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Category: Recipes

August 12, 2021 by Merlot Marketing 0 Comments

Three Cheese Stove Top Mac and Cheese Recipe

This blog is written by celebrity chef and THOR Kitchen brand advocate Derrick Fox. Each month, Chef Fox will be sharing his favorite recipes with step-by-step directions, pictures and, his signature style. 

Three Cheese Stove Top Mac and Cheese
Ingredients Equipment 
1/2 cup cheddar cheese 1 stockpot
1/2 cup smoked gouda 1 large sautee pan (I used a Le Cruset Dutch oven pot and a Braiser)
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1 cup of whole milk
1 box of pasta shells
small diced chives for garnish

In a stockpot, heavily salt and boil about 8 cups of water.

In a large sautee pan or braiser, over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Once the butter is melted and slightly bubbling, add the flour. Mix the flour to blend in with the butter and continue to cook it until you get a nice nutty, aromatic smell – about 2-3 minutes. Make sure not to burn the flour. Once the flour and butter have combined and cooked, slowly whisk in the milk. Once the milk is at the right temp, it will slightly thicken. Next, whisk in your cheese until nice and smooth.

Cook your pasta to your liking; I prefer al dente. Once cooked, strain and fold pasta into your cheese. Plate and top with shaved parmesan, a sprinkle of black pepper, and some chives.

Enjoy!

August 11, 2021 by Merlot Marketing 0 Comments

Potatoes Pave Recipe by Chef Derrick Fox

This blog is written by celebrity chef and THOR Kitchen brand advocate Derrick Fox. Each month, Chef Fox will be sharing his favorite recipes with step-by-step directions, pictures, and, his signature style.

 

Potatoes Pave
Ingredients Equipment 
4 russet potatoes 8x4x4 baking dish
1 cup heavy cream parchment paper
1 stick butter  mandolin
1 tbsp salt mixing bowl
1 tbsp pepper sautee pan

Set your oven to 350˚

Then, set up your baking dish. Line with parchment paper, leaving extra paper to hang over the sides about 4 inches. We will use this later.

In a mixing bowl, add heavy cream, salt, and pepper, and mix. Next, trim your potatoes into rectangles. Measure the potato to the width of your baking dish. With the mandolin, slice the potatoes about 1/16th inch thin (thin but firm) and place them into your heavy cream mixture. Once the potatoes are sliced, layer them in the baking dish. Every couple of layers, add 4 thin slices of butter. Fill the dish almost to the top, leaving about half an inch, so the cream doesn’t bubble over while baking. Once layered, fold over the flaps of parchment paper.

Bake for 1:45 to 2 hours. Once cooked, remove the dish from the oven and let it chill on the counter.

Then chill in the refrigerator with weight pressing down on the potatoes for a minimum of 4 hours. Once chilled, remove from the pan onto a cutting board and slice into equal squares. In a hot pan, preferably a cast iron over medium-high heat, sear on all sides and serve. Sprinkle with flake salt to your liking. Enjoy!

Grilled Artichokes with Caper Mustard Aioli

This blog is written by celebrity chef and THOR Kitchen brand ambassador Derrick Fox. Each month, Chef Fox will be sharing his favorite recipes with step-by-step directions, pictures, and his signature style.

The Artichoke. You are obviously familiar with the artichoke hearts in the jar, in oil with some herbs. More recently you may have seen them popping up at your local grocery store, and thought, “wow, what do I even do with those?” Well, I’m here to help you conquer the daunting artichoke. The flavor of a fresh, grilled artichoke is delicious.

There are a few ways to tackle an artichoke. I’m going to share an easy way to clean, steam, and grill them, so you can eat the heart but also all that good meat on each leaf – #COOKLIKEAGOD!

