Archive for the american Category

Pulled Some More Pork

Posted in american, condiments, leftovers, pork, potato with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 8, 2013 by oskila

My brother came over the other day and since he hadn’t had dinner he went to the store for food to cook at our place. He returned with a piece of pork shoulder, shaped like a fillet, and marinated in orange and ginger and also some potatoes and a bottle of ready made red wine sauce. He only cooked and ate half of it, so I had the rest for lunch the next day.

Since both my previous attempts mainly involved an oven and nearly whole days of cooking, I knew I had to change method or have something else for lunch. The choice fell on the cast iron pot that’s been heavily featured recently. I tipped the rest of the red wine sauce in, along with a bit of water, pork stock, sugar and half an onion in slices. Simmered the meat, which wasn’t as large as the big chunks of pork neck I’ve used before, for about two hours

Both this step and the next would have had really nice pictures, if the camera hadn’t messed the files up. (My trusty DSLR does become a bit iffy from time to time.  It’s about 10 years old.)

Next step was to rub the cooked meat with a new batch of dust, basicall same as the old one but with muscovado sugar instead of regular and some Sichuan pepper and English mustard powder added to spice things up a bit. Then half an hour in the oven at 150 C (300 F) to get a bit of bark going.

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Pork pulled and camera working again.

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The remains of the simmering part.

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Meat reheated in a pan with a dollop of homemade barbecue sauce. It had time to go cold due to slightly poor planning with the garnish and all the fiddling with the camera.

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Comparatively quick pulled pork with refried potatoes and some onions and romaine lettuce

Chowder-like Smoky Salvage Soup

Posted in alaska pollock, american, bacon, beans, discount, leeks, potato, shellfish, soup with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 1, 2013 by oskila

An awful lot of time has gone by since the last post. I’m very sorry for that, and I have a big backlog of meals to blog about. Today’s dish, however, is hot from the stove. (not really, since it’s probably three-four hours since I actually ate it for dinner)

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When my wife’s aunt and uncle moved to Copenhagen they gave away quite a lot of food that wouldn’t keep for the trip over to Denmark anyway. Among the things we were given were a tin of smoked mussels, something I felt we’d probably never use. Until I read some stuff about clam chowder. The soup I’m making today is probably breaking all kinds of clam chowder rules, but that’s never bothered me in the past. I didn’t feel like a big round of shopping, so I used up stuff I found. Ye olde crustacean stock, frozen alaska pollock up the seaworthy proteins a bit, bacon, cos at least it’s never made a dish worse, ever, creme fraiche with herbs instead of cream, because it was expires-tomorrow-cheap, some old frozen fries and some leek.

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Bacon, leeks and diced fries are the first to go in my new nice cast iron pot, along with some white pepper and powdered garlic. Any chowder purists among the regular readers have probably un-followed by now, but in hindsight I couldn’t tell if the potatoes in the soup was hand-peeled and diced, or simply chopped up fries. It’s not cheaper at all, but handy if you’re in a pinch.

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As I added the still frozen stock, the diced fish and the mussels (it’s damn silly, by the way, that the same Swedish company that used to can 1500 tons of locally sourced mussels annually now ships them from Chile instead. Not very sustainable I’d think) second thought struck, and I also added a handful of green beans and a pinch of paprika.

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Good food, but crappy photo. Added water, a bit of milk to counter the rather high saltiness, a dash of lemon juice in lieu of white wine and, after bringing the pot to a boil, the creme fraiche.

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The final result is a soup with quite a few chowder-like qualities, that I hope at least a quite hungry Mainer would agree to eat. And it feels great to be back in the food blog business.

When Mr and Mrs NerdCuisine Ate New York, pt. 1

Posted in american with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 5, 2013 by oskila

I think I’ve hinted at us getting married and honeymooning in NYC in more than one of the recent posts (can’t be bothered to actually check while writing a new post though), so it’s about time to relate our travels, or rather what we ate.

Arriving in New York at late lunch time I guess we had some sort of culinary short circuit and ended up in McDonald’s for dinner. Not awfully exciting, but at least a bit interesting to compare Swedish and American McD restaurants. The furniture is the same, but the menu system isn’t. While Swedish restaurants generally have everything on HD monitors, at least the one we visited in NY had backlit menus that looked like the ones used in Sweden in the 90s.

The next item is the hotel’s complimentary breakfast. It had six different pastries, iced water, tea and (by Swedish standards very very weak) coffee. Not exactly a healthy breakfast, but at least free of charge.

