Buffalo sauce and blue cheese smothered faces. Big guys becoming kids again – so it seems. Chips are clinging to the children hands and everywhere on the carpet. The room is filled with laughter and occasional screams. Well, maybe more screams than laughter depending on who is winning. Sounds familiar? Yes it’s Super Bowl time again. Even though the big game is upon us I didn’t feature chicken wings on my blog (this time). Well, because everyone else does it, so I thought lets cook something out of the ordinary. Don’t get me wrong I love chicken wings, chips, rips and all the other goodies. To be honest I can’t wait for everyone to bring their share of food. Yes, everyone brings something for the party. It just makes it easy for all of us and my wife is happy too.
To make it appetizing and appealing for the big guys to indulge I carved the pork tenderloin, rather than making little steaks. Served with red onion chili marmalade and it suddenly becomes popular with the female fans, too. I realized when I watch the Super Bowl my wife always joints us, even though she doesn’t watch football. That is the beauty of Super bowl. Everyone comes together, whether they are fans of football or not.
I find pork tenderloin goes well with sweet – sour as well as sweet and spicy flavor combinations. That’s why I added the red onion chili marmalade to the pork. Well if you don’t like sweet or sour flavors, than you could serve it with a chipotle mayonnaise or a mild salsa.
Pepper Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Red Onion Chili Marmalade
Season the whole pork tenderloin with salt and lots of freshly cracked black pepper
Grill pork tenderloin on <a class=”zem_slink” title=”Barbecue” href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbecue” target=”_blank” rel=”wikipedia” data-mce-href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbecue”>BBQ</a> or grill pan.
Once the pork has grill marks all around finish it in the oven for about 12-15 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit or 175 degrees Celsius or until almost well done, yet slightly pink.
Let it rest for a a few minutes and serve.
Caramelized Red Onion Chili Marmalade
Melt butter in heavy bottom pan over medium heat.
Add red onions and pineapple, saute until translucent.
Now add honey and chilies, let all caramelize “lightly”
De-glace with wine,
Add rice vinegar and vegetable broth.
Season with salt and rice vinegar.
Cook until most liquid is evaporated and red onions resembles a marmalade.
For more flavors on the pork add aromatics like chopped rosemary, thyme and or sage. I don’t really enjoy spicy foods, but my friends do, so feel free to add more chilies to the marmalade. Just wash hands after you have cut and touched the chilies, otherwise you might be in for a painful surprise, once your hands touch your eyes. So please be careful when handling chilies. Cooking pork well done. Where I come from we cook our pork slightly pink, it sort of finish cooking on the plate. Once pork tenderloin is cooked well done it becomes boring and looses most flavors.
What are you cooking for Super Bowl Day?
Do you watch the Super Bowl for the game or do you enjoy the food and friendship more?
Try this easy to prepare Rack of Lamb in less than 60 minutes. It’s ideal for Valentine’s Day. I had this dish for New Year’s dinner. I know it’s a bit late, yet I didn’t plan to post it on my blog, either. I love the taste of a grilled rack of lamb. It can can be cooked in so many ways, the possibilities are endless. Lamb never gets boring, that said if you like lamb. Well I guess you wouldn’t be reading this if you don’t like lamb for that matter.
Ideal for Valentine’s Day
If both of you are meat lovers than this dish is great for Valentine’s Day. It’s easy to cook and assemble and makes an even better presentation. So why not surprise your Valentine with a grilled rack of lamb. Serve it with a Pinot Noir, Rioja, Cabernet Franc or Cabernet Sauvignon. Regardless of what wine you’ll be drinking, use that same wine in your sauce. Why? Because it will make your taste-buds dance in harmony, literally. Like to learn more about wine? Check out my three wine pairing principles.
Rosemary the Perfect Match for Lamb
Rosemary reminds me of a tradition I used to do in my first years of working as a chef. I would place a few bunches of rosemary on the hot grill. Guess what happened? The scent of the roasting rosemary permeated the entire kitchen, calming my senses for a busy upcoming lunch business.
