Sous Vide Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin

My new favorite cooking “toy” is my Anova Sous Vide machine…it’s the ultimate Really Cool Kitchen Tool.  Everything I’ve made so far (steak, chicken and pork) has come out perfectly every time with restaurant quality results…it’s kinda idiot-proof! All you do is just attach the machine to any pot, add water, put whatever you want to cook in a sealed bag (any ziplock-type bag will do), drop it in the water and then press start, (you can also use the free wirelessly connected Anova Culinary app to find your recipe and cooking settings for exactly how you like it done, and hit ‘Start’ from your phone) and an hour later it’s done! I know this sounds like a gushing ad, but it’s not…I just love it that much. Shown here is my Sous Vide pork tenderloin. I just marinated it in teriyaki for a few hours, placed it in the sous vide bath and after an hour at 136°, took it out and seared it for 2 minutes in a screaming hot cast iron pan. It was tender, perfectly cooked from end-to-end and incredibly tasty.

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Tip of the Day – Vacuum Seal your Food for (practically) FREE!


If you want to keep your food ultra-fresh, an air-tight seal locks in freshness and helps protect food from spoiling, but you don’t have to invest a couple of hundred bucks on a vacuum sealer and a never-ending supply of expensive proprietary bags. All you need is a regular freezer/storage bag (about 8¢) and a straw (free at any fast food place) and you’re good-to-go. To paraphrase Lauren Bacall in To Have and Have Not, “Just put your lips together and…suck!”

The free straws work really well, but I actually use these clear acrylic straws…they last forever, are washable and don’t collapse or bend while you’re using them…they’re great!

Super Bowl Party Oven Baked Buffalo Chicken Wings with Deep Fried Flavor

Buffalo Chicken WingsOne more great Super Bowl Party Recipe repost (actually this is a much  better version with updated recipe tips)…but first, the backstory. Back in 1976, I was working at The Foundry restaurant in DC and one of the waiters, Michael Murphy, who happened to be from Buffalo, told us of the amazingly simple way they prepared, of all things, chicken wings, up there at a place called the Anchor Bar. We started giving away the Buffalo Chicken Wings during Happy Hour and immediately the place became packed each day at around 4:45 pm with everyone waiting for the wings to come out of the kitchen…and the rest is culinary history. It seems that every bar today has chicken wings on the menu, and for good reason…when they’re made right, they’re incredibly and addictingly (if that’s even a word) good! They’re actually very simple to make…cut 12 wings into three pieces at the joints (discard the wing tips or keep them for preparing stock) and just deep fry the flats and drummettes for 10-12 minutes in 375 degree oil (preferably peanut) until they’re crispy and golden brown, toss them in Frank’s Red Hot Sauce and serve with celery and bleu cheese dressing…that’s it…nothing else is needed. The problem is that it’s really a pain (and a greasy mess) to deep fry at home, but there is a not-so-secret way to avoid that mess, while still getting that great Buffalo Chicken Wing crunch and flavor……just bake them in the oven.

But there are REAL SECRETS to making incredibly delicious Oven Baked Buffalo Wings, and here they are :

Read More …

Super Bowl Special – Best Pulled Pork Sandwiches EVER!

I’m reprising this post (as I do every year about this time) because this is a great recipe for a Super Bowl party…slow cooked, pulled pork sandwiches topped with my grandmother’s amazing Cole Slaw. The best thing about this pork recipe is it’s done in a slow cooker. The prep is really simple, the cooking is low and slow (it can be done overnight), the resulting flavors are incredible and, best of all, it makes dozens of sandwiches with very little effort…perfect for a party. And if any pork is left over (not likely) just divide it up into serving size portions (4-6 oz each), wrap in plastic wrap and freeze them. When you get that irresistible craving for a pulled pork sandwich,  just pop one in the microwave, top it with some bbq sauce (I love Bullseye Original Flavor), put it in a steamed bun, slap on some cole slaw and, in minutes, I guarantee you’ll be wallowing in the throes of pulled pork nirvana!