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After considering a number of options, lunch happened at a deli on the Soho part of Broadway, which had very nice pepperoni pizza. (is this maybe the first time yours truly has actually posed for a blog picture?)

Lunch and shopping taken care of, we ambled back up towards our hotel near Madison Square and ended up at the supposedly Swedish style coffee shop Fika.

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They offered a number of rather Swedish foods, but while their drip brewed coffee was the best I had during the New York trip, serving it at my workplace would induce a considerable amount of surly comments. In short, the strength was in the roast and not in the grounds-to-water ratio. Americans reading this and wanting to invite Swedes for coffee, here’s a bit of advice: the correct amount of ground coffee to use with a liter of water is 120 ml or 56 grams (1,97 oz)

The privilege to serve us dinner was awarded to Shake Shack in Madison Square Park. Our decision was based on the proximity to the hotel and the assumption that a place with a line that long has to be pretty good, which it was indeed, even though part of the popularity could be attributed to hip factor. If I was actually giving out grades, Shake Shack would have points deducted for the difficulty of getting a table, which meant sitting on the park benches, which in turn meant one had to fend off the infamous park squirrels.

Following some thinking and debate, we’re not quite certain whether we dined at Shake Shack on June the 4th or 5th, but where we ate the other of those nights is a veritable conundrum. Possibly the pizza place at Broadway and 27th.

6th of June is Sweden’s national day, and since I had told friends back home that we would have a picnic in Central Park we went there. After noticing a flag or two, watching some Robins forage and wave upon wave of squirrels run past we ended up having a ‘picnic’ at the Loeb Boathouse.

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The burgers were of a sensible size, but one order of fries would have been plenty for the both of us.

After lunch we strolled over to the Swedish Cottage, which didn’t look like we expected it to, but nothing from 1876 ever does. Then we went to the American Museum of Natural History and got in free of charge because a nice gentleman we met at the entrance apparently had the habit of collecting his member admittance tickets and passing them out to people he met on the way out. Saved us $38 to spend on other things.

I’m fairly certain we ate dinner at Duo that night, which was slightly fancier than we had planned, but still laid back enough that they asked if we wanted to share one order or have one each. I didn’t take any pictures in the restaurant, but here’s a link to what we ate, from their Facebook page: Fancy pants DUO hanger steak.

This post is rather long by now, so I’m going to call it part one and do another as soon as I can manage, with the rest of the trip.

More Pulled Pork

Posted in american, beer, condiments, pork, sandwich, sauce with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 1, 2013 by oskila

Sometimes us food bloggers get a bit single-minded about something. I’ve done Japanese noodles, cabbage and bacon, to mention a few. Now it’s apparently pulled pork. In my defense I have to say that pulled pork is very modern and I’m only going with the times.

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Last time I simply roasted a pork neck at fairly low temp. This time it’s been allowed to wallow in its dry rub overnight and the cooking method will be a bit more elaborate.  A few years back I was given my parents’ spaghetti pot, because it didn’t work with their new induction stove. The pot comes with its own colander, which I’ve often thought should be usable for large scale steaming. And since the whole pulled pork thing has a bit of a macho air about it we’ll be using beer for steam (More specifically a pale ale from Denmark) Some kind of semi-moist pot roast I guess.

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Aforementioned meat (one of many pork neck chunks residing in the freezer) in colander/steamer thingy. Beer goes in pot, followed by colander. Lid applied and the whole thing goes into the oven. In my oven it’s a rather snug fit, so one could probably use the stove too, but oven temp is so much more exact. 212 F in this case.

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Meat after one hour. It’s showing signs of being cooked, but there’s not a lot of steam going on – more a faint smell of beer going flat.

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Meat after two and a half hours. Applied a sprinkle of rub just in case. The smell of simmering beer is becoming rather tangible.

We decided to go have barbecue dinner with my brother, so I left the beer steaming contraption to its own devices

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‘Flintstone roast’ – marinated slice of ham on the bone – is standard bbq fare for Swedes.

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Meat after seven hours. Opening the oven door revealed a considerable amount of steam and the meat has visibly shrunk and is really starting to lose its structural integrity. Satisfied with the level of tenderness I applied another sprinkle of rub and increased temp to 250 F and left the lid off for an hour to get a bit of a bark.

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Mission accomplished.

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I decided to try this batch of pork in hot dog buns, which works quite well.

It’s also worth mentioning that I took my ‘secret’ sauce from the last post and improved it with a bit more mustard, a darker treacle, plenty of dark muscovado sugar and a dash of liquid smoke.

