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Porchetta—crispy, meaty, oh so fatty.

A 10-pound slab of belly was procured from Deluxe Food Market in Manhattan Chinatown, then prepped and seasoned by following this Serious Eats recipe. Roasted for 4.5 hours at 300°F, plus an additional 25 minutes at 500°F to achieve that golden, crackling skin. I wish there was a way to fully capture the satisfying sound and feel of the knife slicing through!

As for the colorful side dishes:

  • Potato and green bean salad with anchovy-garlic dressing
  • Cabbage salad with lime vinaigrette
  • Carrot salad with tahini, pistachios, and crunchy chickpeas
  • Cucumbers, lightly salted, with a splash of yuzu juice

For drinks, bellinis with homemade white peach puree. For dessert, homemade coconut ice cream. More on that in a later post.

All in all, a delicious evening with some of my favorite people. Special thanks to My Khanh for making the potato salad dressing, and to Jason for providing a second kitchen (stocked with every cooking supply imaginable!) and extra chairs, despite not being there in person to partake.

I now understand now why porchetta recipes usually involve wrapping the belly around a piece of tenderloin. I love pork belly, but all that fat, while delicious, was almost too overwhelming. Adding tenderloin would result in a better meat to fat ratio—noted for next time.

Lastly, the Thermapen is life-changing.

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10 lbs of pork belly sitting in my fridge. To be continued…

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An experiment in substitutions with Nobu’s miso-marinaded black cod recipe:
Sake → Shaoxing wine
Mirin → Aji mirin
White miso → Yellow miso
Sugar → Brown sugar
Black cod → Regular cod
Not the same, especially with the different fish variety, but not worse either. In related news, I learned how to use the broiler.

An experiment in substitutions with Nobu’s miso-marinaded black cod recipe:

  • Sake → Shaoxing wine
  • Mirin → Aji mirin
  • White miso → Yellow miso
  • Sugar → Brown sugar
  • Black cod → Regular cod

Not the same, especially with the different fish variety, but not worse either. In related news, I learned how to use the broiler.

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Dinner for one, steak and butter. And a few guilty handfuls of baby spinach after the fact.

Great reference: The Food Lab’s Complete Guide to Pan-Seared Steaks

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One-pot dinner for one. Sautéed mushrooms, rice, watercress, a cracked egg, shichimi toragashi.

One-pot dinner for one. Sautéed mushrooms, rice, watercress, a cracked egg, shichimi toragashi.

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Frozen fruit blended with ice and almond milk, aka dessert. Almost as good as ice cream.

Frozen fruit blended with ice and almond milk, aka dessert. Almost as good as ice cream.

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Seared scallops. Warm mushrooms, beets, salad greens, yuzu vinaigrette.

Seared scallops. Warm mushrooms, beets, salad greens, yuzu vinaigrette.

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Got some help in my kitchen today from Plated, a service that takes the hassle out of home cooking. Ingredients arrive fresh and pre-proportioned—all one has to do is follow instructions on a recipe card, and voila, dinner is served. Thanks Dustin for the free trial meals!

As a regular home cook, I was a bit conflicted about trying this out. While I’d ultimately probably never pay full price for Plated, just this one meal has already exposed me to ingredients and preparations that aren’t part of my regular routine. I followed the instructions closely, as a less experienced person would, and everything turned out great.

In my fridge for later this week: chicken paillard with avocado relish, red quinoa, and tahini. Can’t wait.

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40 clove garlic chicken… with half the amount of chicken ;-)

Chicken thighs and drums, white wine, olive oil, 40+ cloves of garlic, and a sprinkling of oregano (was out of thyme). Baked for 1.5 hours at 350 degrees F until the garlic turned squishy and sweet.

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Microwaved veggies with sriracha. Pancetta mushroom fried rice. Home cooking doesn’t always need to be a big production.

Microwaved veggies with sriracha. Pancetta mushroom fried rice. Home cooking doesn’t always need to be a big production.

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Mother Nature may disagree given last night’s snow, but it’s definitely springtime in my kitchen. Steamed haricot vert, crispy pancetta, and a dipping sauce of sriracha, soy sauce and sesame oil.

Mother Nature may disagree given last night’s snow, but it’s definitely springtime in my kitchen. Steamed haricot vert, crispy pancetta, and a dipping sauce of sriracha, soy sauce and sesame oil.

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Sunday night pantry/fridge cleaning stew after a weekend of overindulging in Cambridge (Friendly Toast and Hungry Mother in one day was excessive but so necessary).
Leeks, pancetta, a can of chickpeas, a can of diced tomatoes, and a hodgepodge of spices—cumin, turmeric, paprika, curry, and cayenne—until it tasted right. Served over rice, with plenty leftover for tomorrow’s lunch.

Sunday night pantry/fridge cleaning stew after a weekend of overindulging in Cambridge (Friendly Toast and Hungry Mother in one day was excessive but so necessary).

Leeks, pancetta, a can of chickpeas, a can of diced tomatoes, and a hodgepodge of spices—cumin, turmeric, paprika, curry, and cayenne—until it tasted right. Served over rice, with plenty leftover for tomorrow’s lunch.

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Forget the florets and roast it whole. An easy, beautiful, elegant way to serve cauliflower.
Rubbed with oil and roasted at 400 degrees just over an hour. Maybe time I’ll make some fancy dipping sauces, but for tonight, just two magical words: truffle salt.

Forget the florets and roast it whole. An easy, beautiful, elegant way to serve cauliflower.

Rubbed with oil and roasted at 400 degrees just over an hour. Maybe time I’ll make some fancy dipping sauces, but for tonight, just two magical words: truffle salt.

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Tea eggs, my contribution to Char and Rei’s ridiculously delicious and indulgent kamayan “hands only” Filipino feast. Good food, good people—the perfect Sunday evening.
(recipe via Rasa Malaysia)

Tea eggs, my contribution to Char and Rei’s ridiculously delicious and indulgent kamayan “hands only” Filipino feast. Good food, good people—the perfect Sunday evening.

(recipe via Rasa Malaysia)

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Congratulatory cookies, because I promised a special someone.
Whole wheat chocolate chip, using my go-to recipe via Orangette. Note to self: next time use a mix of 1/3 white, 2/3 whole wheat flour. These turned out a tad too hearty.

Congratulatory cookies, because I promised a special someone.

Whole wheat chocolate chip, using my go-to recipe via Orangette. Note to self: next time use a mix of 1/3 white, 2/3 whole wheat flour. These turned out a tad too hearty.