Tag Archives: recipes

Pork & Clams Love This Combination

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I am always looking for ways to expand what Jana will try when it comes to food, and in all honestly she has come a very long way since we met. I have found that the trick is to combine ingredients/dishes that she loves with ingredients/dishes that she might be a little reluctant to try. Steamed Clams is a dish that she really has no desire to eat (a texture thing as it is for most people) So I decided to add some delicious Pork Meatballs to the mix (everyone loves meatballs) and see if this was enough to bribe her to dig into a beautiful bowl of Manilla Clams. Well yes it was enough for her to try but in the end the meatballs and grilled Country Levain disappeared much faster out of her bowl than the clams. I did find myself wondering if this was such a bad thing as I did end up with to large bowls of steamed clams for myself 🙂 (maybe deep down that is what I was hoping for?).

I picked 2 fantastic beers to pair with this dish the 1st beer being Magic Hat #9, I was very excited about this pairing as it is one of my favorite beers and at $3.99 for a 22oz bottle you cant beat it. TRY THIS BEER. For the 2nd beer I picked a beer I had not yet tried The Lost Abbey’s Avant Garde, and this was a perfect match, I found myself wanting more (could have been that it was my second bottle and I was in a very happy place) and at $8.99 for 750ml bottle, worth every penny. Yes Beer & Clams should be a classic combination if it is not considered one yet!! Jana is not much of a beer drinker so I picked up one of her favorite go to sparklings, LaMarca Prosecco D.O.C Prosecco is made from the white grape, Glera. This expressive grape is prized for its delicate flavors and aromatics, and this creates a very nice combination with most shellfish dishes. Sells for $14.99.

Our resident Wine Expert Amy Payne is still in London finishing up her externship at Decanter Magazine but stay tuned for her pairings to return very soon.


2 lbs Clams Soak in Salted Water, Changing the water until there is no more dirt in the bowl
1 Leek White Only, Cleaned and Chopped
1 Fennel Bulb Core Removed and Sliced
2 Shallots Sliced
2 Garlic Cloves Chopped
10pc Fennel Seed
1/4 Cup Magic Hat #9 Beer
1/4 Cup Fresh Orange Juice
1/4 Cup Chicken Stock
1/4 Cup Chopped Italian Parsley
Fennel Fronds
2 TBSP Butter Cold

Pork Meatballs
1/2 Lb Ground Pork
1 Shallot Fine Diced Shallot
1 TBSP Fine Diced Fennel
1 Garlic Clove Fine Diced
4 Leaves Italian Parsley Chopped
1/2 TSP Chopped Fennel Fronds
Orange Zest (couple scrapes along the microplane)
6 Fennel Seeds Crushed
Salt & Pepper
TSP Grape Seed Oil

Add oil to a saute pan on low to medium heat
Add Shallot, fennel, garlic and fennel seed (constantly stirring) cook for about 2 minutes then cool
In a mixing bowl add ground pork and mix in rest of ingredients (keeping as cold as possible)
Form meatballs about 1 oz in weight.

For the grilled bread I used a Country Levain brushed with olive oil and then finished with a little parsley and Fleur de Sel. grilled on a panini machine my mom and dad gave us for christmas. (best gift by the way) If you have a favorite bread that grills well then use that. (does not need to be fresh bread, a day or two old is just fine)

Putting the dish together

Cook the meatballs in a large pan (something with sides and a lid) with a little oil
Once the meatballs are about 3/4 cooked remove from the pan and put aside.
Using the same pan (you want to keep all the amazing flavor left over from the meatballs) add the leeks, shallot, fennel and fennel seeds.
Cook for about 2 mins on medium heat.
Add Garlic and Clams at the same time and mix
Turn on high heat and add Beer, Juice, Stock and cover
Cook until all the clams have opened.

Remove Clams from pan, leaving the liquid behind.
Add meatballs to liquid and finish with butter, parsley and fennel fronds check for seasoning.

