Apple City Barbecue Grand World Champion Ribs and 17th Street Tangy Pit Beans

by Mike Mills and Amy Mills

When you eat barbecue, you should taste three different flavors: meat, spice in the form of sauce or seasoning and a kiss of smoke. These ribs have won numerous awards including four World Champion and three Grand World Champion trophies; they’ve even been served on Air Force One! And they were a huge hit at the BubbleQ, of course. The key to their special taste is a combination of our Magic Dust dry rub and cooking them low and slow over a combination of apple and cherry woods. The baked beans, meanwhile, are the most popular side dish in our restaurants. Their sweet, smoky flavor is an excellent complement and each type of bean has a different texture which makes things much more interesting. In our restaurants (we have four in 17th Street Bar & Grills in Southern Illinois and three Memphis Championship Barbecues in Las Vegas), we like to use pulled pork instead of bacon to achieve a bit of a smoky taste; you can also bake them with a few already-smoked ribs.

Serves 4, or you can cut them in half and serve 8
4 racks of loin back ribs (about 2 pounds each; membrane removed)
4 cups apple juice in a spray bottle
Magic Dust (recipe follows)
Apple City Barbecue Sauce (recipe follows)
17th Street’s Tangy Pit Beans (recipe follows)

1. Sprinkle the ribs liberally with Magic Dust, coating both sides. Put them in a shallow pan or on a cookie sheet and cover them with plastic wrap or a lid.

2. Refrigerate them until you’re ready to use them. Let them marinate for at least 1 hour. At the restaurant, we dust the ribs up to a day in advance.

3. If you’re setting up your backyard charcoal grill for indirect cooking, you’ll want to use a disposable aluminum pan to capture the grease as the fat renders while cooking. Some people add water to this pan to add moisture to the cooking environment.

4. Soak 4 cups apple wood chips in water for 30 minutes. You can use hickory, pecan, sweet maple, or cherry, but the ribs won’t taste as sweet. You’ll also need a chimney starter or another small covered grill or bucket to keep extra hot coals. Drain.

5. Remove the grate and arrange the medium-hot coals in a grill or smoker. If you are using a grill, it must have a lid. Set an aluminum pan next to the coals as a drip pan. Spread out the wet wood chips on the coals. Replace the rack, close the grill, and check the temperature. It should be between 200°F and 210°F.

6. Notice that the meat on a rack of ribs is on the top. The bottom, where you removed the membrane, is called the “bone side.” Once the temperature is steady, place the ribs on the rack, bone side down. You want to cook them bone side down as much as possible. Turning them dries out the meat. If necessary, you can cut the racks of ribs in half to comfortably fit your grill.

7. Cover and smoke the ribs for about 6 hours, or until the ribs are done and tender. Time will vary.

8. You’ll want to check the ribs every 20 minutes or so. Examine them to see if the surface of the meat looks dry or moist. Ribs “sweat” about 3 times during the smoking process. The pores of the meat open, and this allows moisture to escape. This is when the seasoning from the dry rub and the smoke itself are reabsorbed into the meat. When they’re sweating, mop or mist them with some apple juice and sprinkle them with a little more Magic Dust. Opening the lid will lower the temperature; add more coals and wood chips as needed to maintain the temperature.

9. About 10 minutes before you remove the ribs from the pit, mop them with the sauce. When you take them off the pit, mop again with sauce and sprinkle with more Magic Dust. Serve immediately with Tangy Pit Beans.

Magic Dust

Makes about 2 1/2 cups

1/2 cup paprika
1/4 cup finely ground kosher salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup chili powder
1/4 cup ground cumin
1/4 cup granulated garlic
2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons mustard powder
2 tablespoons cayenne

1. Mix all the ingredients and store in a tightly covered container.

2. You’ll want to keep some in a shaker next to the grill or stove. Keeps indefinitely, but it won’t last long.

Apple City Barbecue Sauce
Makes 3 cups

1 cup ketchup (such as Hunt’s)
1/2 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1/2 cup apple juice or cider
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup grated onion
1/3 cup bacon bits, ground in a spice grinder
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons prepared yellow mustard
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1. In a large saucepan set over medium-high heat, bring the ketchup, rice vinegar, juice, sugar, onion, bacon, cider vinegar, soy sauce, mustard, garlic powder, pepper, and cayenne to a boil. Stir in the onion. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, 10 to 15 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Stir it often.

