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Easy Pork Osso Buco

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Beet Ravioli with Goat Cheese

Tuesday
May082018

My New Favorite Pizza - 'Nduja, Sun-Dried Tomato Spread & Goat Cheese

 

This is my new favorite pizza.  And it's amazing.  If you like pepperoni pizza, this is a modern twist on that. Instead of pepperoni slices, I'm using 'nduja, that incredible spicy prosciutto spread that I wrote about in this post. Instead of mozzarella cheese, I'm using tangy goat cheese.  Instead of tomato sauce, I'm using this intense sun-dried tomato spread that is my new favorite thing.  I'm going to talk about the ingredients specifically below, because the ingredients really matter in this one. 

 

 

I've been using sun-dried tomatoes from a company called California Sun-Dry for years. It's my favorite brand of sun dried tomatoes.  I buy the julienned kind and make this no-cook pasta sauce with it.  My local Kroger store actually carries these tomatoes in their produce department so I'm able to buy them easily. They recently started carrying this tomato spread from the same company. I started using it on crackers and crostini and I loved it so much that I thought it might be great on pizza.  If you can buy this particular brand, do it. 

The other important brand is the La Quercia 'nduja.  This spicy spread is absolutely delicious and I stir it into pasta sauces. I've tried other brands of 'nduja and this is by far my favorite.  Whole Foods carries this in their cheese department, so most of you should be able to find it.  If you can't, you can buy it from Amazon or Zingerman's

 

 

I made this pizza a little differently than I usually do - I prebaked the crust for a few minutes before adding the toppings.  I spread the dough with a little olive oil and baked it in the oven for 4 minutes and then added the toppings and finished it off for another few minutes.  I really like the texture of the pizza this way. 

Use baking parchment to slide the pizza into the oven.  It's far less messy than using cornmeal or flour and you can actually reuse the baking parchment.  

 

Pizza with 'Nduja, Sun-Dried Tomato Spread & Goat Cheese 

for  a printable recipe, click here

you will need a baking stone and baking parchment paper for this recipe

makes 1 large pizza 

7 ounces pizza dough
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 ounces goat cheese, softened
1/3 cup California Sun-Dried Tomato Spread
2 tablespoons La Quercia 'Nduja
freshly cracked black pepper

 

Pizza dough gets a light layer of olive oil and then is baked

 

The goat cheese is spread on the crust

 and then the sun-dried tomato spread is layered on 
and then dollops of 'nduja are placed.  Then back in the oven. 

 The finished pizza:

 

 

Preheat oven to the highest setting your oven will go and place the baking stone in the lower third of the oven.

Roll out pizza dough very thinly.  Brush with the olive oil.  Place a piece of baking parchment on a pizza peel or just on the back of a baking sheet (anything that will allow the pizza to slide off easily).  Place the pizza dough on the parchment and slide it off onto the baking stone, along with the parchment paper.  Bake for about 4 minutes, until the dough is set and it is starting to turn golden brown a little.

Remove the pizza dough from the oven.  Spread the goat cheese on it, followed by the sun-dried tomato spread. Place dollops of the 'nduja all over the pizza.  Grind black pepper all over the top.  Return to the oven and continue to cook for about 3 - 4 more minutes, or until the bottom of the crust is crispy.  Remove the pizza with a wide spatula (I use this fish spatula for pizzas) and slice and serve. 

 

Monday
Apr162018

Pork Osso Buco with Gremolata

 

One of the most satisfying dishes to eat is Osso Buco.  It is traditionally made with veal shanks but this version with pork is equally delicious and as a bonus, pork is inexpensive. The shanks contain a large bone in the middle of the meat, adding lots of flavor to this dish. Even if you are a new cook, this dish is super easy to prepare and I guarantee lots of happy diners. 

Osso buco is a dish that needs to cook for about 2½ hours, so plan accordingly. The prep is very easy - the meat is seared, removed from the pot and then a soffritto, a mixture of vegetables, is cooked.  Then all the other ingredients are added and the meat is returned to the pot, covered and cooked in the oven, low and slow. What results is an incredibly delicious sauce with meat that is just falling off the bone. Traditionally, it is served with Risotto Milanese, a beautiful golden risotto dish flavored with saffron.  You can also serve it with pasta or polenta.