Midnight Pork

Posted in american, condiments, discount, pork, roast, sandwich, sauce with tags , , , , , , on June 18, 2013 by oskila

With pulled pork being all the rage over here (probably because of American cooking shows) and me having recently eaten some in NY and also the pork necks at the neighborhood grocery being ridiculously cheap this little project more or less came together on its own.

I’m sure there are many established ways to cook pork for pulling, but I prefer to not look things up unless absolutely necessary. My cooking method of choice is the ordinary oven, set to 100 degrees C (212 F) with a dish of water sitting at the bottom to provide some steam.

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A two pound piece of pork neck, cut in half to reduce cooking time, brined and then covered in a dry rub consisting of mostly equal parts salt and sugar, half-parts smoked paprika and garlic powder and quarter-parts black pepper, onion powder, rosemary and ginger.

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With the pork in the oven it’s time to improvise some sauce. In NY I encountered two types of barbecue sauce; The sweet, gooey sort and the thinner vinegary sort. I liked both and went somewhere in between. The piece de resistance of my concoction, though, is the Danish æblegløgg. (Gløgg (or glögg in Swedish) is the Scandinavian type of mulled wine, in this case non-alcoholic and made from unfiltered apple juice, lemon, star anise, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves). For those bad at reading Swedish or guessing what stuff is, the other ingredients are ketchup, honey, smoked paprika, dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, mango vinegar and treacle.

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Boiling the sauce down to a more syrupy texture.

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A sauce that sticks to the inside of a dispenser bottle is pretty sticky indeed…

The reason for the post title being ‘Midnight Pork’ is that that’s about the time when it was done, since I put it in the oven at around 7 PM. I raised the temp to 150 C (300 F) for the last 20 minutes to get a more defined crust.

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Let the pulling begin!

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Since I hadn’t planned on going out in search of suitable buns around midnight (and we just don’t get those namby-pamby…I mean delicate… buns they have in the US anyway) I put my pulled pork on toast and was very very happy.

Garlic-studded Pork Neck

Posted in american, condiments, corn, crossover, discount, french, mediterranean, pork, roast, yogurt with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 30, 2013 by oskila

Went to the store to catch up on vegetables a bit. Not a lot of those at home lately. Stumbled upon an almost suspiciously good offer on pork neck for members of the cooperative.  Took one home, studded it with garlic.

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I didn’t bother with tying it this time. There’s a limit to how fancy one manages to be on a Monday afternoon. Apart from (fresh) garlic it’s been brushed with dark soy sauce and sprinkled with crushed black pepper and thyme. If you have the time, do brine your pork neck before roasting. It just gets so much better.

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Here’s the pork neck after perhaps an hour in the oven. I relied solely on the meat thermometer’s alarm (which was a bit off this time. Had to microwave the sliced meat a bit since I don’t trust even slightly pink pork.)

While the roast was roasting, some corn on the cob got prepared, along with a simple but effective tzatziki.

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Those three elements are seldom seen on the same plate, but they were all good!

 

Clearance Stew: Gumbo-inspired Muck

Posted in american, cabbage, cajun, crossover, discount, ground beef, leftovers, mushroom, okra, peppers, sausage, stew, stock with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 8, 2013 by oskila

It was one of those days when the leftovers and odds and ends reached critical mass. A number of loose food ends that are at risk of going bad unless they’re chucked out (which is very unfashionable these days) or made into a clearance stew (a.k.a. fridge stew). Such stews can take any number of directions, depending on what it is that you’ve forgotten behind the eggs and the jam. The deciding factor for me was probably the bag of okra pods in the freezer. I bought them just because I could, with only a vague idea that they’re used for thickening in Cajun cooking. As per usual, I knew very little about the dish I was going to get inspired by, in this case gumbo. Apart from okra I seemed to recall that onions, celery and green peppers were important, and that it was supposed to be fairly spicy. From there it was touch and go.

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Leftover spanish chorizo, beef stock cubes, ground beef (bought just before Christmas, frozen and forgotten) green bell pepper, the last bit of savoy cabbage, shallots, carrots, cured sausages of some kind, red chili pepper, mushrooms, garlic, onion, celery and okra. Since the main protein is ground beef, this dish can at most be Cajun-inspired or have a hint of Louisiana, but my intention wasn’t to make actual gumbo, but rather to make a stew that’d last all week.

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Chopped onions, carrots, garlic, celery, peppers and chili. Whole shallots.

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Beef, mushrooms, cabbage, cured sausage and chorizo added

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Stock and okra go in, along with some herbs and a bit of tomato paste

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A couple of hours of slow simmering produces half a gallon of swamp-like stew. Way tastier than it looks.

 

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