Cannellini Veloute with Romesco, Bacon, Cilantro

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After catering comes leftovers. That can be a good thing or a bad thing. Good thing because you got food in the fridge. Bad thing because you’re already sick of the food. I made too much of a few things including the cannellini puree. I was trying to fix my mistake of adding too much liquid to the bean puree by adding more beans. Hence, bean puree leftovers.

Soup seemed like the logical idea. I thinned out the cannellini puree with more water and simmered it while crisping up the thin bacon trimmings in a pan. Why water? The puree was made with chicken stock and I didn’t want additional chicken stock to overpower the soup. When the soup was heated I served it with a small dollop of romesco, few drops of lemon juice, a pile of bacon bits, cilantro leaves and a drizzle of the romesco oil. All the rest of the ingredients were leftovers too. A completely new dish came about – Cannellini Veloute with Romesco, Bacon, Cilantro – and I didn’t feel like I was eating the same ol’ leftovers. A simple reworking.

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Romesco Pork Belly Pasta

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So after the gougeres I still had some pork belly left. Looked like just enough to make two servings of ragu. Hot meat sauce over pasta on a cold day? Ragu seemed like a great idea. It’s not a traditional ragu though, not unintentionally. I wanted to make the og style one from Marcella’s book but since I would have to get more meats and such I thought I would freehand this one with stuffs in the fridge. So if we want to be picky, let’s just call it romesco pork belly pasta.

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Romesco Pulled Pork Reborn, Part 4

romesco pulled pork tartlett w/peppers & pecorino

All I gotta say is these tartlets were frickin delicious. My favorite of the reborn bunch. [added note: I totally forgot about the hash! The hash is my fav, then the tart. 🙂 ] It came out of the oven smelling heavenly, the tang of the pecorino wafting all around me. The romesco pulled pork, sauteed poblano, red pepper and shallots, and a canned roma tomato baked together as a delicious filling in the flaky buttery crust, providing flavorful juicy bites and a hot and crispy crust fresh out of the hot heat.

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Romesco Pulled Pork Reborn, Part 3

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Romesco Pulled Pork Biscuit with Creamy Slaw

For this third installment of my leftover adventures I made a simple sandwich, a take on pulled pork sandwiches. I made little buttermilk biscuits, 2 inches in diameter to be exact, then topped it with a bit of romesco pulled pork and cole slaw. The buttery flaky biscuit, flavorful pork, and the creaminess of the slaw came together to make a delicious little sandwich. It made for a nice snack and got pretty good reviews from tasters.

Romesco Pulled Pork Reborn, Part 2

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I came across Yves Camdeborde’s recipe for savory buckwheat crepes while food surfing the web. Brilliant I thought, this would be a perfect way to use up my romesco pulled pork.

I stuffed my crepes with the shredded pork, parmesan, avocado and arugula. I really wanted to use manchego in the crepes but since I had grated parmesan in my fridge that I’ve had forever I practiced some food shopping restraint this time.

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Romesco Pulled Pork Reborn, Part 1

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Back in May I was left with a large container of romesco pulled pork, leftovers from an event that I did. I ended up freezing it because I had way too much other stuff in my fridge that needed my attention asap. But now is the time! I came up with a few dishes the pork would be useful for.

First up I have a hash. I love hash! Especially if it comes with piles of house-made corned beef. But romesco pulled pork is not a bad substitute at all. I finished this dish in the oven to cook the egg I cracked over the top of the potatoes and pork. The egg cooked up perfectly with the yolk still creamy in the middle and edges of the pulled pork all crusty and brown. The best part was when I picked up a crusty string of romesco pulled pork and poked it into the yolk. Ahh yeah.

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Chermoula Pork Confit Hash

chermoula hash

My hash history is painted with comforting meals of corned beef, romesco pulled pork, homemade merguez… and now pork confit and chermoula. A bit of satisfaction comes with a successful leftover transformation and hash is one of the easiest way to do that. In this transformation bits of pork confit were sauteed with yukon gold potatoes, white beech mushrooms, chermoula and parsley. The coriander, cumin and paprika from the chermoula gave a nice warmth to the dish. The only thing left to do was add a poached egg whose deep yellow, warm, runny yolk would runneth over all that deliciousness.

1st 6th Annual Grilled Cheese Invitational!

