Potato, Leek, and “Ham” Soup

This is a favorite for dark and stormy nights, but I find that it can also be served cold or lukewarm, especially if run through a blender. As is always true of my recipes, the protein must be substituted. I have used thinly sliced muscle deep to the spine that I braised in wine, but I will give instructions for pork. This makes a large pot, so do expect to feed a group.


  • Large soup pot
  • Frying pan
  • Good chef’s knife


  • 3 good sized leeks
  • 4 good sized potatoes, that will fit in an open hand with spread fingers
  • green onions
  • garlic
  • fresh parsley
  • chives
  • 2 medium yellow onions
  • butter
  • milk
  • heavy cream
  • white wine (You may drink some as you cook, as you will only need about 2 cups worth)
  • Vegetable stock (You may use a stock concentrate, cubed or jellied, or you may use a liquid stock. The only important thing is to gain about 8 cups of yield, or about 2000 ml)
  • bacon
  • 1 pork loin steak (A pork chop will also do, but trim off all the fat and gristle)
  • green beans and peas (Optional)
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • Crème fraîche (or sour cream)


  1. Chop the leeks by simply slicing across them and separating the rings. Chop the yellow and green onion. Mince the garlic.
  2. Cube the potatoes (and prepare your beans and peas) but set them aside
  3. Put a few tablespoons of butter in the bottom of your soup pot. When melted add in the three types of onion and the garlic. Sweat these in the pot for several minutes. You can estimate the doneness by the yellow onion and how translucent it becomes.
  4. Pour in the stock and wine and let come to the boil
  5. Add in the potatoes (beans and peas)
  6. While the soup simmers happily, put a little butter in your pan and fry your bacon, then remove to let cool. Add the pork steak to the pan and cook until medium rare (don’t worry, it will continue to cook in the soup). Set this aside to rest.
  7. While the meat is resting, deglaze the pan with a little bit of wine, working it around the pan to free up all the tasty pork bits. Let it boil off all the alcohol (You can check this by sniffing the fumes). Then pour this into the soup. (This will also aid you in cleaning your pan, and should really be done any time you cook meat. It not only loosens all fat deposits, it also gives you a delicious base for gravy.)
  8. After the pork has rested, slice it thinly and then chop. Chop the bacon too. Add the meat and all its juices to the soup pot.
  9. When the potatoes have finished cooking, add in a couple cups of milk and some cream (To taste). Keep the heat low, or the proteins will muck up and give you a skin on top. A little salt and pepper should do. It should now begin to taste like soup, but do continue to cook for as long as you like, stirring regularly. The longer it cooks, the more it will reduce, and the softer the veggies will get.
  10. While it is cooking, mince up your parsley and chives.

To serve, put in a bowl, spoon in some crème fraîche , and garnish with chives and parsley. (My chives suffered in the sun this year, and I ran out, and so you will see from my photo, that I have instead substituted green onion). Add a freshly baked loaf of bread and a tangy white wine, and you cannot go wrong.


The Most Delicious Pulled Pork, a recipe

The trouble with recipes for barbecue are twofold: Firstly, this method of cooking can be somewhat religious in temperament. That is to say, every person has their technique, their recipe, their secret, and these are guarded both jealously and passionately. Seldom do humans try other recipes, or cultural trends, preferring either vinegar based sauces, sweet, spicy. Secondly, it has no real measurements, as all of these depend upon your tastes and the size of the cut of meat. I will, however, attempt to give you an estimate of what you will need based upon the amount of meat I’ve recommended.

This will happen in two phases, over the course of two days.


  • Large pressure cooker (If your cut of meat is large and unwieldy, then you will have to cook in batches. However, you can also do this in a crockpot, for an additional several hours, if you cannot find a pressure cooker.)
  • Barbecue grill
  • Foil
  • A large, deep, roasting pan


  • 7-10 lbs boneless pork shoulder or butt (You might imagine I have a human analogue to this, and I do, as the taste of human meat does lend itself well to this recipe. I would use, probably, an entire upper leg, deboned. However, you would most definitely prefer pork, as it will stay juicy and sweet.)
  • Golden brown sugar (A large bag)
  • Korean red chili powder (Get a very large bag. Not for this recipe, but for daily life. It’s one of the best condiments, particularly if you like smoky flavors. It is not very spicy, unless you eat large amounts – or so I am told by humans. I am not susceptible to capsaicin.)
  • Turkish fermented chili paste (This may be difficult for you to find, and you can substitute with Korean red chili paste, but I highly recommend you attempt to source it. Go to ethnic grocers catering to Middle Eastern or Indian cuisine. Look for the red jars. If it has the word “Gaziantep” on the label, it is Turkish.)
  • Mustard
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Sweet white wine
  • Smoked paprika
  • Celery seed
  • Cumin
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Kosher Salt and freshly cracked black pepper


