June 26, 2013

Philly’s Other (Better) Sandwich – America’s Best?

Men’s Journal contests the notion that Philly’s culinary claim to fame is the cheesesteak sandwich. But if you are slightly repulsed by the idea of Cheez Whiz running down your chin, consider the contender for Philly’s best sandwich: the Roast Pork Sandwich. The pork is slow-cooked in its own juices and topped with provolone and broccoli rabe or spinach. Take a ride on the Reading Terminal Market and head to Tommy Dinic’s for his version that Travel Channel raved it is the best sandwich in America?!

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Philly’s Other (Better) Sandwich



May 22, 2013

Cranberry Roast

A cranberry roast can be a delicious meal, and can easily be created in just a few easy steps. The ingredients for a cranberry roast should include roast (suggested is pork), sugar, cranberry juice, dry mustard, and ground cloves. The roast should also be cooked in a slow cooker for six to eight hours, or at least until the meat is tender.

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Cranberry Roast



April 28, 2013

The Four High-End Steaks You Should Know

Steaks are basically any piece of meat that falls under the category of “fast-cooking” cuts. Cuts that are low enough in connective tissue that they don’t require the long cooking times that “slow-cooking” cuts require. The difference between a steak and roast essentially comes down to size.

Good for some steak lovers who are well-versed in buying steaks as they easily find a plain Strip steak as something nice & thick and well-marbled that easily cooks on the rare side. Some can even prepare great porterhouse steaks in a method that produces even color and doneness from deep inside, close to the bone, right out to the edge. It’s easy to say that you can also do this with any T-bone style steak or chops lamb, veal, or pork, but NOT if you don’t know anything about buying and which steak is the right one.

Do you know where tenderloin cuts came from? What it tastes like, and the best way to cook it? Its easy to learn The Four High-End Steaks You Should Know.



March 31, 2013

Conchiglie with Braised Pork Belly and Radicchio

If braising doesn’t bring out amazing depth of flavor in any dish, and pasta isn’t satisfying on its own; this simple to make conchiglie with pancetta (or bacon) goes farther by braising pork belly with extra virgin olive oil, white wine and other sumptuous flavors. Radicchio adds another dimension, and the onions become beautifully caramelized. It’s simply put together, and will fill your kitchen with an incredible aroma of promise that delivers something you truly wanted.

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Conchiglie with Braised Pork Belly and Radicchio

gourmet cooking


March 24, 2013

The Slow and Low Cooking Difference

Slow cooking is a way to enjoy great-tasting meals with minimum amount of effort, budget-friendly and nutritious. Why budget-friendly? Because even tougher cuts of meat which we usually find the cheapest in the market can be transformed into hearty, and super flavorsome meals.

chicken stew

Slow cooking is a method that has existed long before the crock pot was invented. Combining meat, vegetables, liquid and seasonings in a single pot then cooked for hours requires relatively short preparation times. I have been playing with times, timings and temperatures for years already, and I love cooking beef low and slow. The result of low-temperature slow cooking, comes almost to the edge of the meat. My children love the deep flavour of the fat that has got into the meat and its fun seeing them enjoy bites that flakes off the bone. Even lamb shanks and chops are great done slow too.

long and slow

For me, long, low and slow roasting and braising are the best way to go for cooking meat, especially beef. Long slow roast for bigger cuts, and braises for the smaller cuts. Since these cooking technique is all about retaining moisture (fat moisture to be exact), and choosing the right cut, its awesome this has what produced the juicy and tender roasts we all strived for. Plus, cooking meat, vegetables and sauce together in one pot cuts down on washing up.


Slow and low cooking is a very simple process that can be done properly in a crockpot or slow-cooker, Dutch oven, and roasting pan. Most cooks agree that a heavy casserole dish or Dutch oven is a nice alternative to slow cookers, and is highly recommended for its ability to evenly distribute heat and for the fact that it really imparts a better flavor on the food. Enameled cast iron is wonderful, and so are braising pans.

If you love slow-cooked food but don’t have time to stay home during the weekdays, Saturday dinner is perfect time. You can pick your favorite ingredients, cook as long as you want it and you have everyone at home to help watch the pot. There’s nothing as exciting as watching both the clock and the pot for a really luscious meal the whole family can dine in together. Have you ever surprised the family with the Italian dish Chicken Cacciatore? The recipe is here.

So what do short ribs, beef stew, and a braised pork have in common? The answer is deep flavor from low and slow cooking.


March 22, 2013

How to Cook Perfect Pork Chops

Many of us experiment with different ways to get tender and more flavorful pork chops when all that is needed is a simple dry rub and correct frying pan. Cooking tender and flavorful pork chops is accomplished by cooking the meat with a moderate amount of fat over a moderate heat.

