Milk Braised Pork

Since I introduced you to Bruce and Mark on Monday, I thought I’d pull out the other recipe of theirs that has been lurking around my kitchen – Milk Braised Pork.  I already knew that milk did stupendous things to proteins from using it to braise chicken, so it should have come as no surprise to me that milk braised pork was just as luscious.  There may have been some happy dance shimmy going on at the kitchen counter as I taste tested for “quality control” purposes.

I will be honest and say that I don’t yet own a single one of Bruce and Mark’s cookbooks.  But if the two recipes I have made from them are any indication, there’s a lot to like in those many, many pages.  Who knows, perhaps after the next round of “tidying up” the cookbook shelf, there may be room for a little something by Bruce and Mark.

Milk Braised Pork

Inspired by Mark Scarbrough

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 1/2 – 3 pound pork shoulder (Boston Butt), bone in or boneless
  • 1 onion, sliced or 1 cup butter braised onions
  • 3 cloves of garlic, skins and papers on
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 can vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon course ground mustard (optional)

Heat the oven to 325 degrees.

Melt the butter with the olive oil in a dutch oven or pot large enough to hold the pork.  Pat the pork dry, season with kosher salt and pepper, and brown it well on all sides.  Carefully transfer the pork to a platter and remove all but a tablespoon of the fat from the pot.

Cook the onion until it is softened, which will be very quick if using the butter braised onions.  Add the vegetable broth and scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.  Add the garlic cloves, cinnamon stick, and milk and stir to combine.

Bring the liquid to a boil, return the pork and any accumulated juices back to the pot, cover and transfer to the oven for 3 hours.  Check the pot after 90 minutes to see if you need to add more liquid.  If the liquid is getting low, consider adding more vegetable broth or a dry white wine.

After 3 hours, the pork should be falling apart tender.  If it’s not, stash it back in the oven and keep checking it every 45 minutes or so.  When done, carefully transfer the pork to a cutting board to rest while you finish up the sauce.

Strain the liquid through a mesh sieve into a bowl.  Skim as much fat from the liquid as possible and transfer to a small saucepan.  Set over medium heat and boil until the sauce has reduced slightly.  Whisk in the mustard, if using, and taste for seasoning.  Add salt and pepper to taste and serve the sauce over the tender bits of pork.

{printable recipe}

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Bruce and Mark’s Roasted Shrimp with Herbs

Bruce and Mark are beyond busy.  They write cookbooks… lots of cookbooks. They develop content for magazines and national websites.  They blog.  And they get nominated for James Beard awards.  In the name of full disclosure, I follow Mark on Twitter (and you can too) and I had no idea that this recipe I pulled out of Fine Cooking was his and Bruce’s until I started cooking.  It was then that I noticed the credit at the very bottom of the page.  Ain’t it funny how our worlds sometimes collide?

So then I started conversing with Mark about having made this dish and asking permission to reprint.  Our 140 character or less conversation went something like this:

@bonappetithon: I made the roast shrimp that was in FC this month. Would love your permission to post w/out adapting since there’s not a whole lot to adapt

@markscarbrough:Absolutely. Believe it or not, the recipe is actually an adaptation from our COOKING KNOW-HOW. It’s so easy–perfect summery deck food, no?

@bonappetithon: Greatly appreciated. Was super freaking easy. Perfect for a tasty weeknight dinner.

@markscarbrough: In COOKING KNOW-HOW, we vary the herbs et al endlessly. For example, with Sichuan peppercorns and garlic, then rice vinegar at the end.

So there, from @markscarbrough himself is some additional ways to change up Roasted Shrimp with Herbs.  My apologies to the boys for not capturing a glamor shot to rival what I saw on page 20 of Fine Cooking April/May 2011.  I was hungry and there was roasted shrimp with herbs to be eaten.

Bruce and Mark’s Roasted Shrimp with Herbs

Reprinted with permission

  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large fresh rosemary sprigs, halved
  • 1 1/2 pound extra large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Pour the oil into a 9×13 baking dish.  Add the thyme, rosemary, and pepper and bake until the oil is fragrant, about 12 minutes.

Add the shrimp to the dish and toss with tongs until coated.  Bake the shrimp until pink and firm, 8 to 10 minutes.

Add the vinegar and salt to the shrimp, toss to combine, and let sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes for the oil to cool slightly before serving.

{printable recipe}

Flashback Friday – Miso Hungry

Flashback Friday

The following originally appeared on 12/29/08 at Exit 51.

Miso Hungry

Many years ago I used to subscribe to Cooking Light.  I wanted to cook light, really. Each month I would sit down and tag pages to remind myself to try this or that.  Sometimes I would follow through.  More often than not, the recipes went untried.  There were just too many to sort through and I ultimately began to drown in a sea of Cooking Light.  So I canceled my subscription.  But I held on to those magazines for ages with the hope that one day I would make good on my intentions.

