Featured Recipe

Beef Loin Roasts

Serves about 2-3 people per pound

1 beef loin roast
Olive oil
salt and pepper
2 cups beef stock

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Rub the loin roast with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper. Place the roast, fat side up, on a roasting rack and cook for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 300. Cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of meat registers 130°F for medium-rare, about 30-40 minutes (or 140°F for medium, about 45 minutes).

Remove the roast from the oven and let stand 20 minutes.  Add the stock to the hot pan, using a wooden spatula, scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the roasting pan. Slice against the grain in half-inch slices, then spoon some of the jus over the slices.

Beef Tenderloin Roast

1 beef tenderloin roast
olive oil
salt and pepper
2 cups beef stock

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Rub the loin roast with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper.  in a large, ovenproof pan over medium-high heat, brown the roast on all sides, turning carefully with tongs.  Place the roast on a roasting rack and cook for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 300. Cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of meat registers 130°F for medium-rare, about 10 minutes (or 140°F for medium, about 15 minutes).

Remove the roast from the oven and let stand 20 minutes.  Add the stock to the hot pan, using a wooden spatula, scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the roasting pan. Slice against the grain in half-inch slices, then spoon some of the jus over the slices.

Roasting a Whole Rabbit

serves about 2-3 per pound

1 boneless stuffed rabbit
olive oil
2 cups of chicken stock

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a large, ovenproof pan, heat a thin layer of olive oil over medium-high heat and add the rabbit.  Brown well on all sides and place in the oven.  Roast the rabbit, turning it occasionally, until an instant read thermometer reads 155 degrees at the thickest part.  Remove the rabbit from the pan and let rest for 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, add the chicken stock to the hot pan and scrape the browned bits with a wooden spatula.  Slice the rabbit into 1 inch thick slices and serve with the jus.

Lamb Porchetta

1 lamb porchetta roast
olive oil
salt and pepper
2 cups rich lamb stock

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Rub the outside of the roast with some olive oil if necessary, then season with salt and pepper (the inside is seasoned – so season lightly).  Sear the porchetta in a large pan on all sides, then transfer to a roasting rack in a roasting pan and place in the oven.  Cook the roast to an internal temperature of 130 for medium-rare, or 140 for medium.  Let the roast rest for 15 minutes before removing the string and slicing.  Meanwhile, heat the roasting pan over medium heat and add the lamb stock, stirring well.  Slice the porchetta in 1/2″ slices with a very sharp knife and serve with the jus.  Serve with artichokes, turnips and carrots.

Poulet au Pot

Poaching a big chicken has two advantages: it makes delicious stock and renders the big bird very, very tender.  This classic recipe is better the next day, and makes prep the day of quick.  Simply cook the chicken until it’s tender, then cool completely.  The next day, reheat the pot gently and add the vegetables and Cotechino, cook for an hour and you’re done.  Cool any leftovers in the pot and reheat as needed – it just keeps getting better.

Serves 8

1 large stuffed and brined poaching hen
1 bay leaf
1 onion, peeled and halved
2 bunches carrots
2 bunches turnips
2 medium green cabbages, quartered but not cored
1 Cotechino sausage

for serving:
coarse sea salt
fresh cracked black pepper
mustard
chutney
green herb sauce or carrot top sauce

In a pot large enough to hold all of the ingredients, cover the chicken with cold water and bring to a simmer.  Once simmering, skim any froth from the surface and add the bay leaf and onion.  Simmer the chicken for 3 hours.  At this point it can be cooled and refrigerated to be cooked later.

Add the vegetables and Cotechino and continue to simmer for another hour, then remove from the heat.  Allow the poulet to cool slightly, then carefully remove the chicken from the pot to a large cutting board.  Take off the back leg quarters and wings and pull the tender meat from the bones.  Cut the breasts off and slice them against the grain into thick slices.  Pull open the carcass and remove the cooked stuffing from the cavity.  Slice this into 8 thick slices.  Remove the Cotechino and cut into thick slices.

Have ready 8 large bowls.  Divide the slices of breast meat, leg meat and stuffing between the bowls.  With a large slotted spoon, remove the carrots, turnips and cabbage from the pot and divide amongst the bowls along with the Cotechino.  Right before serving, ladle a couple of cups of the broth into each bowl and serve immediately with salt, pepper, mustard, chutney, herb sauce and good bread on the table.

