By Chef Alan
Cod Fish is a delicious white fish popular on the Atlantic Coast of the United States. It’s easy to eat because it has layers of flesh next to one another with very few bones getting in your way. In fact, all parts of the Cod are eaten including the head and cheeks and internal organs such as the liver. The smooth meat of the Codfish is beautiful to look at and so very tasty to eat.
Cod can be broiled, baked, fried or braised. It can also be eaten in other ways. For example, as early as 985 the Vikings learned to eat codfish by hanging it in the frosty winter air on their boats. This created a hard wood-like plank which could be eaten like hardtack. In contrast to the Vikings, the Basques located in the Northern reaches of Spain had salt which enabled them to dry and salt cod and survive longer voyages. Further, the Basques had the advantage of a brighter sun in the Mediterranean waters where they fished thus being able to dry up their sea salt more easily in order to create sea salt which was used to dry foods and avoid food spoilage. (See Mark Kurlansky’s Cod:A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World)
Will Cod fish remain as accessible as it has been historically? Scientists and fishermen differ on this but the fish has become increasingly rare due to a number of modern day technical changes including the aggressive bottom fishing of trawlers where Atlantic Cod spend the majority of their time. And the physiological nature of Cod which leaves them less able to escape the nets which catch them. Finally, the nature of Cod is not an aggressive one. Unlike Blue Fish or Striped Bass, Cod does not fight for its’ food. It lives on the bottom of the sea and feeds itself by eating anything and everything its’ wide-open mouth consumes. It could sadly be the end of an era if the Cod population disappears. We can only hope it’s not too late. Here’s a simple recipe you can make which is easy to assemble in less than 25 minutes,
Roasted Cod Fish with Onions
1- Heat the oven to 425F. Using a metal sheet tray, place a large piece of aluminum foil into the tray; pour all the oil into the pan on the foil. Place onion slices on the oiled tray.
2-Place tray in oven and roast until onion slices are brown – about 7-10 minutes.
3- Cut piece of cod into three equal portions. Place each of the 3 slices of cod on top of the 3 slices of onion.
4- Sprinkle the paprika, tarragon and garlic over all the fish. Add one tablespoon of butter on top of each piece of cod. Sprinkle the parsley over the fish and place one thin slice of lemon on top of each piece of fish. Cook for 15 minutes leaving the temperature at 425 F. Your knife should easily slip into the side of the fish and come out without any moisture showing.
1- Wash the chard thoroughly and dry in salad spinner. Remove largest 3 outer leaves and remove the center vein in each of the 3 leaves. Cut across the 3 leaves to form ribbons of chard.
2- Pour the olive oil into a large frying pan over medium heat. Put the cut leaves into the frying pan and add the minced garlic and shallot. Sauté over medium heat for a few minutes using tongs to toss the strips of chard 2-3 times.
3- Shake the soy and the mirin into the frying pan. Toss all ingredients over medium high heat. Using tongs, place strips of chard on each plate and top with piece of cod.
By Chef Alan Zox
Seafood Reubens are becoming more and more popular on Cape Cod. Not to be confused with Corned Beef Reubens, the seafood version has a delicious range of options. But all of these seafood dishes have a common thread which involves the briny scent of the sea which means they are still fresh. If they smell too much like fish they are not fresh. When fish is fresh or frozen shortly after they are purchased or caught, they are delicious eaten roasted, grilled, fried or sautéed. Try these sandwiches with cod, tuna, soft shell crab or halibut. They are all wonderful.
Cooking a Seafood Reuben is easy if you simply coat your fish with crushed Ritz crackers, and then place 2 tablespoons of butter on top. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees for 20 minutes and remove. I used panko in the recipe below because it’s made of rice and is gluten-free, unlike Ritz crackers. I also enjoy using sauerkraut with seafood Reubens, but it may not work for you. Coleslaw seems to work better for many people. Just follow the instructions below and you may discover a new way to savor Father’s Days. Enjoy!
Recipe: Seafood Reuben with cod or soft-shell crab
Mayonnaise Recipe Yields 1 ½ cups ¾ cup canola oil
(Adapted from Ina Garten)
By: Alan Zox
Mother’s Day is a time to remember and to celebrate the mothers in our lives. It’s always fun to make a special meal or to eat at a delicious restaurant when the weather is starting to turn warm and temperate.
