pork

The first time I made this dish was an evening last fall when I walked into the butcher’s and said, “I just need something easy for dinner tonight.” Before moving to Scotland, my butcher shop was the gargantuan counter at Whole Foods Market. Being only 5’2″, I was always eye level with the top of the counter, so speaking to the butcher was like talking to a gleaming piece of metal. In contrast, the butcher shop here is the same size as my kitchen, and speaking to the butcher is like talking to an old friend. That day last fall […]

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Up here in Scotland we’re in the middle of what one friend calls “the tunnel”. Back in November I bumped into him on the street in St. Andrews. He said, “We’ve entered the tunnel. We won’t come out until February.” Northern living is challenging at this time of year. The mornings are dark – pitch dark, bump-into-walls-while-making-coffee dark. The afternoons are even darker. Light seeps into the sky around 8:45 and starts to drain out again by 3:30. I’ve never been so acutely aware of the winter solstice. We actually count the days we achieved since December 21st. The good […]

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It’s true, when we decided to move north, we headed straight for cooler and damper weather. I’ve worn my down jacket and huddled up with my hot water bottle this summer, but all hope is not lost. Cooler weather is a great excuse to make all kinds of delicious soups and stews. And with an abundance of local beef, lamb and pork, inspiration is easy to come by. The stew above was sparked by an amazing-sounding recipe in the meaty cookbook, Primal Cuts. “Bourbon-Braised Pulled-Pork Sandwiches” comes from Morgan Maki of Bi-Rite Market in San Francisco. I figured if he […]

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We’ve been super busy lately, traveling, reading, exploring and visiting friends and cousins. We’ve been to Boston, where we dipped our fingers in the new shark and ray touch-tank at the New England Aquarium; gazed awestruck at the modern Alex Katz prints and ancient gemstone jewelry at the Museum of Fine Arts; and got thoroughly inspired by the mechanical sculpture of Arthur Ganson at the MIT Museum. We’ve been picking strawberries (for sorbet) and house-sitting the baby chicks from Stella’s UNC science class. We’ve tried to get in some stargazing, but the weather hasn’t complied…maybe it will for the Venus […]

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By Riki Shore Although not local to any of the 48 mainland states, pineapple is a great winter fruit. It’s high in manganese, vitamin C and bromelain, an enzyme that aids in digestion. Pineapple’s sweet-tart flavor is a welcome addition to many dishes: it can be used as a marinade for pork, baked with sugar and vanilla for dessert, or sliced raw for snacking. When I buy pineapple, I test it for ripeness first by plucking a center leaf from its top, which should come off easily. Then I turn it upside down and sniff the bottom, which should smell […]

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By Riki Shore Earlier this week I was singing the praises of the local wild fish and seafood available in North Carolina. I would be remiss if I didn’t also talk about pigs in this state. North Carolina is, of course, renowned for its BBQ, a pulled pork variety that gets doused in a chile-spiked vinegar sauce. When it’s done well, it’s delicious. It can also be a very affordable, gluten-free dinner out, so I’ve always opted not to tackle it in my own kitchen. But my local butcher counter boasts all kinds of local pork cuts: loins, chops, shoulders, […]

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By Riki Shore Last week we upped and moved from LA to North Carolina. There are so many positives: trees other than palms, birds other than wild parrots, weather other than hot and dry, to name a few. But there are downsides also. Almost all of my cookbooks are in storage. Actually, almost all of my belongings are in storage. Because we’re moving to St. Andrews, Scotland, in July, we chose to rent a furnished home and store most of our things. In theory, this will make shipping them via a container ship easier this summer. Right now, I wish […]

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By Riki Shore Not that long ago my mother gave us the KitchenAid attachment for making homemade sausage. We ran to our favorite butcher and bought five pounds of pastured pork and hog casings, and big handfuls of sage and ginger. We were about to make our first sausages. It turns out that stuffing sausages is an art to itself, and after what seemed like an awfully long time, we just started making sausage patties rather than links. These we froze and labeled, and now we can pull out individual patties as we need them. The patties defrost in the […]

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By Riki Shore This recipe comes from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall‘s tremendous book The River Cottage Meat Book. This tome is tremendous in both quality and quantity. We’ve had it for several years and I’m still working my way through the recipes. This is one I’ve wanted to try for a while. The original recipe calls for fruity mincemeat and chestnuts, but I used some pickled figs mixed with brandy and walnuts to the same effect. I tried Bratwurst for the sausage and found the flavors weren’t spicy enough; I’d go with Spicy Italian sausages unless you really don’t like spice, in which case, I’d […]

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