Monthly Archives: January 2014

Ibérico Pig’s Cheeks in White Wine

Pig's cheeks in white wine
Creamy Brussels sprouts fit nicely with the pig’s cheeks, because of the sweetness of the dates. Notice how tender the meat becomes during low-and-slow cooking.

One of the most underappreciated cuts of pork are the cheeks. They are very tasty, but require low-and-slow cooking. They are also cheap to buy, but may be hard to get. Our local butcher in Los Boliches can provide any cut we want, but sometimes they have to be pre-ordered a few days in advance. Same goes to any special cuts such as oxtail.

Pig’s cheeks, or carrialladas de Ibérico, are widely available in restaurants in Andalucia. They are always tender and tasty. However, as we were browsing through Spanish blogs and recipes for the cheeks, the cooking time was not what we expected. In many recipes cooking time was only about an hour. That’s not how you do a tender pig’s cheeks! Finally we came up with a recipe that was originally published in a Finnish blog called Sivumaku. 3-6 hour cooking time sounds about right, so we decided to go give it a try.

 Ingredients for Ibérico Pig’s Cheeks for 4 Servings

  • 8 pig’s cheeks – carrialladas de Ibérico
  • a bottle of white wine – vino blanco
  • 1 clove of garlic – diente de ajo
  • 4 sprigs of thyme – ramitas de tomillo
  • olive oil – aceite de oliva
  • sea salt – sal marina
  • ground black pepper – pimienta negra

Clean the cheeks. There usually are some skin, fat or membranes which need to be removed.  Heat the oven to 120 ºC (250 ºF). Place a large Dutch oven first on the stove on high heat. Put a splash of olive oil on to bottom along with garlic. Season the cheeks with salt and pepper and brown them (in batches, if needed) in the oil with the thyme sprigs. Leave the cheeks in the Dutch oven and pour the white wine on top. Cover with lid and place in the oven for 3-6 hours. Baste the cheeks with broth and add wine during the cooking, if needed.

Ingredients for Creamy Brussels Sprouts for 4 Servings

  • 1/2 kg (20 oz) of Brussels sprouts – coles de Bruselas
  • handful of dates – dátils
  • 1/2 litre of double cream – nata cocina
  • 1 tablespoon of grated ginger – jengibre
  • sea salt – sal marina
  • ground black pepper – pimienta negra

Remove loose or damaged leaves from the sprouts and trim the bases as well. Put water and some salt in a sauce pan and bring it to boil. Put the sprouts in and boil for about 5 minutes until soft. Drain the water, put rest of the ingredients on the sauce pan and let them simmer slowly for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

¡Buen provecho!

Mok-bang – Korean food porn at its finest

The latest food porn trend is Korean mok-bang. It roughly translates to dinner broadcast. Ordinary people broadcast live what they are eating on a Korean streaming site Afreeca. Thousands of people log on to watch the broadcasters eat. It’s like having a virtual companion when dining alone. The motivation for the broadcasters is, of course, the money. They can make 30 times the money compared to an Average Joe in Korea just by eating and describing what they eat. Will this be the new trend for the rest of the world for 2014?

For example the video below has more than 150.000 views on Youtube!

Pork Fillet with BBQ Béarnaise

Pork Fillet with BBQ Béarnaise Sauce and Creamy Potatoes
BBQ béarnaise uplifts this dish. It raises old boring pork fillet into a new level.

Today’s recipe is celebration to grilled food! Since we cook grilled pork fillets quite often they easily become a bit boring after awhile. To change that we decided to make traditional béarnaise sauce with BBQ aroma. To accompany the meat creamy potatoes were in order.

Ingredients for Creamy Potatoes for 4 Servings

  • 1 kg (2 pounds) of medium size potatoes – patatas
  • 4 cloves of garlic – dientes de ajo
  • 1 teaspoon of Spanish smoked paprika, spicy – pimentón picante
  • a splash of olive oil – aceite de oliva
  • sea salt – sal marina
  • ground black pepper – pimienta negra
  • 4 dl of double-cream – nata de cocina

Splash some olive oil in a frying pan and soften the garlic. Add sliced potatoes and fry them until lightly brown, but not soft yet. Add smoked paprika, salt and papper – stir. Pour everything in an oven pot and add cream. Stir carefully so that there’s cream in between every potato slice. Cook in 180 ºC (360 ºC) oven for 45 minutes.

Ingredients for Pork Fillets for 4 Servings

  • 2 pork fillets (Ibérian fillets, if possible) – solomillos de cerdo
  • 2 cloves of garlic – dientes de ajo
  • a few sprigs of thyme – tomillo
  • sea salt – sal marina
  • ground black pepper – pimienta negra
  • olive oli – aceite de oliva
  • 1 teaspoon of Spanish smoked paprika, spicy – pimentón picante

First make the marinade. Chop the garlic and mix with olive oil, salt, pepper, whole sprigs of thyme and smoked paprika. Cover the fillets with marinade in a bowl and cover with foil (or lid). Let them marinate in room temperature for at least an hour.

Grill the pork fillets 25 minutes before serving. They take about 10-15 minutes to cook so that middle is still a little bit pink. You can grill your favorite side dishes such as cherry tomatoes at the same time. Let the fillets rest covered with aluminium foil at least 10 minutes before cutting in order to keep the juices in. Cut into 1 cm (0.5″) slices for serving.

Ingredients for Béarnaise Sauce for 4 Servings

  • 4 egg yolks – yemas
  • 3 tablespoons of white wine – vino blaco
  • 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar – vinagre de vino blaco
  • 1 tablespoon of BBQ sauce – salsa barbacoa
  • a handful of parsley – perejil
  • 2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice – zumo de lemón
  • 200 g (7 oz) soft butter – mantequilla
  • ground white pepper – pimimenta blanca
  • tarragon – estragón

Put water to a large sauce pan and bring it to boil. You’ll need a bowl which fits nicely on top of the sauce pan, but its bottom does not touch the water. Measure white wine and white wine vinegar to the bowl and place the bowl on the sauce pan. When the white wine begins to heat up, add egg yolks while whisking constantly. Once the mixture gets a creamy texture, remove the bowl from the sauce pan and start adding small amount of butter while whisking. The mixture thickens when butter is added. If butter won’t melt, place the bowl on top of the boiling water for awhile and whisk. Once all the butter is added and the structure of the sauce is right, add a tablespoon of your favorite BBQ sauce and some parsley. Season with tarragon, white pepper and lemon juice. Serve immediately.

¡Buen provecho!