 

The shanks should be pretty thick - I like ones that about two inches thick.  When you buy them, they will very likely come with the skin on over the layer of fat. Many people leave this skin on and you can certainly do that. However, I don't like it and I cut it off before I cook the shanks. It's easy to do with a very sharp knife. If you cut the skin off, you will now need to tie the shanks with twine to keep the meat from falling off the bone.  This step is not necessary, but just nice when serving the shanks because it keeps them from falling apart and makes them nice to serve a whole shank on a plate.

Most recipes call for dredging the pork in flour, but I do not do that.  I feel that the flour tends to burn a little in the searing process and I would rather just have a nice rich fond form on the bottom of the pot from the meat. 

 

There is a version which leaves out the tomato altogether.  It's delicious and pairs very well with the risotto and the gremolata. It's essentially the same recipe, just omitting the tomato. A good reason to cook the dish twice!

The finished dish is sprinkled with gremolata, a zingy mixture of raw parsley, garlic and lemon zest that is delicious.  Serve extra on the side so your diners can add more as they eat their osso buco.


Enjoy!
Elaine

Pork Osso Buco with Gremolata

for a printable recipe, click here

you will need kitchen twine for this recipe

serves 4

5 pork shanks, about 4 pounds (about 3 - 3½ pounds after skin is removed)
salt and pepper
4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 cup finely chopped onion
½ cup finely chopped celery
½ cup finely chopped carrot
3 garlic cloves, minced or grated
1 cup dry white wine
1 or 2 cups chicken stock
1 28-ounce can whole or pureed San Marzano tomatoes
2 Tablespoons fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 bay leaves
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 lemon, zested

 

Gremolata:

¼ cup packed finely chopped flat leaf Italian parsley
1 lemon, zested
3 garlic cloves, minced or grated

 


I like to trim the skin off the shank and then wrap twine around it,
securing the meat to the bone.

 

I like to remove the skin from the pork shanks. This is entirely personal preference and you can keep it on if you want.  The pork has plenty of fat, but I also trim any real big pieces of fat from the outside of the shanks.  I make sure not to trim all the fat off, though.  Take the kitchen twine and tie it around each shank, securing the meat to the bone.

Preheat oven to 325°F. 

Season the pork shanks on both sides with the salt and pepper.  Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium high heat (I like to use my Le Creuset Bouillabaisse Pot). Place the shanks in the pot and sear each side for about 3 -4 minutes, creating a nice crust. Work in two batches because the shanks most likely are not going to fit in the pot all at once for the searing process.  Remove the shanks from the pot to a plate.  Do not wipe out pot. Lower the heat to medium. 

Add the other 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pot.  Add the chopped vegetables to the pot, including the garlic. Saute for about 6 - 7 minutes, until the vegetables soften.  Raise the heat a little and add the white wine and cook for about another 3 minutes.  Add one cup of the chicken stock and the tomatoes - if you are using whole tomatoes, just crush them with your hands as you put them in the pot.  Add the thyme, bay leaves, tomato paste and lemon zest.  Cook for a few minutes, stirring, to blend the tomato paste.  Return the shanks to the pot and nearly submerge them in the sauce. Add another cup of stock if you need to. Cover with a tight fitting lid, place in the oven and cook for about 2½ hours.

Meanwhile, make the gremolata by mixing the finely chopped parsley with the lemon zest and minced garlic.

Check the shanks - they should be tender.  Remove them to a serving platter and cut off the string.  Spoon some sauce over the shanks and serve the rest on the side. Sprinkle the pork with some gremolata. Serve the pork with Saffron Risotto, polenta or pasta.

 

 

Monday
Feb122018

Pizza Making Class March 4th, 2018

 

If you live in the Mid Michign area, I am having a Pizza Making Class on 

 Sunday, March 4th, 2018.  

1:00 - 4:00 p.m.

The class is now SOLD OUT


Come join the fun and learn how to make homemade pizza!

You will learn how to make easy homemade pizza dough,
the best flour to use and the secrets to making terrific
Neapolitan style pizza. We will also make six different kinds
of pizzas, which we will enjoy that afternoon. 

You will also make your own homemade dough
and get to take it home.

Space is limited. 

E-mail me for details on how to reserve your space.

elainemccardel@mac.com