Posts tagged Soups

Eat Your Way to Good Luck

Black Eyed Pea Soup with Country Ribs

Recipe follows story

My mother recently informed me that my grandma used to make lentils with sausage as the first course to dinner on New Years Eve.  I couldn’t recall this memory, and I thought I remembered every memory and moment of lentil consumption that involved my grandmother and other members of the Corrado clan.  I can still hear all of the men at the table slurping and chugging glasses of wine, but I don’t see lentils.  I thought I remembered every moment of eating, period, but, somehow, this one didn’t stick.  

Celebrating the New Year with pork product is one tradition I am not opposed to, especially since it’s supposed to bear good luck.  I can use all the luck I can get, after all I lost a book to someone I used to date and my appendix in 2011. Amongst a little bit more of my pride, waning with every year that goes by.

I decided to end the year with DC friends and, yes, a lot of pork.  Our New Years Eve breakfast started out with plates of maple glazed bacon and our dinner party preparation, although slightly haphazard and marginally rushed, managed to incorporate various iterations of pork - that which was slow cooked and combined, along with other meats, to form a tomato based and wine doused ragu.  Our mixed meat ragu was delicately spooned over plates piled high with creamy polenta.  Ok, maybe the meat ragu was plopped a top plates piled high with creamy polenta. Heaping portions were doled out in the kitchen and served.  Leftovers were distributed to guests and reheated on New Years Day.  A contribution from another dinner party guest, which is always a crowd favorite, sweet and delicious dried dates, stuffed to the brim with blue cheese, wrapped in thin strips of prosciutto and baked.

Heavenly pork laden treats were bestowed upon all 10 people that sat at a very long table, on a very charming street, on a somewhat warm weathered East coast New Years Eve day, at a dinner party on Capitol Hill.     

I’ve no photos of the meal, just the memory of making it with friends.  I’m also currently harboring a giant bowling ball of pork, short ribs, lamb and oxtail in my stomach.  I relinquished this meal to pure enjoyment and fulfillment outside of making every meal into one that needs to be plated perfectly and photographed, with recipes and notes recorded line by line and in between bites.
Not because I didn’t get my fill of pork this weekend, but because a lady has to eat - upon arriving back to Queens on Monday afternoon I made a black eyed pea stew with country ribs.  I know, why didn’t I make my grandmother’s lentils?  Because I make them at least once a month.  I celebrate her need for sausage and spice often.  I welcomed myself back to my kitchen and my dinner table by enjoying something new.

A hearty soup brimmed to the top with the other white meat, coupled with black eyed peas and mustard greens.  I had black eyed peas in the house, so I gave a nod to southern tradition by incorporating them in to the soup.  In the south, this special little pea is prepared and eaten to ring in the new year with good luck and prosperity.
I sat eating a bowl of peas with pork and prayed, yet again, for this was my fourth pork bathed meal in 3 days, that some sort of god would bestow upon me a fine year ahead.

I believe I’ve eaten enough pork to secure some good luck in 2012, but I’ll have to wait and see. 

From my kitchen to yours, Happy New Year.

Black Eyed Pea Soup with Country Ribs

1.5 - 2 lbs. country ribs
2 T. butter
2 sweet onions (diced)
3 cloves of garlic (minced)
2 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. fennel seeds
5 medium carrots (cut into rounds)
1 pint of grape tomatoes (halved)
2 yukon gold potatoes (peeled and cubed)
3 quarts of chicken stock
1 lb. dried black eyed peas (cooked/prepared according to instructions on bag)
4 large dried bay leaves 
1 medium bunch of mustard greens (washed, de-stemmed, and cut into bite sized pieces)

-Place dried beans and 8 cups of water in a pot, bring to a boil for two minutes, cover, remove from heat and let beans soak for 1 hour
-To a large stock pot add butter and country ribs, browning for 4-5 minutes on each side, and removing from the pot once browned
-Add diced onions and garlic, sauteing until sweating - about 5-7 minutes
-Add cayenne, fennel seeds and carrots - tossing with onions and garlic and cooking for an additional 5 minutes
-Add tomatoes and potatoes - tossing with other vegetables and spices
-Place ribs back in the pot, add chicken stock, black eyed peas and bay leaves
-Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat and incorporate mustard greens in batches and simmer for 40-45 minutes until potatoes are fork tender
-Serve hot, with crusty bread or crostinis

*The flavor of the soup intensifies as it sits, so if you could make this ahead and serve on day two, you’ll have a bolder soup with a stronger pork and herb infused taste.   

