September 2009

Makin' My Own Bacon

September 7, 2009

 cooked bacon

A while back I came across Michael Ruhlman’s blog post on making your own pancetta . I mentioned this to my mom and we decided to try and make our own bacon. We started with Ruhlman’s basic recipe and instructions and added our own choice of spices for the finish.  Mom chose the addition of juniper berries and star anise because these are spices she often uses with roast pork. The recipe is on the link, but Ruhlman has also written an entire book about curing meat called Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing  which I think I’m going to have to get soon because we may try and make sausage next! 

I’d never made bacon before so I read up a little on it. Basically, from what I can tell, the difference between pancetta (Italian bacon) and what we’re used to as “American” bacon, is that pancetta …

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A Little Recognition

September 4, 2009
I am impatient girl with high expectations for myself. Yes, a deadly combination, I know. But as I think about that now, it’s probably a  typical personality trait of most chefs. When I started this blog, I wanted instant success and was thrilled with every stat count, visitor and comment I got. I’m a little more pragmatic now. Yeah, welcome to the real world, Kristina.
I’ve had to learn patience, at least when it comes to this blog. I’ve always understood that  it takes time to build a following and gain respect among my peers (it’s the same as any profession), but understanding and want are often two different things.
So I’m thrilled now when I get some recognition; a tweet about one of my posts, a link back from someone else’s blog, popularity of my photos on sites like Foodgawker and Tastespotting, and especially the wonderful comments people …
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How to Make Basic Marinara Sauce

September 1, 2009
Thumbnail image for How to Make Basic Marinara Sauce

There are as many recipes for tomato pasta sauce as there are Italian grandmothers. My Sicilian grandmother used to make her sauce every year from the tomatoes in her garden. Much of the time the sauce had meat in it but I don’t think it was ever exactly the same twice.  A child of the depression, my grandmother would throw into the pot whatever she had on hand; scraps of a roast, pieces of cooked pork, sausages, rinds of parmesan cheese. You never knew what you’d find in the sauce, but it was always good.

This is really a base pasta sauce recipe, meant to adapt to whatever you want it to be. Like meat in your sauce? Add a tough cut and let it cook down to make a Bolognese. Want to keep it vegetarian? Enjoy the recipe as it is or add some diced up vegetables. Like …

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