Pozole Verde

It was damned cold outside, I was home alone for a weekend and with giant cans of bodega hominy staring me in the face, I was ready for an afternoon cooking pozole. Looking for something new, I paged through Diana Kennedy’s “The Art of Mexican Cooking’ I found a recipe for Pozole Verde and I glommed onto it. I modified it to my tastes and what I had on time. Even as I modified the recipe by adding some smoked turkey parts, the final results could not have been different from what I expected.

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Ramen Braised Turkey Leg

Odd ramen needs more spotlight like I need another hole in the head. Around Chicago where a year ago ramen was nowhere, crafty ramen is hard to avoid. For a guy with quarts of frozen ramen broth in my chest freezer, I need to find other uses.

I had accidentally made roasted squash/shoyu ramen soup, which was pretty delicious with a beguiling flavor when all you expect is squash with maybe a little curry.  With a couple turkey legs, I wondered if you could take a specific soup, a heavily seasoned, bone broth like tonkotsu with enough gelatin to outwiggle even the most lurid canned cranberry sauce, and use it as a braising medium. Hell, you can do it with stock, beer, wine, or tomatoes, so why not ramen? I used pho to braise beef years ago. And why not others like chili? Continue reading

Cheerwine Mustard

Much of my dwindling free time is spent looking for the long cut. It is easy to buy mustard seeds. It is easy to buy vinegar. Growing huge and beautiful mustard plants, letting them go to seed, drying the pods and harvesting the seeds. That is interesting to me. Taking a soda and souring it into vinegar. That is interesting to me. With that information, it should not be a surprise how, when I looked in the pantry to find some home harvested mustard seeds and then in the fridge to see 4 bottles of Cheerwine vinegar, I decided to use them together and make mustard. Continue reading

Ham Shank Terrine

Life has been busier than normal and the time I spend in the kitchen, one of my favorite ways to unwind, has been inconsistent. In an effort to simplify and refocus my kitchen hobby, I went back to an ingredient, ham, and a preparation, terrine, I feel both comfortable with and inspired by. Continue reading

Pumpkin-Rye Rugbrød

The only thing more fashionable in fall than Pumpkin-Spice everything is hating on Pumpkin-Spice everything. How can you be so mad at cloves? I understand the instinct to push back on the attempt to pumpkin spice everything, but only because lost in the process is transposition of the associating the flavors of that latte with actual pumpkin. Continue reading

Huitlacoche & Smoked Corn Pate

We moved out of the city almost a year and a half ago. It seems like ages ago, but really has not been. However, what we found in the burbs from a dining perspective can be described most nicely as “limited”. Coming from Chicago, where we could stumble down the street for any number of great things to eat and having dozens of great places to deliver food to us, it was a shock. Since moving, we’ve adjusted. We have bought a second car. My garden has grown exponentially. But, some adjustments will never be made. We usually travel into the city to eat out and go in to do so as frequently as we went out when we lived in the city. Continue reading

Duck and Black Trumpet Salumi

Duck is delicious. It has a rich and complex flavor. It should make great sausage. However, I have made duck sausages multiple times and never once liked them. Every time, the classic flavors I paired with them taste too sweet – maybe they are classics because their sweetness balance the richness of the duck, but either way, they are not suitable as sausage flavors. When I happened upon a stewing duck at a farmer’s market, I grabbed it and stuffed in the freezer. Continue reading

Schwartenwurst

What, you have never heard of Schwartenwurst (formerly hautwurst, see below)? Do not worry a bit because it is made up. With football season upon us, I wanted to make a batch of bratwurst, but make the standard recipe a little more “mine”

The start of this sausage is a basic bratwurst recipe, but adds an addition is ground bacon rind. The rind has gone through the curing process and then was smoked. Finally it was boiled until it softened and then was ground into the sausage mixture. The skin would bring flavor, but also, the texture and juiciness would be improved with the addition of pork skin. Continue reading

Alkaline Noodles

After returning from a week in Japan, I have stayed away from ramen. We had it daily and I was spoiled by the quality. While the broth is what I base my judgements on (I am a rookie and Gaijin), as we ate ramen on a lunchly basis, I began to notice how noodles could easily be more obsessed than the broth. We saw different shapes, doneness and texture at each shop. When I look at even the best places to get ramen in the Chicago area, the noodles are less than great generally. Sun Noodle is the best I have had here. When I went back to read Lucky Peach #1, their issue on ramen, I noticed a recipe to make your own noodles using baked baking soda. Continue reading

Worcestershire Sauce

Making condiments at home is tricky. Hot sauce, barbecue sauce, vinegar – all can be done better at home with a little tinkering. Ketchup – a total disaster in flavor, cost and mess. Mustard – somewhere in the middle. I had been using a ton of Worchestershire sauce lately and thought making it at home would be worth a try. Continue reading

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