Archives for the month of: May, 2012

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Passion fruit is something I’ve always seen at the local whole foods and central market grocery stores, but never cooked with. They are basically big pods filled with seeds, and there isn’t really any flesh to eat aside from the seed ridden pulp, but the smell and flavor of the pulp is extremely fragrant and unique. The juice and pulp from passion fruits are usually turned to syrup and used as a flavoring agent than consumed straight up.

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In researching recipes for a small dinner get together, I found one featuring chicken breasts marinated in passion fruit juice and other herbs, and it inspired me to do a whole Afro-Middle Eastern style menu. Instead of using chicken breasts, I substituted Cornish hens. A half Cornish hen is about the same size as a chicken breast nowadays, but has a more delicate and tender flavor than chicken. I halved the hens by cutting out its back bone, and splitting them through the middle of the breast.

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The marinade is made from a mix of passion fruit pulp, lime juice, orange juice, basil, thyme, ginger, garlic and rosemary. The ingredients are mixed together in a large resealable freezer bag, and the Cornish hen halves are added to the bag and left in the fridge overnight.

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When I was ready to cook the chicken, I removed the birds from the bags and scraped off as much marinade as possible. I seasoned the birds with salt and pepper, and seared them in an ovenproof cast iron pan, skin side down, for about 3 minutes, until nicely browned.

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The hens are flipped and cooked for an additional minute.

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The pan is placed in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes, and then the hens removed and rested for another 5 minutes for its juices to reconstitute.

To make the passion fruit vinaigrette that is used as a sauce on the chicken as well as the salad dressing, 1 cup of orange juice is reduced in a small sauce pan to about 2 tablespoons. Make sure you watch the sauce pan when the juice gets syrupy, as it can quickly burn when it gets to that stage. The final orange juice syrup should be thick and golden.

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Passion fruit pulp, Thai chiles, shallots, lime juice, ginger, and honey are whisked into the orange syrup.

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Then olive oil is whisked into the vinaigrette until emulsified, and the dressing is finished off with salt and pepper.

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The vinaigrette is drizzled all over the chicken, and you can reserve some for a simple green salad.

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Chicken with Passion Fruit Vinaigrette

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This wild rice torte is one of my favorite vegetarian dishes to make. It’s got nuts, grains, dried fruits, fresh vegetables, eggs, and who says that vegetarian dishes are not filling? Making it is a little time consuming due to the preparation of each ingredient, which are cooked individually, then assembled together and baked, but the result is well worth the effort and leftovers are good for days.

First, the wild rice is cooked until tender, then drained and set aside. Whole portobellos and halved tomatoes are roasted in the oven until soft. The portobellos are sliced and tomatoes peeled.

A very thinly sliced onion is slowly caramelized in a pan.

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Then the onion, half of the sliced mushroom, along with raisins and chopped dried apricots are added to the wild rice, and seasoned to taste with salt and pepper.

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To assemble the torte, 5 thin sheets of phyllo dough are spread out and overlaid in a circle. The layers are sprayed with Pam, and topped with chopped parsley. Be careful with the phyllo sheets since they are very delicate, but you can always overlay any broken sheets.

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The process is repeated for another 5 layers of phyllo. The phyllo sheets are then carefully transferred to an 8 inch springform pan, with the edges hanging over the pan.

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Then the wild rice filling is spooned and packed into the phyllo lined springform, and topped with the remaining half of sliced mushroom and the tomatoes.

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4 eggs are beaten and poured over the tomatoes, and the torte is topped with chopped roasted almonds and parsley.

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The edges of the torte are trimmed to about 1/2 inches over the pan, and the torte is baked in a 350 degree oven for about an hour, until the edges of the phyllo sheets are a golden brown.

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The Torte can be made 4 hours ahead of time, and served at room temperature, which makes it great for a dinner party. It can be served as a healthy side or a delicious vegetarian main.

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Middle Eastern Rice Torte

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The main course for our Sunday meal is Kitsune Udon, which is a Japanese style soup traditionally made with aburaage tofu, fish cakes, and dashi. The name Kitsune Udon comes from a folk tale that foxes love aburaage tofu, therefore the soup literally means “fox udon”.

I added peas, carrots, and shrimp to the aburaage to my udon, but the recipe is easily adaptable to your personal taste.

