• Category Archives Food
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  • Korean inspired port belly

    OK, so maybe it’s not that kosher. But it is so good!

    Korean inspired pork belly
    Korean inspired pork belly

    The basic recipe is real simple. I just added some seasoning and modified quantities to how I like it. Other than the salt, sugar and black pepper, spices are optional.

    Ingredients

    • Pork Belly slab, skinless, but with the fat layer. As small or large as you want.
    • The following is per pound of pork:
      • 1/2 tbs salt
      • 1 tbs sugar
      • 1/4 tsp Black pepper
      • 1 pinch of Habanero pepper (or Cayenne)
      • 1/4 tsp granulated garlic
      • 1/4 tsp granulated onion

    mix all spices together. If you have a big enough Ziploc bag for the pork put it and the spices in the bag, close it and work it all until the pork is covered with the spice mix. Optionally, just dry rub the pork all over.

    Place in the fridge, covered, overnight.

    Place on a roasting pan, 450f, for 30 minutes. Lower to 275f and let cook for two more hours.

    Now for the hard part. Let it cool down. Don’t eat it! I know, not easy. Sometimes you gotta cheat. It smells and looks too good. OK, have a tiny piece, but it will be even harder not to keep eating!

    One it cooled down to room  temperature, wrap it in plastic and let it cool in the fridge for a few hours. Then you can take it out, slice it, warm it, fry it, cube it etc.

    In the picture it shows how it looks like relatively thick sliced. I served it with green peas and quick pickled carrots, red bell pepper and apple. I’m getting hungry.

     


  • Sangria repost

    I’m reposting this with pictures from the latest batch I made for the Superbowl. I had some blueberries and Asian pear (pealed). I used wine in a box ’cause it was the cheapest. I also used a tiny can of ginger-ale and little less sugar. ’twas good!  I still have a bit left (I had to hide it) if you’re around.

    Sangria is delicious, easy to drink, refreshing and as you can understand I really like it.

    I usually make 3-4 gallons, so here I reduced the amounts to make about half a gallon. Multiply as needed, and always make more than you think you’ll need, it goes fast…

    Sangria. OpineAway.com
    Sangria

    Ingredients

    • 1.5 litter (2 bottles) of red wine, the cheapest you can buy. Any red wine will do. No, really. Boxed wine is great, usually burgundy is the cheapest.
    • 1.5 cups Triple sec liqueur. Don’t bother to do this without it. No need to go fancy with Cointreau.
    • 3 cups (at least) of ¼” cut cubes of mixed fruits. I usually use peaches, apples (mix Granny Smith and Fuji/Gala), oranges (peel first), plum, grapes, strawberries.
    • Optional ½ cup blueberries, smashed a bit.
    • 1 cup of orange juice (freshly squeezed from 3 oranges is best).
    • 1 cup of sprite, 7up or ginger ale.
    • Juice squeezed from half a lime and half a lemon.
    • 2 tbsp of sugar (or sugar in the raw).

    Mix it all in a big glass or plastic container. Place in the fridge for 24 hours (this is a must). Enjoy.

    Sangria in the making, and "cooking" in the fridge.
    Sangria in the making, and “cooking” in the fridge.

  • Sangria

    Sangria is delicious, easy to drink, refreshing and as you can understand I really like it.

    I usually make 3-4 gallons, so here I reduced the amounts to make about half a gallon. Multiply as needed, and always make more than you think you’ll need, it goes fast…

    Sangria. OpineAway.com
    Sangria

    Ingredients

    • 1.5 litter (2 bottles) of red wine, the cheapest you can buy. Any red wine will do. No, really. Boxed wine is great, usually burgundy is the cheapest.
    • 1.5 cups Triple sec liqueur. Don’t bother to do this without it. No need to go fancy with Cointreau.
    • 3 cups (at least) of ¼” cut cubes of mixed fruits. I usually use peaches, apples (mix Granny Smith and Fuji/Gala), oranges (peel first), plum, grapes, strawberries.
    • Optional ½ cup blueberries, smashed a bit.
    • 1 cup of orange juice (freshly squeezed from 3 oranges is best).
    • 1 cup of sprite, 7up or ginger ale.
    • Juice squeezed from half a lime and half a lemon.
    • 2 tbsp of sugar (or sugar in the raw).

    Mix it all in a big glass or plastic container. Place in the fridge for 24 hours (this is a must). Enjoy.