Grilled Artichokes with Caper Mustard Aioli
Ingredients  Equipment
3 whole artichokes scissors
grapeseed oil spoon
rice wine vinegar 8qt pot with steam basket
salt grill/grill pan
pepper tongs
1 tbsp pickled mustard seeds (whole grain mustard)  whisk
2 tbsp capers   small mixing bowl
2 tbsp fresh chopped Parsley  
½ cup mayo  
½ fresh squeezed lemon

Quick tip, there are videos and techniques that use lemon to keep the artichoke from oxidizing and turning brown. Because we are grilling these, we can skip that step.

First, make your dipping sauce. Chop up capers and parsley. Mix mayo, chopped capers, parsley, pickled mustard seeds, lemon juice, and black pepper. If you like spicy, this is a good place to whisk into your aioli.

Artichoke time! Start with snipping the thorn off each leaf. Don’t worry about the leaves towards the top/middle that are tight together. These will be cut off with a knife once we open it up.

Now that all the thorns are snipped, use a vegetable peeler and peel the stalk. Take it down until you see the tender yellow stalk.

Now once they are all are nipped and peeled, cut the Artichoke in half from the stem to the top. With a spoon, scoop out the choke, the fibers in the middle, and any prickly leaves. Once the middle is cleaned, lay the artichoke on its back and slice the top off where the leaves are tight and still have thorns about ½ an inch.

       

Next place them in the large steam basket and place in the pot with a couple of inches of water, cover, and steam for 30-40 minutes. Definitely check the tenderness at 30 minutes. Do this by pulling one from the pot and poking the artichoke heart. It should be tender, but not too soft.

Once steamed, remove from the basket and place on a baking sheet on their backs. You can do all those steps ahead of time if you like and put them in the fridge here and grill later.

Next, drizzle with grapeseed oil, and splash with rice wine vinegar, and generously season with salt and pepper. The grapeseed oil can handle the high heat of the grill better than olive oil, and the rice wine caramelizes nicely over the flame. Get the grill nice and hot, and your grill rack is nice and clean, lay the artichokes fast down on the grill and then close the grill for 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, turn the artichoke 45º to get those beautiful cross hatch marks on the heart and grill for another 1-2 minutes. Flip the artichokes on their backs for 30-45 seconds and remove them from the grill.

When you place them on the platter or plate that you are serving on, finish with a drizzle of olive oil (the fancier the better, I prefer a Spanish olive oil) and spoon over some pickled mustard seeds. Place your sauce in a ramekin for dipping. Enjoy!

 

Celery Soup

This blog is written by celebrity chef and THOR Kitchen brand ambassador Derrick Fox. Each month, Chef Fox will be sharing his favorite recipes with step-by-step directions, pictures, and his signature style. Ever go into the grocery store and see some sort of vegetable and think, “what in the hell do I do with that?”   Today I am going to help you with one of those daunting vegetables that I bet 90% of you have never picked up and put in your cart at the grocery store… The large, ugly, kind of hairy, and oh so delicious…. Celery Root! Celery grows out of the ground and is pretty and green and easy to eat, add to recipes, juice, and what not…. But it’s never the star of the dish. This super delicious root found down in the ground is ready to be a star! As a chef, whenever I work with a new vegetable, I approach it with a few ideas: Does it work as a puree? Can I put it in a soup, chopped up or blended? Is it good roasted? Can I turn it into a sauce? Celery Root is fantastic as a puree for a piece of fish or to put roasted vegetables with, and it is also super easy to turn into a soup. The natural flavor gives it a wonderful taste for a soup with little to no effort. Once you master this soup, you will no longer be scared of those intimidating vegetables in the grocery store. Have fun and tag me in your photos!
Celery Soup
Mirepoix Ingredients  Kitchen Equipment
1/2 diced white onion 1 large pot
1 diced celery stock blender
1 diced carrot vegetable peeler
2 tbsp minced garlic Diced chives for garnish
2 large celery root
2 veggie bouillon cubes
1 tsp cumin
1 cup heavy cream
6-8 cups water
salt & pepper to taste
Instructions First, peel the celery root and cut it into large 1-inch chunks.   In a large pot over medium-high heat, sauté mirepoix with a bit of olive oil until onions become translucent. Add bouillon cubes and sautée. If the bouillon starts to stick, add a splash of oil or water. Once the bullion is broken down, add the celery root and sauté to coat with bouillon in the pan. Adjust your heat as needed- don’t let the onions in the mirepoix burn. Now add your water and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, drop the heat to a simmer. Cook until the celery root is cooked all the way through, and you can easily smash it with the back of a fork. Once cooked, transfer to a blender and blend until smooth, then season with cumin and salt and blend some more. Top with celery leaves, chives, or parsley. I topped mine with a basil oil and garlic flowers! Enjoy.

