Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Cat Cora's Hirino Psito, Slow Roasted Pork

As I promised when I made the crock pot version, I have now made the oven version and I do love this one the best!

Hirino Psito, Slow Roasted Pork
Adapted from Cat Cora


2 tablespoons Kosher Salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
One 5 pound pork butt or pork shoulder
10 peeled garlic cloves
10 fresh sage leaves
1 cup all-purpose flour, approximately
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup Alma’s mustard, recipe included here ( may add fruited version)
1/2 cup brown sugar
4-5 dashes Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup Bourbon whiskey (I used Brandy)

First day
Mix the salt and pepper together and rub over all sides of the pork. Make 5 slits each on the top and bottom of the roast and insert a garlic clove and sage leaf into the slit. Wrap the roast in plastic wrap and refrigerate over night.

Next day:
preheat oven to 250
place flour on a plate and pat flour on pork, coating all sides. Dust off excess flour. Hear oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Brown pork on all sides, until golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Transfer meat to roasting pan. Combine 1/2 cup of Alma’s mustard with the brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and bourbon. Stir until smooth.

Smear the meat with about 1/2 to 2/3 of the mixture, or enough to coat all sides of the meat.

Cover the roasting pan with foil. Roast meat for 4 hours.
Remove foil and spoon the remaining mixture over the top of the roast.

Return to oven and roast uncovered for an additional 2 hours, or until the meat is completely falling off the bone.
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Alma's Mustard, a special mustard from a very special lady

So now you are saying: " who is Alma?", or maybe you already know. If you are Cat Cora, you definitely know, since she is your grandma. Thanks for sharing her recipe Chef Cora. It is a knock out, both the plain (I hesitate to call it plain) or the fruited version. Dynamite in a bottle!

Grandma Alma's Sweet Hot Mustard courtesy of Cat Cora
makes 1 1/2 cups

1/2 cup dry Coleman’s Mustard (2 oz. can)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1/2 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (9 ounces) prepared yellow mustard
1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter

Mix together the dry mustard, sugar, salt and flour. Stir in the vinegar and melted butter into the dry mustard mixture, then add the prepared mustard. Blend well. Refrigerate the mustard for at least 24 hours to allow the mustard powder to come to its full heat and meld with the rest of the ingredients. You can add in the dried fruits and such to make the variation of it, such as fruited or spicy, etc., listed below

Fruit addition:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 cup chopped dried cherries
kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste

Melt butter over medium heat, until caramel in color, 3-4 minutes
Add bay leaves, rosemary, dried cherries and pepper. Mix with the sweet hot mustard above recipe

My note: I made the fruit addition and kept it separate until ready to smear on the pork roast prior to roasting. I added it only to the quantity I was using for the recipe and bottled the rest for later yummy uses.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

On a Trip to Greece-In my barn kitchen in Central Florida

And what a trip it is. While I was blogging about the crockpot roasted pork (also Greek) my nose and brain were being teased by the wonderful aroma of this hearty dish:

Baked Chickpeas - Revithia Sto Fourno
  Adapted from Sam Sotiropoulos Greek Gourmand™ 

2 cans chickpeas, drained
1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced
4 - 6 whole garlic cloves
1/4 cup Greek extra virgin olive oil
1 large bay leaf (or 2 small ones)
1 generous tbsp. dried savory (or dried marjoram)
1 tsp. of dried thyme leaves
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 325° F (160°C).
2. Add chickpeas, olive oil and 1 cup of water to a small high-walled earthenware/pyrex baking vessel. Sprinkle half of the dried savory, all of the thyme leaves, some salt, and pepper over the chickpeas and mix slightly to disperse the herbs and seasonings. Then, arrange the sliced onion overtop of the chickpeas and sprinkle the remaining dried savory on top of it.
3. Cover the baking vessel with a lid or some aluminum foil and place it in oven. Bake for 1 ½ to 2 hours then remove from oven and let stand to cool slightly (5 – 10 minutes) while still covered. Remove lid/cover, add lemon juice, mix chickpeas well and serve.

