Saturday, May 12, 2018

Braised Pork Belly With Fennel & Cabbage Salad

By: The Food Hunter

It probably has never crossed your mind but trust me when I tell you that pork belly and cabbage go together like peanut butter and jelly. Add some sliced fennel to the mix and you will have a drool worthy meal for sure. The recipe below, created by Mario Batali, proves this point.

Though the recipe has a lot of ingredients, it's not super hard to make and so worth the effort! Give it a try; you won't be disappointed.

Braised Pork Belly With Fennel & Cabbage Salad
(recipe by Mario Batali)

1/2 cup Brown Sugar
2 tablespoons Fennel (toasted and ground)
3 tablespoons Salt
3 tablespoons Rosemary (finely chopped)
1 tablespoon crushed Red Pepper Flakes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine the rub ingredients and very thoroughly mix. Using a sharp knife, score a 1-inch grid pattern into the fat of the pork belly. Rub the pork belly all over with the spice mixture.

2 pounds Pork Belly (skin removed)
2 Carrots (peeled; cut into 1/2-inch pieces)
3 stalks Celery (cut into 1/2-inch pieces)
1/2 Red Onion (sliced)
2 Fennel Stalks (cut into 1/2-inch pieces)
1 tablespoon Fennel Seeds
1 bottle Beer
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Heat a large dutch oven over medium high heat with a few tablespoons of olive oil. Sear the pork, fat side down, until brown and crispy. Flip pork and add the carrots, celery, red onion, fennel, fennel seeds, and beer and season with salt. Bring to a boil, transfer to 350 degree F oven and cook, uncovered, for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

1 small head Napa Cabbage (shredded)
1/2 Red Onion (sliced)
1 bulb Fennel (thinly sliced on a mandolin)
1/4 cup Mint (chopped)
1/4 cup Basil Leaves (chopped)
1 teaspoon crushed Red Pepper Flakes
2 tablespoons Fennel Honey (see below)
2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
Salt and freshly ground Pepper

In a large bowl, combine the napa cabbage, red onion, fennel, mint, basil, crushed red pepper flakes, 2 tablespoons of fennel honey, and apple cider vinegar. Toss thoroughly to coat and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

1 tablespoon toasted Fennel Seeds
1/3 cup Honey

Meanwhile, toast the fennel seeds in a small sauté pan. Once fragrant, add the honey, and cook over low heat for 2 minutes to allow flavors to come together.

Once pork belly has finished cooking, brush with the remaining fennel honey, and slice to serve. Serve the pork belly over the fennel salad.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Baked Pasta In A Pork Ragu

  By: The Food Hunter

A classic Italian meal loaded with pork and kicked-up a notch with crushed red pepper. This dish serves 8 people and can easily be made in advance. It's the kind of meal you want to make when friends come over for dinner because it's guaranteed to be loved by all.

Baked Pasta In A Pork Ragu

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 ounces pancetta,diced
2 pound pork shoulder, cut into 1 1/4-inch cubes
1 pound Italian sausage, casings removed
3/4 cup chopped carrots
3/4 cup chopped celery
6 large fresh thyme sprigs
6 large garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
2 cups dry red wine
1 28-ounce can plum tomatoes, chopped
1 1/4 pounds pasta
8-10 ounces of coarsely grated whole-milk mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pancetta and sauté until browned and crispy. Transfer cooked pancetta, using a slotted spoon, to a bowl.

Season pork with salt and pepper. Add half of pork to the skillet you used for the pancetta; sauté until brown, about 7 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the pancetta. Repeat with remaining pork.

Add sausage to same pan. Sauté about 5 minutes, breaking up with back of a wooden spoon.

Add carrots, celery, thyme, garlic, bay leaves, and crushed red pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low; sauté until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.

Add wine and bring to boil, scraping up browned bits. Add pancetta and pork with any accumulated juices and boil 2 minutes. Add canned tomatoes and juice. Cover and cook until pork is very tender, adjusting heat as needed to maintain gentle simmer and stirring occasionally, about 2 hours.

Uncover and spoon off fat from surface of sauce. Coarsely shred pork. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cool slightly. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and keep refrigerated. Rewarm over low heat before continuing.)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Oil a 15x10x2-inch glass baking dish or other 4-quart baking dish. Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain pasta and mix into sauce. Transfer to prepared dish and sprinkle both cheeses over top. Bake until heated through and golden, about 20 minutes.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Zesty Mediterranean Cod with Kale

By: The Food Hunter

Healthy and flavorful, this zesty cod recipe is also super easy to make. Everything goes into one pan and cooks in under 30 minutes; making it a delicious option for a weeknight meal.

Zesty Mediterranean Cod With Kale
olive oil
2 cups fennel, sliced
2  garlic cloves, minced
1 cup fresh tomatoes, diced
2 cups kale, chopped
1/2 cup water
crushed red pepper
2 tsp fresh oregano
1 cup black or green olives, sliced thin
1 lb. cod cut into 4 pieces
1 tsp fennel fronds
1 tsp orange zest

Heat a large skillet over medium heat, cook fennel, and garlic in olive oil for about 5 minutes, until they become fragrant. Add fresh tomatoes, kale and water and cook for about 10-12 minutes. Add crushed red pepper, fresh oregano and sliced olives. Season with salt and pepper.

