M. Andrew Gordon

Archive for November, 2009|Monthly archive page

Turkey Necks with Roasted Figs and Pears

In Main Dish on November 29, 2009 at 8:56 pm

Forelle Pears

Thanksgiving yielded at least one revelation this year: the neck is the best meat on the bird.  I do not know how I missed this all of these years.  It’s not as if I had never noticed that the neck has the perfect dark meat, tender as all get out and flavorful as hell.  It’s just that I never quite thought about it being so good.  My mind started to race with ideas about what to do with turkey necks.  Unfortunately, there is only one neck on each bird – and thankfully, no amount of genetic modification will probably change that.  But at least the necks are packaged for short money at the supermarket.

This salad combines some seasonal produce and plays the richness of the turkey neck off the sweetness of the figs and pears.  Forelle pears are a fantastic variety, with a really nice flavor and a smooth texture.  Bartlett or D’anjou are good substitutes.  The slight bitterness of the watercess and the sharp flavor of the cheddar tie it all together.  Baby spinach would also work well as the base of this salad.

I think the meat would also be very nice in a ragout over pasta or a nutty wild rice.

  • 5 or 6 turkey necks, any extra skin removed
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chile powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • Olive oil
  • 1 red onion, thickly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 carrot, cut in half lengthwise and crosswise
  • 1 parsnip, cut in half lengthwise and crosswise
  • 1 ½ cups chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 pint fresh figs, quartered
  • 2 forelle pears, cored and sliced
  • 1 bunch watercress
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly grated cheddar cheese

Nestled underneath all of that is neck meat...sweet turkey neck meat

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.  Clean turkey necks and set aside.  Combine spices in large bowl and add necks, turning to coat completely.
  2. In large cast-iron skillet (or other oven proof skillet), add olive oil and heat to medium.  Add onion, garlic, carrot and parsnip and cook until onion starts to soften.  Add stock and layer necks on top of mixture.  Cover and place in oven.  Cook for one hour.
  3. Decrease heat to 275°F and cook for an additional 30 minutes.  Remove necks and let cool for about 10 minutes. Strain liquid mixture into small saucepan, pressing against the solids to extract more liquid.  Pull meat from necks and place in saucepan with reserved liquid.  Add lemon juice and keep warm over low heat.
  4. Turn oven up to 425°F.  Place figs in ovenproof dish and roast for 15 minutes, shaking several times.
  5. Place watercress in bowl.  Top with turkey meat and liquid, placing roasted figs and pears around meat.  Sprinkle with sea salt and garnish with cheddar to taste.
Advertisements

Pork, Pumpkin, and Peanut Stew

In Main Dish, Soups and Stews on November 28, 2009 at 6:03 pm

I realized how ridiculous I sometimes sound when I was trying to describe the main course at a beer tasting and I pulled out this line: “it’s a kind of riff on a North African theme.”  What the hell gave me the right to comment on the culinary traditions of North Africa, I thought to myself as I said it.  And in fact, I don’t have any right to be spouting off about this sort of thing.  But somewhere along the way I have absorbed enough ancillary knowledge to understand the constituent ingredients to some dishes from that region.  This disclaimer needs to be said again, however, in that I make no claims that this is indicative of traditional North African cuisine.  It is merely my interpretation.

Yet again I need to pull out several tired themes that come up on this blog fairly regularly, namely squashes and pork.  The former is purely a product of the season – good squashes are still readily available and so I am taking advantage of that.  The latter is a product of taste and costs.  When I can pick up a seven-pound pork butt (shoulder) for somewhere just north of a dollar per pound, it is tough to pass up.  Factor in an appreciation for pork’s versatility and it becomes a staple in the repertoire.  Just to pause for a moment to comment on the versatility of the swine, it seems to me that pork perfectly straddles the world of terrestrial meats.  It is more flavorful and substantive than most fowl (I’ll give the nod to the waterfowls any day) and it is less hearty than beef.  At home in a stew or a roast, grilled or braised, it is just pretty damn good.  I digress.

