Habeas Brulee » Meat http://habeasbrulee.com Sun, 17 Mar 2013 03:04:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.21 Chicken with Oyster Mushrooms, Portobellos, & Napa Cabbage http://habeasbrulee.com/2013/02/06/chicken-with-oyster-mushrooms-portobellos-napa-cabbage/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2013/02/06/chicken-with-oyster-mushrooms-portobellos-napa-cabbage/#comments Thu, 07 Feb 2013 03:45:40 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/?p=771

I got the new Fuchsia Dunlop cookbook! Oh, come on, you know you’re jealous. It’s as delightful as the last few, but with more non-spicy recipes and simple home cooking. My celebrity crush on her remains undiminished.

As usual, even when testing a recipe from a new cookbook I couldn’t leave well enough alone. We made a larger batch, added the cabbage to increase the veg:meat ratio and the Sichuan peppercorn for a bit of tingle, increased the relative quantity of ginger, and made a few other tweaks here and there.

It feels a bit strange to stir-fry without any soy sauce at all, but I think that’s what allows all the flavors to come through so clearly and intensely, and the dish as a whole is wonderfully delicious.

Chicken with Oyster Mushrooms, Portobellos, & Napa Cabbage
(adapted from Every Grain of Rice by Fuchsia Dunlop)
3 skinless chicken breasts (~1.5 lbs without the bone), thinly sliced
~1 lb mushrooms (we used 2 big portobellos and 3 big oyster mushrooms), thinly sliced
1 small head garlic (about 6 large cloves), thinly sliced
about the same quantity ginger, thinly sliced
1 napa cabbage (a bit on the small side), cored, quartered, and sliced into ~1/4″ thick pieces
safflower oil (or any other neutral oil with a high smoke point)
2 scallions, green part only, thinly sliced
1 tsp salt
more salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
for the marinade
1 tsp salt
4 tsp Shaoxing rice wine (plus more for deglazing the wok, later on)
4 tsp corn starch
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground Sichuan peppercorn

1. Prep all ingredients as described above.

2. Stir the chicken in with the marinade ingredients and set aside.

3. Heat your wok, then swirl in some oil. Stir-fry the sliced mushrooms – forget everything you know about stir-frying in small batches and crowd the pan, letting the mushrooms wilt down as their moisture boils away until all their water is gone and they saute in the oil that remains. Remove the mushrooms from the wok and set aside.

4. Let the wok heat up again, and swirl in some more oil. Stir-fry the shredded cabbage (again, just let it fill the wok -you’re more wilting than frying it, and that’s okay) until slightly softened and reduced to about half its previous volume. Remove the cabbage from the wok and set aside.

5. Spread chicken out in wok, ideally in a single layer. Leave it alone until it’s nicely browned on the bottom. Patience, darlings, patience.

6. Once the chicken is seared on the bottom, stir in the sliced garlic and ginger, then stir-fry until the chicken is fully cooked.

7. Deglaze with a good splash of Shaoxing rice wine and scrape up all that tasty stuff from the bottom of the wok.

8. Stir the mushrooms and cabbage back in, along with the sliced scallion greens and the additional 1 tsp salt.

9. Season to taste. (I definitely like to add more black pepper at this point, at least.)

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Sichuan Chili Oil, and variety of cold-chicken-based lunches http://habeasbrulee.com/2012/12/12/a-variety-of-cold-chicken-based-summer-lunches/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2012/12/12/a-variety-of-cold-chicken-based-summer-lunches/#comments Wed, 12 Dec 2012 15:30:36 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/?p=680

I was a major chicken salad kick this past summer, sort of. I mean, I hate mayonnaise, so my definition of chicken salad is more ‘shredded cold chicken with a bunch of really flavorful stuff mixed in’. But that works great for me!

Basically, I cook some chicken breasts on the bone, let them cool, then shred the meat. Stir in some set of add-ins, separate into pint containers for lunches for the rest of the week. I’m a protein junky, so this is basically exactly what I need when I find myself crashing in the middle of the day. Sure, technically there’s a microwave at the office, but it’s summer! I can’t possibly deal with that during the hot months.

Here are the best of the non-mayo chicken salad variations I made and ate over the summer:

- almond butter, fresh turmeric, lime juice, scallions, celery, toasted cashews

- Sichuan chili oil (recipe below), mint, fried shallots, toasted cashews, and fresh cucumber in a side tupper

- Sichuan chili oil (recipe below), kohlrabi, parsley, fried young garlic, toasted sliced almonds

- red onion, parsley, toasted walnuts, Spanish paprika, scallions, roasted red bell peppers, walnut oil, sherry vinegar

- fried summer squash (zucchini and pattypan) in lots of olive oil, fried young garlic, toasted partially smashed up hazelnuts, lots of black pepper

(Photo credit to my Mom, who recently got back from a vacation where she saw a lot of chickens running around on the beach.)

Sichuan Chili Oil
(from Fuschia Dunlop’s Land of Plenty)

1/2 C chile flakes (I generally use a combination of coarse Korean chili flakes and crushed facing heaven chiles, but you can use any kind you like, at whatever heat level you like)
2 C neutral oil (I use safflower oil, usually)


1. Put the chile flakes into a glass jar.

2. Heat the oil on the stove until it hits 225-250 F. (If you go over, just let it cool down to that range, no big deal.)

3. Pour it over the chile flakes and stir once or twice.

That’s it. It keeps basically forever, and tastes amazing on everything.