  • Quiche Veggie and Not-So-Veggie

    I cooked for a dinner party here a couple of days ago. My sister is vegetarian, but we have a bunch of carnivores, so I decided (among other things) to make two versions of quiche, veggie, and not so veggie. Both came out pretty excellent.

    Note that I added spices to the dough. It gives it flavor and color.

    Quiche two ways
    Quiche two ways

    Serves a hungry family, extended family if you make both versions.

    The dough (these quantities are for one quiche. Double if you make two):

    • 1 cup flower
    • 1/2 tsp backing powder
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
    • 1/4 tsp onion powder
    • 1/2 tsp paprika (or smoked paprika)
    • Pinch of Cayenne pepper
    • 1/4 cup ice cold water
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 1 tbsp clarified butter (ghee) or melted regular butter.

     

    1. Mix well the dry ingredients and spices.
    2. Whisk the olive oil and water to combine, then add the butter and whisk some more.
    3. Add liquids to dry mix and mix to get a uniform dough.
    4. Create a ball of dough, then roll it to a circle about 11″ in diameter.
    5. Press into a 9″ pie plate.
    6. Set aside

    Veggie filling:

    • 1 tbsp butter
    • 2 large onions cut to 1/8″ rings
    • 2 cups of Shiitake mushrooms, cut to 1/4″ strips.
    • 1 cup steamed broccoli cut to 1″ pices
    • 3 baby bella mushrooms
    • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
    • 1/2 tsp black pepper
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper (or a pinch of smoked habanero pepper)
    • 4 eggs
    • 1/3 cup heavy cream
    • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella.

     

    1. Cut from baby bellas 6-7 nice circular pieces for garnishing and set aside. Chop the leftovers
    2. Sauté in the butter onions, Shittake and chopped part of baby bellas until onion is translucent.
    3. Add garlic and all spices, stir and sauté for another minute
    4. Add broccoli, stir and set aside
    5. Whisk eggs and cream, add mozzarella and mix well

    Carnivorous filling:

    • 1/2 pack bacon (4-5 strips) cut to 1/4″ pices
    • 3 precooked chicken thighs meat (I made chicken broth with them and then used them here) cut small or shredded (if cooked well it will pretty much shred by itself while cutting it).
    • 2 large onions cut to 1/8″ rings
    • 1/2 cups of Shiitake mushrooms, cut to 1/4″ strips (optional)
    • 1/2 tsp black pepper
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper (or a pinch of smoked habanero pepper)
    • 1/4 tsp Turmeric
    • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
    • 4 eggs
    • 1/3 cup heavy cream
    • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella.
    • 12 1/4″ strips of Canadian bacon or smoked ham

     

    1. Pan fry the bacon for a couple of minutes
    2. Add chicken and spices and stir fry until chicken and bacon are brown and and crisp.
    3. Remove bacon and chicken from pan, sauté onions, Shittake (if used) in bacon grease until onion is translucent.
    4. Add garlic stir and sauté for another minute
    5. Add back in meats, stirr, set aside.
    6. Whisk eggs and cream, add mozzarella and mix well

    Combining and baking either filling type:

     

    1. Let the stir fry cool a bit (lukewarm is good)
    2. Pour the stir fried mix into the egg/cream/mozzarella mix and stir
    3. Pour mixture into the pie plate (over the dough)
    4. Optional – spread 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella over it
    5. Garnish with either the baby bella circles or the Canadian bacon strips
    6. Optional – spread some Nigella seeds (Hebrew – קצח) on top (thank you sister for giving it to me).
    7. Bake at 375 degrees F for 30-40 minutes. Eggs should be set and top browned.

    Note – Carnivores were observed eating both versions.

    Quiche not so veggie

    Quiche not-so-veggie

     


  • Low Carbs Banana Bread

    We love banana bread. Yesterday I looked at the three “riper than desired” bananas on my kitchen island and though that would be their destination, but wanted to reduce the carbs bomb a bit….

    So I replaced the flour with almond meal, a few small tweaks, and it came out so good!

    Almond Meal Banana Bread
    Almond Meal Banana Bread

    You can get almond meal in many places now, I got mine at Trader Joe’s. It’s pure almonds, nothing else.

    Ingredients

    • 2 cups almond meal.
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
    • 3/4 cup Sugar in the raw
    • 1 tbsp molasses or honey
    • 3 overripe bananas, mashed
    • 2 eggs
    • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted, room temperature

    Note: You can substitute the sugar in the raw and molasses with dark brow sugar.