Because of that ability to buy pork shoulders cheap, I had stockpiled a few shoulder bones in the freezer and I figured this past weekend would be the perfect opportunity to make a pork stock.  Pork stock, you say?  Never heard of it?  I wasn’t sure I had either, but what the hell.  Stock is pretty easy to make but it is time consuming.  For a really good read on it, check out Alton Brown’s I’m Just Here for the Food, Version 2.0.  Long story short is that you want to bring water/bone mixture to a boil and scoop out foam as it rises to the surface.  After about five minutes the stock should be fairly clear.  Reduce to a simmer and add some onions, carrots, celery, and black peppercorns.  Cook for several hours, at least four or five.  Unfortunately there is no way to shorten this process which is why making stock isn’t an everyday activity.

I’m not sure how much the pork stock really added to the flavor of this dish and I would think that chicken stock would suffice just fine.  The rest of the ingredients are pretty straight forward, for once.

While almost certainly not what the brewer’s intended, I paired this with Mayflower Brewing’s Thanksgiving Ale, their take on a combination of an Old Ale and a Strong Ale.

Pork, Pumpkin and Peanut Stew

  • 1 pumpkin, quartered
  • 7 lb pork shoulder, bone and skin removed, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
  • 3 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoon paprika
  • 4 teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon asoefitada
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons chile powder
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large kubocha squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 cups pork stock, or chicken stock
  • ½ cup natural peanut butter
  • Sea Salt, to taste
  • 2 red onions, cut into eighths
  • Olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Set pumpkin quarters in baking dish and add a cup of water.  Cover with foil and bake for 45-50 minutes or until flesh is tender.
  2. Place pork in a large bowl.  Combine kosher salt, 1 teaspoon each of the pepper, cumin, paprika, and turmeric, the cinnamon and asoefitada in a separate bowl.  Pour over pork and turn to coat.
  3. Heat oil in a large pot or dutch oven.  Cook pork in batches until browned and reserve.
  4. Add more oil and cook onion and garlic until soft.  Add remaining  spices and chile powder and stir.  Add pork and any accumulated juices.
  5. Scoop pumpkin flesh into large bowl and stir in two cups of the stock and the peanut butter.  Mix thoroughly.  Add mixture to pot with pork.  Stir in the sweet potatoes, squash, and two cups of stock.  Bring to a boil and then simmer for two hours.
  6. Coat onions with olive oil and roast in oven for 30 minutes.  Season stew with salt and ladle into bowls.  Top each with some red onion and serve.

Rustic New England Pie

In Baked Goods, Desserts, Pies on November 27, 2009 at 6:35 pm

Threatened way back in October, here it is: a dessert pie with beets in it.  I took to calling this the rustic New England pie, as it’s flavors of apples and cranberries, beets and maple syrup call to mind the flavors of autumn in New England.

Surprisingly, this was a lot sweeter than many thought it might be.  And coupled with the beet-infused whipped cream, made for a different take on an apple-cranberry pie.  While I almost always like a cup of coffee with dessert, I have to say that Mayflower Brewing’s Porter was a fine accompaniment.

You can use whatever apples you like here so long as they are a firm apple suitable for cooking.  I believed I used Hampshire and they worked fine; more common varieties that would be good substitutes include Macoun or Braeburn.  As for the dough, I use a slightly sweet all butter dough.  I know there are proponents on either side of this divide.  I intend to experiment more with lard in dough but this is a  pretty good dough and since I always have butter on hand, it has become my default recipe.

Rustic New England Pie

  • 2- ½ cups all purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 4 to 7 tablespoons ice water or more, if needed
  • 2 large beets, peeled and shredded in a food processor
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 4 large apples, peeled, cored, and sliced thinly
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup maple syrup

1. Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine.  Add butter and pulse again until mixture resembles a coarse meal.  Add the water a few tablespoons at a time and pulse to combine.  When the dough is together, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly.  Separate into two disks, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for about an hour.

2. Place shredded beets in a colander and set over a bowl.  Sprinkle salt and sugar over beets and toss.  Let stand for at least 15 or 20 minutes to draw out moisture.  Reserve beet juice.

3.  Preheat oven to 375°F.  Place a heaping cup of beets, the apples, and cranberries in a bowl.  Add brown sugar and maple syrup and stir to combine.