I store mine in the fridge, because I worry whenever vegetable matter is introduced into an anaerobic environment.

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Malaysian Chicken Satay http://habeasbrulee.com/2011/06/21/malaysian-chicken-satay/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2011/06/21/malaysian-chicken-satay/#comments Tue, 21 Jun 2011 05:02:10 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/?p=566

We had a big going-away barbecue for my brother Jordan, who is off to Ghana for the summer as of yesterday. How better to say goodbye than with cherries and satay and live music from all his fabulous musician friends?

It was a fantastic excuse to remake my favorite satay recipe, chicken marinated in a vibrant yellow concoction fragrant with lemongrass and turmeric and coriander, sharp and floral with galangal and ginger, and sweet with rich, dark brown palm sugar, and served Thai-style with chunks of fresh sweet pineapple on the end of each skewer.

I’m in love with this sauce, as you can see. I want to put it on everything now. Steak. Eggs. More chicken. Duck! Everything!

That’s my Dad, following my instructions with rolling eyes and good cheer, basting the skewers of satay with a smashed stalk of lemongrass as a brush, and oil that was steeped with lemongrass for half an hour or so before the grilling began. There is no better smell than lemongrass oil dripping onto the coals and the smoke bursting up around intensely spiced meat.

Have a great summer, Jordan! We miss you already! And in your honor, everyone else who reads this should go make and eat some of this bright, intense, tasty chicken satay!

2009: Saffron Turmeric Cake with Meyer Lemon Sorbet, Argan Oil Whipped Cream, Almond Brittle, and Thyme
2008: Chocolate-Whiskey Pudding Cake
2007: Strawberry Tarragon Sorbet
2006: Apricot Ketchup

Malaysian Chicken Satay
(adapted from Cradle of Flavor by James Oseland)
For the marinade:
1 tbsp coriander seeds (whole)
1/3 of a small star anise (more if you’re into anise, but I hate it, so this is just enough to add depth of flavor without tasting like licorice to me)
2 thick stalks lemongrass
3 shallots (about 110 grams), peeled and coarsely chopped
3 large cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
1″ long piece of fresh (or frozen and thawed) galangal (approximately 40 grams), peeled and thinly sliced against the grain
2″ long piece of fresh ginger (approximately 30 grams), peeled and thinly sliced against the grain
1 tbsp ground turmeric
1/4 C palm sugar (approximately 50 grams), thinly sliced (or somehow made grind-able)
2 tbsp safflower [or other neutral] oil
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
For the satay:
3 lbs boneless chicken thighs
1 thick stalk lemongrass
1/4 C safflower [or other neutral] oil
1 fresh pineapple (1/3 or so is really enough, but you can eat the rest!)
a bag of thin bamboo skewers, soaked in water for at least half an hour and drained

(Serves… well, I don’t know. I made a triple recipe for a big party where more and more people kept stopping by, but there was plenty of other food there, too.)

Set up the marinade:

1. Set up your food processor, and grind the coriander and star anise together in it. Try to get them into powder, but ultimately don’t drive yourself nuts over it at this stage.

2. Prep the lemongrass for the marinade by cutting off the hard bottom and the grassy green tops, leaving about 5-6 inches of usable lemongrass from each piece. Peel off the tough outer layers (usually there are two tough leaves wrapped around that yo don’t want) and discard those. Slice the remaining tastiness into thin rounds, the thinner the better.

3. Add the prepped lemongrass, galangal, ginger, garlic, shallots, turmeric, palm sugar, safflower oil, and salt into the food processor, and process until you have a fairly smooth thick sauce. I like to actually transfer it into my blender once it’s as close as the food processor can get it, and use the blender to get it even smoother. This works delightfully well.

4. Prep the chicken by removing the fat and such and cutting the meat into pieces approximately 1 inch wide by 2ish inches long by about 1/4 inch thick. Again, don’t drive yourself too nuts with this – it’s really not that big a deal.

5. Squish the chicken with the marinade such that all pieces are fully coated. Let it marinate at least an hour or two, and preferably overnight.

Prepare for imminent grilling:

6. While your skewers are soaking, cut up the pineapple into bite-sized chunks.

7. Prepare that last stalk of lemongrass for use as a basting brush by cutting off the hard end and then smashing the bottom with something heavy until it gets all bristly. Soak that bristly end in the basting oil to infuse while getting the rest of your prep work done.

8. Thread the chicken onto the skewers, adding a bite of pineapple in the middle and at the end of each skewer.

9. Grill! Baste each skewer with lemongrass oil (with the lemongrass brush!) as soon as it goes on the grill, and again after you flip it. You want the chicken just cooked through, with some nice char on the surface if you can get it. If you don’t feel like setting up the grill, you can cook these under the broiler, but they’re honestly nicer when grilled.

10. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

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Farmhouse Pork with Black Beans and Green Peppers (and Trotter Gear) http://habeasbrulee.com/2011/03/19/farmhouse-pork-with-black-beans-and-green-peppers-and-trotter-gear/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2011/03/19/farmhouse-pork-with-black-beans-and-green-peppers-and-trotter-gear/#comments Sun, 20 Mar 2011 02:08:05 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/?p=517

God, look at those charred peppers! They’re the long, vaguely gnarly, kinda slender but not really, fairly spicy but not very, probably Italian ones I find at my local organic Korean grocery store. I love them with a deep and abiding love. Dave, however, is pretty sure that nightshades give him stomachaches, so I don’t get to cook with them very much lately.