With or Without Bone?
Don’t like the bone? Just ask your butcher for a lamb loin. Usually one loin is good for one person. When buying a rack of lamb – tell your butcher you want it frenched. Which means that all fat around the bones (the rips) up to the loin is removed. It lends for a better presentation. ( the rack of lamb I used was not frenched )
Need a timesaver? Leave the marinade out; brush a little oil over the meat, season it with salt, pepper and chopped rosemary. Grill or saute it over high heat for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown on both sides. Place it on a backing pan and cook in the preheated oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit or 190 Celsius for another 8-15 minutes, depending on your temperature preference. Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature. To learn more about cooking temperatures jump over to: How to cook the perfect steak.
I always finish cooking bigger cuts of meat ( more than 8 oz ) in the oven, after I give it some grill marks. The heat of the oven penetrates the meat more evenly yet indirectly, which results in a juicier steak. Almost all chefs of steakhouses and other fine restaurants take advantage of the oven when it comes to bigger cuts of meat.
I find it fascinating how every country has its own culinary cultures, not only with lamb but with any other meat. Whether it’s Ireland and the famous mint jelly. Asia with soy or teriyaki sauce and the Caribbean and India where curries are prevalent. Lamb is cooked more in Europe and America while goat is traditionally preferred in Asian and Caribbean countries. Why the latter countries choose goat over lamb I have no idea. Maybe you have the answer? Drop me a line if you care. I can only tell from experiences while cooking in the Caribbean, that almost all locals eat goat. That said lamb and goat are two different species.
Which Lamb Tastes Best
Well that’s up to your personal taste preference. The two biggest importer to the US are New Zealand and Australia. Both offer excellent meats. I like to buy locally grown lamb, so I know where it comes from and what it was fed. For more info on lamb in the US check out the fact sheet of the usda.gov website.
How to Cut a Rack of Lamb
It is actually pretty easy. Hold the rack upright with the curved rips pointing slightly towards you. Place a sharp knife next to the bone and cut straight down with a sawing motion. If you hit cartilage or bone you simply have to turn the rack around ( 180 ° ). Important is that you keep the knife as close as possible to the bone. When done right your knife goes through the lamb very easy. That’s it. Just let the lamb rest for a minute and serve.
How do you like your lamb prepared?
Where do you buy your lamb?
What herbs do you use with lamb?
What are you cooking for Valentines Day?
Rack of Lamb with Pinot Noir infused Honey Rosemary Sauce
Recipe Type: Entree
Author: Kraemers Culinary Blog
2 Rack of lamb
Some Vegetable oil for sauteing
3 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp freshly chopped rosemary
1 tbsp fresh thyme leafs
4 cloves of minced garlic
1 tbsp honey
Salt and pepper
3 sprigs of rosemary
1-2 tsp honey
1/2 cup of good Pinot Noir
1 tsp tomato paste
1.5 cup vegetable broth
salt and pepper
Keep some extra rosemary sprigs for decoration.
In a food processor blend all ingredients until smooth.
Smother the lamb with mustard marinade and let sit for a few hours in the refrigerator.
Roasting the [url:1]Lamb[/url]
Before sauteing remove the marinade, but hold on to it for later.
Heat up oil in heavy bottom pan over high heat. Don’t let it smoke. (It isn’t healthy)
Place rack of lamb on its meaty side first. Do this with a pair of tongs so you don’t burn your self.
Saute lamb until golden brown than turn onto the other side.
Once lamb is golden brown place it on an oven pan and cook in the preheated oven at 375 Fahrenheit or 190 Celsius for 8-15 minutes.
For a rare lamb cook less and for well done cook more than 15 minutes. Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature.
Use the same pan you just seared the lamb in.
Over medium heat sautee onions until slightly caramelized.
Add rosemary sprigs, honey and stir – enjoy the scent 🙂
De-glace with red wine.
