Saturday, October 13, 2012

Pork Chops with Horseradish Cream Sauce

Pan-roasted Pork Chops
2- 2" bone in pork chops
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
1 Tbl. olive oil
2 carrots- chopped
1 celery stick- chopped
1 bay leaf
2 c. chopped brussel sprouts

1. Preheat oven to 425. Bring the chops to room temperature and rub with the salt, pepper, allspice and marjoram. Heat a saute pan to medium high, add in the oil and when the oil's hot but not yet smoking, add the chops. Let brown on all sides.

2. Add the carrots, celery and bay leaf around the chops in the pan, then over that add the brussel sprouts. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes, then remove and cover the pork. Pour out and reserve 1/4-1/2 cup of the pan juices. Keep roasting the vegetables for another 15-20 minutes until tender.

Horseradish Cream Sauce
1 c. heavy cream
1/4- 1/2 c. of the reserved pan juice (depending on how much you have, add in 1/2-3/4 c. chicken or beef stock)
1/4 c. grated horseradish
1/4 c. diced apple
2 Tbl. finely chopped scallions (original recipe calls for chives)
1/2 tsp dry mustard
Salt to taste

1. Combine all the ingredients in a sauce pan and let simmer over a low heat for 30 minutes. Taste for and add salt. You can serve with the apples and scallions for a chunkier sauce or strain them out with a sieve.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Kale and Almond Pesto

Kale and Almond Pesto
3 c. kale- roughly chopped
3-4 basil leaves
1/4 c. chopped parsley
1/2 c. roasted unsalted almonds
1 garlic clove
1/4 grated parmesan- plus extra to shave over
1 c. olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a food processor add in the basil leaves, parsley, almonds and garlic. Set a salted pot of water over medium high heat and once boiling, add in the kale. You made need to do this in batches. Blanch the kale for 1-2 minutes, then remove, drain and add to the processor (it’s ok if a little water from the kale gets in).

2. Add the grated cheese and then blend together. While blending drizzle the olive oil in through the top until it has a creamy consistency- you may not need all the oil, or you may need more. Taste for salt and pepper and then serve over pasta with some grated parmesan on top.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Turkey Chili Revisited

The past few days in NYC have been perfect chili weather. Cold, a bit dreary. The part of fall I tend to dislike the most as too many of these gray days have me wishing I could bottle the endless blue sky autumn days, have me thinking too much about what’s next to come. One or two gray days can be feasible though, finding someone special to cuddle under blankets with, watching old movies, making warm, hearty meals. But only one or two and then I get antsy, thinking this favorite season of mine has already come and gone. But for now I’m staying optimistic. We’ll have beautiful blue sky fall through November, at least.

But I digress. So on gray day #1 I made turkey chili. An all day project for a day I had nothing planned and where the weather outside was not one bit hospitable. I’ve posted my chili before but this time I made a few different tweaks in order to keep myself from having to venture out. The first change was no beer. It may sound like blasphemy but it’s true. My desire to stay warm and dry outweighed having beer in my chili and I can live with that. Second change was tomato paste, that just happened to be hanging out in my fridge, begging to be used. And it’s funny how two little adjustments can make something just that much different. In a good way. A great way actually. The addition of paste and lack of beer I think made it richer all around, there was still plenty of depth (I mean there’s bacon, molasses, ancho chile cacao all in here… on top of everything else) but with beer there probably would’ve been that extra hoppy layer. But it was a success, especially for a recipe that I considered pretty perfect from the start. The perfect meal to brighten up a dreary fall day.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tomato & Ricotta Salad

It’s so hard to believe that fall is in full force. Although I love to dress for autumn this morning I decided to take advantage of the days when I can still wear peep-toe shoes and capris without risking a cold, as I feel those days will just become fewer and further between. I got back late last week from a week long Texas trip and Friday was off to the grocery to restock the shockingly bare fridge. We like to eat as seasonally as possible, and while I’ve been craving hearty stews and heavy braises lately, when I spied the still-heavily-stocked heirloom tomatoes it took such a strong will to not reach for one. To taste just one more juicy, sweet tomato before it’s time to call it for the season. While I’m sure a few good, late summer tomatoes can still be found, I’d rather it be at the farmers market than Whole Foods any day and may just have to take a lunch break this week to check out what’s currently at  the market (also craving a hearty lamb tagine, would love to grab ingredients for that as well for when the temperatures dip again later this week).