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Monday, April 27, 2009

Have a look at what was cooking: Crock Pot Hirino Psito, Slow-Roasted Pork

while I was outside looking at my plants adorned in their sexiest, showiest, come hither-iest, please polinate me best--aka flowers. It just sounds better the first way, don't you think? Let me show you what I am talking about, but first, let me do homage to Cat Cora and A year of Crockpotting. They both did their showiest, come hither-iest, please make me recipe that I want to tell you about. It was so good all I can say is Wow! And of course, thank you! And Uh, Uh-- Let's Eat!

Crock Pot Hirino Psito, Slow Roasted Pork
Adapted from ayearofcrockpotting, Cat Cora, and ABC's website
3-4 pound boneless pork butt or shoulder (I used pork butt)
10 whole garlic cloves
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon sage
1 teaspoon rosemary
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon gluten free Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 cup dijon mustard
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup beer (I used Amber Bock)

The Directions.

Use a 6 quart slow cooker. Put the meat into your crockpot, and pour on dry spices, and brown sugar. Flip the meat over a few times in the stoneware so the spices are kind of stuck to all sides. Peel garlic cloves and add whole. Add Worcestershire sauce, mustard, honey, and cranberries. Top with bay leaves. Pour in the beer.

Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours, or until meat shreds easily with a fork. I cooked on low for 12 hours. Serve over rice or pasta, or on your favorite sandwich rolls.

Verdict: I will make again, but first, I will make the oven roasted CC (Cat Cora) version, compare and report to you. I have the shoulder rubbed already and in the fridge. I made the Alma's Fruited Mustard also and it is in the fridge. Roasting takes place tomorrow.

Now, let me show you what my plants have been up to! Pistils and Stamens, pretty sexy, no?

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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Wouldcha look at this flirty cabbage?

She was just flirting up a storm at the Markets of Marion a few weeks back. Now, who could possibly resist her charm. Just look at those outer leaves. Don't they remind you of batting eyelashes? Or, does she look like a baby with an old-fashioned bonnet on her head? Or maybe that adorable man-eating plant in Little Shop of Horrors--what was her name? AudreyTwo? I forget. At that point, I needed to take her to my barn kitchen, to then decide which of many slaw recipes to use her in. She had been cut out of the field that morning. So, so pretty, I didn't want to cut her, but then I remembered her soul purpose was to nourish; besides, she had been taken from her roots and she would just wither away. So, the practical side of me over-ruled the artistic side and made me start chopping her apart. I have previously posted at least two other slaw recipes, but now I want to share one that I picked up from Smitten Kitchen. Hers called for Savoy Cabbage, and I never seem to have that. I have always subbed regular cabbage with very good results. On another note, I have never been fussy enough to julienne apples, or finely chiffonade cabbage, I just chop. I have made it with the blue cheese and I have made it without, equally good, so feel free to experiment. The dressing has just the right balance and it is not heavy at all. The flavor combo of sweet crisp apple, toasty walnuts and spicy cabbage really compliment each other. I could eat this every day. Tell me what you think.

Cabbage Salad with Apples and Walnuts
Adapted from Chez Panisse Fruit, via Cookstr
Serves 6

1 small savoy cabbage
1/3 cup walnuts
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and pepper
½ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons creme fraiche or heavy cream
2 apples (any crisp, tasty eating variety, such as Sierra Beauty, Granny Smith, or Fuji)
1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Tear off and discard the tough outer leaves of the cabbage. Cut it in half and cut out its core. Slice the halves crosswise into a fine chiffonade.

Toast the walnuts in the oven for 8 minutes. While they are still warm, first rub them in a clean dishtowel to remove some of the skins, then chop or coarsely crumble them.

To prepare the dressing, mix the vinegar with the lemon juice, some salt, and a generous amount of pepper.

Whisk in the olive oil and then the creme fraiche or cream. Taste and adjust the acid and salt as desired.

Quarter, peel, and core the apples. Slice the quarters lengthwise fairly thin and cut these slices lengthwise into a julienne. Toss the cabbage, apples, and walnuts (and blue cheese, if you’re using it) with the dressing and an extra pinch of salt. Let the salad sit for 5 minutes, taste again, adjust the seasoning as needed, and serve.
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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

You can make this for me when I don't feel good

You can make this for me when I do feel good, or I'll just make it myself!--Can you guess what it is? I should have added the package of Orzo---then you'd have gotten the answer:

Avoglomano Soup!
I have posted previously about how good this recipe is. I cannot get enough of this lemony goodness. In case you haven't tried it, I am giving you this reminder. This recipe will make a perfectly balanced salty, rich, filling, comforting soup.