Steak, Mashed Potatoes & Red Wine Sauce

This blog is written by celebrity chef and THOR Kitchen brand ambassador Derrick Fox. Each month, Chef Fox will be sharing his favorite recipes with step-by-step directions, pictures and his signature style.

Sometimes we’re all looking to take a meal to the next level, and there’s no better way to do that than with a classic, well-cooked steak. Whether there’s a special occasion coming up or you just want to mix up the weekly dinner routine, a great steak can be on the table in under 30 minutes.

Pair the steak with creamy mashed potatoes, and you’re ready to #cooklikeagod!

Steak, Mashed Potatoes & Red Wine Sauce
Steak Ingredients  Red Wine Sauce Ingredients
2 NY Strip steaks, 1.5-2 inches thick (remove from fridge 45 minutes before cooking) 2 cups red wine (preferably Merlot)
Grapeseed oil 2 tbsp “More than Gourmet” Classic Demi-Glace (if you can’t find the “More than Gourmet” brand, there are others that can be used the same way
Fresh thyme sprigs 4 tbsp butter
3 fresh garlic cloves, crushed and peeled Diced chives for garnish
1 shallot, sliced
Mashed Potatoes Ingredients
3-4 large Russet potatoes
1 cup heavy cream
8 tbsp unsalted butter
3 tbsp truffle oil (or as much as you would like!)
Salt to taste

To prepare the mashed potatoes: Peel the potatoes, then rinse them off. Chop into large cubes and place the cubes into a large pot with cold water. Bring the water to a boil, then, once boiling, drop to a simmer. Cook about 12 minutes until the potatoes are cooked through and easy to smash.

Once cooked, strain the potatoes and rice them through a potato ricer back into the pot.

Separately, warm up the heavy cream in a small saucepan. Add the butter and let it melt.

Place the pot with the riced potatoes back onto the stove on low heat for 30 seconds to dry some of the residual moisture. Whisk in the warm cream and butter mixture, then whisk in the truffle oil. Season with salt. Set aside on low temperature.

To prepare the red wine sauce: In a small saucepot over high heat, bring the red wine to a boil. Once the wine reaches a boil, drop to a heavy simmer and simmer until the wine reduces by half.

Tip: Sometimes the wine can be a little bitter, depending on the brand. If that’s the case, I’ve added a little sugar and a couple dashes of soy sauce, and that’s helped me in the past!

Once reduced, whisk in the “More than Gourmet” Classic Demi-Glace base. Whisk in the butter.

To prepare the steaks: Remove the steaks from the fridge about 45 minutes before cooking. After your steaks have rested, season generously with salt and pepper. Portion out the thyme, shallots, garlic and butter so they’ll be ready to baste the steaks.

Place an oven-safe skillet or cast iron pan over high heat. Once hot, add a few tablespoons of grapeseed oil. Sear the steaks for 2 minutes, then flip to the other side. After another 90 seconds, drop in the thyme, shallots, garlic and butter and baste the steaks.

Place the steaks in the oven. Depending on the thickness of the steaks, here is some approximate timing for the cook you’re looking for:

  • Medium rare: 3-4 minutes
  • Medium: 6 minutes
  • Medium well: 7 minutes
  • Well done: 8 minutes

Let rest for 10 minutes, then slice, plate and enjoy!

