Friday, June 24, 2011

Published in the INDY Weekly: Reliable Cheese Company

Reliable Cheese Company opens in Durham, NC. Here is the Article.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Grilled North Carolina Pork Chops w/ Tomatillo-Pineapple Salsa

Ok. The video, my first is not genius. It is a test run. The recipe however, is summer love in a dish. I have professed my infatuation for all things tomatillo, but the grilled pineapple adds another dimension. Its also another recipe with cilantro. Its June folks. Cilantro is the herb of the summer. Enjoy.

Grilled Pork Chops w/ Grilled Pineapple & Tomatillo Salsa
4 Pork Chops
-1/4 cup honey
-3 Tbls. Soy Sauce

1 Pineapple
1 lbs. Tomatillos
1 small onion
4 cloves of garlic, from one bulb
2 bell peppers
1 bunch cilantro
Salt & Pepper to taste

1. Marinade the Pork Chops in Soy Sauce and Honey for 30 minutes.
2. Cut the pineapple and get rid of the hard outer skin. Lay flat and slice horizontally. Slice in ½ inch thick large rounds. Lightly coat in Canola or vegetable oil.
3. Core & dice the tomatillos. Dice the onion, garlic, bell pepper, cilantro.
4. Preheat the grill.
5. Heat a sauté pan with 1 tbls of vegetable oil. Add tomatillo, onion and garlic. Cook for 5-10 minutes. Add bell peppers. Add 2 pinches of salt and pepper. Add 1/8 cup of water. Cook for another 10 minutes.
6. Once the salsa has finished cooking add the cilantro and mix well. Season and adjust. If you find the tomatillos are too acidic, add a dab of butter to mellow it out.
7. Spray the grill with PAM Grilling spray or brush with canola oil. Grill the pineapples and pork chops. The pineapple takes about 8 minutes (some black blistering on the pineapple is desirable for flavor). The pork chops take about 2 minutes on each side if they are less than inch thick or less.
8. Remove the core of the pineapple and dice the pineapple in a similar size to the other salsa ingredients. Add to salsa and mix well.
9. Place the salsa on top and devour.

Blue Fish Tacos with and Orange-Cilantro Salsa

“We are wasting our time here”

This was Tony’s declaration after we had moved from the deep sea to troll for fish in shallower waters. We began catching blue fish and Spanish mackerel. Compared to the Bluefin Tuna I had just caught, he was right, but he decreed blue fish as uneatable. Mackerel is an excellent fish, but blue fish are often maligned as oily and not worth eating. I had heard this for years. I grew up on City Island where catching blue fish was done for sport. We always threw them back, except if you went out on a boat like ‘Rip Tide’ or the ‘Klondike’, they fileted it for you and we often went to the local restaurants that littered City Island Avenue to try and sell them. We would never recover what we spent fishing for the blues but any bit of money to a teenager is a good thing that never lasted anyway.

I only had blue fish once before. Chris Paschette, from Arties, cooked it. It was baked with lemon and bread crumbs. I remember thinking it wasn’t so bad. I never returned to it though. It is never on menus and so it was forgotten.

Even our first mate on our boat, who goes to all the big game fishing tournaments and who has made fishing his life agreed with Tony. Stubbornness can be a good quality in a chef. That being said, if you catch blue fish, it should be eaten that day. We caught harbor blues in the ocean which are smaller than the ones I used to catch in the bay so their meat was a bit sweeter. I will still argue that fresh blues out of the bays will be great that night for dinner. If not my pal Tony the fireman and lawyer will lambast this entry. He was converted though:

“Oh well this is amazing, you put a great sauce on it. Everyone wants to know what to do with Blue Fish. I am using this when I get back!”

A rewarding element to cooking is changing a previously negative opinion of a food and turning it into a meal worth remembering. Here you go:


4 fileted blue fish, freshly caught
Garlic Salt & Pepper

3 oranges, peeled
1 onion, diced fine
1 bunch of cilantro, diced coarsely
1 jalapeno (optional), diced
(everything diced smaller than in the picture)
¼ cup Orange juice
Salt & Pepper

Corn Tortilla’s

1. In a sauté pan, heat the vegetable oil on medium-high heat. Add garlic. Once the garlic starts to turn translucent, add the fileted blue fish.
2. Add the oranges, onion and cilantro, O.J., in a bowl. If you are adding the jalapeno, cut it in half and remove the seeds and white pith. Then dice and throw it in. Season with salt or adobo and pepper.
3. The bluefish should take 6-7 minutes; it will vary with the size of the filet. Break the fish up w/ a wooden spoon into taco sized pieces.
4. Heat up the corn tortillas. Set up bowls with spoons for each ingredient, assemble and eat.