Place clams in bowl with meatballs and cover with liquid
Serve with Grilled Bread and a glass of your favorite wine or beer.

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Sausage the Newest/Oldest Celebrity

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Is there anything better than having as much time as you like to do something you enjoy? I was up early to attend a couple of meetings downtown and on my way back home I decided to swing by Siesel’s Old Fashion Meats to pick up some Pork Shoulder, Belly, Hog Casings and a few other treats to spend a rainy afternoon cooking at home. There is not to many rainy days in SD so I thought I would take advantage of the chilly wet weather and prepare Homemade Sausage with Braised Purple Cabbage.
A few months ago I purchased the grinding and stuffing attachments for my Kitchen Aid and have been excited about trying it out ever since. All in all the attachments work well. I would give the grinding attachment a 9/10 and the stuffing attachment a 6/10. The stuffing attachment should come with something to push the ground meat down the hole, this would help the process a great deal.
There was a time not to long ago when North America was not considered a culinary destination (and I think the Europeans would still argue the fact that we are not as great of cooks or diners) but times have changed and North America is going where Europe used to be. Butcher shops in Europe are closing but in North America they are on the rise. Places like The Butcher & Larder in Chicago, Lindy & Grundy in LA, 4505 Meats in San Francisco to name a few are becoming celebrities in their own right. Not only can you buy incredible meat at these spots but all of them offer cooking/butchery classes, how great is that? Restaurants specializing in sausage are also making great progress such as Wurstkuche in LA, Hot Dougs in Chicago, even the up and coming food city San Diego has a sausage themed restaurant The Linkery. Yes it is a great time to be living in North America.
Butchery, Sausage making and Charcuterie are all arts that when done well can be life changing for someone eating the finished product. So get to know your local butcher, sign up for a class ask plenty of questions and hopefully you will have as much fun as we chefs have creating these delicious links…..

SAUSAGE RECIPE Makes 8 Sausages about 5-6 inches long
900 g Pork Shoulder (Trimmed and cut into small cubes)
230 g Pork Belly (Trimmed and cut into small cubes)
12 g Salt
15 g Finely Diced Garlic
325 g Finley Diced Onion
Splash of Oil
1 TSP Chopped Fresh Sage
2 TSP Chopped Fresh Thyme Leaves
Freshly Grated Nutmeg
125 ml Red Wine

5-6 Feet Hog Casings

Place a saute pan on medium heat with a splash of oil, add onion and garlic and cook for about 3 minutes, do not brown. Add the herbs and remove from heat.
Cool mixture
In a large bowl add the cubes of shoulder, belly, and salt, place in fridge for about 3 hours until completely cold.
Put the meat through the grinder attachment using the small die (if you like more texture use a larger die) into a stainless steal bowl on ice. (key is to keep meat very cold)
Once meat is ground fold in red wine and then onion, garlic and herb mixture finish with nutmeg.

To Prepare the Casings
Rinse under running water to remove salt
Soak in 70 F water for 2 hours, Rinse
Soak in 90 F water for 1 hour, Rinse

Braised Cabbage
500 g Purple Cabbage (Cut into thin strips)
100 ml Port Wine
100 ml Red Wine
1.5 TBSP Sugar
2 TBSP Oil

75 ml Red Wine Vinegar
1 TBSP Sugar
50 g Red Currant Jelly

In a large pot on medium heat add oil and cabbage, cook for about 5 minutes stirring
Add Port, Red Wine, 1.5 TBSP sugar and cook cover until all liquid is gone stirring every so often
In a sauce pan add vinegar, sugar, jelly and bring to a boil to melt jelly.
Add mixture to cabbage and cook covered until liquid is almost gone.

I like to finish my cabbage with a spoonful or 2 of cold butter, makes a nice sauce to coat the cabbage.

