Oct. 16th, 2011

superdaintykate: (Default)
The recipe is originally from the LA Times, but I plan to make it in the Crockpot and need to blog about it because HOLY SHIT it was good.

Adapted from "Heart of the Aritchoke and Other Kitchen Journeys" by David Tanis.
4 to 6 servings.

6 oz dried NM chiles
2 T lard or veg oil
1 lg onion, diced fine
salt and pepper
6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 t coriander seeds, toasted and ground
1 t cumin seeds, ditto
1 bay leaf
3 lbs boneless pork shoulder, left whole or cut into chunks
prepared hominy

Rinse and dry the chiles, then toast them in a dry cast-iron skillet over medium heat until they puff a bit and become fragrant (2 - 3 minutes). Cut them lengthwise in half and remove the stems and seeds.

Put the chiles in a small pot of water and bring to a boil. Simmer until softened, about 5 minutes, then set aside in the liquid to cool. Puree the chiles with a cup of their liquid in a blender until smooth.

Heat the fat in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, season with 1/4 t salt and 1/8 t pepper, and and cook for about 5 minutes. There should be no color and no browning. Add the garlic, coriander, cumin and bay leaf, then add the chile puree and 1/4 t salt and simmer for 5 minutes. Cool the mixture (you can do this ahead of time).

Preheat the oven to 350. Put the pork in a low roasting pan and season generously with salt and pepper. Pour the chile over and mix to coat, and then cover tightly.

Bake until the meat is falling apart, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Serve with a big spoonful of hot hominy.

Amazing. I did half a batch and it turned out great. Instead of toasting the chiles in a pan I did them in a broiler so OF COURSE they got away from me and burned a little, but they were fine. I need to get a fine-mesh strainer for the puree, since there is always little flecks of unsoftened chile skin left over, but we didn't let them stop us. I also neglected to get coriander seeds so J ran out and got me powdered coriander and it was just fine. I also used whole cumin and doubt I toasted it and that was fine too.

So good. Tastes like fall.
superdaintykate: (Default)
For our anniversary, we enjoyed an amazing dinner at Chez Shea, in Pike Place Market.

Since we had a late reservation, I came home from work to find the kitchen clean and a plate of amuse-bouche waiting for me, with a sweet note from my darling husband. I tried not to gorge myself on feta-and-onion tartlets and apple slices, and went to get cleaned up and dressed purty.

The restaurant is upstairs in the Corner Market building (the same building as the Can Can) and thus 1) looks like an artist's garret, and 2) has a view of The Sign from the dining room. It feels very, very Seattle.

I started with a Mezcalito, which was supposed to be a Melon Mezcalito but they had run out of melon, so a lemon Mezcalito it was. The one on the menu includes sake, I don't think mine did, but it sure did have Mezcal in it. And lots of lemon, so it was perfect to cut through all the butter we were going to eat soon. Like a very tart margarita, really.

To start, we split a plate of escargot with garlic, shallots, and parsley butter. I couldn't wait to snap a picture before I had shoveled two into my mouth.

Next, a salad course, where we shared two choices: a simple salad of pears, candied pecans, slivers of endive and feta in a champagne vinaigrette, and foie gras with sweet and sour figs, teensy sugar-poached huckleberries, and a slice of brioche toast. The salad was a great balance of flavors and textures, with the slivers of endive being a nice surprise. The foie gras was delicious, but Jon commented that he thought he might have liked it better when we had it at Lark, and I think I agree. It certainly wasn't anything to sneeze at; the figs and berries were really complementary to it and the toast gave everything a nice amount of crunch.

Next, our mains: I had spectacular pan-seared scallops with green lentils, fava beans, baby artichokes, bacon, parsnip puree and apple cider gastrique;

Jon had an exquisite duck confit with roasted fingerling potatoes and baby turnips. The potaotes were just crispy on the outside and I would have eaten a whole plate of them alone. My lentils had a surprising and delicious amount of bacon in them and the scallops were done perfectly, sweet on the inside and caramelized on the outside.

For dessert, Jon had the Black Bottom Banana Cream Pie with Bananas Foster Compote:

and I, of course, had the "Bete Noire" (flourless chocolate cake with plum sauce).

When I ordered my dessert, the sweet French motherly type who was our server said very politely "excuse me?" and I immediately dropped my face into my hands and apologized for my horrible French. She was very nice about it and said I had actually pronounced it perfectly, she just hadn't caught it, which eased my FrancoAngst long enough for me to dive into dessert. The cake itself was so dense you could stand a fork in it...at a 45-degree angle. But it was served with a tart plum sauce that set it off perfectly.

The food was amazing, the service was kind and polite, the view of the Sound was lovely, but all I could think about all evening was how much I love Jon, and how fucking lucky I have been that he loves me like he does.

And then tonight, Jon continued our gastronomic indulgences with monster-head baked zucchini, filled with a homemade "meatloaf" of a mix of lamb and turkey, cumin, allspice, and apples.


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