Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Egg Salad - My Way

Egg Salad – My Way

6 hard-boiled eggs
1 celery rib, finely diced
2 or 3 Tbls. chopped stuffed olives**
1 small onion, finely diced
¼ tsp. mustard powder
1 tsp. dried salt-free seasoning mix
2 green Korean hot peppers, stems and seed removed, finely diced*
2 large dollops of low-fat mayo using soup spoon to dish it out

Add the celery, olives, onion, mustard powder, seasoning mix and diced hot peppers to a 20-ounce recycled plastic container. Mix well.

Slice the eggs in half and remove yolks to plastic container and mash them into the mixed ingredients.

Chop the egg whites in irregular dice and add to plastic container. Mix well. Make a well in the center of the mixture. Add the mayonnaise in the well and mix the mayo in very well.

Can be served on salad greens or in a sandwich(es). There’s enough egg salad for about 4 sandwiches.

*More capsicum in some form could be added.
**No vinegar was added because the olive solution is tart.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Pulled Pork Chili

Pulled Pork Chili
Made by a new process over 2 days suggested by Dustin Malandra – 25 & 26Jun12


5 pounds half pork loin, cut in half
canola oil
12 ounces of beer
reserved braising liquid, all of it refrigerated and fat removed
½ large onion, chopped
several cloves of garlic, minced
6 ounce can of tomato paste
cumin, coriander, and dried chile powders (not all exactly measured)
chile powders
Mombasa (from Reading Terminal Market)
Ancho/Guajillo mix
Cordova, Cochise, Gila Flats & Tularosa (1 Tbs each, from Pendrey’s)
palmful of chocolate chips (to cut acidity of tomato paste?)


Preheat the oven to 265 degees. Add canola oil to a preheated cast iron Dutch oven at medium cooktop temperature. Brown each half of the pork loin. Add the beer to the Dutch oven and cover it. Move the pot to the preheated oven and braise the meat for 3 hours on the 1st day of 2 days. Remove the meat from the Dutch oven and allow to rest and cool before refrigerating it. Reserve all the braising liquid in large canning jars with lids screwed on. Allow the jars to cool before refrigerating for use on Day 2.

Remove fat from braising liquid and allow it come to room temperature. Slice the braised pork loin in ½ inch slices against the grain and shred the slices.

Add canola oil to cleaned Dutch oven at medium cooktop heat. When oil shimmers, reduce the heat and add the chopped onion and minced garlic. When the onion is translucent, add the cumin, coriander, the chile powders, the braising liquid and the tomato paste. Stir well before adding shredded pork. Make certain that there is enough liquid to cover the meat by adding water if necessary. Allow the chili to simmer for at least an hour, stirring the chili often and adding the chocolate chips toward the end of the process.

Put the chili in single serving plastic containers, allowing the chili cool in the covered containers before freezing. The process should yield 5 or 6 single servings.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Frittata che assomiglia a pizza (Frittata That Looks Like Pizza)

Frittata That Looks Like Pizza
(Frittata che assomiglia a pizza)

This frittata is prepared so that flipping, as suggested by many recipes, is not necessary. Dried egg whites are used to attain a lower amount of cholesterol since about 9 eggs are needed. Dried egg whites are available from vendors online.


4 level tablespoons dried egg whites (equivalent to 6 eggs)
3 large whole fresh eggs
7 fluid ounces warm water
1 rib celery, diced
1 medium onion, diced
Olive oil to cover bottom of a 10½ inch cast iron skillet
8 ounces of uncured Italian sausage, casing removed
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced into rounds
4 ounces of shredded mozzarella cheese

Add the dried egg whites well in advance of cooking to a 2 cup measuring cup. Add half of the warm water and start wetting down the egg whites as they start absorbing the water and get gummy. Once that stage occurs, add the rest of the water and proceed with rehydration process. Allow the mixture to rest stirring every so often to get the egg whites completely absorbed. Add each of the whole eggs, one at a time, breaking the yolk as stirring is done to completely incorporate the whole eggs with the rehydrated.

Preheat the cast iron skillet on the cooktop at medium heat. Add the olive oil. When the olive oil starts to shimmer, lower the heat and add the diced celery and diced onion. Sautè until the onion appears to be translucent.

Add the Italian sausage to the skillet, breaking it up as it browns. Once the sausage is browned, evenly spread the sausage, celery and onion mixture over the skillet surface. Then evenly add the egg mixture to the skillet. Watch the skillet to determine that the bottom of the eggs is setting. Once the eggs seem to be set, transfer the skillet under the broiler. As the top of the frittata starts to brown a bit, pull the oven shelf out and add the slices of tomato to the top of the frittata. Slide the shelf back under the broiler to cook a bit, but do not allow the exposed surface of the frittata to burn.

Remove the skillet from the broiler and turn off the broiler. Add the grated mozzarella to the top of the frittata, and place in the cooling oven to allow the cheese to melt. Once the cheese is melted, the frittata is ready to serve.

No salt and black pepper need be used because the sausage is seasoned.

Serves 2 to 4 depending on the appetite of the diners.

Buon appetito!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Comfort Casserole


1 medium-sized onion
2 medium carrots, scrubbed but not peeled
1 pound of green cabbage (wedge from 3 to 4 pound head, core removed)
2 Tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil (or other vegetable oil)
6 chicken thighs, skinned but bone-in
½ pound smoked sausage
¼ cup catsup
¼ cup orange juice
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce


1.     Peel the onion, cut in half from leaf end to root end, lay flat surface of onion on cutting board, and thinly slice onion halves in semicircles. Cut carrots on a diagonal into thin ovals. Slice cabbage to thin ribbons resembling noodles. Slice smoked sausage into bite-sized oval no more than a ¼” thick.