Soupa Avgolemono
A Cook from Boston, MA, who said:"Try mine and you'll be hooked for life!"

8 c. homemade chix stock
1 c. orzo
4 eggs/ separated
juice of 3 lemons, or more to taste
fresh ground black pepper.

Boil broth, add orzo and simmer until tender 20 min. Whip whites until medium peaks, add yolks beating continuously, add juice, beating. Temper eggs with 2 c. broth, adding in constant slow stream while continuing to beat furiously so you do not curdle the eggs. Add egg mixture back to remaining broth and serve. When reheating, do not re-boil - heat slowly until very warm or you may curdle the eggs. Garnish with thinly sliced lemon. I sometimes add more than juice of 3 lemons, as the sourness is the best part of the taste! You should taste lemon, richness of eggs, salt of chicken, and starch of rice, in that order and you've made it perfectly. You can also add thin pieces of shredded chicken meat (pull off bone in strips), although classic recipes don't include chicken, vegetables, garlic or any of the ingredients many reviewers added to "fix" this recipe.

So, so simple is the list of ingredients for such a pleasurable soup.
Speaking of pleasurable, I have a wonderful surprise for you. Kelly and David have agreed to be guest bloggers for a week or two and just wait until you see what they will be bringing to your table. I am getting excited myself just thinking about it. So please let them know what you think. I'll be back soon!

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Friday, April 17, 2009

Happy Birthday Dear Sweet Kelly

This cake recipe is definitely out of my past. It is wonderfully tender and moist, not for someone who is watching calories. I have not made it in quite a while, but needed a birthday cake that would travel well for Kelly's birthday. This is her favorite and that is the most important reason for making it, followed by : so easy, one bowl, great use of spotty bananas, travels well, keeps for days (unless it is going to a reunion). A perfect recipe, don't you think? Kelly does not care for nuts in her cake, so I omitted them. I also did some research on this recipe, since it has been called Dr. Bird Cake and I've always been curious as to why. Check here, if you are interested too. This cake goes all the way back to 1978 (told you it was retro) and is also called Hummingbird Cake.

Dr. Bird AKA Hummingbird Cake
credit: --Mrs. L.H. Wiggins, Greesnboro, North Carolina" ---"Making the most of bananas," Southern Living, February 1978 (p. 206)

• 3 cups all-pupose flour
• 2 cups sugar
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon soda
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 3 eggs, beaten
• 1 1/2 cups salad oil
• 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained
• 2 cups chopped pecans or walnuts, divided (optional)
• 2 cups chopped bananas
Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl; add eggs and salad oil, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened. Do not beat. Stir in vanilla, pineapple, 1 cup chopped pecans, and bananas. Spoon batter into 3 well-greased and floured 9-inch cakepans. Bake at 350 degrees F. For 25 to 30 minutes; remove from pans, and cool immediately. Spread frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Sprinkle with 1 cup chopped pecans. Yield: one 9-inch layer cake. (You can also bake in a well greased bundt pan and adjust baking time to 1 hour.)
Cream Cheese Frosting
• 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
• 1 cup butter or margarine, softened
• 2 (16 ounce) packages powdered sugar
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Combine cream cheese and butter; cream until smooth.Add powdered sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla. Yield: enough for a 3 layer cake.

Your Mamma loves you. I hope you enjoy your cake, and I hope you don't mind this public display of affection. I love you baby and hope you have a wonderful day. April 21 is a very special day for me. You are special. The cake and the photos are for you dear, enjoy!

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Not quite as easy as buying a Mounds candybar.....

but you'll have more to share and these macaroons taste a heck of a lot better.