2. Remove from the heat. Allow it to cool, then pour into sterilized glass bottles. A glass jar that used to contain mayonnaise or juice works well. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

3. Variation: To make this sauce a little hotter, add more cayenne pepper to taste, approximately another 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon. Be careful; a little cayenne goes a long way.

17th Street’s Tangy Pit Beans
3 cups Hunt’s ketchup
1 cup diced onion
1 1/2 cups (packed) brown sugar
1 small to medium green or red bell pepper, cut into small dice
1/2 cup sorghum or honey
2 tablespoons French’s yellow mustard
1 to 1/2 tablespoons Magic Dust (recipe follows)
1 28-ounce can pork and beans (such as Campbell’s and Showboat)
1 19-ounce can large red kidney beans, rinsed
1 15 1/2-ounces chili beans (such as Bush’s Chili Starter)
1 15 1/2-ounces large butter beans, rinsed
1 15 1/2-ounces of a fifth bean, your choice, rinsed
4 to 5 uncooked bacon strips or a few cooked ribs or some pulled or chopped pork

1. Heat an oven to 350°F.

2. In a large bowl, mix the ketchup, onion, sugar, bell peppers, sorghum, mustard, and Magic Dust. Be sure to work out all the lumps of sugar. Add the beans, stirring gently with clean hands or a large spatula; just enough to evenly distribute the mixture. Over mixing will cause the skins of the beans to burst and the consistency will become mushy, more like refried beans, which you don’t want.

3. Pour into a 9-by-12-inch pan. Lay bacon strips across the top. Or take four or five already-smoked rib bones, with the meat still attached, and lay them across the top of the beans. Or you can push them down into the beans so they’re covered. After baking, pull the meat off the bones, discard the bones, and gently mix the meat back into the beans.

4. Cover with the aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until bubbly.

5. Serves 10 to 15 people. Reheats well. Will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. May also be frozen for up to 1 month.

August 3rd, 2010       No Comments     SHARE   TWEET  EMAIL   Print This Post Print This Post

Buttermilk Thyme Chicken and Apple Puree

by David Bouley

In the restaurant the real fun begins when a guest says “just cook for us.” When a child is involved, the challenge is creating an experience that allows developing taste buds to feel a connection with Mother Nature. Nutritional ingredients like butter milk act as a probiotic supplement filled with good bacteria that helps aid digestion, tenderize the meat and extends the flavor of the herbs. All the ingredients for savory dreams!

Serves 4

4 5 to 6 ounces skinless chicken breasts
3/4 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup black truffle puree
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 teaspoon Orange Powder (recipe below)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Rosemary Apple Puree (recipe below)

1. In a Ziplock bag, place the chicken, buttermilk, truffle puree, thyme, and orange powder. Season with salt and pepper and place the bag in a pot of cold water. Bring water to 175°F to 185°F and cook for 15 to 20 minutes. To test temperature, use a needle thermometer at thickest point of the breast. It should register at least 165°F. When cooked, remove the chicken from the bag.

2. Cut 2 slices of the breast on a bias and plate. Pour the remaining cooking juices over the chicken and serve with Rosemary Apple Puree on the side.

Orange Powder

1 orange (or other citrus, such as grapefuit, lemon, lime, kaffir lime, or Key lime)
1/2 cup sugar

1. Peel the skin of the orange, trying to get as little of the white pith as possible. In a small pot, place the sugar, peel, and 4 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 1 hour, or just until fork tender approximately one hour. Remove peel from light syrup, drain, and put on a baking sheet.

2. Heat an oven to between 125°F and 130°F. Bake overnight, or until dry and crispy.

3. Grind skin into a fine powder. Store in a covered plastic or glass container in a dry area. The powder will last for several months.