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Green & Black’s Organic

About a month ago Karlin and I received an email from a lady named Barbara Maldonado letting us know she had stumbled across our blog and really enjoyed the pictures and recipes. Barbara was organizing a tweet up in LA on behalf of Green & Black’s Organic Chocolate and asked if we wanted to attend the event along with other local bloggers, media & foodies. Unfortunately the timing just did not work for us and we were unable to attend, but a friendship was born.

Fast forward a few weeks and Karlin receives an email from Green & Black’s Organic Chocolate saying that they are going to send us some samples so we can create a recipe for Michelin and a Mom. Needles to say we were both very flattered and excited to create a couple of recipes. 4 days later I arrived home to find 2 bars of 70% Dark Chocolate and 2 bars 60% Dark Chocolate with Whole Cherries.

I had a hard time deciding on just one dessert so I decided to create 2 recipes (those of you that know me, know how much I love chocolate). I have been making these 2 desserts for a very long time and I knew that they would be just perfect for this post. The first recipe is for a Chocolate Pate a recipe I have carried with me since I was an apprentice. Second recipe is for a Chocolate Tart a recipe that I loved from my time working in England, with one exception I replaced the honey with Burton’s Maplewood Farms Rum infused maple syrup.

A very big thank you to Green & Black’s Organic Chocolates

Hope you enjoy…

Chocolate Pate

200g 60% Dark Chocolate with whole cherries
200g 60% Dark Chocolate with hazelnuts and currants
100g 70% Dark Chocolate
400 ml Heavy Cream
5 Egg Yolks
50g Sugar

Break chocolate into small pieces and melt
Heat cream until just before it boils
Add sugar and yolks together and heat over a water bath until pail yellow (be careful not to scramble)
Add cream to yolks slowly
Add cream/yolk mixture to melted chocolate
Set plastic wrap into mold leaving enough plastic to hang over sides
Pour mixture into mold and place in refrigerator and let set for at least 6 hours.
The mixture will be set up still feel slightly soft.

Chocolate Tart

Pastry Shell
250g Flour
150g Almond Flour
2 Tbsp Sugar
200g Butter cut into cubes & very cold
90 ml Very cold water

In a food processor add dry ingredients and butter
Pulse for about 20 seconds until small balls form
Place mixture into a very cold bowl
Add 1/2 water and mix quickly
Add remaining water
Quickly knead the dough for about 5 – 6 turns
Cover and place in refrigerator
Once cool roll out to desired thickness lay in tart shell and blind bake at 375F for about 10 minutes and then uncover and bake for another 5-7 minutes.
Let Cool

Chocolate Mixture
500ml Heavy Cream
300g 70% Dark Chocolate
100ml Burton Maplewood Farm’s Rum infused maple syrup (replace with honey if you do not have)
2 Eggs

Melt chocolate with syrup/honey
Heat cream until just before it boils
Add cream to chocolate
Whisk eggs and slowly add mixture little at a time
Pour mixture into pre-baked tart shell and cook at 200F for about 18-20 minutes
Remove and let cool
Serve at room temperature with your favorite garnish

Amy’s Wine Picks

An obvious pairing for Chef McLeod’s Green & Black’s organic chocolate tart would be a ruby port. Because the dark chocolate is so decadent, contrasting flavors are optimal. The best pairing I have ever had with chocolate was chili mead by Makana Meadery. The meadery, located in Grahamstown on the Eastern Cape of South Africa, was founded in 2000 to make iQhilika, a traditional honey-based beverage. Mead is made my fermenting honey sugars into alcohol until it reaches 12 percent. It is made from habanero chilies and has a strong spiced palate that adds a new dimension to Chef McLeod’s dark chocolate tart.