Mother’s Day in the United States was given birth by Anna Jarvis of West Virginia in the early 1900s. It was conceived in collaboration with the department store owner John Wanamaker who held a special Mother’s Day event. Jarvis started a letter-writing campaign promoting a unique day for mothers. By 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a measure officially establishing the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.
Ironically, however, as time passed, Ms. Jarvis became disenchanted with the commercialization of the holiday. In fact, by 1920 she had become the holiday’s biggest critic. Rather than giving candy, flowers and greeting cards to their mom, Ms. Jarvis worked diligently to see Mother’s Day removed from the calendar.
Here’s one of my favorite chocolate cake recipes, which is always popular on Mother’s Day. For me the holiday has become one of my most enjoyable.
Mother’s Day Chocolate Cake
(Adapted from the celebrated cook Ina Garten)
2 Tbsp butter
1¾ cups all purpose flour or gluten free flour 2 cups sugar
¾ cups cocoa powder
2 tsp gluten free baking soda
1 tsp baking powder or gluten free baking flour 1 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
½ cup vegetable oil
2 extra large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
¼ cup brewed coffee
Chocolate Frosting Ingredients:
6 oz. semisweet chocolate
2 sticks unsalted butter – room temperature
1 extra large egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla
1¼ cups confectioners’ sugar
3 tsp instant coffee dissolved in 1½ tsp water
1.Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 8-inch round cake pans. Using parchment paper, trace two outlines of the cake pans.
2. Spray pans with cooking spray and then place a sheet of parchment into each of the cake pans. Butter and flour the pans again with parchment in the bottom. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer. Using paddle attachment, mix on low speed until combined.
3. In a separate bowl or large cup, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.
4.Slowly add the brewed coffee. Mix just to combine. The resulting batter will be thin.
5. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Check to see if done with a toothpick. If no crumbs stick to toothpick the cakes are done. Cool in pans for 30 minutes. Turn them out on a rack to cool and carefully remove parchment paper.
6. Measure your chocolate for the frosting, and place in a heat-proof bowl set over a small pot of simmering water. Stir until melted and set aside until cooled to room temperature.
7. To bowl of stand mixer or using hand-held mixer, beat 2 sticks of butter on medium-high speed until light yellow and fluffy. Add the egg yolk, the dissolved instant coffee and vanilla, and continue beating. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar. Beat the frosting to remove clumps. Continue beating at medium speed until frosting is smooth and creamy. Then add melted chocolate and beat until combined.
Frost the cake:
Place the first cake on a flat plate. With an offset spatula, spread with frosting more than a ¼-inch thick. Place the second layer on top, and spread frosting evenly on top and sides of the cake. So good…
Contact Chef Alan with any questions or comments about the cake. Look forward to hearing from you.
By: Chef Alan Zox
March 27, 2019
Grilling and smoking fish are two cooking methods that create wonderful flavors and delicious meals. But they are distinct and unique from one another. Knowing the differences will enhance your cooking skills and delight your families and friends.
Lightly smoking your fish for no more than 5-10 minutes will at a low temperature of 200F- 225°F will yield delicious results. Using a piece of tin foil or a special grill smoking box containing alder or apple wood chips placed on top of white coals will do the trick. You can shorten the cooking time even more by poaching or braising your fish beforehand in a Court Bouillon flavored with fresh herbs and then following up with a few minutes of smoking. Alas, there is no set recipe to follow. The flavor you are after will depend upon the time your fish is in your covered smoker, the type of fruitwood chips used, and the variations you experiment with in your bouillon.
Grilling or steaming your fish are more familiar techniques than smoking for many cooks since grilling and steaming take less time than cooking at a lower temperature. And that may be why salt-water fish, like burgers and beef steaks, are normally grilled.
Several facts about cooking fish are essential to enhancing seafood cooking prowess. For example, only selecting fresh fish that have firm flesh and a moist appearance is certainly the most important factor. Avoid fish that smells too “fishy”. Fresh fish should smell briny like salt water.
Several saltwater fish are ideal for grilling including Halibut, Salmon, Stripped Bass, Swordfish and Tuna among others. Derrick Riches, the grilling and BBQ consultant, recommends oiling your cooking grate to avoid sticking before you start grilling -- especially when cooking fish fillets. Using a grilling or fish basket makes the task of grilling fillets easier and prevents them from falling apart when turned. Thick cuts such as fish steaks hold together better and make grilling much easier. Seasoning seafood is not really necessary. I enjoy adding very few spices or herbs since the fish alone is so delicious. A pat of butter and a squeeze of lemon at the end of the cooking process are usually sufficient.