Wednesday, January 4, 2012 — 9 notes   ()

Heaping Helpings Of Hot Pepperpot Stew: A Guyanese Christmas Treat

Hot Pepperpot Stew

Recipe follows story

I picked up this recipe for Guyanese hot pepperpot stew when I was out in Canarsie, talking to Smally, on day two of my visit to the neighborhood.

Hot pepperpot stew is made with a hodgepodge of meats onoins, garlic, hot peppers, fresh herbs and cassereep.  Cassereep is an extract made from the root of the cassava plant and it has a molasses like consistency.  This ingredient serves as the primary source of flavor in Guyana’s national dish and it is also responsible for giving hot pepperpot stew its distinct, rich brown, almost black color. 

Not only is hot pepperpot stew Guyana’s national dish, but it is often eaten on Christmas day.  The longer this stew sits, much like any meat packed stew or gravy, the sweeter it gets.  For breakfast, hot pepperpot is enjoyed with homemade bread and for dinner it’s eaten over rice.

So, thank you - Smally - for sharing your family recipe and helping me shop for ingredients.  Last weekend, my friends and I celebrated a Guyanese Christmas with a large vat of hot pepperpot stew.

And the stew kept on giving, as I ate it for dinner all week long.

Next time you find yourself on the L train, get off at the last stop, walk over to Smally West Indian Food Market on Avenue L and tell Orin Small you’re looking for ingredients to make hot pepperpot stew - he’ll be more than happy to help you out and share more recipes if you ask. 

Hot Pepperpot Stew
makes 8-10 servings

4 cows feet (optional)
1.5 lbs each - lamb shoulder, beef oxtail, veal neck bones (or any meat on the bone of your choice)
.5 lb. pork stew meat
3 large onions (diced)
Water to cover meat
1 bottle Cassereep
8 cloves of garlic (minced)
8 wiri wiri peppers (minced)
1/3 c. dried thyme

-Place cows feet in a large stock pot
-Cover with water and place over a medium high flame, brining to a boil and cooking for 1 hour
-In a separate pot, add oil and brown lamb shoulder, oxtail, veal neck bones and pork stew meat for 3-4 minutes on each side.  Then remove meat from the pot and set aside
-Add the onions and garlic and saute for 7-8 minutes or until they are sweating
-Combine all meat in one pot with onions, and garlic, cover with water, add cassereep, thyme, wiri wiri peppers and bring to a boil
-Once boiled, lower flame and allow everything to simmer for 2.5-3 hours, or until meat is shredding, tender and falling off the bone
-Serve with Guyanese bread or rice

Friday, December 23, 2011 — 1 note   ()

Chicken Noodle Soup, Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken Soup

I’ve spent the past 3 days in bed.
Allergies, bronchitis and a sinus infection have gotten the best of me.

I do enjoy a good swig of cough syrup, but I enjoy it most when I don’t really need it… 

It should be noted that, for me, the worst part about being sick is the loss of my voracious appetite.  I can’t think about pork and/or chocolate without getting semi-ill. I haven’t been hungry.  I don’t like life when I’m not hungry.  I don’t thrive on losing 2 lbs. when I’m sick, I’d prefer to eat.  It’s a sin, really.  I’m supposed to be eating between 8 and 9, 1 and 2, 4 and 5, 7 and 9 and at 10 for a scooby snack before bed.

I can hardly figure out what to do with my hands.  

The other bad thing about being sick, feeling super alone and imagining I may choke on a stray chicken bone - as I take in a giant spoon of homemade chicken soup…

The best part about being sick: Netflix, laptop, new iPhone (to be named) and my princess bed.

