Here's a dish you'll want to cozy up to: Swedish meatballs. Tender, meaty, and slicked with caramel-hued gravy, this traditional Scandinavian dish will serve you well during the dark days of Fall and Winter. Watch the video to learn the secrets to this satisfying recipe, and then print out the recipe.
High on my running mental list of must-try restaurants sits A.O.C., Suzanne Goin's oft-praised wine and small-plates spot. Until I score a reservation, I'll sate my appetite for her elegant fare by cooking my way through The A.O.C. Cookbook, out today. Flipping through the glossy pages, it was hard to pick a place to start, but it's safe to say I chose wisely with her meat-heavy salad of speck — a smoky cured meat — apples, and arugula. Rather than a green salad garnished with speck, this appetizer is more speck garnished with arugula, straddling the line between salad and charcuterie plate (it is, in fact, from the charcuterie section of the book), making it a great option for satisfying your inner carnivore. Hungry? Try the recipe for yourself.
Have you ever heard of a ramen broth with Pinot Noir in it? Well, now you have, courtesy of the wacky Food Network chef Justin Warner. He recently teamed up with Robert Mondavi Private Selection to develop funky and seemingly far-fetched recipes for the winery.
If adding Pinot Noir to a ramen broth sounds particularly eyeball-crossing, hear Justin out: "Most ramen has pork, and I think that Pinot Noir, especially central coast Pinot Noir, has bite, really great acidity, and some backbone to it. With a good ramen, you have a lot of lipids and fat in that broth, which is what makes it taste excellent. You need something that is going to be able to take it down [so you can] revisit [each bite] with a clean palate."
The ramen broth is the nectar of the gods . . . probably because it's doused with a hefty pour of Pinot Noir. As Justin mentions, the Pinot Noir adds acidity to the fatty broth, thus balancing out the richness. It may sound complex, but don't worry; this recipe isn't too complicated. "I made a classic shoyu-style ramen broth. I don't see this as being scaled back, I see it as being inventive and for some reason simple. I made a great tonkotsu pork-style broth where you have to saw bones in half using a skill saw. I've done it. But I mean really, is that something anyone wants to do? It's fun for reading like a fluffy magazine about people who do that professionally, but for a home cook, we'll make a shoyu broth," says Justin.
Poached egg, pork tenderloin, bacon, corn, and salty, fatty broth . . . the ramen certainly lives up to its tricked-out name. The recipe only calls for four ounces of wine, meaning there is plenty to sip on while slurping the ramen. I could tell you my wine tasting notes — that the cherry and smoky oak flavors complement the sweet corn and carrots, smoky bacon, and soy sauce. But I won't bore you with those details. This isn't SAT wine prep, after all. It's good food and excellent wine, thrown together in a beautifully disastrous way.
The test kitchen's focus swung south to develop a foolproof recipe for Tennessee whiskey pork chops. We started by making a whiskey-flavored marinade, then steeped the chops in it for at least one hour prior to cooking. We cooked the chops in a hot skillet and then used the same pan to prepare the glaze — browned bits left behind by the chops in the pan added deep, meaty flavor. Allowing the cooked chops to sit in the pan in the glaze for a few minutes before serving helped ensure it clung to the meat.
In its classic preparation, pasta carbonara is immensely comforting but a hair heavier than I typically crave this time of year. To make this fast and easy dish Summer-friendly, I add fresh flavor in the form of grassy, slightly sweet leeks, a hefty handful of parsley, and a few slivers of candy-sweet sun-dried tomatoes.
Thin wisps of leeks take to browning in a bath of bacon drippings magnificently, without tacking on more than a couple minutes of prep time, keeping this fresh take on an old friend firmly in the weeknight-dinner camp. Carbonara purists will balk at this suggestion (if they haven't already), but I've even been known to wilt down a bunch of kale, in ribbon form, alongside the leeks for a bulked-up, greener iteration — consider this recipe a template for experimentation.
Grand Cochon is the epic finale of the Cochon555 national tour, which challenges local chefs from cities across the US to prepare food created from heritage-breed pigs. At the Aspen faceoff, 10 regional winners went down for the crown. Ultimately, the winner was RN74's Adam Sobel, but all of the chefs inspired us to do more with pork. Here are 12 of the most creative bites.
