2011 meme pig dinner

Last night was the third annual pig dinner at Meme. This year the lineup consisted of chefs David Katz (Meme), John Taus (The Corner), Jen Carroll (10 Arts), Monica Glass (10 Arts), Terence Feury (Fork), Mike Solomonov (Zahav), Matt Levin (Adsum), and Peter Woolsey (Bistrot La Minette) with guest sommelier Michael Madrigale of Bar Boulud in NYC. The dinner consisted of five courses plus hors d’oeuvres and wine pairings.

The following were the dishes served:

blt cocktail

pork terrine, carolina pork bbq, and pork crepenette (L to R)

The hors d’oeuvres were a pork terrine with toasted brioche and a fig & peach mostarda, carolina pork bbq, and a pork crepenette with a port apple jam from Jen Carroll, David Katz, and John Taus (not sure who made which). The hors d’oeuvres were served with a BLT cocktail.

poached blue point oyster with pork rillons

The first course was from Terence Feury which was a poached blue point oyster with pork rillons and had choron sauce, braised lettuce, herbed bread crumbs, and oven dried tomatoes. The wine pairing for the first course was a 2009 Domaine Pinson Chablis 1er Cru, Mont-de-Milieu.

city ham terrine

The second course was a city ham terrine with swiss chard, challah, hard boiled egg, and pickled vegetables from Mike Solomonov and was paired with a 2010 La Columbera Rosato.

bbq pig tails

The third course was BBQ pig tails from Matt Levin with ranch dressing and smoked cornbread. His course was paired with a 2009 Pichierri Negroamaro del Salento.

prune stuffed pork loin wrapped in bacon

The fourth course was Peter Woolsey’s prune stuffed pork loin wrapped in bacon with grilled vegetables, french gnocchi, shallot cream vinegar, and pork jus paired with a 2009 Le Roc des Anges Cotes du Roussillon Villages


Lastly, the dessert course was Monica Glass’s melon with candied headcheese, prosciutto consume, and prosciutto gel served with a 2010 Macarini Moscato d’Asti.

The dinner was fantastic and full of porky goodness. Make sure you don’t miss this next year!

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cooking: ham & potato bake

Since I had a ton of leftovers from the ham, I wanted to make a dish using those leftovers. I also had a bag of russet potatoes, so a casserole or bake of some sort came into mind.

I would have attempted a gratin if I only had a mandoline…birthday gift anyone? Haha…I kid…

Again, I kinda used two different recipes and combined different bits and pieces of the two.

Ham & Potato Casserole/Bake
Adapted from Mother’s Ham Casserole and Hearty Ham Casserole

3 medium sized russet potatoes, diced (I think I used three…)
2 ribs of celery, chopped
2 medium to large sized carrots, chopped
1 medium sized yellow onion, diced
2 cups cooked ham, cubed
7 tablespoons butter, split into 1 tbsp portions
1/3 cup ap flour
1 3/4 cups milk
8 – 12 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup gorgonzola crumbles
salt & pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 375°.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Once there, I tossed in the potatoes and cooked for about 15 minutes. Next, I heated a skillet on medium heat with the butter, then added the onions, celery, and carrots. Saute for a couple minutes until onions become soft. Add the flour, little by little…you want to make a roux and cook off the raw taste of the flour.

Take the milk and slowly pour it into the mixture, little by little, making sure to stir the mixture constantly. Once all the milk has been mixed in, add salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer. Turn off the heat once the mixture has thickened.

When 15 minutes pass, drain the potatoes and place them in a large mixing bowl. Add the ham cubes to the potato, followed by the sauce. Use a spatula to mix everything together.

Once evenly mixed, pour the mixture into a buttered 13″ x 9″ baking dish. Toss in the oven for 25 minutes. After 25, take out the dish, spread the mozzarella and gorgonzola, bake for an addition 5 or until melted. Remove from oven, let cool, enjoy.

Mozzarella and gorgonzola was okay on the bake. I woulda preferred gruyere but it was last minute and I just kinda used what I had in the fridge.

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cooking: pineapple-chipotle glazed ham

This is the cover of Saveur’s December 2008 issue:

from Saveur.com

My previous ham bakes/roasts have been alright, really nothing to write home about. So this time, I really wanted to make an extra effort to make this one better than my previous attempts. When I came across this issue at the bookstore, I knew that I wanted to make my ham look identical to the one on the front page.

Zarela Martinez’s Pineapple-Chipotle Glazed Ham

For this recipe, I used a shank end city ham from the supermarket. Probably not the best kind…it was one that you get free from purchasing a lot of items during the holiday season. I basically followed the recipe exactly, no additions or omissions of ingredients.

This came out very well. The glaze was delicious as was the ham. I had tons of leftovers after dinner which I used for more dishes (posts to come).

it kinda looks like a pig head haha

Definitely recommend this recipe! Thanks Saveur and Zarela Martinez!

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jamon iberico

Tonight, I was at Wegman’s buying prosciutto for the saltimbocca I plan on making for tomorrow. While standing in front of the section that holds the cured meats, I couldn’t help but be intrigued by the Jamon Iberico, a cured ham made from the Spanish, black Iberian pig which is $98/pound. Now, I don’t want you thinking I just eat classy, expensive stuff all the time. That isn’t true at all, but this stuff was $98/pound…really now?! I saw this before, but I stopped myself before even thinking about buying some. Tonight however, that Jamon Iberico felt like forbidden fruit, and I had to have it…

So, I ended up getting a couple slices. It was good but I wish I could point out the little subtleties that differentiates this from other Spanish cured hams, but I just can’t. I could point out that it was a little bit more moist than the Wegman’s prosciutto that I bought but that was about it.

It was tasty, but $98/pound tasty? I’m not sure, I’ll have to get back to you on that once I’ve developed more of a tongue for these things…

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