Now incorporate the tomato paste and let it brown evenly.
Add a tbsp of the marinade to the sauce.
Fill up with vegetable broth reduce to half.
Strain sauce and season with salt and pepper.
If you wish you could thicken the sauce with a little heavy cream (2 tbsp) at the end. Suggestion: Serve the lamb with sauteed spinach and mashed potatoes.
My cousin-in-law Roseanne was grateful enough to reveal her Guyanese black cake recipe to me. As you know by now I have acquired a passion and love for Caribbean food and have come to enjoy many of their culinary traditions. Mainly due to the fact that I have lived and worked in the Caribbean and second because of my beautiful wife Denise, whom I have met there, while, working as a chef. Now, 20 years later, I have two big sons who love our culinary traditions. We always wanted to make sure that our kids grow up knowing both cultures. So over the Holidays I usually cook popular German foods and my wife cooks Caribbean cuisine. That way my sons could appreciate different culinary traditions and indeed they love it. Thank God for that.
Culinary Traditions over New Year to bring Prosperity and Luck
One of these traditions is the black Cake, which is usually baked at Christmas, New Years and for weddings. Black cake is home to the entire Caribbean and is offered throughout the year in gift stores and bakeries alike. When it comes to Christmas and New Year it is a must to bake black cake. As my cousin-in-law puts it; the New Year can’t find you without black cake, freshly baked bread, pepper pot and black eye peas & rice. According to Caribbean traditions these four food staples bring you luck and prosperity for the New Year.
The Difference Between Fruit Cake and Black cake
Black cake is essentially a fruit cake which is simply colored with molasses. However, there is a fundamental difference in preparation and taste of both cakes. The fruits for black cake are soaked in alcohol and spices for a few month, preferably up to a year. After the black cake is baked it is immediately soaked with more alcohol. I’ll get to the specifics of the alcohol a little later. Both cakes are being baked for weddings and other festivities.
Planning and Preparing the Black Cake is Essential
In order to bake a perfect black cake one should plan for it way in advance. As I mentioned before, soaking the fruits in rum, brandy, port and other flavors is very important to make a flawless cake. The longer the fruits being soaked the better the outcome meaning flavor. However, I have baked a black cake with fruits soaked only a week and it worked out, too. But to get the real flavor and moisture into the cake, it’s better to soak it for a longer period of time. Then, when it comes to bake the cake having fun is equally important. Traditional a few friends come together and join the “baker” to help with simple procedures, talk about the old times and sip some port wine.
Guyanese Black Cake
Recipe Type: Dessert, Cakes,
Author: Kraemer’s Culinary Blog
Serves: 2 x 9″ cakes
Prepare fruits early in advance (if possible) for better flavor.
1/2 lb golden raisins
1/2 lb currants
1 lb prunes
1/4 lb candied lemon peel
1/4 lb candied Orange peel
1/4 lb candied cherries
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 tsp almond essence
Cover with 1/2 liter dark rum, 1/4 liter cherry brandy, 1/4 liter port wine
Keep an additional 1/4 liter of rum and port wine for later.
[url href=”http://verygoodrecipes.com/desserts” target=”_blank” title=”Caribbean Black Cake”]Black Cake[/url] Batter:
1 lb / 454 grams unsalted butter, room temperature but not too warm
3/4 lb / 340 grams dark brown sugar
12 fl oz / 360 ml molasses
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp ground ginger
A pinch of salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp almond essence
1/4 tsp anise essence
1 cup / 120 grams chopped walnuts
11 Eggs, room temperature
14 oz / 400 grams flour
1 tsp baking powder
In a food processor chop <a class=”zem_slink” title=”Dried fruit” href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dried_fruit” rel=”wikipedia” target=”_blank” data-mce-href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dried_fruit”>dried fruits</a> to about a quarter of its size.
Soak dried fruits with alcohol until completely covered, then close with a tied lid or aluminum foil. Keep at a cool dry place for at least 2 month to up to a year.
