Monthly Archives: July 2016

really quick…really good tomato/Arrabbiata Sauce

  • 3 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1  chopped onion
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/8 cup red wine
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning or dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper and  kosher salt
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) cans peeled and diced tomatoes
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
  • Directions

    1. Heat oil in a large skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic in oil for 5 minutes.
    2.  tomato paste,
    3. Stir in wine, basil, red pepper,  Italian seasoning, black pepper
    4. Add tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer uncovered about 15 minutes.


 I love this recipe from Cooks Illustrated but the steps are needlessly difficult…I’m dumbing it down…for me!


  • 1.5 loaves of brioche or challah without sesame seeds, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 12 cups) I could not find so I baked my own challah
  • 4cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 ounces dark chocolate grated ( I used Baker’s brand of dark chocolate)
  • 2 ounces of semi sweet chocolate
  • 10 large egg yolks


Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Toast bread on rimmed baking sheet, stirring occasionally, until golden and crisp, about 30 minutes. Transfer to large bowl. Increase oven temperature to 325 degrees. Grease 13- by 9-inch baking pan.


  • 1½ cups cream
  • 2 cups of whole milk
  • 1/2 cup of cocoa
  • ½ cup sugar

Heat cream, milk, cocoa, sugar in saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until steaming and sugar dissolves. Pour warm cream mixture over toasted bread and let stand, tossing occasionally, until liquid has been absorbed, about 10 minutes.


  • 1 cup cream
  • 6 ounces dark chocolate grated ( I used Baker’s brand of dark chocolate)
  • 2 ounces of semi sweet chocolate

Bring cream  to simmer in saucepan over medium-high heat. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate until smooth. Transfer 1 cup chocolate mixture to medium bowl and let cool 5 minutes


  • 10 large egg yolks
  • 1½ cups cream
  • ½ cup sugar

Add egg yolks, remaining cream, and remaining sugar to bowl with chocolate mixture and whisk to combine.


Transfer soaked bread mixture to prepared pan and pour chocolate custard mixture (part 4) evenly over bread. Bake until pudding is just set and surface is slightly crisp, about 45 minutes. Let cool 30 minutes. Warm reserved chocolate mixture over low heat, then pour over bread pudding. Serve. (Leftover bread pudding should be refrigerated or frozen; reheat individual portions in microwave.)

Make Ahead: In step 4, once soaked bread mixture has been transferred to prepared pan, the pan can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight. When ready to bake, remove plastic and proceed with recipe as directed, increasing baking time to 55 to 60 minutes. Let reserved chocolate serving sauce cool, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Heat sauce in microwave when needed.


Melted semisweet chocolate adds big flavor, but it’s so thick that it doesn’t soak into the bread. We soak toasted bread in a warm mixture of heavy cream, milk, cocoa powder, and sugar to infuse each piece with chocolate flavor before adding the rich custard made with melted chocolate.


  1. In a small, heavy saucepan, heat cream and vanilla until bubbles form at edges.
  2. While cream is heating, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until smooth. Slowly pour 1/2 cup of hot milk mixture into egg yolks, whisking constantly. Gradually add egg yolk mixture back to remaining milk mixture, whisking constantly. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon.

235 ml heavy cream

  • 10 ml vanilla extract
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 65 g white sugar


Michoacan-Style Pork Carnitas

Carnitas Estilo Michoacano
Recipe from Season 6, Mexico—One Plate at a Time
Servings: 25to 30 makes 10 to 11 pounds of boneless meat


  • 18pounds bone-in pork shoulder (skin-on picnic shoulder is a good choice, too), cut into 2-pound chunks
  • 1/2cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/2cup salt
  • About 4gallonslard or vegetable oil
  • 1pound piece of slab bacon, cut it into 6 or 8 pieces


Lay the chunks of pork in one or more large tubs (I’ve used vegetable bins from my “extra” refrigerator in the basement as well as roasting pans). Mix together the lime juice and salt. Smear the mixture on all sides of each piece of pork, cover and refrigerate for several hours.