He’s out of town for a conference this weekend, and I was trying to make up for missing him by cooking delicious foods that he can’t eat. This tasty, spicy, black bean sauce pork dish was perfect!

I find that I’m losing my interest in refined food lately. I don’t want to deal with the tiny dabs of sauces and careful presentations. My photography oomph is being taken over by marketing photos for my glass work, and I’m less interested in taking the time to arrange careful photos of my food. But I still love variety in my food, and I’m still particularly in love with Chinese cuisine. I actually just read Fuschia Dunlop’s memoir, and now I’m even more hopeful of managing to come to like more of the unfamiliarly textured foods I mostly shy away from nowadays.

But peasant food doesn’t have to be boring or bland. The peppers are vivid here in flavor as well as in heat. I raised the proportion of fermented black beans because I love their intensity, and I threw in an ice cube of the trotter gear I made with trotters and pig tails from Bobolink farm according to Fergus Henderson’s recipe, which calls for intense homemade chicken stock as a building block for building that tasty building block.

I’ve come to prefer peasant food, sure, but my peasant food is damn good.

2008: Kumquat Marmalade
2007: Chewy Maple Cookies
2006: Cocoa Nib and Currant Rugelach

Farmhouse Pork with Black Beans and Green Peppers (and Trotter Gear)
(adapted from Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook by Fuschia Dunlop)
9 oz long Italian green hot frying peppers
2 oz pork belly
14 oz pork tenderloin
1 tsp shaoxing wine
1 tsp light soy sauce
1/2 tsp dark soy sauce
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tbsp fermented black beans, rinsed and coarsely chopped
corn starch
Optional: 1 ice cube worth of trotter gear (recipe below; needs to be made way in advance if you plan to use it here)

Thinly slice the meats against the grain and place into separate bowls.

Stir the sliced pork tenderloin (or other lean pork) with the soy sauces, shaoxing, and a good hefty sprinkling of corn starch, and set aside.

Cut off and discard the stems of the peppers, then slice them at an angle into oval-ish rounds about 1 1/4″ long and 1/4″ wide. Keep the seeds and ribs – as Dunlop aptly points out, this is a peasant dish! Man, I love peasant dishes.

Prep the garlic and black beans as described in the ingredients list.

Heat your wok until it is nearly smoking and feels like a radiator with your hand a couple inches above the bottom. Swirl in some oil, then stir-fry the peppers in batches as needed until they get a nice tasty bit of char to them. Pour them out into a bowl and set aside.

Wipe any pepper seeds remaining out of the wok and return it to the heat, swirling in some more oil.

Add the pork belly and stir-fry until it’s lightly browned (and not necessarily fully cooked), then stir in the garlic and black beans and fry for just a moment until they’re gorgeously fragrant.

Add the lean pork and stir-fry until mostly done, then return the green peppers to the wok and keep going until everything looks totally done.

Shove everything in the wok out up the sides, and toss an ice cube of trotter gear into the bottom to melt it. When it’s melted, stir everything else back down in with it until hot and melded, then remove from the heat and serve with lots of rice and perhaps some sort of nice, sweet-ish tofu as a second entree.

Trotter Gear
(adapted from Fergus Henderson)
3 trotters (pigs’ feet) (I threw in some pig tails, too)
2 red onions, halved
2 ribs celery, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
2 leeks, coarsely chopped
1 head garlic
2 bay leaves
12 black peppercorns
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 cup Madeira or other sweet wine
Chicken stock to cover (about 1 quart) (ideally the homemade good stuff)

If your trotters or tails are a bit bristly (and sometimes they are), shave them. A disposable razor works wonders, and it’s very straightforward. Sort of comfortably homey, even. No shaving cream, though, please.

Put all the solid ingredients into a pot. Pour in the madeira or wine, and then add enough chicken stock to cover all the stuff in there. (Homemade chicken stock really is best. We condense our chicken stock down to fit into our freezer and then often use it condensed, so this was some pretty intense stuff to begin with.)

Bring to an almost-boil, and then simmer for 3ish hours, until the trotters/tails are “very wobbly” and the meat is falling off the bone (or easily pierced by a chopstick, or whatever measure you tend to like for this sort of thing).

Take the trotters (and tails!) out of the pot and put on a cutting board. Strain the stock and set aside.

Pull all the meat, flesh, skin, tendons, and other wobbly bits off the bones. Discard the bones. If you missed any hairy bits, just pull those bits off and throw them away too. But keep all those weird, gross looking wobbly bits – they are the magic here.

Chop your meat and skin and wobbly bits and such sort of medium finely – not a superfine mince or something, but more along the lines of pieces around the size of a pinky fingernail that’s been trimmed down to the quick. (Not the pig’s. Yours.)

Stir your chopped up wobbly mess back into the stock.

Set up a few ice cube trays lined with plastic wrap, and portion out the wobbly-bit-filled stock into ice cubes of meaty goodness. Freeze. Once they’re frozen, store them in your freezer in a big ziplock bag of meaty chunks. Add them to fried rice, to finish other stir-fries and sauces, soups, what-have-you. Instant tasty umami injection!