The first step is to make the dashi, which is the same one I used for the Yosenabe recipe. Since Dashi is made from dried bonito flakes, the soup is not truly vegetarian, however, you can try omitting the bonito and just use the seaweed and dried shiitake mushroom to make the broth. It will not have the unique fishy, saltiness that dashi is known for, but some people may not like the bonito taste anyway.

For the vegetables, I blanched sliced carrots and frozen peas in salted, boiling water for a couple of minutes, drained them, and set them aside.

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I bought premade fresh udon noodles and aburaage tofu from my local Asian supermarket. You can make you own udon noodles and aburaage tofu, but I felt lazy Sunday. To prep the noodles, a pot of water is brought to a boil, and the noodles are quick cooked for a couple of minutes.

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Then the noodles are drained and rinsed in cold water, to stop the cooking process, and set aside.

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While you are preparing the veggies and the noodles, the dashi should be brought to a slow simmer. When you are ready to serve, the noodles, veggies, aburaage, and whatever else you want should be arranged neatly in a bowl.

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Then the hot broth ladled over each bowl, topped with some scallions and sesame seeds, and the udon is ready!

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I also made some cucumber and seaweed Sunomono, which basically means a variety of vinegar based dishes, and “su” means vinegar in Japanese.

My parents were visiting last week and brought with them a ton of Chinese cucumbers from their garden. Chinese cucumbers are longer and crispier than the cucumbers you buy at your local markets. Sometimes they are sold as English or Japanese cucumbers, while I’ve never seen them grow in Japan or England, it’s the only cucumbers I’ve seen in China.

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My Sunomono also consists of hijiki and wakame seaweed. Hijiki seaweed are short skinny things, with a dark red tint to them. Wakame is the more popular type used in miso soup, with a deep green tint. Both seaweeds need to be soaked before eating.

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Wakame takes about 5 minutes or less of soaking in cold water, while hijiki takes about 30 minutes to get fully hydrated. The seaweed should be drained and set aside after it rehydrates.

While the seaweed is soaking, I very thinly sliced my cucumber, then sprinkled the slices with some kosher salt, and set the cucumbers aside to drain for a few minutes.

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The slices should be squeezed of all excess water, then tossed with both seaweeds, and a vinaigrette made from rice vinegar, sugar, and light soy sauce. The Sunomono should be set aside to marinate for about 5 minutes, and finished with toasted sesame seeds and green onions.

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Kitsune udon recipe
Sunomono recipe

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One of our favorite restaurants in Dallas was Tei Tei’s Robata, a Japanese sushi and Robata grill restaurant. Since moving to Austin, we have not found a comparable restaurant. Robata, translated as “around the fire place”, is a style of grilling where food is cooked on a charcoal hearth available in the traditional Japanese home. Today, the hearth is replaced by small hibachi grills. In the US, “hibachi style” is often confused with what is actually teppanyaki cooking, where 1 chef cooks on a large hot plate with lots of theatrical flair.

For Sunday dinner, I wanted to make Udon noodle soup, and I thought that some grilled baby octopus and shrimp would be a good addition to the meal. After purchasing my Webber charcoal grill, I also bought charcoal tray inserts so I can easily create heating zones. I thought that using 1 tray would be a good substitute for a smaller hibachi. In effect, only 1/3 of the grill surface will be utilized.

To prepare the baby octopus, you need cleaned, whole, patted dry baby octopuses, which should be available at Asian supermarkets, and water soaked bamboo skewers. When cleaning the octopus, make sure you check for the beak like mouth of the octopus, which is located in the center of the octopus where all the tentacles meet. The beak is a little brown, fish scale like thing that comes apart in two pieces, so be sure to get both pieces. It’s probably edible, but who likes eating fish scales?

The octopus is carefully threaded on the skewers, so that the tentacles won’t fall through the grill grates.

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I think I will invest in some metal grilling skewers after this experience because it took some effort to get the octopus on the bamboo skewers.

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To prep the shrimp, I made a yukukosho pesto. Yuzukosho literally means ” yuzu pepper” in Japanese. It’s made from pounding together yuzu zest, salt, and hot chile peppers. Since I didn’t have access to yuzu citrus, I substituted limes and lime zest.

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To make the Yuzukosho pesto, I added lemongrass, cilantro, garlic, and ginger to the Yuzukosho and pounded them together in a mortar.

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I used head on shrimp because the head and shell are great at retaining moisture and adding flavor. To marinate the shrimp, I butterflied the shrimp from the leg side, leaving the shell and head on, then rubbed the Yuzukosho pesto on the inside and outside of the shell.

