Cassoeula

Cassoeula is a traditional dish in the Lombardia region, which lies in northern Italy. It is a hearty stew of cabbage and three or four cuts of pork such as ribs, sausage, bacon and pork butt (shoulder), sometimes snouts, lips and feet. Typically around slaughter there will be pieces of meats used for stewing – very little goes to waste.

In my dish I will use pork country style ribs, bacon and pork brats. I will blanch the smoke flavor out of the bacon beforehand. I chose these meats for the different textures but also to create pork fond when browning them in a cast iron pan. A fond is that brown stuff that sticks to the sides of the pan and looks like it is burned on stuff but in fact it is where the entire best flavor is. By adding small amounts of white wine or in this dish sweet Marsala wine to the pan while the pan is hot and scraping the sides and bottom with a wooden spatula, the fond comes off and becomes a part of the gravy flavor in the dish. Typically this dish is served over polenta but I made a really good white wine and parmesan cheese rice risotto with the rice sautéed in butter and onions. The dish will also have carrots and celery along with cabbage. These stews are for cold days, like today.

For 2:
2 slices of bacon blanched in hot water for 10 minutes then dried to remove most of the smoky flavor then cut into lardons
1 small onion chopped
3 carrot sticks cut into coin
2 celery sticks, split in the middle and chopped cross ways
1 large clove of garlic and pressed into the dish
1 large bowl of cabbage
2 country style ribs deboned
2 port brats
1 TBSP olive oil
1 TBSP butter
½ tsp dried Italian herbs
½ cup Sweet Marsala wine
1 cup of chicken stock
S&P

In a large Dutch oven heat the olive oil and brown the ribs
Remove the ribs and brown the brats
Remove the brats and add the onions, carrot and celery (soffritto) and sauté 8 minutes
Add the Marsala wine and deglazed the pan
Return the meat and add the bacon, garlic, S&P and herbs
Add the butter and combine
Layer the cabbage on top
Add chicken stock just to the top of the food
Cook on the small burner in the back on low for 2 hours.
Serve over polenta or risotto

Advertisements

Scallop Chowder

This recipe is a blend of two recipes I found the internet. There is this store called Aldi’s that sells large frozen scallops for cheap. This is a very tasty dish.


1 TBSP olive oil
2 strips bacon cut into lardons, I use smoked Applewood in think individual slices at the deli
1 small chopped onion
½ chopped red bell pepper
1 celery stalk, peeled and chopped
1 clove garlic from garlic press
½ cup dry white wine (Chardonnay)
1 – 8 oz. bottle clam juice
½ cup chicken stock
1 – 8 oz. container of heavy whipping cream
Gemstone potatoes cut into small squares with skin left on
Cayenne – dash for taste
S&P
Tarragon – dash for taste
Dried parsley

Fry bacon lardons in olive oil, sauté onions in bacon oil, add red bell pepper and celery and sauté, then 1/2 cup wine and reduce wine.

Add remaining liquids, clam juice, chicken stock and cream, add Gemstone potatoes chopped with skin on and garlic. Let reduce on medium heat until the potatoes start to get soft. With a potato masher, mash around the pot just a few times to thicken the chowder with potatoes.

Add cayenne, S&P, a touch of tarragon and cook and reduce until potatoes are soft.

Add scallops and scallop juice and cook 15 minutes.

Garnish with dried parsley.

Serve

 

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Stock
3 chicken thighs
1 carrot (chopped)
1 celery stalk (chopped)
½ onion (chopped)
1 TBSP peppercorns
1 small bay leaf
3 cups water

This is a classic chicken stock. I use this recipe in all my dishes needing a good chicken stock. In fact this also works well for veal stock and turkey stock substituting the meats. Place all in a soup pot and bring to a boil. Simmer 10-15 minutes or until you think the chicken has just cooked. Remove chicken and cool. Strain the chicken stock and discard the vegies. Save the stock in a two cup measuring cup so you can pour it later a bit at a time into the sauce. Once the chicken has cooled, deskin, debone and shred the chicken meat and set a side.

Pie Filing
1 carrot (cubed)
1 stalk celery (cubed)
½ small onion (chopped)
2 green onions (chopped)
1 clove garlic (cut into coins)
½ cup or more frozen peas
1 small bay leaf
4 TBSP butter
4 TBSP flour
Deskin, debone, shredded chicken
Salt and pepper
White wine
1 cup or more as needed Chicken stock
Cream (you have to feel how much you want for color and consistency) Maybe two TBSP.

