So, on the night before Becky and Jeremy left for DC, a group of us assembled here to see them off. And by see them off, I mean eat until we got food drunk. I cooked. I will offer photos with just a little in the way of explanation. The theme was "Pork."
chicharone, with malt vinegar salt, paprika and parmigiano (I ripped the idea off Publican in Chicago, and based my interpretation off a recipe in the Momofuku cookbook.)
piquillo popper, piquillo pepper, stuffed with machego, coated with panko, fried, topped with saba (This was a late add to the menu. I felt I didn't have enough cheese. And I happened to think it while looking at jalapeno poppers on a menu.)
charcuterie, pork rillette with pickled kumquats, cured mangalitsa lardo on soft pretzels with fennel salt, duck prosciutto with cherry mostardo, capocolla with pickled fiddlehead ferns. (I started curing the lardo a month before the party, and the prosciutto about a week before hand. The capocolla was from the Babbo cookbook, and will get its own short post, which will include more info on the cherry mostardo, as well.)
dim sum, left to right, undone ramen, pork laab, lobster bisque soup dumpling. (The ramen broth was also Momofuku, and the meat in it was a wagyu hanger steak that I cooked in a sous vide set up that i concocted myself. And it sort of convinced me that I want a real one. The laab -- aka larb, laap, etc. -- was something we had in New York last month at Kin Shop. We loved it, and I found the recipe on Serious Eats' website. The soup dumpling was something I always wanted to try to make, and I don't think it came out well. So I may have to try again.)
pork belly, with apple slaw, maple mustard and miso-candied pecans. (This was a riff on a dish we had at Michael's in Miami. I used a Kurobuta belly, and the meat was great. I thought I might have been able to get it crispier.)
pop tarts, puff pastry with gorgonzola dulce and cherry pepper jelly. (Another late add, due to previous lack of cheesiness.)
popcorn, a la alinea. (I tried to get tricky, and it backfired. I wanted to make a dessert to evoke the bubble gum we had at alinea in Chicago a couple of years ago. So I made tapioca flavored with buttered popcorn, and added a shot of cajeta, then loaded it all in a tube. The plan was to make it taste like caramel corn without looking like caramel corn. And when I tested it, it worked. But I loaded the tubes and put them in the cooler. That made the tapioca set up too much, and created a scene that would have been hard to explain to the uninitiated, with a roomfull of people using all their power of suction to access dessert. What that means is that we have a whole bunch of photos of people trying to have this dish, but they are not really suitable for the Internet, and might possibly make it look like the party was way more interesting than it really was. Oh well, now I know. ps: little-known fact ... the popcorn was popped in mangalitsa lard. OMG was it good straight up.
georgia peaches/california nectarines, grit cake, chai latte gelato. (I was just going to get peaches, but when I was at Whole Foods and saw the where everything was from, I amended the plan. It was states-of-origin serendipity for the guests of honor. Plus I got to use the little cast iron skillets I brought back from Texas.)
guanciale chip cookies. (Just because I could.)
I apologize to anyone who got hurt in the eating of this menu.