I’m in the process of doing some very thorough research; finding out what all the fuss is with 30 Rock.  I’m well into the second season and it’s safe to say I’m in love with Liz Lemon.  Yes, I’m in love with her.  And she also imagines choking, while alone in her apartment, as does her gorgeous lesbian friend.  I’m glad I’m not alone in my fears.      

After watching 6 episodes of 30 Rock, my butt cheeks numb and my right foot completely asleep - I ambled to the grocery store, high on meds and with a slight limp - as my hip is also flared up from one too many days of laying and sloth-ing around…

I got home and I was wiped.  I had to nap, yes nap.
A one mile walk and I was required to nap.  

After the nap, chicken soup time ensued, wherein I made enough soup to feed a family of 5.  
For a week.    
Damn you, mom.

I couldn’t smell much or taste nearly anything, but I didn’t make myself sick - so it must’ve been good.  

Here’s to hoping I don’t choke on any chicken bones this weekend.  

Chicken Soup

1 whole chicken (about 4 lbs. or you can opt for chicken parts, breasts, thighs and legs)
1 lb. bag of carrots (peeled and cut into 1/4” rounds)
8 stalks celery (washed and cut into 1/4” pieces)
1 large vidalia onion (diced)
1/4 c. fresh parsley (minced)
 Water to cover 
1 can San Marzano tomatoes (juices drained and tomatoes cut into small pieces)
3 T. of chicken consomme (or chicken bullion of your choice)
*modify for your own taste,
Freshly ground black pepper
Pecorino Romano for grating (because I love salt and being even more bloated while bed ridden and you probably do too)  

-Place all ingredients (with water to cover) in a large stock pot and let cook over a medium low flame for 2-3 hours (until chicken is falling apart/off the bones)
-Remove chicken, place in a bowl and let cool
-Once chicken is cool enough to handle, remove fat and shred meat
-Place shredded chicken back in the pot
-Serve with a mini pasta of your choice and grated cheese (I went pasta-less today, but a little Tubettini is my favorite, so maybe I’ll spice things up and do that for dinner)

Saturday, May 14, 2011   ()

Lentils Don’t Die They Multiply

Lentil Soup With Sweet Italian Sausage & Escarole

*Recipe follows story

I love lentils.  I sort of have a weird obsession with them.  I have a lot of personal lentil memories, from school lunches my mom and grandma would pack - to making them for friends on various occasions.  Lentils make a great lunch, dinner and left over. One bag of lentils goes a long way, so it was always my poor college student special and they were equally functional (and tasty) when I was a poor receptionist after college.  

And, as much as I’m yearning for spring time love, picnics, parks, rolling in grass and cooking light and delicious goods, I’m eking the final uses out of my dutch oven.    

I know technically it’s Spring, but a chilly Spring night can still validate a bowl of lentils.

I also enjoy a veggie heavy bowl, so they stick to my tum and have a bit more heft - making them a super satisfying meal.   

Lentil Soup With Sweet Italian Sausage & Escarole

1 lb. sweet Italian sausage (decased)
1/4 c. olive oil (plus more for drizzling)
3 cloves garlic (peeled and minced)
1 lb. bag of carrots (peeled and cut into rounds) 
6 stalks celery (diced)
3 large onions (diced)
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes (PLAIN, no added spices!)
1 lb. lentils (sorted and rinsed)
6-8 c. chicken stock (depends on your own preference for soup thickness - add more if you want your soup a little thinner)
3-4 dried bay leaves
1 head escarole (cleaned, dried, roughly chopped) Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
Locatelli or Parmigiano for serving

-In a large stockpot over medium heat, heat the olive oil and saute the sausage
-Add onions and garlic sauteing for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are translucent and tender
-Add the celery and carrots and saute for another 10-15 minutes
-Add tomatoes and the chicken stock
-Add drained lentils and bay leaves, cover your pot and bring everything to a boil
-Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 1 hour, or until the lentils are cooked through and tender
-Add in escarole, mixing into the lentil soup in small bunches
-Continue to cook uncovered for an additional 15-20 minutes until escarole is fully incorporated and cooked into the soup
-Check the seasoning, adding additional salt or pepper as needed
-Serve large nommy bowls drizzled with olive oil and heaped with freshly grated cheese