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The shrimp should be marinated for 10 minutes before grilling.

I prepped the fire using a chimney starter, and used real wood charcoals. After about 20 minutes of burning, the coals where ashed over and ready to be used in the grill. Since the shrimp and octopus will cook quickly, the heat should be high, and direct.

The shrimp is added to the grill, directly over the coals, with the lid on, turning after 2 minutes.

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The shrimp will be ready in 4 minutes total, to avoid over cooking. The shrimp should be slightly charred on the outside and juicy in the middle.

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The baby octopus also takes about 2 minutes per side, but I decided to cook it after the shrimp because of the Tare glaze I used at the end of the cooking process. Tare is a Japanese dipping sauce used on grilled dishes made out of sake, sugar, and light soy sauce. The Tare is usually used as a finishing sauce , and brushed on the grilled food when it has almost completed cooking, then grilled over high heat for the sauce to caramelize.

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This process may sometimes leave a sugary residue on the grill grates, and since the shrimp had a different marinade, I didn’t want to mix the favors, so I grilled the octopus second.

Overall it was a great learning experience. Next time I think I will use both charcoal trays to increase the heat.

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Grilled shrimp with Yuzukosho pesto

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Finishing up our special Tuesday dinner, I made my boyfriend’s favorite dessert with a twist. Creme brûlée is not something you want to play around too much with because it’s such a classic dessert. The simple combination of egg yolk, sugar, cream, and vanilla makes the silky and creamy custard filling, and the ingenious sugar crust really elevates it as a sophisticated dessert.

This butterscotch creme brûlée substitutes brown sugar for white sugar, and adds milk chocolate to the cream mixture to give it a darker flavor. To make the filling, heavy whipping cream, brown sugar, salt, and milk are heated in a pot over medium low heat until the sugar completely dissolves and tiny bubbles starts to form on the edges of the pot. Melted chocolate and vanilla are whisked into the pot, and the hot cream mixture is slowly poured and whisked into egg yokes. The hot liquid will cook the egg yokes, which is why you need to whisk constantly as the cream is poured into the eggs.

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The liquid is strained to rid of any large bits of eggs that may have been formed during the whisking process. This will ensure the Creme brûlée is silky smooth and not gritty. The cream mixture is poured into ramekins, the ramekins placed in a roasting pan, and hot water poured into the pan until it reaches half way up the sides of the ramekins.

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The Creme brûlées are baked in a 300 degree oven until the edges of the custard sets and the centers are slightly jiggly, about 40 minutes.

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The custards are chilled for at least 5 hours in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, brown, turbinado, or Demerara sugar are sprinkled on top of the custards.

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You can brown the sugar in the oven with the broiler, or you can use a mini torch which is what I used. Either way, the custard should be placed in the freezer immediately after the sugar browns for the custard to stay chill, about 5 minutes.

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The butterscotch Creme brûlée are topped with a few caramel corns, and served with more on the side. The recipe includes instructions on how to make your own caramel corn, but I cheated and used store bought ones.

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Butterscotch Creme Brûlée with Caramel Corn : http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/butterscotch-creme-brulee-with-caramel-corn

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For the main course of our Tuesday dinner, I chose duck with raspberries. I love duck, but usually I like roasting a whole duck, Peking style. I didn’t have all that time to make Peking duck during a weeknight, I decided to make duck breasts instead. The duck breasts are marinaded in a raspberry based marinade, then pan seared and served on a bed of buttery kohlrabi.

To make the marinade, fresh raspberries are smashed and mixed with finely chopped shallots, olive oil, and red wine.

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The duck breasts are scored on the skin side in a grid pattern,

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and covered with the raspberry marinade, turning to coat completely.

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The breasts are chilled in a pan with skin side up, in the fridge for 30 minutes. While the breasts are chilling, I stared prepping the kohlrabi. I originally wanted to make the recipe with rutabaga, however, in my haste at the grocery store, I accidentally bought kohlrabi, which is a bulb like root related to cabbage and broccoli. I decided to carry on with the same recipe anyways. The kohlrabi is sliced thinly with a knife or mandolin to 1/8 inch thick slices.

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Some olive oil and butter are heated on medium high in a sautéing pan, and the kohlrabi added to the pan.

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The vegetable is cooked for 10 minutes, until brown spots appear, and seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper. The kohlrabi is transferred to a bowl and kept warm in the oven.

