Displaying items by tag: pork

The first real grand aioli I experienced was in a village in Provence, where everyone in the town contributed to the feast and we all helped ourselves to the star attraction: a magnificent garlicky dip. Le grand aioli is all about garlic ("aioli," in fact, comes from the French words for garlic and oil).

Although a traditional aioli is made with egg yolks and olive oil, I started mine with olive oil mayonnaise (not the light one) because egg yolks can be an iffy raw ingredient in the summer.

To make this into a "no cooking" meal, I buy lots of prepared ingredients so I never have to turn the stove on. However, you could boil your own potatoes or steam your own vegetables instead buying them or serve lots of raw veggies.

In a pinch, I have used canned beets cut in half and bottled green beans and asparagus. I once made it using beef carpaccio instead of ham and it was a big hit with my guests.

I have provided a lot of ingredient options, but you should pick and choose your favourites.

Adapt the quantities of each ingredient to your taste and requirements; mine are just a guide. Using good local garlic offers a smoother flavour if you can find it. The next day, you can slather leftover aioli on a baguette and top with ham for heaven in a bite.



2 cups mayonnaise

2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic or to taste

1 cup olive oil

1/4 cup lemon juice or to taste

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 pound large cooked shrimp

8 ounces cooked ham or barbecued chicken

4 roasted artichokes

2 bunches baby carrots

1 or 2 bunches small radishes

2 bunches green onions

2 Belgian endives, broken into leaves

1 pint cherry tomatoes

2 red or yellow peppers

1 thinly sliced fennel bulb

1 baguette, sliced

Optional cooked ingredients:

6 hard-boiled eggs

1 pound steamed new potatoes

8 ounces steamed green beans

2 pounds steamed mussels


Place mayonnaise in a food processor and add garlic. Slowly add olive oil until incorporated. Stir in lemon juice and salt and pepper.

Pile aioli into serving dish and place in the centre of a large platter. Surround with seafood, raw vegetables and all the cooked ingredients you want.

Alternatively, give each person an individual bowl of dipping sauce and let them help themselves to the vegetables. Serves 6

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The combination of crisp endive and Asian pear with luscious Serrano ham, meanwhile, makes a spectacular salad. Serrano ham is available at upmarket butchers and delis. Even better, if available, is the nutty-tasting Iberico ham made from pigs fattened on acorns in Spain in the early fall. If Serrano or Iberico ham is unavailable, use prosciutto. The topper for the accompanying toasts - taleggio - is a semi-soft washed-rind cheese from Italy. Although it has a pungent smell, it tastes buttery and has a slightly fruity finish. It is also a wonderful cheese for melting over vegetables.


6 spears Belgian endive, cut into strips on the bias

2 cups arugula leaves

1 Asian pear, cut into thin slices

6 to 8 slices Serrano ham, cut into strips

5 ounces (150 grams) taleggio, sliced

6 thin slices baguette, toasted

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons chopped chives


Divide endive and arugula among 6 plates. Top with a layer of pear and Serrano ham.

Preheat broiler to high. Divide cheese among baguette slices and broil for 1 minute or until cheese is melted.

Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle over salad. Sprinkle with chives and serve with taleggio toasts. Serves 6.

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Polpettone is essentially an Italian meat loaf that is shaped in a roll. The mixture can also be used to make meatballs simmered in tomato sauce. I serve this with the zucchini, although a proper Italian would serve it afterward.


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup chopped onions

2 teaspoons chopped garlic

1 cup fresh breadcrumbs

1/4 cup milk

1/2 pound (250 grams) each ground beef, veal and pork

1/2 cup grated pecorino Romano cheese

2 eggs

1 teaspoon chili flakes

1 tablespoon tomato paste

2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary

1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1/2 cup chopped black olives

Salt and freshly ground pepper


2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

2 cups beef stock


Preheat oven to 350 F.

Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add onions and sauté for 2 minutes or until softened. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute more. Remove from heat.

Soak breadcrumbs with milk to moisten. Combine beef, pork and veal in a large bowl. Stir in onions and garlic, breadcrumbs, pecorino, eggs, chili flakes, tomato paste, rosemary, sage, thyme, parsley, black olives and salt and pepper. Fry a small piece to taste for seasoning.

Place mixture onto a roasting pan or metal baking dish. Form mixture into a sausage-like shape, about 2 inches thick, and bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until polpettone is cooked through.

Add butter to roasting pan and stir in flour. Cook for 2 minutes or until browned. Pour in beef stock and bring to boil. Simmer 5 minutes or until thickened. Drizzle sauce over polpettone and serve. Serves 4 to 6.

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This is a magic soufflé: You bake it once, set it aside and, when you're ready for dinner, pour cream over it and - presto! - it rises in the oven once again. It's the best make-ahead vegetable dish I know.


1 buttercup or Hubbard squash, about 3 pounds (1.5 kilograms)

4 ounces (125 grams) pancetta

20 sage leaves

White sauce:

6 tablespoons butter

1/3 cup flour

2 cups warm milk

Salt and freshly ground pepper

6 eggs, separated

1½ cups whipping cream


Preheat oven to 400 F.