4. Roll out one disk of dough until thin and large enough to fit into a pie dish.  Fit and trim to leave about one inch around the edge of the dish.  Roll out the other disk and reserve.  Pour fruit mixture into dish and place second piece of dough on top.  Trim that and pinch and fold the edges to seal.  Make several cuts across the top to allow steam to escape.  Brush dough with cream and sprinkle with sugar.

5. Bake for about one hour.  Let cool and serve with beet-maple whipped cream.

Beet-Maple Whipped Cream

  • 1 pint of whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons beet juice (from pie recipe)
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup

1. Place whipping cream in a stand mixer and begin beating.  As cream starts to thicken, pour in beet juice and maple syrup and continue beaten until stiff peaks form.

Squash Cake with Squash Butter-Cream Frosting

In Desserts on November 17, 2009 at 10:26 pm

I was treading down a slippery path toward squash overkill with this one, but I had visions of a moist cake, almost like a carrot cake but with squash, topped with a bright and not-too sweet buttercream frosting which would also be laced with squash.  Pilfering a recipe from The Cape Cod Cookbook for a pumpkin cake and substituting squash for the pumpkin, I had my cake.  It yields an airy, moist cake that was just sweet enough and nicely spiced with cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.  Adding chopped pecans yielded just enough texture and the flavor played well against everything else.  But just to make sure it is on the record: I did not create this recipe; I merely substituted squash for pumpkin.

Cake:

  • ½ cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ¼ cups sifted flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup pureed squash
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Cream butter in a large mixing bowl.  Gradually add the sugar, beating until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs.
  2. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.  In another bowl, combine the milk and squash.  Stir in the baking soda.
  3. Add the flour and pumpkin mixtures to the butter-sugar mixture, beating well after each addition.  Fold in the pecans.
  4. Turn batter into a greased 9x9x2-inch pan lined with parchment paper.  Bake for 50 minutes or until set.  Cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then turn onto rack and remove parchment paper.

I really liked this frosting because it was not very sweet, although I may admittedly be in a minority camp who does not like frosting to be very sweet.  It is pretty easy to adapt and if you like it a little more sweet, than add more sugar.  However you like it, the frosting will be a bright orange-yellow color.

Squash Buttercream Frosting

(makes enough to coat top of cake – if you wanted to make layer cake, double recipe)

  • 4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • ½ stick butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ cup pureed squash
  1. Using a mixer, beat cream cheese and butter in bowl until blended and smooth.  Add the powdered sugar and beat until combined.  Add the squash and continue to beat until smooth, about 5 minutes.

Fennel-Bacon Stuffing

In Side Dishes on November 16, 2009 at 11:03 pm

Finally, another recipe that calls for bacon.  I was starting to get nervous that the title of this blog was not accurately reflected in my cooking, as bacon seems to only crop up once in a while.  This is in many ways a typical stuffing as there is nothing particularly fancy about it.  But I had never had a stuffing which had fennel in it but I thought it would be a nice flavor to complement the rich savoriness of stuffing.

The basic idea was at least slightly ripped off from a recipe I saw in the November Food & Wine, but really only in that said recipe was 1) stuffing, and 2) had bacon in it.  Other than that, I guess many stuffing recipes could be said to rip each other off.

Fennel-Bacon Stuffing

  • 1 loaf, good quality white bread, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 Vidalia onion, diced
  • 1 large celery stalk, diced
  • 1 fennel bulb, chopped; fronds reserved
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
  • 3 strips thick cut bacon, diced
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  1. Toast bread in a 285°F oven for 15 minutes or until edges crisp.  Place in large bowl.  Oil a 9×12 baking dish.
  2. Preheat oven to 375°F.  Add oil to skillet and cook onion, celery, fennel, and carrot over medium heat until soft.  Add to bread.
  3. Cook diced bacon until fat is rendered and bacon is starting to brown and crisp.  Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to bowl.  Turn heat to low.  Slowly add stock and whisk until combined.  Pour over bread mixture, add rosemary and thyme, and stir to combine.  Season with salt and pepper and cover with foil.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes covered.  Uncover dish and bake for another 25 minutes or until the top becomes crisp and golden.
  5. Sprinkle with chopped fennel fronds and serve.