Place cod in pan, sprinkle with orange zest and fennel fronds. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes.
Remove pan from heat, and drizzle fish with olive oil before serving.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Oatmeal Chocolate Salted Caramel Bars

By: The Food Hunter

This post is sponsored by Nielsen-Massey Vanilla, as always all opinions are 100% my own.

There's no denying my love for sweets, and with that comes my love for vanilla. In particular Neilsen Massey vanilla. Their vanilla is one of the finest and purest I've ever tasted and it most certainly shows in the treats I bake. Try it for yourself the next time you are baking and see if you can taste the difference.

These bars are perfect for when you can't decide between healthy oatmeal, decadent chocolate or rich salted caramel! 

Oatmeal Chocolate Salted Caramel Bars

For the oatmeal layer
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon  Nielsen-Massey Vanilla
11/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1.5 cups old fashioned rolled oats

For the chocolate layer
1 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 can sweetened condensed milk

For the caramel layer
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup half-and-half
2 tablespoons butter
Pinch salt
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 8x8 inch pan with parchment paper and coat with butter.

Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg, vanilla, and milk and mix until combined.

In another bowl stir together flour, salt, and oats. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix well. Spread ⅔ of the batter into the bottom of your prepared pan.

In a medium sauce pan combine chocolate chips and condensed milk and sit over medium heat until completely melted and smooth. Pour into pan over the layer of oatmeal batter.

Mix together brown sugar, half-and-half, butter and salt in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk for 5 to 7 minutes, or until it mixture thickens. Add vanilla and cook another minute or so.  Remove from heat, and let cool in the pot. Pour cooled caramel over fudge layer.

Drop teaspoons of remaining oatmeal mixture over the caramel. Sprinkle with sea salt and pecans. Bake for 25 minutes. Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Almond Peach Cake, #EasterSweetsWeek

By: The Food Hunter
This is a sponsored post, as always all opinions are my own.

Welcome to this year's #EasterSweetWeek event hosted by Angie from Big Bear’s Wife. We’re so glad that you’ve joined us for this week long event of Springtime and Easter dessert recipes! We're sharing tons of treats this week plus a few fantastic giveaways! You’re going to love what we have in store for you.

#EasterSweetsWeek Logo

Don't forget thanks to our generous sponsors we have 5 giveaways going on this week ! 
 Scroll down to enter!

Without further ado let me tell you about this delicious peach cake that will look beautiful on your Easter dessert table. The recipe is closely modeled after one I saw in the Sweet cookbook by Ottolenghi & Goh. I changed it slightly to use peaches instead of apricots, but left most everything else the same.

In this cake an already delicious combination of almond and peaches is topped with a mix of Dixie Chrystals sugar and cinnamon making it super hard to resist.

Almond Peach Cake

6 tbsp unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup Dixie Chrystals sugar
2 large eggs
1/8 tsp salt
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
2/3 cup sour cream
1 tsp Adams vanilla extract
1/3 cup almond four
1/4 tsp almond extract
2-3 large fresh peaches, halved and pitted
cinnamon topping (recipe below) 

Preheat the oven to 375. Grease a 9-inch round springform pan and line with parchment paper, then set aside.

Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl a few times. Add the lemon zest, vanilla extract and almond extract and beat to combine.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl, turn the mixer to low and add the dry ingredients to the creamed butter, alternating in batches with the sour cream, so that you begin and end with the flour.

Spoon the batter into the pan and smooth the surface with a spatula. Sprinkle the almond meal over the top. Arrange the apricot halves side facing up, starting around the outside edge of the pan and working toward the center. Spoon the cinnamon topping over and around the apricots.

Bake 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Serve warm.

Cinnamon Topping
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Melt the butter in a small saucepan and add the sugar, cinnamon and salt. Stir to combine, then remove from the heat. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, stir in the beaten eggs and set aside.

Plus, don’t forget that we have 5 (five) great giveaways for you this week thanks to our amazing sponsors! Scroll down to take a look!


Prize #1 — Dixie Crystals is giving away one (1) Instant Pot to one lucky winner!


Prize #2 — Adam’s Extract is giving one (1) winner 5 different extracts including a bottle of Pure vanilla and a color pack.


Prize #3 — Rainier Fruit is giving one (1) winner a box of Apples and some wonderful Apple themed goodies from Sur La Table


Prize #5 — Microplane is giving one (1) winner a Twist & Zest, grip & strip and a classic zester/grater

Giveaway open to US Residents 18 years or older.. All entries will be verified. No PO Boxes Please. Prizes will be sent directly from sponsors to winners, bloggers are not responsible for prizes. This giveaway runs from Marh 26th - April 1st at 12AMEST. Winners will be selected soon afterwards and contacted by e-mail. Winners will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. There are a total of 5 (five) prizes and therefore we will have a total of 5 (five) winners. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law.
Disclaimer: These posts and recipes are part of the week long event, #EasterSweetsWeek but all opinions are 100% mine! We would like Thank our amazing sponsors: Dixie Crystals, Adam’s Extract, Rainier Fruit, Anolon and Microplane! These wonderful sponsors provided the prize packs for our giveaways and also sent samples and products to the #EasterSweetsWeek bloggers to use in their recipes.
  Check out the amazing #EasterSweetsWeek recipes from our bloggers today! Cakes & Cupcakes:
  Baked Desserts:
  No Baked Desserts: