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Kitchen - A little less than a happy high — LiveJournal
After a few months unsuccessfully seeking pork belly from the folks at Stillman's, I finally broke down and bought a couple of slabs in C-Town. It's not that I've given up hope that Stillman's will come up with something for me. I have just been missing the experimentation, and it's been a very long time since we've had fresh bacon in the house. I think the last time I was able to use the cut was in preparation for our trip to PDX, and it still kills me knowing that something crafted with such care was left with folks who won’t eat it unless it’s been burned to a crisp rather than browned lightly. That, however, is a different story.

While the C-Town belly (“bellie”) doesn’t have the heft of the ones from the farm, it’s just as versatile and is more likely to get a uniform cure throughout the cut. For this go, I ran with a variation of a braised pork belly I ran across in a Spanish cookbook at one point. I went sweet and used a whole vanilla bean along with a liberal sprinkling of red pepper flakes. Once the cure was done, I smoked the slab over a combination of corn cob and longan branches.

The result was more “porky” than I like for my bacon and though the flavor from the pepper is a nice undertone, I didn’t pick up any of the heat. Overall, it’s quite tasty, has a nice, subtle blend of flavors, and will work well for a number of uses.


For the record, we really do have a tremendous amount of food in the house. As we approach proper harvest season with the CSA, our stocks tend to swell alarmingly. I’m not exactly wringing my hands over it, but it has put me in the mind for responsible use. I’ve been cooking pretty much all week and feel like I’m just scratching the surface of what’s possible. Just as an example, I sat down yesterday and figured that we could make all of the following with relatively few additions and barely touching our stock of meats:

Chipotle Corn Chowder
Vegetable Lasagna
Beet Ravioli with Poppy Brown Butter
Cock-A-Leekie Soup
Thai Curried Fish or Tom Kha
Chard Stalk Scramble
Cucumber & Melon Salad
Dilly Beans
Pancakes with Raspberry-Peach Compote
Duck Confit with Braised Red Cabbage

We had the corn chowder for dinner last night, but I’m still counting at least two breakfasts and five complete dinners in that line-up, and that’s just from the stock I remembered. Factor in the wildcard produce and leftovers, and that makes for a very full part-week before we get our next drop. If you are inclined to pop in, chances are good we’ll be able to feed you. No, really.
6 comments or Leave a comment
oceanic From: oceanic Date: September 3rd, 2009 04:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
well, I'm accompanying my boy over there tonight, so I could just lie down on the kitchen table with my mouth open. if any of that list made it in, I would have a happy tummy. ;)
komos From: komos Date: September 3rd, 2009 05:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
The brewing is going to make cooking complicated tonight, and I'm tempted to grill up some burgers quickly. There'll still be a bit of a custom feel Since there's homemade pesto, chimichurri, and pickles in addition to the standard array of condiments
oceanic From: oceanic Date: September 3rd, 2009 05:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
i will, as usual, eat anything you make. :)
inahandbasket From: inahandbasket Date: September 3rd, 2009 05:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
yeah, we have a totally full fridge as it is and we're just getting started on the canning/preserving for the late summer/fall. Next order of business for the house is getting a freezer in the basement...
komos From: komos Date: September 3rd, 2009 05:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wait, I know that bread!
inahandbasket From: inahandbasket Date: September 3rd, 2009 05:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
yar, that was taken on our very first visit. ^_^
6 comments or Leave a comment