January 12, 2021 by Thor Kitchen 0 Comments

Gluten Free, Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake

This blog is written by celebrity chef and THOR Kitchen brand ambassador Chef Derrick Fox as he shares his favorite recipes with step-by-step directions, pictures and his signature style.  

As a private chef, I learn everything about the tastes and flavors my clients love and the ones that they don’t like at all. I also have to pay especially close attention to special diets, food restrictions and allergies, which can sometimes feel like a never-ending mecca.

That’s part of the reason that I am brought on board as a private chef. They need an expert that can take those restrictions and still make them something delicious. I go out of my way to make my vegan, vegetarian, gluten free and dieting clients delicious meals that take their diet restrictions into account, but also will wow their taste buds.

I’ve also noticed that cutting out gluten and dairy from my diet just feels better. I feel lighter and more energetic!

Whether or not you follow a gluten free, dairy free or vegan diet, this recipe is delicious! Plus, I’m sure you have a friend who follows one of these diets that you can impress with this masterpiece.

Let’s #cooklikeagod! 

Gluten Free, Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake
Crust Ingredients  Equipment 
10 gluten free, vegan chocolate cookies (any brand) Food processor
6 tbsp vegan butter, melted 2 metal mixing bowls
Chocolate Filling Ingredients  Pie dish
7 oz. 70% dark chocolate Small pot
16 oz. Kite Hill cream cheese Plastic wrap
10 oz. oat milk Blender
1 cup of raw cashews
6 tbsp vegan butter
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp monkfruit sugar

To prepare the pie crust: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a food processor, blend the cookies on high to make cookie crumbs. Add the melted butter and cookie crumbs into a mixing bowl and combine into a wet, sand-like consistency. Press the crumbs into your pie dish to fully cover the bottom and the sides of the dish. Bake for 15 minutes at 375 degrees.

Once cooked, leave the pie crust in the dish and let cool before adding the filling.

To prepare the filling: Place the cashews in a small pot, cover them with water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Strain the cashews from the water and set them aside.

Break up the chocolate into a medium metal mixing bowl and add the butter and vanilla.

In a small pot, bring the oat milk to a scald (you’ll see small bubbles on the side of the pot). Once at a scald, pour the oat milk over the chocolate and butter mixture, then immediately cover with plastic wrap. Let sit for 5 minutes, then mix until smooth.

In a blender, add the chocolate mixture, the cashews and the vegan cream cheese and blend until smooth. If you like your cake really thick, feel free to add more cream cheese!

Pour the blended chocolate cream cheese mixture into the chilled pie crust. Place in the fridge for 4-6 hours or overnight and enjoy!

December 23, 2020 by Thor Kitchen 0 Comments

Holiday Recipes: Rack of Lamb and Caviar

This blog is written by celebrity chef and THOR Kitchen brand ambassador Chef Derrick Fox as he shares his favorite recipes with step-by-step directions, pictures and his signature style.  

Rack of lamb with caviar

Like all families, the holidays always reveal its most interesting dynamics, whether your family is large or small or made up friends: you know the family you choose. My family is all over the place, and I wouldn’t be able to explain all the different dynamics and personalities in one blog post, but I can assure you, you are not alone. I have had the entire family together, multiple family gatherings, the divorced household, the stepdad Christmas, the friends Christmas, a Christmas alone, and a Christmas with the family I have made with my wife and our dog and cat! Whatever your situation, there are wonderful memories that we all hang on to, most of which revolve around food.

I remember when I was young and living in Florida with my mom, biological father and younger brother. Around the holidays, shortly after Thanksgiving and before Christmas, my grandmother Rosalie would send a box of Pizzelle: little Italian cookies pressed and cooked in a waffle iron that looked like it was meant to make the cookie in the shape of a snow flake.