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Black Pepper Tofu with Pork http://habeasbrulee.com/2011/03/07/black-pepper-tofu-with-pork/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2011/03/07/black-pepper-tofu-with-pork/#comments Mon, 07 Mar 2011 16:42:26 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/?p=506

Dear people who live in or visit London,

Have you stopped by Ottolenghi yet? You should. It is a happy place that makes people happy. I spent about 2 hours fighting through insane crowds and delayed buses to get there during a London tube strike once (not counting the time spent flying across the pond and back, of course), and it was worth it. (Though to be fair, partially for the adventure and nearby chocolate shop.)

In other news, we made a modified version of Ottolenghii’s black pepper tofu, modified for us carnivores who keep Momofuku-style pickled chilies in our fridge, just in case. Though the black pepper is incredibly spicy all on its own, no chilies needed, which I’ve never experienced before playing with this recipe. And I’m really learning to love tofu in spicy dishes. It’s absolutely marvelous!

My apologies for the terrible photography. We made this dish while my mother was borrowing my good camera, so this is the iPhone Hipstamatic version of food blogging instead. It’s hardly ideal, but it’s better than failing to get my version of the recipe out to you.

2008: Shredded Burdock Root
2007: Lamb Kofta with Apricot Sauce

Black Pepper Tofu with Pork
(adapted from Ottolenghi)
800g (1.75 lbs) firm tofu
Corn starch, to dust the tofu
454g (1 lb) ground pork
3 tbsp sweet soy sauce
3 tbsp light soy sauce
4 tsp dark soy sauce
2 tbsp sugar
Safflower [or some other neutral] oil, for frying
65g (~4.5 tbsp) butter
12 small shallots (~350g), peeled and thinly sliced
12 garlic cloves, crushed and then minced
3 tbsp minced ginger
5 tbsp crushed (or very coarsely ground) black peppercorns
16 small, thin scallions, cut into segments 3cm (~1″) long
Optional garnish: sliced pickled chilies (recipe below)

1. Stir the pork in with the soy sauces and sugar and set aside.

2. Cut the tofu into cubes (3cm x 2cm, or about 1″ x 1/2″) and toss them in corn starch, shaking off the excess.

3. Heat your wok until it starts to smoke and feels like a radiator with your hand held a few inches above the bottom, then pour in enough oil to really coat the bottom in a thin pool. Fry the tofu in batches in the oil, turning the pieces as you go so that they’re golden and crispy on all sides. Once they are golden all around, and have a thin crust, transfer to a paper towel. It’s important to do this in batches, because if you overcrowd your pan the tofu will steam instead of frying and will never develop that wonderful crisp, dried texture.

4. Clean the oil and tofu bits out of your wok, then throw in the butter. Once the butter melts, add the shallots, garlic and ginger, and stir-fry until it’s all shiny and soft (should take about 15 minutes, but of course your mileage may vary).

5. Stir in pork once the shallots are soft.

6. Stir in the black pepper once the pork is pretty much cooked.

7. Stir in the tofu and keep going for just a minute until it’s thoroughly warmed up and coated in the sauce, then stir in the scallions and remove from heat.

8. Optionally, serve with sliced pickled chilies and a bit of their pickling liquid (recipe below). I really like the flavor and extra heat these offer. Though seriously, even without the extra pickled chili garnish, it was ridiculously spicy considering that all the heat came from just the black pepper, not chilies of any sort. Really tastily so. Serve with lots of rice.

Pickled chilies
(adapted from Momofuku)
1 C water, as hot as your tap can get (~120 degrees F in most American kitchens)
1/2 C rice wine vinegar
6 tbsp sugar
2 1/4 tsp kosher salt
4 C Thai birds-eye chilies (or other small (less than 2″ long) chilies)

Combine the water, vinegar, sugar, and salt, stirring them until the sugar dissolves.

Wear gloves when handling chilies, please. Just rinse them off and remove any stems if you feel fussy. You can slice them however you like when you actually use them later on. I like using green Thai chilies, because I enjoy their flavor and the green ones are supposedly spicier than the red ones. Really, use whatever makes you happy, and it’ll turn out just fine.

Pack the chilies into some sort of fringe-friendly, long-term-storage-friendly container (tupperware or mason jars), and pour the brine over them to cover. Stick them in your fridge for at least a few days. They’ll last approximately forever, to make every day a happy spicy vinegary day.

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Peposo http://habeasbrulee.com/2011/01/05/peposo/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2011/01/05/peposo/#comments Thu, 06 Jan 2011 04:04:42 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/?p=492

The last half dozen times or so we made peposo, we ate it all too quickly for me to get a photo for you and post about it. It’s a winter staple in my household, and I regret not having posted it sooner. Sorry about that! I happened to have my camera out at the right moment today, though, so here you finally go.

We’ve adapted this recipe pretty thoroughly to make a lot of perfect winter stew in one go, a huge batch of amazing winy braised meats drenched in a thick, luscious sauce just begging to be soaked up with crusty bread. The original recipe called for a kilo of 2″ chunks of stewing beef. Here, well, we cook about 10 lbs of mixed cuts of beef and lamb and veal on the bone, good meaty braising cuts to cook low and slow in the wine. The mix of meats drastically improves the flavour, and using shank allows you to stir the marrow back into the sauce in the end, thereby elevating the dish to so much more than a simple winter braise.

The cookbook this recipe was inspired by, Piano, Piano, Pieno by Susan McKenna Grant, claims that Peposo originated in Impruneta, a town famous for its pottery where workers would cook this meal while keeping endless watch over the kilns. I can’t speak to the historical accuracy, but I like to let it simmer while I’m working at the torch and keeping watch over my kiln myself.