Sunday, April 10, 2011   ()

Make Pretend Pasta Turned Soup

Roasted Vegetable Soup With Goat Cheese Cream 

*Recipe follows story

Last week came and went too quickly.
Work made the week almost seem non-existent.  I felt non-existent.  I didn’t cook, I didn’t write - I was nomless.  I was cranky.  I wasn’t myself, and I was staring down produce that needed to be cooked.

My original intention was to bathe a beautiful spaghetti squash in oil, roast and top her with red sauce and wads of cheese.  This weekend, I looked at that same spaghetti squash - as it had been forgotten in the haze of my hectic week.  I never moved her. She looked so patient as she sat there.  A bowl of onions, garlic, tomatoes and mixed bell peppers were also deemed children of neglect.  They all had hope last weekend. The squash sat on my table, big, round and gorgeous - waiting for a home.  Even after a week of waiting, she didn’t seem angry I’d left her for so long. On Sunday, she was sweet and caramelized when she came out of the oven.  I had tucked my colorful peppers in an airtight container and hoped they wouldn’t go bad. They too emerged victorious and sweet and tasted like summer.   My little grape tomatoes sat like huddling soldiers in their respective containers.  A few were lost to minor mold, but the survivors made it through to the roast.  The garlic stayed strong.  Garlic usually does.    

I knew this week would be busy.

I knew I’d never eat all of these vegetables in time.
I knew my only chance at enjoying this food was to pulverize all vegetables into a creamy oblivion.

Roasted Vegetable Soup With Goat Cheese Cream 

1 large spaghetti squash (halved and de-seeded)
4 red onions (diced)
2 pints of cherry tomatoes
1 bulb of roasted garlic (instructions below)
1 red peppers (sliced and deseeded)
1 yellow peppers (sliced and deseeded)
1 orange pepper (sliced and deseeded)
1 green pepper (sliced and deseeded)
1 zucchini (sliced into 1/4” rounds)
7 T. olive oil
2 tsp. turmeric
4 sprigs fresh thyme (discard stem, you want the leaves only)
1 quart chicken stock 
2 T. agave
1 T. apple cider vinegar
1/4 c. heavy cream
2 oz. peppered goat cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees
-For garlic:  chop the top off of the bulb of garlic and cover with 1 T. of olive oil, then place in the oven for 30-35 minutes until deep brown
-Remove from the oven and set aside to cool
-Place halved spaghetti squash on a baking sheet lined with foil and rub each half of the spaghetti squash with 1 T. of olive oil, salt & pepper, turn each half face down on to the foil, then place in the oven and roast for 90 minutes
-Remove from the oven and set aside to cool
-Place all other veggies (peppers, onions, tomatoes and zucchini) on a baking sheet or two (make sure you spread evenly so the veggies have enough room to roast / brown)
-Toss veggies with remaining olive  oil (4 T.) and roast for 40-45 minutes until brown
-Remove from the oven and put aside

-To a large stock pot you should add the following:
-Begin to remove the skin from all of the roasted garlic and place in the pot
-Scrape the flesh from the spaghetti squash and place in the pot
-Place all roasted vegetables in the pot
-Add turmeric and thyme to the veggies and mix well
-Place the stock pot over a medium flame and toss together for 5 to 10 minutes, then add the apple cider vinegar
-Add chicken stock and agave, then cover the pot and continue to cook for an hour to and hour and a half
-Remove pot from heat and use an immersion blender to puree the soup 

*I like a smoother soup, so after it’s blended I then pass the soup through a strainer to remove any veggie debris

*Serve soup as is, or mix in goat cheese cream: heat 1/4 heavy cream in a small sauce pan, add goat cheese and cook for 2-3 minutes - just until goat cheese is combined. Top soup with goat cheese cream and mix in by the bowl.

