This recipe brings me nice memories!  It was featured in my favorite cooking show of all times, David Rosengarten‘s Taste, that aired on the FoodTV from 1994 to 2002.  Because of this particular episode I bought my first clay pot, a nice unglazed Romertopf, that unfortunately ended up shattered to pieces during a move.   This recipe, low in fat but full of flavor, was one of the first dinners I cooked for Phil when we were dating.  As I said, it brings me wonderful memories…  😉

(from David Rosengarten)

3 dried ancho chilies
2 chipotles canned in adobo sauce
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon ground cumin
pinch of ground cloves
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 boneless loin of pork (about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds)
1 medium white onion, very thinly sliced

Toast the dried ancho chilies by putting them in a preheated 200°F oven for 3 minutes, do not let them burn. Remove the toasted chilies from the oven and open them up. Remove and discard the seeds and stems. Place the chilies in a bowl and cover with very hot tap water.

When chilies are soft (after about 15 minutes), remove them from the water and place them together with the chipotles in the work bowl of a food processor, along with the garlic, oil, cumin, cloves, salt, and pepper. Pulse to make a rough paste. Rub the paste all over the pork loin with your fingers. Cover the rubbed pork and refrigerate for 8 hours. Remove it from the refrigerator 1 hour before you want to start cooking.

Make a bed of half the sliced onion in the clay pot. Lay the marinated pork loin over it. Cover the pork with the remaining onion. Do not add any liquid.   If your clay pot is unglazed, you may have to soak it (or only its lid) in water before using.  Follow the instructions for your clay pot, but almost any brand needs to go in a cold oven, so place it in the oven and turn it to 300F.  Once it reaches the temperature,  cook, covered for one hour. Do not open the pot. After one hour, remove the roast from the oven. Let it sit in its broth, still covered, for 10 minutes. Slice the roast thinly and serve.

“Life is a matter of taste…”  ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

I cannot praise this recipe enough!  The color in the photo was not enhanced by Photoshop or any other trick.   The chilies give the onions an amazing red/orange tint, and the clay pot locks in moisture, so that the dish creates its own juices.   I left the onions whole around the side of the serving dish, because Phil prefers to avoid them, but you could remove them together with some of the cooking juices and process, making a spicy sauce to spoon over the meat. Thickening it with some type of starch would be optional. I like this preparation on the lighter side.    Whatever you choose to do, the key is to cut the pork in very thin slices.  They will be tender and juicy, almost as if you brined the meat before cooking.

I’ve made this exact recipe without marinating for several hours, and it was still delicious, but if you have 8 hours to spare, do as David suggests.  He knows what he’s talking about…

Almost ready to go into the oven….

I now use a glazed clay pot, and actually prefer this kind because it cleans better.  Neat freak that I am, using cast iron pans and clay pots that should not be washed with soap and water is a bit of a problem.    So, a glazed pot suits me much better!  😉

ONE YEAR AGO: Panmarino

TWO YEARS AGO:  A Classic Roast Chicken (still the most popular blog post in this site!)

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That was David Rosengarten’s closing line in his wonderful show “Taste,” years ago on FoodTV. Each episode centered around one dish, prepared by David while he talked about its origins, variations, and ultimately, his method to flawlessly reproduce it in your own kitchen. It was a simple format, but it delivered everything I expected from a cooking show. He almost always remained true to the classics. For instance, his shows on quiche Lorraine, cheese souffle and croissants were all based on recipes from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. But sometimes he would wander off in new directions: his interesting show on “Compromise Clam Chowder” was an example of his gastronomic rebellion. After explaining the differences between the New England and Manhattan methods for chowder, he offered his own version, borrowing a little bit from each. Similarly, his macaroni and cheese included a few “extras” to make the dish less monotonous, and it was absolutely delicious.

Through his show I learned about many exotic dishes such as laarb, before I even had a chance to try it in a restaurant. And, I stopped twisting my nose at offal, because David Rosengarten’s recipes were perfect for any palate. From him I learned how to cook pork ribs in a stove-top smoker, mimicking as closely as possible the best ribs of Memphis, one of the homes of barbecue. I loved watching him prepare Brazilian moqueca, even if his pronunciation of the state of its origin (Bahia) was a little off ;-). His show was classy, informative and fun, and I was sad to see it end.

So, I guess you can imagine how I felt when I received an email from Daniel Boneville, who just produced a video with David, and sent me the link. If you’ve also been suffering from Rosengarten-withdrawal syndrome, allow me to ease your pain, and I cross my fingers that this is just the first of a very long series!

Click here for the one and only David Rosengarten, on a quest to re-create his favorite tomato sauce…

With many thanks to Daniel Boneville….

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For someone who doesn’t much care for desserts, I’ve posted quite a few lately. Probably part of it was the holidays that just kept on coming: Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve, with Valentine’s Day around the corner.    All of these special occasions call for a sweet closure, often with chocolate written all over it. 😉

To get in this proper dessert spirit, I’ll share my favorite recipe for  flourless chocolate cake.  Even someone as cake-challenged  as myself can make this scrumptious dessert, as I have since I saw it on “Taste”, with David Rosengarten (back when the FoodTV Network was worth watching).  I didn’t miss many of David’s shows, that I taped on my old VCR, and still have the box of those tapes.  VCRs are a thing of the past, but one day I’ll digitize those shows on DVDs (…one happy day… right after I organize my recipes in beautiful, indexed folders).

David Rosengarten’s flourless chocolate cake is special.  I mean, who doesn’t like a pony?  Even if you’re not a chocoholic, this dessert might be for you, but if you love chocolate, then don’t let this recipe pass you by.  It’s dreamy with a little whipped cream on the side, that slightly mellows its potent chocolate kick.   Please, use the best chocolate that you can find, because here quality makes a difference:  the chocolate is all that you will taste.

(from David Rosengarten show Taste)

7 oz extra bittersweet chocolate
14 Tbs unsalted butter  (1 + 3/4 sticks)
5 large eggs, separated
1 Tbs vanilla extract
3/4 cup granulated sugar
pinch of salt
2 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder

Heat the oven to 350F. Grease a 10-inch springform pan.

Combine the chocolate and butter in a double boiler over simmering water, heating until fully melted and smooth.  Transfer to a bowl, let it cool slightly for a few minutes, and whisk in the egg yolks and vanilla.  Sift in the sugar, salt, and cocoa powder, while constantly stirring.

Whip the egg whites to soft peaks.  Gently mix about one third of them into the chocolate mixture, fold the remaining whites trying to deflate them as little as possible. Pour the mixture into the prepared springform pan.  Place in the lower rack of the oven and bake for 25-28 minutes.

Remove the cake to a rack and immediately loosen the sides of the pan. Allow the cake to cool before serving.


to print the recipe, click here

Some people, including my husband, can’t conceive of a cake without icing (irony of all ironies, he married the “Anti-Cake”).  Yet, this cake won his heart (though he  insists it will still improve with a thin chocolate glaze).  Years ago I baked it in a heart-shaped pan for our Valentine’s dinner.  OK, it was a little  cheesy,  but it doesn’t hurt to travel that route every once in a while…  😉

David’s original recipe instructed to press the cake down with a plate or other appropriate flat object right after removing the ring, to compress it and release a bit of the air produced by the whipped egg whites.   In his opinion, the cake is all about a fudgy, dense, chocolaty texture.  I’ve tried it both ways, and prefer to skip the compression, allowing it to naturally cool and deflate.

For the fans of his show, those who certainly still remember his closing line….

” Life is a matter of taste.” (David Rosengarten)

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