Thursday, October 7, 2010

Pork N' Beans.

When I was a kid I used to love the pork and beans that came in a can.  A congealed mess of mushy beans and unnaturally pink "pork" chunks.  I was a pretty disgusting child.  I'd eat anything.  I loved the mystery food that came from cans.  I'm sure I already have my entire lifetime supply of sodium.  It's terrible but I still have cravings for the over salted, processed food of my childhood but I manage to fight it most of the time.  I tend to have no willpower whatsoever when I'm sick.  I always break down and eat a can of squishy, sugary, junk.  It's nostalgic and comforting for me and even though it tastes like a salty bowl of chemicals.  I need it.  Like a relapsing crackhead I feed my addiction for terrible food with the knowledge that I'll feel like hell afterwards and knowingly risk my credibility as a chef.  Perhaps I need an intervention.  Then again, most chefs are foul, junk eating hooligans with no shame.  It's a fact, I will eat Taco Bell that has fallen on the ground.  I would never serve a customer food off the floor but I have no problems putting it in my mouth.  That being said, of course I'd rather eat a beautiful artisanally made taco served on a clean plate.  I'm usually a pretty dainty girl but once in a while the darkness wins and you will catch me eating a floor taco.  At least I have the guts to admit it. 

The devil on my right shoulder doesn't appear that often.  Usually the organic, sustainable, local cooking angel on my left side prevails.  I can still have those comforting dishes without needing a can opener.   I love to take the classics and make them special.  A deliciously modern update on pork n' beans is my Pork con Mojo with Spicy Smoked Pinto Beans.  Pork tenderloin is marinated in mojo (lime, sour orange, garlic, cumin, oregano) and slow roasted in a low oven until fork meltingly tender.  Add a little chicken stock, capers, and peppercorns to the pan juices to make a delicious tangy sauce.  For the beans I soaked dried pinto beans overnight.  Drained the water and cold smoked them for a few minutes with hickory chips on the stove.  Then the beans are re-covered with fresh water, a split habanero chili, onion, and garlic.  As the beans start to become soft add a little cumin, thyme, cinnamon stick, and piménton and cook until the liquid has reduced and the beans are fully cooked.  Don't forget to season along the way.  The spicy beans are the perfect compliment to the tart garlicky pork.  I also made a Baby Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette and Oregon Blue Cheese.  Very simple.  Render some bacon, remove bacon but the leave the fat.  Saute shallots, garlic, capers in bacon fat.  Whisk in sherry wine vinegar.  Pour vinaigrette over the spinach and top with bacon and blue cheese crumbles.  Much more delicious than a can of Spaghetti-Os or a floor taco.   

4 comments:

thelonelyradish.com said...

I grew up with canned pork and beans too. After 20 years I tried them again. They aren't so bad. I don't trust a person who doesn't like Taco Bell. Yes I love my homemade tacos, but they are different. Loved this post. Two great tastes that blog well together:)

Violet Séverine said...

Ha ha. Yeah, I agree with that Taco Bell statement. Thanks doll. ;)

Quay Po Cooks said...

It has been a long time since we had pork and beans, your looks so delicious. I enjoyed looking at all the great food photos!

Violet Séverine said...

Thank you. Pork and beans are definitely one of my childhood favorites! ;)