Set up a turkey fryer: fill with oil to the level marked on the turkey fryer for a 16- to 18-pound turkey, attach the thermometer (I always test mine in boiling water to insure that it’s accurate), and, if your model has one, slide in the raised perforated plate that will keep the meat from resting on the bottom of the pan. Heat over medium-high heat until the lard or oil reaches about 275 degrees. Carefully lower in the pieces of pork, but none of the juice that may have collected around them. (Add the bacon, if you’re using it.) Adjust the heat to between medium and medium-low. After the oil’s initial frenzy of having received the moist pork, it should settle into what looks like a brisk simmer when you have the temperature right. You’ll notice, too, that the temperature will have dropped to just above 212 degrees – the boiling point of water – indicating that the meat is literally simmering in the oil. Using a pair of long tongs or one of those large Chinese wire strainer/skimmers, gently move the pieces of meat every 10 minutes or so.

In about 1 1/4 hours, the meat should be completely tender, but not falling a part – start checking it at about 1 hour. When it is completely tender – meaning you can pretty easily pull it away from the bone – remove it to a large paper towel-lined pan. The carnitas are ready to eat – though they may not be as brown as you’re expecting. (They will, however, take on more of a golden color as they begin to cool.) To give them a richly browned exterior, raise the heat under the lard or oil and let the temperature rise to 325 degrees. A piece at a time, lower the meat into the oil and let brown – it’ll only take 45 seconds to a minute. Drain on paper towels and keep warm in a low oven until you’re ready to serve. (Though I use the bacon mostly for flavor, I like to brown it with the other pieces of meat and chop it up for my guests to enjoy.) You may wish to pull the meat off the bones in large chunks, removing as much fat as you like in the process. Set out for your guests to make soft tacos with warm corn tortillas, guacamole, salsa, and, if you wish, beans.



  • artisan bread
  • Guajillo chile sauce
  • Chipotle Mayonnaise
  • Milk cream
  • guacamole
  • Frijo rehash
  • Lettuce
  • Red onion
  • Pork Meat
  • BRISKET IN PASILLA CHILI AND TOMATILLO SAUCE CARNE ENCHILADAServes: 6 to 8Ingredients3 pounds trimmed brisket of beef, rinsed and cut into about 2-inch chunks (leave some fat on!)5 garlic cloves, peeled5 peppercorns2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt, divided (plus more to taste)

    1 pound tomatillos, husks removed and rinsed

    4 ounces black pasilla chiles, stems and seeds removed

    3 tablespoons corn or safflower oil

    1/2 cup white onion, chopped

    1 cup boiling water

    2 cups meat cooking liquid

    Chopped white onion and cilantro leaves (optional garnish)

    To Prepare

    Place meat chunks in a large cooking pot along with 5 garlic cloves, peppercorns and salt. Cover with water, bring to a boil, cover partially and simmer over medium heat for 3 hours, or until meat is very soft. Drain and reserve 2 cups of its cooking liquid.

    Meanwhile, char or roast the tomatillos on a baking sheet under the broiler, or directly on the comal or dry skillet or grill over medium heat, for about 10 minutes, turning 2 or 3 times. Tomatillos are ready when their skin is blistered and lightly charred, and their flesh is soft, mushy and juicy.

    Toast chiles on a hot comal or dry skillet over-medium heat for 5 to 10 seconds per side. Chiles will release their aroma and become more pliable, and their inner skin will become a bit opaque. Don’t let them burn.

    Place toasted chiles and roasted or charred tomatillos in a bowl and cover with 1 cup boiling water and 2 cups of reserved meat cooking liquid (if you don’t have 2 cups, add more water). Let this mixture soak for at least a half-hour and up to 4 hours. Pour the mixture into the blender or food processor, puree until smooth and reserve.

    Add 3 tablespoons of corn or safflower oil to the same pot in which meat was cooked, and heat over high heat until hot but not smoking. Add cooked meat chunks and brown them, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, add the chopped onion, and stir as you continue to brown the meat for another 2 to 3 minutes.