Lard Pie Dough
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
3/4 cup good butter
3/4 cup lard
1/3 cup ice water, plus more as needed
Mix together the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine.  Cut the butter and lard into small pieces and freeze for about 15 minutes. Add the butter and lard to the food processor and pulse until the fats look like coarse cornmeal, with some larger pea-sized pieces mixed in.  Add the water and process until the dough just comes together, adding more water by the tablespoon if it looks a little dry.  Gather the dough up, flatten out slightly and refrigerate for a couple of hours before rolling out and baking.

Pon Haus Breakfast

serves 4

1 lb Pon Haus

flour (optional)

1 lb breakfast sausage

4 eggs, duck or chicken

2 TBSP lard

hot sauce, maple syrup, cane syrup or apple butter, for serving

Cut the Pon Haus into squares and preheat the oven to 350.  In a large pan (cast iron!), melt about 1 teaspoon of lard over medium heat.  Form the sausage into 4 large patties and cook until browned on both sides and done.  Set the sausage aside.  If using the flour, dust the Pon Haus in flour and shake off the excess.  Turn up the heat and add 1 TBSP of lard.  Brown the Pon Hause very well on one side, then flip the Pon Haus and place the pan in the oven.  Cook for 10 minutes, or until heated through.  Meanwhile, fry the eggs in the remaining lard.  Serve the Pon Haus with the sausage, fried eggs, hot sauce and coffee, followed by a nap.

Summertime Cassoulet

serves 6

2 pounds butterbeans or creamer peas, or any fresh Summer bean

1 bay leaf

8 oz. slab bacon, cut into large cubes

2 onions, sliced thin

salt and pepper

3 each duck confit legs and wings

1 quart duck stock

1 pound champagne sausage

1 head garlic, finely chopped

2 pints small tomatoes, such as sungold

olive oil

Cover the beans and the bay leaf with cold water, bring to a boil, then simmer until just tender, maybe 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the bean.  Drain the beans and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large, ovenproof pot, cook the bacon over medium heat until starting to crisp, about 5 minutes.  Add the sausages and brown them on each side, then remove them from the pan.  Add the onions and season with salt and pepper.  Cook for 5 minutes, then add the beans, the stock and enough water to just cover the beans.  Nestle the sausages, duck legs and wings in the beans.  Scatter the tomatoes and garlic over the top and drizzle with olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes and remove from the oven.  Allow to cool to room temperature and serve with chilled red wine and green vegetables.

Blood Sausage and Fig Tart

serves 4

1 pound blood sausage, sliced into 1/2″ rounds

1 pound potatoes, boiled until tender and cooled

1 pound onions, sliced thinly

2 TBSP lard or butter

salt and pepper

1 pint fresh figs, halved

puff pastry

Preheat the oven to 350.  Cut the potatoes into 1/2″ rounds.  In a large pan, heat the lard or butter until melted and add the sliced onions.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until golden, about 20 minutes.  Lay out a square of puff pastry about 12″ by 12″ on a baking sheet.  Layer the cooked onions on top, leaving a 1″ border all the way around.  Add the sliced potatoes and blood sausage, then the figs, cut side up.  Bake for 45 minutes, or until the crust is nicely browned.  Allow to cool, then slice.

Roasted Potatoes Sarladaise

serves 4

2 pounds organic potatoes from a local farm

3 TBSP duck fat

salt and pepper

chopped garlic, to taste

chopped fresh parsley, to taste

Preheat the oven to 375.  Cut the potatoes into 1/2″ rounds.  In a large, ovenproof pan, melt the duck fat over medium heat.  Add the potatoes and toss to coat with the fat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Roast the potatoes in the oven for 15 minutes, then turn them so the other side may brown.  Continue roasting until the potatoes are tender and beautifully browned, about 15-20 minutes longer.  Remove from the oven.  Add the chopped garlic and parsley and stir to coat the potatoes.  Serve immediately with a roasted chicken, steaks, pork chops or duck confit.

