I'm back! With a shiny new camera! I am the proud new owner of a Nikon D3000, which is basically the replacement camera for the now defunct Nikon D40, but sounds so much cooler because there are more 0's in the name.
But I am in love. I don't know much about cameras, but I do know that it is faster, takes better photos in less light, and IS NOT BROKEN, which was the problem with my last camera.
On another note, I swear I'll be a better blogger. I haven't been consistent, I haven't been keeping in touch with my favorite bloggers, I haven't been on Twitter, and I miss the community! When things calm down a bit, I'll be back with a vengeance! For now, I still love everyone so much!
But on to bigger and better things. Mainly, Kevin Gillespie and Pork. This week's challenge had the cheftestants cooking pork for the famed Charlie Palmer. And of course, the winner of the challenge was Kevin, who is not only extremely talented, but in love with the other white meat - so much so that he has a pork tattoo adorning his arm, which he happily showed the judges. Luckily, it wasn't adorning another part of his body (because, frankly, if you're going to have a tattoo of a pig, you may as well go all out and get it tattooed on your backside).
This has to be one of the easiest Top Chef recipes I have tried to date. The ingredients only cost me about $15 for 1/3 of the recipe for the pork, star anise, mushrooms, cherries, and heavy cream. I only ended up getting ground pork instead of pork and fat back (um?) and had to get canned cherries instead of fresh. Additionally, I subbed almond flour for hazelnut flour, because that is what I had on hand. I learned that quatre epices is a spice mix used mainly in France and the Middle East, but is just a fancy way of saying "2 tablespoons ground black pepper, or a combination of 1/2 tablespoon white and 2-1/2 tablespoons black pepper, 2 tablespoons ground cloves, 2 tablespoons ground nutmeg, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon."
The recipe took a total of 20 minutes to throw together, even though there are three different segments. Each part of this recipe was delicious on its own, ESPECIALLY the mushroom mixture, which was absolutely glorious. Almond flour was cooked in a mixture of butter and canola oil (I didn't have 1 pound of pork fat on hand, unfortunately) and used to saute a mixture of mushrooms. The mushrooms are then tossed in a homemade mayonnaise and sprinkled with parsley. The mixture of earthy, nutty mushrooms, textural almond flour, creamy mayonnaise and lemony parsley is pure perfection.
The pork terrine was firm, tender, and wonderfully spiced with the quatre epices. And finally, cherries, although canned, took very well to the pickling process and were the key to bringing this dish together.
When Jack tasted the dish, he loved it so much, he didn't even have time to do his happy dance. Huge score in my book. Although I do miss that dance.
Click here for the recipe.