Cut squash in half and remove seeds. Place squash pieces, cut side down, on an oiled baking sheet and bake for 50 minutes or until tender. Let cool and scoop out flesh.

Place pancetta in a skillet over medium heat and fry until crisp. Drain and chop. Raise heat and add sage leaves to pan and fry until crisp about 30 seconds. Reserve.

Heat butter in a pot over medium heat to make sauce. When the butter sizzles, stir in flour until incorporated. Slowly add milk and bring to boil, stirring. Season with salt and pepper and cool.

Place squash and white sauce in a food processor and purée until slightly chunky. Add in egg yolks and stir in pancetta and sage. Transfer to bowl.

Beat egg whites to stiff peaks with a pinch of salt and stir one third into squash mixture to lighten it. Fold in remaining egg whites with a large spoon.

Reduce oven temperature to 375 F. Oil 8 4-inch wide ramekins and divide squash mixture between them.

Place ramekins in a roasting pan and fill roasting pan halfway up with boiling water. Place pan in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until soufflés have risen.

Remove ramekins from water bath and let cool slightly. Loosen sides of soufflé with a knife and turn out onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate until needed (they may flop, but ignore it).

Before serving, preheat oven to 400 F. Return soufflés on baking sheet to room temperature. Drizzle 3 tablespoons cream over each soufflé and rebake for 12 to 15 minutes or until puffed up. Serves 8.

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I love this as a topping to liven up Eggs Benedict (another option is Caramelized Onions With Spinach), but it also makes a wonderful side dish, full of spice and flavour.


2 tablespoons vegetable oil or lard

1 small onion, chopped

1 chorizo sausage, diced

2 19-ounce (540-ml) cans cooked kidney beans

1 cup chicken stock or water

Hot pepper sauce to taste

Salt to taste

2 tablespoons chopped coriander


Heat oil or lard in skillet over medium high heat. Add onions and chorizo and sauté until onions are softened, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Add beans and sauté to combine flavours, about 5 minutes.

Mash beans coarsely using a potato masher. Add stock or water and simmer gently for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until beans thicken. Season to taste with hot pepper sauce and salt and garnish with coriander. Serves 12.

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Brining will improve the flavour and texture of most pork, even if the meat is inadvertently overcooked. But it isn't necessary with Berkshire pork, which is already tender and flavourful. Make sure the butcher frenches the bones on the rack of pork for you (i.e. cuts away the meat and fat from the bones). Ingredients



4 litres (16 cups) water

1 cup kosher salt

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 head garlic, cut in half

2 teaspoons peppercorns

2 bay leaves

3 rosemary sprigs


1 rack of pork (6 chops)

1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage

1 tablespoon cracked fennel seeds

1 tablespoon cracked pepper

1 teaspoon cracked coriander seeds

1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger

1 teaspoon grated orange rind

Salt and freshly ground pepper


1/4 cup orange juice

2 cups chicken stock

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar


Combine brine ingredients in a pot and bring to boil. Remove from heat and cool completely. Place pork into brine and brine for 12 to 24 hours. Remove from brine, rinse off and pat dry. Refrigerate for 2 hours to dry off, then bring back to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 450 F.

Place pork on rack in a roasting pan. Combine sage, fennel seeds, pepper and coriander seeds and rub all over pork. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 F and roast 1 hour longer or until a thermometer reads 150 F for a pink roast. (The time will vary depending on the thickness of the rack.) Let sit for 15 minutes while making sauce.

To make sauce, pour fat out of roasting pan and add orange juice. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring up all the little bits on the pan. Add stock and bring to boil. Stir in balsamic vinegar. Turn heat to low and simmer until sauce is slightly thickened about 4 minutes. Serves 6.

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Baked pasta (or pasta al forno in Italian) is very easy to make. Combining sauce, cheese and pasta couldn't be simpler, but produces a taste that is greater than the sum of its parts. In terms of additional ingredients, such as meat or vegetables, simply use what you have on hand. The cheese I used, pecorino, is a hard, salty sheep's-milk cheese that is used for grating.

1 pound (500 grams) penne or other short pasta

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

2 cups chopped onion

1 pound (500 grams) sweet or spicy Italian sausage, removed from casings and crumbled

1 pound (500 grams) cremini mushrooms, sliced (about 6 cups)

1/2 cup red wine

1 796-millilitre can ground Italian tomatoes

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

11/2 teaspoons dried oregano

Salt and freshly ground pepper

3 cups grated provolone cheese (about 12 ounces/375 grams)

1 cup grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Cook pasta according to package directions and drain, reserving cooking water separately. Set aside.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, onion and sausage meat and sauté for 3 minutes or until sausage meat loses its pinkness. Add mushrooms and sauté for 2 minutes or until slightly limp. Add wine and bring to a boil. Stir in tomatoes, 1 cup reserved pasta cooking water, balsamic vinegar and oregano and simmer for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Remove pan from heat and stir in 2 cups provolone and 1/2 cup pecorino, then add pasta and extra-virgin olive oil and stir until combined. Pile into an oiled 9-by-13-inch baking dish and sprinkle remaining 1 cup provolone and 1/2 cup pecorino over pasta and bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until sauce bubbles and cheese is melted. Sprinkle with parsley and serve. Serves 8.