Roasted Game Hens with Summer Vegetables

serves 4

2 brined game hens

black pepper

2 medium zucchini, or other Summer squash, cut into large pieces

2 small eggplant, sliced into 3/4″ rounds

2 heads garlic

1 onion, sliced thickly

2 pints small tomatoes (such as Sungold or Juliets)

a few thyme sprigs

Olive oil

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Dry the chickens well and season with black pepper to taste. (they are brined, so salt is not necessary)

Arrange the zucchini, eggplant, whole garlic heads, onion, thyme and tomatoes in a large baking dish and toss with a little olive oil, black pepper and a pinch of salt.  Place the chicken directly on the oven rack, breast-side up and towards the back of the oven, and place the vegetables on a rack beneath the birds.   Roast for 50-60 minutes, or the juices run clear and the thighs register 165 with a meat thermometer.  Stir the vegetables occasionally and add a little water to the pan if they start to burn.  Remove the vegetables from the dish with a slotted spoon.  Squeeze the roasted garlic out of its skin and whisk the pureed garlic together with the drippings from the pan.

Cut each chicken in half with a large, sharp knife and serve with the vegetables, drizzling the roasted garlic sauce over everything.

Rack of Lamb with a Mustard Crust

1 marinated rack of lamb

Salt and pepper

Olive oil

¼ Cup Fireman’s #4 mustard

¼ Cup breadcrumbs

3 TBSP olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Season the rack well with salt and pepper and brown very well on all sides in a large, oven-proof pan.  In a small bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs and olive oil.  Spread the mustard over the loin side of the rack, then press the breadcrumbs into the mustard.  Lay the rack on its ribs, with the crust facing up and place in the oven.  Roast until the crumbs are browned and a thermometer reads 125-140, depending on how well you like your lamb done.  Remove from the oven and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes, then slice with a sharp knife into chops.

Roasting a boned-out, stuffed rabbit

1 boned-out, stuffed rabbit

2 oz. butter or lard, softened

Fresh pepper

4 oz. rich rabbit stock

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Rub the rabbit roast all over with softened butter or lard and season with pepper.  Place in a roasting pan in the middle of the oven and roast for 30 minutes.  Turn the oven down to 300 degrees and cook the rabbit to an internal temperature of 155 degrees, turning once to brown the bottom.

Remove the roast and allow to rest while you prepare the sauce.  Add the rabbit stock to the hot roasting pan and stir, scraping up any roasted bits.   Cut the strings from the roast and cut into 1” thick slices.  Serve with the sauce.

Roasting Lamb

1 marinated lamb roast (i.e. shoulder, saddle or leg)

Salt and pepper

¼ Cup white wine

1 pint lamb jus

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Season the roast well with salt and pepper, and let sit at room temperature for a few minutes.  Place the roast directly on the oven rack with a baking dish on the rack below to catch any drippings.  Roast for 30 minutes, and turn the oven down to 325.  Continue cooking until a thermometer inserted at the thickest part reads 125-140, depending on how cooked you would like the roast.  Remove from the oven and let rest while you prepare the sauce.

(On the grill, start the roast over hot coals to brown very well on all sides at first, then finish over indirect heat, preferably covered, turning occasionally.)

Spoon off as much fat as possible from the drippings and discard.  Add the wine and lamb jus to the hot pan and stir, scraping up any browned bits.

Carve the lamb, cutting ½” thick slices against the grain.  Serve with the sauce.

Slow cooked lamb shoulder or leg

1 marinated lamb shoulder or leg

Salt and pepper

Olive oil

2 pounds carrots, peeled

2 pints lamb jus

Water, as needed

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.  Season the shoulder well with salt and pepper and brown very well on all sides in a large pan.  Remove the shoulder to a large casserole dish and add the carrots and jus to the pan.  Bring to a boil and pour around the shoulder, adding enough water to come halfway up the roast.  Place in the oven and cook for 7-8 hours, covered, adding enough water to keep the level halfway up the roast, turning the roast once during cooking.  Allow the roast to rest, remove the string and slice thickly.  Serve with the jus and carrots.

Refried Beans

Frijoles Refritos

2 lbs. dried pinto beans, soaked in water overnight

8 oz. bacon, diced

4 large onions, diced

1/2 cup cilantro stems (optional)

2 tsp. cumin seeds

1 cup rendered lard

salt and pepper

In a large pot over low heat, cook the bacon, cilantro stems, cumin and onions until the bacon has released its fat and the onions are soft.  Drain the beans and add them to the pot along with enough cold water to cover by 4 inches.  Bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer.  Cook the beans until they are tender.

In another large pot, gently heat the lard.  Add some of the cooked beans and their cooking liquid, mashing with a wooden spoon or potato masher as you go.  Continue incorporating the beans into the lard until the desired consistency is reached.

