What's Cooking? (New Jersey)

(David) #562

I checked and @gcaggiano is on uber eats!

(Junior) #563

According to his reviews you order and wait and wait and wait but he never shows.



(Greg Caggiano) #565

Supposedly I’m too busy with a martini. Those Yelpers can be harsh.


Tonight was more assembling rather than cooking … DH wasn’t too hungry and just wanted snack food, so I used what we had in the house. Asparagus lightly drizzled with balsamic glaze, wrapped in bacon and puff pastry sprinkled with black salt and a tiny bit of parm brushed with egg wash.

The asparagus was good, how can you go wrong with puff pastry and bacon? What was better though was pretty basic stuff, the leftovers that really just got thrown in the pan on top of the parchment the asparagus cooked on after I pulled them out … so crazy good, had to be the cooking method. The asparagus will not win any aesthetic award, they were really thrown together, I found the assembly boring, tedious.

(Eli Paryzer) #567

Mrs. P’s 40 year old Hamilton Beach blender finally broke. They don’t make them like that any more :slightly_smiling_face: We just bought this awesome powerful Pro version Kitchenaid blender with a 3.5 horsepower motor that even cleans itself. Mrs. P tried out the new blender by just throwing in random stuff including roasted red, yellow, and orange bell peppers, fresh garlic, roasted red onions, pepper, fresh basil, red pepper flakes, balsamic vinegar, heavy cream, olive oil, and sprinkled some crumbled feta cheese on top to make a very spicy delicious soup. The peppers just disintegrated once they hit the sharp blades. We also had a tasting of some of the meats that we purchased from the D’Artagnan gourmet food basket including an excellent applewood smoked Heritage breed ham, Spanish Serrano sliced ham which we wrapped around Humboldt fog goat cheese and toasted slivered almonds, applewood smoked rohan duck breast, artisanal wild boar saucisson sec, artisanal pork saucisson sec, dry cured beef bresaola, and duck rillettes. We also had an amazing crusty 3 seeded baguette, mustard, cornichons, olives, and white and black truffle butter (which I didn’t take pictures of).


I thought you gave Mrs P the holiday season off? :smile:

That looks like some tasty meat!

It is amazing how bad appliances are today. Hopefully that one lasts. My uncle in law bartended for a good part of his life and makes my family some tasty frosty cocktails at family gatherings. The blenders will last maybe one summer or less.

(Eli Paryzer) #569

Well, she gets the weekends off when we eat out :grinning: And sometimes Mondays, and/or Tuesdays, if there are any leftovers from the weekend :wink:

Those meats were very tasty. They went great with the various condiments and crusty baguette. That spicy makeshift soup was the biggest surprise. She just kept throwing stuff into the blender and it turned out great.

(Greg Caggiano) #570

Hosted a pot luck Christmas party on Saturday night for a few friends. Here are some shots:

Justin’s falling-off-the-bone 10 hour roasted pernil. The flavor was unbelievable. It had marinated in a magical spice rub consisting of garlic and spices for three days. Each bite was an explosion of flavor. Leftovers the next day were even better. Made a sandwich with some shaved asiago on top.


The pulled pernil, a ham from Honey Baked Ham Company, rotini with grilled chicken and vodka sauce, and asparagus baked in dough with garlic and parmesan.

(Greg Caggiano) #571

Dessert, I must add, was a delightful and stomach-expanding array of baked goods, sweets, and ice cream from Nicholas Creamery.


That is quite a feast! Can you divulge Justin’s rub or is it top secret? Lol

Glad you tried Nicholas too. Good ice cream!

I’ve tried all different things but never settled on one pernil style. It’s like making chili for me. I don’t have a set recipe. The one thing I do know, is it always gets a healthy rub down of adobo with black pepper.

(Greg Caggiano) #573

I will ask him for the recipe but from what I observed there was fresh garlic, adobo, sofrito, recaito, cumin. It was more of a paste than a rub. The key is making slits and massaging the rub into the meat, and also loosening the top layer of fat with a knife and then rubbing more under that.

Websites will say to let the shoulder marinate for anywhere from 7-10 hours, but two or three days will guarantee that burst of flavor. As Justin (and his mother) both said, “You are not supposed to taste pork.”

Online recipes also say you can cook 4-6 hours, but 8-10 gets the job done. He did the first half on 350, lowered it to 325 for the rest of the duration. Then pull the foil off, raise oven to 425 and let that skin and fat crisp for 10 or 15 minutes.


I agree that a couple day marinade works best. Sounds like an awesome recipe.

My ex is PR like Justin so I got introduced to the world of pernil. It is such a fun piece of meat to cook. It is so versatile and forgiving. It is really hard to screw up and it doesn’t cost much.

If you haven’t tried it, charcoal cooked pernil is mind blowing! It isn’t that hard to do either. You just need a vertical water smoker and they are cheap and easy to use.

Ask Justin about guavate. He might know of it.

(Greg Caggiano) #575

There aren’t many better, more filling and satisfying meals than a good pernil and arroz con gondules (rice with pigeon peas and ham). Between the fat and the salt, I have asked him and his family numerous times how they stay so thin and avoiding hypertension. :smiley:

As for price point, yeah pernil/pork shoulder is incredibly economical. That massive piece there was only around $9.50 and it must have been on sale because it dropped to $4.50 after I scanned my club card. It fed 9 people at the party, leftover sandwiches the next night, and there is still a fair amount.

Your charcoal idea sounds heavenly. I will ask him.


I really love the charcoal flavor. I think it brings a whole new level to pernil. I feel more in touch with the culture to cook like the Taino have for hundreds of years (when the pigs were brought over from Spain) …I’m also a history guy :slight_smile:

(Eli Paryzer) #577

Sunday night our friend invited us over for an informal get together of small homemade bites including grilled octopus with lemon & olive oil, pork dumplings, pork bun, shrimp in sesame oil, very spicy & crispy chicken wings marinated in tabasco, sriracha, and Bees Knees spicy honey, ground pork & chicken tacos, homemade hummus, various cheeses including smoked gouda & camembert, mini wraps with sausage and cream cheese, and raspberry and espresso ice cream over macerated fruits (blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries).

(Greg Caggiano) #578

I love how what I just scrolled through was described as “informal”. :smiley:

(Eli Paryzer) #579

Well, informal compared to his other fancy dinners that we have gone to :grinning:

(Mr met) #580

I continue to say thy the best Hodown possible would be at Mr and MRs P’s House.

(Tom T) #581

Christmas Eve, historically on my Fathers side of the family is 'mpanata time. At least as an appetizer. There are many different ones, my family always made spinach. Basically, spinach, tomato onion anchovies in a pizza-ish crust. The advent of bagged spinach has made this a much easier dish to make, no rinsing of spinach for hours. Especially since I make 10 lbs of it :slight_smile: