Sunday, November 13, 2016

me and my food

I met Molly Yeh! It was like a gateway into my new SF reality of events and opportunities at my doorstep. Gosh, she was just the cutest, most expressive storyteller. Can I just like.. be your best friend? I'm pretty sure her meet cute is my fantasy meet cute, and she made me so nostalgic for the idyllic Midwestern farm life I never actually lived. And her story about cookie salad reminded me of the Eriksens in How I Met Your Mother.

Anyways, her homey vibe was my favorite thing about her. Not even sure which of my homes I missed the most. Which of my homes influenced me the most. But regardless, it always comes back to pork somehow. And that comes back to the last of my pork rations from where it began - the jowl. It was a rounded prismatic hunk of meat, and some light research yielded that curing is the way to go. But I wasn't patient enough for that.
So since it's similar to belly, I treated it much the same way I would treat belly... and also sorta made it up as I went along.
-with garlic, ginger, and peppercorns, brown jowl on each side in oil
-cover with water and add scoop of broad bean paste with chili (dou ban jiang)
-bring to boil, then reduce to simmer
-continue on for about two hours because you (I) don't know what you're (I'm) doing
-cool prismatic hunk and cooking liquid separately
-slice prismatic hunk and be surprised that it doesn't really resemble belly at all, but is in fact, not quite fatty, definitely not meaty, but sort of.. rubbery or jelly-like
-fry each slice in oil + skimmed oil from cooking liquid
-pull out the bag of pickled mustard greens (suan cai) that I know you must keep on hand for no-time-for-grocery-shopping emergencies, slice and sautee in pork jowl oil
The skin gets all crispy,and the... rest of it gets all melty and chewy. And it's insanely rich, so the serendipitous suan cai was kind the best complement.
So like.. what can I butcher next?

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