As a literal bookend to my quest to make a great dish with pigs’ ears, I took a similar chance with pigs’ tails. Even more obscure culinarily, the tails presented some challenge as to how to eat these extraordinarily phallic cuts of pork. While BBQ pigs tails are more regularly eaten in the States than any other way mostly as part of whole pig roasts, I want to explore something more global and more true and specific to the qualities of the tail.
After a relatively long research period, I found fabada. Fabada is a Spanish bean stew similar to cassoulet, but less rich and more about the beans than the accompanying meats of which there are still many. Traditionally, it seems that any or all of morcilla (blood sausage), chorizo, jamon, tocino (bacon!), and, in some cases, pig’s tail are included in the pimenton and saffron laced broth when cooking the Asturian favas. Continue reading
There are multiple levels of offal eating with which people are comfortable. Personally, I had not had a pig’s ear that appealed and I am adventurous, but I knew that how I had eaten them, boiled and cold, produced the most challenging texture. As a nose-to-tail devotee, I was bound and determined to figure if I could prepare the ear in a way that I liked.
I had a few requirements for doing this. First, the ears had to be crispy. The texture of ears is already very difficult, accentuating that gelatinous, chewy texture is a dangerous move. Second, the ears would need to be balanced with something spicy and acidic. With the amount of richness, it may be too much without balance. Third, the ears would need to come from a pig that was raised well. The periphery on factory hogs is typically questionable and if I am going through the process, I want them to be very good. Continue reading
With summer produce pretty well put up by now, the beautiful fall produce is coming in like gangbusters. Two of my favorites are turnip and okra. With plentiful supply and a fridge with a complete lack of kimchi, I thought first of turnip kimchi, which is relatively common. When I grabbed the okra and thought of kimchi, the record skipped off of the turntable. No mention of it in books or on the internet. Okra, however, is plentiful in our house, so if the kimchi bombs, at worst, we will roast it and end up with a salty, spicy vegetable dish. Continue reading
Earlier this year, my rooftop garden was absolutely ravaged by one of the worst hail storms in recent memory. I had chilis and tomatoes planted and for the most part, they were done. As the plants worked back, the chilis never got back to growing, but the tomatoes started flowering in late July and started to fruit in August – about a month after typical. With the late start, the tomato harvest was very limited and the plants were full of fruit with little to no chance of ripening with low September temperatures. Continue reading