Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Sticky Asian Glazed Pork Belly Kale and Peanut Salad

I love bacon so it's no surprise that I might be interested in Pork Belly. It's basically bacon in it's pure form.

Now pork belly is a fatty meat but if cooked down to it's pure form it's really just delicious and not that bad. I love the juicy meaty goodness that is a joy to eat. And this recipe draws out the purest form of the  meat from the pork belly. It's got far east flavors and some delicious greens which makes it easy to enjoy as a meal in itself.

I love the salad as a meal concept. I grew up with this from childhood. My parents had encountered this idea when they were stationed in California in the 1960's. It was a new thing back then. At that time it was mostly in the west that were people eating that way. But as this concept continued to expand it became very popular. Wolfgang Puck started a national craze in the 1970's when he created what would be commonly known everywhere as the "Chinese Chicken Salad". It was a green salad with chopped veggies, chicken, almonds, crispy noodles, mandarine orange slices and a delicious dressing with asian flavors. It became the basis for all the main course salads we enjoy today at every restaurant you go to these days.

My salad is a riff on this concept. But to update it I used kale and cabbage and changed up the meat to a stir fried asian pork belly that uses Korean chili paste gochujang to provide a little bit of heat and flavor. I love peanuts and roasted peanut oil and use them as crunch, texture and to flavor the dressing. But I kept the mandarine orange slices for the fun and color and added radishes for color and crunch.

Now pork belly is a labor of love if you make it at home. Basically you roast it in the oven low and slow braising it till you have a delicious piece of meat. Then you cool it down and slice it up and stir fry it in a wok or pan on high heat caramelizing the chili paste and other ingredients into slices of deliciousness.  And nowadays you don't have to roast it if you don't want to because you can find it cooked at many grocery stores. Which makes making this recipe pretty easy.

Give this salad a try and become a summer salad superstar! Enjoy

Sticky Asian Glazed Pork Belly Kale and Peanut Salad

Pork Belly ingredients:

1 pound of cooked pork belly
3 heaping tablespoons of Korean Chili paste
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons prepared BBQ sauce or catsup
2 teaspoons of sesame oil


Take the pork belly and slice it about 1/4 inch thin
Heat a small amount of vegetable oil in a wok or skillet
Add the chili paste, soy sauce, and catsup or BBQ sauce
Stir to combine then add the pork belly slices
Stir fry till the pork is coated in the sauce and continue to cook till the pork becomes crispy and dark in spots. Glazed with the sauce and cooked red and colorful. At the very end add the sesame oil and sesame seeds. Turn heat off and hold till salad is tossed.

For the salad

3 cups curly kale chopped into fine shreds.
3 cups Green cabbage also chopped into fine shreds.
1 carrot shredded
5 radishes finely sliced some reserved for garnish
1 cup of crushed peanuts, 3 tablespoons reserved for garnish
4 or 5 scallions cut on the bias 2 tablespoons reserved for garnish
1 6oz can of mandarin orange segments drained ( handful reserved for garnishing top)

For the dressing

3/4 cup Roasted Peanut oil
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 Tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 heaping tablespoons dijon mustard
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon water
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3 anchovies filets (optional)

Place in a food processor and mix well till combined.

To prepare the salad place all ingredients in a bowl and toss with the dressing
Place in a serving bowl and top with the pork
Garnish with the remaining scallions, peanuts, oranges segments and radishes. 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Jimmy Crack Corn....Mexican Street Corn

Now I have been making this for the past several years with various results but after several different versions I have settled on this one. This corn is good. So good people call it crack corn. I made this for On the Plate when we were doing summer BBQ dinners and people just loved it. Back then in NYC not very many people were familiar with this. However, in California where my business partner was from they had known about this for years. This is not really traditional street corn because I use parmesan cheese and not Cojita cheese which is the real deal. You can use whatever you like this is just easy for me cause I always have a big chunk of parmesan in my fridge. So give this a try for your Summer corn fest. Cheers.

Mexican Street Corn


6 to 8 ears of corn
3/4 cup mayonaise
1/2 to 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese ( Grand Padano)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 tablespoons chili power plus more for garnish
Several shakes of hot sauce
juice of one lime
lime zest and chopped chives or cilantro for garnishing


Peel back the corn husks and reveal the ears
Make sure the hair is gone and thin the leaves out a little
Place a large piece of foil on a baking sheet
Oil the corn and place on the foil with the husks hanging off the sheet
Heat oven to 375
Cover Corn with another foil sheet and seal edges leaving the husks outside the foil
Bake corn for 45 mins to one hour

Mix the mayo with half the cheese, garlic powder, the salt, chili powder, hot sauce and lime juice

When corn is done remove from oven
Slather the corn with the mayo mixture
Then sprinkle with the parmesan cheese
Garnish with more chili powder and lime zest and the cilantro or chives

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Fried Chicken Thighs and Chive Cheddar Parmesan Waffles with Franks Red Hot Cream Gravy

Sometimes you just go with an idea and it turns out amazingly well. So it is with this recipe. I was in the mood for Fried Chicken and decided to try to make a recipe for chicken and waffles I would like. Generally I don't like chicken and waffles but I decided to see if I could prove myself wrong and find a version I like.

This one hit it straight on the head. It's so good I actually thought I had found a new favorite. Give these a try if you want to do some down home old school fried chicken goodness.

Chive Cheddar Parmesan Belgian Waffles ( makes 4-5 waffles)


2 Cups Flour
2 Tablespoons Baking Powder
2 large eggs well beaten
2 cups whole Milk
1 cup grated Extra Sharp White Cheddar
1 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 tablespoons chopped chives ( two reserved for garnish)
Maple Syrup

Mix dry and wet ( including cheese and chives ) ingredients separately
Slowly combine till well mixed
Heat Belgian waffle iron and pour a ladle of mix in and cook till brown and toasty
Hold Warm until ready to use or freeze till another use

Crispy Fried Chicken Thighs  Makes 4 servings

1 chicken thigh per guest
1 cup flour
1 egg
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 to 4 cups peanut oil or other fryer oil
1 small brown paper bags
salt and pepper for seasoning

On a plate season the chicken and place in the fridge for 15 mins
In a bowl mix the egg and the milk
Add the flour and spices to the bag
Take each piece of chicken one at a time and place in the buttermilk mix till coated then place in bag
Shake the four pieces really well till coated
Place on a rack and let sit for 20 mins
Heat oil in a cast iron skillet or pan heat till really really hot
When ready carefully place the chicken into the pan
Turn heat to med low, cover the pan and cook for 30 mins
Then remove lid
Turn heat to high and cook till chicken is crisp
Hold in oven with Waffles till ready to serve

Creamed Hot Sauce Gravy

3 tablespoons chicken fry oil
6 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons butter cut up
1 teaspoons garlic powder
3 cups  of warmed whole Milk
salt and coarse ground black pepper
3 tablespoons Sherry Vinegar
4 tablespoons Franks Hot Sauce ( or to taste )
Water to thin

Heat butter and oil
Add the flour cook about 3 mins
Slowly add the milk whisking constantly
add the spices and cook till thickened
Add the vinegar and hot sauce stir in well 

To serve place the waffle in a bowl and drizzle with syrup
Place chicken on Waffle
Ladle gravy over and sprinkle chives