Chocolate-Covered Coconut Macaroons
Adapted from Bon Appétit (September 2002) and the Marigold Kitchen of Madison, Wisconsin

3 cups (lightly packed) sweetened shredded coconut
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup egg whites (about 5 or 6 large)
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
3/4 cup heavy cream

Place the first three ingredients in a large, heavy saucepan, and stir to combine well. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring regularly, about 10-12 minutes, until the mixture is pasty but not dry. (The uncooked mixture will look sort of granular at first, then creamy as it heats, and then it will slowly get drier and drier. You want to stop cooking when it no longer looks creamy but is still quite gluey and sticky, not dry.) Remove from heat. Mix in vanilla and almond extracts. Spread out the coconut mixture on a large baking sheet. Refrigerate until cold, about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Line another baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat baking mat. Using a ¼-cup measuring scoop, scoop and pack the coconut mixture into domes, and place them on the baking sheet. You should wind up with about a dozen. Bake the macaroons until golden, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a rack and cool.

Set cookies on rack over a rimmed baking sheet. Place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. Heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan until it is very hot and steamy (not boiling), remove from the heat, and pour it over the chocolate. Whisk until the mixture is smooth and the chocolate is thoroughly melted. Spoon the glaze over the macaroons, covering them almost completely and allowing the chocolate to drip down the sides. [You will have leftover glaze, which can be refrigerated or frozen.] Refrigerate the macaroons until the glaze sets, at least 2 hours. Transfer the macaroons to an airtight container, and refrigerate or freeze.

*flfarmgirl note: The chocolate glaze would be delicious on a number of fruits, try pears or strawberries. If you are pressed for time, you could even buy the plain macaroons from your bakery and add the glaze.

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Pear and Almond Frangipane Tart

I don't think of myself as a baker, and I think I must still be dreaming, or did I really make this beautiful tart? I had some trepidation about even attempting to make it, but I am glad I did. It turned out beautifully. I love contrasts and textures and this tart gives you a lot of visuals for your efforts, and the taste--oh my! It is special and what a great way to tell friends or co-workers that they are special too. Be sure to allow plenty of time. I split the preparations over two evenings and if you needed to, you could actually add a third block of time. Don't be put off by the instructions, or time, or the effort (like me) because if you reject this one, you will miss out on one hypnotic, mesmerizing fete. I cannot get out of my mind how the pears fanned out and circled around on that bed of frangipane. I cannot get the taste out of my mind either. I'll just have to stare deeply into my photos or make another one, 'cause it has vanished, just like a dream! OOH LA LA

Pear and Almond Frangipane Tart

adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours
makes one 11-inch tart

Pâte Sablée
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
9 tablespoon butter, very cold or even frozen, cut into small pieces
1 egg yolk

Poached Pears
3 ripe medium pears (I used Bosc)
3 cups water
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup ground blanched almonds
2 teaspoons flour
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 large egg plus 1 egg white
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons almond extract

For the pears: Combine the water, sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon stick, vanilla, and salt in a saucepan large enough to hold all the pears and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, cut the pears in half, remove the seed core and fibrous cores at either end, then peel the pears.
Add the pear halves to the simmering syrup and reduce heat to low. Cover, and let pears poach for about 10 minutes, turning them halfway. The pears will become slightly translucent, very tender, and easily pierced with a knife or skewer.
Let the pears cool in the liquid until room temperature before using. Or, you can store them in their liquid in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

For the tart shell: Put the flour, confectioner's sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Add the pieces of cold butter and pulse until the butter is cut into pea-sized pieces. Add the egg yolk and combine in several pulses until the dough starts to turn from dry to clumpy. Do not let the dough form one giant ball or it will be be overworked - just keep checking after every pulse and when the dough pieces looks like they will stick when you press them together, stop.
Butter an 11-in tart tin with removable bottom. Turn the dough out into the tin and press into the bottom and up the sides with your fingers. You probably will not need all the dough - save the extra for patching the shell after you bake it. Do not press the dough too hard or it will become tough - just enough for it to form to the tin.
Freeze the tart shell for at least 30 minutes. When you are ready to bake it, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
To partially bake the tart shell, take a piece of foil and butter the shiny side, then press the buttered side tightly to the shell. You do not need pie weights. Place the tart shell on a baking sheet and bake for about 25 minutes, until the shell is dry and lightly colored. If any places have cracked, repair with the extra dough. Let cool on a rack until room temperature.

