Archive for the ‘Meat’ Category

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I bought Michel Richard’s Happy in the Kitchen book a few months back, and while I can gleefully tell you that its my favorite eye-candy boyfriend cookbook, I have only attempted to…

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This food blog thing really isn’t good for my waistline. B.B. (Before Blog), the little angel on my right shoulder and the devil on the left used to have a healthy debate, often lasting for a couple of….

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Despite pork being the national meat of the Chinese (the word for meat in Chinese is “yook” – which is synonymous to the word for pork), I don’t really eat a lot of pork. Nothing against the pig, its just that I like the taste of chicken, seafood and expensive fatty steak.

But this recipe for Tandoori Orange Spiced Pork Chop ROCKS! The chops are seasoned with Tandoori seasoning (or, if you don’t have, make your own) and a pan sauce is made with carmelized onions, mushrooms, a quick squeeze of orange, white wine, orange sections and broth. The cardamom, ginger and cinnamon from the Tandoori seasoning just goes so well with orange. It’s seductive-spicy-sweet-fragrant. Serve with Saffron Basmati Rice and you’re in belly-dancing heaven.

Inspired by Simply Recipe’s Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Orange Marmalade Glaze but I didn’t have tenderloin nor marmalade. Instead I had chops and 1 orange…so I improvised.

Tandoori-Orange Spiced Pork Chops

serves 4

4 pork chops
1/2 cup kosher salt (for brine)
1/2 cup brown sugar (for brine)
1 tablespoon Tandoori spice
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1 orange, sectioned (see Beyond Salmon’s cool step by step), reserving the 2 ends & the middle membrane for juice
1 medium onion, sliced
1 pint sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Brine the Pork Chop
This step is purely optional, but I’ve found that when I brine chicken or pork chop, it never dries out even if I accidentally overcook the chops. But I understand if you don’t have time, no big deal, just skip this step. Or, if your chops are really thin, don’t bother. Grab a big pot. Take the salt and brown sugar, dissolve in 2 cups of hot water. Add cold water and ice cubes to make total of gallon total of brine. Place pork chops in the cooled brine, refrigerate between 1 hour-2 hours. Rinse and pat dry. Season with Tandoori spice and ground pepper (no salt! its salty enough from brine) Note: If you want the chops to be brined for a longer period of time, just use less salt/sugar. Sometimes I put the meat in brine in the morning, go to work and come home to cook. I’ll just use half the amount of salt/sugar.

Fry the Pork Chop
In a pan large enough to hold all chops without touching each other, heat over high. Add 1 tablespoon of canola oil. When hot and shimmering, add pork chops to pan. Fry 2 minutes without moving, touching or peeking. Ok, now look – a nice brown crust! Flip the chops, turn the heat to medium-low and let it finish cooking through (internal temp 125.) Timing really depends on how thick your chops are. Really thin chops – just a couple of minutes. Thicker chops – cover the pan after flipping to get more heat in the pan. Really thick chops – best to stick it in the oven after flipping, 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Check the internal temp.

Remove chops from pan, let rest on plate while you make sauce.

Make the Sauce
Pour out all but 1 tablespoon of the pan drippings (most of it is fat). Place back on stovetop on medium heat. Add onions and cook until golden, soft and totally fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms, cook another 2 minutes. Turn up heat to high and add wine. Stir and scrape up the bottom of pan. Cook 1 minute. Add chicken broth and the orange sections. Take the orange ends and membranes, squeeze whatever remaining juice remains into the pan and discard. Cook 1 minute. Swirl in the 1 tablespoon of butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Reduce the sauce until it becomes thick, coating the back of a spoon. Pour on top of the chops.

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Skirt Steak

I published this same article that was in The Observer newspaper on the Well Fed Network as well. The article’s headline was supposed to say “Skirt Steak” and not “Flank Steak.” Skirt Steak: The Butcher’s Best Kept Secret…..(read at Wellfed.net)

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Chipotle Skirt Steak

Back in San Francisco, we could find authentic tacos at almost every other door in the Mission District. Often on Sundays, we’d sleep in until 10am (of course, this was B.C. – or Before Children) and lazily work our way towards the corner of Mission and 25th to La Taqueria for an early lunch. Of course, we’d always arrive the exact same time as everyone else getting out of church, so we’d have to fight the caravans of hungry families for parking spots. Since there 23,440 cars and only like 29 parking spots where you could park without getting a ticket, it was a fierce game of strategy.

When you first get within 3 miles of your destination, you start scanning…..


No, you aren’t looking for parking spots – that’s totally hopeless and you’d just waste your eye-energy. You’re scanning for people walking who have a high probability of going back to their car and leaving the area. So, you’re looking for someone who is walking slooooowwwllllly, someone whose belt is loosened, tell-tale lunch drippings on shirt and someone with that totally satisfied, dreamy look on their face. Of course they are walking sloooowwwllllyy – they are relishing, savoring in the temporary power that they have – the power of “I have a parking spot that YOU GUYS ALL WANT.”

So here starts the game. Five cars following this person, each taking a different route trying to guess which car is hers.

“Look, she’s wearing Manolo pumps from two seasons ago – that Mercedes SL600 is so not her car. Go for the Audi A3 with the big dent! Woops….she’s heading left! Oh- here she is….turn here! She stopped! SLOW DOWN!! Wait – she’s walking between cars to the next isle. HURRRY! GO!!”

(a evil eye glare to the other cars) Now all the cars are jockeying to be as close as they can to her without inflicting bodily injury to said target. Because if you get too close and end up hitting the target, you’re totally disqualified with a 50 yard penalty and obligated to start over all again and identify a new target.

In the end, it was all worth it – the tacos at La Taqueria are so amazingly, deliciously fresh. As you walk within 2 blocks of the restaurant, the aroma of seared steak with hints of cumin and coriander will make your knees weak and your heart palpitate. A few more doors down, you begin to hear the sound of the cooks throwing the meat on the flaming grill, it always landing with a shocking sizzle.

“dos Carne Asada Tacos con queso y aguacate. Tambien una Mango Agua Fresca por favor”

I not even going to try replicate those tacos – because that would just totally cheapen our memories of hoping, fighting, praying wishing, waiting 3 hours for a parking spot for 2 tacos each.

So here is my own version for steak tacos. Enjoy!


The main star of the marinade is canned Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce. Each pepper is pretty hot. So, no, I didn’t use all of them. In fact, I used just one pepper and some of the Adobo Sauce. I primarily use the Chipotle (which is really jalepeno smoked) for flavor, not necessarily for heat. This way my kids can still eat the tacos)

If you do like it hot, use 2 or 3 peppers and maybe more of the Adobo Sauce too. The smoky flavors of Chipotle + the vinegar-y, tomato-y flavors of the Adobo make it so perfect for the skirt steak. Plus, skirt steak is cheap (about $5 a pound) and its the steak traditionally used for fajitas and steak tacos. It just doesn’t taste the same with other cuts.

Chipotle Skirt Steak Tacos

Serves 4

1 lb skirt steak
1/4 onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 whole chipotle ‘chili en adobo’+ 2 teaspoon adobo sauce (you may use more peppers if you like spice)
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

+ see below for accompaniments

Pureed the one chipotle pepper + 2 tsp Adobo Sauce with the onion (oh yeah, I forgot the garlic in the pic) garlic, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper. Stir in the cilantro. Throw it all in a zip lock bag with 1lb of skirt steak for at least 2 hours. Grill medium-rare.

Cut the skirt steak in very thin strips across the grain – otherwise it will be tough and chewy.

Serve With:

-Corn tortillas – I throw the tortillas directly on the grill 30 seconds, flip, add cheese, grill 30 seconds, remove. This melts the cheese oh-so-perfectly and chars the tortilla edges just a tiny bit for that crunch. Heating it also takes away some of the “rawness” that corn tortillas have when they are straight out of the bag.

-Cold sour cream

-Home-made salsa

-Wedges of lime

-Avocado halves – you can just scoop out what you want directly onto your taco

-Lettuce – I personally don’t use lettuce in my tacos, but some people may like it

Did I mention that you only use one pepper and not the whole can?! 🙂

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Peking Chicken with Steamed Bun

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Baby back ribs with asian orange-ginger glaze

YUM! These are finger-lickin good baby back ribs – the meat is so tender that it falls off the bone as you lift them out of the pan. The sauce is sticky, sweet, tangy, with a little hit of chili – the Asian version of BBQ sauce.

The secret to cooking the very best ribs is “low and slow.” Its so incredibly easy too – this recipe is practically fool-proof. You just have to try this out. The only drawback is that the ribs cook for 4-6 hours, so you have to pick a day when you’ll be home for that long. I guess you could cook these overnight, but I guarantee you that you’ll be dreaming of these ribs all night long as the amazing aroma of the ribs will sneak into your room and seduce you. My friend Lisa shared the low & slow technique with me and I’ve never made ribs any other way since.

My recipe includes a sticky Asian BBQ sauce – however, I’ve also made these ribs with my husband’s favorite store-bought BBQ sauce “KC Masterpiece.” Either way, I know you’ll love these ribs…and I know you’ll never ever order ribs from a restaurant again because yours is going to taste so much better.

If there was only one recipe that I had to choose as a “must try” – this is it!