The length of time you grill your fish varies by taste but 10 minutes per inch is a good guideline. You can also tell when the fish is done by using a fork to flake the fish apart or use a thermometer – fish should reach a temperature of 145° F.
Here’s a recipe that children and adults enjoyed at a recent family reunion in Florida. I fed 17 cousins— all healthy eaters— a version of Paella that was simple to cook when using Southern Grouper. In more northern waters you can achieve a similar outcome with fish such as Halibut, Striper, Swordfish or Cod, among others. If you experiment with other kinds of fish please advise. I will post it on my blog!
Paella with Saltwater Flat Fish
For the Vegetable stock:
9 cups water
1 roughly chopped carrot
2 celery stalks chopped
1 onion chopped
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
For the Paella:
2 cups Arborio (also called Risotto) Rice
1 medium sweet onion diced fine
1 large carrot, diced
2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 pinches of Saffron, dissolved in ½ cup water
1.5 lb flat fish fillets, cut into 3 x 2 inch slices
1 15 oz. jar of roasted red pepper, drained and roughly chopped
1 cup frozen green peas
½ cup chopped parsley
Lemon wedges for serving
Optional: 8 oz. fresh shrimp, or cleaned squid cut into rings
1- Make the stock by simmering the water with the vegetables, bay leaf and salt and pepper for 45 minutes. Strain, return to the pot, and cover to stay warm.
2- To a 12” frying pan or paella pan add the olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter and melt over medium heat. Sauté the diced onion and carrot until translucent before adding the saffron and rice and sauté until the rice is coated with oil and slightly crispy.
3- Add the heated broth to the rice a ladle at a time stirring well and simmering until the rice is al dente – firm to the tooth – about 20 minutes.
4- Submerge the slices of fish and (if using) shellfish into the rice along with the peas and roasted red pepper. Add the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter, parsley and cook for an additional 6-8 minutes to warm up the vegetables and cook the fish. Serve immediately with lemon wedges. Enjoy!
By Alan Zox
Visiting family in Chicago during St. Patrick’s Day shocked me when I saw the Chicago River, which winds along Wacker Drive, to be as green as a four-leaf clover. Other cities across America celebrate the holiday with the color green as well. Parades, hats, banners and clothing of all types are green as the Emerald Isle in tribute to St. Patrick’s Day.
Joining friends at local pubs on this special day is a time to enjoy a beer and a sandwich that are also bright green. I am generally OK with these menu choices but find myself less enchanted with artificial green food. So, I began searching for culinary options that more naturally reflect a green hue.
I have experimented with green risotto or pasta, or a side of asparagus or broccoli with mixed results even though I personally adore green vegetables any time of year. But one “green dish” stands out for me and everyone who eats it more than any other. This involves the joy of making a green laced breakfast or lunch with roasted poblano chili peppers that evoke warm, delicious memories.
The flavor of the pepper is not particularly hot in taste (about a 4 or 5 on a Scoville scale of 1-10) and everyone appreciates the flavor when roasted, peeled and added to something wonderful. So, I decided on poblanos and scrambled eggs that I had seen eaten in Oaxaca, Mexico. There is a simplicity to the dish and a natural flavor and appearance that is wonderful and filling. Also, the range of meals in which you can serve the scrambled eggs as an entree or a side dish is remarkable. Hope you enjoy it too.
Recipe: Roasted Poblano and Eggs-
(Note: Poblano chilis are available in most markets)
2 large roasted poblano chili peppers, peeled, deveined, stemmed and deseeded
8 large eggs, beaten to mix with a dash of milk
2 oz unsalted butter (4 tablespoons)
Salt and pepper to taste
By: Chef Alan Zox
Adapted from Mark Miller’s Coyote Cafe cookbook
Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate friendship. Some of us do this routinely by eating a meal together. Thanksgiving is another time when we do this nationwide. When the food you are experiencing with others includes chocolate that is sweet and joyful, we are memorializing a holiday that features kindness, generosity and caring for others. We need not wait for Valentine’s Day to express these feelings but it reminds us of this special occasion. And Chocolate symbolizes this time when we express our joy of being together.
Some of us claim our yen for chocolate is infrequent. Too many calories we are told. But I don’t know many of these folks. Chocolate and vanilla or caramel are usually enjoyed by all. In fact, caramel seems to have experienced a renaissance of late.
