Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Folded Pork Cutlets – Layers of Flavor, Literally

I thought I’d seen all there was to see when it came to pan-fried pork cutlets, but then I saw something called Katsu “Mille-Feuille,” and I realized I hadn’t seen anything yet. Okay, I’m being a little dramatic, but I really loved the unusual look and feel, as well as the internal flavoring opportunities the multi-layer technique provides.

Besides figuring out what to flavor yours with, the other main challenge is deciding how long to cook them. The 4 to 5 minute time I gave is just a guess, since it depends on the thickness of, and fillings in, your cutlet. Although the folding and cheese inside will help keep things moist, pork tenderloin can dry out, so I don’t recommend going past 145 F. internal temp.

However, the problem with testing by poking it with a thermometer is that you’ll have hot juices spurting out, which would be a shame. This is why I like to go with the poke test, and when it springs back enthusiastically, it’s usually done. Also, a few minutes of resting time will help even out the heat, and moisture, but by the time you add your sides, and get to the table, you should be fine.

As I mentioned in the video, this method screams for personalization, and I look forward to seeing what you come up with. Whatever that may be, I really do hope you give it a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 2 Portions:
1 trimmed pork tenderloin, split in half lengthwise
salt, freshly ground black pepper, and cayenne to taste
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 ounces grated cheese, or as needed
2 tablespoons freshly chopped Italian parsley
For the breading:
enough all-purpose flour to coat
beaten egg
panko, or regular plain breadcrumbs
olive oil for frying (at least 1/4 inch of oil in the pan is recommended)
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Friday, January 11, 2019

Samosadilla (Samosa Quesadilla) – Flat Better

I love samosas, but I don’t necessarily love all the work and mess involved with assembling and deep-frying them, which is why I’m such a huge fan of this quesadilla approach. Plus, above and beyond the faster, simpler method, the results may be even better than the original. Okay, hear me out.

While it’s true a perfectly made, expertly fried, and quickly served samosa is superior to this version, that can be a very rare combination of events. By comparison, this is almost impossible to mess up, and if you use enough oil in your pan, you should be able to achieve a beautifully browned, crispy crust that rivals something out of a deep fryer.

Like I said in the video, even if you don’t make samosadillas, the filling is a world-class potato salad in its own right. A scoop of this next to some grilled meat, like tandoori chicken for example, would make for a gorgeous plate of food. Fair warning though, Michele and I like big, bold flavors, so please feel free to adjust the ingredient amounts below to your tastes. Whether they’re enjoyed hot, warm, room temp, or cold, we really do hope you give these samosadillas a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for about 6 Portions:
6 large flour tortillas
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 cloves finely chopped garlic
1 minced Serrano chile
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger
1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
1 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground corinader
1/2 teaspoon turmeric            
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 cup green peas
1 1/2 pounds cubed Yukon gold potatoes, cooked until tender in salted water
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
juice from 1 lemon
salt to taste once mixed

For the Cilantro Lime Chutney Sauce:
1 large or 2 small bunches fresh cilantro
1/3 cup fresh picked mint leaves
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1 sliced Serrano chile
1 or 2 limes, juiced
1/2 cup plain yogurt
pinch of salt, optional
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Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pao de Queijo) – Fast, Fun, and Inadvertently Gluten-Free

Brazilian cheese bread is very easy to make, and features a chewy, cheesy, bready center, encased in a beautiful, thin, pastry crust. It also happens to be gluten-free, thanks to it being root-rich. These are made using tapioca flour, which not only makes them grain-free, but is also responsible for their very unique texture.

Tapioca flour is pretty easy to find these days, and I get mine from a guy named Bob, who runs a mill, but if your local market doesn’t carry it, I recommend finding some online. There are lots of fun recipes you can make in addition to these, like homemade tapioca pearls for bubble tea, just to give one enticing example.

As I mentioned in the video, you can easily adjust the thickness of your dough by adding another splash of milk, or more tapioca flour depending on what you're into. Some folks swear by a thinner batter, which they bake in muffin tins, but to me those come out too much like popovers, and don’t have the same chewy, cheesy center.

Happily, Brazilian cheese bread ingredients are fairly inexpensive, which means you can play around with a few batches, and see for yourself. No matter what you end up with, I really do hope you give these a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 24 Brazilian Cheese Breads:
(Please note, I only made half a batch)
 2 1/4 cups tapioca flour, plus more as needed to adjust texture
1/2 cup lightly flavored olive oil and/or vegetable oil
2/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 ounces freshly grated mozzarella (about 1/2 cup)
2 ounces freshly and finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano* (about a cup unpacked)
2 large beaten eggs
pinch of cayenne
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Saturday, January 5, 2019

Crispy Yuca Fries – More Uber Than Tuber?

These crispy yuca fries are often presented as a healthier alternative to fried potatoes, but the taste and texture is so good, I think it would be more appropriate to describe French fries as a less-healthy alternative to these. They really are that good, and do a great job of bridging the gap between regular fried potatoes, and sweet potato fries.

Once fried, the texture is remarkably similar to a russet or Kennebec potato (the variety most commonly used for fries and chips), and while these do have a slightly sweeter taste, it’s not nearly as pronounced as a sweet potato. Like I mentioned in the video, I always regret ordering sweet potato fries, since, to my palate at least, they’re just not savory enough, which is not the case with these.

Just be sure to boil them first, since they can be toxic eaten raw in larger amounts. Why you’d ever want to eat a big pile of raw yuca is beyond me, but the legal department wanted to mention that regardless. Anyway, once safely cooked, they can be pan-fried crispy as seen here, or deep fried, or place them on a foiled sheet pan, brush them with oil, and bake at 425 F., turning occasionally until they’re browned and crusty.  

I was going to finish by listing off other ways you can use this delicious root, but to save time I’ll just say that if a recipe works with regular potato, it will work with yuca. And maybe even work better, which is why I really do hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients:
- Yuca root (aka cassava), peeled, cut, and boiled until just tender in salted water
* Please note: on larger roots there may be a tough fibrous part running through the middle, which can be trimmed out after boiling. These didn't really have one, but you'll know if yours do. 
- olive oil, or other appropriate fat for frying
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