I had my first overnight shift two nights ago, and I got about 1 hour of sleep after catching two beautiful babies. Traffic on the way home was hideous, especially since I didn't get a cup of coffee prior to the trip. The caffeine withdrawal headache was a drumbeat that at least kept me awake on the 45 minute drive. After downing two cups of joe, I climbed into bed and fell asleep immediately. Perhaps attracted by the drool on my pillow I was awakened two hours later by Pom Diggity's incessant face licking. It was a rainy, dreary day--perfect excuse for skipping my run and spending the rest of the day in the kitchen.
This pork belly and bean concoction was of my own making, you will need a pressure cooker, or a lot of time.
1-1 1/2 lb pork belly (I cut the skin off mine and made cracklings--just like Little House on the Prairie): cut into 4x2" chunks
1 lb. black-eyed peas
1 large onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, peeled but left whole
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 tsp smoked paprika
6 cups water
Brown the pork belly on all sides and then pour rendered fat off. Saute onion and garlic until onion is translucent. Add water/beans/tomatoes/paprika. Add 1 tsp kosher salt....it doesn't make the beans tough, I promise. Seal and cook at high pressure for 30 minutes. Allow pressure to come down naturally. Salt/pepper to taste.
If you want to make this truly a one pot meal you could stir in some chopped kale at the very end and simmer til kale is tender. We had our greenery in the form of a shaved brussels sprout salad. Recipe modified from one I found in this month's Food & Wine.
Brussels Sprouts Slaw
1 cup hazelnuts (toast at 350 F, rub skins off and chop coarsely)
3 TBS olive oil
2 TBS white balsamic vinegar
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1TBS lemon juice
Mix together above ingredients (except nuts) in a lidded jar. This is your dressing.
1 lb brussels sprouts, finely shredded (use a food processor to make this super speedy and if you value your fingers)
3/4 cup pomegranate seeds
1 cup shaved hard cheese (I used gouda)
Mix all together.
I hope shaved brussels sprouts salads don't go the way of the cake pop because they are truly delicious and deserve to be modern classics. Just keep the quinoa out of it.
And if you are looking for a zingy winter dessert, look no further: this recipe is the best of the best. If you like key lime pie you will love this. Even if you are a 13 year old girl that can't eat grapefruit unless it is under a thick coating of sugar.