For really smooth refried beans, you can put everything into the bowl of a food processor and puree.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Refried beans freeze very well.

Lacinato Kale Sausage with Potatoes “Schloss Adler”

serves 4

1 1/2 pounds small potatoes, quartered

salt

2 T butter

black pepper

4 oz. Sand Creek Gouda, grated

pinch of nutmeg

1 pound Lacinato Kale Sausage

1 T lard or butter

1 pound spinach or other tender green, washed well, but not dried

Preheat the broiler.

In a small pot, cover the potatoes with cold water and add a generous pinch of salt.  Bring to a simmer and cook until just tender.  Drain the potatoes and toss with the butter and freshly ground black pepper.  Place the potatoes in an ovenproof gratin dish in one layer and scatter the cheese on top, then season with nutmeg.  Set aside.

In a large, heavy-bottomed pan, heat the butter or lard over medium heat.  Add the sausages and brown slowly on one side, then turn them and place them in a hot oven until cooked through, about 10 minutes.  Remove the sausages from the pan and add the spinach.  Cook over low heat until wilted, then season with salt and pepper.

Broil the potatoes until browned and bubbling.

Serve the sausages on top of the greens with the potatoes on the side.

Knackwurst with Mashed Rutabagas

serves 4

4 knackwurst

2 pounds rutabaga, peeled and diced

1 TBSP butter

1 TBSP olive oil

nutmeg

salt and pepper

Preheat the broiler.  In a small pot, boil the rutabagas in lightly salted water until tender.  Drain the rutabagas and put into a food processor.  Blend well, adding the butter and olive oil.  Season with a pinch of nutmeg, salt and pepper and set aside.

In a pan over medium heat, brown the knackwurst on one side.  Place the rutabaga puree in an ovenproof dish and nestle the knackwurst, browned side down, into the rutabagas.  Place under the broiler and broil until the sausages and rutabagas are browned and bubbling.  Serve immediately.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Salt Pork

4 oz. salt pork, cut into 1/2″ cubes

1 quart fresh Brussels sprouts

Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400.  In a large, ovenproof pan over medium heat, cook the cubed salt pork for a couple of minutes, or until some fat begins to render.  Don’t allow the salt pork to brown or cook all the way.

Add the whole Brussels Sprouts and toss well, seasoning lightly with salt and pepper.  Place the pan in the oven and roast the Brussels sprouts until lightly charred and tender, about 15 minutes.

Cassoulet

Serves 8

8 oz. salt pork, diced

4 onions, sliced thin

1 bunch carrots, sliced thin

4 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped

1 bunch parsley, chopped

1 Cup canned tomato

2 quarts duck stock

1 pound Tarbais or Cannellini beans, soaked overnight

4 TBSP duck fat or lard

4 confit duck legs

2 pounds Toulouse sausage

1 Cup breadcrumbs

6 cloves garlic, chopped

In a large, heavy bottomed, oven-proof pot (cast iron or enameled cast iron is perfect), heat the salt pork over medium heat until crisp and rendered.  Add the onions, carrots, thyme and parsley and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 10 minutes.  Add the tomato and cook for another 10 minutes, or until thickened.  Add the duck stock and beans and bring to a simmer, adding enough water to cover the beans by about 4 inches.  Cook until just tender and season with salt and pepper.  The beans can be refrigerated overnight at this point, or proceed with the recipe.

In a sauté pan, heat 1 TBSP of the fat over medium heat and brown the duck legs on the skin side only.  Remove to a plate.  Brown the sausages and remove to a plate.  Add the remaining fat to melt, then toss with the breadcrumbs and garlic in a small bowl.

Bring the beans to a simmer on the stovetop, adding water so that they are covered by about 1 inch.  Preheat the oven to 350.  Split the duck confit into legs and thighs and tuck into the beans with the sausages.  Place the pot of beans in the oven and cook for 1 ½ hours, uncovered, until bubbling and thickened, adding water if necessary to keep the beans from drying out.  Add the breadcrumbs over the top and cook for another 30 minutes, uncovered, until golden and bubbling.  The Cassoulet should be slightly pourable, with a rich crust and roasty, caramelized edges.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.  Serve with a vinegary salad and a nice bottle of Corbieres, Minervois or Cotes-du-Rhone.