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Salad with Red Caviar and Squid

by pinkycloud

Everyone will appreciate the spicy and original salad with red caviar. To make it, you’ll need one squid, 100 grams of Korean style carrots, one cucumber and two tablespoons of red caviar. Boil the squid in salted water, peel off the skin and cartilage, cut the squid into fine strips. Cut the cucumber into strips too. Connect the squid, cucumber and carrots, add one spoon of red caviar, dress with mayonnaise, season with pepper and salt, and mix. Decorate with remains of red caviar.Salad with red caviar and squid

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Mediterranean Citrus Barbecue Ribs with Famous Rub and All White Bean Greek Salad

by Terry Zarikian

Back in the ‘80s a group of us used to get together in Miami to cook, alternating homes every week. I wanted to create a rib recipe without the classic overly sweet American style BBQ sauces. I came up with the idea of blending my favorite dry Middle Eastern spices with refreshing fresh mint and Florida citrus, slow steaming the ribs in a mixture of exotic flavors and then char grilling to caramelize and almost burn the fatty pork. I’ve made these ribs every 4th of July for years and they get raves all around. You can slow cook them for hours, as long as there’s still OJ in the pan, and never be shy about covering them with lots of my fantastic rub! I love to pair my ribs with a nice rosé wine or rosé Champagne. At the BubbleQ in 2008, I served them with this classic bean salad, a dish often found in kebab houses in Istanbul. But mine is made the way my parents (my mother was born in Greece, my father in Turkey) used to prepare it at home.

Serves 4

Barbecue Ribs
6 1/2 slabs baby back ribs
3 lemons
2 1/2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
Maldon salt
Terry’s Famous Dry Rub (recipe follows)
1/2 bunch fresh mint, chopped
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped
1 pound light brown sugar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
All White Bean Greek Salad (recipe follows)

1. Season each half slab with half a lemon and a drizzle of orange juice. Season with ample salt and the Dry Rub on both sides of the ribs (have no fear!).

2. Place the ribs on a large roasting pan in layers (you may use two roasting pans). Once each layer has been seasoned, sprinkle with some mint and rosemary. Cover the slabs with a fine layer of the brown sugar, approximately 2 to 3 spoonfuls per half slab. Drizzle with the oil and proceed to layer another slab of rib on top and repeat until the roasting pan is two-thirds full. (Usually I layer 3 slabs in 1 roasting pan.)

3. Add remaining 1 cup juice to roasting pan and seal tightly with aluminum foil.

4. Heat an oven to 375°F.

5. Bake ribs for 1 hour, then lower the heat to 275°F and continue baking 3 hours more.

6. Remove from the oven and let rest for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and let cool totally. Once cool, recover with foil and refrigerate.

7. Heat a grill to high.

8. Remove ribs from the refrigerator 1 hour before grilling. Grill each slab for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until they are dark and caramelized golden. Separate ribs and serve with All White Bean Greek Salad.

9. Note that the ribs will be so tender, they will probably fall off the bone.

Terry’s Famous Dry Rub

Makes 4 cups
1 cup ground garlic
3/4 cup dried oregano
1/2 cup ground cumin
1/3 cup coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 cup ground cinnamon
1/4 cup dried thyme
1/5 cup ground cloves
1/6 cup ground chili

In a bowl, combine the garlic, oregano, cumin, pepper, cinnamon, thyme, cloves, and chili.

All White Bean Greek Salad

Serves 6 to 8

Juice of 3 large lemons
3 tablespoons fine sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 pinches Maldon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
ground white pepper
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups (16 ounce can) cannellini beans, drained
2 cups (16 ounce can) lima beans or gigantes, drained
2 cups (16 ounce can) Great Northern beans or navy beans, drained
2 large purple onions, 1/2 chopped and 1/2 thinly sliced
1/2 bunch fresh mint, chopped
1 tablespoon Greek dried oregano
½ bunch fresh Italian parsley, chopped

1. In a bowl, make a vinaigrette by mixing the juice and vinegars with the garlic, salt, sugar, and white pepper. Once this is mixed and the salt is diluted, taste to see how salty it is. Adjust the salt if needed and after, add the oil, mix well.