    1. Mix well all dry ingredients
    2. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well
    3. Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan.
    4. Bake for 50-55 minutes at 350F, until a toothpick comes out “pretty clean”.
    5. Let cool for 10 minutes before carefully turning it out from the pan.

    So good…

     


  • Eggs Bellapepper

    I asked my daughter what she wants for breakfast. She said “food”. That of course narrowed down the options tremendously. This was the result.

    Eggs Bellapepper
    Eggs Bellapepper

     

    Serves 2

    • 4 slices, 1.5″ high, of a big Bell Pepper (3.5″-4″ in diameter).
    • 2-4 pieces of bacon, cut into 1/4″ squares.
    • 4 eggs
    • four tbsp heavy cream
    • two tbsp water
    • 1/4 tsp chipotle pepper (or Cayenne).
    • 1/4 tsp black pepper
    • 1/3 tsp salt

     

    1. Beat the eggs, cream, water, salt and black pepper until uniform.
    2. On a high flame, place the bell pepper slices in a pan, wider opening facing up.
    3. Mix the bacon with the chipotle pepper and place an equal amount of it in each slice.
    4. Let fry for 1 minute until the bacon fat melts and start frying the bacon.
    5. Pour slowly just enough egg mixture to cover the bottom inside each of the pepper slices.
    6. Once the bottom starts to set, pour the rest of the egg inside all slices to reach an equal height.
    7. Cover the pan and reduce the heat to medium for 3 minutes.
    8. Reduce the heat to low for 2 more minutes.
    9. Turn it back to high for 30 seconds.

    If you have too much egg mix, don’t over fill the peppers! The egg will rise out of control!

    The egg “inflates” nicely and firms fluffy and moist, the bottom becomes crispy and flavorful.

    Can be garnished with parsley, good with anything really – avocado, tuna, bread, hot sauce or harissa, salad of course, etc.

     


  • Spaghetti Carbonara Plus

    My daughter and I try to cut down on carbs, but yesterday I decided to give us a break. And it came out so good I’m writing it down:

    Spaghetti Carbonara Plus
    Spaghetti Carbonara Plus

    Serves 4-6

    Ingredients:

    •  Half a package of thick bacon (4-5 pieces) cut to 1/2″ squares
    •  One very big onion chopped to 1/4″ pieces
    •  One small chorizo (5″ long) cut to 1/4″ cubes
    •  One tbsp butter
    •  Half basket baby bella mushrooms (4-5 good size mushrooms) sliced
    • Optional – a few drops of white truffle oil
    •  4 garlic cloves, chopped
    •  3 eggs
    •  1 cup grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
    •  1/3 cup heavy cream
    •  1 tsp black pepper
    •  A pinch of smoked Habanero or red hot pepper
    •  One package of thin spaghetti
    •  Chopped parsley
    1. Beat eggs, add heavy cream and cheese and keep beating until uniform and smooth. Set aside.
    2. Set the pasta to cook pasta with some salt added to the water while continuing with the next steps.
    3. In a large pan on medium hear cook bacon until starts to get brown/crisp.
    4. Add onion, mushrooms and butter and cook until the onion starts to get translucent.
    5. Add chorizo and let all cook for 2-3 minutes while stirring.
    6. Add the black and hot peppers, truffle oil and the garlic, mix and set aside.
    7. Strain the cooked pasta, setting aside a cup of the cooking water.
    8. Mix the still hot pasta with the still hot bacon/onion/chorizo mix until the pasta is nicely coated.
    9. To the still pretty hot mix add the eggs/heavy cream/cheese mix and stir until uniform and creamy. Add some of the pasta cooking water if needed.
    10. Serve garnished with chopped parsley. Add Parmesan and black pepper on top as desired.

    * Note that no salt is added – the bacon, cheese and chorizo are salty, and the pasta is cooked in salty water, so usually there’s no need for any more salt.
    Optional is adding cooked green peas at the end.
    Please be advised that this should be enough for 4-6 people, try to refrain from eating it all by yourself, at least not in one sitting.


  • Smoked Ham Broiled Open Sandwich

    Sometimes you just need a good sandwich that will hit the spot.