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Hi folks! So I entered the Grilled Cheese Invitational for the first time along with two of my friends. I decided to give it a go for each of their four category and I made it into the top ten rankings for two of em. Complete list of results are here.

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Missionary
St. Yoon’s Missionary

The rules for the Missionary category was strictly white bread, yellow cheese (American or cheddar), and regular butter. I used Cake House’s “buttered bread” which browned nicely, a mix of Kraft American singles and sharp cheddar, and a delicious fleur de sel French butter. This was my favorite of all my sandwiches. I have a soft spot for classics. Any other grilled cheeses are just an homage to the og sammy.

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Spoons 8th place!
Spoony Yoons

Now the Spoons category expands the boundaries a bit by allowing any kind of bread, any kind of cheese, and any kind of butter. However no extra ingredients whatsoever are allowed. I ended up making my spoons sandwich with Trader Joe’s garlic-cheddar sourdough, sharp cheddar, comte, truffled Italian cheese, and black truffle butter. The sourdough crisped up so nicely and looks appetizing speckled with truffles for the truffle lover. That would be me! I got 8th place in this category. I wonder what the other winning sandwiches were like. My friend Allison got 9th place with her Ultimate Queso sandwich.

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Kama Sutra 6th place!
Queso Nirvana

Kama Sutra was a freestyle category. The only thing a contender had to abide by was to keep the ratio of cheese to other ingredients 6:4. I ended up baking a bacon-gruyere loaf for the Spoons category but accidentally ended up using it for this category. By the time I had smeared romesco on the slices it was too late to salvage them. But it ended up working out because the garlic-cheddar worked well for the truffle flavored sandwich and the bacon-gruyere bread turned out to be perfect for my romesco inspired sandwich. After the smear of romesco on one side the sandwiches were layered with pepperjack, smoked gouda, chopped Nueske’s bacon, and roasted jalapenos. Since Nueske bacon is super smoky the toasting bread gave off such a nice aroma. When I was serving them at the competition I topped each mini sandwich with a round sliver of fresh jalapeno for an extra kick and final little juicy crunch. I got 6th place in this category. Number one spot was gloriously snatched up by Chef Eric Greenspan of Foundry.

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Honey Pot
Cinna Toast Redux

I didn’t get placed for the Honey Pot category which is a dessert version of the freestyle similarly just requiring 60% cheese. My sandwich which started off as a cinnamon toast somehow turned into a strawberries and cream sorta ‘wich. Whipped cream cheese flavored with lemon and orange zest, brown sugar and honey was sandwiched between two slices of brioche along with macerated strawberries and toasted hazelnuts. It was then dusted with cinnamon powdered sugar and speared on top with a little section of a strawberry. Unfortunately I forgot the strawberry and sugar on about half of my samples so that might have cost me. My friend Ellen got an honorable 7th place with her Moons Over My Sammie sandwich though!

All in all it was a fun silly time. Sooo much bread, cheese and butter. Allegedly there were many contestants cheating but I was too busy grilling my sandwiches to really notice. No matter how arbitrary an event seems cheating at something like grilled cheese seems a little ridiculous. Kind of takes all the fun out of it, no? I hope all the cheating didn’t affect my rankings at all because that would really suck big time. For the pounds of cheese and loaves of bread I went through, and minutes spent grilling it up (and perhaps inches gained on my waist) I think I at least deserve a fair chance! Now time to go work off the cheese…

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Wedding Lunch Affair

About two and a half weeks ago my brother’s friends Sarvi and Aaron contacted me about catering for their wedding party. It was supposed to be a more casual event held at a artsy and hip neighborhood bar/art gallery, providing guests with a light lunch. I enthusiastically took on the task with the help of my friend Ellen. So I began the menu planning keeping in mind that the food would have to be finger food so guests can eat easily while standing and drinking, the food would have to go with some nice wine, and of course something delicious.

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Tapas

bellota iberico lomo

bellota iberico lomo

Pork is a beautiful thing. In a sweet succulent brined pork chop way. Or smoky falling off the bone bbq spare rib way. It’s delicious as a rillette with a crusty toasted slice of rustic bread and tangy crispy cornichons . And as grilled pork bulgogi with cloves of garlic and slices of bright green jalapeno. And we can’t forget juicy sausages and smoky bacon either. But when pork is cured, it goes beyond all that. Prosciutto, jamon serrano, pancetta – who knew happiness could come in thin slices.

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