2. Mix all the beans with the onions, mint, and oregano. Carefully mix in the vinaigrette and toss the beans. Place in a container and refrigerate. Before serving, let stand for 2 hours at room temperature. Sprinkle with the parsley.

August 3rd, 2010       No Comments     SHARE   TWEET  EMAIL   Print This Post Print This Post

Lamb Burger

by Michael Psilakis

Creating this burger I inspired by my mother’s traditional Cypriot lamb sausage. The ground lamb is mixed with a bit of pork and heavily seasoned with dill, coriander, cumin, and garlic. It’s become a popular signature so taking it to Burger Bash was an obvious choice. Before going on the grill, the lamb patty is wrapped in caul fat for an extra layer of richness. (Order it ahead from your butcher.) If there aren’t juices dripping down your forearms when you eat this, you’ll know you’ve done it wrong.

Serves 1

7 ounces ground lamb
3 ounces ground pork
2 tablespoons Charred Onion (recipe follows)
3 cloves Garlic Confit (recipe follows)
1 scallion (green part only) finely chopped
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh mint, plus fresh mint leaves for garnish
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish
1/2 teaspoon dried Greek oregano
1/4 teaspoon crushed coriander
1/4 teaspoon cumin
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Caul fat, defrosted and placed in acidulated water
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing hamburger
4 sundried tomatoes
4 Thassos olives, pitted and diced
4 leaves arugula
1 slice sweet onion, grilled
2 tablespoons crumbled feta
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 brioche bun, split

1. Heat a grill to medium-high.

2. In a large bowl, combine the lamb, pork, charred onion, garlic, scallion, mustard, the 1/2 teaspoon mint and dill, the oregano, coriander, and cumin. Season and mix well. Form into a patty. Set aside.

3. Using a 4-inch ring mold, place the caul (about 6-by-6-inches) over the mold, leaving the excess fat to fold over the meat. Pack the patty into the mold and overlap the fat to encase the meat. Trim any excess fat. Brush with some oil. Grill for about 3 minutes per side, or until medium-rare. Remove from the grill and reserve on a plate.

4. While the burger is cooking, toss the tomatoes, olives, arugula, sweet onion, cheese, and remaining mint and dill in a mixing bowl for garnishing. Dress with the lemon juice and 1 teaspoon oil; season and toss to coat. Set aside.

5. Place the hamburger on the bottom half of the bun, top with the salad and the top half of the bun; serve immediately.

Charred Onion
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, sliced

In a large heavy cast-iron skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the onion slices and cook for about 2 minutes, or until charred but not blackened. Carefully turn over and cook for about 3 minutes more, or until charred. Remove from the heat. Let cool and dice.

Garlic Confit
1 large head garlic, separated into cloves and peeled
Extra-virgin olive oil

In a small, shallow, heavy-bottomed saucepan, add the garlic and cover with the oil. Cook over low heat for about 40 minutes. Garlic should not take on any color. Remove from the heat and let cool in the saucepan. Place the garlic and oil in a lidded jar and refrigerate until ready to use, up to 3 days.

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Crispy Sea Bass with Delicate Spices

by Guy Savoy

This is one of my signature dishes. Here, the sea bass is sautéed–but if you decide to grill it, the scales get crispy–you can even eat them! This dish goes really well with a white Burgundy, perhaps a 2004, like a Meursault or a Puligny Montrachet; wines that have an aromatic freshness and a nice energy.

Serves 10

1 tablespoon coriander seed
2/3 tablespoon fennel seed
2/3 tablespoon mustard seed
2 tablespoons Szechwan peppercorns
½ tablespoon long peppercorns
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 sea bass with scales (about 7 3/4 to 9 pounds), filleted, boned, and trimmed
1 pound 4 ounces raw fish bones from sea bass (can substitute with snapper)
1 vanilla bean
2 pounds Swiss chard
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for brushing Swiss chard
5 1/4 cups black trumpets or shiitake
1 cup plus 1 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley
Juice of 4 lemons
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1. Make a fish stock using the bones and water to yield 3 cups. Add the vanilla bean.

