Archive for March, 2011

Fried Calamari

Spread to dry before frying or freezing

Toasty golden brown with lemon slices

1 pound cleaned squid (thinly sliced body tubes, tentacles or a combination)

2 egg

2 tablespoon yogurt or milk

1 cup cornstarch

2 cup fine dry unseasoned bread crumbs

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon cayenne

Vegetable oil


  1. First, dry the rings and tentacles well by patting with paper towel. Coat the calamari in cornstarch, shaking them well to get rid of any excess. A sieve can be helpful for this step.
  2. Then immerse them in a mixture of the eggs and milk.
  3. Lastly, dredge them in the bread crumbs mixed with salt and cayenne, coating them well, and shaking off any excess. A deep narrow bowl can be helpful for this step.
  4. The calamari can actually be refrigerated and even frozen at this point, but we let it dry on the counter for about 15 minutes and fry.
  5. Meanwhile, heat the oil to 375 degrees. Fry the rings (in batches) about 1 minute, or until they are golden.
  6. Remove and drain on paper towels.
  7. If you have a deep fryer it’s best, but otherwise, make sure the oil is deep enough to cover the calamari.
  8. Serve immediately with lemon wedges, sambal mayo, and spicy marinara sauce.

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Supper Club Barbecue

Any number of dishes could accompany the slow braised pork shoulder we’ve been toying with. The pork is from APL’s cookbook. We mercifully take out some of the steps. The cornmeal pudding is really just a cornbread with way too many garnishes added ( or just the right amount.) We cook the spinach in small batches with copious pourings of olive oil. The potato salad was pot luck, we’ll work on that recipe for ya. And the pie. What! There’s pie?

Slow Braised Pork Picnic Shoulder

1 piece of pork shoulder, 6-7 pounds

4 cups water

1/4 cup sea salt

2 Tablespoons molasses

2 cups orange juice

1/4 cup lime juice

1/2 cup olive oil

6 cloves garlic, minced

2 jalapenos, sliced thin

1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

2 teaspoons cumin

2 bay leaves

Assemble the brine, combine the water, salt, and molasses and heat, stirring, until salt is dissolved. Chill completely. Combine remaining ingredients to make marinade. Add 1/2 cup of marinade to brine and reserve the remainder. In  a large bowl or tub immerse the pork in the brine. Cover and refrigerate for 24-36 hours. Turn the pork occasionally. Drain and rinse well, put the pork into a large freezer bag with all but 1/4 cup of the marinade. Seal and refrigerate for 24-36 hours. Remove the pork from the bag and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Try to wrap the pork with as much of the marinade as you can manage. Make sure the wrap is sealed, adding two or more layers. Wrap now with aluminum foil. Bake or smoke at 275 degrees for 7 hours. Let the meat rest for at least an hour before unwrapping and returning to a 400 degree oven to crisp the skin.

Cornmeal Pudding

1 cup onion, diced

1/2 cup celery, diced

2 jalapenos, diced

6 Tablespoons bacon drippings

1 egg

1 cup milk or yogurt

1 Tablespoon molasses

1 1/2 cups cornmeal

1/2 cup flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (substitute 1/2 teaspoon soda for like amount of powder if using yogurt or sour milk)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup shredded cheddar

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

2 Tablespoons chopped scallion

Sautee onion, celery, and jalapeno in 2 Tablespoons of bacon fat. Chill to 70 degrees. Have all other ingredients at 70 degrees. Beat egg, add milk, molasses, and 2 Tablespoons bacon fat. Mix dry ingredients. Combine wet and dry ingredients. Gently fold in cooked vegetables, cheese, and herbs. All soda based doughs like this one (or muffins, pancakes…) can benefit from some resting time before baking or frying. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Put a large cast iron skillet heat with the last 2 Tablespoons of bacon fat into the hot oven. When the oil is smoking hot, add the batter. It may not pour but need to be coaxed from its bowl into the pan, but go it must! Bake for 30-40 minutes. Turn from the pan to cool and slice while slightly warm.

Fast Strawberry Blueberry Pie

2 cups Strawberry preserves

2 cups blueberries, washed

3 Tablespoons tapioca

juice of one lemon

1 package Pillsbury pie crusts

Combine berries, tapioca, and juice. Allow to rest for at least 15 minutes.

Follow instructions for two crust pie on the pie crust package. Do not prick the bottom crust. Carefully crimp the top crust to the bottom crust. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes, reduce heat to 350, cover edges of crust with foil, and bake for 30 more minutes. Cool completely before cutting or serving in any way. Good Stuff!

Notice I did not carefully crimp the top crust to the bottom one.

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Equal parts simple syrup to grain alcohol

As promised, the next step in the orangecello process. While not blood orange, the steps and ingredients are the same for lemons, oranges, strawberries…

Add an amount of simple syrup equal to thew amount of grain alcohol used in the extraction step.The syrup must be the same temperature as the booze. This is accomplished by preparing the syrup beforehand and storing overnight in the same cold, dark place you store the extraction.

Simple Syrup

equal parts sugar and water

be aware that 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water will make 1 1/3 cups syrup, or 3 cups of sugar and 3 cups of water will make near a quart or liter.

Combine, do not stir, and return to that cool, dark place for another month. Good Stuff!


Wild, or rather, feral sour oranges.

This batch was made with feral sour oranges we found while hiking in the Florida backcountry outside of Sarasota. We may call it Myakkalino!

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Spring Rolls…Rollin



1 package of eggroll wrappers (look in the produce section for these.)

For the filling
1 1/4 pounds ground pork
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 head of small cabbage (about 10 ounces) julienned
3 carrots, julienned
8 fresh shitake mushrooms (or dried Chinese mushrooms soaked overnight), stems discarded, julienned

1 tablespoon high-heat cooking oil
2-3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon mirin
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon Chinese black vinegar (optional, any vinegar will do.)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Toss the ground pork, soy sauce, cornstarch, sugar, and sesame oil and set aside for an hour to macerate. In hot oil, sautee the garlic and ginger swiftly, add marinated pork and brown. Add carrots, cabbage, and mushrooms, cook until nearly tender. Add mirin, soy sauce, sesame oil, and vinegar. Season and spread to cool completely.


Beat one egg with a few drops of water to make a wash to seal the rolls. Roll like a burrito, trying to leave no holes and little air within. Seal with the eggwash and set aside to airdry for one hour before frying or freezing. Fry at a stable 375 degrees until golden brown, about 4-6 minutes. Always be mindful and careful when deep frying at home. Good Stuff!

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