A spiral-cut ham seems right at home as the centerpiece of a hearty Easter meal. Of course, deliciously elegant substitutions exist, but why not have some fun with other kinds of cured or smoked pork? Ham, which comes from the hind thigh of the pig, is a cut revered internationally for its marbled fat content and complex flavors when cured, smoked, or cooked. So while picking up a prepared HoneyBaked ham is a perfectly acceptable option, consider giving these other options a try for some salty Easter goodness on a plate.
Black Forest ham
For some nontraditional Easter ham ideas, keep reading.
We've got a new partnership with the recipe, equipment, and product testing gurus at America's Test Kitchen. They'll be sharing some of their time-tested recipes and technical expertise with us weekly. Today, America's Test Kitchen demonstrates how super-crunchy Japanese panko dresses up a spectacular Spring centerpiece: baked ham.
When we want to dress up a ham, we usually turn to a sweet glaze. But for this recipe, we decided to try something a bit different: a crumb coating, which is a popular way to prepare ham in Sweden.
But we quickly discovered that this seemingly simple recipe wasn't as easy as just pressing some bread crumbs into the exterior of the ham. Our first tries resulted in dry meat, soggy crumbs, and a coating that didn't stay put once we started slicing. We had to figure out how to keep the ham moist, the crumbs dry, and the two components adhered to each other.
We started with the meat. We covered a sliced, room-temperature ham in an oven bag and baked it at a gentle 325 degrees. The room-temperature ham heats up faster, with less time to dry out; the low temperature cooks the ham gently while the bag traps steam, guaranteeing a humid environment that keeps the ham moist and reduces cooking time.
To prevent the bread crumbs from sogging out while in the oven, we applied them at the end of cooking. As the crumbs cook, they absorb moisture from the ham, so pressing them onto the ham at the tail end of cooking gave them enough time to brown, but not enough time to get soggy. Super-crunchy Japanese-style bread crumbs stayed crispier than homemade or other dried crumbs. And to keep the crumbs attached to the meat, we put together a flavorful glaze with the sticking power of Krazy Glue.
See the recipe when you keep reading.
We're all about working smarter, not harder, so naturally we're smitten with Fresh Tart's ideas for transforming one meal into many different enticing treats throughout the week.I've written before about the beauty of braising a pork shoulder one day, then crafting several meals from it as the week wears on. This version is more basic than the Pork Braised with Chiles & Cinnamon, which means you can eat it even more ways. Seasoned with onions, garlic, salt, and pepper, the finished roast can be eaten as is with its rich pan juices. (Mashed potatoes would be a perfect accompaniment.) Then the next day you can warm some of the pork with hoisin sauce and roll it in lettuce leaves with rice, scallions, pickled vegetables or kimchi, and a dab of chile sauce. Or ginger scallion sauce. Oh my goodness YES.
I'll be honest with you: I've never been responsible for making the holiday ham. Typically, one of the men in my family (usually my grandfather) is smoking or roasting a ham. I'm not even sure what the process is; because it's never cooked in the oven, I've never even seen the ham prior to its dazzling presentation on the table. However, this year, in an effort to improve my large meat roasting skills, I volunteered to try out a holiday ham recipe. Since I'm from the South, I had to turn to a trusty source, Southern Living, for the recipe.
The key ingredient in this recipe is bourbon. Your kitchen will smell like molasses and bourbon as the ham slow roasts in your oven for several hours. Be sure to roast it the full recommended length so the sauce reduces into a sticky glaze that caramelizes the edges of the ham.
After a few bites from my most honest taste testers, my parents said, "Hmm . . . maybe you need to be responsible for the ham this year . . ." The bourbon's the trick, y'all. It adds an oaky, smoky flavor that complements the salty pork. The honey, molasses, and brown sugar just about turn this into a caramel-covered ham! My parents especially adored the bourbon glaze and even ladled hefty spoonfuls of it onto their rice and collard greens.
Prepare to fall in love with this bourbon ham recipe this holiday season.