Gnocchi with Proscuitto and Fig Jam

I was just sitting here going through my food pictures trying to pick something to write about. Even though I just came back from grocery shopping and then eating dinner I kept saying ooh did I share that already, damn that looks good. We should make that again damn now I am hungry again. My daughter made this a few weeks ago from Ayesha Curry’s The Full Plate cookbook.


The one I am going to share was so good and very simple to make. I did wonder why we didn’t have a finished dish photo to share so forgive me for that. But It was a little salty, a little sweet and was definitely comfort food.

We always have pancetta, prosciutto and the fig jam in the fridge.  Chicken stock is usually in the freezer and I usually have gnocchi in the freezer but we haven’t been able to go to Montreal where I usually bring home so much fresh made pasta, gnocchi and bread that we had to go to the store for gnocchi, I have said a dozen times; just learn how to make it. Someday!!! side note the fig jam is fantastic on a cheese plate so don’t think you are buying it for one recipe. I usually pick up a jar once a month.


Gnocchi with Prosciutto and Fig Jam

dclarkabal
an any night of the week satisfying meal
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 3 ounces prosciutto diced can also use pancetta or bacon
  • 16 ounces gnocchi store bought works great
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon fig jam
  • kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Instructions
 

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat
  • in a large skillet over medium high heat add the prosciutto, stirring occasionally until most of the fat has been rendered off and beginning to brown. about 7-8 minutes. Turn off the heat
  • add the gnocchi to the boiling water and cook according to the package instructions. Drain reserving 1 cup of the water.
  • turn the pan with the prosciutto back on to medium heat, add the gnocchi and stock, cook while stirring until the stock reduces, 3-5 minutes. Stir in the butter, thyme and jam. Toss to coat. adding some of the gnocchi as needed. You want the gnocchi in a nice glossy sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to either a platter or your serving dishes and grate Parmigiano cheese over it.

Pot Pie – pancetta, white beans and swiss chard

Happy Easter!!!

I hope you are able to spend this Easter with some family or friends. I know we are not out of the craziness but I have hope that we are close to getting back to somewhat of normalcy in the world. I have faith that masks will not be a requirement everywhere we go. I at least I really hope so.

We should have browned the crust more!

This recipe I am going to share was a dish my daughter made last week and brought a comment from my husband that was pretty funny. He took a couple of bites; looked up and said and I quote “this opens up a whole new world of what could be made into a pot pie” I guess we never really made or had anything that wasn’t chicken pot pie before.

not your average joe pot pie

dclarkabal
very flavorful take on a pot pie
Course dinner
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 ounces pancetta diced 1/4 inch
  • 1 large onion finely diced
  • 1 large carrot finely chopped
  • 1 large celery stalk finely chopped
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard leaves thinly sliced, stalks diced finely
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons flour
  • 3 1/4 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 16 ounce can cannellini beans drained
  • 1 sheet prepared puff pastry dough thawed
  • 1 egg plus a little water

Instructions
 

filling

  • heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat in a large, wide saucepan. Add the pancetta turning it every so often to brown each side. approx. 10 minutes. Remove it from the pan using a slotted spoon to a paper towel then transfer to a bowl. Leave the heat on and the drippings in the pan and if needed add a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onions, carrots, celery, Swiss chard and the red pepper flakes. Cook over medium heat until the vegetables are soft and beginning to brown, about 7-8 minutes. Add the garlic, cook for another minute more. Add the greens and cook until wilted. about 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to the pancetta bowl, set aside.

sauce / roux

  • Wipe out the large sauce pan, browned bits are fine to leave. Melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the flour, stirring with a whisk until well combined. Continue cooking for 2-3 minutes. stirring the whole time till it gets a little color. Whisk in the broth a ladle or cup at a time. mixing completely each time. once you have added a third of the broth you can add 2-3 ladles at a time, scraping up the browned bits from the pan, adds more flavor. Once all the broth is added continue stirring until the mixture comes to a boil. lower the heat and simmer until the roux has thickened. about 10 minutes. season with salt and pepper. Stir the beans and vegetables into the sauce.