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When the duck has finished marinating, the marinade is scraped off the breasts, and the marinade reserved for making the sauce.

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The duck breasts are placed, skin side down in a iron skillet heated to high, and seared for 1 minute. There is no need to add oil to the pan, since the duck skin will render enough to cook both sides of the breast.

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The heat is turned to low after 1 minute, and the breasts will continue to cook skin side down until well browned. The breasts are turned and cooked for 3 more minutes.

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The breasts are transferred to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. If you slice the breast without resting, the juice will run out and your duck will be dry.

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While the duck is resting, the reserved marinade and more red wine is added to the pan and reduced.

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Then the sauce is strained of solids, in to a small sauce pan. Butter is whisked into the sauce, and the sauce is seasoned to taste.

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To plate, kohlrabi slices are placed on a plate, topped with duck slices, with the raspberry wine sauce drizzled all over, and garnished with fresh raspberries.

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Pan seared Duck Breast with Red Wine Raspberry Sauce : http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/pan-seared-duck-breasts-with-red-wine-raspberry-sauce

Shaved rutabaga with butter and black pepper: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/shaved-rutabagas-with-butter-and-black-pepper

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Salsify is a plant from the sunflower family that has a long black root that can be cultivated for food. It’s taste is somewhat similar to oysters, which is why it’s also known as oyster plant. Some of its other names include serpent root and serpent herb.

The first time I’ve heard of this plant was on Top Chef where somebody used it in a recipe, and I had forgotten about this ingredient with a verb like name until I came across it at Central Market.

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Sine I had no prior knowledge of what it looked like, I had to double check the label and the associated sticker to make sure I had the right item. The plant looked a lot like Japanese gobo, when peeled, it exudes a very viscous and sticky material, which is why after its peeled and cut, salsify should be placed in a bowl of water mixed with some vinegar or lemon juice to keep it from discoloration.

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While the salsify is soaking, I started on the rest of the soup. First some chopped bacon is sautéed in a large sauce pan until its crispy and the fat has rendered out. The bacon is removed and finely chopped onions are sweated until softened, then the salsify is drained and added to the pan.

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The onions and salsify are cooked on medium heat until the salsify is almost tender, then white wine is added to the pan and brought to a boil. The heat is turned down to medium, and clam juice, water, and thyme are added to the pan and simmered for another 10 minutes.

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While the soup is simmering, fresh oysters are shucked, also taking note to keep the oyster brine.

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The oysters and brine are kept in the fridge until the soup is ready.

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Once the salsify is tender, the oysters, cream, and cayenne pepper are added to the soup, and simmered until the oysters are cooked through, discarding the thyme sprigs before serving.

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The soup is ladled into bowls and topped with chopped parsley and the bacon bits.

Light and creamy oyster chowder with salsify: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/light-and-creamy-oyster-chowder-with-salsify

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It’s getting close to the summer, but the temperature has already been hitting the high 80s and 90s in Austin. Summer also means many fruits and vegetables coming in to season. Peaches usually come into season between May and July, depending on the variety. Because of the unusually warm winter for us this year, our Central Market was already carrying locally grown peaches.

For our Tuesday dinner, I wanted to make something special since Mark was having a big meeting at work. I started with a very simple peach, Burrata and Proscuitto salad with arugula. The recipe I found actually called for apricots, but those were not yet in season enough to be carried at Central Market, so I used peaches instead. I also substituted Proscuitto for the country ham since I love Proscuitto.

Instead of grilling the peaches, I brushed them with mesquite smoked olive oil, and charred them in a stove top pan on high heat.

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Burrata is a fresh Italian mozzarella cheese made from cream and mozzarella. The cheese has a harder exterior like mozzarella, but when you break into the center is soft and creamy.

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To assemble the salad, a mixture of lemon juice and olive oil is whisked together in a large bowl, and seasoned with salt and pepper. The arugula and any other greens are tossed in the oil and lemon juice dressing.

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The greens are transferred to a serving bowl, with torn pieces of Burrata, Proscuitto, and charred pieces of peaches are tossed in. The salad is drizzled with aged balsamic vinegar and it’s ready to be served.

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Grilled apricot, Burrata, and country ham with arugula : http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/grilled-apricots-with-burrata-country-ham-and-arugula

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After returning from photographing our friends wedding in Waco, we wanted to do nothing except stay in and relax. My boyfriend wanted something comforting for dinner so I made grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup. Of course I couldn’t just make a simple grilled cheese and soup, I wanted to make something more gourmet and interesting. I found a recipe for smoked tomato soup and an open faced grilled gruyere, tomato and Proscuitto sandwich.