Monday, January 31, 2011   ()

The Lingering Taste Of Pork And Love


*Recipe follows story

They looked so content in the pot as they sweat out their scent in an olive oil bath.  As the fat rendered from the pancetta the onions became translucent, oily, glossy, and more beautiful than ever. The combined smell swaddled my apartment.  Pancetta and onions are really quite the perfect pair.

As I stood over the pot and stirred I imagined little speech bubbles emerging, as though the pancetta and the onions were talking to one another in southern accents.  

I can’t live without you.
You’re so salty and good.
Yes, but my saltiness would be nothing without your sweetness.  

It was cold outside, but warm in my apartment.  I let myself swallow the scent whole, and the sentiments that came from the pot.

The marriage of the pancetta and onions was complete, so I added most of the other ingredients.  I turned away from the stove and saw my brother sitting on the couch. He was so quiet I forgot he was there.  I forgot he was there until he said, it smells good in here.  Can I have some of that for breakfast?  I was so lost in the soup that I forgot I had to make him breakfast.  It was comforting to turn around and see him.  Every time someone comes over I take it in and hold on to the moment. Random moments from that morning are stamped in my mind.  

I continued to cook, breakfast on one burner and soup on the other, getting myself lost in this bizarre world of talking ingredients. Not only did I see speech bubbles emerging from the pot, but I devised this whole story wherein the carrots and the celery (French women) were upset because they didn’t meet the pancetta first…

There was so much going on in my head that breakfast seemed like a blur. 
And why were my vegetables Southern and French when I was making a traditional Tuscan soup? 

I listened to The Jackson 5 AnthoIogy while my mind strayed and this fairytale unfolded.  My thoughts went from the food and their voices to the book I had just finished reading.  In the book the main character is a young girl who discovers she can taste the emotions in the food she eats.  While adding the beans to the soup, I wondered if my aunts, uncle and brother would be able to taste notes of smiles, bell bottomed pants, dancing, booty bouncing, and a happier time.  I wondered if it really were possible to taste emotions what would this soup say about me?  

Tina’s a strange woman.
She thinks her food is talking to her.

If tasting real emotions and scenarios were a possibility, things weren’t looking too good for me.     

I’ve always thought about the way I feel when I’m cooking and how that translates into my meals.  No matter what’s wrong, cooking always makes me happy.  It brings me back.  Food, much like our vibe, like our scent, like our swagger - says a lot about us. 

Maybe it says too much.  

I can only hope they at least tasted love.

*adapted from Ina Garten.  Oh, Ina…

1 1 lb. bag of dried Great Northern beans (soaked overnight and cooked) 
2 T. olive oil
1/2 lb. pancetta (cubed) 
7 carrots (chopped)
7 ribs of celery (chopped)
4 medium onions (chopped)
6 cloves of garlic (minced)
1 T. red pepper flakes
1 14 oz. cans diced tomatoes (preferred no salt and definitely NO HERBS)
1 large bunch of basil (clean leaves and keep whole)
1 medium bunch of kale
2 quarts of chicken stock
1 loaf of day old sourdough bread (torn into pieces)
Freshly ground black pepper 
Locatelli cheese for grating

For Beans

-Soak beans, overnight, in a large stock pot
-Cover beans with water (about 8-10 cups)
-Put in the refrigerator overnight
-The following morning, remove pot from the refrigerator and set over a medium low flame
-Let water come to a boil and then lower the flame, salting beans and continuing to cook until tender, about another 40 minutes

For Soup

-Heat oil in a large stock pot over a medium flame, adding pancetta and onions
-Let pancetta and onions sweat for 10-13 minutes
-Add celery and carrots and continue to cook for another 10 minutes, until veggies are tender
-Add garlic, red pepper flakes and very lightly salt - cooking for another 3-4 minutes
-Add diced tomatoes and give your vegetables a few good turns
-Add basil and kale, incorporating little by little and let cook down - about 10-15 minutes
-Add beans and mix
-Add stock and let cook, lower your flame, for another 35-45 minutes
-As the final step you can then add the sourdough bread cubes and mix (I left mine on the side, as I wasn’t sure if all of my guests were into having bread in their soup)
-Ladle into bowls, top with freshly ground black pepper, cheese and olive oil