Making the pie

  • you can make one large pie or make 4 individual ones. Add the filling and cover with puff pastry or make your own pastry. Make a few slits in the top to let the steam out. You can use an egg wash to help the pastry stick to the bowl, brushed on top will also help with browning.
    in a small bowl crack the egg and add a little water.

baking

  • pre-heat oven to 375'F
    bake for 30-35 minutes, until the crust is good and browned

 

Hawaiian BLPTS – King’s Hawaiian rolls

After reading this you might wonder how I could possibly pair the recipe I am going to share versus what I had for dinner last night. The first picture is the recipe I think you should make. All pictures are from my phone.

Last night was a gastronomical experience; I think that is the only way to describe it. We met some friends at Stages in Dover, NH; which is about an hour and forty minutes from my home in the center Dover on the third floor of an old mill building. I will try to do my best to share with you my experience in Chef Evan Hennessey’s kitchen in hopes that maybe you will check it out. www.stages-dining.com


Opening the door I smelled wood smoke, we walked through a cute little empty sitting area (probably empty due to covid) to the kitchen. It was just us, our friends and another couple sitting at a bar top with the chef, his intern and one other staff member on the other side of the bar. The only menu provided was for beer and wine; the food is a set menu and price that changes approximately every 3 weeks.

first course – Brussel sprouts

second – Cabbage, trout roe, dried winter flavors, black garlic dashi

third – Yellowfin tuna marinated in cranberry vinegar, basil, red beets, broth of smoked pork jowl and dried mushroom

Looking around some of my thoughts were, this is going to be an experience. For one the small intimate setting we were actually in the kitchen, a small wood burning box on a counter with what looked like a cooling rack being held up just far enough from the flame with large rocks. Cooking utensils, serving dishes and wine glasses galore; A child’s art work on the wall; and mostly anticipation for what we would be eating shortly. Even though I love food I was also worried there was going to be one of my no thank you things on the menu; I know how can I call myself a foodie. Thankfully there were no truffles on tonight’s menu.

fourth – Lobster, garbanzo beans, celeriac, hazelnuts, coffee


fifth – Ribeye, pears, mint, miso, dry apple


sixth – Warm brie, apple cider, ginger, dry shiitake madeleine

seventh – Smoked frozen yogurt, coffee, caviar, warm honey

We were served eight very thought out complex courses. They might not have been complex for the chef but there were so many components that must have taken days, weeks or longer to create the menu, the sauces, broths and foam. Chef Evan is mindful of the ingredients and accompaniments to the point that baffles me, when I asked where he gets his inspiration from he jokingly said Pinterest; funny and can cook what a great combo.

eighth – Emma’s Cookies – each meal ends with one of his daughters cookie recipes she came up with when she was 9 along side a teacup of warm lavender milk.

I will share the pictures and try to share what was in each of the dishes; I will apologize upfront for not doing them justice only because there were so many components and I didn’t write them down and there was wine – UPDATE I cheated and the thankfully the ingredient list was on his website menu minus the Brussel sprout description.

The recipe I want to share is something my daughter made the other night; which was our first dinner of 2021 out on the patio.

Hawaiian BLPTS

dclarkabal
another twist on a classic BLT - thanks to Chrissy Teigen
Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Appetizer, lunch

Ingredients
  

  • 2 fresh pineapple slices cored
  • 8 King's Hawaiian slider rolls split
  • Unsalted butter melted
  • Mayo
  • 4 Lettuce leaves
  • 1 Tomato
  • 8 slices Bacon
  • 1 sweet onion optional

Instructions
 

  • Position your oven rack 4-6 inches from the heating element and pre-heat the broiler. You can broil or grill the pineapple, whichever way will work. You want to brown the pineapple on both sides; let them sit and cool slightly.
  • Spread the rolls out on a baking sheet and slather them with the melted butter. Place them under the broiler till golden brown, roughly 2 minutes. You know your oven so you do you.
  • Spread the mayo, as much as you want. Build your sandwich with lettuce, tomato, bacon, onions, if you are using them and a pineapple wedge on the rolls bottom. Top with the other half of the roll and enjoy!

 

Chicken Tagine

This is another recipe my daughter tried from Ayesha Curry’s cookbook. It is called Chicken Tagine in her cookbook. I personally do not own a tagine so I feel kinda bad keeping the word in the recipe, a tagine is a conical pottery cooking vessel, I am sure you have seen one if you have ever walked through a kitchen store. The top looks a little like a volcano, at least it does to me.