2. In a spice grinder, grind the coriander seed, fennel seed, mustard seed, Szechwan, long, and black peppercorns into a powder. Set aside.

3. Heat an oven to 175°F.

4. Peel the Swiss chard, and remove the stems from the leaves. Place stems in a pot of water seasoned with the juice of two lemons and the flour and simmer gently until done. Pick the finest Swiss chard leaves and arrange them on a Silpat baking mat, brush with olive oil, and cover with greaseproof paper. Dry in the oven with the door ajar for 3 to 4 hours. Set aside.

5. Sort and wash the mushrooms. If using black trumpets, place them in a small amount of water with a 1 tablespoon of butter. Cook covered for 2 minutes, drain, and reserve. If using shiitakes, simmer in a small amount of olive oil, until they release their liquid.

6. In a hot nonstick skillet or enameled-steel casserole dish, add 1 tablespoon oil. Season the flesh side of the fillets with about 1 tablespoon of the spice powder and salt. Sear and cook, skin side down until skin is very crispy, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Remove pan from heat, turn fillets, and finish cooking for 1 minute longer. Remove fish and return pan to heat.

7. Make a sauce by deglazing the pan with the stock, juice of 2 lemons, ginger and 1 tablespoon of butter on medium high heat. Let reduce and emulsify with an immersion blender just before serving.

8. In separate skillets, sauté the chard and mushrooms, each with ½ cup butter.

9. Arrange the Swiss chard stems into bundles. Arrange the mushrooms around them and sprinkle the parsley over the Swiss chard. Set the fish on top of the bundles and pour the sauce around them. Decorate with the oven-dried Swiss chard leaves, sprinkle lightly with spice mixture and serve the remaining sauce separately.

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Fluke with Potato Gnocchi, Fava Beans, and Mustard Caviar

by Rick Moonen

This recipe works terrifically with any flat white fish so feel free to substitute your favorite local fresh selection. Fluke, flounder, Petrale sole, any Pacific sole, halibut, farmed turbot…the possibilities are endless. And the final dish will make you look like a kitchen genius. Give it a try!

Serves 4

4 ounces Beurre Monté (recipe follows)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cups Potato Gnocchi (recipe follows)
1 1/2 cups fava beans, shelled and peeled
4 tablespoons Braised Leeks (recipe follows)
4 6-ounce fluke fillets, cut in half
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 cups Mustard Sauce (recipe follows)
Pinch of micro mustard greens
1/4 teaspoon to 1/2 teaspoon mustard oil

1. In a small pot set over medium heat, place the Beurre Monté. Season with salt and pepper and add the gnocchi, fava beans, and leeks.

2. Season both sides of the fluke with salt and pepper and dredge in the flour. Shake off any excess flour. In a sauté pan, add the vegetable oil and bring to medium-high heat. Add the fish to the pan and sauté over medium for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Turn the fish over and cook an additional 10 to 15 seconds. Remove from the pan and lay out on a napkin and spritz with the lemon juice.

3. Place the gnocchi and vegetables in the center of a warm bowl. Make a circle around the gnocchi with the mustard sauce and lay the fish over the top, stacking one piece on top of another.

4. Dress the mustard greens with the mustard oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on top of the fish. Garnish each plate with additional mustard oil. Enjoy!

Potato Gnocchi
Sea salt
2 90-count Russet potatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1 to 2 whole eggs, whisked
All-purpose flour
1/4 cup enriched flour, such as Wondra
Oil, for baking sheet

1. Heat an oven to 350°F.

2. Cover a small baking sheet with sea salt and place the potatoes on top. Place in oven and roast for about 1 hour, or until tender. Remove from the oven. While the potatoes are still warm, peel (you may need to wear two layers of disposable gloves). Pass the potatoes through a ricer and allow to cool.

