled with these brightly colored, marbled beauties from Certified Humane® farmer David Holthaus, who has been raising pigs since 1974. Stay tuned for more adventures in pork!