This recipe is going to look expensive, I’ll warn you. It calls for 10 lbs of meat and 2-3 bottles of wine. But go for the cheap wine, and keep in mind that this is enough at least a dozen meals, probably more. (Looking into my fridge now, I know we’ve eaten 5 meals of it already, and there’s about 6 C of it left. So that’s maybe closer to 17 portions, total? Something like that. It’s pretty intense, with bread and a nice salad on the side.) We make it in huge batches, and if we get sick of eating it (highly unlikely!), we freeze individual portions for later. But if you’d rather keep it cheap or smaller, feel free to scale it down! It’s very forgiving.

It’s dead simple, ultimately. There are basically five ingredients, and mostly you just let it simmer while you putter about doing whatever else you feel like doing for a few hours. Watch a movie. Go for a walk. Read a book. Write that novel. Get some damn work done. Enjoy the smell. Eat the glorious results.

2009: Miso Almond Romanesco
2008: Saffron Duck Pot Pie
2007: Stewed Garlicky Black Bean Spare Ribs

(adapted from Piano, Piano, Pieno by Susan McKenna Grant)

10 lbs mixed red meat on the bone, ideally including: beef shank (sliced like osso bucco), lamb shoulder arm chops, ox tail, veal shank or tail, and if you feel like it, maybe some lamb neck bones or beef short ribs – whatever you can find!)
Safflower or other neutral oil
3 heads garlic
3/8-1/2 C coarsely ground black pepper (no, that’s not a typo)
2-3 bottles red wine (ideally a young Chianti, supposedly, though we’ve used all sorts of inexpensive reds to good result)
Salt to taste

Salt the meat a bit. Don’t go overboard, you can always finish salting the dish later. A light sprinkle on each side will do for now.

Got a big pan (or two at once, is what I do) nice and hot, grease it up a bit with safflower or some other neutral oil, and brown your meat nice and good, tossing each piece into a big bowl once it’s good and dark on all sides. Set out snacks to get you through a few hours of that delicious smell that’s only just starting to fill your home.

For this much meat, I use three pots to cook a batch of peposo – a nice big cazuela (a Spanish clay pot), the bottom of my tagine (a Moroccan clay pot), and a big cast iron pan.

Any heavy-bottomed pot should be fine, though, so don’t worry if you don’t have any clay pots on hand. I’m a bit obsessed with them, but I haven’t really experimented properly to figure out yet whether they actually improve flavor or if they just make me happier by looking nice on the stove. Relax, it’ll all work out in the end.

Lay out your meat in a single layer, tightly packed into the pots or pans you’re using to cook it. (Note: If you use short ribs, I find that they come out better when packed on their side, rather than bone up or bone down.)

Take the garlic heads apart, discarding the outer skin but not peeling the individual cloves. Tuck the garlic cloves in the various crevices between the meats.

Sprinkle the black pepper over everything, then pour in enough wine to mostly (but not completely!) cover the meat. This usually turns out to be the first 2 bottles, for me.

Cover the pots with tin foil (I don’t actually have lids that fit the pots I tend to use for this dish – your mileage may vary, just make sure they’re covered!) and put them on your stove at its lowest possible setting.

Now you just have to be patient. Some cuts start feeling tender and wonderful and done after about 3 hours, while others take closer to 4 or 5. After about two hours, if you got that 3rd bottle of wine, you can check in and pour some more in to make up for whatever may have cooked off. If not, don’t worry, it’ll still be delicious.

Start checking the meat after about 3 hours. Poke every piece with a fork, and take out whichever ones feel done. I like to shred the meat off the bone and connective tissue while the rest of the meat cooks further, then do another check, and so on.

As the meat comes off the bone, make sure to push the marrow out of the bones and into a small bowl you’ve set aside for that purpose. As each pot finishes up, take out the garlic cloves and squish them from their skins into that same little bowl. Discard the garlic skins, emptied bones, and bits of connective tissue or other questionably textured bits (if you’re picky like me). Stir the marrow and garlic together with a fork until it’s a nice squishy tasty mess.

Once everything is out of the remaining braising wine, stir the garlic/marrow into the wine to create the sauce. Turn the heat back on and reduce the sauce until it’s nice and thick – it doesn’t have to be super dense, but you want it thick enough to really coat every bite and stick to it.

That’s it. Stir the meat back into the sauce, and salt to taste. Eat approximately forever, with enough bread to sop up the sauce and something green and vivid and crunchy on the side to contrast with the deep rich ultimate winy meatiness of the peposo.

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Spicy Shrimp with Wine Rice http://habeasbrulee.com/2010/05/03/spicy-shrimp-with-wine-rice/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2010/05/03/spicy-shrimp-with-wine-rice/#comments Tue, 04 May 2010 03:48:46 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/?p=456

Perhaps you’ve perused the fridge at Kam Man or some other Chinatown grocery store and seen jars of this crazy awesome mushy liquid that looks like rotting rice in cloudy water. It’s sweet and boozy, a tasty precursor to more refined sakes. You can brew your own using Chinese wine balls (actually, yeast balls), but personally, I just buy it by the jar.

This recipe was adapted from Ken Hom, who has become my go-to source for quick and easy weeknight dinners. (I can’t believe I’m writing this. Since when do I prioritize quick and easy? Honestly, I still don’t, but once in a while when we get home late it really is nice to be able to throw something together in a rush.)