Pizzelle, photo credit The Kitchen

Pizzelle, photo credit The Kitchn

I come from a long line of strong Italian women, and in Italian families, most traditions involve cooking. Through my childhood, my life changed a lot, we moved a lot – I never had the opportunity of staying in one place very long, so that meant new friends, different family members, and never sticking around long enough to form a tradition….except those Pizzelle. It didn’t matter where in the country we were, I could count on that box arriving. Crispy, flat, almond or vanilla flavored cookies. We loved them. My grandmother years later passed the tradition down to my mom and my aunt. In my teens, I remember my mom and dad (stepdad) making them for a few years and we would take them over to my grandparents’ house to keep the one tradition we had alive. Needless to say, the tradition fizzled out when my brothers and I moved to different corners of the country and well, my parents stopped cooking them. I guess the moral of that story is that it’s a good memory and I can always try and start it up again.

Rack of lamb resting

Now that I am older and a chef, I have developed my own personal traditions. Traditions that stick with me no matter who is present. For Thanksgiving, I always make Beef Wellington – every year it gets better, and every year new people get to enjoy it. For Christmas I make a rack of lamb. I’ve always loved making lamb, but when I made it for Gordon Ramsay, I learned I made it very well. I’ve made it for many people at all different times of year, but it’s extra special on Christmas, and now I’m going to share that recipe with you!

Its simple, cook it like a steak. Salt & pepper, sear on all sides, based with garlic, thyme, shallots, butter, and finish in the oven for a couple minutes depending on how thick your chops are to your preferred doneness. I’ll break it down below. ⏬

Seared rack of lamb in a cast iron skillet

New Year’s…. As a kid, my parents changed the clocks in the house to 4 hours ahead and put on the ball drop from a time zone that worked for their plan and put us to bed at 8:30. I was not happy about that when they told us when we got older. They thought it was hilarious.

I’ve always loved New Year’s as an adult, because growing up there were times we didn’t have much, and New Year’s felt like a taste of the high life. Champagne wishes and Caviar dreams. I love them both. Below are some tips to enjoying caviar and impressing your friends with fun ways to eat it.  

Let’s #cooklikeagod!

Rack of Lamb
Ingredients  Equipment 
Rack of Lamb x2 Large cast iron pan or large sauté pan
4 tbsp butter Large pasting spoon
2 shallots
Fresh thyme
4 cloves of garlic
Salt and pepper

When you purchase the racks of lamb, look for Frenched: it’s the way the fat cap is trimmed (If it’s not already frenched, ask the butcher to French it for you). Pull your lamb out of the fridge 45 minutes before cooking to come to room temp. I recommend slicing the rack into doubles, meaning two rib bones per piece of loin. If you like them single, you will skip the oven step.

Basting rack of lamb

Set up your basting mise en place, by slicing the shallots thick, peeling the garlic cloves and give them a quick smash, but do not cut them. You want the garlic to be whole pieces. Smashing them opens them up for the butter to run through.

Now heavily salt and pepper your lamb. Get your pan hot. Add grapeseed oil to the pan and sear the lamb for 1.5-2 minutes on each side. Left, right, then the fat side. Once on the fat side, at the garlic, thyme, shallots, and butter to the pan. Take a large spoon and baste the butter over the lamb for 45 seconds. Then put the pan with the lamb in the oven for 4 minutes for medium, and 6 minutes for medium well. Times will vary depending on the thickness of the lamb chops and how hot your stove gets when you sear. It might take you a couple tries to figure out your timing. Serve with mashed potatoes and a red wine sauce on Christmas and it will be talked about until the ball drops on New Year’s. 🎄🥂

Now let’s talk caviar! Its fancy, it can be expensive, and when you have it served at your party, it means that your party is at a different level! It says you have a sophisticated palate, a desire for nice things, and you are a generous host. The next day your guests will tell their friends about the caviar if you serve it right!

