I know! You get a new recipe when two adults who really love each other decide to........... No that's not it. Recipes are not easy to come by. We professional cooks spend years perfecting technique and learning how to speak in code so everyday home cooks don't learn our secrets. Then "He" invented the interweb. Now there is almost as much good information on the web as there is bad*. Let me take you thru my thought process as I created a condiment / side dish to go with our dinner the other nite. I even managed to use ingredients my wife doesn't care for and I still got her to eat it.
15:00 hr Sunday: Eileen is making a shopping list, I rattle off the first five things that pop into my brain
15:30 hr Sunday: I open the bags from the grocery store excited because I can't remember what I asked her to get. I combine this with what is oldest in the fridge and needs to get utilized
15:45 hr Sunday: I find a half finished growler from Lost Nation Brewery, still bubbly, use it or lose it. Drink up!
16:00 hr Sunday: I start a nice cheap pork shoulder roast covered with my Ghetto Fennel Pollen (recipe at end of post) and steaming some potatoes
16:15 hr Sunday: Time to start the condiment, I have a half head of bok choy, good bacon (umm pork with pork) shallots and copious fresh tarragon
16:16 hr Sunday: Action time, cut three slices of bacon and render nice and crispy in the Aga
16:18 hr Sunday: Wash and slice bok choy to make a slaw. Looks funny, no like. Be sure to spin dry the bok choy
16:21 hr Sunday: Break out food processor and pulse the bok choy for thirty seconds. Looks good, transfer to steel bowl
16:21 hr Sunday: Stir bacon, note I'm multi tasking
16:22 hr Sunday: Slice a couple shallots crazy thin like match sticks, stir bacon
16:25 hr Sunday: Bacon is crispy, add shallots and cook one minute, exactly! Really, no just a little to soften and sweeten up, use good judgement
16:27 hr Sunday: Add two Tablespoons of white balsamic vinegar to bacon shallot mixture, bring to a quick boil then add 2 Tablespoons olive oil
16:28 hr Sunday: Chop a bunch of fresh tarragon, about two Tablespoons. Add bacon mixture and herbs to cabbage, Taste.
16:29 hr Sunday: Yup beer still tastes good, time to taste the food. Add a little maple syrup, salt, pepper and more tarragon.
16:30 hr Sunday: I now have some version of cabbage/slaw/condiment to go over our pork and on the leftovers which will become a sandwich.
That's it. Use what you have, taste your food, stay close to things that work, balance your flavors, sweet, sour, salty and bitter. And sell it. Make primal noises when you taste it or say things like "this reminds me of when we were in Paris on our honeymoon". Paris, Maine is where most northern New Englanders honeymoon.
roast pork with bok choy chow.... wow wow wow
* I read a blog where the writer had some nice photos of his friend dicing an onion. Crazy stuff. I didn't really pay much attention to the man dicing the onion. It all looked normal to me. As I got to the comment section people started complaining that the photo was showing a dangerous practice of the man slicing the onion with the knife going towards him. The author chimed in and said he was sorry blah blah blah. Well the man in photo was slicing it right in a safe and accepted professional fashion. Thank God the blogging expert was there to set us back on a course of perpetuating bad knife skills
Ghetto Fennel Pollen Recipe
Toast 1/2 cup fennel seeds, 1/4 cup coriander seeds and 2 or 3 pieces of star anise. You can do them all in the same pan at the same time. Toast just until you can smell them, shake that pan like you mean it, grind in a spice/coffee grinder.
But I have no spice grinder, only my trusty coffee grinder. How am I suppose to make this without buying a grinder for spices when tag sale season is months away? I'll tell you. Grind some cheap uncooked rice in your coffee grinder to clean it out. Grind the spices. Grind some cheap uncooked rice again to clean out the spice flavor. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
Thanks for reading all the way to the bottom, Gerry