I’ve never eaten anything else like this. That’s really the point. It tastes almost as alcoholic as Dave’s chocolate mousse, with that gorgeously savory spiciness from the chili bean paste. Dave (my partner) is trying to avoid nightshades nowadays, which didn’t stop me from making a whole batch of this to eat myself over the next week. So worth it, even for me alone.

2008: Rhubarb Soup with Nicoise Olive Cookies
2007: Sour Cherry Braised Lamb Shanks
2006: Pear and Basil Tart

Spicy Shrimp with Wine Rice
(adapted from Chinese Technique by Ken Hom)
1 lb ground pork
1 lb large unshelled shrimp
kosher salt
safflower/peanut/canola oil
2 tbsp grated ginger
2 tbsp minced garlic
4 dried birdseye peppers, crushed
1 tbsp sesame oil
1/2 C thinly sliced scallions (circles of the green parts only)
for the marinade
2 tbsp shaoxing
1 1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
for the sauce
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp shaoxing
1 tsp granulated sugar
2 tbsp chili bean paste (I use Lee Kum Kee brand Chili Bean Sauce (Toban Djan))
1/2 C chicken stock
1 1/2 C fermented wine rice

1. Mix the ground pork with the marinade ingredients and set aside.

2. Devein the shrimp, but leave the shells on; you can just slice through the shells easily when deveining.

3. Here’s the trick for making sure the shrimp are nice and crunchy instead of mushy – stir in 1 tsp kosher salt and let sit for 1 minute. Rinse with cold water. Repeat two more times (three salt/rinse cycles, total), then pat dry.

4. Heat your wok until it feels like a hot radiator with your palm 2-3 inches above the bottom, then add about 3 tbsp safflower oil and swirl it around to coat the inside of the wok. When it’s almost smoking again, add the shrimp and stir-fry until they are opaque. Remove from wok and set aside.

5. Add a bit more oil to the wok, maybe 2 tbsp or so, then stir-fry the ginger, garlic, and crushed birdseye chilis for a minute, until fragrant.

6. Add the ground pork and stir-fry until it no longer looks raw.

7. Add the sauce ingredients and stir thoroughly as it boils for a minute or two.

8. Add the shrimp and cook for a moment longer, then turn off the heat and stir in the sesame oil and scallions.

9. Serve with rice.

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Pork & Sundried Tomato Cappelletti with Pomegranate Walnut Sauce http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/11/30/pork-sundried-tomato-cappelletti-with-pomegranate-walnut-sauce/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/11/30/pork-sundried-tomato-cappelletti-with-pomegranate-walnut-sauce/#comments Mon, 01 Dec 2008 02:21:08 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/11/30/pork-sundried-tomato-cappelletti-with-pomegranate-walnut-sauce/

My dear friend Ariana gave me her pasta maker, because she never used it. But me? I use it all the time. I love rolling the dough through the rollers, thinner and thinner, and goofing around shaping filled pasta of various sorts.

Well, everyone needs a hobby.

This is another variation on Fesenjan, that wonderful Persian/Afghani dish made of chicken (or pigeon, or whatever fowl you prefer), walnuts, and pomegranate molasses. We’ve riffed off of it before, but this version is absolutely the tastiest one yet. I could eat this for lunch every day, happily. Sometimes I do.

We’re starting to consider actually buying a second freezer, because we’re at the point where we sometimes need to use duct tape to keep ours shut, its contents always ready to leap out and ATTACK!

We would fill our second freezer with all our homemade stocks, and homemade frozen basteeya and filled pastas for quick ‘n easy dinners on nights when we come home late to work. It would be a dream come true. Our landlords would be very upset with us, though, so a dream it remains.

In the meantime, enjoy the cappelletti!

2007: Cubed Radish Kimchi
2006: Kabocha Beef Tagine with Chickpeas and Preserved Lemon

Pork & Sundried Tomato Cappelletti
for the filling
1 large pork shank (about 1.5-2 lbs, but don’t stress too much over it; pork shoulder is a fine substitute if you prefer)
a handful dried chanterelle mushrooms, soaked in hot water to cover
1 bottle pecan beer (or whatever beer you prefer, really)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
A handful of oil-packed sundried tomatoes, drained and minced
for the pasta
250 g all-purpose flour
1 tsp ground cumin
3 eggs
1/4 tsp salt

First, make the filling. Salt and pepper your meat, and sear it until richly browned on all sides. Then add pecan beer and the chanterelle soaking liquid, enough to come about halfway up the side of the meat, or less. Coarsely chop the chanterelles and thrown them in after.

If you have a pressure cooker, cook at high pressure for about 25 minutes, then let the pressure release naturally.

If you don’t have a pressure cooker, preheat your oven to about 275 F. Put the braise ingredients in a heavy-bottomed pot or dutch oven. Take a sheet of parchment paper, crumple it up, and soak it in water. Spread it out, all crinkly, down over the meat in the pot. It can touch the meat, that’s just fine. Then put a lid on the pot. Braise for a few hours, or until meltingly tender.

Either way, when the meat is done, take it out of the liquid and let it cool enough to handle. (While that’s happening, skip ahead and make the pasta dough). When you can, shred it and chop the shreds coarsely. Mix in the chanterelles (strained out of the braising liquid) and the sundried tomatoes. Set aside.

