Friday, March 13, 2009
And while the Pork Buns from last week did not live up to my expectations, I was blown away last evening with Daniel Boulud's Pork Belly charcuterie at Bar Boulud. We were walking around the Upper West Side after a listening party at Jazz at Lincoln Center, without much focus on where to eat. And across the way I spotted Bar Boulud. We weren't planning on visiting a restaurant of that "caliber," but since we were there, and the menu looked tasty, we said "Why not." And I am so glad we did. The whole meal was quite wonderful, served at a wine-focused communal table in the back of the restaurant. One of the highlights most certainly was the Rillons Croustillants au Poivre: Hot, crispy and tender pork belly with cracked pepper. Served with a bit of mustard sauce and some refreshing leafy greens, a rather large portion of pork belly was presented in two long strips. Alternating between crispy meat and tasty fat, the thick strips were almost too much. I said almost. The taste was just incredible -- I probably could have made a meal out of that dish alone. I must admit that nearing the end it did tend to come across as just slightly dry -- I kept looking for some of the remaining mustard to help with that. But overall, one of the best dishes I have had in quite some time, pork or not. Looking forward to when I find myself across from Lincoln Center, looking for a restaurant.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Monday, March 2, 2009
Saturday, February 28, 2009
To be fair to the Baconnaise makers, Stewart had me (puking) at "blueberry pancake wrapped sausage." It's one of two product signs I can't bear to look at in a grocery store. The other, with thanks to George Carlin, is head cheese.
Baconnaise is made by the folks at JD's Foods, whose motto is "Everything Should Taste Like Bacon." That's "like bacon" without any actual bacon. Their two flagship producets - Baconnaise and Bacon Salt - are so pork-free, they're even kosher.
They also have a blog with a formidable display of porksperiments, even if no pork is involved.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Last week I tried cooking a pork roast in a slow cooker, along with a mix of sweet potatoes, carrots, leeks, and a cup of broth. There are also these other potatoes I thought would be sweets, but looked like regular spuds on the inside.
I put everything in the crockpot as shown in the "before" picture above, but I think I did something wrong. After 4 hours, the pork was fully cooked, but dried out like I cooked it in the microwave.
I was able to salvage it by slicing it down and mixing in with the cooked broth and veggies. It was absolutely delicious, but it looked like an unappetizing mush. You should have seen how my wife's face transformed from excitement to scorn when she finally saw what smelled so good. Sorry I didn't take an "after" picture.
- So what did I do wrong?
- Was the pork sitting too high atop the vegetables?
- Should the pork have touched the bottom so it could cook partially immersed in the broth?
P.S. - Leeks are my favorite new ingredient. They add a lot of tart, bitter flavor. I like to chop up the whole leek, using as much as possible down to the bottom of the stalk until it's totally white.Leeks are also, by far, the best vegetable for drumming up and down the produce aisle when you're pretty sure no one is watching. They're like big brushes, perfect for Mitch Mitchell's solo at the beginning of "Up From the Skies."