A few weeks back some friends and I made this sweet and salty caramel video, inspired by David Lebowitz’ recipe…because, who doesn’t love a good salty caramel? They are the best. And once you get over the initial fear of making them, they are relatively easy to whip up, while still looking super impressive to anyone you gift them to. Just make sure to refrain from licking the spoon covered in hot caramel. It hurts. I learned this the hard way.
I love it when you make a big pot of something, end up with ample leftovers, and can turn it into something else. That big batch of pulled pork that I had sitting in my fridge last week turned into this week’s pulled pork tacos.
The key to a good taco is a good corn tortilla. Homemade is best, but the next best thing is Tortilla Factory brand tortillas. And don’t forget to char your tortillas. It works best over a gas stove. Set your tortillas over a low flame and let them get slightly charry on both sides. Top 2 tortillas with reheated pulled pork and whatever fresh crunchy things you have on hand. I like radish, cucumber, and avocado. Bonkers good.
I like my pulled pork smothered in sweet tangy BBQ sauce. Pilled high with bread and butter pickles. On a pretzel bun. With at least 5 paper towels. And a beer. You?
A few weeks back my dear friend Sita forwarded me a recipe to try from the latest GOOP newsletter (Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle website). Try as I may to follow a recipe to completion, I can never quite get through one without changing things up a bit. Here’s my adapted version of Gwyneth’s recipe.
1 4-lb boneless pork shoulder, trimmed
few pinches of salt
few grinds of black pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoons dried thyme
1 tablespoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons sweet paprika
1 tablespoon molasses
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
Season the pork with salt and pepper (don’t go too crazy since there’s soy sauce in the marinade). In a large bowl mix all the marinade ingredients until well combined. Add the pork and coat completely. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight.
1 T olive oil
1 large yellow onion, sliced
4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup dark ale (this could also be nice with a good old fashioned root beer or Dr. Pepper)
1/2 cup chicken broth
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Heat the oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Remove the pork from the marinade and add to the pot, cooking for a few minutes on all sides to brown slightly, being careful not to let the spices burn. With tongs, remove the pork from the pot and transfer to a plate. Add the onions to the pot and cook for about 6-8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the cider vinegar, beer, and broth and bring to a simmer. Add the pork back to the pot, cover, and transfer to the oven to cook for 4-5 hours until very tender, flipping the pork a couple times throughout cooking.
1 1/2 T sweet paprika
1/2 t coriander
1/4 t cayenne
2 T tomato paste
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup ketchup
3 T dijon mustard
2 T soy sauce
2 T molasses
1 T maple
1 1/2 t Worcestershire
While your pork is cooking, make the sauce. Truth be told, I rarely measure things when making BBQ sauce. It’s one of those things that often comes together with whatever is in my pantry…a little bit of this, a little bit of that kind of situation. That’s my way of saying that this “recipe” is more of an approximation of my extremely casual measurements…take it with a grain of salt and alter it to your liking. That’s the whole point of cooking really, to be inspired, get creative, play with flavors, and take risks. BBQ sauce is a forgiving thing, so taste all along the way and doctor it as necessary. Ultimately, you want to strike that balance between sweet and tangy with a little bit of heat.
In a dry sauce pan over medium low heat, toast the spices until fragrant, stirring constantly. Add the tomato paste and cook for another minute. Add everything else to the pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes on low until thickened and the flavors meld. Cool and reserve until ready to use.
When your pork is tender, remove from the braising liquid and shred it with 2 forks. Mix it with the BBQ sauce. Pile the pork high on fatty pretzel buns and top it off with pickles.
This isn’t your everyday kind of breakfast. Or maybe it is, I don’t know. But this is my vacation breakfast. My let’s take an all day adventure and have lunch at 4 kind of breakfast. Or my I’m snowed in with nowhere to be kind of breakfast. Mind you, I had this same breakfast pretty much every morning when I was traveling in the UK a few years back, and I don’t regret it one bit. It’s pretty much everything you want on a plate. Bacon, sausage, eggs, beans, mushrooms, and tomatoes. Good lord.
Eggs. Do them however you like. Since this dish is quite heavy, I like to go with a poached egg. Bring a pot of water to a simmer, add a splash of white vinegar, and carefully plunk your eggs into the water, simmering very gently for 3 minutes. Fish them out with a slotted spoon.