    Smoked Ham Broiled Sandwich
    Smoked Ham Broiled Sandwich

    Feel free to modify/adjust as you like… Ingredients:

    • 1 slice of a good multi-grain bread
    • 1 Slice (1/8″ thick or a bit more) smoked ham (the size of the bread slice you’ll use)
    • 1 tbsp olive oil
    • A pinch habanero or cayenne pepper
    • 1/4 tsp sugar
    • A pinch salt
    • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
    • 1/4 tsp onion powder
    • 1/4 tsp paprika
    • 1/2 avocado
    • 1/2 Lime
    • 2-4 grape tomatoes slice in half lengthwise, mixed with a bit of slat and black pepper
    • Spicy paste of your choice (I used Green Thai Pepper paste I made) or Tabasco/Cholula etc hot sauce
    • Some coarsely chopped cilantro
    • 2 tbsp shredded mozzarella
    1. In a small bowl mix oil, sugar and all spices.
    2. Cover the both sides of the ham with it
    3. Either sear or pan fry until browned/crisped, just a minute of two.
    4. Lightly toast the bread.
    5. Spread the spicy paste on a few drops of the hot sauce on it.
    6. Spread the avocado on it, squeeze some lime juice on it, a bit salt and a bit of the cilantro.
    7. Place ham on top of the avocado-ed bread and then the tomatoes and cilantro on top of the ham.
    8. Spread some mozzarella over everything, and place in a toaster oven set on broil for a couple of minutes until the cheese starts to brown.

    And then just enjoy…. A side of some more cut grape tomatoes with salt, black pepper, lime and olive oil works perfect with it. Oh, I’m getting hungry.


  • Turkish Salad (Israeli Style) Recipe

    Turkish salad (Hebrew: סלט טורקי) is a common condiment in Israeli restaurants. Served side by side with Humus and  Tahini, this is one of my favorite salads.

    It seems that there are as many versions of Turkish Salad in Israel as there are people who make them. Never the less, my sister and I always agreed on that one Tel Aviv restaurant that had the best one, we were so disappointed when we found out it was closed.

    So what can one do? Make his own!

    Turkish Salad
    Turkish Salad

    This makes a nice amount that will make you smile.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 small onion, chopped to 1/4″ pieces
    • 3 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • 3 large tomatoes chopped to 1/2″ pieces
    • 1 tbsp tomato paste
    • A pinch habanero or cayenne pepper
    • 1/4 tsp cumin
    • 1/4 tsp sugar
    • 1/4 tsp black pepper
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
    • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
    • 1 tbsp harisa or 1/2 red bell pepper finely chopped

     

    1. Heat oil on medium flame, add onion and garlic (and red bell pepper if used), saute until onion start to become translucent, 4-5 minutes
    2. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, harisa if used and all spices. Saute while mixing from time to time for 5 minutes
    3. Add parsley and cilantro, turn off the flame, mix and let cool down
    4. Enjoy

  • Rather Simple Spicy Beef Stew Recipe

    To my firstborn, a future restaurateur and chef:

    Rather Simple Spicy Beef Stew Recipe
    Rather Simple Spicy Beef Stew Recipe

    Serves 4

    • 1.5-2 lb beef 1″ cubes
    • 15 baby carrots or two big carrots pealed and cut
    • 1 large onion wedged 1″ pieces
    • 3 medium potatoes, pealed, 1″ cubes.
    • 1 celery stock, chopped 1/4″ pieces
    • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
    • 1-2 hot peppers finely chopped (Jalapeno, Thai green or any other to your likings and taste)
    • 1/4 cup all purpose flower
    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp black pepper
    • 1 tbsp paprika
    • 1 tsp sugar
    • Optional 1 cup red wine (Port or any other).
    • Optional two strips of bacon cut to 1/2″ chunks and fried for one minute between step 2 and 3.

     

    1. In a ziplock or any strong bag place flower, salt, black pepper, paprika and sugar, shake, add meat, shake well to evenly cover meat.
    2. Heat olive oil in a big enough pot over high flame.
    3. Add hot pepper and garlic, stir for one minute.
    4. Add meat (keep the leftover flower and spices mix for later). Stir a few times a minute until meat start getting brown and crisp on the outside.
    5. Add potatoes, stir for 3-4 minutes.
    6. Add onion, celery and carrots, stir for 2 minutes.
    7. Stir in the flower and spices mix that was left.
    8. Add the wine and add water to cover, then add two more cups water. Gently stir.
    9. Bring to a boil, lower flame to medium-low, cover, cook for 1-2 hours.

    If the sauce doesn’t look thick enough after an hour or so, continue cooking uncover for half an hour.

    * Can be garnished with chopped parsley.