Amy Payne

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Kabocha Squash or Japanese Pumpkin

I know it is a little early to be thinking fall or maybe we just don’t want to admit summer has come and gone so quickly? Fall is such a spectacular time of year (depending on where you live it is a little more spectacular) and the product you start to find at the market just screams full bold flavors and the Kabocha Squash is a perfect example of these flavors. Sunday morning I was up early and off to the La Jolla Market as I usually do, I was a little more excited than usual as the week before I had met a farmer that was selling fresh dates from Indio, CA (just outside Palm Springs) and they were just simply perfect, but this is for another time, stay tuned 😉
As I was walking around the market admiring the beautiful tomatoes I stumbled across a booth that had Kabocha Squash and I think I even let out a little yelp of excitement, had a quick chat with the farmer and then off I went with my 5lb Squash.
One of my favorite soups is a squash, and this is the squash to make it with, but I was even a little more excited about making this recipe for I had just received in the mail from my good friend Mr. Tim Burton from Maplewood Farms in Medora, Indiana a bottle of Bourbon Ale infused Maple Syrup. (a creation he created with Goose Island Brewery in Chicago). This was going to some how make it into the squash soup.
Over the years in this industry I have had the pleasure of meeting so many amazing individuals that share such a passion for their product that they grow, harvest and create. This passion challenges you even more to respect and create the best dish you possibly can. As you will see in this recipe there are really only 5 ingredients, I want to let the main ingredients shine with out masking their flavors. Each one of the ingredients is there to support the main ingredient in this case the Kabocha Squash. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do.

5lb Squash Peeled, seeds removed and rough chopped
1 Small Onion peeled and chopped
1 Quart Chicken or Vegetable Stock
1/4 Cup Maple Syrup (get your hands on Tim’s Syrup it is so worth it, you can buy on line)
Crème fraiche
(You can add a few pieces of bacon to this recipe and it creates a nice hint of smokiness, Beautiful)

Pre-heat oven to 450 F
Toss squash and onion in a little oil and seasoning place in oven and cook for about 30 mins the squash will start to brown this is good. Add the Maple Syrup 5 mins before squash is cooked.
In a large pot heat the chicken stock and add the squash right out of the oven, cook for 5 mins
Place mixture in blender and puree until smooth, pass through a fine mesh strainer
At this point you have the base and the soup can be stored in the fridge until needed.
To serve heat the soup and add desired about of crème fraiche and a little stock if the soup is to thick.

Garnish with a few croutons for crunch, I used a squaw bread crouton, works very well with this soup.

Amy’s Wine Picks

Chef McLeod’s Kabocha squash soup is a perfect dish for a brisk fall evening. I have selected wines that have warm flavors to complement the change of the season.

Top pick: Chardonnay. It will accentuate the buttery flavors of the soup. I am partial to French Burgundy, because I prefer a Chardonnay that expresses terroir and hasn’t been masked with over-the-top oak treatment. But there are some Burgundian-style producers in California that are allowing the grape to show its true colors. Some affordable examples are Talbott and Au Bon Climat.

Playing it safe: Pinot Noir. Typical aromas for Pinot Noir include red fruit of cherries, strawberries, and cranberries, violets, tomato leaf, cured meats and black tea. It is a perfect fall wine and will complement the roasted onions. Try Cold Heaven Cellars from Santa Barbara County.

Off the beaten track: Beaujolais. Typical aromas for Gamay include strawberry, black cherry, pear drop, bubblegum, violets, banana and crushed granite. I recommend serving it slightly chilled. It will bring out the naturally sweet flavors of the Kabocha squash. Try Jean Paul Brun Morgon Terres DorĂŠes, $19.99.

Amy Payne

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Baby Back Ribs

Baby Back Ribs are one of my summer favorites. I love to eat them with a simple green salad and beautiful sweet corn on the cob. One thing I will tell you is that there are countless thoughts, beliefs & recipes on how to prepare ribs. Depending on where you come from also has a large impact on how you might prepare ribs. After doing a little research I did find a tip that I thought was very interesting and I had not taken this into consideration in the past, but it makes perfect sense. Do not boil the ribs, I was guilty of this in the past, instead slow roast or braise them. When boiling meat and bones you are essentially extracting flavor into the water (think making stock) and you run the risk of drying the meat out if boiled to long.
The recipe I created is not your typical BBQ Ribs, I decided to go with more Asian inspired flavors. One of the ingredients I used was Black Garlic and is perfect for this recipe as it is adds a unique richness with out the pungent fresh garlic acid bite. Mythology also says that it grants immortality so why not give it a try :-). Hope You Enjoy…Jason

