Thursday, February 28, 2013

Grass-Fed Ribeye with coppa di testa

 The prime piece of meat has been in the freezer since last fall and it was time to for it to be consumed. Before leaving for work I dropped into my makeshift sous vide set to 130deg. Got home 7hrs later and through the cast iron in the 500deg oven for 30 min. To the ribeye out of the bath, then the bag and dried thoroughly. Fried up some coppa di testa (pig face bacon) and set aside.

Once the grill pan was up to temp the steak placed on the grill, 60sec one direction and another 60 the opposite way to get those fancy grill marks. Placed a pat of butter on the sizzling plate, seared the fat and bottom surface.

Plated, brown butter poured over the steak and topped with coppa, served with spaghetti squash carbonara. Cassava cake for dessert. 

Being my 1st grass fed ribeye minimal seasoning were used to be able to taste the meat. Only Himalayan salt and Kerrygold butter. So tender and flavorful, the fat was buttery and the area around the bone was the juiciest. 

The aftermath

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Mortar & Pestle

I was going to buy a mortal & pestle but then thought..."just make one" 

Now what to make so I can use it?

Monday, February 25, 2013

Banana Ketchup

Although this looks more like mustard  due to the color (omitted food dye to make it red) it tastes like ketchup. Simple to make and is great on burgers

1tbsp lard
2c chopped onion
2tsp chopped ginger
1tsp habanero chili flakes
1tsp salt
1/2tsp allspice
1tbsp tamari
1/4tsp tumeric

Heat lard and cook the onion, ginger , salt and chili till onions are soft. Add allspice, tamari and tumric, cook another 5min. Puree till smooth and return to pot and reduce till desire thickness is achieved.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Carnitas, braise and fry

I've always made carnitas in the crockpot and wanted to try the ol' fashioned way of braise and fry in cast iron pot. Since there will not be all the water to cook the meat less seasoning will be needed. It's pretty simple, pork butt, salt, cumin, juice from one 1 orange and water.

Cut pork into chunks, arrange in a single layer in the cast iron and add enough water to cover meat. Bring to a low boil and continue to do so and stirring occasionally till all water is evaporated, about 90min. Turn heat down and continue to cook (turning frequently) in rendered fat till meat is crispy and tender, 90-120min.

When tender remove from fat and shred or chop into bite size pieces. I made a few cauliflower taco shells to hold the succulent meat, some cilantro, tomatillo salsa and a squeeze of lime was added to each.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Black vinegar liver and ears

Going through the freezer to see what I had to create. Pulled out pig ears and lamb what to make? Black Vinegar liver and ears, usually this done with pork shoulder or chicken thighs. Will give it a shot and see what happens.

Took the ears from the bag and to my surprise hair removal was unnecessary, just a quick rinse.. Put them into a pot with a 2qts water, 10 peppercorns, 2tbsp salt, 4 cloves garlic and 1/2c coconut vinegar. Bring to a low boil then turn down to simmer for 3hrs. Removed from bath, let cool over night and save broth for another use.

Slice ears into 1/4in strips

Chop liver into bite size pieces

Once liver is chopped add 1tbsp Shaoxing wine, 1/2tbsp tamari, 1/2tbsp ginger juice and marinate for at least an hour

Add 2tbsp lard to cast iron, then ears. Palce in a 400deg oven stiring occasionally till crispy. When crisp remove from oven and drain on paper towels. Keep lard for frying liver

Take cast iron with reserved lard and heat to medium high. Add potato starch to liver, mix to coat all pieces. In 2 batches quickly stir fry liver, do not over cook. Remove liver from pan, add onion cook for 5min. Add Shaoxing wine, black vinegar, rice vinegar and sugar and salt to taste. Bring to a boil. Return liver to the pan, cook another 5min and serve over white rice, cauli rice or bok choy. Top with crisp ears.
1lb Liver
2pig ears
1tbsp Shaoxing wine
1/2tbsp tamari or coconut aminos
1/2tbsp ginger juice (squeezed from ginger)
1/4c potato starch
1/2 onion sliced
2tbsp Shaoxing wine
2tbsp black vinegar
1tbsp rice vinegar
1tbsp tamari
1tbsp coconut sugar
Salt to taste

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Pork rind crusted chicken thighs

Had a couple chicken thighs left from a previous meal and wanted to try a dredge and crust. Mixed up an egg wash, processed some fatty pork rinds (*see note) and dredged the thighs. Then baked at 400f on c cast iron skillet for 15min. Served atop a spaghetti squash and collard green carbonara with a dusting of parmesan reggiano.

Chicken had wonderful crunch and porky flavor with a juicy interior.

For carbonara;1 small spaghetti squash cooked and shredded, 1tbsp lard, 1 onion chopped, 1 bunch collard greens chiffonade, 3cloves garlic chopped, 1/2cup grated parmesan reggiano, salt and pepper to taste.

Split squash and bake for 1hr or until tender then shed. Remove tough mid-rib from collards and chop, chiffonade leaves and chop onion. Heat lard over medium high heat, add onion, garlic and chopped collard rib, cook for 15min. Add collard leaves and cook for another 15min. Next incorporate squash and cheese, mix thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper.

