The deadline to enter our Quickies Morning, Noon, and Night Cocktail Challenge is fast approaching. Please send in your entries by September 24, 2010.
Your challenge, if you choose to accept it, is to create your sexiest drink, alcoholic or non alcoholic.
The prize is the marvelous cookbook Quickies: Morning, Noon, and Night by the lovely Denise Fletcher.
I want to thank Marx Foods for sponsoring The 5 Star Foodie Summer 10 Makeover and supplying us with an awesome gift box of ingredients to work with.
A big thank you to everyone who voted on the poll, we ended up receiving like 160 total votes.
Lastly, I would like to thank our beautiful host, the 5 Star Foodie herself. Natasha from 5 Star Foodie Culinary Adventures runs one of the best blogs on the net...period! She is a fantastically creative cook, writer and an amazing photographer. Apart from that. she is a very sweet person and I am happy to be able to call her a friend.
LC's Cuban Fish & Chips was fortunate enough to be chosen as the WINNER of the Summer Makeover. So here it is one more time before we retire it....
Silvia from Citron et Vanille. She created a fabulous Vegetarian Cassoulet with Trout Beans & Wild Mushrooms. This was the dish I voted for!
If you are a regular reader of LC you know that Silvia is one of my favorite cooks, her talent is really over-the-top and her dishes never cease to inspire. If by chance you do not know her, please do yourself a favor and check out her blog.
Welcome to Out-and-Out Extravagance Saturday
Do you have a kitchen role model? Someone who’s inspired you to evolve your cuisine? In developing my kitchen repertoire, Thomas Keller and Marco Pierre White have had a significant influence on my food. Thomas Keller made me see the infinite possibilities that exist for plating your food elegantly. Marco Pierre White made me understand the importance of finding out where your food comes from and supporting the great produce indigenous to where you live.
With that said, my absolute kitchen hero is Joel Robuchon. The man dubbed, “The Chef of the Century” in France…could you imagine, think about all the amazing chefs that country has produced…is my favorite chef. Many of his kitchen philosophies fall right in line with what I believe. His food is incredibly progressive, but he has such an amazing grasp of the fundamentals of cooking. He preaches straightforward, clean, and harmonious food. Recently, in an interview the chef was asked basically, what his theoretical last meal would be, he answered, “Give me a good potato with butter and I am happy man.” I could not agree more. I can relay that message in my own exceedingly convoluted mathematical kitchen equation…
Yukon Gold Potato + Butter = Heaven
So, I know that you’ve seen my Yukon Gold Puree many times and my guess is that you will see it again, again, and did me mention; again!
Pork belly, oh wonderful, fabulous, luxurious, sumptuous, splendid pork belly. Food so good I can now understand why it is a sin to eat in many cultures. Search out the best possible product you can afford, it will make your dish better in the end product. Humane animal husbandry and earth-friendly production practices ensure ecologically sustainable farms. Eden Farms is one of the most economically and environmentally sustainable food companies around.
The belly is where we get our bacon and pancetta from. However, if you purchase the whole piece, and braise it, you will have experienced the equivalent of culinary enlightenment. Here's how tender it can be...
Cider Braised Pork Belly with Yukon Gold Puree
For the Pork Belly:
4 lb Organic Pork Belly - Skin-on
Remove the pork belly from fridge 30 minute before cooking. Season both sides of the pork with spices. Cut the pork in half. Heat 2 pans over medium-high heat. Add blended oil. When the oil is hot and rippling, add the pork belly, one piece in each pan. Brown the pork on both sides. Remove to a plate to rest.
For the Braising Liquid:
750 ml Magners Hard Cider
1 large yellow onion - chopped
3 celery stalks - chopped
1 leek - (white & light green parts only) - chopped
3 carrots - peeled & chopped
6 oz Organic tomato paste
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Heat a large braising pan over medium heat. Add some blended oil. Add the onion, celery, leeks, and carrot. Sweat the veg for 5 minutes. Make a well in the center and add the tomato paste. Brown the tomato paste to remove raw acidity. Add the pork the pan. Pour in the hard cider. Cover with a parchment lid, not a tight fitting lid. You want some of the liquid to reduce and intensify the flavor of the sauce.
Braise in oven for 3 hours.
That's it for now...till we exchange a few words again...Peace!