Sunday, January 16, 2011   ()

The 100th Nom

Mixed Chopped Salad With Dried Cranberries, Apples, Toasted Pecans & Gorgonzola
(in a maple & dijon vinaigrette) 


Roasted Butternut Squash & Roasted Parsnip Soup

Cornbread Stuffing

Crown Roast Of Pork 
Cooked piece of crown roast with cornbread stuffing

Coconut Custard Pie 

*Recipes follow story

I decided it would be most fun to surprise my parents - and two brothers - by flying down to South Carolina on New Years Eve.  I also thought it would be nice to share a proper sit down meal with my family for the 100th nom.  I wanted the 100th nom to be celebratory.  I flew to South Carolina with Josie in a carry on and pancetta and gorgonzola, wrapped in ice packs, in another bag.  

I was anxious to see everyone’s face when I came barreling through the door.

I don’t drive, so I’m thereby deemed useless in a driving only state.  Thankfully, I have relatives that accept me for the non-driving woman I am - and they don’t mind helping.   My aunt and uncle were in on the whole surprise, and were able to keep the secret the entire time

*Way to go Uncle Al, I’m proud of you for not uttering a word or tipping anyone off!

My aunt also played the role of personal shopper to aid in the unfolding of the above noms.  If she hadn’t done all of the shopping before I got to South Carolina, pulling off this meal would’ve been an impossible feat.  

Aunt Deb arrived at the airport all smiles and ready to surprise.  But, when we rolled up to my parents house, of course, mookie brother Louie was washing his car in the driveway.  FYI, he’s bringing Brooklyn to South Carolina.  If late December gives him 68 degree temperatures - the bells in his head go off - the ones that remind him that he should put on shorts and wash his convertible Chrysler Seabring…

Bastard, he almost spoiled the surprise…

But, my Uncle tipped my aunt and I off, that mookie was in the driveway waxing on and waxing off, so I did what any woman would do to create the perfect surprise moment…

I ducked.

I squished myself between the passenger seat and the glove compartment, curling my 5’7” curvaceous body on to the floor of the pick-up truck.   

My aunt called mookie to the car and I popped up like a Tina-In-The-Box.  
Every man’s dream, I tell you.

His reply: What the friggggg are you doing here?
My reply: Shut up.  Mommy will hear you, turd.

Yes, I’m 30 and my brother is 33 and this is how we still talk to one another.

I stealthily ran to the front door of the house.

Mom: Oh my GOD.  It’s Tinamarie.  Oh my GOD.

I could see the excitement in my mother’s face.
I could hear it in her voice.
I could feel happiness in her chest, when we hugged.

The surprise element was beautiful and happy and exciting and everything I wanted it to be.  

So, on the first day of 2011, I cooked for hours.  
I got lost in my head.
I buried my thoughts in peeling, chopping, chicken stock, sausage and sweetened coconut.

And, when dinner came around, I thought about how much I love all of the faces that looked back at me.  
I love them so much, so much it hurts.  
I love them so much, I’ve taken what they’ve given me and held on to every lesson learned and shred of hope they could share.  

I’ve held on to the small things.  

I saw 30 years of my life sitting beside me.  

I thought about the past, the present, and the future - and my mind shuttered with somewhat equal parts happiness and sadness. 

The meal, itself, was relatively silent but spoke volumes.  

*I made this meal for 8, so the below served 8 of us and the leftover soup, crown roast and cornbread stuffing gave us 3 days of leftovers.  

