December 28, 2011
2 Day Roasted Adobo Pork
Pork shoulder has become the most amazing Christmas tradition. In years past we’ve slow roasted the pork until it simply falls apart and marry it with a sweet and sour bbq style sauce. But this year I thought it would be fun to push the envelope on the flavors. I had this vision of rich and intense Mexican chilis bringing a subtle spiciness to the fatty pork. Enter dried peppers…
If you haven’t used dried peppers before, make it a new years resolution. In the past I’ve re-constituted guajillo and ancho chilis and then pureed them into pepper packed sauces. This time I added a few smoked chipotles for heat and the outcome was really delicious. But having seen a recent blog posting about homemade chili powder, I took the pepper punch to a whole new level for this one. Throwing a few of each pepper type into an oven for 20 minutes to dry them out even more, followed by a quick spin in the spice grinder produces the most delicious homemade chili powder. You can easily do this with a number of chilis and vary the percentages of each to make your very own blend. But regardless of your preferences, the result is really wonderful. Roasting the pork with the chili powder and brown sugar made sure the pork itself was studded with flavor. I loved the stuff so much I even a caramelized some onions for the stew in the pork fat and some more of that chili powder.
One of the three dried chilis
We could not get enough of this pork, which is good considering I made enough for 3 dinners. Paired with some cheddar cheese corn-bread, some seasoned rice and a bit of avocado, it was my favorite Christmas pork yet!
Time to start thinking about next years…
December 21, 2011
Coconut Green Curry
You’d think I’d need a hug with the recent trend of posting these days but I can’t get enough of these comfort dishes. And at this rate, I’m finally getting back in the kitchen, which is comforting in it’s own right.
This, coconut green curry dish is the perfect balance of acidity, sweetness, and heat; like all good thai style dishes!
December 13, 2011
Chicken Tortilla Soup
It’s been a whirlwind of a few weeks! And with the Holidays around the corner, it’s looking like it’s better to keep on spinning. But with all the good stuff going on, Vacation, the Juice Bar, etc., I’ve been limited once again in my cooking time. That is with the exception of our amazing and massive Thanksgiving Feast! A side note: this make ahead turkey recipe will not only blow your mind, it will change your day of Thanksgiving cooking forever. So delicious!
But this past weekend, when soup felt like the perfect Sunday Supper, I was taken back to one of my originals. No, this chicken tortilla soup does not have a recipe. Not because I didn’t write one down, but because it never ends up being the same. Yet, in one way, it remains a constant. This was one of the first meals I fell in love with making. A big batch of this should have lasted me and my college roommates at least a week, but loading our bowls and topping with cheese, sour cream, and some good conversation, we ate more tortilla soup than seemingly possible. Sure it’s delicious: chicken, peppers, tomatoes, corn, black beans, etc. But for me, this soup goes beyond taste. It is comfort at it’s finest!
December 6, 2011
Remember that exciting news I alluded to prior to our trip…Well, I am happy to introduce my newest venture…
No, no, I haven’t opened up my own bar (not yet at least) but the Juice Bar represents much more. For years I’ve been frustrated with the lack of options both commercially available and in our local establishments when it comes to cocktails. So many pre-mixed, artificial “mixers” that end up overpowering their accompanying liquor and making any regular imbiber sick to their stomach. It’s rare to get a fresh margarita, and even rarer to find a “fruit” based cocktail that isn’t cloyingly sweet. And even worse, we often only consider “fresh” as a necessity only for the summer months. But at the Juice Bar, I’ve been crafting fresh, local, and seasonal juice mixes combining fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices that pair with all sorts of liquor. Beets and whiskey? Cilantro and tequila? Trust me, the recipes keep on coming. And with our first ever bash sponsored by Absolute Vodka this coming Thursday night, it’s going to be a blast debuting some of my favorites!
For more info on the Juice Bar, I’ll be posting a new site soon. In the mean time, hope you’re as excited as I am for just one more excuse to get your buzz on!
December 5, 2011
Costa Rica was amazing. The best and most wonderful place I’ve ever been. And while all the food is delicious and simple, nothing is as good as Desayuno. These pics are from a little spot in La Fortuna and for just a couple of bucks we enjoyed eggs, rice and beans, fresh fruit and coffee everywhere we went! So damn good!
But I am secretly a bit happy to be home! It’s an amazing time of year with plenty to be excited for! And plenty to eat!