Tuesday, February 24, 2009
"Everything but the Oink"
This past Sunday I ate "everything but the oink." Carlyle, one of my fellow culinarians and host of the My Plate brought out what was left of the pig he used throughout his dinner, which was, props to him, only the snout. My Plate happens one Sunday a month at school where one student is granted around $400 to create and execute a meal with wine pairings for 25 students. It's one of my favorite times of the month.
My favorite course, other than the dessert :-), was the "ears, fava beans, arugula, creole jus" dish that accompanied a delicious Sauvignon Blanc from Whitehall Lane. I couldn't believe how tasty the thinly sliced pig ear was and the silkiness of the creole jus.
Despite my 10 or so months of attending culinary school I am still amazed at the work that is put into a dish like this one. Chef Almir, who helped Carlyle with the menu and cooking, put my image of Carlyle throwing sliced pig ear into the fryer to shame when he told me they were fried, braised, rested, fried again and that the jus was made from the braising fond. No wonder they were tender and perfect.
Apparently the cartilage in the ear needs to be softened by braising...appetizing right? When Chef told me this he was wiggling his own ear back and forth highlighting where the cartilage was.