Friday, November 13, 2009

Kimchi Pork with Shiitakes and Scallions

Kimchi is a Korean dish consisting of pickled vegetables with varying spices. There are many forms of kimchi but this recipe features spicy napa cabbage. The most popular type of kimchi, it is called baechu in its native land.

Kimchi consists of:

•Napa cabbage

•daikon, a Chinese radish

•green onion

•red pepper





•crushed shrimp


•sweet rice flour


Kimchi is a quite healthy food, packed with a load of Vitamin C and dietary fiber.

Kimchi goes well with stir-fried pork. Plus it is a meal that can be prepared in under 30 minutes.

Thin-cut strips of pork tenderloin are quickly marinated in soy sauce and pan-fried on high heat.

Shiitake mushrooms and scallions are sauted until tender. Mirin, a sweetened Japanese Sake, is combined with the kimchi, Shittakes, and scallions, where the flavors are mixed and married together.

It is garnished with Asian sesame oil, toasted sesame seeds, and sided by steamed short-grain rice.

This satisfying plate from the East will remedy your Asian hunger and impress your Asian Girlfriend.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Smokin' Shoulder

I took advantage of an unusual warm day in Midwestern November to sit next to Weber and quick smoke a pork shoulder. It is a fun and somewhat simple process but it takes attention and practice to master smoking on a charcoal grill.

First off, you must select the right charcoal. For the long, slow cooking, charcoal briquettes are a good choice. They maintain a low fire and a steadier temperature then lump charcoal.

A quick way to start the coals is to use a Chimney Starter. Place crumbled newspaper under the chimney and fill the chimney with the briquettes. Once lit, the coals could take anywhere between 10-20 minutes to ready for the grill.

A three-zone split fire is the method to properly cook the shoulder. Coals are separated to both sides of the grill leaving the middle zone for indirect cooking. By spliting the coals to each side, it creates even cooking.

A foil pan half filled with water also improves the cooking process. Not only does the pan save your grill from messy, fatty drippings, the water absorbs and releases heat.

What type of wood chips to use? Chips burn faster than wood chunks so they are ideal for quick smoking, 30 minutes or less. By soaking the chips in water for a minimum of 30 minutes, it prolongs the burn and smolders instead of burning up.

Pecan, cherry, or applewood chips are typically used for smoking pork. In this case, however, I used hickory wood chips.

Spread the chips on top of the coals and when they start to smoke, its ready.

Place the pork shoulder over the pan and close the lid, prevent yourself from removing the lid to keep all the heat and smoke inside.

The recipe called for a smoking process of 30 minutes. During that time, hickory-scented fumes with hints of chile powder, garlic spice seaped out of the grill vent and sides.

The smoke created a nice, tasty outer crust. This is called “bark.”

After many attempts and trials, you’ll get a feeling for how many chips to use to achieve a desired smoky flavor. The recipe required three more hours of cooking the shoulder, replentishing coals ever 45 minutes to maintain a live fire, covering the pork in a foil pan, but the smoke portion of the grill time really came out in the finished product. While flavored by a spice rub and sauce, the smoke flavor made its presence known. It elevated the dish to more satisfying results.

Coming this spring/summer, the lo and slow smoke approach, 8-10 hours of charcoal grilling, wood chunk smoking, bark-eatin’ Carolina-style pulled pork.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Rack of Ribs Roast with Chunky Applesauce

It is late Fall, leaves are being swept up in front yards, trees are looking bare, the wind is whispy. Hot Spicy Apple Cider is a great option to toast up after raking leaves for ahwhile. So why not toss it in a roasting pan with a huge hunk of Pork. The results are sweet, savory, Porky, seasonal goodness.

Visit your local butcher or meat market and ask for a 6-chop Rack of Rib Roast. They’ll be happy to run it through the saw for you and give you a nice cut. I have found the rack to be between $2.99-$3.99/lb.

To prepare the Rack of Rib Roast, lets start with the Rub.

Sage, Rosemary, Garlic, crushed Red Pepper, salt, is combined with olive oil to make a paste.

Puree the rub to a pasty consistency and paint it all over the Rack of Rib Roast.

The Rosemary and Sage and Garlic gives the Rack a terrific aroma while the crushed Red Pepper with give it a little spicy heat.

Next, slice two medium to large onions and place in the deep roasting pan. Pour about 1/2 to 2/3 of a Pure 100%, no additive, U.S. Grown Fresh Apples, Apple Cider into the pan. Tie a bundle of thyme together and include three bay leaves and submerge in the cider.

Place the Rack into a preheated oven of 425 degrees. Roast for about 30 minutes to develop a nice brown crust on the outside. Stir the onion cider to prevent burning. Reduce the temperature to 375 degrees and roast until the internal temp of the pork is 150 degrees.

While the cooking aroma of the roast is dominating your kitchen, it is time to make the applesauce.

• 4 Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/2” cubes

•3 tablespoons of butter

•pinch of cinnamon

•heavy cream

•Pure 100%, no additive, U.S. Grown Fresh Apples, Apple Cider

•1 1/2 cup of reserved onion-cider mixture

Melt the butter and add the apples, cook until softened. Add some cider and reserved cider and cook until it has reduced to half. Add 1/4 cup of heavy cream and cinnamon and cook until cream is reduced by half.

Check on that Rack of Ribs Roast.

Serve the Chops with the cider onions and Chunky Applesauce. It is a great finish to a day working in the yard.