Most tagine recipes are generally made up with aromatics, veggies, a meat and some spices, they cook over a long period of time. This recipe you can make in about 30 minutes and has wonderful aroma and flavor in such a short amount of time in the kitchen. Great for a weeknight meal. You can even pick up a rotisserie chicken on your way home from somewhere, I guess I can’t say work anymore for me at least. I have been working from home for a year now.

While my daughter was making this the other night for dinner, she was trying to pit some olives. I don’t own a tool for that either. I googled for her how to pit an olive. It said to smash the olive with the side of your knife. Voila the pit comes right out. Now this method works as long as you are not stuffing them or want them super pretty. But for our dinner it worked out perfectly. Of course you can skip this step if you can find them already pitted in your store, she could not.

Chicken Tagine

dclarkabal
A warm feeling dish with great flavors - comes together quickly

Ingredients
  

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger minced, or from a tube/bottle
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 preserved lemon peel finely chopped
  • 8 pitted Medjool dates chopped
  • 1/2 cup brown lentils
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 1 cup Castelvetrano olives pitted
  • 1 15 ounce garbanzo beans drained and rinsed, we used great northern beans
  • 3-4 pounds chicken, boneless thighs or breasts store bought or salt and pepper some chicken breasts and bake in the oven
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves chopped for garnish

Instructions
 

  • If you are cooking boneless chicken breast; pre-heat oven to 350'F season it liberally with salt and pepper. Place on a sheet pan and bake for 30-40 minutes. Once cooked through roughly chop.
    If you are using a rotisserie chicken you can shred it while everything else is cooking.
  • In a medium Dutch oven or a heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat, add the olive oil, Add the onion and a pinch of salt, cook while stirring for a couple of minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in the turmeric, black pepper and cinnamon and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the preserved lemon, dates and lentils. Add the stock and the salt and saffron. Bring to a boil. Cover the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are cooked through. About 25 minutes.
  • Stir in the chicken, either shredded or roughly chopped let sit for 5 minutes to meld. Serve from the pot or transfer to a serving dish. Garnish with fresh parsley.

 

one pot pork and chourico with rice

Keeping with the use what we have in the fridge theme from last week. My daughter made pulled pork tacos for dinner one night last week. They good but I don’t think they were blog worthy. I really try to blog about dishes I really want you to try. SF I wonder if you will be reading/trying this recipe wink wink.

With that being said there was an awful lot of pulled pork leftover. So what to do; we tossed around a few ideas. adding BBQ sauce and making a slaw for pulled pork sandwiches. Adding some more flavors and making carnitas. Maybe some pulled pork and refried beans nachos. I even tossed around adding some Asian flavors and making some sort of salad.

What won out; because we also had a ton of chourico leftover in the fridge so I wanted to use that up as well. The recipe I am going to share with you today came together very quickly since the pork was already cooked and shredded as well as the chourcio was ground. You can make this by slicing up pork shoulder and slicing chourico. Use what you have or can get.

Chourico a Portuguese spicy sausage pronounced (shoor-reese) vs Chorizo a Mexican spicy sausage pronounced (chor-EE-soh). I find sometimes in my usual store they only have one or the other; not sure why; maybe they had a run on them, maybe they don’t stock a lot I’m not really sure. Regardless they are good and you should try them.

Pork and Chourco with Rice

dclarkabal
a great week night meal, warm comfort food

Ingredients
  

  • 2 pounds pork shoulder cubed or use leftover pulled pork
  • 2 links chourico sliced or use ground either chourico or chorizo
  • 2-3 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 4 cups chicken stock

Instructions
 

  • If you are cooking the cubes pork swirl some olive oil in the bottom of your pan. Add the pork and the garlic and saute on medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Slice thin and add the chourico continue sauteing until the pork is medium brown.
  • Add the paprika and the rice. continue stirring until the rice is well coated. Stir in the tomato sauce and the wine. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil
  • As soon as it reaches a boil, reduce the heat to low and cover. Cook on low heat for 20-30 minutes or until the rice is soft and fluffy.
  • Give it a quick stir and either serve it right from the pot or transfer to a serving dish. I will add that the leftovers, if there are any, taste great with a poached egg on top. I would even try browning some of the pork mixture before adding the egg.

grilled shrimp with polenta cake

So a good friend of mine says that one of my super powers is to look at what I have on hand and make a meal with it. My freezer’s are too full so I have been trying to not shop, which a few of you know is hard for me; Stop laughing SF and KP. They know I LOVE to shop which I will confess I literally just finished online shopping a few minutes ago.

