Archives for posts with tag: food blog


The pork loin is one of my favorite things to make and a total hit every time. You have to let the pork rest out of the oven as it allows the meat to finish cooking and juices to distribute evenly within the meat. It will be perfectly cooked, tender and moist! We have so many variations to this so look for more recipes to come!  ^.^~

1 bone-in pork loin (5 bones, 2.5 pounds)
2 tablespoons good olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried summer savory
5 sprigs fresh thyme, minced
2 shallots, finely minced
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup good Merlot
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400° F / 200° C.

Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil over pork loin. Season with minced garlic, summer savory, half of the thyme leaves, salt & freshly ground black pepper. Use your hands to pack the spices onto the pork loin.

Place the pork loin, bone side down on a roasting pan. Roast in the oven until internal temperature reaches 140° F / 60° C, about 35 minutes. Transfer the roasted pork-loin to a large plate, cover with aluminum foil and let rest for about 15 minutes. This allows the meat to finish cooking and juices to distribute evenly within the meat.

While the pork loin is resting. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter in the roasting pan over medium-high heat. Add shallot, rest of the thyme and saute for a minute. Scraping up all the brown bits on the bottom of the roasting pan (where all the flavor is). Add 2 tablespoons flour and stir until it is incorporated with the oil and butter, about 2 minutes.

Slowly pour in 1 cup of Merlot. Whisk the sauce until smooth and thickened. Add the meat juice from the plate where the pork loin has been resting. Turn heat down and simmer for about 5 minutes to cook out the raw flour flavor. Season with salt & lots of freshly ground black pepper.

Remove bone from the pork loin. Slice the pork, arrange on a plate and serve with warm black peppercorn sauce. For sides, we made sauteed spinach and garlic mashed potatoes.

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These crunchy sugar snap peas tossed with sesame seeds and lemon zest are simple, delicious and make a great side to any main dish. We serve them with anything from roast beef, pan seared salmon, sandwiches to pasta salads. Or you can make it alone and snack away!

1 pound sugar snap peas
2 tablespoons good olive oil
1/2 tablespoon black sesame seeds
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Zest of 1/2 lemon
Kosher salt

Wash the sugar snap peas, tear off stem ends and strings. Pad dry.

In a medium mixing bowl, toss the sugar snap peas with olive oil, sesame seeds, lemon juice and lemon zest. Season with kosher salt.

Serve at room temperature or refrigerate for later.


One of our all-time favorite comfort foods is, the burger! And this time, the variation is brown beech mushroom and Swiss. It’s easy, fun to make and taste better than any burger joint in Shanghai. Brown beech mushrooms have a slightly crunchy texture and nutty flavor, pairs perfectly with juicy beef and savory fried onions. With roasted garlic aioli served on the side.

2 Australian ground beef patties
3-4 slices ripe tomato
2 slices Swiss cheese
1 cluster brown beech mushrooms
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 red onion, sliced
1/4 cup rice flour
1 small bunch arugula
2 sesame buns
Sweet butter
Canola oil for frying
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Slice the onions, dust them in rice flour and shake off excess. Heat canola oil in a medium pot. Deep fry the onion slices until golden brown. Pull the fried onions and drain on paper towel.

In a saute pan, saute the mushrooms with garlic, season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Season beef patties with salt and pepper on both sides. In a medium saute pan, heat a little bit of canola oil and cook the beef patties to desired temperature. We like our burgers medium-rare on the rare side, about 3 minutes on each side. After flipping the burgers over, top each patty with a slice of Swiss cheese and finish the cooking. Serve immediately on toasted and buttered sesame buns. Top with fresh sliced tomato, arugula, fried onions and sauteed mushrooms.

Roasted Garlic Aioli:

2 egg yolks
1 bulb garlic
1/2 cup good olive oil
1 cup canola oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Wrap the garlic bulb in aluminum foil. Bake the package in the oven for about 35 minutes until garlic is soft.

Squeeze about 1/2 bulb of roasted garlic (add more if you’d like) into a blender. Add all other ingredients in the blender except the oil. Start the blender, slowly drizzle in the olive oil and canola oil. Blend until smooth and fluffy. Can be stored up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.


Jesse, Matt, Brendan and Henry cooked at the Bubba’s 6th annual chili cook-off in Shanghai this year. It was an all day event from 7:00am to 7:00pm. One of our friends flew in the night before from Texas and brought us genuine Texas dried chilies. In this homemade chili mix, there were chipotles, Mexican chili, ancho chili, smoked poblanos, cayenne pepper, Mexican oregano and roasted cumin.

Jesse & Matt’s Chili Ingredients:

New York strip, cubed
Homemade chili powders
Onions
Garlic
Roasted tomatoes
Cilantro
Maple Syrup
Homemade beef stock
Homemade chicken stock
Salt

The amount of each ingredient can be adjusted to your own liking. Great winning chilies always have 2 to 3 dumps (dumps being chili powder mixture going in at different times within the cooking cycle). The longer it cooks, the better it tastes. That’s why you have to use a dense piece of beef like a sirloin or tri tip. Jesse & Matt smoked part of the strip to add a great smoky flavor to the chili. For the homemade beef stock, Jesse browned beef bones, beef short ribs and aromatics then slowly simmered for hours.


Matt, Jesse and Henry behind their Joe Dirt themed chili booth.


2 ripe red tomatoes
10 leaves Italian flat-leaf parsley
1 sheet nori (seaweed)
1 1/2 tablespoons good olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Juice of 1/8 lemon
Sea salt

Cut the tomato in quarters. With a small spoon, scoop out the pulp and place them on a dish.

Cut the nori in thin strips. Sprinkle them over the tomato pulp.

Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the plate. Place flat-leaf parsley on top, squeeze lemon juice, season with sea salt and serve immediately.

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