Brine for Birds

1 Brine Kit

1 gallon water

1 gallon cold or ice water

Boil the contents of the brine kit with one gallon of water, stirring to dissolve.  Add the cold or ice water and allow to cool completely.  Brine a turkey for 24 hours in the brine, refrigerated (or in a cooler, with ice added to keep the water below 40 degrees.)  Remove from the brine and dry thoroughly.  Roast as desired.

Roasted Game Hen with Apples and Sweet Potatoes
serves 2
1 brined game hen
pepper, to taste

1 large sweet potato, cut into 1″ pieces
2 apples (or pears), cored and quartered
1 head garlic, left whole
olive oil
salt and pepper
a couple sprigs of fresh thyme, rosemary or sage (optional)

1 bunch arugula or other fall green
a few drops of vinegar or lemon juice

good bread

Remove the chicken from its packaging and allow to sit, uncovered, in the refrigerator for a couple of hours or overnight to dry the outer skin (this will make it more crisp).  Season with pepper only, if desired (the brine has seasoned the chicken).

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Toss the sweet potatoes and apples in olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Place the head of garlic in the center of a baking dish and surround with the apples and sweet potatoes; add about 1/2 cup of water to the pan, and some fresh herbs, if using.

Place the chicken, breast side up and facing the back of the oven, directly on the oven rack and put the tray of vegetables right underneath the bird.  This allows for heat to flow all around the bird, and the delicious drippings will season the vegetables below.

Roast for 30-40 minutes for a 2 pound bird, or until the juices in the cavity are running clear – not pink – or a meat thermometer registers 165 in the thickest part of the thigh.  Add a little water to the roasting pan if it begins to get dry.  Carefully remove the golden bird from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, toast thick slices of the bread in the oven.

Season the arugula with a few drops of vinegar or lemon juice and spoon some of the juices from the roasting pan over the greens.  Toss well.  Spoon some more pan juices over the toasted bread and squeeze the roasted garlic puree out onto the toast.

To serve: halve the hen and place on top of the toasted bread; serve with apples, sweet potatoes and the arugula; pour any remaining pan drippings over the bird.

Lamb Porterhouses with Mustard and Breadcrumbs

Serves 2

4 lamb Porterhouses

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

4 TBSP Fireman’s 4 mustard

¼ C breadcumbs

3 sprigs chopped fresh thyme or rosemary

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 400.

Season the porterhouses with salt and pepper and sear in olive oil on all sides in a hot pan until nicely browned.  Spread the mustard on top of each chop.   Toss together the breadcrumbs, herbs, garlic and a little olive oil and press into the chops. Place in the oven and roast for about 8-10 minutes, or longer if desired.

Roasted Chicken

1 brined chicken
pepper, to taste

optional: potatoes, turnips, apples, onions, carrots or mushrooms, cut into large pieces
olive oil
salt and pepper

Remove the chicken from its packaging and allow to sit, uncovered, in the refrigerator for a couple of hours or overnight to dry the outer skin (this will make it more crisp).  Season with pepper only, if desired (the brine has seasoned the chicken).

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Toss the optional vegetables in a little olive oil, season with salt and pepper and put on a baking tray or a large baking dish.  Add a little water to the dish – about 1/2 cup.

Place the chicken, breast side up and facing the back of the oven, directly on the oven rack and put the tray of vegetables right underneath the bird.  This allows for heat to flow all around the bird, and the delicious drippings will season the vegetables below.

Roast for 50 minutes for a 3 pound bird, or until the juices in the cavity are running clear – not pink – or a meat thermometer registers 165 in the thickest part of the thigh.  Carefully remove the golden bird from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes.  Remove the roasted vegetables, too.  Carve and serve.  Save the bones for a great stock.

BLOOD SAUSAGE with SAUTEED ONIONS & PEARS – July 31st, 2010
serves 2


8 oz. blood sausage
flour, for dredging
2 tsp lard or butter
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 medium sized, firm pears (try Lightsey Farms)
3 TBSP brandy or white wine
pinch salt

Slice the blood sausage about 1″ thick with a sharp knife and dredge lightly in flour. Gently sautee the slices of sausage in the lard or butter until browned.  Remove to a warm plate and add the onion to the pan, stirring.  Cook until softened and starting to brown.  Add the pear slices and cook until slightly softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the brandy and cook for another minute.  Serve with mashed potatoes and good red wine.