My daughter made a full sheet pan of polenta that we didn’t end up eating; we went out to dinner that night. It sat in the fridge for a couple of days and still nothing. I finally threw it into the freezer and once frozen cut it into triangle shapes and refroze them individually. Now what to do with them; I don’t have a lot of experience with polenta in any form; which is probably why we never ate it. I have nothing against it I really like it just never something I think about.

With a full bag full of Polenta cakes in the freezer on my mind, a half bag of frozen shrimp and a handful of cherry tomatoes I threw together a pretty quick dinner that got really rave reviews from the fam. With the weather being super windy and cold for the last few weeks here in New Hampshire I put my griddle to work and would make this again the same way. Who knows maybe I will make it over the summer out on the grill. I probably will we have a lot of polenta LOL.

If you don’t have a bag full of polenta cakes in the freezer you can pick some up from your local store, usually at the deli in a tube and slice your own into cakes. I am going to share how my daughter made polenta in the oven without the constant whisking.

grilled shrimp with polenta cakes

dclarkabal
quick and simple with on hand ingredients

Ingredients
  

shrimp and polenta cake

  • 1 lemon zested, sliced for serving
  • 4 tablespoon unsalted butter room temperature
  • 2-3 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1 recipe or tube polenta 1/2 inch slices
  • 1 pound shrimp peeled, deveined and tails removed

Creamy Polenta

  • 2 cups coarse stone-ground yellow cornmeal do not use white or fine cornmeal - results will be entirely different. we recommend Bob's Red Mill
  • 11 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt

Instructions
 

shrimp and polenta cake

  • Zest the lemon into a mixing bowl and add the butter, hot sauce and a pinch of salt. Stir until well combined. Gently stir in half of the parsley, reserving the remaining parsley for garnish. Cut the zested lemon into wedges and reserve.
  • Prepare a grill or grill pan or for high heat. Lightly oil the grill grates. (if grilling do this step, if not skip it as I did) Thread the tomatoes on the skewers, about 7 tomatoes per skewer. (If using wooden skewers, leave just 1/2 inch of the skewer sticking out on each end so you do not have to soak them). Brush 1 tablespoon of the oil on the tomatoes and sprinkle them liberally with salt and pepper.
  • Brush both sides of the polenta rounds with 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.
    Arrange the skewered tomatoes on the hot grill and cook, turning occasionally, until they are lightly charred in spots and have started to burst, 12 to 15 minutes.
    Place the polenta on the grill and cook until lightly charred looking for nice grill marks, about 5 minutes per side, flipping once using a flat metal spatula. (Be careful not to flip the polenta too early because it will stick to the grill if it is not ready.) Remove from the heat and reserve.
  • Toss the shrimp with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Grill until lightly charred in spots on both sides and just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes total. Remove from the heat and reserve
  • The tomatoes should be ready to take off the grill as well. Carefully remove the tomatoes from the skewers and place directly into a small bowl. Use the back of a pair of tongs or a spoon to lightly smash the tomatoes so that they release their juices.
  • Place 2-3 pieces of polenta on each plate. In the center of the polenta, spoon a quarter of the tomatoes along with their juices, one quarter of the shrimp and a large dollop of the reserved butter mixture. The butter should melt nicely over the hot tomato shrimp. Garnish with the reserved parsley and wedges of lemon for squeezing on top of each serving.