Amy’s Wine Picks

Top pick: Riesling from Germany, preferably a dry style. Riesling is one of the best values in the world, is nearly every sommelier’s desert-island wine and has the most diverse range in styles for a noble grape. The residual sweetness will contrast the salty soy flavors, while complementing the orange, honey and ginger. Some of my favorite producers are St. Urbans-Hof, Joh. Jos. Prüm and Blees-Ferber.

Playing it safe: California or Washington Syrah. Syrah has aromas of red and black fruit, freshly crashed pepper, smoked meat, leather and Picholine olives. The tannins will cut through the proteins and it will add another dimension to the already flavorful dish. Some of my favorite California producers are Failla, Ojai and Copain. My favorite producers from Washington are Efeste, Charles Smith and Long Shadows.

Off the beaten track: Plavic Mali from Croatia. Plavac Mali was originally thought to be an ancestor of Zinfandel. In 1998 it was discovered that it’s actually the offspring of Zinfandel and Dobričić, a grape from the island of Solta. The DNA fingerprinting was conducted by Dr. Carole Meredith at UC Davis with the urging of Mike Grgich and researchers from the University of Zagreb. Plavo means blue in Croatian and mali means small. It is a full bodied, peppery and fruit dominant red wine. The flavors of jammed fruits and spice will complement chef McLeod’s glaze. My favorite producers are Zlatan, Bura Dinga, Korta Katarina and Saints Hills.

Amy Payne

Send us your favorite rib recipes to michelinandmom@gmail.com we would love to hear about them. Stay tuned for a very special gnocchi recipe and cooking with Kale.

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Cherry Clafoutis or Clafouti

What is a Clafoutis? I ask this question carefully, I had a guest once say to me it sounds more like a terrible disease than a dessert. Don’t tell the French that. This is one of my favorite desserts to eat when ever I visit France and for some reason its very rare that you see it any where in North America. Clafoutis originated in the Limousin region and traditionally uses Black Cherries, over time many other fruits have been used, but then it should be called a Flaugnarde.
I decided on creating this recipe after re-discovering my Gaston LenĂ´tre’s Dessert & Pastries cook book (one of the greatest pastry chefs of all time) I was flipping through and saw the Clafoutis picture and the timing just worked being Cherry season. LenĂ´tre’s recipe is a little different than I have used in the past, but this is exactly what intrigued me. I am used to making more of a batter for the filling and no pie crust, LenĂ´tre’s recipe calls for a crust and the filling is a custard. It has been a while since I had made a short pastry dough and the practice is always beneficial. I did make a few adjustments to LenĂ´tre’s recipe, I used yolks instead of whole eggs and almond instead of vanilla. I was a little concerned that the dish might be a little eggy (not sure if this is a word or not) that is why I went with the yolks. The custard is there to hold the fruit and nuts in place so you do not need very much. This is why everyone should have a few great cook books in their home and use them as references because that is exactly what they are. Do not be nervous about adding or subtracting ingredients from a recipe that you already have, this is exactly how other great recipes are created by experimenting. Hope you enjoy…..Jason

Amy’s Wine Picks
Top Pick: Choose a sweeter style Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley, France. Chenin Blanc has aromas of ginger, honeycomb, quince and candied tangerines that will complement the clafoutis. Due to its cool climate, it also has higher acidity and a pronounced minerality. Try either HuĂŤt, Le Clos de Bourg, Vouvray Moelleux or Domaine des Baumard, Coteaux du Layon, Clos de Ste Catherine.