Caviar on ice, sour cream and your favorite salty potato chip

Classic:

  • On ice with sides of minced shallots, chives, and chopped hard-boiled eggs, crème fraiche, and toast points.
    If you want to make it a classic tray-passed app, you can serve the caviar on a blini with a dollop of crème fraiche. A blini is like a savory mini pancake. The easiest way to do this is get the paleo pancake batter from whole foods, make the batter and put it in a squeeze bottle. Squeeze out tiny little bite-size pancakes in the pan and cook on low heat on both sides. Top with a small dollop of CF, then top with a spoon full of caviar, and sprinkle chives.

Fun way to serve:

  • Caviar on ice, sour cream, and your favorite salty potato chips. Classic flavors in a fun hip way.

Classic caviar on ice

I hope you enjoyed learning a little about my journey and some helpful tips to elevate your holiday season. This year is a little different and your gatherings should be small, but these will impress regardless. Take photos and tag @ThorKitchen and @ChefDerrickFox so I can see all the deliciousness you create!

Cheers, Happy Holidays! …. And Good Riddance to 2020!!!!

July 10, 2020 by Thor Kitchen 0 Comments

Super Easy Peanut Butter Oat Bars

This blog is written by celebrity chef and THOR Kitchen brand advocate Derrick Fox. Each month, Chef Fox will be sharing his favorite recipes with step-by-step directions, pictures and his signature style.  

This recipe is both super easy and oh so tasty. With so many of us cooking from home, grocery store shelves can be a little hit-or-miss. This recipe uses just five ingredients, which are probably all in your pantry right now!  

These bars are perfect as a midmorning or midday snack to give you an extra boost of energy on a busy day. I came up with a version of this recipe for a superstar athlete. He loves Nutella and peanut butter and also needs to keep his protein and calories up.   

A busy day is a lot like training for a sport, or maybe you are training for something and need a great source of protein and good energy. These bars are a perfect go to, and of course the Nutella makes them nice and sweet.  

Just be careful not to eat the whole batch! 

Peanut Butter Oat Bars
Ingredients
12 oz jar of creamy peanut butter 
12 oz jar of Nutella 
2-3 cups of your favorite oats or granola mix 
1 Tbsp Pure organic maple syrup (optional)
2 70% dark chocolate bars
 Equipment 
Temperature safe rubber spatula 
Large sauté pan
Baking sheet 
Parchment paper
Small sauce pot for double broiler 
Grease free mixing bowl

In your sauté pan over medium low heat, add the peanut butter, Nutella and oats. With your rubber spatula carefully mix your ingredients until the mixture becomes well-mixed and pliable. If it becomes too pliable, add more oats. 

Once mixed pour onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and smooth out. Place in your freezer until frozen through, about an hour.

Right before you are going to pull your frozen mix from the freezer, you will want to melt your chocolate.  

If you’re not particular about the shine on the chocolate, you can melt your chocolate in the microwave. Break your chocolate bars into a microwave-safe glass dish and heat on 50% heat for 1-2 minutes stirring every 30 seconds.   

You can also melt your chocolate the classic way. Fill your sauce pot a quarter of the way with water and boil. Once it starts boiling, drop your heat to a low simmer. Break your chocolate into the grease free metal mixing bowl and place over the pot. Constantly mix with your rubber spatula until melted and shiny.

Pull your frozen mix from the freezer and place on a cutting board. Cut them into squares. Dip one flat side into the chocolate, and then place back onto the parchment paper with the chocolate side up. Do that for each bar and then place back in the freezer.

After a few more minutes in the freezer, they are ready to enjoy! Remove from freezer and let thaw a couple minutes before eating.  

#COOKLIKEAGOD

Pork Belly Taco

This blog is written by celebrity chef and THOR Kitchen brand advocate Derrick Fox. Each month, Chef Fox will be sharing his favorite recipes with step-by-step directions, pictures and his signature style.

We all love a good Taco Tuesday, and we also love Cinco de Mayo. I mean, is there ever a bad time to celebrate our universal love for tacos?!

This recipe is a way for you to impress your friends and loved ones by mastering the art of pork belly, which is one of my favorite things to cook. I cook it many ways, but the best way for tacos is taking the time to prepare it the day before.

