Sunday, June 23, 2013

Pork Roll Egg and Cheese... as Jersey as it gets.

Good Sunday Morning Readers!

This week off of work was totally needed for me to recharge, look around and enjoy life.

Sunday Mornings greet me with the urge to be creative in the kitchen.

Today however, I just wanted to keep it old school and make a sandwich that I haven't had in quite a while.

For those readers who don't know what pork roll is, then sit back and enjoy.

Pork Roll is a breakfast meat found in New Jersey and in some cases Philadelphia.

Also Known as Taylor Ham, It is sold in tube form or sliced.

The sandwich is simple:

2 Fried eggs seasoned with salt and pepper (yolk broken or not.. dealers choice.)

1 Fresh Kaiser roll or hard roll

3-4 slices of Taylor ham. ( also fried. The edges get nice and crispy and that makes the sandwich pop)

1-2 slices of American Cheese ( Thank you Wes for pointing out me missing this critical element)

You can toast the roll if you like. ( I just put mine in the drippings of the pork roll to get the added flavor.)

adding salt pepper and ketchup (or SPK as its called in the diners) enhances the flavor too)
Coffee is always a great accompaniment.

Readers I highly recommend this sandwich. It is a meal that is missed highly when I am out of state.

Last bite?
Its little things like this that make me proud to be a native to New Jersey.

Till next time readers. ( I just might make another one........)

Follow The way of The Fork

God Bless.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Candy Bacon added to a vanilla gelato.

If candy bacon is wrong, then my friends I don't ever want to be right.

I had a week off of work (finally) and I decided to use my time wisely.

I spent countless hours noodling on my guitar, went to my sons graduation, and
drank like a fish.

I also took my bike out for a couple of rides. (I love my bike).

Today I felt a need to do something in the kitchen......

So there I am, home alone eyeballing this pound of thick cut bacon.

I wanted to do something out of the ordinary and focused on the light brown sugar in my pantry.

That's it!! Candy Bacon!!

Oh I have heard tale of this sweet salty creation but only around the fire pit after a few beers.

Today my friends that tale was greeted with open arms....... and empty belly......and my undying passion for bacon.

The recipe is simple.

Pre Heat oven to 325.
you will need a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper.

Take 1 pound of thick cut bacon and lay it out on a cutting board.

Take 1 cup of light brown sugar and dredge each strip of bacon through sugar.
( you can pat it in to the strips too. make sure its fully covered on both sides.)

(Note: recipe calls for cinnamon to be added to the sugar. I decided not to do this. you can if you wont hurt my feelings.)
Lay the strips on to cookie sheet. ( you may have to do two batches)

Bake for 30 minutes.
Remove from oven and place on a clean parchment paper covered plate.
Place in refrigerator to cool. About 15-20 minutes.
Take out of refrigerator and break into pieces to share (yea right! more like to hide incase of a zombie apocalypse. )

Now I just happened to have some Tahitian Vanilla Gelato in the freezer, and I couldn't ask for a more perfect pairing.

I crumbled some Candy Bacon and topped my Gelato.

OH MY OH MY OH MY!!!!!!!

I found a new favorite thing to welcome into my bacon arsenal.

Grab a Spoon!! Before I eat it all!!!


Until Next Time,

Stay true to The Way...

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Onion Mushroom Omellette with Sweet Potato and Kale Hash

Last weekend I was catching up on Top Chef episodes and one of the Cheftestants belted out this sweet potato and kale hash! I thought hell, I can do that so here ya go.

Following the visual inspiration from the show I ventured off to try and pull something together.

This is what I came up with. 

2 sweet potatoes skinned and rustically cubed, par boiled in salted water for about 10 minutes.

2 cups of Kale chopped (it will shrink down in the cooking process)

5 strips of bacon cut with kitchen scissors into thin strips.

1 large onion diced

I saute'd bacon in a 12 inch pan with a pat of butter
When bacon was crisp, I removed it from pan and added half the onion and all the Kale to cook in the bacon fat.
I then added the sweet potatoes, salt and pepper.coveres and cooked on medium low for 10 minutes
adding the bacon back in at the last minute to warm up
While that is happening I took 6 large eggs, a splash of milk and beat the eggs to a nice consistancy.
I also seasoned egg mixture with pepper and salt. 
In a cast iron skillet I cooked the remaining onion and the mushrooms to a light brown.
reserved the mixture next to my omellete pan and went at it.
I hope you enjoy this as much as we did.
Take care.
Keep up with The Way Of The Fork!

