Slow-Cooked Pork Roast (2 ways)

3-4 pound pork roast
Kosher salt
Fresh black pepper
1 cup white wine
1/4 cup fresh sage leaves
8 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon allspice berries (optional)
Red pepper flakes (optional)


Method 1
Rub the pork roast all over with salt and pepper. Bruise the sage leaves and mince or slice the garlic – anything quick – it doesn’t need to be pretty. Put the roast, sage, garlic, and white wine in the slow cooker and cook for 10 hours on low or 5-6 hours on high.

Method 2
The day before, rub the meat lightly with kosher salt and black pepper. On the day you are going to cook the roast, fry the garlic until golden in a little olive oil, then remove from the pan. Heat the pan up very hot and brown the pork roast until it’s very dark on all sides. It helps if you cut the pork into pieces first. Don’t worry about the meat drying out – it will reabsorb all its moisture and more. Crack the allspice and fry it, along with the red pepper, with the pork just as it’s finishing browning. Add everything to the slow cooker and cook for 10 hours on low or 5-6 hours on high.

Cheater’s Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

One 5- to 6-pound boneless Boston butt pork roast or same weight of boneless country-style pork ribs
1/4 cup Cheater Basic Dry Rub (recipe follows)
1/2 cup bottled smoke
Barbecue sauce of your choice

1/4 cup paprika
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon dry mustard


Cut the pork butt into medium (2- to 3-inch) chunks (the ribs don’t need to be cut up).

Put the pieces in a large slow cooker (at least 5 quarts). Sprinkle the meat with the rub, turning the pieces to coat evenly. Add the bottled smoke.

Cover and cook on high for 5 to 6 hours or on low for 10 to 12 hours, until the meat is pull-apart tender and reaches an internal temperature of 190 F.

Using tongs and a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a rimmed platter or baking sheet. Let rest until cool enough to handle. Pull the meat into strands. It should shred very easily. Serve the barbecue piled on buns with your favorite barbecue sauce.

To serve the barbecue later, cover and refrigerate the meat when it has cooled. Pour the meat juice into a separate container and refrigerate. Before reheating the juice, skim and discard the congealed fat layer on the top.

To reheat the barbecue, place it in a saucepan moistened with some of the reserved juice. Gently heat the meat on medium-low, stirring occasionally. Or, place it in a covered casserole with some of the reserved juice and heat in a 350 F oven for 20 to 30 minutes.

While the meat warms, combine the barbecue sauce and some of the additional reserved meat juice in a saucepan. Heat through and serve with the barbecue.

Orecchiette with Peas, Prosciutto, and Creme Fraiche

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for salting the pasta water
8 ounces orecchiette pasta
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced or grated
1 cup frozen petite peas, or fresh if in season
1 cup creme fraiche
6 slices prosciutto (3 ounces total), torn in half
12 small basil leaves, or 6 large ones roughly torn


Bring a large pot of salty water to boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, stirring occassionally to prevent sticking.

In the meantime, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the garlic. Cook for a couple minutes until fragrant but not browned, then reduce the heat to medium and add the peas, cooking for a few seconds, then add the cr?me fra?che and kosher salt. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly, until warmed through.

Reserving 1/3 cup of the pasta water, drain the pasta and add it while still wet to the skillet. Toss well with the sauce and add the pasta water to create a loose sauce. Turn the heat to high and cook for 2 minutes as the sauce melds with the pasta.

Transfer to bowls and top with any sauce left in the skillet. Lay the prosciutto and basil leaves on top. Serve immediately.

Gateau Breton

ngredients

1/2 cup blanched sliced almonds
3/4 cup superfine sugar, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, preferably high fat (or high-quality lightly salted butter), 65? to 75?F
about 4 large egg yolks, at room temperature
1 tablespoon kirsch, dark rum, or water
1 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups (sifted into the cup and leveled off) plus 3 tablespoons bleached all-purpose flour
1 whole egg, lightly beaten

Special Equipment: One 9 1/2 by 13/8-inch (or 1-inch) fluted tart pan with removable bottom, preferably nonstick, or one 9 by 2-inch round cake pan, encircled with a cake strip, coated with baking spray with flour.


