Friday, April 10, 2009

Dinner Party: Lazy Friday Night

Friday Night Porky Delight

I attended a butchery demonstration using half of a farm-raised pig about a month ago, whereby the instructor divvied up sizable portions of his handiwork--offal, leaf lard, trotters and all the various cuts of pork--to a curious group of 8 carnivores. I received a total of about 10 pounds of pork, which I stuffed and stored in my freezer. Since then, I've been flipping through cookbooks, navigating the recipe morass online, and enlisted friends to join my army of tasting guinea pigs--all in an attempt to diminish my surplus of pork. 2 pan-seared pork chops, some braised pork belly and a second-degree burn incident involving fried pig skin later, I still had a ample amount of meat left over, which included a shoulder roast. So, last Friday I decided to turn the shoulder roast into dinner for two.

April 3, 2009 Dinner Menu
People: 2

  • Manchego cheese/charcuterie and papaya
I actually cobbled this together, because my pork dish was taking an incredibly long time to cook and knew my guest was hungry. I wanted to serve the papaya with with jamon or prosciutto, but made do with the cured meats I had in the fridge. 


I used this recipe as a guide, but gave it a personal twist by using a shoulder roast, instead of tenderloin, playing with ingredient proportions, and adding prunes and cinnamon to the mix. I think it worked, but I poured a tad too much maple syrup to the pork which spilled on to the pan. During the course of the cooking time, the glaze on the pan started to caramelize, burn and blacken, leaving a helluva crust to chisel out.
  • Roasted red potatoes with fresh thyme and rosemary
I used the recipe from Mark Bittman's "How To Cook Everything" and deviated a bit to add flair and utilize the ingredients I had at home. I've actually whipped this dish up a million times. Sometimes the potatoes have a nice, crispy crust and sometimes they don't, which drives me bonkers. I decided to cook to the instructions and kept the heat on medium. I proceeded to monitor the potatoes as they browned and patiently flipped over each piece with pair of tongs, instead of moving them around haphazardly with my spatula. The potatoes turned out perfect. Success!
  • Mixed Green Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette 
I whisked 1/4 of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 1/4 Balsamic Vinegar, a dollop of grainy, Dijon mustard, salt and black pepper, adding some thyme to the mix. 


  • Leftover cut up papaya
  • Agua  
Teetotalers that night.

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