    Incorporate pureed chile mixture and a teaspoon of salt. Stir and simmer over medium heat for about 10 more minutes. The meat should be completely tender, yet still in chunks. The sauce should be thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, but not pasty.Taste for salt and add more if need be. To serve, you can garnish with some raw chopped onion and cilantro leaves.

    If there is any meat left over, you can cool, store and refrigerate it in a closed container and then reheat, covered over a low simmer.

chinese beef with the velvetine

Simple Steps to Marinate Meat for Stir-frying:

  1. Slice 500 g of meat thinly against the grain.
  2. Combine the meat with 2 tablespoons of oyster sauce,1 tablespoon of light soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of sugar, 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and 2 teaspoons of cornflour.
  3. Marinate for at least 15 minutes and you are ready to go.

INGREDIENTSPrint Shopping List

1tablespoon plus ¼ cup water
¼teaspoon baking soda
1pound flank steak, trimmed, cut into 2- to 2 ½-inch strips with grain, each strip cut ­crosswise against grain into ¼-inch-thick slices
3tablespoons soy sauce
3tablespoons dry sherry or Chinese rice wine
3teaspoons cornstarch
2 ½teaspoons packed light brown sugar
1tablespoon oyster sauce
2teaspoons rice vinegar
1 ½teaspoons toasted sesame oil
2teaspoons coarsely ground pepper
3tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into ¼-inch-wide strips
1 green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into ¼-inch-wide strips
6 scallions, white parts sliced thin on bias, green parts cut into 2-inch pieces
3 garlic cloves, minced
1tablespoon grated fresh ginger


The vegetables and aromatics can be prepared while the beef is marinating. Serve with steamed white rice.

1. Combine 1 tablespoon water and baking soda in medium bowl. Add beef and toss to coat. Let sit at room temperature for 5 minutes.

2. Whisk 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon sherry, 1½ teaspoons cornstarch, and ½ teaspoon sugar together in small bowl. Add soy sauce mixture to beef, stir to coat, and let sit at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes.

3. Whisk remaining ¼ cup water, remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce, remaining 2 tablespoons sherry, remaining 1½ teaspoons cornstarch, remaining 2 teaspoons sugar, oyster sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, and pepper together in second bowl.

4. Heat 2 teaspoons vegetable oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat until just smoking. Add half of beef in single layer. Cook without stirring for 1 minute. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until spotty brown on both sides, about 1 minute longer. Transfer to bowl. Repeat with remaining beef and 2 teaspoons vegetable oil.

5. Return skillet to high heat, add 2 teaspoons vegetable oil, and heat until beginning to smoke. Add bell peppers and scallion greens and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are spotty brown and crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Transfer vegetables to bowl with beef.

6. Return now-empty skillet to medium-high heat and add remaining 4 teaspoons vegetable oil, scallion whites, garlic, and ginger. Cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Return beef and vegetables to skillet and stir to combine.

7. Whisk sauce to recombine. Add to skillet and cook, stirring constantly, until sauce has thickened, about 30 seconds. Serve immediately.

Technique: Cutting Flank Steak for Stir-Fry

Cut steak with grain into 2- to 2 1/2 -inch strips, then cut each strip crosswise against grain into 1/4-inch-thick slices.

Velvety Beef, Without Velveting

The ultratender texture of the stir-fried beef served in Chinese restaurants comes from a classic technique known as velveting, which involves coating the meat and blanching it in a pot of oil before stir-frying even takes place. We looked for a more streamlined way to protect and tenderize the meat.
TRADITIONAL VELVETING: Marinate in cornstarch and egg white; blanch in oil to set coating
RESULTS: Good but messy and time-consuming

TEST 1: Keep cornstarch and egg white; skip blanching in oil
RESULTS: Curdled mess

TEST 2: Keep cornstarch; omit egg white
RESULTS: Silky but not tender enough

TEST 3: Keep cornstarch; add baking soda

RESULTS: Extra-supple meat and lessfuss