* There are many brands of pork rinds and will give you a crunchy texture but not impart the intense porky flavor due to there being no fat left on the rind when fried at the factory. The brand (Guerrero) I use has a layer of fat on the skin and it adds that great salty pork flavor.

Friday, February 15, 2013


This is my poor attempt at Chirashi (scattered sushi).

Made with riced cauliflower, Tako (octopus), Ankimo (monkfish liver), Kampachi (yellowtail), Tobiko (flying fish roe), Nori and wasabi with a bit of tamari.

My 1st time with monkfish liver. If I wasn't aware of it being fish liver I would have never guessed it. Creamy and buttery with no fish flavor what so ever. Everything else I've had before

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Sous Vide Goat Burger

The poor man's sous vide, an external controller with thermostat that reads temp of water and cycles the power on and off. Only thing this doesn't do circulate the water like that the expensive units. Water temp was brought up to 130deg. 

Goat was seasoned with thyme, onion, salt and pepper, placed in a vacuum sealed bag and submerged for 90min to bring. 

After 90min the bag is removed the water and burger placed on metal rack and seared using a propane torch and an egg quickly fired. Portobello mushrooms used for buns, along with kale and lard mayo.

Goat has a sweet taste, not what I was expecting. Very lean so sous vide cooking suits it well, kept the meat very moist and tender.


When I have time I do pottery. Mainly for bonsai and cactus & succulents but once in a while I do bowls, plates, cups and other items.

A 10in plate

Chawan (tea bowl)

A fermentation crock and when I settle on color it will be complete

Monday, February 11, 2013

Bulalo, Filipino bone marrow soup

A simple dish that is damn tasty! Braise beef shanks in beef bone broth for 1.5-2hr or until fork tender, skim foam from surface. Add 1 onion cut into onion wedges, 3 garlic cloves chopped, 1 chayote diced, Hawaiian salt to taste and simmer till chayote is cooked through (about 15-20min). Just before serving add baby bok choy leaves and 2tbsp (or more) fish sauce. Enjoy the fatty goodness.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Filipino Cassava Cake

Carb up Sunday! I save these little treats for just such a day.

Made some modifications to the traditional recipe and came out quite nice.

1 pkg frozen grated cassava
1 can full fat coconut milk
1 pkg frozen young coconut strips unsweetened (reserve 1/4 cup for topping)
1 egg
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp Hawaiian salt
2 tbsp coconut sugar (1 for cakes, 1 for topping)

Preheat oven to 350deg. Combine all ingredients except butter mixing thoroughly with spatula. Grease pan or muffin tins with butter then add cassava mixture. Bake for 45min. Mix 1 tbsp coconut sugar with 1/4 coconut strips and place on top of cake. Return to oven to brown another 15-20min. Let cool and enjoy!

Vietnamese Inspired Beef Heart Jerky

Got a hankerin' for some jerky and wanted to go Asian. Most recipes have way too much sugar, this has 1tbsp for 1.5lb heart. But what other flavors to add? How about fish sauce, sriracha, lemon and coconut aminos?

Remove heart from freezer about 8hrs before slicing (makes it so much easier). Trim any fat away and slice into 1/4 strips.

Place in ziplock back.

Into bag add 1/3c Thai chili sriracha, 2.5tbsp fish sauce, 3tbsp coconut aminos, 1tbsp coconut sugar, 1.5tbsp lemon juice.

Mix thoroughly and marinate overnight.

Remove from marinade and place on rack without over lapping

Place in oven at lowest temp with door ajar. Check meat about every hour for desired dryness. After 6hrs (depending on thickness and temp) it was dry.

...and ready to enjoy.

Level of heat I love but probably too hot for some. Flavor was good but next time I'll increase the fish sauce and lemon.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Sardine musubi

Not as good as spam musubi but a close second.

Canned sardines were simmered in a sauce made of coconut aminos, ginger, garlic, salt and coconut sugar. Cauliflower "rice" was seasoned with sea salt and rice vinegar. Lard mayo and habanero sriracha were used to bind everything together then neatly rolled in roasted nori.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Habanero kimchi omelette

A simple meal. Crispy Kalua pork with habanero kimchi omelette with more kimchi on the side

My 1st attempt at fermenting kimchi. I've tried many store bought brands and thought it was too mild for my tastes. So why not add my favorite pepper to the mix and let ferment for a 8wks. The result is a fiery, tangy, salty, garlicky mass of nuclear waste. Almost too hot to eat straight from the jar...almost...produces a sweat on my brow every time.

This is probably my favorite way to enjoy left-over Kalua. Add a a bit of lard to the cast iron and fry the pork leaving a crispy outer surface while the interior is still moist. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Ahi Poke

I was in the mood for Poke. One the way home stopped off to get some sushi grade Ahi. This recipe is all about the quality of the fish since it's main ingredient. The hardest item to find is Ogo seaweed. Surprisingly I found a bag at Japanese market in the bay area a month or so ago. 