The tomato soup is composed of slightly smoked and non smoked tomatoes. I used Roma tomatoes and heirloom tomatoes in the soup, smoking only the heirloom tomato. The smokiness of the soup should be delicate and not overwhelming, which is why only a small quantity of the total tomatoes used is smoked.

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To smoke to tomatoes, I set a single burner outside on my porch, and set a wok with a few pieces of wood chips in it.

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I then put a rack in the wok on top of the wood chips.

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Next I closed the wok with a lid and turned the heat to medium high.


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When the wok begins to emit smoke, I placed the sliced tomatoes on top of the rack and closed the lid for 3 to 5 minutes.

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The tomatoes are removed and cooled, then peeled and set aside. Next, sliced leeks and finly chopped onions are sweated in a pan until soft.

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Then bay leaves, coriander seeds, garlic, and grated horseradish are added to the leeks and onions and cooked for about 2 minutes.

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Chopped tomatoes, chicken stock and sugar are added to the pan and the tomatoes cooked until soft.

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The soup is transferred to a blender with the smoked tomatoes and butter.

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The soup is processed until smooth and then poured into a sauce pan and seasoned to taste with salt and pepper, and kept warm until the sandwiches are ready to be served.

To make the sandwich, thick slices of bread is oiled and toasted. Then a garlic clove is rubbed all over the toast. Two tablespoons of white wine is brushed over the toast and a little bit of raspberry jam spread on the toast.

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Then slices of Proscuitto, tomatoes, and gruyere and cheddar cheese are topped on the toast.

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The toast is returned to the oven or toaster with the broiler on, and toasted until the cheese is melted.

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Cayenne pepper and fresh ground black pepper are sprinkled on top of the cheese.

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Smoked Tomato Soup: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/smoked-tomato-soup
Tomato, Prosciutto and Gruyère Sandwiches: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/tomato-prosciutto-and-gruyere-sandwiches

Two of my favourite people were getting married, and the weekend before the wedding, they had the idea to hold a joint bachelor/bachelorette party with all their friends in Marfa, Texas. Marfa is a small artist commune way out in west Texas; it is also where the movies There Will Be Blood, and No Country for Old Men were filmed. To get to Marfa, it’s a 9 hour drive from Dallas, where the bride and groom to be are from, and a 6 hour drive from Austin, where we were heading out from. Around 25 people signed up for this trip, some coming from Austin like us, other from Corpus Christi and Fort Collins.

Being a small town, there are not many places to eat, and most people who go out there are campers, so food for 25 people was an issue we had to resolve. I volunteered to handled a cookout for everyone Friday night, and got to planning the menu a few weeks in advance. The place our party was staying at is this neat little compound called El Cosmico. At El Cosmico, there were Safari tents and Indian Teepees you can rent. There are also very nicely remodeled and roomy RV trailers that were available to rent as well. I called the El Cosmico people and found out that there was an outdoor kitchen area that had a few grills and a fridge, but I didn’t know how big, or how many of them worked.

Originally, I was thinking of doing a whole pig roast, but due to the burn ban at Marfa, it was not possible to set up a fire to roast a whole pig. I also was wary of how busy the camp site was going to be and how many other people may be using the grills available in the kitchen area. The last thing I want is to lug a bunch of food to Marfa and have no way to cook it.

After some research for the recipes, I found a recipe that seemed to be adaptable enough to guarantee that people will be able to get fed. Whole bone-in pork shoulders are slow cooked in a 275F oven for 12 hours, then finished off on a smoky grill for 2 hours. After the pork is removed from the oven, it can be cooled down and refrigerated over night until it’s ready to be smoked. Since we were headed to Marfa Thursday, I decided to start the pork Wednesday night at 8PM, then letting it cook until 8AM Thursday morning, then cooled for a few hours until it can be handled and wrapped in plastic wrap. It will stay in a cooler until we get to the camp site, and then the pork will be moved to a fridge until Friday evening time when it’s ready to be cooked.

To feed 25 people, I bought 18Lbs of bone-in pork shoulder. The recipe calls for skin-on, bone-in pork, but I was only able to find skinned bone-in pork shoulder, which worked out just as well.

The pork is covered in a Dijon mustard, paprika, onion powder, brown sugar, and pepper marinade.

