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Slow Cooking on Mischief Night

Today was a day I felt like experimenting after a quick shopping excursion that brought some slightly green papayas back home along with some handsome looking pork loin.  Sounds like the inspiration for some Hawaiian cooking, but it did not happen. I  just did not feel like going into the backyard, shoveling out a big hole in the middle of the lawn, and then setting up  banana leaf bed  to cook my swine meat cuts. Am I fantasizing ? Of course I am.

So no outdoor island inspired BBQ but instead a good mealthat made my big old  Le Crueset dutch oven very proud.

To quickly summarize, we opened eating festivity with some finger food... Blue Fingerlings with a homemade Danish blue cheese dipping sauce, cleansed our palates with some shaved papaya salad.

Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing 

Ingredients

Juice of 1/2 lime
1 cup crubled , high quality Danish Blue Cheese
2-3 Tablespoons of  Philly Cream Cheese (or Mascarpone)
2-3 Tablespoons of White Balsamic Vinegar
2-3 Tablespoons of White Apple Cider Vinegar
EVOO , S/P

Blend all ingredients in a blender until it becomes pourable with a spoon .  Use a dip or dressing . Keep chilled after creation .

Blue on Blue: Fingerlings and Cream

Shaved Papaya Salad 

Very simple to make. Shave a hard Mexican Papaya with potato peeler, Toss with a light vinaigrette of lime,  EVOO, white apple cider vinegar, and a hint of Japanese mirin.  When plating, sprinkle with a few poppy seeds for effect.


Shaved Papaya Salad


Slow Cooked Pork Loin in Mushroom-Calvados Broth

Two things you will need for this dish . The first is patience, the patience to wait until the meat's proteins break down and tenderize. But I might of said this in some other post.   The second is a heavy,  cast iron, enameled dutch oven.


Preparation

Start with slightly browing the meat on all sides. Then toss in a medley of celery, green bell peppers, a few cups of baby bella  mushrooms. a medium sized shallot, a half cup of ripe grape tomatoes, a few cups of chicken stock and some white wine  - I used prosecco this time,  Also add some chopped parsley and dry imported thyme.  Cook for a few hours until the meat is very tender over low heat, Keep the oven covered. Add some water if needed if the liquids reduce too much.

Once the meat is cooked. remove it from the dutch oven, set aside . Drain all vegetables from the remaining sauce.   Reduce the sauce in a sauce pan, add in shot of Calvados brandy.  Reduce further, allowing the alcohol to evaporate but do keep the sauce thin.   Do not discard the vegetables, they are great as a side dish.

Slice the meat. and serve topped with the warm sauce.

Bath Time: Le Crueset Style

Ultra Tender Pork Loin
Papaya Blueberry Bellini 

With left over papaya I decided to make a quick cocktail.   The papaya was cubed, then tossed with some agave syrup, tequila and a pinch of salt.  Blueberries were also added.

To make the Bellini, just add some of the marinated papaya to a Cosmopolitan glass and top with bubbly Prosecco.


With bellies full, the fan club set into the darkness with packs of eggs, baby powder filled stockings, and a few cans of shaving cream. Wonder what they were up to?  I had pots and pans to tend that were waiting to their savior.


Cheers !

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