GLAZED LAMB RIBS
serves 2


1 lb. Loncito’s lamb ribs
1 bay leaf
1/4 Cup Green Tomato Barbecue Sauce

Cover the lamb ribs and the bay leaf with cold water in a pot and bring to a simmer.  Cook the ribs until tender, about 2 to 3 hours.  Drain the ribs and use the broth for another application (freeze some lamb stock for Winter – when a lamb and turnip soup sounds right).  Preheat a charcoal, wood or gas grill.  Oil the grill and grill the ribs until browned on one side, seasoning with salt and pepper.  Flip and repeat.  brush the Barbeque sauce on the ribs and char this side for a few seconds, or until the sauce browns nicely.  Repeat on the other side.  Serve with pickled vegetables and beer.

POTATO PANCAKES with APPLESAUCE - July 24th, 2010

2 pounds potatoes (use Kennebecs, Red Vikings or Yukons)
1 onion
1 egg, beaten
2-3 TBSP flour
2 tsp salt
fresh black pepper
pinch nutmeg

lard for frying

Grate the potatoes and onion in the large holes of a cheese grater into a large bowl.  Squeeze the mixture to remove excess moisture and drain well.  Mix with the egg, enough flour to bind the mixture well, the salt, pepper and nutmeg.  Heat a few tablespoons of lard over medium heat and fry 1/4 cup batches of the potato pancake mixture until browned on both sides, adding more lard if necessary.  Serve with applesauce and sour cream.

SAUSAGE and FRESH BEANS - July 17th, 2010

1 pound Toulouse or Botifarra sausage
olive oil
1 onion, sliced
1 pound fresh beans (black-eyed, creamer, butter, purple hull, etc…)
1 fresh or dried bay leaf
salt and pepper

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add the sausages and brown well on both sides, then add the onions and cook until softened.  Add the fresh beans and cover with water; bring to a simmer with the bay leaf.  Cook until just tender (this will depend on type of bean – generally 30 to 60 minutes) and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Remove the sausages and slice thickly.  Serve with the beans.

DEVILLED EGGS - July 10, 2010

6 really good eggs (makes 12 devilled eggs)
4 TBSP Fireman’s 4 mustard
1/4 Cup olive oil
4 TBSP chopped bread and butter pickles
paprika, for serving

Bring a pot of water to a boil.  Gently add the eggs and cook for exactly 9 minutes.  Remove the eggs and crack the shells, then submerge in ice water for 20 minutes, or until completely cool.

Peel the eggs, halve them and remove the yolks.  In a food processor or bowl, mix the yolks and mustard together.  Slowly add the olive oil until thickened.  Season to taste with salt.  Fold in the chopped pickles and spoon (or using a piping bag, pipe) the mixture back into the eggs.  Sprinkle with paprika and serve cold, while the chicken is frying.

FRIED CHICKEN

Begin this recipe 1 day in advance to brine the chicken and soak it in buttermilk.

1 chicken, 3 to 3 1/2 pounds, cut into 10 serving pieces (2 wings, 4 breast pieces, 2 legs and 2 thighs)
1 gallon water
1 cup Kosher salt
2 bay leaves
1 cup buttermilk
Hinkelhatz hot sauce to taste
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp each dried thyme, celery seed, ground black pepper, ginger and paprika
lard, as needed (about 1-2 cups)

Make the brine: boil the water, salt and bay leaves and cool completely.  Add the chicken pieces and refrigerate for 12 hours.  Drain from the brine (discard brine) and toss the chicken pieces in the buttermilk and hot sauce to taste.  Refrigerate for a few hours or up to one day.

Combine the flour and spices.  Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour, return them to the buttermilk mixture, then the flour again.  Refrigerate for at least one hour (this will make the crust more crisp).

Turn the oven to 200 degrees and place a rack or brown paper grocery bag over a baking sheet in the oven.

Heat 1 1/2″ to 2″ of lard in a large, heavy-bottomed pot to about 325 degrees.  Add a few chicken pieces to the pot – being careful not to overcrowd – and cook on the first side for about 10-15 minutes, or until deeply browned.  Turn and cook on the other side until the internal temperature reaches 160-165.  As cooked, remove the chicken pieces to the pan in the oven to keep warm.  Continue with all of the chicken pieces.  Serve hot, room temp or cold, with dill pickles and mashed potatoes.

