Today, for dinner I made this pork belly recipe from Jamie Oliver- it was delicious and real easy to make- score the skin, rub it with kosher salt, cook at high heat for a half hour, turn it down for an hour, throw some veg in there and cook the belly on top of the veg for another hour. Then make a simple jus gravy. I served it with mashed potatoes and raw carrot and celery - if I had lettuce, I'd done that, but I didn't so I went to cut the richness and fattiness with what I had in the fridge.
I am trying to use some awesome cookbooks I have on hand- recently acquired and never used as of yet.
The first one is Ad Hoc at Home by Thomas Keller. I got it as a late Christmas gift from my father in law. I was still making my way through The French Laundry cookbook when it arrived, and I ended up packing it for the move before I had a chance to read it. It's supposed to be food that is easier for the home cook to achieve (as opposed to the TFL recipes) and I'm looking forward to inspiration from it.
The second book is Real Cajun by Donald Link, a New Orleans chef I know I've mentioned on this blog several times already. I love his food. I just got it from Amazon last week and I've taken a quick look through it and have fallen in love already.
Having eaten at both these chefs' restaurants, I know how profoundly different their styles and influences are. But I love the food they both put out so much - mostly because you can taste the love and care they put into their cooking, the deep respect they have for their personal histories and traditions of food and cooking and family.
Anyway, I'm looking forward to playing around in their worlds a little bit in the future.