one day cassoulet


instead of multiple days like the french original this only takes a day to make.

1 lb dried great northern beans
1 large onion stuck with 6 whole cloves
3/4 pound thick cut bacon diced
2 lb boneless pork loin
2 lb boneless leg of lamb
1 lb polska kielbaska sliced on the diagonal 1/2 inch thick
10 cloves garlic minced
1 cup fine dried bread crumbs
6 parsley stems
1 bay leaf
2 Tbsp tomato paste
3/4 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp dried thyme

soak the beans overnight or do a quick soak

Preheat the oven to 350
in a stockpot add the beans and the onion
bring to a boil reduce heat and simmer uncovered 45 minutes-1 hour or until the beans are tender
drain,reserving the water

in a large dutch oven fry the bacon until crisp
remove with a slotted spoon leaving the bacon grease in the dutch oven
add the lamb and pork to the dutch over and roast 1 hour-1 hour 15 until the meat is tender
remove from the pot and let cool before cutting into 1 inch cubes
drain the fat from the dutch oven

place 1/3 of the beans in the bottom of the dutch oven
layer with 1/2 the bacon, garlic, lamb, pork loin and sausage

make a bouquet garni wrapping the thyme, parsley and bay leaf in cheese cloth
add to the pan
use 1/2 the remaining beans and the remaining garlic, pork, bacon, lamb and sausage to make another layer
top with the remaining beans

in a bowl mix 2 cups of the reserved bean water the tomato paste and allspice
pour over the the beans
there should be enough liquid to almost reach the beans, use more or the bean liquid if needed
cover and place in the over for 1 hour
top with the bread crumbs and cook 1 more hour or until golden brown

serves 8-10

fish smothered in tomato caper sauce


4 fish filets (i used barramundi)
6 roma tomatoes peeled and chopped
2 shallots diced
1/2 cup calmata olives
1 Tbsp capers
1/3 cup clam juice
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
flour for dredging

heat 2 Tbsp oil in a skillet
season the fish with salt and pepper and dredge in flour
saute in the skiilet about 3 minutes a side,until cooked

remove to a plate and cover with foil

in the same skillet add a little more oil
saute the shallots and reed pepper 1 minute
add the tomatoes,capers,olives,1/2 the basil,the wine and the clam juice
bring to a boil and cook 4-5 minutes until it thickens a little
stir in the remaining basil
add salt/pepper to taste be careful of adding to much salt the capers and olives have a lot in them
spoon the sauce over the fish

serves 4

Balsamic glazed pork tenderloin


1 pork tenderloin
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp butter

preheat oven to 425
season the pork with salt and pepper
in a cast iron skillet melt the butter
add the pork and cook orughly 3 minutes a side over high heat until nicely browned

remove from skillet and set aside
pour the balsamic into the pan and stir to deglaze
add the brown sugar and stir to dissolve
add the pork back into the pan
place in oven and cook 10 minutes or so until it reached 140 degrees, turning occasionally

serves 2-2

tandoori marinade


2 cups plain whole milk yogurt divided
Juice of 1 large lemon
4 garlic cloves chopped
1 inch pice of ginger peeled and choped
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp cumin

in a blender puree the spices and 1 cup yogurt
transfer to a bowl and mix in the remaining cup of yogurt

marinade overnight

works great with skinless bone in chicken thighs
grill them for about 25 minutes or so flipping 1/2 way

Jewish Deli Style Pastrami



1 gallon distilled water
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup Mortons coarse kosher salt
1 Tbsp Prague powder #1

stir the brine ingredients together. If needed heat a little
place in fridge and chill completly

lightly toast 2 Tbsp pickling spice
add to brine

4 -5 Lb brisket

place the brisket in a non reactive container. i used a stock pot with a plastic bag inside
pour the brine in making sure the meat is submerged
place in fridge for 1 week flipping brisket daily

after 1 week remove from the brine. refill the container with tap water
soak the brisket for 2 hours to draw out excess salt

Pastrami rub

2 Tbsp black peppercorns cracked with a heavy object
1 Tbsp whole coriander seeds cracked with a heavy object
2 Tbsp ground black pepper
1 Tbsp ground coriander
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp paprika
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp whole yellow mustard seeds cracked with a heavy object
1/2 tsp mustard powder

mix rub ingredients together


Coat the cured brisket all over with the rub,pressing it into the meet a little
heat a smoker to 225
place the brisket in the smoker and smoke for about 6 hours or so ,until it reaches 150-155 degrees
remove the brisket from the smoker
transfer the brisket to a steamer (I use a rack in a wok)
steam for 2 hours or so until its cooked to 203 degrees
let rest at least 15 minutes

serves 8 or so assuming 1/2 lb meat per person

Crispy roast potatoes


4lbs small yukon gold potatoes quartered
5 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
2 Tbsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 450
bring 2 quarts water to a boil
stir in salt and baking soda
add potatoes and simmer 10 minutes