During my time on Master Chef, I spent many days in what could be described as a quarantine. We were filming a massive cooking competition and it was important that we stay isolated to not reveal or disrupt the show. In those moments, I really discovered the importance of patience not only in the kitchen, but in our everyday life.

So, if you take anything from this taco recipe, other than its profound deliciousness, practice the art of patience. Making the pork belly a day in advance and knowing you have to wait to eat it will help you focus on the art of cookery. When you finally bite into these tacos, you will appreciate them on a whole new level. I encourage you to approach everything with this mentality, and I promise, every day will feel like taco Tuesday!

Pork Belly Tacos with Pineapple Pico De Gallo & Miso Slaw
Serving Size: 12 tacos 
·         2 lbs pork belly Pineapple Pico de Gallo Ingredients
·         Mission Street Taco Flour Tortillas ·         1 cup of pineapple, diced
·         1 Roma tomato, diced
Braising Ingredients ·         ½ white onion, diced
·         1 fennel bulb, roughly chopped ·         ½ cup green onions
·         2 apples roughly chopped ·         ¼ cup chopped cilantro
·         1 large carrot, roughly chopped ·         1 serrano chili, sliced thin
·         1 stalk of celery, roughly chopped ·         2 limes
·         1 small yellow onion
·         5 garlic cloves Equipment 
·         2 bottles of dark ale ·         1 braising pan or Dutch oven
·         2 baking sheets
Miso Slaw Ingredients ·         1 medium Sauté pan
·         2 cups of shaved cabbage ·         1 fine mesh sieve
·         1 cup matchstick carrots ·         2 small bowls for mixing
·         1 tsp white miso paste ·         Whisk
·         1 tbsp apple juice ·         Aluminum foil
·         2 tbsp mayo ·         Plastic wrap
·         2 tbsp rice wine vinegar

To prepare the pork belly: This should be done the day before you plan on serving the tacos.

Score the fat side of the pork belly and season vigorously with salt and pepper. In a braising pan over medium-high heat, add a tablespoon of grape seed oil and sear the pork belly to a golden brown on all sides. Remove pork and set aside.

Drain all but 2 tablespoons of the oil from the pan and leave all the bits stuck to the bottom. Place the pan back over the heat and add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic.for 1 minute, scraping the bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the fennel and apples. Sauté for 2-3 more minutes until the onions soften and everything is really fragrant, then deglaze the pan with the dark ale. Bring to a simmer.

Once the pan reaches a simmer, turn off the heat and bring the pork belly back to the pan. Cover with foil and roast in the oven for 5 hours at 250 degrees.

When the pork is done, remove it from the braising liquid and place on a sheet try to let it cool. Strain the braising liquid through a fine mesh sieve into a separate container, then place the liquid into the fridge.

Cover the pork belly with plastic. Place a second sheet tray on top and place it in the fridge overnight. Place weight on top of the tray, such as something heavy from your fridge.

To assemble the Pineapple Pico de Gallo: In a bowl, mix all of the ingredients: diced pineapple, diced Roma tomato, diced white onion, diced green onion, chopped cilantro, thinly sliced Serrano chili and mix. Squeeze two limes over and mix. Season with salt to taste.

You can also prepare the Pico de Gallo the day before and refrigerate. The longer your Pico de Gallo sits, the more flavorful it will be!

To assemble the Miso slaw:  In a small mixing bowl, add miso paste and apple juice and whisk. Then add the mayo and rice wine vinegar and whisk. Finally add the cabbage and carrots and toss.

Using the braising liquid: Remove the braising liquid from the fridge and scoop the fat off the top. We will use the braising liquid by drizzling it over the pork belly while it’s searing to give it a nice glaze.

To finish the pork belly: Pull the pork belly from the fridge and slice or dice the meat—your choice! I prefer to slice.

In a Sauté pan over high heat, add the sliced pork belly and sear until crispy and golden brown. Just before the pork is ready to be pulled, drizzle the braising liquid over the pork in the pan until fully glazed.