I love the simplicity of this recipe but also how decadent it can be at the same time. An overindulgent dollop of creamy, herby ricotta over silky sweet and juicy slices of tomato and a drizzle of spicy, bright olive oil to finish it off, it’s light and rich at the same time. The perfect transition food. From summer to fall. From light to hearty and so on and so forth. I’m sad to lose summer, but the wonderful thing about living in the Northeast is that every season is such a noticeable change, so while it's hard to say goodbye to sandals and skimpy dresses and the bounty of produce that New York has to offer in the summer, I’m so looking forward to pumpkins, to tall boots, warm scarves, and hearty stews. But until the warm days are officially gone, hand me a gorgeous, plump  tomato and let me enjoy the last trace of summer.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Cornflake Salmon

I'm going to clue you into a little known fact about me that most people don't know. I hate milk. More than just a casual dislike, everything about it is  disgusting, abhorrent, completely unacceptable. My family can attest to my numerous tantrums and dinner table bargaining as a child anytime I was faced with a tall, cold glass of... milk. Even now, when it’s easier to avoid, I still won’t go near anyone who’s recently drank it and will buy buttermilk or cream any day before I'll keep milk in my fridge (which are acceptable to me… go figure).

So needless to say, I don't eat much cereal. It's a wonder I'll even eat cereal in the first place, but it can be a filling (and economical) snack/lunch/light dinner. However, I'll only eat 2 kinds: grape nuts  and cornflakes... and dry of course. I even used to pick out the cornflakes from Honey Bunches of Oats, that's how much of a breakfast weirdo I am and how much I love those slightly sweet, light buttery flakes. And so it should come as no major surprise that outside of just snacking and coating chicken in, I try to find as many uses for cornflakes as possible, sometimes the more unorthodox the better.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Shishito Peppers

What a day and it's not even close to over. If you live in the NYC area or happen to be watching the news this morning you already know about the shootings near the Empire State Building, which happens to be a block away from my office. It makes me sad that there are people in the world who have no regard for human life and angry that these things happen at all, but with increased occurrence lately. And it serves to remind me how fragile a sense of normalcy can be. With everything under control outside by noon though I was antsy to get out of the office, anxious to continue back to the what I had planned for the day, and just clear my head away from midtown, especially before the claustrophobic evening rush.

I wandered down to the Union Square farmers market and took in the plethora of fresh vegetables and flowers, then turned North and wandered around Eataly. If you haven’t been, it’s worth a trip but go with a plan and don’t go hungry. I’d been treating myself to a weekly Friday Eataly excursion lately and have been surprising myself by getting out of there with less than $20 spent and some pretty good finds for dinner. Last week was perfect pillows of gnocchi, heirloom tomatoes and a surprise acquisition of shishito peppers. This week I walked out of there with a wedge of sharp Parmigiano Reggiano, nearly a pound of sugar snap peas (which I LOVE to snack on raw, but also for a mint pea pesto for dinner) and I basically cleaned them out of shishito peppers. All for a little over $12.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Tomatoes with Miso Dressing

It's hard to believe it's mid-August. I have so many trips and adventures planned for the fall through the winter that I'm so looking forward to but I've had to wake up and be in the moment. Summer is here right now, and it's a season I love but before I know it it'll be over. But while it's here I'm going to enjoy all the best parts of the season. Outdoor concerts and movies, baseball games, boat rides, as many beach trips as possible, exploring my city and of course enjoying the produce of summer.

Since the move it's been hard to get back to my weekly Saturday morning farmers market trip. Even if I was just picking up one little ingredient or something unusual and fun to make my week brighter, it was helpful to just walk around to see what was truly in season. So it had completely slipped my mind that I'm completely missing out on tomatoes at their peak, until I visited my favorite Izakaya where we had a gorgeous heirloom tomato salad with miso dressing.


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