Playing it safe: Moscato d’Asti is a slightly effervescent, or Perlant with less than 2.5 atmospheres of pressure, wine from Piedmont, Italy. It has aromas of peaches, apricots, orange candy and rose pedals. Try producers like Vietti and Saracco. Around the corner from Asti is another semi-sweet sparkling wine, Brachetto d’Acqui. It has aromas of wild strawberries, raspberries and Twizzlers with a deep rose hue. The two best producers are Braida (also known as Giacomo Bologna) and Marenco.

Off the beaten track: Try a sweeter style Sherry from AndalucĂ­a on the southern coast of Spain – such as a Pale Cream, Cream or Vino Dulce. They are naturally sweet fortified wines after partial fermentation of sunned gapes, often bottle varietally as Pedro XimĂŠmenez or Moscatel. The nutty flavors will go with the Amaretto (or almond extract) in the cherry clafoutis. Sherry has been on the rise in popularity for a great summer selection. Try producers like Delgado Zuleta, Lustau or Alvear.

Amy Payne

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Tarte FlambĂŠe

Just to be clear this is not actually a pizza ;-), but a very classic dish from Alsace, France. I have had guest very upset saying I miss lead them with the name, asking why I just don’t call it a pizza, I have also had a couple of guests shocked that it was not a dessert when delivered to their table. (there is a sweet variant with crème fraĂŽche, sliced apples, sugar and cinnamon) Classic recipe calls for fromage blanc, lardons, thinly sliced onions and was square in shape not round. The dish was actually created to test the temperature of the wood fire ovens used for baking bread. I could eat this dish for breakfast,(Crack an egg on this dish about 3 minutes before finished cooking and you have Brunch) lunch, dinner, midnight snack.
To me this dish is a great example of how something so simple can be so amazing, I have adapted the recipe a little but staying in line with the classic flavors. I started with a simple pizza dough recipe, covered in crème fraiche, bacon, red onion and topped it all off with a cheese from Carr Valley in Wisconsin called Mellage You want to find a cheese with some sharpness, to compliment the richness of this dish, something along the lines of a gruyère would give you a great starting point when speaking with your cheesemongor.
I also decided to serve an Arugula salad, one of my favorite lettuces, and it goes extremely well with a rich dish like the Tarte flambĂŠe. When ever creating a dish always remember to think about layers of flavor and textures and this will really help in putting together a balanced dish. The salad consisted of apricots, fennel, hazelnuts and a spanish sheep’s milk cheese Cana de Oveja. To be honest if I were to serve this salad with the Tarte again I would not add cheese as it ended up being to much cheese.
Hope you enjoy.

Amy’s Picks
Top pick: Champagne or sparkling wine. It is a match made in heaven for the same reason as pizza and beer. The bubbles cleanse the palate of any residual grease from the bacon and cheese.
Every day: Barth Sekt, Rheingau, Germany
Premium: Ayala, Brut Majeur, Champagne, France
Splurge: Vilmart & Cie, Grand Cellier, Premier Cru Brut, Champagne, France

Playing it safe: Alsace Riesling. Tarte flambĂŠ can be salty because of the bacon. Riesling contrasts and balances the dish with its residual sweetness. Because of its higher acidity, it pairs with (almost) everything. Many people think that all Riesling is uber sweet, but there are plenty of dry styles on the market. Alsace Rieslings tend to be dry because of the rain shadow effect. Try to look for any of the 51 Grand Cru vineyards.
Recommended producers (pricing will vary depending on the vineyard that you select): F. E. Trimbach, Hugel and Marcel Deiss
Off the beaten track: RosĂŠ. Try a dry, crisp and aromatic style. It will complement the dish, not contrast. So this is for people who love salt and want it to be accentuated in the dish.
Every day: Korta Katarina, Plavac Mali, Zinfandel, Croatia
Premium: Château d’Esclans, Whispering Angel, Provence, France
Splurge: Chateau Vannieres, La Cadiere d’Azur, Bandol, Var, Cote d’Azur, France
Amy Payne

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