GREEN BEANS with TASSO and GARLIC  – June 12th, 2010
serves 4

1 pound green beans, trimmed
1 tsp olive oil
2 oz. Tasso, diced
4 cloves garlic, sliced thin
salt and pepper

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add enough salt to make it as salty as seawater.  Add the green beans and cook until just tender, about 1-4 minutes, depending on the bean.  Have ready a bowl of ice and water.  Plunge the beans into the ice bath when tender.  When cool, dry the beans and refrigerate or proceed with the recipe.

In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil and Tasso over medium-high heat until the Tasso is nicely browned.  Add the green beans and generous amounts of cracked black pepper.  Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant.  Serve hot or room temperature.

BLACK EYED PEAS and CHAURICE
serves 4


1 TBSP olive oil
1 pound chaurice
1 onion, sliced
4 garlic cloves, sliced thin
1 pound fresh black eyed peas, purple hull peas or creamer peas
salt and pepper

In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat and brown the chaurice.  Remove the sausages to a plate and add the onion and garlic to the pan.  Cook, stirring often, until softened, about 4 minutes.  Add the peas and enough water to cover.  Return the chaurice to the pot and bring to a simmer.  Cook the peas for about 45 minutes, or until tender.  Remove the chaurice and slice thickly.   Serve with cornbread and hot sauce.

GRILLED LAMB LOUKANIKA with LEMON RICE – May 15th, 2010
serves 4

1 pound lamb loukanika

2 TBSP olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

1 cup rice (Texas Best Organics is a great choice – available at Whole Foods)

2 TBSP chopped preserved lemon peel

1 cucumber, sliced thinly

10 mint leaves, roughly chopped

1/4 cup yogurt (try Wateroak goat’s milk yogurt)

Start a hot fire with charcoal, or preheat a gas grill.  Using two long bamboo skewers, skewer the coil of lamb sausage perpendicularly.

In a large pot with a tight fitting lid, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the rice and onion and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 3 minutes.  Add water (according to the directions for the rice) a pinch of salt and the preserved lemon peel.  Bring to a boil and cover, turning the heat down to very low.  Cook until tender, then fluff gently with a fork.

Meanwhile, grill the sausages over indirect heat until browned and cooked through.

Serve the sausages on a bed of the rice, garnished with sliced cucumbers, chopped mint and a drizzle of yogurt.

BIZCOCHITOS  

makes approximately 5 dozen

1 C sugar

1 C  lard1 egg

1/2 tsp vanilla or almond extract

1/4 C Rum (try Treaty Oak)

2 tsp anise seeds

3 C AP flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

cinnamon sugar mix for sprinkling on top

Cream sugar and lard.  Beat in egg, vanilla and sherry or brandy, adding anise seeds.  Sift together flour, baking powder and salt and mix in.  Divide dough in half and roll into logs, then refrigerate.  Slice and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.  Bake in 350 degree oven until lightly browned.  Makes approximately 5 dozen.


SHALLOT VINAIGRETTE
serves 4

4 TBSP chopped pickled shallots1 TBSP shallot pickling liquid

1 TBSP Fireman’s 4 mustard

2 TBSP olive oil

Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl.  Use as needed to dress lettuces and greens.  Great on fresh tomatoes, too.

ASPARAGUS with POACHED EGGS and TASSO – April 17th, 2010
serves 4

Take advantage of asparagus season – a fleeting month or so here in Texas – when super-fresh asparagus is in the markets.  We highly recommend asparagus from Montesino or Hairston Creek farms, available at the Sunset Valley Farmers’ Market.

2 bunches asparagus
1 T white wine or champagne vinegar
1 T Texas Olive Ranch olive oil
1 t mustard
4 fresh eggs (duck eggs are great, too)
4 oz. Tasso ham, diced
chopped chives, green onion tops or parsley for garnish

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the asparagus and cook quickly, maybe 30 seconds to a minute. Drain and refresh under cold water or in a bowl of ice water. If the asparagus is especially tender, just skip this and eat it raw.

Make the vinaigrette: whisk the vinegar, olive oil and mustard together in a small bowl and set aside.

In a small pan over medium heat, crisp the tasso until browned and fragrant. Add to the vinaigrette.

Toss the asparagus with the vinaigrette and the tasso and divide among four plates while the eggs poach.

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and add a splash of white wine vinegar. Once boiling, turn down to a simmer and break the four eggs into the pot. Poach the eggs until the whites are set and the yolk is still runny, about 2 minutes, depending on the size of the eggs. Gently lift the eggs from the water with a slotted spoon to check for doneness; when the whites are firm, but the yolk still is soft and giving, they are done.

