Monthly Archives: April 2011

Homemade Bacon: Savory

I made bacon! That’s Kitchen Goal #5 down. This was a very exciting adventure. A piece of advice: make sure you have everything you need for the recipe before you start defrosting your pork belly. I had to hunt down curing salt via Facebook from a friend and later run out to multiple stores for liquid smoke for one of my two recipes.

Said curing salt provider gave me this savory bacon recipe. It’s from Michael Ruhlman. It’s a bit non-traditional in the sense that there isn’t really a smoke factor, but the taste is peppery and really satisfying. I also made a second batch with the recipe I’d originally planned to use (recipe to follow).

There are a few ways you can go about cooking the bacon after you cure it – charcoal grill, smoker, oven, or oven + liquid smoke. I used the latter two techniques.

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Vietnamese Summer Rolls

Kitchen Goal #4 complete! And I’m partway through another one, so there’s some good progress here.

This one was a last minute inspiration. I wanted something to go with Pho for dinner, so decided to grab a handful of shrimp and some smaller vermicelli noodles while I was at the Asian grocery store to make these to go with it. Very easy, though the rolling’s a bit tricky (I watched online videos and still had some issues).

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Leftover Pork “Pho”

I love Pho but haven’t ever made it before. Combination of thinking, “It’s so cheap, why make it for more money at home?” and “Doesn’t the broth involve hours and hours and oxtail?”

This logic still holds true, but when Becky suggesting making Pho with leftover pork (she’s done it with this leftover turkey recipe as a guide), I couldn’t resist the idea. The broth doesn’t taste quite as authentic/complex, but it’s rich and delicious. Yay Pho! Or faux. Either way.

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Stuffed and Roasted Pork Leg

Here it is! The famous giant pork leg. 18 pounds and change!

I went back and forth on how to prepare this for Pork Party 2011 and decided to adapt a recipe for “Company Stuffed Fresh Ham” from “Pig: King of the Southern Table”, a gift from Mandy for Christmas. Delicious! Meat was moist, cracklings were crisp and the stuffing meant lots of flavor and aromatics.

Pictured here with cracklings (fat layer, crisped) already removed.

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Pork Stock

Ok, I’m not convinced that many of you will have an 18 pound pork leg carcass hanging around, but should you find yourself in such a predicament, it makes for some quite lovely stock that I plan to use for leftover pork “Pho” (from a recipe Becky sent me) later this week.

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Potato Salad with Pesto and Green Beans

My friend Becky has made this dish for me before, so I decided to try my own hand at it for Pork Party 2011 (pork recipe coming soon!). It’s super easy, particularly if you make the pesto ahead of time. Roasting the potatoes really bumps up the flavor here, though I bet you could boil them in the pinch.

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Fish Tacos with Avocado Relish

We get Bittman Fish #3 early this week, since I’ll be cooking a giant leg of pork this Sunday rather than a filet. I’ve made fish tacos before, but I liked the simplicity of this approach. Very tasty, particularly since I had awesome, fresh-caught rockfish from my friend Jen to use. I added avocado to Bittman’s cucumber salsa; yum.

We served this with black beans with a little corn mixed in, and salsa verde brussels sprouts.

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Filed under easy/quick, fish dishes, main dishes, WW-friendly