I love to exercise. Well, I do love to stretch. Does that count? Exercise is something I desperately need to improve at. Really, what I love to do is read. I love to go the library. I dream of being locked in overnight. That wouldn’t be a nightmare for me. I’d bring lots of good healthy food to keep me company. Just kiddin’.
case, I’ve read a few good books lately. Check out Marcus Samuelsson’s book,
“Yes, Chef.” You may have seen Marcus on the Food Network channel. I, of
course, would rather see him in his restaurant in Harlem
the “Red Rooster.” That is if I ever get to New York again. It is a good read and he has
a good story. It shows how small our world really is and what one can overcome on
the road to success. Speaking personally, I admire his persistence and his
perseverance while working through personal hardships. Yes, we all know the
value of hard work and though we don’t always know where it might lead it
proves to me that giving up is not an option! I need that attitude right
kitchens have always fascinated me. The hierarchy, the craziness, the fraternity
like atmosphere, combine to make what I imagine a murky pit of adrenaline would
look like. And after reading this book it only reaffirms what a great chef must
go through to reach the top. What a life! Stop and think every time you have a memorable meal what it takes to get that food to your mouth.
husband that every night when making dinner. He’s lucky to be served a home
cooked meal most nights of the week. All I ask is that he show his face about 5
minutes before plating time to set the table and feed the dogs. I mean really,
is that asking too much? Tuning to his right channel on the TV, is not
assistance in my book. And so when he
says “What do I do? I tell him. Usually the same thing every night. His
response is always the same, “I know.” Now I tell him that is the WRONG answer.
The correct response is “Yes, Chef.” It has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?
read “The Homesick Texan’s” cookbook this week.
that I wish I would have seen that food in Texas. What have I been missing? It makes me
want to visit again. This is a book I would love to have on my shelf. It covers
everything from salsas to various pickled veggies, to Corn Chowder with Roasted
Jalapenos and Bacon, a variety of chilis, coffee chipotle brisket, and Dr. Pepper
ribs, tomato cobbler and coconut tres leche cake (which I better lose 10 lbs
before making). It made me hungry and isn’t that the best thing you can say
about a cookbook?
ventured to the little Mexican grocery not far from here. I picked up some
pasilla dried chilies that I couldn’t find in my regular grocery, some
chorizo. and a well trimmed very beautiful boneless pork shoulder at a lot less
than I would have paid at my above mentioned grocery. Go figure.
in the week when I was not being a bitch being nice, I asked my husband what he
would like me to make for him. Quickly scanning the book he decided on the Carne
Asada. It was a good choice. This is a great dish for the upcoming Super Bowl,
of which I freely admit I have no idea who’s playing. But I digress. This is
good to serve for a crowd. Easy to do in a slow cooker. Serve it over rice in a
bowl, or with tortillas to make your own burritos or tacos. It makes the house smell spicy and warm and is perfect with a beer or margarita. Make that two.
to my husband… Last night when he emerged for the second weekend of cleaning
his office he immediately was drawn to my beautiful royal blue Le Creuset Dutch
oven, which was a great gift from my parents. He didn’t stop at the TV. He just took
a spoon and tasted while inhaling. He immediately set the table, fed the dogs,
etc. He then asked ”Is there anything else I can do, DEAR? I responded that a
margarita might be nice. To which he so smartly replied,”Yes Chef.” I think
this is going to be a great week!
Time To Make: About 3 hours-not all active!
ancho chilies (stems and seeds removed)
boneless pork shoulder cut into 1 inch cubes
bacon grease or vegetable oil, divided
garlic, roughly chopped
broth or water
lime wedges, flour tortillas for serving
skillet heated on high, toast the ancho chilies for about 10 seconds or until
they start to puff. Fill the skillet with enough water to cover the chilies. Leave
the heat on until the water begins to boil and then turn off the heat and let
the chilies soak, about 30 minutes, until they are soft. Once they are hydrated, discard the water and rinse the chilies.
chilies are soaking, sprinkle the pork with salt and pepper. In a large Dutch
oven, heat 1 T of the oil, grease or lard on medium heat, and brown the pork on
each side. (You may have to do this in batches, otherwise the pork will not
the browned pork and add the remaining tablespoon of oil. While occasionally
stirring, cook the onions until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic
and cook for 30 more seconds. Turn off the heat.
onion and the garlic into a blender or food processor along with the drained,
soaked chilies, oregano, cumin, allspice and ½ c of the chicken broth. Puree
into a thick paste. Add salt to taste. Pour the chili paste back into the pot
along with the remaining 1 c of chicken broth. While occasionally stirring,
cook the chile sauce for 5 minutes on medium heat. This may gurgle!
meat back into the pot and cook covered on low heat for 2 ½ hours, occasionally
stirring. After an hour of cooking, taste and adjust seasonings and add water
or broth, if the pot looks to dry. You do not want it too saucy, though! When
done serve in bowls with Cotija cheese (I used feta because I like the
saltiness) sprinkled on top, along with warm flour tortillas and lime wedges.