For the Frangipane: Combine the butter and sugar in the food processor and combine until smooth. Add the ground almonds and blend together. Add the flour and cornstarch, and then the egg and egg white. Process the mixture until it is very smooth. Add in the vanilla and almond extracts just to blend. The frangipane can be used immediately or you can store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. If it becomes too firm in the fridge, let it sit at room temperature for a while to soften before using.
To finish the tart: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the frangipane evenly into the cooled tart shell (It should be liquid enough to smooth out on its own).
Take the poached pears out of their liquid and drain them on paper towels. You want them dry or they will make the frangipane soggy. Cut each pear half crosswise into 3/8 in thick slices. Do not separate the pear half yet.
Slide a spatula or other flat utensil underneath the pear so you can transfer the entire half onto the tart. Press on the pear to fan the slices toward the top narrow end of the pear.
Slide the pear half onto the frangipane carefully - you can move the pear after you place it, but not much.
Repeat with the other pear halves until there are six halves on the tart, evenly spaced.
Place the tart on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 45-50 minutes, until the frangipane is puffed, golden brown, and firm to the touch. Cool the tart on a wire rack.
Before serving, you can brush the pears with some warmed apple jelly to glaze, or dust confectioner's sugar over the tart.

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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Florida Strawberries are in season and plentiful

So don't just sit there, do something! Need I say more?

Well, if you don't have ideas of your own, try this delicious recipe that will showcase your juicy gems (you won't be disappointed) :

STRAWBERRY-ALMOND CREAM TART adapted from Cooking Light
serves 10

36 Honey Graham crackers (9 sheets)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
4 teaspoons water
Cooking spray


2/3 cup cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract


6 cups small strawberries, divided
2/3 cups sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted

Preheat oven to 350
Place crackers in food processor, process until crumbly, add 2 tablespoons sugar, melted cooled butter and water, pulse until just moist. Place mixture in a 12x8-inch, rectangular pan, coated with cooking spray, pressing into bottom and up the sides of the pan, to 3/4 inch. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Combine the cream cheese, 1/4 cup of sugar, and extracts in a medium bowl, stir until smooth. Spread filling mixture evenly over the bottom of the crust.
Place two cups of the strawberries in food processor and process until pureed. Combine puree, 3/4 cup of sugar and cornstarch in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring with a whisk. Bring to a boil, stir constantly. Reduce heat to low, cook 1 minute. Remove from heat, cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
Combine 4 cups strawberries and lemon juice, toss to coat. Arrange berries, bottoms down in 5 straight lines over filling. Spoon half the glaze evenly over the berries. (Remaining glaze may be used for another project). Arrange toasted almonds around edge. Cover and chill for 3 hours.

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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

What is your beverage of choice?

My horse of choice (Daski) preferred Iced Tea while we were trail riding, and then later, when we were settled in at our campsite, he switched to red wine. Of course water was always available and he did consume volumes of that too. Have you ever had a pet that wanted to eat or drink whatever you were having? I have had several that did--dogs, cats, horses. Anyway, I always called Daski my tea sippin' cowboy. I have several beverages in mind, sangria, lemonade, my all-time favorite Crema di Limoncello. I am thirsty! Are you?

The Best Sangria from Cook's Illustrated

Serves 4

2 large juice oranges , washed; one orange sliced; remaining
orange juiced
1 large lemon , washed and sliced
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup Triple Sec
1 bottle inexpensive, fruity, medium-bodied red wine (750
milliliters), chilled (I use Merlot)

1. Add sliced orange, lemon, and sugar to large pitcher; mash gently with wooden spoon until fruit releases some juice,
but is not totally crushed, and sugar dissolves, about 1 minute. Stir in orange juice, Triple Sec, and wine; refrigerate for
at least 2, and up to 8, hours.
2. Before serving, add 6 to 8 ice cubes and stir briskly to distribute settled fruit and pulp; serve immediately.

Lemonade Concentrate

1 1/2 Cups Sugar
1 Quart water
1 1/2 cups lemon juice (approximately 12 lemons)

Boil sugar and water for 5 minutes. Cool and then stir in lemon juice. Cover and chill the concentrate.

When ready to serve, use equal parts concentrate and water. You can make a glassful or pitcherful, your choice.
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