3. Weigh the potatoes (1/5 of this weight will equal the amount of flour you will add). Mix enough egg into potatoes to bind (about 1 egg will bind 2 medium potatoes). Season with salt. Weigh out flour. In a bowl, place the flour and make a well in the center. Add the potato/egg mix and incorporate carefully with a rubber spatula. Don’t overwork the dough.

4. Divide the dough into 8 small batches. Using enriched flour to prevent dough from sticking, roll out each batch of dough into 1/2-inch cylinders. Cut into 1/2-inch pieces.

5. Boil the gnocchi in salted water until they start to float. Remove them to a pan coated with oil and toss to gently coat. Set aside for later.

Braised Leeks
3 leeks (white and light green parts only), cut into medium dice
4 tablespoon unsalted butter
Salt and freshly ground pepper

1. In a pot, combine the leeks, butter, and 1 tablespoon water and season. Cover and slowly heat the mixture. Braise until the leeks are tender while maintaining their original color. (Do not boil.) Set aside.

Mustard Sauce
4 tablespoons Beurre Monté (recipe follows)
1 tablespoon Mustard Caviar Base (recipe follows)
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground white pepper

1. In a small pot set over medium heat, whisk together Beurre Monté and Mustard Caviar Base. Add the juice and season with salt and pepper. Set aside and keep warm.

Mustard Caviar Base
1/4 cup yellow mustard seeds
1/4 cup Champagne vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard

1. In a pot, make the mustard caviar by combining the mustard seeds, vinegar, and sugar. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for about 1 hour, or until mustard seeds are tender. Let cool.

2. Combine the mustard caviar with the Dijon and whole-grain mustards.

Beurre Monté
4 medium shallots, thinly sliced
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1. In a small stainless-steel pot, bring the shallots and 1/2 cup water to a boil and cook, adding water as necessary to keep the shallots submerged, for about 30 minutes, or until the shallots are totally cooked.

2. In a blender, place the shallots and water. With the motor running, slowly add the butter 1 cube at a time until totally incorporated. Reserve in the pot and keep warm.

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Roast Pork Belly on Sweet Potato Biscuits with Sorghum Mustard and Chow-Chow

by Adam Cooke

This is a great hors d’oeuvre that can be made ahead of time for parties…I made 500 portions for Best of the Best and it turned out perfectly! We chose it because it represents, all in one bite, so many things that are great about the south: pork, sweet potatoes, biscuits and the homemade pickle relish called chow chow made from homegrown vegetables.

Serves 18 to 20

1 whole pork belly
Belly Cure (recipe follows)
1 gallon chicken or pork stock
1 cup whole-grain mustard
1/2 cup extra spicy Dijon
1/4 cup sorghum or dark molasses

1. Rub pork belly with the cure and place covered in refrigerator for 2 days.

2. Heat an oven to 250°F.

3. Rinse the cure from the belly and dry slightly. In a pan deep enough to hold the belly and stock or over a wood grill, brown the belly to achieve a deep color. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Place in the oven, covered, and bake for 3 to 4 hours, or until very tender.

4. Remove from oven. Let cool in the cooking liquid and then remove and press between two pans with a few book or heavy pans for weight.

5. Place in the refrigerator. When cool, turn out onto a cutting board and portion as you see fit. Set aside.

6. In a small bowl, whisk the mustards and molasses. Set aside.

7. To assemble the sandwiches, spread the biscuits with some sorghum mustard and top with some pork belly and a pile of chow-chow. Top and enjoy.

Belly Cure
1/4 cup fennel seeds
1/4 cup coriander
1/4 cup white peppercorns
1/4 cup whole cloves
3 bay leaves
3 cups salt
1 cup sugar

1. In a spice grinder, mix the fennel, coriander, peppercorns, cloves, and bay leaves.

2. In a bowl, stir spices into salt and sugar. Set aside.

1 quart napa cabbage, chopped
2 cups tomatoes, chopped
2 cups zucchini, chopped
2 cups onions, chopped
1/2 cup green bell pepper, stems, ribs, and seeds removed and chopped
1 cup red bell pepper, stems, ribs, and seeds removed and chopped
3 tablespoons kosher salt
1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
1 cup rice wine vinegar
1 1/2 cups white sugar, granulate
1 tablespoon celery seed, toasted
1 tablespoon dry mustard
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
1 teaspoon ginger, ground
1/2 teaspoon tumeric

1. Toss the cabbage, tomatoes, zucchini, onion, bell peppers in the salt and let stand for 3 hours in a colander at room temperature.