polenta

  • heat oven to 375'F with the rack in the lower-middle of the oven.
  • Whisk together the cornmeal, 1 tablespoon of kosher salt and 11 cups of cold water in a large pot. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium-high heat. Stirring to prevent clumping, Transfer the pot. uncovered, to the oven and bake for 1 hour.
  • Remove pot from the oven and carefully whisk the cornmeal mixture until smooth. Then using a wooden spoon scrape along the bottom and up the sides of the pot to loosen any stuck bits. Return the pot, uncovered, to the oven and cook until the cornmeal is thick and creamy and the granules are tender. another 10-30 minutes.
  • remove the pot from the oven - vigorously whisk the polenta until smooth and use the wooden spoon to scrape the bottom and sides. Let stand for 5 minutes. It should thicken just enough for a spoon to leave a brief trail, whisk in a little water if needed; to adjust the consistency. Taste and season with salt an pepper. Serve immediately or place in a sheet pan for setting and cutting into shapes for the freezer.

pineapple chicken fried rice


I will say it is pretty nice that my daughter has been making a couple of dinners a week for the last few weeks. I love cooking but getting a little break here and there is pretty cool. I mean even if I didn’t write a weekly food blog and feel obligated to come up with something new for dinner. Making dinner 7 or say  6 nights a week; we try to go out to dinner or get take out at least once a week. So 6 nights is 312 dinners a year that’s a lot of meals to come up with. I will admit we have had a few unconventional meals at our house. Cereal is a thing, breakfast for dinner is a fav and an occasional hot fudge sundae for dinner has happened.

So I have made and blogged about pineapple fried rice, I have even ordered it out before. This one I am going to share is a little different and not just because of the chicken that was added. It had a little heat to it and the pineapple was great at balancing the heat with the cooling. Which is saying something we as a family I would say tolerate pineapple, we like it a little but it is not a go to for any of us.

The recipe comes together within an hour which is nice for a weeknight meal. Though I have been known to make a roaster chicken during the week on occasion, which is what we had for dinner Friday night actually. My daughter got the recipe from an Ayesha Curry cookbook The Full Plate.

The rice is best cooked the day before if possible and if you have ever made fried rice before or even a stir fry you need to have all your stuff prepped before you start cooking. You can use a store made roaster chicken or roast a couple of pieces in your oven before hand.  You could even use a different protein, steak or pork would be great. Also it is a great way to use up some other veggies hanging out in your fridge. Make it your own.

pineapple chicken fried rice

dclarkabal
Course Main Course

Ingredients
  

  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 medium onion diced
  • 1 red bell pepper cored, seeded, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper cored, seeded, diced
  • 1 cup canned, fresh pineapple chunks cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 large eggs beaten
  • 3 cups jasmine rice day old best
  • 2 cups chicken breast cooked, shredded
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon sambal oelek
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 green onion finely diced
  • fresh cilantro leaves for garnish optional

Instructions
 

  • heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and bell peppers, cook stirring until they start to soften, 3-4 minutes. Add the pineapple and peas cook until the peas have begun to thaw, 2-3 minutes longer. Add the garlic, cook for another minute.
  • Push the veggies off to the side of the pan and add the beaten eggs to the opposite side. Stir the eggs with a rubber spatula until they are scrambled. Then transfer everything to a bowl and set aside.
  • Add the last tablespoon of oil to the pan and return to medium-high heat. Add the rice, chicken, raisins, soy sauce, curry powder, sambal, salt and cook, stirring until all of the ingredients are incorporated and the rice starts to brown slightly on the bottom, about 4 minutes. Return the veggie mixture to the pan and cook stirring, until rewarmed and incorporated into the rice. about 2 minutes.
  • Transfer to a large platter and garnish with sliced green onions and cilantro leaves if using. Serve hot.
Keyword pineapple chicken fried rice

Stewed pork butternut squash and walnut gremolata


Now this is a recipe my daughter made a couple of weeks ago; a recipe she got from a cookbook called cook beautiful. Pork shoulder does not spring to mind beautiful. We usually end up shredding it and dousing it in BBQ sauce; which makes for a fantastic sandwich don’t get me wrong but beautiful I don’t think so. I do suppose beauty is in the eye of the beholder.


I am sharing this recipe because it was delicious and yes beautiful. She made this in a couple of steps only because she made it during the week. But today is Sunday and this would make for a fantastic Sunday dinner. I for one am making a roaster chicken for Sunday dinner.  How many of you make a sit down with family Sunday dinner? I fear it is a lost tradition but one I have kept going for all my adult life and have no plans of stopping; not only that we all (living in the house) sit down for dinner most every single night.

