Sunday Dinner

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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Stuffed Zucchini with Italian Sausage

August 11, 2009
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I have another confession.
I don’t love vegetables. Odd, because I have a garden, right? I like them enough, some more than others, but I don’t think I could ever be a vegetarian. And zucchini? Well, let’s just say I’m learning to love it.

But I have this garden, into which I’ve put a lot of time, effort, and expense, and I should probably eat what I’m growing, don’t you think? In general, I only grow what I like and when it comes to zucchini, I think I’ve always liked it as an ingredient more than the focus of the meal.
But my zucchini plant has a way of getting the last laugh on me. Not only has it been generous in its gifts to me, a few of its fruits have hidden themselves among the leaves until they just got too big not to be noticed. I ended up …

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Fava, Arugula and Mint Crostini

May 25, 2009


I have a confession. I get too many magazines. So many that some are still in their plastic wrappers, waiting to be read, months after arriving in my mailbox. I used to get even more, but I pared down, now only getting one of each type; food, travel, home & garden, and National Geographic. I love my magazines, but I rarely have time to read them and for some reason, almost never cook from them.

A couple of weeks ago I made a vow to myself that I would not order or renew any magazines until I had a) finished reading all the ones I have and b) made at least a few recipes out of my current food magazine of choice, Gourmet. My Gourmet subscription ran out this month, so I’d better get crackin’.

Last weekend I was in one of my favorite markets and they had fava beans. …

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Chocolate Ganache Tart with Fresh Strawberries; or How to Make Sweet Tart Dough

May 9, 2009
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We have a tradition of Sunday dinners in our family. I don’t have a particularly large, related-by-blood family, but I do have a wonderful group of friends who have become our extended family and are as much my sisters and brothers as if we shared the same DNA.
The dinners don’t happen every Sunday, but we try at least once a month. Occasionally, they are at my house, but usually my mother is the one to host these meals, inviting a changing cast of characters, some new, some spanning decades. Over the years it has evolved; first my mom’s friends and “strays”, then my friends (and later, my husband’s friends) came into the mix. Once our generation got married, our friend’s kids now come to Sunday dinner.

This past Sunday, my mom made an amazing rolled pork loin filled with arugula and caramelized onions (see where I get my obsession …

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