Preheat the oven: Twenty minutes or more before baking, set an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 F.

Toast and grind the almonds: Spread the almonds evenly on a baking sheet and bake for about 7 minutes, or until pale gold. Stir once or twice to ensure even toasting and avoid overbrowning. Cool completely. In a food processor, process the almonds with about 1/4 cup of the sugar and the salt until fairly fine but not powder fine.

Make the batter: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, mix together the remaining sugar and the butter on medium speed for about 1 minute until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat in the yolks, 1 at a time, beating for about 20 seconds between each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Add the almond mixture, kirsch, and vanilla and mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Raise the speed to medium and beat for about 20 seconds until evenly incorporated. Add the flour in four parts, beating on the lowest speed for about 15 seconds and turning off the mixer between additions. Detach the beater and, with a silicone spatula, finish mixing in any flour that may remain, reaching to the bottom of the bowl. Using the silicone spatula, scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface evenly with a small off set spatula. If you are using a 1-inch-high tart pan, the batter will be about 1/4 inch from the top of the pan and will rise to about 1/4 inch above the top during baking. In a 1 3/8-inch-high pan, the batter will be about 1 inch from the top and rise to about 3/8 inch from the top. (If using a cake pan, the gateau will rise higher and dip slightly in the middle.)

Glaze the top of the cake: With the beaten egg, brush the top of the cake well, using a little less than 1 tablespoon. Use the tines of a fork to make a crosshatch of three long lines in two directions. (If the batter has softened, refrigerate or freeze it briefly to make it more firm.) The fork lines will help prevent the batter from puffing up unevenly and after baking will leave a bare tracing.

Bake the Cake: Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until deep golden brown and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the center. It should just begin to come away from the sides of the pan. An instant-read thermometer will register about 205 F.

Cool and unmold the cake: Let the cake cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. If using a pan with a removable bottom, remove the sides of the pan. Invert the cake onto a cookie sheet and remove the pan bottom. Reinvert it onto a serving plate. Cool completely.

Moro Noodle Pudding

2 tablespoons unsalted butter (preferably clarified butter)
4 ounces vermicelli noodles
2 3/4 cups whole milk
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons evaporated (unsweetened) milk
1/2 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 teaspoons rosewater or orange flower water

shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped
plumped sour dried cherries

1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan or skillet. Add the noodles (if using nests, break them up first), then cook over moderate heat, stirring vigilantly, for about five minutes, until well-browned.

2. Add the whole milk, evaporated milk, sugar, salt, and cardamom and cook, stirring occasionally, for about ten minutes or so, until the noodles are completely cooked through. (The whole wheat noodles I used took about fifteen minutes.)

3. Remove from heat and let cool. Once cool, add the rosewater or orange flower water, then refrigerate until thick.

4. Spoon the pudding into individual bowls or glasses and top with coarsely chopped pistachios and plumped dried cherries, if you like.

Storage: The pudding will keep in the refrigerator for up to three days. If it becomes too thick, once cool, stir in a little milk to loosen it up.

Note: I get my orange flower water in markets that specialize in Arabic ingredients. Like rosewater, it’s one of those things where price indicates quality, so buy a decent brand.


Melt the butter in a large saucepan or skillet. Add the noodles (if using nests, break them up first), then cook over moderate heat, stirring vigilantly, for about five minutes, until well-browned.

Add the whole milk, evaporated milk, sugar, salt, and cardamom and cook, stirring occasionally, for about ten minutes or so, until the noodles are completely cooked through. (The whole wheat noodles I used took about fifteen minutes.)

Remove from heat and let cool. Once cool, add the rosewater or orange flower water, then refrigerate until thick.

Spoon the pudding into individual bowls or glasses and top with coarsely chopped pistachios and plumped dried cherries, if you like.

Storage: The pudding will keep in the refrigerator for up to three days. If it becomes too thick, once cool, stir in a little milk to loosen it up.