Gently place and egg on top of the asparagus and seaon with salt and pepper and a sprinkle of fresh herbs. Serve immediately.

CRAWFISH with SPRING VEGETABLES & ANDOUILLE – April 10, 2010

serves 4

This version of a traditional crawfish boil is more about spring vegetables and fresh crustaceans than a burn-your-face-off-hot pile of crawdads.  It can be served on a big platter, or dumped on a newspaper covered table, if you prefer.

5 pounds live crawfish
1 pound Andouille
1 cup Kosher salt
handful of black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
1 sprig each of thyme, rosemary and oregano
1 bunch of green garlic
1 bunch of spring onions
4 artichokes
1 bunch carrots, left whole
2 bunches asparagus
1 pint snow peas or sugar snap peas

herb mayonnaise (recipe follows)
lemons

Wash the crawfish well with cold water and drain.  Slice the andouille into 2″ pieces.  Tie the peppercorns, bay and herbs in piece of cheesecloth.
In a large pot over high heat, bring 2 gallons of water to a boil.  Add the salt, cheesecloth bag, garlic, onions and artichokes and boil for 30 minutes.  Add the crawfish, andouille and carrots and continue boiling for 5 more minutes.  Turn off the heat and let sit, covered, for 20 minutes.
In another, smaller pot, bring water to a boil, add a generous handful of salt and cook the asparagus and peas until barely tender, about 2-4 minutes.  Drain well.
Carefully drain the crawfish pot.
Serve the crawfish, sausage and vegetables with lemon wedges and herb mayonnaise.

Herb Mayonnaise
1 egg yolk from a trustworthy egg

1 TBSP white wine vinegar
2 TBSP Fireman’s 4 mustard
pinch of salt
1 cup olive oil (we like Texas Olive Ranch)
chopped fresh herbs (parsley, cilantro, dill, thyme, marjoram, tarragon, chervil, chives or rosemary, in any combination)

In a food processor, combine the egg yolk, vinegar, mustard and salt and process until combined.  With the machine running, add the olive oil, drop by drop at first, until the mayonnaise starts to thicken.  Continue to add the olive oil until the mayonnaise is emulsified and thick.  Add the chopped herbs.  Season with salt if necessary.

LAMB LOIN CHOPS with PRESERVED LEMON and BREADCRUMBS - March 20, 2010

serves 4

Loin chops are lamb T-bones, with the tenderloin and loin attached to the bone.  They are best cooked rare to medium, and are a very easy cut to cook.  Use unseasoned breadcrumbs, or simply grind some stale bread in a food processor.

2 packs (4 each) Loncito’s Lamb loin chops
salt and pepper
olive oil
4 TBSP Fireman’s 4 Mustard
1/2 Cup plain breadcrumbs
2 tsp finely chopped preserved lemon

Season the loin chops with salt and pepper.  In a large pan, heat the olive oil over high heat until it shimmers.  Add the loin chops, in batches if necessary, and brown very well on both sides.  Set the chops aside on a baking sheet and preheat the broiler.

In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, preserved lemon and a couple teaspoons of olive oil.  Spread the tops of the loin chops with the mustard, and press the breadcrumb mixture into the mustard.  Broil the chops for 2-4 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs are browned, turning once.

Serve with sauteed spinach, glazed carrots and a simple salad.

CHAURICE with LENTILS and PICKLED SPRING ONIONS - March 1, 2010

1 lb. Chaurice sausage

1 TBSP Texas Olive Ranch olive oil

4 carrots, diced

4 spring onions, sliced thin

2 ribs and leaves of young celery

2 cups brown lentils

1 bay leaf

water or stock

For the pickled onions:

4 spring onions, sliced

salt

1/2 Cup white wine vinegar

In a large pot, brown the sausages on both sides in the olive oil and remove.  Add the carrots, spring onions and celery and season with salt and pepper.  Cook until tender, about 5 minutes.  Return the sausages to the pan and add the lentils and bay leaf, and cover with 1″ of water or stock.  Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer, and cook until the lentils are tender, which will be determined by the age and type of lentil; usually 20-40 minutes.  Add more water or stock if necessary.  Meanwhile, toss the sliced spring onions with a generous pinch of salt and the vinegar and let stand at room temperature until ready to serve.  Serve the lentils and sausage hot, garnished with the pickled onions.  Follow with a crisp green salad.