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Slow Bowl Smackdown: Middle Course

More of the Northern California Friday night Smackdown food and redipes:


Roz made this wonderful salad with pancetta-wrapped crostini for our next course:

Fig and Grape Salad with Pancetta-Wrapped Crostini: Alice Waters
3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar, aged 12 years or more, or ½ cup good-quality commercial balsamic vinegar plus 1 teaspoon brown sugar
6 thick slices country-style bread
Extra-virgin olive oil
12 thin slices pancetta (about ¼ pound)
9 ripe figs (or dried figs if not in season)
1 cup grapes, stemmed
6 small handfuls arugula
Salt and pepper to taste

If substituting commercial balsamic vinegar, put it in a small saucepan with the brown sugar and reduce by a little more than half, until the vinegar is thick and syrupy.
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Trim the crusts off the bread and cut the slices in half lengthwise, making 12 long, thin crostini. Brush them lightly with olive oil and wrap with slices of pancetta—spirally, like candy canes. Place them on a baking sheet and bake until the pancetta begins to crisp, about 10 minutes.
While the pancetta-wrapped crostini are baking, quarter the figs, cut the grapes in half, and thoroughly was and dry the arugula. When the crostini are almost ready, gently toss the arugula and fruit with a pinch of salt, a few grinds of the peppermill, and about 3 tablespoons olive oil. Arrange the salad on plates and drizzle with the balsamic vinegar. Garnish with the crostini.

Our main course included Lou's pulled pork sandwiches, Wendy's amazing Truffled Goat cheese stuffed Fingerling Potatoes, Rose's Bourbon Beans, and Roz's kale chips.
I garnished the plates with a parsnip rose.


Pulled Pork Sandwiches: Michael Mina
1/4 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
2 tbsp kosher or coarse salt
2 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp ground black pepper
1/2 tbsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp dry mustard (found in spice section)
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 boneless pork butt, about 3 pounds
1 1/2 cups apple juice
1/2 cup water
1 package plain soft white rolls or other bread

Tip: You can buy bone-in or boneless pork butts. Both have their benefits: Cooking bone-in will contribute some flavor (and increase the cooking time slightly). But if you have your butcher take out the bone, you can rub the spice mix into the incisions where the bone was removed — a great way to get the flavor deep inside the meat.

Mix brown sugar and dry spices together in a small bowl. Rub all over pork, cover, and let sit in the refrigerator for as long as you have time for (as little as 1 hour or up to overnight). Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Lay pork on a rack insert fitted inside a roasting pan. (The rack should be high enough so the entire spiced butt is sitting above the cooking liquid.) Pour in apple juice and water, cover pan tightly with foil, and slow roast for 5 hours. Remove foil and cook for another 30 minutes, until pork is brown outside and meat is very tender, basically falling apart.
Remove from oven, transfer to large platter, and allow meat to rest for about 10 minutes. While still warm, shred pork into small pieces using 2 forks or 10 fingers. Transfer to bowl for serving, or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. To reheat, just transfer to shallow baking dish, bring to room temperature, and place in preheated 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.
Tip: If the pan drippings aren't burned, discard fat and mix drippings back into the pulled pork, which will make it even more moist and flavorful.

Goat Cheese-Truffled Stuffed Fingerlings: Hubert Keller
Ingredients: (Yields: 20-24 pieces)
10-12 fingerling potatoes (2 ½" to 3" long, thicker ones preferred)
5 ounces goat cheese, room temperature
2 teaspoon white truffle oil (or hazelnut or walnut oil)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Optional for garnish:pink peppercorns
chives, cut into 1" section
Quart size Ziploc bag (for piping)

Wash the potatoes well. Slice the tips off the end of each potato, so they sit perfectly flat, then cut the potatoes into 1" sections. You should get approximately 2 pieces from each potato. Using a small melon baller, scoop out the center of each potato section, creating a cavity for the goat cheese filling. Be careful not to go more than 3/4 of the way down the potato.
Boil 1 quart of water with 2 tablespoons salt in medium saucepot.
When boiling, drop the potato sections and cook until tender, approximately 8 to 10 minutes. While the potatoes are cooking, prepare a large bowl with water and ice cubes. When the potatoes are tender, use a colander to scoop them out of the boiling water and drop them immediately into the ice bath to stop the cooking.

To make the dressing, in small bowl whisk together Dijon mustard and vinegar. Slowly whisk in olive oil until well blended. Set aside.

Pull the potatoes from the ice bath and line up the potatoes on a tray. Season lightly with salt and pepper, then lightly drizzle with dressing.

In small food processor, combine goat cheese, white truffle oil, ½ tsp salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Pulse until smooth.

Using a spatula, scoop the goat cheese mixture into the Ziploc bag. Squeeze mixture towards one corner of the bag, then cut off a ½" section from the corner of the bag to create a piping bag. Squeeze the mixture into the potato sections, so that it completely fills each potato and comes just slightly over the top.
For garnish, top each potato with 1 pink peppercorn and 2 chive pieces. Serve at room temperature.

Bourbon Beans: Michael Mina

16 oz. navy beans
3 cups water
2 Tbl. molasses
2 Tbl. tomato paste
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 cup chili sauce
1/2 cup bourbon
1/2 cup strong coffee
1 cup fresh pineapple, chopped to a pulp
1 yellow onion, minced
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 lb. bacon, chopped
Salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
Pinch chile flakes

Soak beans in enough water to cover by double their volume overnight. In the morning, discard the water and rinse beans.
In an eight-quart pot, cook bacon over medium heat. Once the bacon has started to brown slightly, add the onions and sweat until translucent. Add tomato paste, stir and cook for one minute. Add the remaining ingredients and beans (except for the salt, which will keep the beans from softening if added early) and cook over low heat for 4-6 hours, or until beans are soft. Once beans have softened, season to taste with salt and cook another hour. You may have to add water to maintain the consistency. If beans are still too wet after the allotted cooking time, then raise heat to medium and simmer until desired consistency has been reached.

Roasted Kale Chips: Tyler Florence
One bunch kale
Extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.  Wash and dry kale very well.  Cut kale into bite-size chip-size pieces, discarding the thick stems, and arrange evenly on a baking sheet.
With a pastry brush, gently paint the top of each kale leaf with a little oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bake until crispy, about 15-20 minutes.

Comments (2)

Barb Cabot:

I loved everything about all the above but Roz's salad was mind blowing.

Barb Cabot:

I loved everything about all the above but Roz's salad was mind blowing.

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The previous post in this blog was Slow Bowl Smackdown: First Course.

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