Mixed Chopped Salad With Dried Cranberries, Apples, Toasted Pecans & Gorgonzola

8 c. mesclun greens (or combine different lettuces, whatever your preference and chop)
1 small-medium red onion (chopped) 
1 large granny smith apple (peeled and cubed)
1/2 c. pecans (toasted: over a medium flame in a non-stick pan for 5-7 minutes; chop once cooled)
4-5 oz. gorgonzola cheese (crumbled)
1/2 c. craisins

For Vinaigrette

1/3 c. white balsamic vinegar
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic (grated)
2 T. dijon mustard 
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

-Place all salad ingredients in large bowl and give a good toss
-Top with vinaigrette and toss, again, until salad is coated
-Individually plate or serve as is 


1 medium/large loaf of Italian bread
1/3 c. olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Only use the below method if you want long crostinis, as pictured above.  You can also simply slice the loaf of Italian bread into 1” pieces 

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees
-Halve loaf of Italian bread, then halve each piece again - so you have 4 chunks of bread
-Carefully slice (lengthwise) each chunk of bread - so you get 3 slices per piece of bread (you should get, roughly, 12 slices from the loaf)
-Place slices of bread on a baking sheet and brush (tops and bottoms) with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper
-Bake in the oven, watching carefully - so as not to burn), for 10-12 minutes - or until deep golden brown

Roasted Butternut Squash & Roasted Parsnip Soup

7 lbs. butternut squash (peeled and cubed)
6 large parsnips (peeled and sliced into 1/4” thick rounds)
8 T. olive oil
4 T. unsalted butter 
4 c. carrots (chopped)
4 c. celery (chopped)
4 c. onions (chopped)
1 large bunch of leeks (greens discarded whites chopped)
2 shallots (minced)
6 cloves of garlic (minced)
2 T. apple cider vinegar
1/4 c. maple syrup
3.5 quarts of chicken stock (low sodium preferred)
2 T. fresh sage (minced)
Black pepper 

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees
-Place butternut squash and parsnips in a very large bowl and coat with 4 T. of olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper
-Divide squash and parsnips amongst as many baking sheets as you need (for this quantity I needed 3) and place in the oven for 40-45 minutes, until caramelized and browned 
-Once squash and parsnips are done roasting, put aside to cool
-Place butter and remaining 4 T. of olive oil in a large stock pot over a medium flame 
-Add onions, carrots and celery - sauteing for 12-15 minutes - until soft
-Add shallots and garlic - sauteing for another 3-5 minutes
-Add apple cider vinegar and continue to saute another 3 minutes
-Add roasted butternut squash and parsnips to the pot and pour in the chicken stock
-Add maple syrup and sage, mixing well and let cook for 1 hour to an hour and 15 minutes
-Remove pot from flame and let cool
-Once cool, use immersion blender to make your soup smooth, creamy and NOMMY

Cornbread Stuffing
adapted from Crobin’s Dope-Ass, Dirty, Italian Stuffing Recipe

Who’s Crobin?
Crobin is my one of my favorite co-workers and a wonderfully kind friend.  He’s been talking about his cornbread stuffing for as long as I know him, so I’m so happy to pay him a little homage, on the noms, especially on the 100th.  
Thanks for reading the noms and making them at home, Crobo.

3 hot Italian sausages (de-cased)
3/4 lb. pancetta (cubed)
1 T. extra-virgin olive oil
2 c. carrot (chopped)
1 1/2 c. celery (chopped)
1 1/2 c. onion (chopped)
8 medium corn muffins (stale - should make 8 cups of corn bread cubes, once cubed and toasted)
1/2 bunch fresh sage leaves  (minced)
1 1/4 c. chicken stock
Freshly ground pepper

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees
-Cut corn muffins in half and proceed to create cubes
-Place cornbread cubes on 2 large baking sheets (they should not be crowded) and bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown and toasted
-Remove toasted corn muffin cubes from the oven and set aside
-Heat olive oil in large pot over medium-high heat
-Add sausage meat and pancetta, break up and cook for about 10 minutes until browned.
-Drain on a paper lined plate and set aside to cool.
-Add carrots, onions and celery to the pot (DO NOT DISCARD DRIPPINGS) and season with pepper and chopped sage (salt if need be, but the pancetta and sausage give off a lot of salt) and cook for about 15-20 minutes until soft
-Set aside to cool
-Add sausage and pancetta back into your pot of sauteed vegetables, along with toasted corn muffins
-Mix very well and add 3/4 chicken stock to the mixture and gently incorporate
-Spray a 2-quart oven-proof baking dish with cooking spray
-Add stuffing mixture to dish (I like  to pour the other 1/2 c. of chicken stock over the mixture, at this point, so as to keep the stuffing soft and supple whilst baking) and bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes or until the top is browned and crispy

