Food + Thought @ The Palisades of Mt. Adams

Tonight Sarah (wife) and I attended Food + Thought @ The Palisades of Mt. Adams hosted by the gang at Cincinnati Magazine. Thanks again Chris Ohmer! We had a great tapas style meal made by Fresh Table located in Findlay Market.

The Stuffed Pork Loin was from a Red Wattle pig raised on the Dean Family Farm. Bill and Beth Dean run a 100+ acre farm in Georgetown, OH in their “spare time”. Seriously though, they are amazing people who I think, “get it” when it comes to raising both pigs and chickens in a very conscious and responsible manner. Bill feeds his Red Wattle’s from a 1960’s automated feeder and has began growing his own feed. They have chosen the Red Wattle for its superior fat marbling in the muscle; not much unlike Wagyu beef. Bill says that the free range manner in which he raised the pigs along with their genes make them a far superior pork. Thanks again Bill and Beth for… well, just being you!

The Fresh Table from Findlay Market did a great job of turning Blue Jacket Dairy’s cheese into some very tasty Sweet Potato Cheesecake and Southern Style Lemon Bars. If you have not been lucky enough to try some of Blue Jacket’s fresh cheese, well you should not live another day without it! Jim and Angel King are pure harmony. Jim’s love of the farm, the cattle and the beautiful sunsets at the end of the day are poetry from his soft-spoken voice. Angel is the creative and passionate mind behind the crafted cheese products. Her name is very appropriate in that she turns Jim’s milk into something out of this world.

The evening was full of surprises from the great food and inspiration filled conversations with the Deans and Kings. I cannot go without says the The Palisades @ Mt. Adams is an incredible space with amazing views. Sarah and I were lucky enough to share a table with The Palisades architect John Seinhauser. He and his wife are wonderful people and he is an unbelievable designer of space. If you want a beautiful home and incredible kitchen, he is your guy.

Thanks again Cincinnati Magazine and all who made it such a fun event!!

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Grouper in Tomato Broth

So tonight’s meal was grouper with a tomato broth. It was planned to be red snapper with tomato broth, but living in Cincinnati, OH often we are dependent upon what we can get on hand and red snapper was not in the cards. I hurriedly walked through the doors of Hyde Park Fish Market at 6:26pm to two teenagers closing up shop. Since the fish market closes at 6:30, I am sure I was not the fan of the hour. However, upon asking for red snapper a very pleasant young man said that they did not have any, but had some really fresh grouper. So a pound of grouper was packaged up and I was on my way. Let me tell you, Mid-west grouper is EXPENSIVE!!

Once home from running some other errands; I began preparing dinner, which consisted of grouper in tomato broth, and a side of saffron sice. Trying to practice what all chefs preach, Mise en place, I diced up two roma tomatoes, fresh oregano and mint, and measured out a cup of clam juice. The grouper was salted lightly with sea salt and dredged in flour. The grouper is pan seared for 3-4 minutes skin side down in olive oil, flipped, then 3 minutes on flesh side. After nice sear, the clam juice, tomatoes and herbs are added to pan, covered, and simmered for another 3 minutes.

The finished fish is served in a bowl with tomato broth and herbs poured over top. Don’t overdo the amount of broth in the bowl or you will end up with Fish Soup!

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February Charcutepalooza Bacon and Pancetta

Well I have been really behind starting on February’s Charcutepalooza item of Bacon or Pancetta. The main problem was getting the right pork belly to start with. Staying true to my blog, I only wanted to get pork from a local farm that I know cares about the animals it raises. After much harassment of one of my friends in the local food industry, I am getting my hands on a York/Tam cross-breed from the Gripshover’s Hi Acres Stock Farm in northern Kentucky. My friend is going to split the pig with me so I don’t have to try to figure out what to do with a whole pig. It is on its way to slaughter over the weekend and I will help my friend butcher in the upcoming days.

More images of the Bacon, Pancetta and Guanciale.

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Roasted Pork and Sweet Potato Hash

So dinner tonight was Roasted (actually braised) Pork and Sweet Potato Hash. I started by braising a 1+ lb pork butt roast in chicken stock and garlic cloves in a dutch oven on the stove top for around 35 minutes. The Sweet Potato Hash was made from 1/2 in dice of Sweet Potatoes and diced onion. The potato mix is sautéed approx. 8 minutes then broth and garlic from pork braise are added to potato mix until reduced. Approx. 25 minutes. Add 1/4 tsp of red pepper and season to taste. Shred pork after resting and add to potato mixture. Serve and smile!!

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January – Duck Prosciutto

So the gals over at CharcutePalooza, Cathy and Kim, picked  Duck prosciutto for January’s meat item from Michael Rhulman’s book, Charcuterie. I was lucky enough to try some of this in Vicenza, Italy during my month-long stay there last September. It seems the Italians can dry cure most anything, including Donkey.

So the Duck prosciutto started by picking up a fat, fresh, whole duck at Luken’s Poultry, Fish & Seafood in Findlay Market. I feel you get a bigger breast by buying the whole duck, and it typically only cost a few dollars more than buying just breasts. Plus, I find butchering ducks to be just darn fun, not to mention that I will almost always use the whole duck, not to mention I will almost always use the whole duck.