2. In a large stockpot, combine the vinegars, sugar, celery seed, mustard, ginger, and tumeric and bring to a simmer. Add the salted vegetables and bring back to a simmer for 10 minutes. Cool and store.

Sweet Potato Biscuits
1 pound sweet potato
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon (packed) light brown sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled
1/4 cup whole milk or buttermilk, chilled

1. Heat an oven to 425°F.

2. Grease a baking sheet. Set aside.

3. Bake the sweet potato for 1 hour. Mash or puree potato.

4. In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix. With a fork, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it is the consistency of breadcrumbs. Add the sweet potato. Drizzle in the milk, mixing until dough just comes together. You may not need all of the milk. Turn out onto a work surface and flatten slightly. Cut into desired size, place prepared baking sheet, and bake 15 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven. Set aside.

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Grilled Amberjack with Wilted Radicchio and Anchovy Sauce

by Paul Bartolotta

Having worked in more than a dozen restaurants in Italy over an eight-year period, I returned to work in the United States–no longer an apprentice and now the chef of San Domenico in New York. So I was finally was able to save enough money to treat my parents to their first trip back to the homeland. That journey lasted more than a month, beginning in Milan and ending in a little village in Sicily just 15 kilometers from where my father’s parents met and were married. And that’s where we first ate grilled Sicilian amberjack with anchovy sauce. My dad loved all blue fish so when he saw amberjack with anchovy sauce on the menu, that’s what he ordered. I’ll never forget the pleasure in his eyes. While this dish is not exactly what we ate that day on the Sicilian coast, I know if my father were to eat in my restaurant today, this is what he would order.

Serves 6

1/2 cup anchovies in oil, drained and rinsed
6 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons fresh oregano
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 head radicchio, cut into 12 thin wedges
12 amberjack fillets, 2-by-1-by-1/2-inch thick (or use yellowtail)

1. Traditionally, the anchovy sauce was made using a mortar and a pestle; it can also be made in a food processor. If using the mortar, grind the anchovies, garlic, oregano, thyme, and parsley with the pestle to create a paste. Add the 2 cups oil as needed to obtain a creamy consistency, finishing with the vinegar. Season. Set aside.

2. Season the radicchio and grill, sauté, or bake in the oven until cooked through approximately 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

3. Season the amberjack and grill or sauté the fish on high heat until the exterior is golden, (approximately 1 to 2 minutes on each side) without overcooking the inside. Remove from the heat. Arrange the radicchio on serving plates while still hot then place the fish on top and drizzle with the sauce.

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Seared Duck Breasts with Pecan Mole

by Roberto Santibanez

The sweet prunes, tart roasted tomatillos, and chilies build the scenario in which the toasted pecans, thyme and peppercorns play in the background and make this contemporary mole a delicious well balanced sauce. It’s fantastic with the duck breasts but also try it with grilled pork or skirt steak! Whichever meat you choose, make sure it’s well seasoned to contrast with the sweet sauce.

Serves 4

2 1-pound moulard duck breasts (or duck of your preference)
1 tablespoon salt, plus more for duck
3/4 pound tomatillos, husked and washed
4 thick slices white onion
4 to 5 small cloves garlic
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup pecans, plus more coarsely chopped and toasted for topping (optional)
1/2 cup pitted prunes, plus more thinly sliced for topping (optional)
5 cups chicken broth, plus more for thinning down sauce
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
4 pasilla chiles, wiped clean, stemmed, seeded, and lightly toasted
3 mulato chiles, wiped clean, stemmed, seeded, and lightly toasted
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon sugar
Scallions, thinly sliced, for topping (optional)

1. With a sharp paring knife, make diagonal cuts about 3/4 inch apart through the skin and almost through all of the fat of the duck breasts without cutting into the meat. Make diagonal cuts in the opposite direction to score the skin and fat in a diamond pattern. (Cutting deep into the fat of the duck before cooking over low heat allows much of the fat to be rendered from the duck and also results in crisp skin.) Rub a generous amount of salt into both the meat and skin sides of the duck. Let stand at room temperature for up to 1 hour, or refrigerate for up to half a day. Bring to room temperature before cooking.

