Pork loin gets all pretty and tasty with a profusion of fresh orange slices.
My Dad never met a piece of pork he didn’t like.
Chinese char siu cut into itty-bits and scrambled with eggs for breakfast.
Lacquered pork ribs from Chinatown to gnaw on blissfully until they were picked clean.
A big ham he’d stud with cloves and bake with rings of pineapple for Christmas dinner.
And neatly tied roasts brushed with soy sauce and honey, purposely big enough to allow for leftover slices to stuff into sandwiches packed for lunch the next day.
It’s been seven years since my Dad passed away. But every time I enjoy an exceptional porky meal, I can’t help but think of him.
Chef Charlie Palmer’s “Pork Loin with Oranges” is a dish I know he would have loved. My Dad wasn’t into fancy. While this dish isn’t pretentious, it’s pretty enough to be a party plate for a special celebration, yet easy enough to prepare for an every day meal.
It’s unfussy — just a generous pork loin roasted gently with an abundance of onion and fresh orange slices until the tangy citrus marries with the sweetness of the meat in perfect harmony.
Atomic red hot dog musubi from Foodland market on Maui.
Like Neon-Red Hot Dogs
Yes, hot dogs the very unnatural color of atomic red are a thing in Hawaii.
Think of them as the red velvet cake of hot dogs.
You can find them in packages in the supermarkets, atop musubi or nestled into buns.
As one Hawaiian-born chef joked to me, “We do like our carcinogens.”
Even though he and his friends grew up on them, none could offer an explanation as to why they are the color that they are.
Even a Maui News article published a few years ago wasn’t able to shed much light on it.
I’ll take a wild guess and surmise they’re that hue to emulate char siu or Chinese barbecued pork. But who knows?
Brined, braised and roasted pig’s head at Cockscomb.
If ever a restaurant embodied its owner’s personality, it is Chris Cosentino’s new Cockscomb in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood.
It’s dark and it’s loud. Picture a concrete bunker hidden away with taxidermy on the walls. There’s a ceramic pig’s head you might recognize from Cosentino’s previous restaurant Incanto, as well as a huge stuffed buffalo head (a gift from a couple of patrons). Shelves around the horned beast’s head display Cosentino’s first bike helmet and old toys. The toilet paper rolls in the bathrooms are even made from spare bike parts.
As for the menu? A lot of it is rich, meaty and rustic — the delicious stuff you picture chefs devouring after a long night, especially male ones. Even so, a female colleague and I (she treated me), dug in and were rewarded with a meal that delighted and definitely made us feel like one of the boys.
Another kind of pig’s head on the wall.
Why a restaurant named for that ruffle appendage on a rooster’s head? Cosentino says it’s because it harkens to his initials, “C.C.” and because “The rooster runs the farm. Its cockscomb is a commanding piece. The larger it is, the more attention that rooster gets.”
A prime rib to end all prime ribs. From Snake River Farms.
Consider this the Maserati of meat.
Luxurious, extravagant and a work of art in its own right.
This is the Snake River Farms American Kobe Gold Grade Eye of Ribeye Roast.
At nearly $400 for a 6 1/2- to 7-pounder, it’s meat that makes an entrance. Especially on an important holiday.
I actually had a chance to try a sample of the roast recently. I don’t think I’ve ever cooked a cut of meat worth this much. My kitchen almost felt unworthy.
What accounts for its sky-high price tag? First, it’s American Kobe, which is Japanese Wagyu crossed with American Angus. Second, it’s gold grade, meaning it’s more marbled than than any other roast the Idaho-based company sells. Third, it’s aged, hand-trimmed and limited in quantity.
AgLocal’s Moroccan lamb sausages get roasted in the oven for an easy weeknight meal.
As much as we’d like to eat local, sustainably-raised meat regularly, it often takes going the extra effort to do so.
Usually, it requires driving out of the way to a specialty store.
Now, San Francisco’s AgLocal makes it much easier to enjoy farm-fresh meat and to support local family farms by delivering a box right to your door.
All the meat comes from pasture-raised animals. The meat offerings, shipped frozen most of the time, are available in four different boxes, each of which includes a different selection: “Family Style” (favorite cuts to appeal to all members of the family); “Grill Master” (ribs, chops and steaks); “Fit and Lean” (brisket, flank steak and the like); and “Farmer’s Pick” (more esoteric cuts such as lamb breast and smoked shanks). Each box comes in two sizes, either 7 pounds ($85) or 14 pounds ($150).
A look inside my “Fit and Lean” box.
AgLocal currently delivers to California, Arizona, Idaho, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.