What the Hell is Porchetta-Style Pork

Porchetta-style pork

It doesn’t mean car, apparently.

That’s not a question. That’s what I thought when I first saw this recipe in Women’s Health magazine, so that’s what I call the recipe. And I’ll straight away that I used the wrong cut of pork but loved the marinade. I also was not a fan of the beans/lemon juice/rosemary thing, so I’m not going to post that recipe. You can follow the link and get it if you need, but consider yourself warned, OK?

1 Tbs fennel seeds

3 cloves minced garlic or 1 1/2 tsp jarred stuff

1 Tbsp rosemary

2 oranges worth of zest*

1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 pork roast

salt and pepper, to taste (I always use fresh-ground pepper)

1. Preheat oven to 450º (My awesome new oven takes forever to preheat, so I set it to preheat the same time I take the pork out the of the fridge and let it come down to room temp.)

2. On a cutting board, mix the garlic, fennel, zest, and rosemary together and start chopping. The mixture will get clumpy (the magazine calls it “pasty” but they’re fancy and I am not). That’s when you should put it in a bowl and add the olive oil.
3. Marinate the pork with this. I always find it helpful to stab the pork with a knife a few times to let the marinade seep in, and this is especially helpful with the “pasty” marinade that doesn’t run down the meat in drizzles. This is almost a dry rub except, well, it’s oily.

4. After sufficient time has passed – and this is wholly and completely up to you, because I didn’t wait but five minutes and the recipe says you can let it sit for four hours (although really, you can let it sit for a few days, who the hell are you to decide, Women’s Health? You don’t know me and my pork proclivities!) – put the pork in a roasting pan and roast it for about 35 minutes, depending on your oven and whether or not you, like me, don’t insist on well-done pork.

5. Once the pork has a minimum internal temp of 155º, remove it from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes. This is NOT the part where you make that godawful bean recipe. This is the part where you heat a nice can of black beans or pour yourself an indulgent glass of montepulciano d’abruzzo.

6. Eat.

Oh, and “porchetta” means – loosely translated – savory, fatty pork. This doesn’t taste fatty at all. It tastes like oranges and pepper, which I love.

*Do yourself a favor and peel and section the oranges after you zest them, then save for later. If you forget, odds are in your favor to find two green moldy lumps in your fridge next week. #PersonalExperience


Don’t Cry For Me Argentina Flank Steak

Don't Cry For Me Argentina Flank Steak

I’m still not 100% sure why it’s called Argentinean, but I’ll go with it!

3 Tbs red wine vinegar

2 Tbsp water

3 cloves garlic (or 1 1/2 tsp minced jarred garlic)

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1/2 tsp coarse black pepper

1/2 c. olive oil

1/2 c. fresh parsley

1 lb. flank steak

1 bunch scallions

The thing I like about this recipe is that it doesn’t call for a marinade and it’s super-easy to make. Seriously:

1. Whisk the first five ingredients together, then add the oil and the parsley separately and in that order.

2. Trim the ends off the scallions.

3. Season the steak with salt and pepper, the place on a hot grill. For medium rare (our preference), grill it on each side for three or four minutes. Flank steak, I should note, tastes like leather when cooked to any higher level of done.

4. Place the scallions on the grill one minute before you flip the steak (they should cook for four-five minutes).

5. Drizzle, pour, or dump the sauce over the steak. Alternately, you can use it as a dipping sauce. I poured. Enjoy.

On an unrelated note: Black swallowtail caterpillars ate almost all my parsley, so it was barely a 1/2 cup for me, but the parsley is resilient and the caterpillars are all Kafka-esque now, so I should be good to go for the next time I make this.

Mayo Feta Corn on the Cob

Feta Mayo Corn

It’s better than it sounds. Honest.

There was nothing about this recipe that should have earned it a place in the “Try” file – in fact, this is a late addition to the month (and man, do I have a TON of leftovers). I added it because I mentioned seeing it in a magazine, and El Cap’s dad – El Cap-in-law, or ECIL for short – said he used to love mayonnaise on something like peanut butter. I may have blocked the actual words from my memory, because I am not a mayo fan.

OK, that’s not altogether true. I like mayo in three specific things:

1. Egg salad

2. Subway steak and provolone with black olives and oil

3. Ham sandwiches

And that’s all. I only really eat #1, and I use almost no mayo, so it almost doesn’t count.

And now I have to add a fourth, which, honestly, didn’t even sound appealing.

Real Simple magazine is not known for healthy food, so I can never make this a staple, but damn. And it’s pretty simple to make. I adjusted a few things because, well, that’s what I do. Here’s my modified Feta Mayo Corn (a/k/a ECIL corn) recipe:

4 ears corn, shucked

1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil

1 handful ripped fresh cilantro

4 tsp mayo

2 ounces crumbled feta

1. Heat grill (we used charcoal but however you go ahead and do how you do). While it’s heating – or earlier in the day – place the  corn, olive oil, and cilantro in plastic zipper bag; shake to coat.

2. Grill corn until cooked (just a few minutes, usually)

3. Spread mayo on corn

4. Roll corn in feta

That’s in. Seriously amazing. The mayo melts almost instantly but gives the feta a binder. I’m sure there are healthier ways to create a binder, but one bite of this corn and I honestly couldn’t have cared less about health food.

Note: You’ll notice the Real Simple recipe called for far more mayo and chives. I forgot the chives and the corn doesn’t need that much mayo.