Tag Archives | Spring 2013 Recipes




Courtesy of Via 45, Red Bank

Lauren Phillips and Claudette Herring like to serve this branzino with oven-roasted potatoes and sautéed vegetables.

1½–2 pounds cleaned branzino, with bone
kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
fresh tomato (plum or cherry or vine-ripened), sliced
½ sprig fresh rosemary
1 sprig thyme
½ leaf basil
pinch of parsley
blended oil (80% vegetable oil & 20% extra-virgin olive oil)
extra-virgin olive oil
lemon (for squeezing)

Preheat grill to high. Preheat oven to 425°.

Fill cavity of fish with tomato, rosemary, thyme, basil, parsley, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

Season skin with salt and pepper. Drizzle blended oil on fish inside and out. Place fish on the grill, turning to create X-shaped marks on skin on both sides. Transfer to a baking dish. Place in oven for approximately 19 minutes.

To serve, lift the fish with a spatula and place it on a serving plate. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon juice. (Serves 2.)

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Santiago de Cuba’s Roast Pork Marinated in a Garlicky Allspice-Cumin Adobo

Cerdo Brujo

This heirloom family recipe has the distinctive allspice aroma of the cooking of Presilla’s hometown, Santiago de Cuba. The combination of cumin and allspice is especially characteristic of her family’s cooking. (Serves 8.)

For the Adobo:

1 head garlic, separated into cloves and peeled
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons allspice berries or ground allspice
¾ cup bitter orange juice (from about 6 oranges)
or equal parts lime juice and orange juice
1 cup sweet orange juice diluted with about ¼ cup water

For the Pork:

One 8- to 9-pound leg of pork, with skin
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup sweet sherry or port wine, for deglazing

Making the Adobo:

Place the garlic, salt, peppercorns, cumin, and allspice in a large mortar and pound to a paste with a pestle. Stir in the bitter orange juice. (You can also puree these ingredients in a blender or food processor.) Set aside.

Preparing the Pork:

Trim the skin from the inner part of the leg only. Wipe the meat clean with a damp cloth. Make several deep incisions all over the skinned portion and rub with the salt. Let rest for a few minutes. Rub the marinade all over the pork, pushing it into the gashes and between the meat and the skin. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours or a maximum of 12 hours. Wipe the marinade from the skin with a clean cloth.

Roasting the Pork:

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the pork in a roasting pan and bake uncovered, skin side up, for 3 to 4 hours. Check the roast often. As the pan juices evaporate, replenish them with a little of the diluted sweet orange juice. The pork is done when the skin is crackling and the juices run clear when the meat is pierced at the thickest part of the leg (about 160°F on a meat thermometer).

Finishing the Dish:

Remove the pork from the oven and lift it onto a cutting board, holding the bone with a cloth. With a sharp knife, remove the crisp skin and cut it into small serving pieces. Place them on a cookie sheet and set in the turned-off oven, uncovered (if you cover the crackling, it steams and gets soggy).

To deglaze the pan juices, place the roasting pan on the stove over medium heat and add the sherry, scraping up the browned bits with a wooden spoon.

Carve the pork and return to the roasting pan with the pan juices to keep the meat moist and flavorful. Pork dries out easily, so if you must hold it for more than 30 minutes, cover the pan with aluminum foil and return it to a warm oven.

To Serve: Be sure to include some of the crisp skin and deglazed juices with each serving.


Recipes reprinted from Gran Cocina Latina: The Food of Latin America by Maricel E. Presilla. Copyright © 2012 by Maricel E. Presilla. With the permission of the publisher, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.

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Kale in the Style of Minas Gerais

Couve a Mineira

Kale, known as berza in Spanish and couve in Portuguese, is a favorite in northeastern Spain, Portugal, and Brazil. In Brazil this sturdy, assertive green takes center stage. You will always fi nd fi nely shredded couve as part of the tasty entourage of the baroque feijoada completa or adding a touch of freshness and a pleasant bitter edge to the hearty blue plates of the state of Minas Gerais.

(Serves 6.)

4 bunches fl at-leafed kale (about 2 pounds each)
1 tablespoon freshly rendered lard or light olive oil
8 ounces smoked slab bacon, cut in small dice
12 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced crosswise
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Chop off the stems of the kale and reserve for other uses. Wash and pat dry the leaves with a kitchen towel. Working in batches of 2 or 3 leaves, stack the leaves and roll tightly. With a sharp knife shave across into very thin strands. By the time you are fi nished, the mound of couve will look gigantic, but couve will reduce dramatically once it is sautéed. Heat the lard in a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Add the smoked bacon and sauté, stirring, until it is golden brown and has released some fat. Stir in the garlic and cook briefly until light gold, about 20 seconds. Add the kale in batches and cook, stirring, just until coated and slightly softened. Season with the salt. Do not overcook; kale should keep its deep green color and delightful crunchy texture.


Recipes reprinted from Gran Cocina Latina: The Food of Latin America by Maricel E. Presilla. Copyright © 2012 by Maricel E. Presilla. With the permission of the publisher, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.

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