Barking Kitten

Fiction, musings on literature, food writing, and the occasional Friday cat blog. For lovers of serious literature, cooking, and eating.


Close to forty. Not cool. Politically left. Atheist. Happily married. No kids.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

porcine dalliances in a heatwave

Why am I planning to braise during a heatwave?

A. I am an idiot.

B. I enjoy suffering.

C. I have a frozen piece of boneless pork loin that should get eaten.

D. All of the above.

So tonight's foray into the pig comes from Molly Stevens' All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking. Pork Pot Roast with Apricots, Cardamom, and Ginger.

I loathe fruit in savory preparations. I always have; even as a little kid the presence of cranberries on the holiday table stumped me. Though I did enjoy cutting that cool jellied cylinder into slices. Therefore, no apricots in my pork. I did go out and buy an orange--the recipe calls for zest--and some cardamom. I can deal with fruit peelings in my food. After all, they come out before serving.

Idiosyncratic, I know.

The recipe:

Boneless pork shoulder roast (I have boneless loin)
salt and pepper
extra-virgin olive oil
one medium leek (I have cipollini onions from the farm, and will substitute one)
2 carrots
one yellow onion (see above. And recall Hockeyman's onion aversion.)
6 cardamom pods
orange zest
bay leaf
apricot brandy or cognac (cognac)
white wine or vermouth (white wine)
chicken stock
1 cup apricots (nope)

So it will be spicy but not too sweet. I plan to serve it with...what DO I plan to serve it with?

The farm tomatoes, naked in a bowl. Baby squash--we have tons of it. Rice to soak up any yummy juices. Lots of beer so we don't puddle into the floor.

Today's other cooking adventure comes courtesy of Paula Wolfert: Raspberry Liqueuer. Buy a bottle of Armagnac--French Brandy--at the local posh grocer. Try not to faint dead away at the price of the cheapest bottle ($40). Buy organic raspberries. Make sure they are from California. Assure yourself the pricetag must be some kind of mistake ($6.99!!?). Realize, once home, that you lack the kind of quaint glass or earthenware bottle necessary for the concoction. Find a glass canning vessel under your sink. Wash vigorously. Carefully clean each berry. Drop into jar. Cover with 1/2 cup superfine sugar (recipe calls for 3/4 c, but you aren't using a bottle). Cover all with the incredibly expensive brandy. Seal. Show Hockeyman. Find cool, dark place in your overheated about that high closet shelf? Push jar far back. Pray experiment does not result in moldy berries in vinegar. Wait two months.


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