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Saturday, May 5, 2012

Pulled Pork + Black Sesame Slaw on Pan de Sal

FOOD | RECIPE:
Cooking Lounge participated in kitchensurfing's Chefs + Photographers at Ger-Nis Culinary & Herb Center. There was a fun mix of talented people. WARNING: Links to pure food porn photography in post.
Chefs + Photographers at Ger-Nis  photos: kitchensurfing
Nissa Pierson from Ger-Nis created vibrant herb infused cocktails to compliment the wide range of food. Nissa noted that natural flavor elixirs like colorful beet syrup are simple to make at home. As easy as boiling water...really!

Sorrel French 75 photo: Ed Lefkowicz
Cooking Lounge prepared Pulled Pork with Carolina Vinegar Sauce, a crowd pleaser that is perfect for slow cooking in the oven or outdoors in a smoker, served with Black Sesame Slaw on Pan de Sal. Pan de Sal is an everyday roll in the Philippines reinterpreted from its Spanish origins. Discovering staples from other cultures jazzes the whole food and cooking experience.
Pulled Pork with Carolina Vinegar Sauce + Black Sesame Slaw on Pan de Sal   photo: Morgan Ione
Sexy Food Photography 
One of the best parts of Chefs + Photographers is bringing together complimentary mediums. As promised, links to food porn. kitchensurfing's, hunger pang inducing blog, documents the culinary journeys in its office lab at Ger-Nis and other locales.  Table 56 were total stand-out, rock stars with their sexy, skilled food presentation of healthful, wholesome, inspired dishes. Table 56 made a pistachio, chia seed chocolate cake with a moist, hearty texture that was just delicious. Chia seeds now on the list of things to play with in the Cooking Lounge kitchen. And, the Morgan Ione Photography blog features lots of tempting pictures from Chefs + Photographers that will make you salivate. Morgan was a delight to meet. Many photos on her website have an ethereal quality.

Here's a recipe guide, and guide is the important word, because Cooking Lounge is more about feeling the food and flavor pairings and having fun in the kitchen once you have basic skills.

Pulled Pork
Pork Shoulder with bone in and marbling. Brine overnight in a solution of salt, oregano, garlic, onion and herbs and spices of your choice. After removing and patting dry, pierce and insert slivers of garlic. Stud throughout and be sure to add garlic between layer of fat and skin; it's like a garlic drip for the meat as the fat melts away. Coat with a dry spice rub. Cooking Lounge used a mixture of salt, pepper, brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, curry and oregano.

Slow cook in oven preheated to 225-250 and cook for 8-9 hours with skin side up (tip: dust the skin with sugar for extra special crackling). When meats falls away from bone with ease when pulled, the pork is ready (tip: before removing from oven, broil for a few minutes to assure crispy, crunchy skin. In a smoker, pretty much all the same except no broiling the skin. BUT, you need to keep an eye on the smoker the entire time and have a catch pan for the dripping fat. Smoking kicks Pulled Pork to another level. YUM!

Let the pork rest. Pull away the succulent meat. Chop up the skin (that you do not eat) with some of the luminous, opaque fat.  Mix with meat. Place in large pot on low heat; toss with 1/3 cup Carolina Vinegar Sauce (see below). Cover the pot; cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, scraping the bottom of the pan for those bits of extra flavor.


Carolina Vinegar Sauce
Apple Cider Vinegar
Brown Sugar
Crushed Red Peppers
Texas Pete Hot Sauce (made in North Carolina)
Olive Oil
Over low heat, warm 1 cup of vinegar, add a tablespoon of sugar, teaspoon of crushed red peppers, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and a few dashes of Texas Pete Hot Sauce. Totally scalable for volume and adjust to your taste preferences. Drizzle a little over pulled pork before serving.


Black Sesame Slaw
Slaw is a Cooking Lounge staple with all kinds of easy variations. Slaw is economical, healthful, and, bonus, eating raw. The Black Sesame Slaw has a distinctive Asian twist.
Red Cabbage
Julienned Carrots
Scallions
Cilantro
Coriander Seeds (crush to release fragrant oils)
Toasted Black Sesame Seeds
Sesame Oil 
Cider Vinegar
Celery Salt
Pepper
Sugar
Shred 1.5 lb cabbage and toss with 1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds, 1 tablespoon crushed coriander seeds, 1/2 cup rough chopped cilantro, 4-5 julienned carrots and 1 cop rough chopped scallions. Mix 1/3 cup vinegar, 3 tablespoons of sesame oil with celery salt, pepper, sugar. Pour over slaw and toss, repeat for even distribution of dressing. Chill for at least a few hours so flavors meld.


Enjoy,
Cooking Lounge

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