In a large fry pan, melt butter, and on a little higher than medium heat sauté onions, carrots, celery, garlic until onions become transparent, add flour and stir until the veggies are coated. Move the heat to medium heat and add white wine and stir to begin making a paste. Add chicken stock a little at a time and stir each time, making thick gravy and then add cream until you get the right consistency looking for color and consistency. Add the meat, bay leaf and peas and stir. Gauge how thick you want the filing sauce. Once you get the right mix (it has to look good and taste good), reduce heat to simmer and let simmer about 15 to 20 minutes covered. Watch it not letting it over cook or burn. If you need to add more fluid you can. Remember the final cooking will occur in the oven. Then turn off heat and cover. It can cool down while you make the pie crust.

Pie Crust (Martha Stewart, Heavy Equipment Food Processor)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 2/3 TBSP ice water
8 TBSP cold butter

Add the butter then the flour and salt and sugar to a food processor and pulsate about 10 times until the flour becomes course. Then turn on the food processor full speed and add the cold water a TBSP at a time until right before the flour turns into a ball. It should be thick crumbles. If you let it turn into a ball it will become too hard. Turn off. Remove the blade being careful not to cut your fingers. Then pull out all the flour crumbles and mash into a ball on a piece of plastic wrap. Complete wrap the dough and refrigerate 1 hour. Flour a board, rolling pin and the dough and roll out wider than your pie dish. There are many ways to do this. I like this method in the youtube link below. Using wax paper b/c the biggest issue is getting the pie crust from the rolling board to the pie plate without tearing it in half as you move it. Pie crust is not bound together like bread dough.

Making the Pie
Take a Pyrex pie plate, add a little oil to the bottom, pour in the filling and then cover with the pie crust. The rest is your design.

Preheat oven 425⁰, bake 40 minutes or until the pie crust is golden. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

 

Fish Stew

 

• 1 ½ tomato peeled and chopped
• 2/3 cup chopped Italian parsley
• 1/3 squeezed lemon
• 1 small chopped onion
• 1 chopped left over peeled mirliton squash
• 1 TBSP EVOO and 1 TBSP butter
• 2 pieces frozen cod
• 6 shrimp with tail shells still on
• chicken stock
• 1 cup chardonnay wine
• I didn’t add salt, pepper or garlic.

Sauté onions and squash in oil, add wine, add the fish and the chicken stock just to the top of the fish. Cook on low in a covered Dutch oven 30 minutes. Remove shrimp and peel shell off shrimp, return shrimp, add the remaining ingredients and cook covered another 15 minutes. Serve with garlic toast. The shells on the shrimp add more seafood flavor so no need for oyster sauce or some seafood stock.

 

Bergen Fish Soup (Bergensk fiskesuppe)

Ingredients: Serves 2

1 ½ cups fish stock (I used 1 ½ TBSPs of dried hon dashi for 2 cups of water)
2 skinny carrots, sliced to 1 inch and them quartered
¼ red bell pepper, chopped
2 celery stalks, roughly diced
1 leek, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 cup Blue Moon wheat beer
1 cup heavy cream
1 frozen salmon fillet 4” x 4”
6 frozen shrimp, with shells
1 frozen cod fillet, 4” x 4”
8 ounces clams, with shells
3 TBSPs olive/butter

Cut leek ends and leave 1 inch green stalk. Slice it in half long ways then cross cut. Put in a bowl of water and gently rinse with your hand. Leeks come with a lot of dirt inside. Set aside in a bowl. Cut the celery and add it to the leeks. In another bowl skin and cut the potato into squares and cover in water so as not to brown the potato. During the soup process I will actually use an immersion blender to blend all these items into a fine thick puree.

In another pot add 1 ½ Tbsps. of hon dashi to 2 cups water. The recipe calls for fish stock but there is no better fish stock in my opinion than hon dashi which is Japanese dried bonito. It has a superior ocean flavor – kind of salty, kind of mellow, used in most Japanese soups.

I add the cut carrots and cut red bell pepper to the stock as well as the frozen shrimp with its shells to add more seafood flavor and cook the shrimp on medium to low heat until it turns a solid pink. Remove with a tongs and add the frozen cod to the hon dashi. Cook 5 minutes and remove. Add the salmon and cook 5 minutes and remove. Add the mussels and cook 5 minutes then remove. Then strain the stock. Set aside the carrots and red bell pepper. Peel the shells off the shrimp, cut the fish into squares.

In a large sauce pan add 3 TBSPs of butter and melt. Add the leeks and celery. Sauté on medium low heat for ~20 minutes until the leeks are very tender. Drain the potatoes and add to the pot. Add 1 ½ cups of strained fish stock. Add 1 cup of Belgium wheat beer. Add 1 cup of heavy cream. Blend with an immersion blender. Add salt to taste. Add the seafood. Cook on very low 30 minutes.

Serve