Miami is such a treat of a city for locals and tourists alike. Vibrant colors, diverse people and energetic music signal that you are definately in a very exciting place. The natural beauty of the vegetation and beaches aside, the main thing I miss about living in Miami is the bold, flavorful cuisine. There’s nothing quite like good Cuban food and once you have it – you are definately hooked. So if you cannot get to Versailles on Calle Ocho or swing through La Carreta to get your fix, try this fool-proof recipe. Mi amiga cubana, Lourdes, gave it to me — straight from her abuela – who hails from the Oriente province of Cuba. The mojo marinade – a garlicky citrus delight – also pairs well with chicken and beef. If you cannot find the naranjas agrias (Seville bitter oranges), just use a combination of vinegar, lemon, lime and orange juice.
Recipe for Mojo Cuban Pork Marinade
(for 4 pork chops)
1 large onion, chopped
8 cloves of garlic
juice of 3 naranjas agrias (or juice of lemon, lime, orange – each)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 tdp Herbes de Provence
1 tsp black pepper
dash of red pepper flakes
1 tsp of white vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
Puree all of the above in a food processor – drizzle the olive oil in last. Marinate meat in marinade, covered, in the fridge for 1-2 hours. Grill the meat on each side until cooked through.
Bacon Sofrito Black Beans
1 lb bag of dried black beans, rinsed
2-3 slices of bacon, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1 Bay leaf
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
Bring the dry black beans in a pot of water to a boil. Do not add salt on this step (it will make the beans tough). Boil 2 minutes, then turn off heat, cover and let sit for an hour. Drain. Put half in freezer for another use. (Old way to do beans is to soak them overnight….then drain in morning….same result).
Saute two chopped slices of bacon in a large pot. Add red onion and peppers. Saute for 5 minutes. Add drained beans. Fill with 3-4 cups of water until beans are submerged. Add chicken bouillon cube, garlic, bay leaf, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for one hour until beans are soft but still hold their nice shape.
For a great rice accompaniament, add 1 Tbsp of S&T Rice and Paella Blend to your water and rice. The fragrant annato in the blend will flavor as well as color your rice a beautiful sunny yellow.
Years ago, the S&T owners introduced me totartiflette: the gorgeous potato, bacon, onion andreblochon cheese comfort food. It was made famous in the ski resorts of the French Alps. This distinctly pungent Savoie cheese melts beautifully and has a flavor that is hard to replicate. Although I love this mountain dish, it is a hearty one. So, thanks to a family member’s recent journey to Isola in southeast France (Alpes -Maritime), this recipe has an elegant little package presentation. By layering the ingredients, adding crispy textured bacon and topping with sugared/vinegar leeks this delightful version sings. Serve it as an appetizer or as a main course with a simple green salad.
Recipe for Tartiflette Mignon
4 Yukon gold potatoes, sliced in thick rounds 1/3 cup white wine
2 tbsp butter
bouquet garni (or mesh ball of 1 tbsp Herbes de Provence)
1 glove of garlic,
smashed 4-5 slices of bacon
1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 wheel of Reblochon cheese
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 TBSP honey
4 tbsp S&T Bergamot or Lemon sugar
2 leeks, trimmed, well cleaned and split in half lengthwise Salt and pepper Parsley leaf (garnish)
Place potato slices and garlic in a saucepan.Add white wine plus enough water or chicken stock to cover. Add butter and herbs. Cover and cook 20-30 minutes until cooked but still firm. In another saucepan, add vinegar, sugar and honey. Bring to a boil. Add leeks and simmer 10 minutes then take off heat, set aside and cool completely. Add chopped onions plus 2 1/2 slices of bacon chopped in a pan with a little water. Braise until cooked (about 10 mins). Crisp 2 1/2 full bacon slices in a fry pan. Assemble potato slices in an oven-proof dish. Add a large spoonful of onion/bacon braise on top of each potato and add a slice of reblochon cheese. Place in 350 degree oven until cheese just starts to melt. Garnish each with crisp bacon slice, slivers of sugared leeks and a parsley leaf. (*Cook’s note: if you have trouble findingreblochon, in a pinch one could use brie, muenster or another creamy Savoie mountain cheese).
In the famed Nisantasi shopping quarter in Istanbul, there is a bustling French bistro named Cafe de Paris. While enjoying a romantic lunch al fresco, we nonchalantly ordered the “entrecote with cafe de Paris sauce”. This was not your basic steak frites my friends! This dish was other-worldly. So I shamelessly begged the waiter to please ask the Chef for the sauce recipe. I got it, but in Turkish mind you, with no quantities listed. So, a few google translations later and some tinkering, here it is! Make it for a loved one for Valentine’s Day.
Recipe for Cafe de Paris Steak Frites
4 tbsp butter
1/4 cup milk
2 tbsp Roquefort cheese, crumbled
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried basil
1 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
2 tbsp fresh celery leaves, chopped
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sel de guerande
1 tsp black pepper
2 tsp coriander, cracked
Melt butter in saucepan and add flour to create a roux. Add milk and Roquefort and simmer until cheese is melted. Add all of the ingredients, stirring to incorporate. Simmer over low flame until thoroughly heated. Add more milk if a thinner consistency is desired. Pour over steaks cooked to desired doneness. Serve with french fries dusted with paprika.