2.     Pour oil into a heated large non-stick skillet. Brown chicken thighs, 3 at a time, on medium-high heat for about 2 minutes per side. Set thighs aside after browning. Add slices of smoked sausage to brown until slightly caramelized on each side of the slices.

3.     Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon to a ceramic casserole large enough to contain the chicken thighs in a single layer. Keep the skillet on medium heat reserving the oil used to brown meats. Layer the casserole with the sausage ovals. Place the chicken thighs on top of the layer of sausage.

4.     Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Sauté onions in skillet with reserved oil. Add the cabbage when the onion slices are translucent, and allow the cabbage to wilt stirring mixture often. When the cabbage is wilted, add the carrots, catsup, Worcestershire sauce, and orange juice. Mix the vegetables well and layer on top of the meats in the casserole.

5.     Cover the casserole and place in the preheated oven. Braise the casserole contents for about 40 minutes, then serve.

No salt or pepper was added because the condiments and smoked sausage seasoned the casserole mixture.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Chicken Paprikash and Variations on a Theme

Chicken paprikash is a dish that has many different recipes. I have seen at least a dozen variations. Paprikash is of Hungarian origin, but many Slavic and other cookbooks have recipes for the dish. Paprika is the Hungarian word for pepper. I have a Czech cookbook that has the recipe in it.

My mother made chicken paprikash when I was growing up. She gave me a copy of her recipe when I asked for it. The recipe was what I would call minimalist. It called for a chicken cut up into parts, some diced onion, a cup of tomato juice, a mere ½ teaspoon of paprika, a cup of sour cream, a tablespoon of flour, salt and ground black pepper. It was to be served with rice or noodles.

I have enhanced the recipe with additional vegetables and condiments. The reason for the enhancement was to increase the nourishment of the dish, and keep from having to cook side dishes of vegetables. If you have read any other chapters in this book, you have probably come to the conclusion that I can’t let well enough alone.

Here’s the variation on a theme. I suggested to my wife that I make some chicken paprikash for our Saturday night dinner. She told me that there were no chicken parts in the freezer. There were a couple of 1-inch thick boneless center-cut pork chops in the freezer. Their weight was about a pound. The chops had been in there for a couple of months. I decided to use the chops as a substitute for the usual chicken.

Now pork chops can be tricky. They often come out dry and tough when not prepared correctly. The reason that pork chops are more difficult to cook now than they were 50 years or more ago is that the meat is much leaner. The recipes in old cookbooks that describe how to cook pork chops are almost useless in today’s kitchen.

I have found that brining pork chops before cooking results in tender chops. The November & December 2001 issue of Cook’s Illustrated contains an article entitled The Basics of Brining (Brining 101 appears on the cover). I’ve prepared pork chops since reading the Cook’s Illustrated article with very good results.

Here’s how I prepared the pork chop paprikash. The brining solution was made first. Add ¼ cup of sugar and ¼ cup of Kosher salt to a quart of cold water (4 cups of water) in a bowl or vessel large enough to accommodate the water and 2 pork chops of the size I mentioned above. Allow the salt and sugar to go into solution. Meanwhile, prepare to process the other ingredients that are to go into the dish.

My chicken paprikash contains most of the ingredients I mentioned above plus bell pepper, carrot, ground hot chile powder and sometimes a few squirts of Worcestershire sauce and/or a few drops of liquid smoke. A chile is the capsicum pod of the chile plant, which is commonly know in the United States as a hot pepper. The rest of the world refers to capsicums as chiles. I use only one brand of Worcestershire sauce, the one that is made with tamarind, not soy sauce.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Healthy Oatmeal Breakfast

No sugar is added to this bowl of cereal. The oatmeal is a good source of dietary fiber.


¼ cup dried skim milk
dried cranberries, amount can vary
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup of water plus a shot glass


Add ingredients to a microwaveable bowl. Place bowl in microwave oven and heat for 99 seconds. Open microwave and stir. Replace bowl in microwave and heat for 45 seconds before stirring again, and heating for an additional 45 seconds. Remove bowl from the microwave, stir the oatmeal and eat.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Homemade Chorizo

The chorizo was made using pork loin that is ground in an old-fashioned hand-cranked meat grinder. The fine template of the meat grinder is used in lieu for the coarse template.


4 pounds of boneless pork loin, ground as stated above
3 tsp. Kosher salt
1 ½ tsp. ground coriander
1 ½ tsp. ground cumin
1 palmful of Mexican oregano (not to be confused with Mediterranean oregano)
several garlic cloves
1 or more Tbls. of ground chile powder (not chili powder)*
1/4 cup of cider vinegar

* Chili powder also contains salt, cumin and oregano


Cut the pork loin into small chunks. Grind the meat into a roasting pan that can be used to mix it with the other ingredients.

Add all the other ingredients except the vinegar. Thoroughly mix the ingredients together. Once it is decided that the mixture is homogeneous, add the vinegar and mix it in until is completely absorbed.

Form the mixture into 8 patties. Put each patty into a separate plastic sandwich bag that has a flap for closing. Put 4 such bagged patties into a freezer bag large enough to hold them. Place both freezer bags into the freezer for future use.