On Sunday, my friend, Rita, called to say that she and her husband, David, could stop by for an early dinner on Monday on their way back to NYC from their home, way, way upstate. While we had talked about this possibility at the beginning of the week - nothing had been confirmed. Now it was - therefore qualifying as a "last minute" dinner. Rita and David were making David Chang's slow-roasted Korean-style pork, Bo Ssam and would bring all leftovers to dinner. The recipe for it had just been featured in the NY Times. My suggestion is to Google Bo Ssam recipe, NY Times 2012/01/15 - I've tried to link it for you but the Times says, "Sorry, we've lost the page." But, it's there. The storied bo ssam is an incredibly delicious way to prepare the very pedestrian cut of pork - the butt. Once it has roasted for many hours and achieves its falling-apart, meltingly soft texture and candy-lacquered skin - it's served with a variety of sauces - notably, scallion-ginger, rice and kimchi. Shreds of pork and other ingredients are wrapped in lettuce leaves for consumption. Korean tacos supreme!
I made this vegetable dish with ingredients that were on hand. Again, I went to my "root cellar" and came up with some things that I had bought at the December Hudson farmer's market - before I knew that other shopping possibilities would suddening be available in the dead of the winter, like Lick the Market and the emerging Hudson food coop (more on them, coming up).
I steamed, separately, in order: cauliflower florets, peeled and sliced waxy potatoes, and sliced beets. I caramelized red onions in olive oil and tossed them with the other vegetables. Everything was added to a baking dish. When the pork arrived I added it, and the vegetables to a 350 degree F. oven to heat them up. Meanwhile I emulsified dijon mustard, a tiny bit of balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, capers, flaky salt and pepper together to add to the hot vegetables. This dish is a keeper.
To sweeten our palates we ate fresh pineapple chunks with a dollop of the exceptional ricotta about which I waxed rhapsodic in my last posting. A splash of extra dark maple syrup, and a heavy sprinkle of Moroccan cinnamon elevated the bowl of fruit into a real dessert.
Last minute dinner indeed. Yay team.
Allegra was especially happy to see one of her best friends, Frankie, show up with Rita and David. Allegra hasn't met too many dogs since we've arrived in Hudson. It was a real treat to have Frankie around.