A Year in the Making…Cranberry Barbecue Sauce

In Sauces on November 15, 2009 at 7:11 pm

The sauce only takes about 20 minutes to make.  The year referenced in this post’s title is simply how long it took me to actually figure out how I made this sauce last year.  And expect more Thanksgiving themed dishes in the coming weeks.

CranberriesBarbecue is a culinary tradition nearly everywhere in the United States, and well beyond of course.  One of the many distinguishing factors are the myriad sauces that crop up in different regions.  New England, however, is sorely lacking in having a barbecue sauce of its own.  What would a cranberry barbecue sauce taste like?  A logical choice would be to use some maple syrup in place of the molasses that is often used.  But as much as I love maple, it is almost too sweet for this, as molasses has a robust flavor and maple is a more delicate sweetness.  It could be hyper-avant garde and use lobster or clams, but even that stretches my limits of comprehension (though if anyone tries making it, I will certainly try eating it).  No, it really calls for a marriage of a prototypical barbecue with cranberry sauce, that sublime combination of sweet and tart.  Cranberry sauce can stand up as a replacement for molasses, though in my version below, molasses is included as well.

The onion, garlic, and ginger give the sauce a pleasant base, creating some complexity and a firm base to build from.  After that it is like constructing cranberry sauce – cranberries, sugar, and water – and then once that is ready, further tweaking it until you arrive at the finished product.  But even just through the cranberry sauce step yields a pleasant sauce that would be a great accompaniment to venison or pork.Shredded wheat-molasses rolls

On Saturday we served it mixed with a barbecued and shredded beef, making sandwiches with Shredded Wheat-Molasses Rolls.*  Side dishes included were a mashed sweet potato-plantain with roasted garlic and ginger and a bacon-fennel stuffing, both recipes to follow in subsequent posts.

*The aforementioned shredded wheat-molasses rolls, or bread, is a long-standing family tradition at Thanksgiving.  Since I have done nothing to alter the recipe and make it my own, it doesn’t meet my needs for posting here.  But if anyone is interested in it, let me know.

Cranberry Barbecue Sauce

  • 1 red onion, cut into chunks
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 one-inch piece of ginger, chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus more for cooking
  • 3 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1 cup sugar, preferably turbinado or muscavado
  • 1 ½ cups ground/crushed tomatoes
  • ¾ cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons molasses
  • ½ teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle puree, plus more to taste
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  1. Puree onion, garlic, ginger and 2 tablespoons oil in food processor until mostly smooth.  Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat and add onion mixture.  Cook for about five minutes.
  2. Add cranberries, water, and sugar and bring to a boil.  Turn down and let cook, stirring often, until cranberries burst.
  3. Add tomatoes, ketchup, molasses, liquid smoke, vinegar, and chipotle puree.  Stir together and cook for another 10 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.

IMG_3173This was so good, it almost warrants a post all its own.  Except it is really only practical to make if you have all of these ingredients leftover to begin with, which is unlikely to happen again.  But what is pictured on the left is a toasted shredded wheat-molasses roll topped with mashed sweet potato-plantain with roasted garlic and ginger, and a fried egg.  Actually, a drizzle of the cranberry barbecue sauce would have been fantastic here.  Why I did not think of that may be directly attributable to the state of mind I found myself in on this particular Sunday morning, the same state of mind that made this so spectacularly good.  And honestly, I kind of liked the picture.

A Rather Unusual Dinner

In Main Dish, Soups and Stews on November 7, 2009 at 9:33 am

Yet again I was faced with using some ancillary ingredients and a few things left in the refrigerator and I was dealing with two facts:

1. I would be getting home after work and needing to cook for a couple of people, none of whom were opposed to trying something bizarre. And,

2. Pork shoulder is a great cut of meat but it needs time to tenderize it.

IMG_3065So, before I left the house for work in the morning I devised the basic building blocks here: a slow-cooked pork in a flavorful, ale-based, braising liquid, which by the time I got back to the house twelve hours later it would be fall-apart tender.  I would serve that over a “salad” of roasted pumpkin, cubes of toasted cornbread, and cranberries.

