Monthly Archives: March 2021

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.