Black Cake Batter:
With an electric handheld mixer or KitchenAid mixer whip butter and sugar on high-speed until it doubles in volume.
On medium speed slowly add molasses, all flavors and spices.
Now add one egg at a time.
By now the batter should have doubled again in volume.
Add chopped walnuts.
Mix baking powder with flour and slowly add to batter.
Oil and flour two 9″ baking pans and divide batter among the two.
In a 300 degree Fahrenheit preheated oven bake for about 1 hour and thirty-five minutes.
As soon as the cake is removed from the oven pour about 1/4 liter of rum over it. Do not remove the black cake from its form. Let the cake absorb the alcohol. Once the cake is cooled out remove it from the form and wrap it with plastic wrap and foil. After about 4 hours pour 1/4 liter of port wine over it. Wrap cake again airtight.
Very often peanuts are being used in the black cake as specially in the Caribbean, since peanuts are always readily available at a lower price. I just happened to like walnuts over peanuts. [br]Warning: This cake should not be fed to children and young adults under the age of 21 due to its high alcohol content.
What are you cooking for the new year?
Do know of any dishes that suppose to bring you luck and prosperity?
Have you tried black cake before? Did you like it?
I can’t believe it is this time of the year again. Not too long ago I packed all my Christmas decoration away – it seems. Well, I think Christmas is the best time of the year. Beautiful childhood memories reminding me of the Christmas Holiday preparation.
Grandma’s Cinnamon Stars Were The Best
Just the smell of freshly baked cinnamon stars reminds me of my Grandmother baking during the Holidays. There was something magical to it. I was fortunate to have spent a lot of time with my Grandma watching her baking Christmas cookies, that is cinnamon stars in particular. I was just 7 or 8 years old, probably too young to understand the relevance and importance of a recipe. However, what I do remember is she never had one.
Not even a scale she had. Now – remember this is in Germany where we only work with grams and kilo. We don’t even work with cup measurements. However, today it is simply unthinkable not having a scale – nonetheless a recipe. Even to this day – not even my Mother – could really tell what the exact ingredients were. That is, for my favorite “cinnamon stars”, next to many other cookies, cakes, roasts and other good Grandma delicatessen. Although she did emphasized that lots of butter is always a good thing. And she was right, just as Julia Child said, butter is flavor.
One thing is sure, the flavor of these Christmas cookies were incredible. To be quite honest there are probably better cookie recipes out there, but you know when Grandma baked them – no one could do it better. Regardless of what she cooked or baked it was just simply incredible. I guess most of us have these fond memories of our Grand parents in particular when it comes to the Holidays.
So now you know that I didn’t inherit a recipe for my cookies, yet I did my best to make it as close as possible to Grandma’s cinnamon stars. What I did inherit was an old German cookbook from 1889, which is awesome. Unfortunately the cinnamon stars were not listed, but similar recipes were. I hope I gave you some inspiration to bake some of your favorite Grandma’s Holiday cookies. Happy Holidays
With a speed mixer whip butter and sugar until creamy.
Add vanilla and bitter almond essences.
In a separate bowl mix all other ingredients together.
Slowly incorporate dry ingredients into the butter mixture.
Don’t over mix.
Place dough on a with flour dusted surface.
Quickly knead dough to a shape of a ball.
Roll out dough about 1/4 inch / 7mm thick and cut out stars.
Place cinnamon stars on a greased and floured baking tray.
Bake in 350 degree Fahrenheit / 175 degree Celsius preheated oven until the edges are slightly turning golden brown (about 12-14 minutes)
While the cinnamon stars are still hot place them in a bowl with powdered sugar. Turn cookies once or twice in the sugar and let cool out on a rack.
When cookies are cool sprinkle with more powdered sugar. That’s best done with an icing sugar shaker. Store in an airtight container.
Bake cinnamon stars longer if you like them crispy. For a more chewy consistency bake less.
