Saturday, February 25, 2012



Fish Tacos

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Party Gras at Kitchen Conservatory

It has been a great carnival season this year, culminating for me by teaching a class at The Kitchen Conservatory.  We made a traditional crawfish boil, a muffaletta, a rich boy tenderloin sandwich masquerading as a po-boy, and praline bread pudding. 
Ginger and her son Steven shared some quality time at the Party Gras

Mardi Gras is probably best enjoyed when young and in love

This blog is supposed to be about the food

Some of our friends may not love crawfish as much as we do

Monday, February 20, 2012

Cold Smoked Pork Tenderloin

February's Feast Magazine featured an article by Cassie Vires on cold smoking at home.  Cassie Vires is the chef at Home Wine Kitchen in Maplewood where chef Vires' cooking is creating a buzz around town.  I had already written my Valentine's Day menu and it included a smoked pork tenderloin served on sweet potato pancakes with homemade applesauce and creme fraiche, so I did a trial run on her technique-it didn't quite work out for me althought it did produce some very tasty smoked pork.  I recommend clicking on the Feast link to see a video of Vires demonstrating her very cool technique.

I ended up soaking some apple wood chips in apple juice and placing them in a deep hotel pan.     I brined the pork loins for two hours, using Vires brine.  I placed the brined pork in a perforated hotel pan and placed it over the wood chips.  I wrapped it tightly with aluminum wrap and placed it on the stove top.  I turned on the heat until the smoke was noticeable-turned off the heat and let it sit for 15 minutes, repeating every 15 to 20 minutes for 2 hours.  I let the pork sit wrapped up still on top of the chips overnight in the refrigerator.  The meat is still raw and must be refrigerated and used within a couple of days.  I ended up with a lovely sweet-apple smoked flavor loin, without overcooking the center of the loin.   To finish cooking them on Valentines Day, I glazed them with maple syrup and Grand Marnier and roasted them to 160 degrees.
To serve I spooned some apple sauce on the sweet potato cakes, and then a spoon of creme fraiche, and then a couple slices of the smoked pork.   Very tasty.