  1. Create your dry rub (Remember, this is to preference, so as you combine to my recommendations, please do taste it and see if it is to your liking.)
    • Even amounts of brown sugar and Korean chili powder. Approximately 1 cup each, but it can be more, depending upon your taste and the size of your pork cut
    • Add each of the following in increments of 1 tsp, until you’ve achieved a flavor you like – smoked paprika, celery seed, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, salt, pepper,
    • Once the rub tastes sweet, smoky, and spicy, it is finished.
  1. Remove your pork from its packaging and pat dry
  2. Place it in your baking pan and coat thoroughly in the dry rub on all sides. You can do this by patting it with the powder mixture, or by rolling it around in it, but the general idea is to have a bright red piece of raw meat, completely coated in the spices.
  3. Cover the pan with foil and store in the refrigerator overnight.
  4. Remove from the pan and grill on medium heat until medium well (This will probably take a couple of hours)
  5. Remove from the grill and slice off any blackened bits, being cautious to only remove the darkened crust, while leaving as much meat as possible.. If you skip this step, your final product will be bitter and somewhat acrid. Do not worry about the dry rub being scraped off. By this time it has soaked into the meat.
  6. Create your sauce:
    • Combine the wine, mustard, vinegar (in splashes here or there),Turkish paste, a little sugar, some Korean chili powder, paprika, onion and garlic powders, celery seed and cumin, salt and pepper to taste. Ideally you want 3 cups of yield or so, at the approximate texture of a ketchup or barbecue sauce. It should be smoky, but tangy.
  1. Cut your pork into chunks and set in your pressure cooker. Pour the sauce in, and bring to high pressure. Cook for 45 minutes.
  2. Shred the meat into the sauce.

Serve on a roll with a pickle. It should be tangy, sweet, smoky, and spicy, all in one. If it isn’t the most delicious thing you’ve eaten in a while, then you have done something terribly wrong.

Candied Pork Chicharrones and Ice Cream, A Recipe

Today is National Eat What You Want Day — when humans concerned about their waistlines must schedule a day to cheat on their diets. I would point out the humor in this prearranged lapse in discipline — since the entire point of discipline is to be disciplined — but I won’t. So eat what you want. I certainly do. Though, you are bound by the confines of law and order.

It is also the publication date of my journal, such as it is. I thought I would celebrate by doing something different.

If you have been following my work, or if you are a new reader, it will become clear that I never eat the skin. I am not entirely happy with the idea of eating a fried meat-sack, since that is really the best preparation of the integument. Neither do I much go in for sweets, but I will never be accused of being myopic. I have decided to branch out, to expand my horizons.

And so, I offer up this treat, a savory dessert.


  • Baking pan with inset wire rack
  • Sharp knife
  • Dredging bowl
  • Mixing bowl
  • Two medium saucepans
  • Mixer (Hand held or standing, whisk or electric)
  • Frying pan
  • Ice cream making kit for a KitchenAid standing mixer (optional)


  • 1-2 lbs pork back fat with skin (As may be obvious, I do not use pork. Instead I choose a specimen with a particularly high body fat index, and a fairly wide torso. I have adjusted the recipe to fit your tastes, however,  this ingredient may be difficult for you to find in a normal grocery store. If you go up to the butchery counter and ask them if they have any sitting around, you will probably be in luck. Asian grocers, specialty butchers, and even farm-to-table place may have it.)
  • Brown sugar
  • White sugar
  • Cinnamon (You may use pre-ground spices, for expediency, but fresh is best)
  • Cardamom
  • Sea salt
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • Chocolate ice cream (I will not include the instructions for making your own ice cream. If you have the standing mixer and the attachment, it comes with a recipe guide. Simply make up a batch of your favorite ice cream and freeze over night.)
  • 1 package raspberries
  • Chambord (Raspberry liqueur. Optional, but a very good option)


  1. Make your ice cream the night before. If not making your own, skip this step and purchase a dark chocolate, organic variety. We want to keep the savory-sweet profile, so less sugar is better.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200.
  3. Cut your pork into thin strips, about two inches wide, and carefully remove the subcutaneous fat. The best way is to lay the pork skin-side down, and resting the knife flat, slide it across the strip away from yourself, as if scraping or shaving. Remove as much fat as you can, as it will interfere with the crispiness of the skin. Set fat aside.
  4. Cut the skin strips into 2-3 inch segments. Lay these on top of the baking rack, and put into the oven. The low temperature will dry out the skin over the course of the next few hours. When the skin is completely dried out, Remove and set aside to cool completely.
  5. Take the fat you have set aside and render in your frying pan by cooking at a low temp for a couple hours, while your skin is drying out. (I mean the pork skin of course. If your skin is drying out, please indulge in a moment of moisturizing at this time.)
  6. In  medium saucepan, combine raspberries, 1 cup white sugar, and 1/2 cup Chambord (Or juice or water) and allow to cook down to a syrup. Strain the seeds from this when it is liquefied, and set aside.
  7. When the skin is close to being fully cooled, combine 2 cups brown sugar, cinnamon, and cardamon to taste in your dredging bowl, with just a pinch of sea salt.
  8. Heat your rendered fat or lard in your pan until it is perfect frying temperature, and spits a bit.
  9. Using tongs, drop the skin pieces into the oil and fry until they puff up and get crispy. Immediately remove, give a cautious shake, and then dredge in the sugar spice mixture. Set aside to cool.
  10. Whip your cream until it is perfect whipped cream texture, adding a sprinkle of sugar here and sea salt there. We want this whipped cream to be savory, not sweet, so only add the sugar to bring out the cream, not to mask it. It should taste something like salted butter.
  11. In a small saucepan, heat one cup of white sugar and 1 teaspoon of sea salt on medium heat, stirring constantly. The sugar should begin to melt and turn a light golden brown. When it is completely liquefied, it is finished. Remove immediately or it will harden.

To serve, scoop a small amount of the ice cream into a bowl or cup, add a generous stripe of raspberry sauce. Another scoop of ice cream. A dollop of your savory whipped topping. Drizzle all over with salted caramel. Stack the chicharrones atop like a cookie, or serve in a separate dish for dipping.

If you are so inclined, you may now find my published diary, entitled The Creature’s Cookbook, online, or via the Tapas Media app. I do hope you will enjoy.