Stewed Pork with Butternut Squash & Walnut Gremolata

dclarkabal
Great Sunday dinner to share with the family
Course Main Course
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

Pork

  • 2 tablespoon canola oil
  • 4 pound boneless pork shoulder
  • 4 cloves garlic diced
  • 2 onions diced
  • 4 carrots peeled, diced
  • 4 stalks celery diced
  • 2/3 cup dry sherry
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 head garlic halved
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 bunch fresh sage save 1-2 sprigs for garnish

Butternut Squash

  • 1 medium butternut squash peeled, seeded and cubed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil plus more for drizzling
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 small habanero minced
  • kosher salt and black pepper

Gremolata

  • 3/4 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 3/4 cup walnuts toasted and chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley chopped
  • 3 tablespoon fresh chives chopped
  • 3 tablespoon shallots finely diced
  • 1 orange zested, plus 3 tablespoon juice
  • Kosher salt and black pepper

Instructions
 

Butternut squash

  • Preheat the oven to 425'F. Place the squash on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and honey. Sprinkle the squash with 1 teaspoon habanero, season with salt and pepper. Toss to evenly coat the squash. spread out into a single layer. Roast, tossing halfway through, until golden and crispy, about 30 minutes. Remove once done to your liking and let sit at room temperature until ready to use. Lower heat to 325'F

Pork shoulder

  • Heat the canola oil in a dutch oven or equally heavy pot over medium-high heat .Trim any excess fat from the pork, pat it dry, and season it generously with salt and pepper. Sear each side until browned. 20-25 minutes. Transfer the pork to a plate.
  • Lower the heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil, chopped onions, 1 teaspoon habanero sauté for 3 minutes, add the chopped garlic, sauté for 2 more minutes. Add the carrots, celery and sauté until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the sherry and deglaze the pan, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the bay leaves, sage, and the halved garlic head. Add the stock and bring it to a simmer. Return the pork to the pot. Crumble and wet a piece of parchment paper and place directly on top of the braise. Cover the pot with a tight fitting lid and place in the oven. Cook until the pork is tender, about 4 hours.

Gremolata

  • Toss all the ingredients in a small bowl, toss to combine well. season with salt and pepper

Pork - once finished

  • Remove and discard the parchment paper. Transfer the pork to a large plate. Remove and discard the sprigs of sage, nay leaves and halved garlic. Return the pot to the stove top and simmer the cooking liquid for 5 minutes. Add the vinegar and summer until the liquid has thickened slightly, about 5 more minutes. Remove from the heat, cover and keep warm.
  • Break the pork into large pieces. discarding any large pieces of fat. Return the pork to the pot, Add the roasted squash and toss gently to combine. Taste for seasoning and adjust.
  • serve the braised pork with a generous spoonful of the gremolata and a pinch of chopped sage.

pickle-brined fried chicken sandwich

Current situation – me sitting at the island typing, dog chewing a nylabone; very loudly for some reason, husband washing the round me and daughter still upstairs probably reading something on her phone or possibly still sleeping who knows!

I used a whole jar of my own bread and butter pickles

 

Thought I would share just another day in paradise here in New England. It was supposed to be snowing all day here; which I was actually looking forward to. I planned to write my blog, make a large pot of chili for us and to share; read a magazine or two that have been sitting around and do some laundry all while it snowing outside. Guess I have to do all those things without living in a snow globe for now.

Happy Valentines Day! We are doing our usual VDay routine which is having a nice dinner at home. I picked up some gorgeous ribeye steaks from The Flying Butcher (https://www.theflyingbutcher.com/) yesterday. I am contemplating grilling outside or cast iron cooking inside. It will probably be the latter. Still figuring out the sides.