Click here for Cookhacker’s printable Pulled Pork recipe.

Click here for Grandma Molly’s Legendary Homemade Cole Slaw recipe.

OXO Good Grips Grater…My New Favorite Really Cool Kitchen Tool

This is my new favorite Really Cool Kitchen Tool…the OXO Good Grips Box Grater has:

– Sharp, stainless steel blades for easy grating
– Medium and fine grating surfaces, and slicing surface
– Slim construction conveniently fits into drawers
– Soft, comfortable, non-slip grip

…but the BEST thing about it is that you can catch, measure and store whatever you’re preparing in the storage container that clips onto the bottom of the grater, and then seal the freshly cut/grated ingredients with the included lid. It’s perfect for grating and keeping the mozzarella fresh before adding it to my Caramelized Onions, Sausage and Mushroom Sourdough Pizza.

Garlicky Buttery Shrimp and Pasta

This is a simple one pan (if you don’t include the pot the pasta is cooked in) weeknight-type recipe that comes together quickly (about 30 minutes) and tastes terrific. The trick of adding a little baking soda to the shrimp before sautéing insures that they will remain juicy, plump and tender when cooked (thank you SeriousEats). Serve this with garlic bread and a salad and you have an easy, delicious, relatively healthy meal. The combination of shrimp, garlic, butter and parsley is really hard to beat…and the leftovers (if there are any…I doubt it) taste great the next day!

Please click here for the printable recipe.

Really Crispy Oven Baked Spicy Garlic French Fries

A few years ago I posted my favorite oven baked french fry recipe…that one was great (it was for thicker steak-cut fries), but I’ve been experimenting with oven baked fries since then and came up with this recipe, which is even better…it turns out thinner, crunchier, crisper fries with way more flavor. The secret is par cooking the potatoes in the microwave for a couple of minutes in a garlicky olive oil and then coating them with a spicy cornstarch mixture before baking them in the oven. It sounds a lot more involved then it is…it’s actually simple, fast and definitely worth trying. It is also very forgiving, so feel free to experiment with different spices and quantities…as long as you dry the potatoes well after soaking, and keep an eye on them as they cook, they’ll come out great. Pair the fries with a super-melty cheeseburger topped with caramelized onions and you’ll never want to go out for burgers and fries again, ’cause it really doesn’t get an better than this.

Please click here for the printable recipe.

Best Crispy Roasted Potatoes Ever!

crispy_roast_potatoesThese are absolutely the best roasted potatoes I ever tasted…crispy on the outside and fluffy and tender on the inside. Also, although russets work really well with this recipe from J. Kenji López-Alt, the genius Culinary Director over at Serious Eats, I would recommend Yukon Golds (or a combination of the two) for the best and most flavorful results. You can check out the recipe here…these potatoes take a little more time and effort but I think once you taste them, you’ll agree that they are SO worth it.

Fresh Homemade Baguettes in only 4 Hours!

fresh-baguettes
Not great slashing technique,
but still delicious!

If you crave fresh hot-out-of-the-oven baguettes, but you didn’t think it was possible to make them at home, here is the proof (see what I did there?) that not only can it be done, but it can be done relatively quickly and easily and can rival those found at the best bakeries. It’s from a great book, Local Breads, by Dan Leader. It only takes about 4 hours (much of which is just waiting around) and doesn’t require any special equipment. Give it a try when you have a little time…you won’t regret it..and as an added bonus, it makes your house smell great!

Please click here for the printable recipe.

Spicy Turkey and Kale Chili

turkey-chili-5This is our go-to weeknight chili recipe…it’s simple, relatively quick (in chili time), quite healthy and incredibly delicious. You can use all ground turkey or, as I like to do, substitute in ½ pound of spicy Italian sausage to give it a more complex flavor. Either way, you’ll love it…and it freezes really well! As with all chilis, you can add as much or as little spice as you like, but I prefer spicy! It’s the perfect dish for those fast approaching cold winter nights.

Please click here for the printable recipe.