Ratatouille and Pulled Pork sandwhiches

First of all, I'm Sorry I haven't posted in a while. But don't worry, I will make up for it today.

A few weeks ago I was asked to make Ratatouille. 
My honey had come home from the farmers market with a huge Eggplant, a couple of zucchini squashes a rather large tomato and a green bell pepper.

"I would like you to make Ratatouille for me" she said.

My reply? "Challenge accepted"

I hit up my ipad and food network for this recipe.
It's Emeril's, (I bow to you sir).

1/4 cup olive oil

1 1/2 cups diced onion

2 cups medium eggplant skin on and diced

1/2 tsp thyme leaves

1 tsp minced garlic

2 cups diced bell pepper ( he asks for red and green  i just used green)

1 cup diced zucchini

1 cup diced yellow squash

1 1/2 cups chopped peeled and seeded tomatoes

1 tbs basil leaves sliced in thin strips

salt and pepper to taste.

Now, you need a 12 inch saute' pan over medium heat. add olive oil.

Once hot, add onions and garlic (smells good already)

Stir occasionally till wilted and lightly browned. (about 5-7 minutes).

Add Eggplant and thyme and continue to cook (5 more minutes).
Add the green peppers and squash and zucchini cooking for another 5 minutes.
( Now its Smelling Ace in here).

Add tomatoes basil and parsley season with salt and pepper cooking again for 5 more minutes.

Stir to blend and serve. This dish is universal, it can be served as a hot meal as a hot side,
or as a room temp or cold dish. enjoy!

Now while this dish was in its infant stages, I had already planned on doing my first pulled pork.
I picked up a nice 41/2 pound butt and had seasoned it with Nadias' awesome rub which consisted of.

1/4 cup of smoked paprika
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbs kosher salt
2 tbs crushed black pepper
2 tsp of dry mustard
1 tsp cayenne
combine all ingredients into a bowl then divide in half

Rub your butt...... (LOL!!!)  all over with half the rub put in a ziplock bag and refridgerate over night

Set oven to 270 degrees

Take the butt out of bag and rub again with other half of rub..

Wrap in aluminum foil and place on a shallow roasting pan. keep in oven at 270 for 7-8 hours.

This is the finished product

Take out of pan and put in a deeper pan.

Start running a fork or two over the roast it will start to shred and look like this when done.

I also used Nadias' recipe for a vinegar sauce to go with the pork.(this was a great add)

3/4 cup ketchup
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup minced pineapple
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp dijon ( I used a whole grain dijon  )
1 tsp sea salt

Mix and chill.

Serve on a potato bun with a spoon or 3 of the vinegar sauce
accompanied by some chips and some Ratatouille.


Two more posts to come  one for a sweet potato bacon kale hash
and chicken francaise.

Till Next time. Be well and God Bless

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Coq Au Vin

The day started out like any normal day off would.

Slept till 8 am!  (cue happy dance)..........ok done.

While Brainstorming on dinner plans(and talking with my BFF Beth from Ohio),

A challenge was raised.  "What is on the menu tonight?" she asked

I replied, "A steak dish"

The retort was swift "you always do that.  Try something different"

I replied "Like what?"

"Coq Au Vin" (She recommended Julia Child's recipe).. ( I love her)

Challenge Accepted.....

Of to Market I go........

I picked up a 4 lb chicken and decided I would also try out my quartering of a chicken technique.

Not too bad for a gringo. ( Ignore the fact that there are 8 pieces there). Season chicken with salt and pepper

cut 6 slices of thick cut bacon into 1x1/4 pieces  boil in water for 10 minutes Drain and put in ice bath
then pat dry with paper towel and set aside.

Brown chicken on both sides,

Flambe` with cognac then add 2 cups pinot noir, add thyme  3 cloves smashed garlic 1 bay leaf and 2 cups chicken stock. Bring to a boil then cover let simmer 30 minutes.

While that is happening,

set up a pot of water to boil and add package of pearl onions. (fresh onions) unpealed.

Take them out of boil and into an ice bath to stop cooking and make them easier to handle
Cut off both ends of onion, it will slide out of is skin. set aside. (thank you Julia Child).