One problem arose with this plan.  Embarrassingly, I have never worked with a raw pumpkin before and assumed I could slice off the skin as easily as most squashes.  In fact, sugar pumpkins have a brittle, hard shell; or at the very least, this one did.  Luckily enough, there was a spare buttercup waiting to be used.

This was an incredibly easy thing to prepare and really seems best as a strategy for using leftovers.  I actually had some reservations about serving but one of the guests allayed those fears when he said upon his first bite, “the only problem with this is that there isn’t going to be any left for seconds.”

Pork

  • 2 ½ pounds pork shoulder, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Oil
  • 1 bottle brown ale
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp juniper berries
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • 1 red onion, cut into eighths
  • 1 large carrot, broken into 2 inch sections
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 dried poblano, seeds and stem removed

1. Season pork with salt and pepper and brown, in batches, in hot skillet.  Transfer to slow cooker and add remaining ingredients.  Cook for at least 6 hours.

2. Remove cinnamon stick and carrots.  Serve over cornbread-squash salad.

Corn bread

Jiffy Mix using buttermilk instead of regular milk.  Buttermilk is unnecessary, I just happened to have some I wanted to use up.  I also baked this in larger dish so the bread was thin.  Any not too-sweet cornbread will work fine here.  Cut it into 1 inch pieces and toast in oven for about 10 minutes so that all sides get a little crisp.

Squash, skin removed, cubed, tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Roasted, 40-45 minutes, flipping squash once to evenly brown.

Vinaigrette

  • Half medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp dried cranberries

1. Combine liquid ingredients and whisk.  Add onions and cranberries and stir.  When ready to serve, combine squash and corn bread in large bowl and toss with the vinaigrette.

Chicken Curry with Naan

In Main Dish on November 4, 2009 at 9:29 am

I am easily tempted by the sight of good, obscure produce.  It is not the candy bar in the checkout aisle that beckons me, but rather an exotic herb or unusual fruit that makes me mindlessly throw it into the shopping basket.  Then I get home and try to figure out what to do with it.  Enter: curry leaves.

Long story short is that curry leaves are a characteristic ingredient in many Indian and southeast Asian cuisines.  But it has nothing to do with curry powder, which is an amalgamation of a number of spices.  Curry leaves have a pleasant, citrus-like aroma and slightly sharper flavor.  They look sort of like bay leaves and are treated very similarly, except they are edible (of course bay leaves are edible too, otherwise we they would never have achieved the widespread use they enjoy but those leaves stay very rigid and could prove to be uncomfortable if eaten).

I will get some pictures of curry leaves up soon; the lack of pictures in this post is my fault as I did not get any good shots of this dish.  My photography skills still need work.

Curry Leaves

So there I was, staring at a nice batch of curry leaves and wondering what to do.  I had read a recipe for potatoes cooked with curry leaves; I could simmer leaves in oil and use that flavored oil to impart a flavor in something else.  There are many choices out there.  But what caught my imagination was a sweet potato-coconut curry with chicken; the citrus flavors seemed an ideal compliment to the rest.  An unusual addition here is poblano pepper.  A more traditional chile would be a bird’s eye or thai chile pepper.  But I already had some poblanos on hand and since I don’t actually know traditional Indian cooking at all, why not adapt a little bit?

The end result was a thick curry with some pleasant sweetness from the sweet potato and the coconut, a little heat from the poblano, and the rich flavors of curry.

While I will gladly try my hand at creating most dished blindly, baking is not something I am so comfortable with.  The naan recipe was adapted from a recipe I found in a cookbook I’ve had for a long time, The Cook’s Encyclopedia of Spices.  The end result was not the feathery, light naan I am used to getting at Indian restaurants.  On the plus side, the bread came out a little bit drier (i.e., less oily) than the restaurant version.  The recipe called for yogurt which I didn’t have, so that could be a factor.  I also don’t have a Tandoori oven to cook the naan in, so that may also be a factor.  And finally, I may have over-worked the dough.  I am interested in trying this again – as there is nothing like fresh bread – and will let you know how it turns out.