Make the pasta dough by creating a mound of the flour with the other ingredients in the center. Slowly stir them in with a fork, then knead the dough for about 6-8 minutes, until smooth. Form it into a ball and wrap with plastic wrap. Set it aside and let it rest for half an hour. (Skip back and shred your pork now!)

Take 1/3 of the dough at a time, leaving the rest covered until you’re ready to deal with it.

If you have a pasta maker, run the dough through the pasta maker at its widest setting. Fold in half (parallel to the line of the pasta maker). Run it through again. Fold again, run it through again. Fold in half (perpendicular to the line of the pasta maker, to make it narrower), and run it through again. Reduce the width by one setting. Run the dough through. Reduce the width again. Run the dough through again. Keep going as long you can, which will probably be the third-narrowest setting (5 or 6, probably).

If you don’t have a pasta maker, you can stretch the dough out by hand instead. Gather the dough you will be working with into a sphere, and flatten it into a disk onto your lightly floured work surface. Using your rolling pin, roll it out into a circle about 1/8″ thick. Remember to think of it as an act of stretching, not compressing. If you are used to compressing dough when you roll it out, just focus on the pushing it away from you and be light when it comes to downward pressure.

Once you have that circle, you are ready to begin stretching your dough in earnest.

Stretching out pasta dough goes like like this: Wrap just the top quarter of the dough, the quarter furthest away from you, around the rolling pin. It may not even wrap all the way around, depending on how much dough you are using at a time. Flick it forward so that it slaps against the work surface. Next, wrap more like a third of the dough around the rolling pin, and then flick that forward to hit the surface. Next, a half. Keep going until you have the entire mass of dough wrapped around your rolling pin, then rotate your rolling pin and flick the dough out so that it unwraps in a thwapTHWACK, slapping the work surface forward and back, and begin the process at the far end again. Keep going until your dough is thin enough, and for stuffed pasta, thin enough is as thin as you can possibly get it.

Either way, once you have your thin sheet of pasta, cut it immediately into squares. Put a small mound of the pork filling in the center of each square, then fold one corner over to the diagonally opposite corner until you have a triangle. Squish the edges together, hard, so that they will stick – they will thin and spread out as you squish them together, which is just fine.

Take the two corners at the ends of the hypotenuse and wrap them around your finger, squishing them together where they overlap. Bend the last corner down backwards, away from the ring. Put aside and do the rest the same way.

To cook your pasta, get a pot of salted water boiling. Fresh pasta takes only 2-3 minutes to cook.

Alternatively, you can freeze the cappelleti on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, and then gather them up into a ziplock bag to store them in the freezer once they’re solid. They’ll take a bit longer to cook when you start from frozen, of course.

Pomegranate Walnut Sauce
1 large onion, thinly sliced
Olive oil
1 C chicken stock
1 pinch saffron threads
3 tbsp pomegranate molasses
1/2 tsp urfa biber (a fruity Turkish hot pepper that isn’t too spicy)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 shakes ground nutmeg
1 squirt Bragg’s liquid aminos
1/4 C finely chopped walnuts
1 tsp bamboo honey (or other dark-but-not-bitter honey), or more to taste
Salt to taste

Brown the onion in the oil.

Warm the chicken stock and stir in the saffron. Set it aside to let it steep for 20 minutes.

Once the onions and steeped stock are ready, blend 2/3 of the browned onions in with the saffron-steeped chicken stock. Add the blended mixture back into the pan with the remaining browned onions. Stir in the rest of the ingredients, then simmer for a minute or so to let the flavors combine.

In the photo, you can see that the cappelletti and sauce were also served with sev, a sprinkling of Indian fried chickpea noodles for extra crunch. This is not strictly necessary, but the texture contrast is very tasty.

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Duck Hearts with Cinnamon Juniper Sauce http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/07/17/duck-hearts-with-cinnamon-juniper-sauce/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/07/17/duck-hearts-with-cinnamon-juniper-sauce/#comments Thu, 17 Jul 2008 14:27:04 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/07/17/duck-hearts-with-cinnamon-juniper-sauce/

Let me explain. No, it is too much! Let me sum up.

I got it into my head that I had to pick up some duck hearts. These things happen.

It turns out that you can buy duck hearts at Ottomanelli’s Meat Market (285 Bleecker Street, NY, NY) in 5 pound bags for something like $3-4/pound. Just order a bag and in a few days you will have infinite duck hearts to play with. Thaw them just enough to separate them into ziplock bags with maybe 1/2 pound duck hearts in each, label the bags with the date and contents, and freeze whatever you don’t cook immediately.

This way, if you want a quick snack of duck hearts in the middle of the week, you can pull out a small portion of them to play with! You never know when the duck heart munchies may hit. INFINITE DUCK HEARTS!

I get these urges sometimes, you see.

My partner, Dave, said that he’s going to have to put a single duck heart in with my lunch every day from now until eternity, and if I’m good he’ll even cook them first.

If you’re in a rush, you can quickly saute the hearts in butter and make a simple pan sauce with chicken stock and balsamic vinegar to pour over them. This takes just a few minutes to throw together and is splendid with toasted english muffins.

But on nights when you have the time to cook something a little more complex, it takes just a few minutes longer to throw together these duck hearts with cinnamon juniper sauce instead. Cinnamon juniper duck is an old Hungarian specialty, according to George Lang, who provided the inspiration (but not the recipe) for this dish.

Don’t worry. This dish was so good, it’s even four-year-old-picky-eater approved.