The pork is slow roasted, fat side up, in a 275 oven for 12 hour depending on the weight of the Pork shoulder. I only roasted my pork shoudlers for 10 hours since they were 10 lbs and 8 lbs respectively. For a 12-14 lb single pork shoulder, it will probably take about 12 hours.

The pork is cooled for a few hours until it can be handled, and it is wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, then a layer of heavy duty aluminum foil.

I placed it in a cooler filled with ice, and once we got to the camp site, the shoulders were placed in a fridge in one of my friend’s trailers. We got in around 9PM on Thursday night, so I did not get a chance to check out the kitchen in day light.

First thing Friday morning, I went to check out the outdoor kitchen, and it was possibly the best I could have hoped for. There was a full size fridge, 4 medium sized grills, a large prep table, 4 burners ( 3 of them worked), and a large sink.

Dinner was set at 7PM on Friday, so at 4PM I started building the fire for my grills. For the pork, I only needed enough charcoal to warm up the pork shoulders and keep the smoke going. While the fire is starting, I started to get the pork ready. I unwrapped the pork and placed them in a large disposable tin pan.

The pork is smoked for 2 hours on low heat in a pan on the grill. 2 hours was just enough time to allow the smoke to penetrate the meat, and the low heat allowed more fat to render off from the pork shoulder and keep the pork moist and juicy.

I unhusked the corn until 1 or 2 layers of husk still remained, and this is to keep the corn from burning on the grill. I built a medium fire on the grill, placed the corn on the grill, and closed the lid. Occasionally I came to turn the corn and move ones that are less cooked around the perimeter of the grill towards the center of the grill.

I also made a red and green cabbage coleslaw with apples and caraway seed dressing, but I didn’t have time to take pictures of it. I bought the cabbage a day in advance and kept it wrapped in plastic wrap. I also made the dressing a day in advance and kept it cold in either a cooler or a fridge. Once I started cooking, I sliced up all the cabbage and the apples, mixed in the dressing, covered the dish with plastic wrap, and kept it refridgerated until ready to be served.

The green apples and crunchy cabbage in the slaw made a great contrast against the smoky pulled pork, and it also help cut through the fattiness of the pork.

I also made one of my favourite desserts for cookouts: Smores Cheesecake. The cheesecake is composed of a graham cracker crust, chocolate cheese cake, and a marshmallow meringue topping. I made this cheesecake a day in advance and kept it chilled until it was ready to be served.

To make the crust, graham crackers, butter, and sugar are processed together, pressed on the bottom of a springform pan, and baked until firm.

To make the filling, room temperature cream cheese, sugar, and a pinch of salt is blended in a stand mixer until smooth.

Heavy whipping cream is added to the mixer, then cooled melted chocolate, then the eggs are added to the mixer, one at a time, until well combined.

The filling is poured into the crust, and smoothed out with a offset spatula.

The cheesecake is baked in a 325 degree oven until set and slightly puffed on the edges and jiggly in the center, then it cooled until room temperature, then placed in the fridge to chill for at least 6 to 8 hours.

To make the marshmallow topping, egg whites are whisked together with sugar in a metal bowl set on top of simmering water until the sugar have completely dissolved.

Large Marshmallow pieces are mixed into the hot egg white mixture, set aside for a few minutes.

Then everything is beaten together along with some cream of tartar with a hand held mixer, until the mixture is thoroughly combined.

The marshmallow cream is spread on top of the chilled cheese cake.

You can place the cheese cake in the oven on the top rack with the broiler on until the marshmallow begins to brown. Alternatively if you have a hand held mini torch, brown the marshmallow topping to your own liking.

The cheesecake can be covered and chilled until ready to serve. I doubled up the recipe and was able to serve 25 people, with still some extras to spare.

Cooking the pork early ensured that I had food to serve, and also I didn’t have to spend all day in Marfa cooking instead of relaxing and enjoying until 2 hours before the food is served. I brought Mexican Bolillo rolls to serve with the pulled pork, and I also made a ketchup vinegar and a mustard vinegar sauce to go with the pork.

Overall it was a success, we had some pork left over that we made into pulled pork breakfast tostadas.

12 Hour Carolina Style Pulled Pork: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/carolina-pulled-pork
Coleslaw with Granny Smith Apples and Caraway Seed Dressing: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/crunchy-coleslaw-with-cayenne-and-toasted-caraway-seeds
S’Mores Cheesecake: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Smores-Cheesecake-with-Summer-Berries-242718