Archive for May, 2010

Distractions, Distractions: Hal B. Klein on Hollywood Today

Posted on May 27, 2010. Filed under: hodgepodge, interview, Uncategorized |

People seem to enjoy chatting with me about food over the internet radio. I’m glad, because it’s important that more people learn simple strategies for eating better at home. Also, I like chatting on the internet radio. I had a great time taking food with my friends at Hollywood Today. Have a listen. Actually, you’ll be watching. But only them. All you’ll see of my pretty face is a few pictures.

If you’re in need of further distraction, check out this very sensible pizza philosophy. Avery Corman manages to make me both nostalgic and very (very very very) hungry while proving that there really is no perfect New York pizza.

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Carnitas

Posted on May 25, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Having an amazing butcher just up the street from me has allowed my to indulge in all kinds of delicious experiments. Two weeks ago, it was home cured bacon. This week, I picked up some beautiful pork shoulder from McCall’s, and got to work making carnitas.

This takes quite some time, and a fair bit of attention. Making carnitas isn’t easy, but it’s totally worth it. Try it yourself. You’ll be glad you did.

Cut, into 5 inch chunks:
3.5 Lbs. Pork Shoulder
Season with salt & pepper.
Brown pork. Feel free to use a little bit of lard to do that.

Remove pork from pan. Reduce heat to medium-low.
Add:
One Large Onion, sliced

Stir onion for 2 minutes, and then add:
5 Cloves Garlic, smashed
1.5 Tsp. Ground Sage
1.5 Tsp. Dried Thyme
1.5 Tsp. Ground Cumin
1.5 Tsp. Ground Corriander
1 Tsp Cinnamon
3 Bay Leaves

Stir for about one minute, until spices are fragrant.
Return browned pork chunks to pan.

Add:
1.5 Cups Chicken or Vegetable Stock
1 Cup Water

.5 Cup Beer
2 Tsp. White Wine Vinegar

Turn heat to high, and bring to a boil.
Cover, and transfer to a 350 degree oven.

Cook for one hour.
Stir.
Add:
.5 Cup Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
.5  Cup Cola

Cook one more hour.
Remove pork, and transfer to a baking sheet.
Roast pork an additional 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, strain remaining pan juices. Reserve for sauce.

From here, you have a world of options. You can simply serve the roasted carnitas with chopped cilantro, onion, and the reserved sauce. You can pull the meat, and make tacos/burritos/sandwiches. You can grab the chunks in your hand and eat them greedily. Or you can totally gild the lilly and crisp them in your deep fryer. It’s up to you. The world is your carnita, and you better enjoy it.

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Listen Up: Hal B. Klein on Stardish Radio

Posted on May 18, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Guess who was on the internet radio last night? Me! Have a listen to my interview on Stardish Radio. It’s a nice 20 minute chat about food, my kid’s TV show Lilly’s Light, and talking with accents.

Have a listen. Then go cook something.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/stardish/2010/05/18/double-header-actor-hal-b-klein-actress-vanessa-gomez

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Home Cured Bacon, Second Attempt

Posted on May 11, 2010. Filed under: bacon, hodgepodge, patience, recipe, slow, smoke | Tags: , , , , , , , |

When Thomas H. Palmer wrote “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” I doubt he was thinking about turning uncured pork bellies into bacon. (He was encouraging school kids to do their homework.) It’s good advice, though. My first attempt at curing bacon was a bit of a failure. It was a great first try, but too too too salty. So I tried again. And this time, it turned out much better.

Don’t be intimidated by the length of time involved. You’re not actually doing much. Honestly, the most difficult thing about this project is slicing the meat to into strips.

Begin with:
Three Pounds Uncured Pork Belly*

Wash and pat dry pork belly.
Cover completely with:
One Head of Celery, juiced
1 Tablespoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Sugar

Leave pork in celery juice for 48 hours, turning occasionally.

Remove pork from juice, rinse, and pat dry.
Paint pork with a thin layer of:
Pure Maple Syrup

Crush, and then rub pork with:
3/4 Cup Salt
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Clove
2 Bay Leaves
1.5 Teaspoon Whole Black Pepper
1.5 Teaspoon Whole Coriander
1/2 Teaspoon Caraway Seed

6 Juniper Berries

Place rubbed pork in plastic bag, and then refrigerate for one week.  (One week!)
Turn it every day, draining excess liquid.

After one week, rinse and dry pork.
Smoke, over very low heat, for 6 hours.

Slice, and cook as you would normally cook bacon.

*Uncured pork belly can be a bit of a challenge to find. Best bet is to ask a neighborhood butcher. Yes, there are still some out there. I got an amazing cut from McCall’s Meat and Fish Company. You really will notice a difference in quality.

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Chicken and Potato Curry

Posted on May 6, 2010. Filed under: chicken, poultry, recipe | Tags: , , , , |

This recipe seems a lot more complicated than it is. Take it step by step, and you’ll be enjoying home cooked curry in no time!

For the Chicken:

Grill 2 Chicken Breasts for 6 minutes per side. An optional step is to coat the chicken with a yogurt mix, let it sit in the fridge for a few hours, and then grill. After chicken cools, cut it into medium sized chunks.

Suggested Yogurt Mix:

Half Cup Plain Yogurt
1 Tbs. Honey

2 Tsp. Curry Powder
1 Tsp. Garlic Powder
1 Tsp. Ground Ginger
1 Tsp. Ground Corriander

*You could also bake/broil the chicken, or simply cut it into chunks and let it cook in the curry sauce for 15 minutes. It’s up to you.

For the Potatoes:

2 Yukon Gold Potatoes, cut into 2 inch wedges
2 Tbs. Olive Oil
Pinch salt & pepper
Rub potatoes with oil/salt/pepper. Roast in a 400 degree oven for 25 minutes.

For the Curry:

Add, to a medium-hot pan:
2 Tbs. Ghee (or 1 Tbs Olive Oil and 1 Tbs Butter)
1 Tbs. Curry Powder
*
1 Tsp. (or more!) Chili Powder
1 Tsp. Ground Corriander
1 Tsp. Salt

Stir constantly for one minute, and then add:
One Clove Garlic, minced
One Small Onion, diced
1 Tbs Minced Ginger

Stir one more minute, and then add:
2 Cups Pureed Tomato
1 Cup Coconut Milk


Let simmer for 15 minutes, and then add cooked chicken and potatoes.
Finish with:
2 Tbs. Chopped Cilantro

*There are many curry powders out there. If possible, try to find an Indian market. They will have a much wider variety to choose from, and you can ask the staff to pick their favorites. If there are no markets locally, you should have no trouble finding a curry powder at your local grocery. Be sure to taste the powder before you add it- some are quite hot, so adjust your chili powder accordingly.

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