At-home cooking…partially supported by Flying Pigs Farm and Fleisher’s

Dr. Awesome and I have been trying to be good and cook at home more along with using up leftovers.  A couple of weeks ago, we went to his parents house where his mom cooked an amazing dinner with pork loin that Dr. Awesome got her for Christmas from Flying Pigs Farm.  You might frequently see these guys are the Union Square Market. I went one summer afternoon after getting out of work early and scored some of their awesome pork belly.  More to come on that later.  The pork loin came with a really simple recipe of just making an herb rub with some oil.  How much simpler can you get?

Before:
Raw Flying Pigs Farm pork loin with rub

After:
Flying Pigs Farm loin cut and cooked

Yeah, I know you’re jealous. Now, I’m sure you’re asking “But what’s so cool about Flying Pigs Farm?” Well, I’ll tell you. They’re a family-run farm located in upstate New York and breed rare heritage breed pigs, as well as chickens and eggs. They’re a local place that makes sure their animals are well taken care of and produce a really high-quality product. Getting back to their pork belly. Every time Dr. Awesome and I have gone to the Market during the late afternoon on a Saturday, they’re all sold out. I ventured there after work one Friday and asked if they had any left, and they did! I put it away in the freezer, along with another piece of pork belly from an Amish farm that a friend of mine was able to get me. Feeling adventurous, Dr. Awesome and I decided it was time to finally cook the beasts. Now, as you have probably read before on this blog in the past, we’ve failed about two or three times cooking pork belly (one time was because the piece we had was more fat than meat). We used a recipe by Tom Colicchio that was recommended on their site. We were scared, but the end result came out perfectly! Finally! In keeping with the theme, we also cooked a bunch of pancetta with brussel sprouts.

Pork Belly 1

Amish on the left, Flying Pigs on the right.
Pork Belly 2

A huge wheel of pancetta that I got in Woodside by work at a famous local butcher shop called Ottomanelli & Sons.
Pancetta

Starting to brown the meat on all sides.
browning

Took out the pieces and added the veggies.
the veg

Put the pieces back in and filled the pan with chicken stock and stopped just before it reached the top so that the skin gets crispy.
braising the pork belly

brussel sprouts and pancetta

cooking the brussel sprouts

All the failure was worth this one moment of delicious glory.
the meal

The next night, we had some friends over for dinner. We made chicken cutlets with polenta (no instant this time!) and baby spinach with garlic. We had a lot left over and figured we could fry up the leftover polenta (which we made with chicken stock…definitely recommend) and poach some eggs. I also thought to use the bacon we scored (during my BIG SCORE) from Fleisher’s at the New Amsterdam Market. This was only our second time poaching an egg, but it came out really well. It actually came out as a very well-composed brunch.

Fleisher's Bacon

Cooked bacon

frying polenta

Ta da!
Poached egg, chicken cutlet and polenta

We bought some steaks from Whole Foods for dinner (yes, we ate very well that weekend). Dr. Awesome’s mom bought him a cruset grill pan for his birthday, so we wanted to try it out.

Mmmm. Beefy.
Beeeeef

Cooked beef

Yeah, we were totally on a roll with our cooking. We seared the outside of the meat on the grill pan for a couple of minutes and then threw it in the oven to finish off. It was so tender and juicy. Lovely!

Two nights ago, we wanted to have some polenta again, so we made some shrimp and grits.
shrimp and polenta

Tonight, I’m cooking a chicken that my dad got from North Plain Farm up by him. In exchange for some whey, we get some great products, like his chickens and eggs or pork chops.

North Plain Farms Chicken 1

So glad we were able to eat a bunch of food where we knew where it originated and definitely had a good life. It’s a really nice feeling when you’re able to come up with creative ways to eat leftovers so that nothing goes to waste. I’m trying to be more conscious of that, especially when there are so many people in this world who would give anything for the amount of food we throw out.

On a lighter note, Dr. Awesome was in Europe and brought me back an amazing gift:

Jamon Ruffles

And it did taste like ham!  In case you were wondering 🙂

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~ by Rori on March 10, 2011.

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