while the potatoes are boiling heat the oil in a small saucepan
add the garlic and rosemary and cook 3 minutes stiring constantly until teh garlic starts to brown
strain into a bowl and reserve both the oil and the garlic

drain the potatoes and return to the pot
let sit 30 seconds to evaporate the moisture
in a bowl mix the potatoes and oil to coat well
spread the potatoes onto nonstick baking sheet
roast 20 minutes
shake the pan and roast 25 more minutes shaking occasionally
add the saved garlic rosemary and stir to coal well

serves 4

Seafood Paella


1 lb fish filets cut into chunks
1 lb bay scallops
1 lb calamari rings
1/4 lb spanish chorizo diced (not mexican)
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup white wine
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
1 carrot diced
1 red bell pepper diced
1 medium onion diced
1 cup frozen peas
4 cloves garlic diced
2 bay leaves
2 1/2 arborio rice
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp spanish saffron

mix the wine broth and saffron in a bowl and set aside
heat the oil and butter in a large skillet or paella pan
saute the onion carrot and bell pepper 5 minutes
add the chorizo and saute 3 more minutes
add the garlic and saute 30 seconds
add the tomatoes and saute until almost dry
stir in the rice and saute 3-4 minutes
add the broth/wine mixture
stir in the peas,bay leaves and seafood making sure the rice is covered in liquid
bring to a boil,reduce heat cover and simmer 25 minutes or so until the liquid is absorbed

Note: if using frozen seafood reduce the liquid by 1/2 cup since the seafood will release liquid as it thaws
you can also use other kinds of seafood instead of scallops/calamari

serves 4-6

Quick Pastsa Sauce


Under 45 minutes start to finish

4 Tbsp olive oil divided
1 Lb ground beef
1 onion diced
3/4 tsp crushed red pepper
5 garlic cloves thinly sliced
1/4 cup double concentrated tomato paste
1/4 cup cream
1/4 cup parmesean cheese
1 lb rotini or other short spiral pasta

heat 2 Tbsp oil in a large skillet
break the meat into 8 chunks and sprinkle with a little kosher salt
place the meat chunks in the skillet and let cook 3 minutes
turn over and cook 3 minutes more
remove from the skillet
drain the fat from the skillet
add the remain 2 Tbsp olive oil
saute the onion 5 minutes over medium heat. add th egarlic and cook 2 more minutes stiring often
add the tomato paste and pepper flakes and cook,stiring often 3 monre minues
add the beef back to teh skillet and break up into small pieces
add the cream as well as 1 1/2 cups water
bring to a boil and reduce the heat to simmer gently for 15 minutes

while the sauce is cooking boil the pasta according to the package directions. drain and reserve 3/4 cup pasta water

pour the cooked pasta into the sauce along with the cheese and the reserved water
continue cooking 2 more minutes until the pasta is well coated

serves 3-4

Asparagus in oyster sauce


a quick side dish

1 lb asparagus cut into 1-2″ pieces
1 Tbsp minced ginger
2 cloves garlic minced
1/4 cup oyster sauce
1/4 cup chicken broth. i use 1/4 cup of water with 1/4 tsp better than boullion
1 tso cornstarch dissolved in 2 tsp water
1 tsp sugar

heat 1 Tbsp oil in a wok until hot
stir fry teh garlic and ginger for 1 minute
add the asparagus and stir fry for 1 minute
add the remaining ingredients and continue to stir fry for 3 more minutes

bolognese sauce


the real thing,takes about 4-5 hours from start to finish including prep

1/4 pound pancetta diced
5 cloves garlic
6 Tbsp butter divided
1 onion deiced small
1 carrot diced small1 stalk celery diced small
1 Lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup white wine
1 tsp salt
1 pinch nutmeg
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 cup whole milk
15 oz can dice tomatoes
fresh ground pepper

put the garlic and pancetta in a mini food processor and process to a paste

melt 2 Tbsp butter in a dutch oven
add the paste and cook about 4 minutes until the fat is rendered
add the vegetables and cook over medium low heat for 15 minutes stiring often so it doesnt brown
add the pork and beef. cook on medium low for 1 hour stiring occasionally until evenly browned
while the meat is browning heat the broth in a saucepan
raise the heat to medium high and stir in the wine
cook 3 minutes
reduce the heat back to medium low and stir in the salt,nutmeg and milk
cook 3 more minutes
dissolve the tomato paste in the hot broth
stir the broth into the sauce
using the food processor puree the tomatoes and stir them in
partially cover and simmer slowly stirring occasionally for 2 hours. If the
uncover and cook 1 more hour. if the sauce looks dry stir in 1/2 cup or so of water
cut the remaining butter into pieces and stir into the sauce
add some fresh ground pepper

serve over papperadelli,bucatini or other thick pasta

makes enough sauce for 2 lbs of pasta