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Sunday
Jul292012

Red Moon

This Wednesday, August 1st at 11:28PM (EST) the moon will be in it's full phase. The August full moon is aka "red moon"; referring to the moon's glowing red color during August. Before you nod off under the brightness in the sky, you may want to consider the magical occurrences that take place during a full moon. I'm not talking folklore like werewolves or the loony effect on human or animal behavior—I'm referring to the making of a great artisanal cheese.

One Monday night in February under a full moon, using milk just coaxed from the cow, Tim Welsh and Pat Ford decided to skip the pasteurization process and stay up late to make cheese, while the milk was most fresh. After letting it age 60 days (a federal health requirement for unpasteurized milk cheese) and giving it a final approving taste test, they named the cheese Beehive's Full Moon Cheddar and hit the market running. The cheese is made with clean, raw milk from Wadeland South Dairy. Full Moon Cheddar carries earthy flavor undertones that reflect the unique four season climate of their farm in Utah.

Celebrate this lunar phase with a full moon late night picnic. Serve Beehive Full Moon Cheese—a Good Stuff pick—with my spiced nuts, a good crisp rose, and sliced crunchy baguette bread. Just kick back and enjoy the magical power of the summer solstice.

Thursday
Jul262012

Backyard Street Food 

A national dish of Indonesia, the satay, is a marinated skewered meat with sauce, usually spicy. Satay is often served in Malaysia by street-side vendors. It's an easy and quick solution to backyard grilling. I thought this would be a fun dish to cook street-side on 67th Street in NYC on Live! with Regis & Kelly. The three of us had a blast making this on a NYC street - just imagine the fun you and your guests can have in your own backyard. It's also one of those informal dishes that doesn't require a fork and a knife. 

TIP: I always prefer using metal skewers as I find the food cooks faster and more uniformly. But, when in a pinch and when cleanup of the skewers is not practical, bamboo skewers are very handy. Just make sure to soak the bamboo skewers in water 10 minutes prior to threading, to avoid the skewers from burning up on the grill. 

George Hirsch's Pork Satay with Sesame Dipping Sauce
Recipe George Hirsch | Makes 6 servings 

1 1/2 pound pork tenderloin, cut crosswise into 3-inch-long pieces 
For the Marinade:
1/3 cup sweet onion, chopped fine
1 teaspoon tumeric
1 Tablespoon cilantro, chopped 
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil 
2 Tablespoons oyster sauce (Chinese BBQ sauce) 
2 Tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted 
Juice from two limes 
3 cloves garlic, chopped 
2 teaspoons each soy sauce and sesame oil 
1 green onion, chopped 
6 long skewers

Mix marinade ingredients in medium bowl. 

Cut pork lengthwise into thin 1/4-inch slices. Tip: It is easier to cut meat when it is very cold. 

Thread pork onto each of six skewers. Reserve 1/3 cup of marinade in a small bowl. Brush remaining marinade over both sides of pork. Cover pork, refrigerate for one hour. 

Preheat grill to high heat. Grill pork until cooked through, two-four minutes per side. Brush pork with reserved marinade. Serve on a fresh banana or ty leaf if available and top with chopped green onion or red onion.

Although it is very common to serve a peanut dipping sauce with a satay I find my Sesame Dipping Sauce to go better with the pork. 

For the Sesame Dipping Sauce
Recipe George Hirsch | Makes one cup

1/2 cup rice wine vinegar 
 1/4 cup lite soy sauce 
 2 Tablespoons honey 
 2 Tablespoons ketchup 
 1 Tablespoon sesame oil 
 2 cloves garlic, chopped 
 1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and chopped 
 1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl one hour before serving. Serve as a dipping sauce for Satay, steamed dumplings or summer rolls. 

Optional: to make spicy add 1 teaspoon chili sauce or hot pepper flakes.

Wednesday
Jul252012

Entertain, Made in Spain

How about entertaining with a bit of Northern Spain/ South of France influence? Stock up on Olives and Anchovies. Tip: Give Arbequina olives a try - they are grown in Catalonia, Spain and have a buttery flavor with hints of pepper.

Tapenade comes from the word tapeno which means capers in Provence. The addition of sun dried tomatoes adds a little sweetness.

Olive Tapenade

Recipe by George Hirsch | Makes 1 cup

2/3 cup black oil cured olives (Kalamata or Nicoise), pitted and finely chopped 

2 anchovy fillets in oil, drained and finely chopped 

4 cloves caramelized garlic 

2 Tablespoons capers, drained, rinsed under cold tap water and finely chopped 

2 small sun dried tomatoes, finely chopped 

4 Tablespoons virgin olive oil 

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 

3 basil leaves , chopped

In a bowl, mix together the olives, anchovies, garlic, capers, sun dried tomatoes, oil, pepper, and water. Spread Tapenade on toasted French baguette bread, top with fresh basil, or serve with your favorite sandwich.