2. Meanwhile, make the mole: Position a rack about 8 inches from the broiler and preheat the broiler, to low if possible. Put the tomatillos, onion, and garlic on the broiler pan, place under the broiler, and roast, turning each vegetable as necessary, for about 12 minutes for the garlic, about 15 minutes for the onions, and about 20 minutes for the tomatillos, or until well browned, even charred in spots, on all sides. Remove each ingredient as it is browned and set aside to cool.

3. While the vegetables are cooling, in a small skillet set over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons oil. Add the pecans and cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate. Add the prunes to the skillet and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes, or until softened and puffy. Scrape onto the plate with the pecans and let cool.

4. Working in batches, combine the pecans, prunes, tomatillos, onion, garlic, 3 cups chicken broth, the juice, chiles, thyme, and peppercorns in a blender and blend until smooth. In a large heavy saucepan set over medium heat, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons oil. Add the prune mixture and cook, stirring, until it comes to a boil. Adjust the heat so the sauce is simmering, stir in the sugar and the remaining 1 tablespoon salt and cook, stirring often, until lightly thickened and shiny, about 30 minutes. As the sauce simmers, add as much of the remaining 2 cups broth, 1/4 cup at a time, as necessary to prevent sauce from becoming too thick. The sauce can be made up to 1 day in advance and refrigerated. Just before serving, reheat the sauce over low heat, adding small amounts of water as necessary to return it to the right consistency.

5. Put a heavy medium sized skillet over medium-low heat. Add the duck breasts skin side down and cook until much of the fat is rendered from the duck and the skin is a deep mahogany brown. (The key to successful browning/rendering is to keep the heat even and fairly low.) The whole process of rendering and browning can take up to 20 minutes. How much fat is rendered and how long it takes depends on the duck, but if the skin is taking on a fair amount of color before 10 minutes of cooking, lower the heat and continue cooking. Flip the duck breasts and cook for about 8 minutes, or until the second side is well browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the duck registers 140°F. This temperature will yield medium-rare to medium duck (i.e. a fairly pink center). Lower the heat slightly and increase the cooking time by 2 to 4 minutes for more well-done meat. Remove to a carving board and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes.

6. While the duck stands, reheat the sauce and thin down to a light consistency with more stock if needed.

7. Slice the duck breasts diagonally against the grain. Ladle about 1/3 cup sauce onto each of four plates. Top with overlapping slices of the duck. Scatter any or all of the toppings over the duck and serve.

August 3rd, 2010       No Comments     SHARE   TWEET  EMAIL   Print This Post Print This Post

Smoked Corn with Herb Butter

by Laurent Tourondel

During hot summer days, nothing is better than fresh corn on the cob and grilling outside with friends. This recipe combines my two favorites of the season and is perfect for a crowd. The herbs in the butter really brighten the flavors of the corn and accentuate its sweetness, while the flames from the grill add a great smoky flavor.

Serves 4

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1 shallot, finely chopped
1/2 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh sage leaves
4 ears corn, husks pulled back and silks removed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Build a charcoal charcoal fire or heat a gas grill.

2. In a mixing bowl, combine the butter, parsley, chives, shallot, garlic, and sage. Season the corn with the salt and pepper, spread 2 tablespoons herb butter on each ear, then pull the husks back up the corn and tie tightly with kitchen twine.

3. When the grill is medium-hot, cook the ears for 3 minutes per side, then cover the grill and continue cooking another 10 minutes.

August 3rd, 2010       No Comments     SHARE   TWEET  EMAIL   Print This Post Print This Post