Good intentions will only get you so far, and ultimately you need to cut your losses and move on.  It was in this manner that I broke up with Miso Glazed Salmon.  I think, no I know, that I made this dish and liked it.  But for reasons that I can’t recall, I never moved the recipe from the test pile to the keep pile.  And when the day came to cull the towering stack of pending recipes, Miso Salmon got the boot.

But memory is a fickle thing.  So after a trip to the store that resulted in 2 pounds of salmon and a tub of miso paste coming home with me, I went to dig out that recipe.  It was nowhere to be found.  How could I have let the Mister Right of recipes get away from me?  Clearly, I must not have been thinking rationally.  Why else would I have parted ways with one of the easiest, tastiest, guaranteed not to fail recipes I’ve ever had?

Fortunately, Miso Salmon did not hold a grudge because after one quick Google search, we were reunited.  Absence may make the heart grow fonder, but I’m not going to let this one get away again.  Try it yourself and you’ll see why.

Miso Glazed Salmon

Cooking Light

Notes:  The recipe calls for this to be broiled.  My irrational fear of the broiler will not allow this.  Instead, I cook it at 425 degrees.  Two pounds of salmon needed about twenty minutes in the oven.  Also, I think 2 tablespoons of soy sauce is too much.  So I mix everything else together and then add the soy sauce to taste.  I probably use more like 2 teaspoons, but you add as much as you like.  To make this a truly South Beach Friendly recipe, substitute Splenda Brown Sugar blend for the brown sugar.

  • 1/4  cup  packed brown sugar
  • up to 2  tablespoons  low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2  tablespoons  hot water
  • 2  tablespoons  miso (soybean paste)
  • 4  (6-ounce) salmon fillets (about 1 inch thick)
  • Cooking spray
  • 1  tablespoon  chopped fresh chives

Preheat broiler.

Combine first 4 ingredients, stirring with a whisk. Arrange fish in a shallow baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spoon miso mixture evenly over fish.

Broil 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork, basting twice with miso mixture. Sprinkle with chives.

Tomato Soup With A Twist

Last time on BAH, I discussed the various creative uses I have found for my canning jars.  So there’s some kismet to the fact that this post should come directly after it.  Yes, that is a  picture of soup in a jar.  That soup went from the pot on the stove, into that jar, and then got tucked into my lunch bag.

Roasted Tomato Soup

Adapted from Fine Cooking

BAH Note: I don’t see why you can’t roast the fennel along with the tomatoes and save yourself a step.  And the decision to leave the charred skins on the tomatoes is yours and yours alone…there’s no right or wrong answer.

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 1/2 pounds plum tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves roasted garlic
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can diced tomatoes in juice
  • 1 can light coconut milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon curry powder (optional)

Heat the oven to 450 degrees and line a sheet pan with aluminum foil.  Place the tomatoes on the pan, cut side down, and drizzle with half of the oil.  Sprinkle with kosher salt and roast until the skins are charred.

Once the tomatoes are removed from the oven and cooling, heat the remaining oil in a dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the sliced fennel and onion and cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until the vegetables soften and begin to brown.  Add the broth and scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.  Add the roasted tomatoes, diced tomatoes, and roasted garlic.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes before carefully processing the soup in a blender.

Return the soup to the dutch oven, add the coconut milk, and taste for seasoning.  Add kosher salt to taste and continue to cook until the soup is warmed through.

{printable recipe}

Chocolate Sponge Puddings

My house has been taken over by canning jars.  They are everywhere.  My kitchen, my dining room, inside my refrigerator, and down in my basement.  Some are full of obvious things, like jam and marmalade, and not so obvious things, like salad dressing and bacon grease.  Others hold dry goods like rice, dehydrated mushrooms, and pasta.  But it’s the ones that sit empty, waiting to fulfill their destiny as a vessel, that taunt me.

So I try and find creative ways to use them.  Did you know that an 8 ounce canning jar holds one serving of soup perfectly?  It does and so I use them when I pack soup in my lunch.  It’s this creative use of jars that, to me, explains the explosion of the “in a jar” phenomenon.  Pie in a jar?  Yep.  Cupcake in a jar?  Absolutely.  I’ve also seen fruit cobbler in a jar, cookie mix in a jar, and of course cocktails in a jar.

What you don’t realize when you start canning is that the empty jars will take up a lot of freaking space.  So it’s better to actively use them for something, anything, than to find room to store them all.  Besides, everything looks absolutely adorable when served in a jar.  Hence, “in a jar” trends.

This of course is only my opinion and is not backed up by any scientific research or independent measurements.  Basically, it’s just me:

A) Trying to justify my continued acquisition of jars

B) Finding an way to transition to a recipe for Chocolate Sponge Pudding….baked in a jar.

C) All of the above.

