Monday, July 16, 2012

Pork Belly Watermellon Salad With Balsamic Glaze

I must say, I really outdid myself on this dish.  I made this a couple weeks ago for a small dinner party and it was a mega hit.  I created the dish using a memory of a similar dish I ate at a restaurant about a year ago.  I have never made pork belly so I just never got to trying to recreate it.  Then, I came face to face with a beautiful pork belly and I decided it was time to go for it.  I cured it myself using a mixture of kosher salt, brown sugar and fresh herbs.  I cured it over night in the fridge and then cut the belly up into lardons and cooked them in a pan on the stove low and slow. 

While the belly was cooking, I put a small pot on the stove with 1 cup of balsamic vinegar and 2 teaspoons of brown sugar.  I reduced the vinegar until it covered the back of my spoon in a medium thick consistency and set aside.  Probably took about 10 minutes and I whisked it as it reduced.  Then, I thinly sliced a jalapeno and marinated it with a juice of a lime in a ramekin.  Once the bacon was done, I cubed some watermelon and jicima and arranged it on the plate.  I added the bacon, sprinkled the jalapeno slices, drizzled in the vinegar and then topped with some mirco greens.  SO FREAKING GOOD!

Chipotle Coleslaw

I can't believe it but somehow my husband convinced me to go camping this weekend.  I absolutely hate to camp.  No matter what, you wake up wet, your back hurts and the smell of campfire has saturated your clothes.  And that's just the morning.  Don't even get me started on setting up let alone cleaning up a campsite.  So the deal is that I will go for one night but I am in charge of all the meals and there has to be a bathroom. 

We always buy Morton's tri tip steaks at Costco so I figure I'll grill that up and serve it with one of my favorite side dishes of all time- coleslaw- but with a Chipotle twist.  I found the recipe and pic on Cooking Light.  Pray for me...

Chipotle Coleslaw
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon molasses (not blackstrap)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 small canned chipotle chile, minced, plus 2 tsp. adobo sauce from the can
  • About 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 6 cups each packed shredded green and red cabbage
  • 7 green onions, green and pale green portions, sliced into thin rounds
  • 1 cup tightly packed chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1. Prepare the dressing: In a medium bowl, stir together mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar, molasses, sugar, minced chile, adobo sauce, and 1 tsp. salt.
2. In a large bowl, toss together cabbage, green onions, and 3/4 cup chopped cilantro. Pour dressing over vegetables, toss well, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours. Before serving, add more salt if you like and scatter remaining 1/4 cup chopped cilantro over the top.