Once I knew guy with one of those pot bellied jobs that people had for pets in the Eighties and Nineties. His mom was out of town, and he was responsible for feeding the beast. He was definitely one of my less intelligent friends, and his idea of feeding the swine involved a casserole full of leftover lasagne, curdled milk, velveeta, and other culinary odds and ends from long forgotten tuperware in his refrigerator. He set the casserole down in the yard, and released the fat, wire-haired sow from her pen.
She sauntered casually to the casserole. Smelled it. Smelled it again. The pig was not impressed to find upon inspection that she was being given garbage to dine on. She placed a foot in the casserole then another, and another until her hind legs were evenly spaced in the pan, and her front legs were back on solid ground. She urinated. She then proceeded to peel out in the pan, strewing the contents around the yard in digust and anger before running wildly into the woods. This was one of the funniest things I've ever witnessed involving animals, second maybe to 'Kittens Inspired by Kittens'.
Last week I cooked some delicious Niman Ranch thick cut pork chops for a few folks. These chops tend to be very flavorful and juicy unlike other versions of this 'other white meat'. I don't really like that term. If you cook beef too much it turns grey, so what? Pork is a red meat, and when you eat GOOD pork you can tell the difference. Anyway, this was a great little meal, and everone seemed to enjoy it. I fried some fingerling potatoes in duck fat, yet refuse to call them coins. There was some asparagus–which I'd be smelling later–and a fresh picked salad with pine nuts tossed with a blood orange vinaigrette. The portions were small enough to be enjoyed by all.
Kitschy food terms tend to irritate me like Anglo dreadlocks do. Coins, cigars, lollipops, and anything of the like just seems unnecessary. Why not just call them fried potatoes, rolled whatnot, and chicken legs? Chefs out there in the ether may not agree with me. I understand that these cutsie terms help to jazz up a menu, or description, yet find them childish; sophomoric. Of course this is just a layman's critical opinion. One which could be easily shrugged off like dirt on your shoulder.
Earlier this week I cooked up some Richardson Family Farms bone in pork chops for Blackberry Shortcake and I (no photos were taken, I'm leary of the quality of the pics these days...). These were good too. I used some Asian five spice to season them, and served these beauties along side some brussels sprouts, steamed jewel yams, and roasted fennel. The flavor of the fennel was a nice compliment to the spices on the pork.
Last night down at Shaddley's, we braised some Niman Ranch country style pork ribs in the Gastronome fashion from way back in October. I added some of my homemade feral hog sausage to this recipe to beef it up a bit. One last attempt to get away with winter cooking during this random cold snap. Shaddley has gone to the Dark Side; part of him died in France, and what ever came back is not entirely human. Some strange Franco-Texan hybrid too perverse for public display. Charcuterie plate, soup course (potato-leek, very dairy laden), main course, fromage, and dessert?! A fucking truffle cake at that. I see fromage staying the course; weathering the tempest of the recession. The ladies were all filled to the gills. We ate like we tend to: righteously. We were constantly checking out the window for the food police. They'll get us one day no doubt.
We drank too much wine; I awoke with the first real wine headache of the year. What gives? Fortunately Taco Deli tacos and peaberry reserve coffee saved the day. Here is why: Chateau Grand Bireau 2005 Bordeaux Rouge, Bourassa 2005 Rhapsody Syrah from Napa, 2004 Phillipe Faury St. Joseph Blanc (the best of the night fo sho), Sur de los Andes 05 Malbec Gran Reserva, Olivet Lane Chardonnay and Pinot 2006, Palacios Petalos Bierzo 2006. Seven bottles for four drinkers, and we killed them all.
Pigs beware. I've got your number. Bacon goes with everything. As soon as I buy a new candy thermometer, I'll make another batch of the toffee. I'll work on some spring desserts featuring that beast. I'm thinking of bacon toffee chunk cookies, similar to Heath bar chunk. I think that would be good! Am I crazy? Am I? You wouldn't tell me if I were, would you?