The breasts, in this case, were to be dry-cured for the Duck prosciutto, the legs and thighs for confit, and the wings, bones and carcass for Duck Stock. Oh, and don’t forget the liver. Ahhh the liver. This I made into a simple Duck Liver Pate.

I prepared an entire meal for my wife and best friend Johan, his wife, and mother from this duck. His mother gets credit for most of these pictures. She is still trying to figure out how to remove the dates. lol I know… “A whole meal of duck”? What can I say, I LOVE DUCK!! Well here it is, The Whole Duck!

The Whole Duck


Duck Liver Pate on Crustini w/ Duck Lardons

First Course

Roasted Bone Marrow w/ Parsley-Shallot Crustini

Second Course

Pear & Duck Confit Salad w/ Dijon Sherry Vinaigrette

Third Course

Duck Prosciutto w/ Porcini Risotto & Fig Balsamic


Apple Tartine w/ Vanilla Bean Gelato

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Across The Pond

This meal was inspired by the Pan Seared Walleye dish I came across at photographer/foodie Matt Wright’s blog Wrightfood. Matt is an amazing food photographer and a pretty darn good cook to boot. His site motivated me to try my own Bresoala as well… more on that later. The pictures for this meal are a little rough, due to I prepared about 95% of this meal the evening of. I learned a lot from this… Do prep work!!! I really bit off more than I could chew with this one, but it seamed to turn out tasty if not pretty. Most aspects of the meal came from Gordan Ramsey or Thomas Keller and I would recommend Keller’s Ad Hoc at home. Somehow I missed getting pics of the Roasted Butternut Squash Soup which was maybe the best looking dish. The Beef Wellington… well lets just say… it tasted good.

I emailed the menu to my best friend Johan and he brought wine to accompany the meal. Kudos to the Swede!!

So here is the meal….


Across the Pond

January 29, 2011 


Butternut Squash Soup w/ Vanilla Creme,

Toasted Pumpkin Seed

08” Chateau Thieuley – Bordeaux , Sauvignon-Semillon

Coast to Coast 

Beef Wellington w/ Roasted Carrots, Mushroom Sauce

06” Mazzi Valpolicella, Plassico Superiore

Pan Seared Walleye w/ Potato Celeriac Cake, Green Pea Mash

07” L’Ecole No 41, Semillon

Bitter Sweet Departure

 Mixed Berry Clafoutis 


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English Bangers

While doing our normal Sunday grocery shopping at Findlay Market, I came across a very nice marbled piece of pork butt at Kroeger & Sons Meats. They also had some natural casings, so I could not resist buying both and bringing them home. I bought spices a few weeks earlier to make English Bangers and felt the stars had aligned for me to make them today.

**English Bangers came about during WWII when meat was being rationed in England. Additional water and filler was being added to make up volume and when the cased sausage was fried… it would BANG!!!

So this was my first attempt at English Bangers and let me tell you, there are several different recipes and versions to be found when you Google English Bangers. After looking at several recipes and getting a good idea of base, I basically came up with what I found to be the Banger recipe I liked. I deboned the pork butt, cubed into 1 inch pieces and tossed in the spices. It is very important to keep everything very cold, so I put the seasoned cubed meat in the freezer for about 30 minutes. While the pork was chillin’, I unpacked the salted casings, rinsed thoroughly and soaked in cold water. I think it helps to change out the water for fresh a couple of times before using casings to stuff.

Once the meat was completely chilled, I passed through the largest disk on my Kitchen Aid meat grinder attachment. I then chilled ground pork in freezer for about 20 minutes. The second grind was with the smallest disk on the grinder. As you may or may not know, Kitchen Aid Meat Grinders only have two sizes of disk. Following the second grind, I mixed spiced pork with the bread crumbs and chicken stock on the Kitchen Aid with the paddle. When thoroughly mixed, it went back into the fridge to chill once again. I took a small amount, make a patty, fry up on stove top and TASTE! This is when you can add spice if needed before going back to fridge and before stuffing.

This gave me time to go steal my neighbor Jeff’s cast iron Enterprise sausage stuffer. Man this thing is a beast. I lovingly call it Old Iron Sides after cranking on this thing for hours last year helping him make 100+ pounds of various venison sausage. It is solid cast iron… heavy, heavy, heavy!! This is really a 2 person rig, but I managed her alone since my wife wanted no part of stuffing sausage following her 2 hour massage. So if you want help with technique, I would suggest picking up Michael Ruhlman and David Polcyn’s book: Charcuterie. This is my go to guide for making sausage.

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Bockfest 2011

Be sure and check out Bockfest 2011 the weekend of March 4-6, 2011. The Bock will really get your Goat!!

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Off & Running!

This gallery contains 2 photos.

So I had a clear plan of attack in mind when starting this blog…. I would break the blog down into sections based up obtaining, preparing and eating Fin (Fish), Feather (Poultry) and Fur (Most everything else). I would cover … Continue reading

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