September 16, 2011

Lincoln Road movie theater.

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Pork Terrine–Charcutepalooza Challenge #9

Mmmm..... Pork Tenderloin Inlay....

This month’s challenge was to make the Pork Terrine with Pork Tenderloin Inlay from Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn.

This month, let me just say, I was uninspired. Between lengthy travel for both my Darling Husband (DH) and I, this month’s goal was just to co-habitate in the same place at the same time. After that, it was to dial back the craziness of the past few weeks and take a breather. So, this month snook up on us. I usually have my debut dish planned within days of the challenge release, and plans on exactly how it is going to go shortly thereafter. This month I left the shopping to the very last minute, and the preparation until 2 days before “go time”.

It didn’t help that this is was a reinvigorating the classics rather than a preservation challenge, which are becoming my favorites.

Procurement

Easy. I had leftover fat from the last challenge. My butcher knows the now-monthly needing pork shoulder drill, and he always has some on hand. The ham I picked up elsewhere, and the pork loin is a staple ingredient in South Florida, so it was no trouble at all to find.

Assembly

Easy. Super easy. Like took under an hour easy. My DH is a pork grinding pro at this point, and managed to rock out the ground portion in no time. The pureeing took a little doing, since my poor food processor was packed to the gills, but I added a splash of cold water and things came together nicely.

My final assembly was again on the ghetto side. I completely forgot to check whether I had leftover little meatloaf pans from last month’s terrine, so I ended up using the only loaf pan I have — a silicone model. Hey, it might not look like high French haute cuisine, but whatever works, right? Maybe someday I will invest in an actual terrine, but for now, ghetto rigged is the way to go.

Ghetto Terrine

The Debut

We served the debut with a side of Garlicky Lentils. This side made the perfect accompaniment; in fact, the bites taken with the lentils were much better and more flavorful than the bites taken alone.

These lentils totally made the dish

The Verdict

On its own, this terrine is a bit bland. The forcemeat texture is on the less than pleasant side, too. It’s not horrible–and the tenderloin is great–but it’s not our favorite. Aspic (or congealed pork juice) kind of freaks me out to tell the truth. It’s good, but not my favorite thing to picture while I am eating and that was all I could think about.

Pork Terrine–Charcutepalooza Challenge #9 on Punk Domestics

Garlicky Lentils – The Perfect Foil For Pork

Don’t worry about the amount of garlic in this dish. My DH saw that it called for a whopping 12 cloves of garlic and was immediately concerned that I would be up for days with heart burn. Not so. cooking the garlic until crisp gives it a deep nuttiness and takes the burn right out. Yum. This dish makes the perfect foil for pork. We served alongside this month’s Charcuteapalooza challenge, pork terrine.

The perfect fall foil for pork – garlicky, nutty and just bright enough to cut through fat from the mustard and apple

Garlicky Lentils

Adapted from Salata Adas from Saveur Magazine

1 cup green lentils
6 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
12 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. minced parsley
1 Tbsp. minced mint
1/2 Granny Smith apple, minced
Salt & pepper

In a medium pan over high heat, bring the lentils and 3 cups water up to a boil. Reduce heat to medium- low and simmer until lentils are tender (about 35 minutes). Set aside, draining if lots of excess water.

Meanwhile, heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until nicely browned and crisp but not burned, about 7 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the remaining oil, lemon juice, cumin, allspice and mustard. Pour this mixture over the lentils. Add the parsley, mint and apple and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.

This dish makes enough for two hearty side dishes and lunch the next day.

September 12, 2011

Finally. After 2 years, 5 months and 3 days, it’s finally over and I can move on with my life. I can *finally* quit cringing when my husband brings up the mail or when the phone rings and its an unfamiliar 919 number. Finally I can stop being reminded that my mother is dead by bureaucratic nonsense. I can move on.

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Sepptember 10, 2011

And where is Nembu while I’m running around getting dressed for dinner? Pointedly not looking at me while lying completely in my sleeping space. And breathing loudly (though not quite doing his forceful fake sleeping breathing).

What? You didn’t know he was a people? He begs to differ.

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