Tip: Remove dough before it forms a ball. At this time the dough is very light and fluffy. On the table mold dough into a ball and gently roll it down to a 1/4 inch height. Follow instructions above.
I like to split up the dough and put half in the refrigerator, while I roll out the other half. Always make sure that surface is dusted with flour. Turn dough often while rolling out and dust with flour again. This will assure that the dough is not sticking to surface.
It has been 15 days since Hurricane Sandy hit and left us with no power, water or heat. I would like to apologize for not posting lately, but it was just impossible for me to get power.
I have to admit I have seen better days. Sandy flexed her muscles and showed us that Mother Nature is still in charge. No one really wanted to believe that this storm would hit this community so bad. In the end it was a 15 foot coastal flood wave which basically rolled over our sea town. It didn’t end there; the 36 hour tropical storm that followed the flood, blasted with 95 miles per hour winds and finished the disaster for what is now known as the worst storm New York has ever seen.
What Bragging Rights and Hurricanes Have in Common?
Seeing disasters like this on TV is one thing experience it first hand is nerve reckoned. I thank god my family and neighbors are fine. Some neighbors, who actually laughed at me for evacuating to higher grounds, lost their cars and almost their life. Of course anyone stays behind has bragging rights, but for what cause? Houses burned down and fire departments couldn’t help since the roads were flooded with over 4 feet of water. Bragging rights?! – No thank you. The hardest part, after returning to the house, was the cleanup progress. It felt like there is no end in side. Even worse seeing the all so dear memories such as childhood pictures floating away is heart ranching.
Hey, life goes on, but why should I burden you with my worries. Everyone got their own problems so I don’t want to add to those. However there is a good side to this. Communities come together and help each other. We all got a little closer – the nice and not so nice neighbors. Differences were put aside and friendships were made or refreshed. And the moral of bragging rights and hurricanes are: Both can have dangerous consequences.
In my next post you’ll find out how we made out without power, heat and water and how wood stove cooking and candle light dinners made our day a little sweeter.
Coconut Rice Pudding with Warm Dark Cherries
Here is a little teaser we cooked on the wood stove. It’s a very simple coconut rice pudding which I served with warm dark cherries. You can serve it with any fruit you like, I find rice pudding taste just great with saucy fruits.
Coconut Rice Pudding with warm cherries is one of my favorite childhood dishes. It’s not every ones taste because it’s sweet, but to me it’s very satisfying. My Mom cooked this dish at least ones a week and all of us were fighting for the leftovers.
Coconut Rice Pudding with Dark Warm Cherries
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Kraemers Culinary Blog
Coconut Rice Pudding
1 cup Arborio or short grain rice
4.5 cups vanilla soy milk
0.5 heavy cream
0.5 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon and more for sprinkling on top
1 tsp vanilla
1 fl oz Orange liquor
0.3 cup coconut flakes
Pinch of salt
2 cup dark sour cherries
1.5 cup juice from cherries
1 tbsp cherry liquor or Orange liquor
1 tbsp cornstarch
Coconut Rice Pudding
In a heavy bottom pot bring all ingredients to a simmer and stir frequently with a wooden spoon. Cook until rice is soft and most of the milk is absorbed.
Warm Dark Cherries
Bring cherry juice and liquor to a boil. Add cornstarch and Stir. Add only so much cornstarch until juice is lightly thickened. Pour cherries in to juice and serve over coconut rice pudding.
It is important to use short grain rice or Arborio rice, since this rice is ideal to absorb the milk. It also becomes softer and taste just better than long grain rice.
For the fruit you can use what ever you like, whether it’s can fruit or fresh. Everyone has their favorite. I also like to use fruit cocktail or orange mandarins over the rice. Don’t forget to sprinkle the dish with cinnamon.
I like my rice pudding to be more on the liquid side. Because I like to munch on it all day – it will set and will become more pudding like.
Hello and thanks for visiting Kraemer’s Culinary Blog.
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I am also convinced that veganism is the most sustainable lifestyle, which will ultimately help the environment.
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