Posts Tagged ‘pork’
Earlier this week—before I got struck down with the mother of all summer colds—I found myself high up in Laurel Canyon on a perfect June night at the treetop home of my friend Dana, who was hosting a book party for Jon Paul Buchmeyer. In Buchmeyer’s tell-all memoir, Alphabet City: My So-Called Sitcom Life, “a series of publicity jobs created madcap storylines, including a mishap with Whoopi Goldberg’s Oscar, a mistaken identity as Tyra Banks’ Turkish boy-toy, and finishing school lessons in the gossipy halls of publishing giant Condé Nast.” While Buchmeyer read from his book, an assembly of Condé Nasties past and present nibbled on a whole roasted pig from Eva’s Lechon and soba noodle salad and sipped Moscow Mules. Reason #1014 why we love LA nights…
What, I ask you, is more romantic than a big old hunk of pork belly?
My friend Alex and I struck out this morning to shop for our Valentine’s Day dinner party this weekend and the first stop was Huntington Meats at the Farmers Market on Third/Fairfax. We’re doing a Japanese-themed extravaganza, and the main event is the ramen recipe from Momofuku, my favorite restaurant in NY. The broth alone takes 10 hours to make. Here is our menu:
Sashimi + Champagne
Roasted Mushroom Salad with Braised Pistachios, Pickled Sunchokes + Radishes
Momofuku Ramen with Roasted Pork Belly + Slow-Poached Egg
It’s a ridiculous undertaking, but we plan to divide and conquer. This morning’s mission: pork. Alex picked up 6 lbs of pork belly (above) and butcher Jacob deboned a 6+ lb pork butt, below. Alex is slow-roasting the belly and butt; I’m making the broth so I snagged the pork bones and have asked Jacob to hang onto any more bones, which I’ll hopefully pick up tomorrow morning. I need 5 lbs. I have .75 lbs. Stress.
From there, we headed to the Little Tokyo Market Place on Alameda (an enormous Japanese/Korean supermarket) to do a serious shop. Thank god, Alex was with me or I would’ve been there for HOURS. (I don’t read Japanese, PS.) So here’s what we got: konbu, dried shiitakes, fresh ramen noodles, nori, fish cake, radish shoots, canned bamboo shoots, instant dashi, mirin, oyster and enoki mushrooms, shichimi togarashi…
Now all that’s left is to secure the rest of those pork bones, find some sunchokes to pickle and get my hands on some Japanese feathered “fleur-ever” eyelashes from Shu Uemera:
We’ve certainly be hearing that the recession is over, but I for one have yet to personally experience that first hand so in the meantime I’m going to continue advocating pork butt. I mean, I bought an 8 pounder last week and it fed three adults for several dinners and as many lunches—and cost only $40, at Whole Foods no less. Of all our meals, my favorite was this incredible Carnitas Salad with Warm Cherry Tomato-Jalapeño Vinaigrette we had on Friday night. The inspiration came from the Jimtown Store Cookbook, which features a similar salad, but I think a copy editor was asleep at the wheel since several ingredients and steps are missing from the recipe as printed (but in general, this is one of my very favorite cookbooks). Never mind! Here’s our version, based on what we had in the fridge and a few blanks filled in, and it was fantastic.
Carnitas Salad with Warm Tomato-Jalapeño Vinaigrette
Serves 4 as main course
1 lb leftover carnitas from enormous slow-roasted pork butt
1/2 lb green beans, trimmed
1-2 poblano chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded, deveined, and chopped
3/4 lb red-skinned potatoes
1 yellow pepper, finely diced
1/3 cup red onion, diced
1/4 cup scallions, chopped
1/4 cup corn oil
1 jalapeño, seeded, deveined and finely chopped
1 lb cherry tomatoes
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
Bring a medium pot of salted water to boil. Add green beans and cook until beans are tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and transfer to bowl of ice water. When cool, drain and pat dry.
In another pot, cover potatoes with cold water and bring to boil. Lower heat and cook, partially covered, until potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes. Drain and cut potatoes into chunks.
While potatoes are boiling, make vinaigrette in a skillet. Heat oil over moderate heat, add tomatoes and jalapeño and cook, stirring once or twice, for 4 minutes. Add vinegar, cilantro, salt and pepper, and bring to simmer. Cook, stirring once or twice, another 3 to 4 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine all vegetables, pulled pork and toss with warm vinaigrette. Serve. Leftovers of salad are great rolled up in a tortilla with avocado slices for lunch the next day!