My grandmother informs me that we did it all wrong, and we should have browned onions in the pan before adding the duck hearts and done it up as a paprikas.

Anyways, duck hearts.

2007: Turkish-Style Burdock Root
2006: Basil Sorbet with Lemon Olive Oil

Duck Hearts with Cinnamon Juniper Sauce
1/2 lb. duck hearts
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
10 juniper berries, finely crushed
1/2 C red wine
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Thaw the duck hearts. Reserve the blood that melts when they thaw. Remove the fatty tops and cut the hearts into 1/4″ thick rounds.

Brown the onion in butter until it is golden, but not too dark. Add the duck hearts and spices and saute briefly. Remove duck hearts from the pan and set aside when they are almost cooked through.

Add the wine to the pan and boil until slightly syrupy.

Reduce the heat and stir in the duck blood to thicken. Add the hearts back to the pan and simmer, stirring, until heated and cooked through. Adjust the seasoning to taste.

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Moroccan Inspired Pork Shanks http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/05/08/moroccan-inspired-pork-shanks/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/05/08/moroccan-inspired-pork-shanks/#comments Thu, 08 May 2008 14:38:12 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/05/08/moroccan-inspired-pork-shanks/

Just a few announcements here, as I share the recipe for the pork shanks we served at Jack last weekend.

If you’re a blogger of any sort living in NYC, you should come join us at the Brooklyn Blogfest tonight. It will be held at (hold you breath, wait for it, wait for it…) the Brooklyn Lyceum in Park Slope – yes, the very same fabulous location where Dave and I hold our restaurant nights twice a month.

I’ll be there to help set up and participate. I was interviewed for a video of Brooklyn Bloggers that will be played at the event. And, most importantly from your perspective, I’m sure, we’ll be giving away samples of Dave’s brilliantly fantastic homemade marshmallows in a selection of flavors – kahlua, lemon/rose/almond, and Aztec 3.0. I think our plan is to have about 200 bags of marshmallows to give away, so with an expected turnout of closer to 300 people, you better get there early if you want marshmallows tonight!

And speaking of the our restaurant, the May 24, 2008 menu is finally up.

Okay, back to the recipe. These pork shanks were loosely based on some of the fruity tagines we’ve eaten. Since Morocco is an Islamic country, making what basically amounts to a pork shank tagine is probably unheard of in traditional Moroccan cuisine. Sure is tasty, though!

2007: Amaretto Brownies with Saffron Creme Anglaise and Bee Pollen Spice Mix
2006: Paprika Sticky Rolls

Moroccan Inspired Pork Shanks
2 pork shanks (about 2.5-3 lbs)
A bit of oil for browning
for the braise
1/2 tsp saffron threads (1 big pinch)
1 C hot water
1 tsp ground ginger
2 2-inch-long cinnamon sticks
1 tsp csipos (spicy) paprika
1/4 tsp ground cayenne
1/2 preserved lemon
1/8 C tomato paste
to finish the sauce
1 onion, coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 C coarsely chopped dried apricots

Set aside the saffron threads to steep in the hot water.

Brown the shanks by searing them in a little oil in a hot pan on all sides.

Pull the pith and flesh from the preserved lemon and discard. Rinse the peel well. Stir it and the rest of the braising ingredients into the saffron water.

Braise the shanks in the saffron water mix over low heat until meltingly tender, or just pressure cook for 25 minutes on high and then release the pressure by natural release. (Can you tell how much we love the pressure cooker we got this year? We can braise things the slow way, but we both have day jobs, after all.)

Once the pork is ready, remove the meat from the cooking liquid and set it aside to cool a bit. Strain and defat the liquid.

Start to build the rest of the sauce by sauteing the onion in a bit of oil until brown. Stir in the garlic, apricots, and degreased pork cooking liquid.

Cook the sauce for 20 minutes or so. In the meantime, to make service easier you may want to pull on a pair of gloves and pull the meat from the bone, since each shank is big enough to feed several people. This is optional, though.

When the sauce is ready, pour it back over the pork.

I like to serve this with couscous and cucumber salad.

2 C couscous
Olive oil
Cold water

Rinse the couscous in about 6 C cold water. Drain the water, and leave the damp couscous spread out in a roasting pan to absorb what remains for about ten minutes. Rake through the couscous once it dries, breaking up any lumps with your fingers.

Steam the couscous over broth or water for twenty minutes. I use a bamboo steamer set over a water-filled wok and lined with a paper towel before pouring the couscous into it. Leave the couscous uncovered as it steams.

Pour the couscous out back into the roasting pan. I like to wear nitrile or latex gloves for this step to protect my hands from the heat. Cover your hands in olive oil and add cold water slowly, raking the couscous and breaking up any lumps with your fingers as you do so. The couscous expands more from the cold water it absorbs during the raking than it does from the steaming. The oil you are rubbing into the couscous helps keep the grains separated. Add enough cold water for the couscous to stay damp and absorb, but not so much that you soak it. For 2 C couscous, I tend to add about 1 – 1 1/2 C cold water.

At this point, you can set the couscous aside covered with a damp towel for at hours before finishing it with a second steaming. If you do so, just pick up at the next step whenever you like. Otherwise, just set it aside for 10 minutes, uncovered.

Rake the couscous again to remove any lumps and return it to the steamer. (Make sure you still have enough water in the wok below.) Steam twenty minutes, uncovered. Remove from the steamer, work in a bit more cold water if you like, rake out any lumps with your fingers, and serve.

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