Valentine’s Day reminds us of all these favorites. It is a sweet time to remember those who are special in our lives. For me chocolate pies and cakes or soufflés bring out the best in me. Sometimes I just can’t get enough. They make me feel happy all day long.
It’s said that women love sweetness more than savory delights. And that women are said to enjoy the sweeter tastes in life more than men. I have no idea if this is true or fantasy. And frankly I don’t care. It’s all a wonderful and happy time for everyone. Today I am introducing a unique chocolate cake that is made even more special with a Mexican Chocolate Glaze. I have adapted this treat from a Mexican recipe I adore. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Recipe for Mexican Chocolate Cake:
Yields: one 8- or 9-inch cake
4 tbsp bittersweet chocolate, grated or finely chopped in food processor - 2 ounces
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
Finely grated zest of 2 oranges
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) unblanched almonds, —toasted and ground or chopped very finely in a food processor
4 eggs separated
1/2 cup sugar – separated into two ¼ cups
2 tbsp orange juice
2 tbsp Grand Marnier (or other Orange) Liquor
Steps to Follow for Cake
1- Preheat oven to 325°F
2- Grease, flour, and line with wax or parchment paper an 8 or 9 inch cake pan.
3 -Combine cinnamon, orange zest, grated chocolate and ground almonds in a mixing bowl andset aside.
4-Using an electric mixter, beat egg yolks with 1/4 cup sugar until pale yellow and sugar crystals have dissolved. Stir in orange juice and set aside.
5-In another bowl, beat egg whites to soft peaks while gradually add remaining1/4 cup sugar. Stir egg yolks
and orange juice into the chocolate almond mixture, then
fold in half the beaten egg whites. Blend well and gently
fold in remaining egg whites.
6- Spread mixture evenly in prepared cake pan and bake for
35-to 45 minutes or until cake pulls away from sides of pan.
Let cool for 10 minutes, and invert onto cake rack. When cool use a pastry brush to coat with Grand Marnier and set cake rack on top of a flat pan before covering with Chocolate glaze.
Recipe for Chocolate Glaze
10 Tbsp bittersweet chocolate- about 5 ounces, chopped coarsely
1 Tbsp unsweetened chopped chocolate (about ½ ounce)
3/4 cup softened butter – 1 ½ sticks
1 Tbsp corn syrup
1 Tbsp water
1/4 cup chopped candied orange peel (Optional)
Place both chocolates, 1/2 cup (one stick) of the soft butter, corn syrup, and water in a double boiler or in a small metal or pyrex bowl set over a pan filled with 1” of gently simmering (not rapidly boiling) water.
Stir gently until just melted. Remove from heat, and stir in remaining 1/4 cup soft butter. The glaze is ready to pour when it reaches the consistency
of maple syrup — between 86F- 96F and easily runs off of a spatula.
Place cake on rack set over a pan or wax paper and slowly pour glaze over cake, tilting to coat evenly. (If entire cake isn’t coated, remove cake from pan, collect extra chocolate, reheat gently if needed and coat again.) Decorate with candied orange peel if desired.
Chef Alan Zox
Pot au Feu is a French pot roast made in a savory style with vegetables, cold water, and condiments. It’s a dish to remember. It takes a while to finish cooking although a slow cooker saves time and trouble. It’s easy to make and quite different than so called “American pot roast” which browns the roast and braises in red wine and chicken stock.
The American sweet and sour version is also one of my favorites. This can be done by merely adding 1/2 lemon juice, 2 tbsp brown sugar, plus dried fruit. This version is wonderfully different and refreshing. Be sure to add an additional pound to the recipe to savor the leftovers the following few days.
Pot au Feu is one of the original pot roast recipes. It’s an ancient dish that was first described in print in 1673. It was described by Henry IV of France (1553-1610) as an essential dish to the well being of the everyday French citizen. Henry is purported to have said that “no peasant in his kingdom is (to be) so poor that he cannot have a “poule au pot” — or pot au feu to eat.
The recipe is usually served in courses with bone marrow on toast followed by vegetables, cuts of meat and broth. Savory condiments are also very popular and delicious for dipping.
Pot au Feu is a dish to remember. As a boy I recall a French neighbor serving the dish whenever our families gathered together on Sunday afternoons. It was considered a special meal which memorialized the warmth between our families.
Make it your meal as well. You won’t be sorry you did.
