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Entries in entree (3)


Pamela Sheldon John's Pork Rolls Stuffed with Ricotta and Spinach

Cucina Povera is an expression in Italian cooking that literally means "the poor kitchen".  It is used when referring to peasant cooking and having to make do with what you have and not wasting anything.  I was recently sent a copy of "Cucina Povera", Pamela Sheldon Johns' beautiful new cookbook in which she has shared just these kind of dishes from Italy.  She has a number of interviews with her Tuscan friends who recall what it was like to cook and eat through hard times. It's a very interesting book to read aside from the great recipes it has in it, like classic Ribollita, Farro Salad and a cookie I love - Ugly but Good (Brutti ma Buoni).  

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Short Ribs with White Polenta

It's funny how short ribs have turned up on so many restaurant menus over the last few years. - especially in fine dining establishments, where they charge an arm and a leg for them.  They've become very trendy, but the dish itself is cheap, easy to prepare and a real no brainer - it's one of those long braises in the oven that you have to try really hard to mess up. 

Short ribs aren't for everyone - they are a very fatty cut of meat but, of course, that's why the dish is so flavorful and rich.  If you make this dish the day before, or early in the day, you can refrigerate the liquid and let the fat rise to the top, to be skimmed off.  This is worth doing and the dish will actually be more flavorful if you make it the day before.  It's a lazy day dish - just pop it in the oven and forget about it for a couple of hours. 

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Rack of Pork Stuffed with Apples and Herbs

Wow, that sounds fancy, doesn't it? I love giving you a recipe that makes you look like a star in the kitchen. This one will have your family or guests think you're a fabulous gourmet cook, but it's so easy - I'll show you how. 

I do not like boneless pork loin. I don't even like the white meat of chicken or turkey. Yes, these meats are lean but they are boring, totally devoid of taste and dry.  The only decent parts of a chicken is the dark meat. If I ever fix a turkey breast, I butterfly the thing and stuff it, to add some taste.  I do the same thing with pork loin.  There's no use in fixing that cut of meat, in my opinion, unless you add something to it.  And it needs help.  If you like stuffing, why not make up a stuffing that you really love and butterfly the pork loin and put it inside?  And to make it even tastier, buy a bone-in rack of pork loin.  If you can't find a bone-in pork loin, just use a regular loin.  But if you like eating ribs, do try to find the bone-in version.

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