VIDEO: Cooking Pan Roasted Pork with Nikolas

Interview with Chef Nikolas Papageorgiou

Owner of Spiceitupcy.com, a local website packed with great cooking tips, recipes and helpful articles. 

H: Which recipes do you recommend us to try this season, using seasonal ingredients?
N: Well, as I am a sucker for seasonal veggies and recipes, now is the season to try and get your hands on some Cypriot wild asparagus and Morel mushrooms; they are both amazingly flavorful when pan-seared and seasoned properly. Furthermore, a nice beef roast with essences of rosemary, black peppercorns, thyme, and garlic cooked with some baby potatoes is always my go-to recipe when it comes to either gatherings or just a nice, proper meal.

H: Share with us a secret of the Chef…
N: Most of us won’t tell you, but to be totally honest, our sole secret is butter. The amount of it that goes in our recipes in restaurants is just outwardly, and of course, there is always love, as all of us chefs are doing it out of passion (I mean, come on, who would put the effort if there wasn’t any passion in it?) Therefore, these are our top secrets.

H: What ingredients do you prefer to use?
N: I’m a Mediterranean Chef, so it goes as simple as this: Olive oil, garlic, and salt.

H: What are your best cooking tips that can take an amateur cook to the next level?
N: Never settle, always go with your gut feeling and dare to use strange combinations of ingredients. Dare to do the first thing that comes to your mind. Never forget to use some spoons and taste what you are cooking while cooking it. There is no bad recipe; what actually is there is your taste buds and the way you prefer your food. As a great chef once said, we all need to understand that there is no perfect food, only the idea of it.

H: How would you describe your cooking style
N: Hectic, creative, and crazy.

H: Tell us a bit about your background and how you fell in love with cooking.
N: Well, the honest answer to this is that I literally woke up one day when I was 14 and decided to start learning the amazing Culinary Art. As I started learning it, I immediately fell in love with it. I continued to study Culinary Arts at the Higher Hotel Institute of Cyprus, and from there, I’ve worked at Intercontinental Aphrodite Hills, Amathus Beach Hotel, Do wine and Dine, and several other places. The past 15 years have been a nonstop learning journey to me, and if I had the choice to do it again, I would most certainly do it!

H: What is your signature dish?
N: Clear gazpacho, smoked scallops crudo, and pomegranate pearls.

H: What would you cook for a romantic dinner? (Would be great if you could share the recipe too so that I can include it in the article)
N: I would go with a succulent Pork Iberico cutlet, some lightly pickled apple, Peruvian potatoes mash, and salted caramel gravy sauce.

Here’s a recipe for a romantic dinner for two: Pork Iberico Cutlet with Pickled Apple and Salted Caramel Gravy Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 2 pork Iberiko cutlets
  • 2 Peruvian potatoes
  • 1 apple, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 200°C (392°F).
  2. Season the pork Iberiko cutlets with salt and pepper, and sear them in a hot pan for 2-3 minutes on each side until they have a nice crust.
  3. Transfer the cutlets to the preheated oven and roast for 6-8 minutes until cooked to your desired level of doneness.
  4. Peel and cut the Peruvian potatoes into small pieces, and boil them in salted water until they are tender. Drain them and mash them with a fork, adding salt and pepper to taste.
  5. In a separate pan, heat the sugar and water over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has turned a light caramel color.
  6. Add the chicken stock and heavy cream, and stir to combine. Simmer for 5-7 minutes until the sauce has thickened, then whisk in the salted butter.
  7. For the lightly pickled apple, combine the thinly sliced apple, sugar, and white wine vinegar in a bowl and let it sit for 10-15 minutes to allow the apple to pickle slightly.
  8. To serve, spoon some Peruvian potato mash onto a plate, place a pork Iberiko cutlet on top, and add a few slices of the lightly pickled apple. Drizzle the salted caramel gravy sauce over everything and serve immediately.

Enjoy your romantic dinner!

About Nikolas

Nikolas was born and raised in Limassol on November 14, 1990. Cooking has always been his passion and he knew at the young age of 14 that he wanted to pursue it as a career. Nikolas went on to study at the Higher Hotel Institute of Cyprus and graduated in 2011. Since then, he has had the privilege of working in some amazing hotels and restaurants in the Limassol District, including five-star hotels and top-notch restaurants. Simply put: Cooking is his true love and he can’t see himself doing anything else, which is why he launched Spiceitupcy.com where he shares a lot of cooking tips and recipes.

Cook it yourself! Here is the Recipe from the Video: Pan Roasted Pork, Celeriac Puree, Sautéed Vegetables 

Truffle Mash Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 2 kg potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 250g butter
  • 10ml truffle oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

 Instructions:

  1. Boil the potatoes in a large pot of salted water until tender, about 15-20 minutes.
  2. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot.
  3. Add the butter and mash the potatoes with a potato masher until smooth.
  4. Add the truffle oil and stir until well combined.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Celeriac Puree

Ingredients:

  • 1 large celeriac, peeled and cubed
  • 200g butter
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

 Instructions:

  1. Boil the celeriac in a large pot of salted water until tender, about 20-25 minutes.
  2. Drain the celeriac and return it to the pot.
  3. Add the butter and blend with an immersion blender or in a blender until smooth.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Port Wine Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 5 thyme sprigs
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 100ml port wine
  • 500ml beef gravy

Instructions:

  1. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
  2. Add the thyme and garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  3. Add the port wine and carefully ignite with a lighter or match to flambe (optional).
  4. Let the flames die down, then add the beef gravy and bring to a simmer.
  5. Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened and the flavors have melded together.

Vegetables

Ingredients:

  • 200g baby carrots
  • 200g broccoli florets
  • 200g asparagus spears
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 200ml port wine

Instructions:

  1. In a large saute pan, melt the butter over medium heat.
  2. Add the vegetables and saute for 3-4 minutes until just starting to soften.
  3. Pour in the port wine and bring to a simmer.
  4. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and the sauce has thickened and caramelized slightly.

Pork Tenderloin

Ingredients:

  • 1 pork tenderloin, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons wholegrain mustard
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat.
  3. Rub the wholegrain mustard all over the pork tenderloin.
  4. Sear the tenderloin in the hot skillet, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 2-3 minutes per side.
  5. Place the tenderloin in a roasting pan and roast for 15-20 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 67°C.
  6. Let the pork rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing.

 

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