Chicken Curry

  • 1 poblano pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Medium white onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled, diced
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 8 leaves curry leaf
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon asafetida
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1 chicken, roasted and meat pulled off
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  1. Over grill, broiler, or gas stovetop, cook poblano until skin is blackened and charred.  Place in bowl and cover with plastic.  Let cool.  Rub charred skin off of pepper (do not rinse under sink as this washes flavorful oils away) and cut flesh away from stem.  Remove seeds.
  2. In deep pan or skillet, heat oil.  Add onions and garlic and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes, until soft.  Add sweet potato and cook for another 3 minutes.  Add stock and ginger and cook for 10 minutes.
  3. In small saucepan, add coconut milk, curry leaves, fennel seeds, turmeric, cumin, chile powder, paprika and asafetida.  Simmer for 10 minutes.  Pull out curry leaves and add to sweet potato-onion mixures.  Place coconut mixture in food processor or blender, add poblano, and puree.
  4. Pour puree into coconut mixture, add cinnamon and chicken.  Cook for 15 minutes over medium-low heat.  Remove cinnamon, add lime juice, and adjust salt and pepper.

Naan Bread

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 packet fast-rising yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  1. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, yeast, sugar, and cumin in large bowl and whisk to mix ingredients evenly.  Make a well in the center.
  2. Combine milk and water in saucepan and simmer over low heat until warmed but not hot.  Stir milk into flour mixture, then add the oil and egg.  Mix to form a ball of dough.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 8 to 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth.  Place in a clean, lightly oiled bowl and roll the dough to coat with oil.  Cover and let set aside until doubled in bulk.
  4. Place heavy cookie sheet(s) in oven and preheat to 500°F. Punch down the dough and divide into six pieces.  Roll or push out the dough to about a six-inch round.  Continue with remaining dough and place on hot cookie sheets.  Bake for 3 to 4 minutes, until puffed and starting to brown.  Alternately, you can bake for about 3 minutes and then broil the tops of the naan to brown.

Pork Tinga with Guacamole and Gorditas

In Main Dish, Soups and Stews on November 1, 2009 at 9:09 pm

Tinga, a Mexican stew of pork, chorizo, tomatoes, and chipotle, is something I have read about but have never had.  I’m not sure this anywhere close to an accurate representation of the dish but I suspect even with the addition of potatoes, it’s not too far off.  Since I was planning on being away most of the day, I had decided to cook it in the slow cooker and upon returning home, I would make gorditas or tostadas, or in the worst case scenario, use store bought tortillas to serve the tinga.

Everything worked to plan except when I went to grab the masa harina from the shelves, I realized I didn’t actually have any.  So I took a bit of a gamble and mixed together corn meal and flour and tried making the gorditas out of that.  The end result was a rather dense and hard corn disk; the flavors went well with the tinga but it was a little too tough for me.

Pork Tinga

  • 2 ½ pounds pork shoulder, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • ½ pound chorizo, cases removed and crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 6-8 medium-small red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into quarters
  • 2 tablespoons chipotle puree
  • ½ stick cinnamon
  • 4 or 5 oregano leaves
  • 1 dried cascabel pepper, seeds in
  • 1 dried New Mexico chile, seeds removed
  • 1 teaspoon whole allspice
  1. Combine pork and chorizo in bowl.  Combine pepper, salt, chile powder, oregano, and cumin in small bowl and mix into the pork.
  2. Heat oil in deep skillet and cook pork and chorizo in batches until well brown.  Transfer meat and its juices to slow cooker.  Add tomatoes and their juices, onion, garlic, potatoes, and chipotle puree.  Mix together.
  3. Using cheesecloth, make a small bundle out of the cinnamon, oregano, chile peppers, and allspice.  Tie with kitchen twine and place into the middle of the mixture.  Cook on low for 6 hours.

Guacamole

  • 2 avocados, skins removed and diced
  • 1 cherry pepper, diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Juice of l lime
  • Sea salt
  • Pepper
  1. Mix together ingredients and season with salt and pepper.