27 October 2010

Verjuice or Verjus, It’s Good for a Little Tartness - NYTimes.com

 "...Verjuice can enhance the flavor of any kind of soup or stew, particularly those using rich red meats. If you’re a fan of combining fruit and meat, which I definitely am, verjuice is particularly apt. In a stew of lamb combined with mint and peaches, for example, verjuice brings up the aromatics in a way that lemon juice or vinegar simply can’t."
Image: Sabra Krock for The New York Times

25 October 2010

Recipe: Smoked salmon hash

Here's a variation on hash, using salmon instead of corned beef, via the Los Angeles Times.

 Image: Anne Cusack/Los Angeles Times

Smoked salmon hash

Total time: 50 minutes

Servings: 6

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into ½-inch cubes

1 red onion, minced

3/4 pound cold-smoked salmon, flaked into ½-inch chunks

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon prepared horseradish

1 teaspoon coarse-grain mustard

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill

Salt and pepper

1/4 cup capers, drained

1/4 cup crème fraîche

Lemon juice, to taste

2 tablespoons chopped chives

1. Heat 4 tablespoons butter in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add potatoes to skillet and cook for 8 minutes, stirring only once or twice, until browned and beginning to crisp.

2. Add the remaining tablespoon butter to the skillet along with the onions. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until they have softened, about 10 minutes. Add the salmon, cream, horseradish, mustard, garlic and dill to the skillet, as well as salt and pepper to taste. Stir gently to combine.

3. Continue cooking the mixture over medium-high heat for another 10 minutes, turning the hash in parts every few minutes and loosening any crusty bits, until potatoes are well browned. Stir in the capers.

4. In a small bowl, combine crème fraîche and lemon juice to taste. Remove the hash from heat. Serve with a spoonful of crème fraîche and garnished with chopped chives.

Each serving: 354 calories; 11 grams protein; 24 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams fiber; 23 grams fat; 14 grams saturated fat; 84 mg. cholesterol; 2 grams sugar; 510 mg. sodium.

Recipe: Smoked salmon hash - latimes.com

07 October 2010

WHFoods: Is it OK to cook with extra-virgin olive oil?

After reading this, you may wonder if "professionals" who tell you you to use olive oil for frying really know what they are doing.

"One of the main things to consider when evaluating whether it is OK to heat extra-virgin olive oil (or any other oil for that matter) is the smoke point of the oil. The smoke point is the temperature at which visible gaseous vapor from the heating of oil becomes evident. It is traditionally used as a marker for when decomposition of oil begins to take place. Since decomposition incurs chemical changes that may not only result in reduced flavor and nutritional value but also the generation of harmful cancer causing compounds (oxygen radicals) that are harmful to your health, it is important to not heat oil past its smoke point. Inhaling the vapors can also be damaging."

Read more:

WHFoods: Is it OK to cook with extra-virgin olive oil?

03 October 2010

Recipes - Pork Ragù al Maialino - NYTimes.com

Image: Zachary Zavislak for The New York Times

Pork Ragù al Maialino


1 pork shoulder, bone in, roughly 4 pounds

Kosher salt

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium white onion, peeled and cut into large pieces

1 rib celery, cut into large pieces

1 small fennel bulb, trimmed and cut into large pieces

1 quart chicken stock (or enough to almost cover the pork)

3 sprigs fresh thyme

Freshly ground black pepper

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 9-ounce boxes dry lasagna, broken into 3-inch shards

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons grated grana Padano cheese

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Small handful arugula leaves, cleaned.


1. Using a sharp knife, remove the thick skin from the pork, leaving a sheen of fat on top of the meat. Season aggressively with salt and place in the refrigerator until ready to use, as long as overnight.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place a deep saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons olive oil. When it shimmers, gently cook the onion, celery and fennel until they begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Add the stock and thyme and bring to a simmer, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Rinse pork to remove excess salt, dry with a paper towel and add to seasoned broth. Cover and place in the oven for 90 minutes or more, until the meat just begins to pull away from the bone.

3. Allow both meat and broth to cool on the stove top for 30 minutes, or until you can touch the meat with your hands. Remove the pork and gently pull the meat from the bone, then tear the chunks into bite-size shreds. Place these in a large bowl.

4. Strain the liquid into a separate bowl and then pour enough of it over the meat to barely cover. (Use the rest for soup.) Cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

5. Put a large pot of salted water over high heat and bring to a boil.

6. Place a large pan over medium-high heat and add the pork and braising liquid. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to medium and cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Add the butter and stir to emulsify.

7. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in salted water according to the directions on the package, 10 to 12 minutes. When it is finished, drain and add to the sauce along with a splash of pasta water. Simmer for 1 minute, then add the lemon juice, half of the cheese, a tablespoon of olive oil and the parsley. Stir to incorporate.

8. Serve immediately, topped with arugula and the remaining cheese. Serves 4.

Adapted from Nick Anderer at Maialino in New York.

Recipes - Pork Ragù al Maialino - NYTimes.com