Earlier this week, I slow-roasted an 8lb pork shoulder (aka Boston butt) forever, resulting in the best, most tender and rich pork I’ve yet to enjoy. And it couldn’t have been easier. We’ve already had two nights of AWESOME leftovers for three slightly piggy adults, and still have enough for several more meals. At least. So, at $4.99/lb, this roast was something of a steal. The first round of leftovers was inspired by a favorite slow-roasted heritage pork panini at Napa Style in Napa Valley. Taking a page out of chef Michael Chiarello’s book, I had my husband stop by Mozza2Go to pick up a jar of mostarda (an Italian riff on chutney made w/ pear and mustard). Of course, being too generous to say anything until he got home, he bought the damn jar, which cost NINETEEN DOLLARS. I mean, that is half the price of the freaking pork butt.
But begrudgingly—and I mean begrudgingly—I admit it was incredible on the sandwich. As well it should be at prices that rival gold. I lightly toasted some potato buns from Ralph’s, where we also picked up a bag of pre-shredded slaw and mixed with mayo & apple cider vinegar.
And then reheated the pork in a 300-degree oven for 10-15 minutes, and piled it high topped w/ slaw on the sandwich. I’m guessing we will be porked out by the time we’ve reached the end of the bounty, but next time I’d love to try this with a bone-in heritage Boston butt, though it’d be almost triple the price. Hmm…Santa, baby?
We are going on Day Three of the entire family being wiped out by Tiny G’s cold. It’s a killer, and demands comfort food so the first night we ordered extra spicy Thai curry, the next it was chicken noodle soup, and then today I threw an 8-pound pork butt into the oven and slow roasted it for almost seven hours. I used another flawless recipe from Bruce Aidells that ran in Bon Appétit last year. There was pretty much zero prep other than throwing a few things into the food processor to make a garlicky salsa verde to spoon over. Quite by accident [read: I was totally spaced out on cold meds and not paying attention], I tripled the garlic in the salsa verde. You don’t need to do that. But I’m certainly breathing [fire] a lot better now. You won’t believe how easy and how satisfying this is. Just rich, decadent goodness topped with a bright, fresh Italian parsley salsa. Total prep time for pork and salsa? Maybe 10 minutes. Tomorrow night I’m thinking pulled pork sandwiches for dinner, maybe with some mostarda if I’m up to swinging by Mozza2Go….we’re happily going to be eating pork for days to come.
The pork gets a spice rub (chopped rosemary & sage, some garlic, salt and pepper), and then goes into a 450-degree oven for 20 minutes. Then you cut the heat to 300 and roast until a thermometer reads 185 degrees.
As for the salsa verde, throw some chopped Italian parsley, garlic, anchovies (I didn’t have any so used a healthy squirt of anchovy paste), lemon juice and zest and some more rosemary and sage into a food processor, along with some red wine vinegar. Then, while food processor is running, add a stream of olive oil and THAT’S IT. Huge payoff, next to no effort. And sure to get the troops back on track.
Anytime you see a recipe by Jeanne Kelley—whether it’s her cookbook Blue Eggs and Yellow Tomatoes, in the pages of Bon Appétit or Cooking Light magazines, or on her Eat Fresh blog—make it. A few nights ago we tried these Pork Chops with Chiles Rellenos and Ancho Sauce from the August issue of Bon Appétit, and had our friends Booth and Adam over for dinner. The four of us are serious chiles rellenos freaks, and have together spent marg-fueled nights devouring hop-the-next-flight-they’re-that-good rellenos at the Sayulita Café in Mexico. But I digress. For this recipe, both the chiles and pork are done on the grill, which is a lot less work than going the whole battered and fried route w/ the rellenos, and certainly a hell of lot time efficient than traveling to Mexico. We also had some leftover potato filling from these rellenos, which we used the next night for potato tacos.
Here’s the potato filling, couldn’t be easier. Essentially boiled Yukon Gold potatoes, toasted cumin seeds, fresh oregano (which is growing out of control in the back yard—how do I prune that stuff?), and sharp white cheddar. Like I said, great in a tortilla the next day.
