Spring Cleaning and Fresh Starts

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March 25, 2014 by caitlinvaclark

In case you hadn’t noticed, I’ve been in a rut. Total truth, my inspiration has been non-existent. I start the week thinking, maybe I’ll bake something; perhaps I’ll create a new recipe; this weekend we should throw a party; this is the week I’m going to perfect the soufflé. And then I stare blankly at the grocery store isles and come home with boneless skinless chicken breasts and vegetables to roast. Snooze-fest.

But spring is here, in theory at least, so it is time to snap out of it. The last few days have been a bit of a haze of deep cleaning OCD-ness. My to-do list has included everything from the standard laundry and dusting, to the out-of-control polishing silver and Magic Erasing wall marks.

The great thing about spring cleaning is feeling like you have a fresh start. Fake-it-till-you-make-it is just what I’ve needed. I’m finally inspired to get back in the kitchen. I have a fridge stocked with fresh produce and a list of ideas for new recipes.

Spring cooking itself can be clean and fresh. Where better to get inspiration for a spring meal than your local farmers market. If you are lucky they will have one of my all time favorite flavors of spring: ramps (also known as wild garlic). These bright green mellow bites of garlic are only available for about a months so rush out and find them now. They make an amazing stir-in to pastas or scrambled eggs, but one of my favorite ways to transform these greens is making a chimichurri sauce.

Ramps: A Broad Cooking

This bright tart chimicurri sauce would be incredible on steak or even chicken. But since I was at Borough Market gathering ramps, I took this one up a notch with presa, a shoulder loin cut of iberico pork. Presa is so tender and well-marbled that it is best cooked like a steak, to about medium rare.

Grilled Presa with Ramp Chimichurri: A Broad Cooking

Served along side some additional ramps, grilled quickly while the meat rests, mopping up their juices, this makes an elegant and sensational spring meal.

Grilled Presa with Ramp Chimichurri: A Broad Cooking

Grilled Presa with Wild Garlic/Ramps Chimichurri

Serves 4

1 1/2 lbs. presa pork

2 tsp olive oil

Flake salt and fresh cracked pepper

For the chimichurri:

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup red wine vinegar

¼ tsp crushed red pepper flake

¾ cup chopped fresh cilantro

¾ cup chopped ramps

salt to taste

Prepare the chimichurri by whisking together olive oil, vinegar, and red pepper flake. Gently mix in the finely chopped cilantro and ramps. Season with salt. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Slice your presa into ½ inch filets, cutting the meat on the diagonal. Season with salt and pepper on each side and drizzle with olive oil.

Heat a large grill pan over medium-high heat. Once the pan is very hot, grill the presa for 2 minutes on each side.

Let the meat rest for 5 minutes then serve with the chimichurri sauce.


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