1lb Ahi tuna
1oz Ogo seaweed
1/2 tsp Hawaiian salt
1/2 tsp red chili flakes
1/2 tsp seasame oil
1/2 tsp coconut aminos
Choppd green onion

Soak Ogo for 5min then cut into 1/2 lengths. Dice Ahi into 3/4in cubes. Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly but gently. Place if fridge for an hour for flavors to meld. Sprinkle with green onion before serving.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Fermented lard mayonnaise

In preparation for another dish I need some mayo and something I have not made before. So what better time to give it a try. Didn't want to do the typical olive or coconut and was not going use seed oils I decided I'd give lard a try.

 2egg yolks
3/4tsp lemon juice
1tsp coconut sugar
1/2tsp sea salt
1/2tbsp whey
1/2c melted lard

Actually was not hard at all, just put everything in the food processor, drizzle in the melted lard and blitz for a couple minutes. One thing I did do out of the ordinary was ferment it to give it a longer shelf life.

Once placed in jar leave on counter over night to ferment then place in the fridge. You'll need to let it come to room temp to be easily spreadable.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Pig pancreas

Purchased this more out of curiosity than anything else. So I kept seasoning to minimum to be able to taste the flesh. Preparation is simple, just remove the fatty connective tissue and it's ready to fry up. Add salt and pepper, then a quick sear in some brown butter to medium rare. Served over butter braised kale.

Flavor was similar to liver but milder. Flesh was tender, almost melt in your mouth. I will be buying it again.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Sweet potato cookies

These little guys are great! I usually make them on carb up days as sweet treat. This time I tried it with orange sweet potato, dough was moist and gooey compared to the purple sweets. Cookies were crisp on the outside and moist in.

These are made from Okinawan purple sweet potatoes which I previously baked. The were not as moist but crispier. The were both good but like the purple best.

1-1/3 cups sweet rice flour
1/2c applesauce
1 tbsp whole milk yogurt
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 egg
1 cup baked (purple or orange) sweet potato
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries 

1. Bake sweet potatoes at 400º degrees for about 40-50 minutes. Check by poking with a fork. Take skin off and discard. Mash the potatoes and allow to cool completely.
 2. Mix sweet potato, applesauce, coconut sugar, egg and yogurt together.
 3. In a separate bowl combine the rice flour, salt and baking powder.
 4. Combined the dry ingredients and the potato mixture until well blended. Using a spatula mix in the cranberries.
 5. Preheat your oven to 375º degrees. Using tablespoon place the batter onto my baking mat. Flatten the cookies a bit to create a circle if you like. Bake for 20-30 minutes depending on how you like your cookies.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Fermented Sriracha

Theses photos are from last summer when the farmers market had red habaneros. They are usually only available July, maybe August from local grown sources. If you can't find these or don't want it fiery hot use fresno chilies or you can use any red chile.

1lb red Habs, snip off stems but leave the green shoulders. It add some depth to the flavor. Hard to explain what but there is a taste difference if they are removed.

 Place peppers into your vita-mix or other high power blender. Add 2 cloves garlic, 2-3tbsp salt and 1/4-1/2c water to puree

The puree should be thick enough to hang on the spoon.

Pour into a mason jar and screw on lid tight. Or you can use a burping valve. Let ferment for 1-4wks depending on the tang you like. Start tasting after 2wks. I have tried an unfermented version using vinegar and prefer the fermented. The fermenting process changes the flavor and texture for the better, and you do not need to add vinegar to get the desired sourness.

When fermentation is complete you can use as is for the probiotics or you can cook. Either way add 2tbsp coconut sugar and mix thoroughly. Add more salt if needed. I've made both raw and cooked, the latter has better flavor and texture

Put into clean jar and store in the fridge. Hab sriracha is way hot compared to fresno's and Thai chilies are some where in between. There's no comparison to the store bought version, the depth of flavor here is incredible!

One concoction I made used the Trinidad scorpion butch T peppers. This sauce is so freakin' hot just tasting the tip of the spoon sent me reeling. I made 5 batches last summer to hold me over till the next season.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Kalua pork

Had some left over pork butt from the Dinuguan recipe so a little Kalua was in order. Kalua is a style of cooking not a flavoring as in Kahlua (the liqeur). In Hawaii the pig cooked in an Imu, here on the mainland we do it in the oven and the following is one way to this. This can also be bone in a crockpot or dutch oven. Very simple, all you need is pork butt or shoulder, garlic, Hawaiian salt and liquid smoke. Banana leaves are optional but adds a slight sweetness to the meat.

Rub butt with garlic, salt and place on banana leaf on top of large sheet of foil. Drizzle liquid smoke and wrap tight with foil. 2 pieces are needed. There are no amounts, everything is done to taste, so experiment. I didn't measure but a good starting point is a tbsp of each ingredient for this 2lb butt.

Bake at 300 deg for 4 hours (large portions of meat will take longer). Then expose the succulent meat and enjoy!

Eat over rice, with cabbage or baby bok choy as I did