Sweet and Sour French Pot Roast
Serves 4-6 ( Cook 3 1/4 – 3 1/2 hours at a simmer)
Use a large soup pot or a Slow Cooker
Cooking Process -4-
1- In a large stockpot brown 6 lbs of chuck beef roast on all sides and place in the pot on top of the sliced leeks, carrots, celery, onions and parsnips. Add 2 lbs of sliced marrow bones to the pot, tucking them between the meat, and the bouquet garni, salt and peppercorns and cayenne.
2—Add enough water and chicken stock to come to the top of the roast without covering. Then cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Then reduce the heat to a simmer partially covered for an initial 1 hour.
3-Taste and adjust the broth to achieve a sweet and sour taste to your liking by adding an additional 2 tbsp more diced, dried fruit and 1 tsp light brown sugar. Or merely adjust the salt and pepper and cayenne to your liking.
4— Continue cooking the roast for another 1½ hours— first at a boil and then reduce to a simmer-skimming any foam which forms on the top.
5— Remove the beef, strain the broth and discard the onions and parsnips. Then return the broth and meats to a boil in the pot and add the bay leaves, and the remaining marrow bones, leeks, carrots and potatoes.
6- Bring the broth to a simmer and cook,partially covered, for 45 more minutes after bringing to a full boil.
7—Remove the meat from the broth and cut the twine. Carefully remove the remaining vegetables from the broth, placing them on a large serving platter, and moisten with some broth. Cover and keep warm.
8—Strain the broth —reserving in the pot at low temperature— and carve half the meat in 1 inch thick slices moistened with hot broth. Then place on the serving platter with the vegetables. Cover and keep warm.
9- Place 2 slices of beef with vegetables and 2 tbsp hot broth on each plate.
Note: Keep the remaining unsliced beef in the pot with warm heated broth, covered. When diners are interested in seconds, cut 4-6 more slices with 3-4 more tbsp broth on your serving platter and return to the table.
10—Rub the baguette slices with garlic and lightly toast before placing in the bottom of a shallow bowl. Pour equal amounts of broth over the baguette toast and serve as a first course. Pass the marrow bones at the table and serve with additional toast for spreading the marrow. Serve the
meat and vegetables as a main course with desired condiments. Bon Appetite!
By: Alan Zox, Chef;
Holidays like Christmas, New Years and Valentine’s day evoke Chocolate as part of their holidays. Opinions differ but tradition and pleasure seem to be the most popular reasons given for the widespread consumption of chocolate. As illustrated by the Aztec ruler, Montezuma, chocolate was thought to be an aphrodisiac practiced by the Gods with a drug like influence discovered in the chocolate cocoa bean.
Who knew? Those who chewed and consumed the delectable treats understood very well the happiness that chocolate could engender.
Of course word spread by the 1800s when the Cadbury Brothers set up shop in England making and selling chocolate for virtually everyone. In 1861, Richard Cadbury created the first ever heart-shaped box which generated a new chocolate tradition called Valentine’s Day. Today, Christmas and New Year’s and birthday celebrations all make us appreciate these chocolate treats even more than ever.
Yet the world of chocolate is problematic for some because of its rich high caloric content One surprising and delicious alternative which is in fact shocking to many is to use tofu instead of eggs, gluten free flower instead of all purpose wheat flour, and gluten free baking soda and . lt’s a little different than you might expect. No sugary frosting. This one has cream cheese, condensed milk, melted chocolate, confectioner’s sugar, and toasted walnuts.
Years ago I had eaten one like this in Santa Fe New Mexico in an amazing little cafe called the Pink Adobe. The proprietor, Rosalie Murphy, was very innovative and created a cuisine which combined Spanish, Mexican, French and creole cooking. Such a delightful place. And the food was very memorable and delicious as well. The tofu, and gluten free flour and baking soda made it healthier than ever. Enjoy yourselves! It’s worth it!
Use Bundt Pan: 9.75 X 3.38 inch; Cook 30-45 Min.
Your guests will not believe this is made with gluten free flour. Everyone loved it and couldn’t believe there were no eggs included.
By Chef Alan Zox
It’s holiday time again and moderation seems to be the word of the day. Thanksgiving and Christmas may call for some sweets but this doesn’t necessarily mean we throw our diets to the wind. In fact I believe that eating smart by definition means eating more selectively but not giving up all the pleasures of a holiday meal. Still It’s no doubt a challenge.
In fact today’s recipes are not for everyone. But eating well need not mean giving up everything either. I find myself eating less meat but not giving up burgers and BBQ every weekend. I just look for alternatives more often like vegetarian burgers or BBQ lamb chops.