Chocolate Sponge Puddings

Adapted from Melissa d’Arabian

BAH Note: Despite the simplicity of the recipe, I struggled a fair bit.  My egg whites fought being incorporated into the batter.  And I had to nearly double Melissa’s recommended cooking time in order to get the puddings to set.  Of course, I didn’t find out that they needed more cooking until I had a spoonful ready to pop in my mouth…so that one didn’t make it back into the oven and we’ll write that serving off as quality control.  After some additional time in the oven, the bottom of the pudding was rich and thick while the top was spongelike and cakey.  You can make these in ramekins but I used small (4 ounce) canning jars.  So where I say “jars” below, you can pretend it says ramekins if that’s what you have.

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (I used vanilla salt, because I had some)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup whole milk

Heat the oven to 325 degrees and spray the insides of 4 small canning jars with nonstick spray.  Divide 1 tablespoon of sugar among the jars and completely coat the inside with the sugar.

Combine the cocoa, flour, and salt in a small bowl.  In another bowl, or mixing cup, combine the milk and vanilla.  In a medium bowl, beat the egg yolks with the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar with a hand mixer until the sugar dissolves and the yolks are very pale yellow.  Add the half of the cocoa mixture and then half of the milk to the eggs in two additions, beat until smooth and then add the remaining cocoa and milk and thoroughly combine.

In a separate bowl, using clean beaters, whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form.  Gently fold the egg whites into the batter until incorporated, being careful not to overmix the batter, and divide the batter among the jars.

Fill a baking pan or dutch oven large enough to hold the jars with enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the jars.  Carefully place the jars in the water bath and bake for 15 to 30 minutes or until the sides of the cakes begin to pull away from the jar and the top of the cake springs back when lightly touched.

Carefully remove the jars from the water bath (if you have canning tongs, they would be perfect) and serve immediately.  Leftovers can be refrigerated…but I can’t really imagine there being any leftovers.

{printable recipe}

Next Stop, Alaska

BAH Note: I’ve “stuck” this post to the homepage as a reminder to me that I’m “this” close to getting on that plane and a general reminder that while I am away responses to comments will be sparse.  To see the latest of what’s being served up here at BAH, please scroll down.  As soon as I return, I will return this post to its upright and locked position back in chronological order.

Image from Lonely Planet

See that map up there? Two weeks from now that’s where The Mistah and I will be.  We’re staying in Wasilla, a town outside of Anchorage.  Maybe you’ve heard of it?

The Mistah is in charge of planning our itinerary.  We’ve talked about a boat tour out of Seward, a day trip to Denali, dog sledding (when there’s no snow on the ground they have the dog teams pull ATV’s), and if he can pull some strings with his extended family up there…an airplane tour.

I am beyond excited for this trip.  While I am away there will still be new recipes and tales served up here at BAH.  But I don’t figure that Sprint’s Now Network is going to give me internet service to respond to comments while we’re out in the vast expanse of the 49th state.

Flashback Friday – Battle Barefoot Contessa

Flashback Friday

The following originally appeared on 12/8/08 at Exit 51.

Battle Barefoot Contessa

Are you tired of hearing me talk about the new Barefoot Contessa cookbook yet?  I hope not.

Before I was lucky enough to snag it from The Washington Post Food Chat, I had downloaded the recipe for Mustard Roasted Fish.  It screamed Easy Weeknight Meal that must be tried as soon as possible.  So once the Thanksgiving madness was behind me, I put it on the menu.  And you know what, my instincts were spot on.

Let me say it again, this is an Easy Weeknight Meal.  It’s the kind of dish that tastes like it took hours but really only needs about five minutes of your time.  As the Barefoot Contessa herself would say, how easy is that?

battle-barefoot-contessa1

In the time it took for the fish to cook in the oven, I had my grill pan going on the stovetop, pan roasting some asparagus.  If I had really been thinking, I would have put on a pan of water and made some quinoa.  That didn’t occur to me until the timer had gone off so the best I could do was some microwave brown rice.  Still, in less than thirty minutes, dinner was on the table.  Yes, you read that correctly.  From prep to table, a complete meal in less than thirty minutes.

Mine might not look as pretty as the picture in the cookbook, but if the empty plates were any indication, Battle Barefoot Contessa was a success.

Mustard Roasted Fish

From Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics

  • 4 skin-on mild white-fleshed fish fillets, such as black rockfish or Alaskan red snapper (6 to 8 ounces each)
  • Kosher salt, plus 1 teaspoon for the sauce
  • Freshly ground black pepper, plus 1/2 teaspoon for the sauce
  • 2 to 3 medium shallots
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons capers
  • 8 ounces creme fraiche
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, or have a baking dish ready that is large enough to hold the fish in a single layer (the fillets can overlap slightly).

Season the fillets lightly on both sides with salt and pepper. Place them skin side down on the sheet (or in the dish).

Mince the shallots (to yield 2 tablespoons) and drain the capers (to taste); place both in a medium bowl, then add the creme fraiche, the water, both of the mustards, 1 teaspoon of the salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, stirring to combine. Spoon the sauce over the fillets, making sure the fish is completely covered. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until it is just barely cooked through.

Serve hot or at room temperature, with sauce from the pan (or dish) spooned over the top.