Heat up a cast iron pan and fry bacon till brown (save drippings).

One package of crimini mushrooms quarterd place into an olive oil and buttered pan.
( house smells amazing !!!!  Just sayin....)

Now take the pearl onions and place them into the cast iorn pan with the drippings from the bacon
quiclky stir  to keep them from burning   you want a hint of brown.

Remove chicken from pan and set aside ( chicken will be red in color due to the wine)

Reduce liquid to half (About 2 Cups)

Add in 2 tbs of butter (that has been mashe up with 3 tbs of flour in to a paste). whisk in.

Put chicken back in to reheat (sauce will thicken... this is a good thing)

Serve over pasta (Traditionally egg noodles. But Im a rebel.) Place the mushrooms bacon and onions on the side. enjoy!!

Such great flavors in this dish! The sauce is vibrant and rich, The chicken.. moist, tender, and flavorful.

The bacon onion mushrooms were a perfect acompaniment to the dish.  Next time I need to make sure I have a french bagette to help sop up that sauce...

Dessert was a Vanilla Ice Cream with Pomagranate and Blueberries.

 And coffee........definately coffee.
Till Next Time.

Enjoy The Way Of the Fork!

In the first picture you will see celery and carrots  these arent for this dish. ( They photo bombed in)

Jalapeño pretzel crusted pork roast

So my local market had a great deal on a whole pork loin. (.99 lb ! Holiday promo)

I Couldn't pass it up.

What to do what to do.........

Bang! Crusted pork loin roast!

Not just any type of crust. I wanted something that would pop.

Bang again! Pretzel crust!

Not just any pretzel will do.

I decided to use my favorite flavored brand. Jalapeño.

I cut off a 4-6 lb piece of pork and seasoned it with salt and pepper.

Then I placed the jalapeño pretzels into a food processor and pulsed to a crumble.

Pre heat oven to 350.
I now needed something to help crust adhere to pork.

What goes great with pretzels?....... Besides beer?........ Mustard (in this case honey mustard).

  1). Rub pork with honey mustard.

  2). Place pretzel crumbs on a plate

  3). Roll pork into crumb mixture.

  4). Place about 1/2 cup of chicken broth into roasting pan Place roast into pan

  5). Bake covered with a foil tent for one hour.

       Remove tent and cook for another hour and 15 minutes.

   6). Remove from oven let rest. 15 minutes.

   7). Deglaze the pan with stock and scrape up all brown bits.

    Add in 1/8 cup bourbon ( if there are chunks of pretzel, transfer to food processor Pulse to a purée).

   8). Season to taste with salt and pepper.

   9).  For the sides I made seasoned corn and bourbon kissed quinoa.

   Great favors all around. Pork was juicy and tender.

   The quick gravy was a spicy but welcome accompaniment.

    It played off the pork real well. Man I love this!!!

    Tune in next time for coq au vin!!!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Steak Au Poive with Herbed Potato Wedges

Today I planned on doing a few things around the house
till my tummy started coming up with different plans.

I was out shopping for dinner when I came across the 2 nicest cuts of rib-eye Ive seen in a while.

What to do...What to do....

Pow!!! It came to me, Steak Au Poive.

So now I'm on a mission. weaving in and out of aisles , cutting off irate shoppers ,doing illegal
U-turns in the produce department. 

picked up
Beef stock
(liquor store for brandy)
and of course the Rib-Eye

Headed home and started my attack

Bring steaks to room temp.


Season with kosher salt then

Lather both sides with Dijon mustard.

Now pat in coarse crushed black pepper.  Again, do both sides

I used a cast iron pan for this dish

1/4 cup Vegetable oil in pan nice and hot then sear  3 Minutes per side.

Get a nice crust..

Cut your potatoes into wedges season with salt and pepper olive oil in pan and infuse with thyme Sage and Rosemary.

Remove Steaks and set aside. 

Add chopped shallots (1 TBS )
Add Chopped Garlic (2 TBS)

Add 1/4 cup Brandy and carefully Flambe`

After Flames die down add in 1 1/2 cups beef stock and reduce to about half volume.

Add in 1 cup heavy cream. simmer till it coats back of spoon.

Also add in 1 TBS of sherry vinegar. ( I feel this gives the sauce a nice acidic pop)
Once sauce is thick ,serve and enjoy.

Until Next Time.......

Be True to The Way Of The Fork.