Before grilling, you do have to roast the chiles over an open flame, and then you stuff with the above mixture and place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Then transfer the foil and chiles directly onto the grill.
Oh, and a word about the pork. Ninety-nine percent of the time, I’ll take my pork chop with nothing more than a little cracked salt and pepper on it—particularly if we’re talking Heritage Foods chops. But this recipe proves an exception—the chile powder and salt rub is fantastic, and that ancho sauce sublime.
Carolina! Here she is claiming her prize bottle of Casa Noble Reposada Tequila. True, Carolynn is only half Mexican, which means we cannot entirely dismiss her victory as being genetically predisposed. Quite simply, her guac ROCKED. My husband voted for Carolynn’s guacamole. (To keep what little dignity I have left after today’s crushing loss, my ego needs to point out that Jimmy Shaw of Loteria voted for The Foodinista’s guac.) But it was a fierce competition and all five guacamoles were exceptional! Thank you Oscar, Carolynn, Katie and Adam!
And thank you all who came and voted! We had buckets of beer, killer catering from Loteria, super smooth sipping tequila and cocktails from Casa Noble, roasted tomatillo slaw from competitor Adam, Kurobata pork tinga from champion Carolynn, pineapple jicama salad from Trisha, agua fresca from Andrea, empanadas from Missy, tomatoes from Rachel, carne asada from The Foodinista’s one true love, Mezcal from Jimmy, Mexican wedding cookies from Nina, and Valerie tea cakes from Lesley. If you can believe this, I didn’t get a shot of the food. I’m livid. So anyone who has photos, please send!!!
I will post my guac recipe in the next few days, and Carolynn says she will post hers on her blog as well, but in the meantime, here are some highlights from the afternoon:
Last Saturday night we had friends over to grill Berkshire pork chops and drink cheladas. Our friend Adam, who has a superb fashion piece on that disturbing neighbor kid from Mad Men in tomorrow’s Los Angeles Times (preview: the kid wears a monocle in real life; he’s 8), brought over some Mexican slaw. But not just any slaw. This was super delicious, super spicy, roasted tomatillo slaw from the Jimtown Store Cookbook. You roast garlic, tomatillos and chiles for smoky spicy heat, while jicama and cabbage give a refreshing crunch. It takes slaw to a new level.
And it was great the next day in pork tacos with sliced up pork from a leftover chop. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, The Jimtown Cookbook is one you should have in your arsenal. Here’s the slaw recipe to give you a taste of just how inspired these recipes are, while being very rustic and unpretentious—just plain GOOD.
Roasted Tomatillo Slaw
From The Jimtown Store Cookbook
4 ounces (about 4) tomatillos, husked
4 whole garlic cloves, unpeeled
1 serrano chile, split, most of the seeds removed
6 scallions, green tops only, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup coarsley chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems
1/4 cup corn oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
3 cups finely hand-shredded green cabbage (about 1/4 medium cabbage)
2 cups julienned jicama
2 cups julienned carrots
Lime wedges for serving
Line a heavy medium skillet with foil and set over moderate heat. Add the tomatillos, garlic, and serrano chile and roast, shaking the pan and turning the vegetables occasionally, until all are brown and soft, about 5 minutes for the serrano and up to 20 minutes for the tomatillos and garlic. Remove the chile when it is done, and set aside. Remove the garlic from the pan. When the garlic is cool enough to handle, peel it.
In a food processor, combine the tomatillos, garlic, serrano, cilantro, scallions, salt, sugar, pepper, and vinegar. Process until smooth. With the motor running, gradually add the oil through the feed tube.
In a medium bowl, toss the cabbage, jicama, and carrots with the dressing. Serve immediately, if you like your slaw crunchy, or let your slaw sit for up to 1 hour to soften a bit. Adjust the seasoning just before serving. Squeeze a little lime for extra zing.
Apologies for the pork-heavy week, but little did I know when I served an herb-roasted pork loin on Tuesday night that yesterday a heavy box bound from Decorah, Iowa, would land on my doorstep.
My heritage pork chops are here! I can’t tell you how excited I am to have a freezer full of big, beautiful Six-Spotted Berkshire pork chops! I had initially thought I’d be getting Red Wattle chops, but I am thrilled with these brightly colored, marbled beauties from Certified Humane® farmer David Holthaus, who has been raising pigs since 1974. Stay tuned for more adventures in pork!