Category Archives: pork

Ham and Gruyere Quiche

quiche

Ham and Gruyere Quiche

I don’t make quiche often but when I do I wonder why because it’s easy and satisfying, and it’s always a crowd pleaser. This variation is my favorite because of its simplicity but you can doctor it up with sautéed leeks, spinach or anything else that strikes your fancy. Pair with a simple salad and a glass of your favorite wine and you’ve got yourself a perfect meal.

For the crust:
2 cups flour, plus extra for rolling
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, very cold, cut into ½ inch cubes
3 or 4 tablespoons ice water

For the filling:
1 cup ham, diced
1 cup gruyere, grated
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

For the custard:
1 cup milk
4 eggs
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon paprika
pinch nutmeg

Make the crust. Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse for a few seconds to combine. Add the butter and pulse 10 to 12 times, until the butter is in small bits the size of peas. With the motor running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse just until the dough starts to come together (you may not need all of it). Remove the dough from the food processor and place onto a floured surface and knead into a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

Spray a 10-inch pie pan with nonstick cooking spray, set aside.

Preheat oven to 375º F.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes in order to soften just enough to make rolling out a bit easier. Roll out with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface to a circle about 1/8-inch thick. Roll up the dough using a rolling pin, and gently lift and place it over the pan. Gently press the dough into all the crevices and trim the overhang to ½-inch. Crimp the edges for a decorative finish and use the trimmed dough to patch any holes.

Distribute the ham and cheese evenly over the custard. Sprinkle with thyme.

Whisk together eggs, milk, salt, pepper, paprika and pinch nutmeg until light and fluffy.

Pour the custard over the filling and bake until custard is set and the crust is golden brown, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool on a wire rack and serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 1 10-inch quiche

Chipotle Pork Tenderloin

chipotle pork tenderloinJPG

Chipotle Pork Tenderloin

We made this spicy pork tenderloin in my last class of 2016 and it could very well be my favorite dish of last year. 

There are three species of cultivated chiles in ancient America, one of which was found in Mexico, wild, in cultural deposits in the Tehuacan valley dating from 7200 to 5200 BC. The use of chiles in the New World was not confined to food. Chile smoke was used as a fumigant, as a means of chemical warfare, and the Aztecs disciplined their children with it!

Christopher Columbus introduced chiles to Europe after his first trip to the Caribbean and called them peppers because he likened them to the peppercorns he was familiar with, though they are from a different family. Shortly thereafter they were cultivated around the globe and were quickly assimilated into the foods of other cultures, including those of Asia and the Middle East.

For the pork:
1 ½ pounds pork tenderloin
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, crushed

For the chipotle sauce:
½ cup chicken stock
½ cup apple juice
6 black peppercorns
3 tablespoons chipotle puree, or more to taste (I prefer La Morena brand, available at Ralph’s)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons creme fraiche

Preheat oven to 350°F and place rack in middle of the oven.

Make the sauce by whisking all of the ingredients together in a bowl. Set aside.

Pat pork dry and season with salt and pepper.

Heat oil in a 12-inch ovenproof heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Brown pork on all sides, about 6 minutes total, then transfer to a plate.

Sauté garlic in skillet until it starts to caramelize. Add the chipotle sauce, stirring and scraping up brown bits. Return the pork to the skillet and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into center of pork registers 145 to 150° F, about 20 minutes. Transfer pork to a cutting board and let rest 10 minutes before slicing.

Thinly slice the pork and pour the sauce over it.

Serves 6

Chicken and Ginger Dumplings

dumplings

Chicken and Ginger Dumplings

Using flour to make dumplings followed noodles during the Han Dynasty (202 BC-220 CE) and by the 18th century dumplings were the rage in teahouses.

For the dumplings:
8 ounces ground chicken, shrimp or pork
2 tablespoons scallions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons oyster sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
vegetable oil for pan-frying

1 package gyoza dumpling or thin won ton wrappers
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons water

For the dipping sauce:
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon sesame oil

In a small bowl combine the cornstarch and water. Set aside.

Prepare the dipping sauce. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and stir. Set aside.

Combine the ground meat, green onions, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, oyster sauce and sesame oil in a bowl. Place about 1 teaspoon of the filling in the center of each wrapper.Dip your finger into the cornstarch mixture and moisten the edges of the wrapper. Fold the wrapper over the filling and press the moistened edges to seal.

Place a large, nonstick skillet fitted with a lid over medium-high heat and add a few tablespoons of vegetable oil. When the oil is hot, place the dumplings in a single layer in the pan; they should be close together but not touching. Depending on the size of the skillet, you may need to cook the dumplings in a few batches. Cook, uncovered, until the bottoms are golden brown, about 2 minutes. Lower the heat to medium-low, carefully pour 1/4 cup water over the dumplings and immediately cover the pan with a lid and let the dumplings steam until the water has nearly evaporated and the dumplings have begun to fry in oil again, about 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and serve golden side up with the dipping sauce.

Makes 2 dozen

Salsa Macha

salsa macha

Salsa Macha

This salsa is from the state of Veracruz on the Gulf of Mexico, a gateway for immigrants since the 16th century. In fact, this is where Hernan Cortes landed in 1519 and this is also where African slaves arrived in Mexico to work on sugar plantations, gold and silver mines, or to become domestic servants in Mexico City.

Africans introduced, among other foods, their native sesame seeds and peanuts, which are native to Brazil but brought into Mexico via African slave ships. 

Salsa Macha is a marriage of Mexican chiles with African sesame seeds and Spanish olive oil. True fusion cuisine, which is what Mexican food is. 

This sauce is amazing on eggs, steak, or just plain baguette. FYI: Macha is the feminine version of the word macho. If you’re a woman and you grow hairs on your chest after eating it, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

3 ounces combination of dried morita and guajillo chiles
2 1/2 cups olive oil
1/3 cup roasted and salted peanuts
5 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
3 tablespoons roated sesame seeds
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
2 tablespoons piloncillo or brown sugar
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Stem the chilies, then break or cut them open and remove the seeds. Tear into pieces and set aside.

Set a saucepan over medium-high heat and add the oil. Once the oil is hot, but not smoking, add the garlic cloves. Stir and fry for one to two minutes, until they start to gain color.

Add the chiles, peanuts, and sesame seeds fry for about two minutes. Remove from heat. Let cool then carefully transfer all the contents from the saucepan into a blender.

In a small bowl, mix the vinegar, salt and brown sugar, then add to the blender. Process until everything is chopped into finely chopped, but not pureed. Pour into a jar and refrigerate until ready to use.

Makes about 3 cups

Adapted from Pati’s Mexican Table