Bread the chops by dipping the meat in egg wash so both sides are thoroughly coated; follow this by dipping them in breading mix such as breadcrumb or Panko. Be sure they are covered thoroughly. Shake off the extra breading and set aside for up to three hours before cooking. Heat a cast iron pan over medium heat until pot gets the temperature uniformly distributed, then add the pork chops and cook 3 to 4 minutes.

pork 2


During frying, turn once and cook on the other side for the same amount of time. If the chops are thick, you may need to extend time a few minutes. Turn over the pork chop once and cook the other side for another 2 to 3 minutes. When the chops are golden brown, remove from pan. Deglaze the pan by adding in a few ounces of white wine and cream then stir to get all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Return the pork to the fry pan and cook over very low heat for about 2 minutes.

Baking the pork is another alternative for achieving succulent results. You can bake breaded pork chops in a 425 degree F oven for 25 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven, let rest for 6 to 10 minutes and serve. For boneless chops, reduce the time by 5 minutes and the temperature by 50 degrees. A third alternative is to grill the chops after breading. My preference is to place in foil along with rosemary, minced garlic, onion slices and a drizzle of vegetable oil, then seal the foil and cook on the grill over low indirect heat for nearly an hour. It may take a little longer to cook this way but I love the way it gives me moist, juicy and flavorful pork chops.

However, cooking with a cast iron pan is the most efficient way to prepare pork chops. The heavy cast iron provides even heat distribution that browns food very quickly and evenly. While some modern cooks like using superior quality nonstick pans to quickly brown meat with less oil; old-fashioned cast iron pan remains the number one choice when it comes to cooking breaded pork chops. Whether a saute pan, skillet, or grill pan, as long as it’s cast iron, you decide.


Sesame-Ginger Pork Patty

Here’s another delicious low calorie option for the typical grilled burger. It’s an Asian inspired pork burger topped with pineapple and served over watercress. You’ll need ground pork, canned or fresh pineapple, ginger, low sodium soy sauce, rice vinegar, carrot and garlic. Not only is this burger a winner at 217 calories, it only has 17 carbohydrates. While the suggested manner of preparation is on a grill, this delicious burger can also be prepared on the stovetop.

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Sesame-Ginger Pork Patty with Grilled Pineapple



Pork Scaloppine

If you’re thinking of something porky, get through the sequester with this Pork Scaloppine dish. Made from flat-pounded pork, dredged in flour and sauteed in oil, everything calls for a topping sauce made from capers, white wine, lemon, sage and rosemary. Using pork instead of veal or chicken offers a meal that is surprisingly light and incredibly flavorful. With arugula, you don’t want to disagree on this pork meal.

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Pork Scaloppine



March 5, 2013

Tuscan Pork Stew

Cooking tender and flavorful pork stew is accomplished by using tender chunks of pork slowly cook in a nicely seasoned, wine-infused sauce. All pork stews are prepared in the same long simmering; however, not all tastes the same. Tuscan Pork Stew, a diabetic-friendly recipe adapted from Taste of Home has a blend of herbs and spices where pepper rules. Perhaps those crushed red pepper flakes has enhanced everything that makes one of a kind Tuscan stew.



– 1-1/2 pounds boneless pork loin roast, cut into 1-inch cubes
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) Italian diced tomatoes, undrained
– 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
– 2 cups frozen pepper stir-fry vegetable blend, thawed
– 1/2 cup dry red wine or additional reduced-sodium chicken broth
– 1/4 cup orange marmalade
– 2 garlic cloves, minced
– 1 teaspoon dried oregano
– 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
– 1/2 teaspoon pepper
– 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
– 2 tablespoons cornstarch
– 2 tablespoons cold water
– Hot cooked fettuccine, optional


In a large skillet, brown pork in oil; drain. Transfer to a 5-qt. slow cooker. Stir in the tomatoes, broth, vegetable blend, wine, marmalade, garlic, oregano, fennel seed, pepper and pepper flakes if desired. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or until meat is tender. Combine cornstarch and water until smooth; gradually stir into stew. Cover and cook on high for 30 minutes or until thickened. Serve with fettuccine if desired. Serves 8.

If you don’t have a slow cooker, use a cast iron Dutch oven. This pot when used for slow simmering stews offers 100% fork tender meat. The unique lid with interior spikes ensures a continuous natural basting, making pork all the more tender and flavorful. A Mario Batali Dutch oven has these features. Click here to see the cookware. Don’t forget to use the coupon YSK-Mar for your 12% discount off the low regular price.


Tips to Trimming Pork – What You Should Know

Trim tenderloin, trim cubes and strips, trim edges – the secret it to slip the tip of your knife under the silvery skin and start slicing back and forth with the sharp edge of the blade angled upward, keeping the membrane tight as you are cutting. When trimming or cutting any meat that requires you to hold the meat in place with your fingers, be sure that your fingertips are curved in toward the palm of your hand. Holding them in this manner will prevent them from getting in the way of the blade of the knife.

Any cut that is going to be roasted can have up to ¼ inch layer of fat left on the surface to prevent the meat from becoming too dry. Now for chops and steaks that will be grilled, what best cut to do to prevent it from curling up while cooking? Get the rest of tips that you should when trimming pork.