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Many women think George Clooney is the ultimate dreamboat, others think he can be a bit cheesy. So, in honour of George, here's a cheesy nibble that everyone will love. The key is to use challah (egg bread), as it has more taste and makes better sandwiches than many other breads.


1/4 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons fig chutney

¼ cup butter, softened

4 slices prosciutto

1 cup grated Fontina or other Italian cheese

1 cup shredded radicchio

8 slices egg bread, crusts removed


Place mayonnaise and chutney in a bowl and stir to combine. Butter one side of each slice of bread and lay buttered side down on parchment paper. Spread inside of each slice of bread with mayonnaise chutney mixture. Lay prosciutto on top of 4 prepared slices, thickly layer on cheese, sprinkle with radicchio and top with remaining bread slices, buttered side up.

Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat. Working in batches, fry sandwiches for 2 to 4 minutes per side, pressing down using a spatula, or until sandwiches are golden brown and cheese is melted. Repeat with remaining sandwiches.

Slice sandwiches into quarters on the diagonal. Reheat when needed. Makes 16 mini-sandwiches.

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Authentic Caribbean jerk pork is grilled over a slow fire until it reaches a lovely mahogany shade and the spices have permeated the meat. However, the easiest way to prepare it at home when it's cold outside is to bake it in a hot oven. If you want the dish to be spicier, add authentic Caribbean chili peppers such as Scotch bonnets, but remember that these are the hottest peppers around. Serve with pineapple salsa or buy a spicy salsa to go with it.


1 cup chopped onion

2 teaspoons fresh thyme

1 teaspoon ground allspice

1 teaspoon ground coriander

2 teaspoons brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 tablespoons lime juice

Up to 1/4 cup water (optional)

1 pork tenderloin (about 1 to 1 1/2 pounds/500 to 750 grams)

Salt and freshly ground pepper


Combine all ingredients except pork in a food processor and process until puréed. If purée is too thick, add up to ¼ cup water. It should be thick but not so paste-like that it won't cover the pork. Place marinade and pork in a plastic bag, making sure that the pork is coated. Marinate for 4 hours or overnight refrigerated.

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Season the pork lightly with salt. Place the pork on a rack over a baking dish with as much marinade as clings to it and bake for 30 minutes or until juices run clear, brushing occasionally with leftover marinade. Serves 4.



This fresh-tasting salsa adds a contrasting sweetness to the spicy pork.


2 cups fresh diced pineapple

1/2 cup diced red onion

1/2 cup diced red pepper

2 teaspoons chopped jalapeno pepper

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon grated lime rind

3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint or basil

1 tablespoon sugar

Salt to taste


Combine all ingredients and mix together in a bowl. Serve with pork. Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

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Double-smoked bacon adds a special twist to this recipe, but good-quality ordinary bacon works just as well. Serve the tart as a first course with a scattering of arugula. If wild leeks aren't available, the white and light green parts of conventional ones, thinly sliced, can also be used.



1½ cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ cup cold unsalted butter cut in cubes

¼ cup cold water

1½ teaspoon white vinegar


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup (5 ounces) double-smoked bacon, chopped

3 cups coarsely chopped wild leeks

¼ cup white wine

¼ cup whipping cream

¼ cup milk

1 large egg

1¼ cups grated white cheddar cheese

Salt and freshly ground pepper


Place flour and salt in a food processor. Scatter over butter and process with on-off motion until mixture resembles fresh bread crumbs. Remove from processor and place in a bowl. Combine water and vinegar and add just enough liquid to bring dough together. Knead gently until dough forms a ball. Wrap pastry in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.

Roll out pastry thinly on a lightly floured surface and fit into a 9-inch tart pan. Cut off any overhang. Place in the freezer to chill for 30 minutes or until very firm.

Preheat oven to 375 F. Place tart pan on a baking sheet. Line pastry with foil and fill with pie weights. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until pastry is set. Remove weights, prick base of tart with a fork and bake 5 minutes longer or until pastry is dry to the touch. Set aside to cool. Turn oven temperature down to 350 F.

Heat oil in skillet over medium heat to make the filling. Add bacon and sauté for 2 minutes or until fat is rendered. Pour off fat. Add leeks and continue to sauté until leeks are softened (about 3 to 4 minutes). Pour in white wine, bring to boil and boil for 2 minutes or until fully evaporated. Set aside to cool.

Combine cream, milk and egg in a large bowl and beat until uniform. Stir in cheese and leek mixture and season well with salt and pepper. Fill tart shell. Bake tart in the lower third of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until filling is slightly puffed and golden. Serves 4 with leftovers.

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