We do have choices. For example I find myself eating differently. I have fallen in love with Cape Cod Rubens which exclude pastrami but embrace cod or other seafood with sauerkraut, swiss cheese, and Russian dressing.
Today’s recipes no doubt challenge many of us. Cranberry Salsa has excessive sugar but tastes even better when only eaten once a year for Thanksgiving. And Tomato Pudding is flat out not as healthy as it could be but is dramatically healthier with Stevia or Honey. Some of you may argue this is untenable if not too much of a sacrifice. But less is not necessarily worse. Try it. You might be surprised.
Juice of 1/2 Lime
1 large jalapeños , finely diced, deveined
1 bunch or 1 cup diced Cilantro
1 cup water
3/4 cup cane sugar, or organic stevia or honey
1 bunch of whole fresh cranberries or 1 cup fresh or frozen
1. In a medium saucepan bring water and your sweetener, of choice to a boil.
2. Add cranberries, diced jalapeños and cilantro to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Pour into a bowl, cover, and cool completely at room temperature. Once cooled, refrigerate until ready to serve.
Tomato Pudding (Decadent but Terrific)
Kitchen of Dorothy Stabler, Mamaroneck HS, Westchester County, NY
1 15 oz tomato puree
3/4 cup melted butter.
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
3 cups stale bread crumbs
1. Soak bread crumbs in melted butter.
2. Cook tomato puree and brown sugar together for 5 minutes
3. Combine & Bake all ingredients in 1 qt casserole at 350 F for 45 minutes
By: Chef Alan Zox
October 5, 2018
Spaghetti Bolognese is an Italian meat-based sauce or ragù, which is said to come from Bologna, that wonderful city of food located in Emilia Romagna. Curiously, spaghetti Bolognese is very popular outside of Italy, but is said to have never existed in Bologna itself.
Meat-based ragù, not meat balls, was always served in Bologna with local egg pasta like tagliatelle or lasagne. Spaghetti bolognese, on the other hand, is usually eaten with a wheat pasta or gluten-free pastas.
When the war ended, it’s possible that American and British soldiers who returned to Italy as tourists asked for spaghetti bolognese from the local Italian chefs who gave it to them, even though it was a foreign dish from America and Britain.
Former American soldiers came back to the U.S. with even more zest for the dish. Thus, a meat ragù dish, created by American chefs with spaghetti and ground meat became popularized in Italy by their Italian counterparts, leading to an even greater popularity in the United States and Britain.
Recipe: Spaghetti Bolognese
Serves 4 to 6
1 tbsp olive oil
4 oz bacon or pancetta, diced
1½ cups yellow onions, chopped
1 cup carrots, finely diced
½ cup celery, finely diced
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
2 bay leaves
Pinch of saffron
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp marjoram
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1½ lb 80 percent ground beef
1 lb pork sausage removed from its casing
4 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup red wine
2 28-oz cans plum tomatoes with juice (ideally, Marzano tomatoes)
1 cup chicken broth
¼ cup heavy cream
2 tbsp unsalted butter
3 tbsp fresh Italian parsley, chopped
2 lb spaghetti, domestic Ronzoni or imported De Cecco brands
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Parmesan Regiona
1. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring until browned and the fat is rendered for 4 to 5 minutes.
2. Add the onions, carrots and celery and cook, stirring until soft for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic, salt, pepper, bay leaves, saffron, basil, thyme, oregano, marjoram, cinnamon, nutmeg and cook, stirring for 30 seconds. Add the beef and sausage, and cook, stirring until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
3. Add 2 tablespoons of the tomato paste and cook, stirring for 3 to 5 minutes. Add wine and cook, stirring, to deglaze the pan and remove any browned bits sticking to the bottom of the pan, until half of the liquid is reduced, about 2 minutes.
4. Add the plum tomatoes with their juices, the remaining tomato paste and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pan, until thickened and flavorful, about 1½ hours.
5. Add cream, butter and parsley, and stir well; simmer for 2 minutes. Adjust the seasoning, to taste. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm until ready to serve.
6. Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts of salted water in a large soup pot to a boil. Add the pasta and return the water to a low boil. Cook, stirring occasionally to prevent the noodles from sticking, until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain in a colander.
Sauce can be kept in fridge up to 5 days. Freeze any extra sauce up to 5 weeks
Send comments to Chef zox at: email@example.com.