Crown Roast Of Pork

1 10 lb. crown roast of pork
1/2 bunch fresh sage leaves (chopped finely)
2-3 T. olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees
-Place roast in a large roasting pan (about 3” deep)
-Rub roast in olive oil and sage, then sprinkle (use your judgement) with salt and pepper
-Cover tips of the crown roast with foil (so they do not burn)
-Place roast in the oven and let cook for 1 hour 15 to 1 hour 20 minutes, until roast reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees
-Once roast is done, remove from the oven, cover with foil - and let rest for 30 minutes

Coconut Custard Pie

1 9” deep dish flaky pie crust
2 eggs + 3 yolks
1 c. whole milk
1/2 c. heavy cream
1 T. vanilla extract
2 c. sweetened flaked coconut 

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees
-Beat together eggs, yolks and vanilla
-Add milk and cream, continuing to mix well
-Fold in 1 1/2 c. coconut 
-Pour mixture into pie shell and place in the oven, baking for 35-40 minutes, until middle of the pie is solid and knife comes out clean
-Remove pie from the oven and place aside to cool 
-Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat and place what’s left of your coconut (1/2 c.) into the pan and let brown/toast, about 7-8 minutes
-Sprinkle toasted coconut over top of your pie and place in the refrigerator, so the pie completely sets, and serve

Saturday, January 1, 2011 — 1 note   ()

All Hail A Great Massachusetts Delight

Kale And Linguica Soup

*Recipe follows story

Dear Candi,

I can’t thank you enough for many things in this life - one being your daughter, Channon and the other - Gaspar’s Linguica Sausage.

Holy smokes, Candi!  Those bad boys are packing heat!  They look like a hot dog, but they’re not innocent.  I didn’t imagine the long, fiery orange links would have such depth of spice (that lingers in your mouth and in the back of your throat) and full flavor.  It was as though a chorizo and a hot sopressata made love - to create the linguica.

With the linguica I made the Portuguese kale soup that you were talking about…

I didn’t use a recipe, I winged it - but my two Massachusetts critics seemed pleased with the outcome.  

I hope I did you proud.

I hope you’ll come to New York soon - so you can have some for yourself.

All of my pork love,


Kale and Linguica Soup

1 lb. Gaspars Linguica
3 T. olive oil
4 cloves of garlics (peeled, smashed and chopped finely)
3 tsp. red pepper flakes (if you don’t like extra spice, omit)
1 large onion (diced)
4 stalks of celery (washed and diced)
1 bag of carrots (peeled and cut into 1/4” rounds)
8 cups of water + 3 T. chicken consome/bullion (or substitute w/ pre-made stock)
6 Yukon Gold potatoes (peeled and diced)
1 large can of Cannellini beans (rinsed)
2 heads of kale (washed and chopped)

-In a tall stock pot, over medium heat, add olive oil, garlic, linguica and red pepper flakes - and cook until linguica is rendered - about 5-6 minutes
-Add onions and celery and saute for another 10 minutes
-Add carrots, mixing well, and cooking for 7-8 minutes
-Add water and consomme and stir until consomme dissolves (or just add your pre-made stock at this point)
-Add potatoes and let all of the goodness cook for about 45 minutes, on medium low heat, until vegetables are tender
-Add kale, little by little, and beans - and let cook another 30-45 minutes on low heat

I left the pot on a low flame for about an hour or two - and by the time my company came over, the soup was a lovely consistency because the potatoes were super tender, but not mushy, and released starch - which thickened the soup nicely… 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010   ()