Back to the recipe I want to share with you all today. I had a fried chicken sandwich at one of our not so local haunts. MT’s local Kitchen and Wine Bar (https://www.mtslocal.com/) I was on the fence only because pickles on fried chicken just sounds weird to me. I have seen the combination dozens of times but it just didn’t appeal to me. Well I am all in now; so much so that I decided we were going to have it during the super bowl half-time show last weekend. There were 7 of us and even though we ate pretty much 10 pounds of wings and a couple of dips before the game even started. Everyone cleaned their plates so here is what I did and will be doing again!

pickle-brined fried chicken sandwich

a crispy very moist chicken sandwich worth making and eating

Ingredients
  

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs about 4 ounces each
  • 24 bread and butter pickle coins dill work too
  • 1/2 cup pickle brine
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 teaspoon capers drained and chopped
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 4-6 cups canola oil for frying
  • 1 1/3 cup green cabbage thinly sliced
  • 1 small red onion thinly sliced, optional for serving
  • 4 buns brioche sliced, butter and grilled
  • hot sauce optional for serving

Instructions
 

  • add the chicken thighs and 1/2 cup pickle brine to a resealable bag and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours. turning the bag occasionally to marinate evenly
  • make the pickle mayonnaise while the chicken is marinating and set aside. Finely chop the pickle coins and the capers. In a medium both together and the mayo. Season with salt and pepper and set aside
  • when you are ready to fry, heat 2 inches of the oil to 325' F in a large dutch oven or heavy bottom skillet you can fry in. In a couple of shallow dishes pour the buttermilk into one. the other with flour, corn starch and the onion powder season the flour mixture with salt and pepper.
  • remove the chicken from the brine one at a time. place in the buttermilk, allow the excess to drip off and then into the flour, repeat with all pieces. making sure to coat each piece, remove excess and place on a plate.
  • working in batches as needed. add the chicken to the hot oil and cook, turning every 1 to 2 minutes, until the crust is deep golden brown and the chicken is cooked through; inner temp should be 165'F. transfer to a paper-lined plate or onto a cooling rack over a rimmed cookie sheet to cool. season with salt and pepper.
  • butter and grill your bread of choice.
  • Make the coleslaw by tossing the cabbage with half the pickle mayonnaise and season with salt and pepper. Slather the remaining pickle mayo on the bottom of each bun; top with a piece of fried chicken, coleslaw and red onion. Hot sauce if using.

 

chicken parmesan sliders

What are your plans for the big game later today? Being from New England and a Patriots fan my whole life I could be bitter that Tom Brady left us or I can be on board with rooting for him since he is without a doubt one of the best quarterbacks of all time. Though I recall seeing a young Mahomes play a couple of years ago and be quite impressed. So much so I have it in writing that he is someone to watch. Now look they are playing each other in the super bowl I personally won’t be too disappointed in whoever wins. IMG_5432

The kids and I were sitting around yesterday morning and discussed what we would wanted for game day. We came up with way too many ideas for just a few of us. It will be hard to eliminate any of them but it’s way too much food.

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Do you make a ton of snacks or something more substantial? I generally do a little of both. My husband is all about the wings. I am more of a dip kind of gal. My son wanted us to make pretzels; which we have never done but it made the list anyway. I usually make a soup/stew or chili of some sort but we decided not this time around. I mentioned meatball grinders and ended at fried chicken sandwich which is what I am making.

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Chicken Parmesan Sliders

dclarkabal
Prep Time 18 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Course Appetizer
Servings 4 people
Calories 204 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon fresh parsley
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 pound ground chicken breast
  • 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese grated
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • a few sprinkles crushed red pepper flakes
  • 8 slices mozzarella cheese
  • fresh basil leaves
  • 8 small slider buns or whatever you have on hand

Instructions
 

  • Heat a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add oil swirling to coat add the chopped onions, oregano, and garlic; saute 3-4 minutes until softened. Place onion mixture in a large bowl; let it cool slightly. Add the ground chicken, parmesan, ½ cup marinara, salt and peppers to the onion mixture. Mix well with a wooden spoon or your hands and shape into 8 ½ inch thick patties.  Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
  • Pre-heat your broiler along with a grill pan on medium-high heat.
  • Coat pan with some cooking spray. Add the patties and cook about 10 minutes or until done, turning once
  • Toast your buns if you wish; arrange bottom halves of the buns on a baking sheet. Place 1 patty on each roll. Top with 1 tablespoon marinara and a slice of mozzarella cheese. Broil until the cheese melts. Top with basil and the top halve of the buns.


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