Monday, October 17, 2011

Open faced pulled pork sandwiches

I've been kind of lazy with my blog lately, but I have a good excuse. At least, I think it's a pretty good one. With my parents being here visiting from the U.S., we have dined out a lot, especially since it's venison season and most local restaurants serve all kinds of delicious dishes.

Also, I've just been out of town for the weekend. I went to... drumroll please... BERLIN! I had always wanted to go and, finally, I've made it there. It was amzing trip, although a short one. I'll tell you all about it in a different post, though, with pics and all that other fun stuff.

For now I'm just going to share a recipe with you, the first ever made with my brand new crockpot. You have to know that slowcookers are not popular in Europe. I know, I know. It sounds crazy, since they are so awesome and useful... still, you cannot find them anywhere. Most people don't know what they are. I missed mine so much, I started thinking about having my mom ship it to me from Florida. But then I found one on and forwarded the link to my sister asking her to give it to me as a birthday present. And the rest is history. I now have a crock pot and it came just in time for me to make some good slowcooked, fall recipes.

I decided to inaugurate it by making spicy pulled pork. It turned out great, and when I came home from work the house smelled delicious.

Adapted from
  • 2.5 lb pork shoulder
  • 6 cloves garlic cut into slivers
  • cumin
  • garlic powder
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2-3 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 2 bay leaves

Season pork with salt and pepper. In a medium sauté pan on medium-high heat, brown it for about 10 minutes. Allow to cool.

Using a sharp knife, cut small holes into meat and insert garlic slivers. Season with cumin and garlic powder all over.

Place chicken broth in the crockpot, add bay leaves and chipotles. Add pork in crock pot and cook on low for 8 hours. After 8 hours, shred meat using two forks and combine well with the juices that accumalated at the bottom. Adjust salt and cumin. Let it cook another 15-30 minutes.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A wonderful fall lunch at Osteria Ciona

Friday the high temperature dropped from 81 to 69 and a cool Northern wind kept the sky clear and the air chilly.It has been a beautiful fall weekend so far, one during which I've eaten all kinds of awesome autumn dishes.
Yesterday my parents and I drove up in the hills over Lake Lugano and had lunch at a place called Osteria Ciona, a traditional Swiss restaurant that specializes in venison this time of the year. It was amazing. The restaurant itself, as you can see, is something out of a postcard. Service is, as it usually is in Switzerland, impeccable. We sat on the terrance, figuring we would take advantage of the last days of warm-enough-for-outside weather. And of course we ordered from the "Fall specialties" menu... because that's what we had gone there for. It was hard to choose, I have to say. There were all kinds of yummy options, ranging from wild boar to deer, cooked in all kinds of ways. In the end we settled for a deer salami as a shared appetizer. It was a great choice. The salami was fresh and tender and so delicious it was almost too good to eat with bread. For our main courses, my mom picked deer filet with polenta and chestnuts (pictured on the right). The meat was tender and cooked just right - juicy and pink on the inside.
My dad also opted for a venison main course. He ordered deer stew, which also was excellent. As for me, I decided to have venison filled ravioli, served with melted butter and sage.
As you can tell there was a lot of butter involved, which made the dish even better. All in all, it was a fantastic lunch. We drank a locally produced merlot which complimented the meal very nicely.
There were other things on the menu that I wanted to try, so I guess I'll be back there pretty soon. The biggest problem around here is that there are too many great restaurants... and so little time.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Meatloaf with onion sauce

For the whole month of September I have eaten and drunk as if it where the holiday season, partly because I was trying to enjoy the last few weeks of summer, party because my birthday is on Spetmeber 29th, which means that I feel entitled to party for the whole month.

The result is that now I feel full even before I start eating and that my clothes are a little tight on me, especially my beloved jeans. This, of course, means that I have to lose a couple of pounds and that I have to watch what I eat for a couple of weeks.

What does all this have to do with meatloaf, you might ask? Well, everything, if the meatloaf in question is nutricious yet low fat. And tasty, of course, because I'm a firm believer that if somethig tastes horrible it won't help your diet.


Cooking spray
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup minced mushrooms
  • 6 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs  
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound ground turkey breast
  • 1 large egg   
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)

  • For sauce:
    • 3 onions, chopped
    • A glass of white wine
    • Chicken broth


    To prepare loaf:
    Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from heat; cool slightly.

    Combine onion, breadcrumbs, and next 7 ingredients (through Tabasco) in a large bowl. Stir in 2 tablespoons ketchup.
    Shape mixture into a loaf shape. Wrap in parchment paper and refrigerate for an hour.

    Heat a large pan over medium high heat, coat with cooking spray. Sautee loaf on all sides, turning carefully. Add onions to pan and wine. Let onions cook for a few minutes. Continue cooking loaf for about 30 minutes, basting with broth if sauce gets dry.


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