Fry your bacon in a cast iron skillet til crispy. Cook your sausage in that bacon fat. Cook your mushrooms in that bacon fat. Tomatoes, bacon fat. You get the point. Lastly, toss a handful of white beans in the skillet, add butter and a little white wine with herbs like thyme and rosemary. Cook for a minute or two. Add everything back to the skillet and serve with a couple pieces of toasty bread. This might be the most fortifying meal on the planet. Go do something important afterward.
It’s an unspoken rule. Freezing cold + locked inside = soup. This winter could not get any colder, and so of course I cannot get enough soup. Lately I’ve been riffing off 101 Cookbook’s Miso Tahini Soup.
Miso Tahini Soba Noodle Soup
1 quart chicken stock
half a small kabocha squash, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 medium turnip, sliced 1/4 inch thick
3 strips of lemon zest
1/2 t chili garlic paste
1/4 cup white miso
3 T tahini
half a bunch of kale, torn into small pieces
soba noodles for serving
black sesame seeds
Heat up your chicken stock in a large pot. Add the squash and turnip and simmer for about 15 minutes until tender, adding the lemon zest the last few minutes of cooking. In a small bowl, whisk the miso with a little bit of the hot broth until smooth. Add back to the pot with the chili garlic paste and tahini. Toss the kale on a sheet tray with olive oil and salt and put under the broiler for 3-5 minutes until starting to crisp. Pile soba noodles in each bowl and top with broth and vegetables. Top with crispy kale, chopped chives, and black sesame seeds.
Lately I’ve been dreaming about opening an ice cream shop. In a small town. Somewhere beautiful. A simple place, warm and inviting, where you’d want to stay a while. And eat ice cream out of handmade bowls. It makes me smile just thinking about it.
So while I’m freezing my buns off in NYC, what better way to dream than think up ice cream flavors. This one’s a doozy.
6 oz. nice semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup sugar
6 egg yolks
1/4 cup olive oil
pinch of flaky salt
salted pretzels, coarsely chopped
Fill a large bowl with ice water. Place your chopped chocolate in a slightly smaller bowl and set aside. In a saucepan heat the cream, milk, and 1/2 cup sugar until just simmering. In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks and remaining 1/4 cups sugar until light in color, a few minutes. Slowly whisk in about 1/2 cup of the hot cream mixture into the yolks to temper them. Then add the yolks to the pot and stir constantly on medium-low heat for 5-8 minutes until thickened. Strain this mixture into your chocolate bowl and let sit for 5 minutes, then stir to combine and melt the chocolate. In a steady stream, whisk in your olive oil and add your salt. Set your bowl carefully over the ice bath, stirring occasionally to cool it down. Once cooled, churn through your ice cream maker and freeze in a glass container. Serve with crushed pretzels, a drizzle of olive oil, and a pinch of salt.
This loaf is not for the faint of heart. It’s seedy. It’s dense. It’s flourless and yeastless. It’s not your typical bread. My friend aptly calls it The Fiber Bomb.
If you’re into that sort of thing, it’s super easy to make, tastes delicious toasted with butter, and it’s packed with nutritious things. Perhaps that’s why Sarah Britton calls it the Life Changing Loaf.
Fiber Loaf (adapted every so slightly from My New Roots)
1 ½ cups rolled oats
1 cup roasted salted sunflower seeds
1/2 cup nuts, roughly chopped (hazelnuts, pecans, almonds, walnuts, whatever)
½ cup ground flax
2 Tbsp. chia seeds
1/4 cup psyllium seed husks
1 tsp. fine grain sea salt
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
3 Tbsp. melted coconut oil
1 ½ cups water
In a large bowl combine all dry ingredients. Stir in the maple syrup, coconut oil, and water. Transfer to a loaf pan and smooth out the top of the dough. Let this sit for a few hours or overnight. Preheat oven to 350°F.
Bake the loaf for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and loosen the edges using a butter knife. Place a baking sheet upsidedown over the top of the loaf pan, and carefully flip it so that the bread falls onto the baking sheet…bang it a few times to coax it out. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake the bread for another 40-45 minutes. Place the loaf pan on a cooling rack and let cool completely before slicing. I recommend slicing the whole loaf and storing your slices in the freezer. Toast a few each morning and drown in butter and salt.