To assemble: Warm tortillas to your liking. I love using the flat top to lightly toast them.

Start with the miso slaw, then place pork belly on top. Add the Pineapple Pico de Gallo and finish with a sprig of cilantro. Don’t forget to add your favorite hot sauce if you like your tacos extra spicy!

 

 

Crab Cake with Simple Guacamole

This blog is written by celebrity chef and THOR Kitchen brand advocate Derrick Fox. Each month, Chef Fox will be sharing his favorite recipes with step-by-step directions, pictures and his signature style.

I tell everyone that says they don’t like the taste of something that they probably haven’t had it prepared properly. I’ll never forget the time I was cooking a private dinner party, and the client was telling me his “hatred” for mushrooms. He started eating the dish I had prepared for him, paused, and asked, “What’s this brown stuff?”

“Mushrooms!” I said. We all got a good laugh.

I was never crazy about crab cakes and always thought they were boring or typical. Then I tried one made with Ritz crackers and, in that moment, I understood that I had just never had a good crab cake.

I encourage anyone to keep trying foods you don’t like prepared in different ways. You will be surprised when you learn to love an ingredient. Then again, I also say that lightly, because it will be a cold day in hell before you catch me eating canned black olives!

I gave a little SoCal twist to this crab cake with some heat, some guac and a lime wedge. Let’s #cooklikeagod!

Chipotle Crab Cake with Simple Guacamole
Crab Cake Ingredients Simple Guacamole Ingredients
1 lb. Dungeness crab meat 2 avocados
1 cup crushed Ritz crackers Juice of 2 limes
1 cup mayonnaise (I prefer Vegenaise) Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp chipotle seasoning 2 tsp salt
2 celery stalks, diced ½ shallot, diced
½ cup corn, cooked 1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 egg
½ shallot, diced Equipment
2 tsp lime zest 1 large mixing bowl
1 tbsp grape seed oil 1 small mixing bowl for guac
Salt to taste 1 large frying pan
1 baking sheet
2 sheets of parchment paper

Before we mix all our ingredients, let’s cook and chill the corn. If you want to go the extra mile, I recommend grilling the corn then cutting it off the cob.

I made this crab cake during COVID-19 quarantine, so I used a frozen bag of corn and sautéed it in a pan real quick. Once cooked, let chill or come to room temp.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To prepare crab mixture: In your large mixing bowl, add the mayo and chipotle seasoning and whisk. Be sure to get the seasoning nice and even. Then add celery, diced shallot and cooked corn and mix. Add one egg and whisk. The egg will help bind the ingredients together during cooking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next add crab, Ritz crackers and lime zest and mix.

Feel free to add more Ritz crackers if the mix seems too wet. The best part about this recipe (besides the crab) is the buttery goodness of the crushed Ritz crackers. Think about when you’re eating crab legs and you’re dipping them in clarified butter. We are achieving that combination here with the crackers in the crab cake.

I blitz the crackers in a food processor, but you can also put them in a Ziploc bag and crush them with your hands.

Now it’s time to mold and place your crab cakes. Use a large ring-shaped cookie cutter if you have one, or just use your hands to shape them into a patty. Then season with salt and pepper. Set the formed crab cakes on a sheet of parchment paper.

Place your pan over medium high heat. Once it’s hot, add oil to the pan and sear your crab cakes until they are golden brown on both sides. Place them on a baking sheet on a fresh sheet of parchment paper, then place them in the oven for 4 minutes at 400 degrees.

To prepare the simple guacamole: Peel your avocados, remove the pit and place in a small mixing bowl. Add lemon and lime juice and start mashing. The lime is great flavor and you want the flavor throughout. The acid in the lemon keeps the guac nice and green.

Then add the rest of your ingredients and mix. Add salt to taste and you are ready to plate and enjoy! Top with micro cilantro or radish sprouts and a lime wedge!

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