Baby Back Ribs with Asian Orange-Ginger Glaze

Baby Back Ribs (the quantity is up to you – although these ribs are SO delicious that everyone will want seconds, so budget accordingly! I usually go to my local warehouse store, BJs and purchase the “big momma” pack that includes 3 or 4 whole massive slabs and feeds 8. Plan on 6 ribs or more per person)

garlic salt & pepper

Asian Orange-Ginger Glaze

1 tsp grated ginger (use a microplane rasp grater)

1 Tb minced garlic

1/4 cup minced red onion

1 cup hoisin sauce

1 orange, peel zested with rasp grater & juiced (you should have 1/4 c of juice and about 2 T zest)

1 T mirin

1 T sambal (asian hot chili/garlic paste)

1 T yuzu sauce (you can substitute with lemon juice)

1. Preheat oven to 250. Pat the ribs dry and season both sides liberally with garlic salt and pepper. Place the ribs in a large roasting pan, overlapping is ok. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and place in oven. Roast 4-6 hours. If you are feeding less than 4 people, then check the ribs after 4 hours, they should be done.

2. To make the glaze: Heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Add 2 T canola oil, and when hot, add the red onion. Cook until the onion is soft, about 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and the ginger. Cook another minute. Add the remaining ingredients, except for the yuzu sauce. Lower the heat to low and cook down the sauce until it thickens and reduces about 6-8 minutes. The sauce should be sticky and thick. Remove from heat and add the yuzu sauce (or lemon juice). You can also add more freshly grated ginger if you like for the extra kick.

3. The ribs are done when they fall off the bone. Trust me, you’ll know. Try picking up a rib and see how the meat just falls off. Place the ribs in a single layer – you may have to use a baking sheet. Brush the Asian Orange-Ginger Glaze on the tops of the ribs. Broil on high until the sauce bubbles and carmelizes, about 3-5 minutes. Keep a watch on the ribs – don’t burn them!

Instead of the Glaze, you could just use your favorite BBQ sauce – the results will be outstanding.

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I love a great steak! Especially if its on sale at the supermarket and I can cook it even better than the expensive restaurants. Ok, confession….I mean, “WE” can cook it. Husband cooks meat. Wife prepares sauce. Together we make this.

The kitchen is my domain. The BBQ grill is another story. I am only allowed to uncover the grill, turn on the propane tank and preheat. Thats it. Any more and I’ve violated Section 10.4.5b of our Marital Contract. Just kidding. But really, its as if Husband rearranged the kitchen and co-mingled my Tupperware collection with my knife drawer. So, I leave the grill alone.

The secret to cooking steak just like the restaurants this:

1) good quality of meat (I like the Angus Prime at Sweetbay Supermarket)

2) room temp meat (leave meat at room temp for 30 min) + high temperature on the grill (preheating gas grill on high for at least 15 minutes)

3) an instant read meat thermometer

4) an awesome sauce

I’m not going to write about how to cook the meat – since obviously I’m not the authority on the grilling. Husband is, and he’s playing poker right now. All I know is that I like medium rare. How do you know its medium rare? Because the thermometer doo-hickey says so. I got Husband one from Brookstone. Its worth the $50. I’m sure there are cheaper ones out there. Brookstone isn’t known for their bargain bins. There are numerous sites out there that can teach you how to cook a perfect steak. I can talk about the perfect steak sauce.

The sauce that I love combines sauteed mushrooms, beef stock, wine and demi-glace. Demi-Glace is a fancy French word for a super-concentrated veal/beef stock and wine. Its time consuming and complicated to make. But its the base for many, many restaurant sauces, especially for steaks. If you want your steaks to taste like the $25 steak at the steakhouse, use Demi-Glace. Most chefs just use a Demi-Glace concentrate that is diluted with water – they don’t even make it from scratch! You can find at your local upscale supermarket in the canned broth section or even on Amazon.com.

The Perfect Steak Sauce
(enough for 4 steaks)

1 pint of Crimini mushrooms (or white mushrooms or baby portabella or mixed gourmet mushroom blend), sliced
2 T canola oil
2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 cup organic beef broth
1/2 cup red wine
1/4 cup prepared demi-glace
2 T butter
splash o’ Cognac
freshly ground pepper

In large saute pan with oil, fry mushrooms on medium-high heat for 3 minutes, until soft. Add garlic, fry additional minute. Add beef broth, wine and demi-glace. Turn heat to low and simmer until sauce is thick and reduced by half, about 5-7 minutes. Add butter, stir. Add splash o’ Cognac and pepper. Remove from heat and serve with perfectly cooked steak!

Saveur Magazine’s Perfect Steak Sauce
(serves 4)

5 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 lb crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 cup red wine
1 cup chicken stock
2 teaspoons, cornstarch, mixed with 1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons mixed, chopped chives and parsley
2 tablespoons sherry

In a skillet on medium-high, add 1 tablespoon butter and 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil.  When butter and oil hot, add shallots and cook 1 minute.  Add mushrooms, cook 5 minutes.  Add red wine, bring to a boil.  Reduce to medium and cook until syrupy 8-10 minutes.  Add stock, reduce slightly, 4-5 minutes.  Whisk in cornstarch mixture; bring to a boil.  Add sherry, cook until thickened, 2-3 minutes.  Remove from heat; whisk in remaining butter, herbs, and salt/pepper.

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