*** Sauce can be made a day ahead and reheated or frozen and used in pats as a flavored butter on grilled steaks.
colorful crocuses are just now starting to pop up. Spring will soon be here and with it will come all the anticipated seasonal delights: tender lamb, crisp asparagus, fava beans and spring peas to name just a few. In our family, we have wonderful memories of enjoying rack of lamb, asparagus and aligot (a mashed potato puree with garlic and melted Tomme de’Auvergne cheese) on the terrace in the hills near Grasse, the perfume capital north of Cannes in France. It is also a special menu we make every time we see our dear Tantine (Annie) as this herbed lamb recipe is truly her favorite. The 1000 year old history of the elastic, nutty flavored, ribbon like aligot puree is worth sharing.The pilgrims of Santiago de Compostelle (The Way of St. James) that traveled this medieval route to the cathedral in Galicia, northwest Spain, have done so since the 9th century. The cathedral is widely believed to be where the Apostle St. James is buried. Monks and farmers along the route would offer something to eat to the weary pilgrims: something in Latin is “al i quad” which morphed into the current name “aligot”.Enjoy this meal steeped in medieval history and our family tradition, yet bright and new with the freshest fare of spring.
Recipe for Herb Parmesan Rack of Lamb
2 – 2lb racks of lamb, trimmed
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp Herbes de Provence
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp fresh italian parsley, chopped
2 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
5-6 oz grated parmigiano reggiano
1 tsp Fleur de sel
1 tsp fresh black pepper
1/2 cup finely grated fresh breadcrumbs
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Put the racks of lamb, bone side down, on a rimmed baking sheet. Mix all the ingredients into a thick marinade-like paste. Slather the mixture liberally over the meat of the racks. Place the baking sheet on the center rack of the oven. Roast for 15-20 minutes until desired meat etnperature is reached (medium rare i recommended). Serve withaligot and roasted or steam asparagus. Serves 4.
Recipe for Aligot (Mashed Potato Puree with Melted Cheese)
6-8 yukon gold potatoes, peels and quartered
3 cloves of garlic, smashed
1/2 cup heavy cream or milk
4 tbsp butter
6 oz melted Tomme d’Auvergne, Tomme d’Laguiole or Tomme Fraiche
Cook the potatoes and smashed garlic in well salted boiling water until done and puree it through a food mill. Heat cream and melt butter in same pot. Add the potato mixture and incorporate. Add the melted Tomme d’Auvergne to the potato puree. Working with a wooden spoon or paddle, work the mixture to incorporate by stretching it from the bottom up in long ribbons. Keep working it for a few minutes to make sure you get a nice elastic ribbons. The consistency will be luscious and gooey, like a thick melted cheese, and you will have to “cut” the portions out when serving it.
Cook’s Note: If you have trouble findingTomme d’Auvergne, one can tryFrench Cantal or Cave Aged Montgomery Cheddar as a substitute. The key is a nutty cheese with a good meltability factor. In a pinch you could even use good quality mozzarella.
While fresh-out-of-college and living in D.C., co-ed touch football games were a standard Sunday morning tradition. We would follow up the fresh air and exercise with couch football and a bowl of this piping hot chili. Super Bowl XLVI is upon us and it’s an East Coast match-up! Most people think it’s all about the quarterbacks (go Giants!)….but S&T and I believe it’s all about the indoor tailgate!
Whip up a hearty batch of this healthy turkey chili for the fans in your house. Chock-full of beans (5 types), vegetables and a dizzy array of complex spices — this recipe will make YOU the champ this year.
Recipe for “Game Day” Turkey & Bean Chili
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium sized onions, chopped
1 medium carrot, diced
1 green pepper, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 yellow pepper chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 lbs ground turkey
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 bottle of amber beer (I use Stella Artois)
1 – 19oz can of dark red kidney beans, drained
1 – 14.5 oz can of cannelini beans, drained
1- 14.5 oz can of pinto beans, drained
1-29 oz can of black beans, drained
1 cup of dry lentils
1-28oz can of diced tomatoes with juice
3 cups good quality chicken broth
2 tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp Sel de guerande
2 bsp cumin
2 tbsp chili powder (ancho)
2 tbsp chipotle powder
2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tbsp thyme
1 tbsp oregano
2 tsp turmeric
2 tbsp Worchestershire sauce
3 dashes of tabasco sauce
Saute onion in olive oil in large pot until softened (3-5 minutes). Add carrots and colored peppers and saute for 3 minutes. Add ground turkey and cook until browned. Add garlic and saute 1-2 minutes. Add tomato paste and incorporate. Add bottle of beer and deglaze the pan on high heat. Add all the beans, diced tomatoes, chicken broth, spices, Worchestershire and tabasco sauce. Stir to blend. Bring to a rolling boil. Then reduce heat and simmer for at least 40 minutes (or until lentils are fully cooked). Garnish with sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, diced tomatoes and chopped scallions