When I'm at home (usually in bed in the morning) my mind starts to work out the meal plan for the day. I visualize a dish in my mind, think about how to make it and how the flavors will come together, and can easily make the dish.
Rarely does the finished product taste worse than the dish I visualized.
Almost always the dish tastes exactly as it did in my head.
But, once in a while, a dish tastes way, way better than I thought it would.
Amazing White Chili
2 pounds pork belly
1/2 pound ground pork
1/2 pound Hot Italian ground pork
1 qt pork stock (if you have it. If not, use fresh chicken (or low salt) canned stock)
6 small poblano peppers (roasted, seeded, deveined and cut into 1/4 inch strips)
3 small onions, julienne
7 tomatillos, cleaned and rough chopped
5 large crimini mushrooms
3 jalapeno peppers, seeded, deveined, small dice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 14 oz can white hominy
1 14 oz can garbanzo beans (I like the low-or no-salt variety)
1 Tbsp ground oregano
1 Tbsp corn starch in 1/4 cup cold water
2 tspns cumin
1 bunch of cilantro (garnish)
1/2 cup plain yogurt or sour cream.
Slice the belly into 1/4 inch slices. Liberally salt the slices and cut into lardons.
While you build the chili, begin searing/rendering the belly lardons in a pan. You want browned lardons (small sticks of pork, roughly 1-2" x 1/4"), with lots of fat retention.
For the chili: saute the ground pork, breaking up chunks with a wooden spoon, until 75 percent cooked. Add onion. Cook until translucent. Add poblano and jalapeno peppers, mushrooms and garlic. When par cooked and fragrant, add the stock. When it comes to a boil, stir the cornstarch into the cool water and add it to the chili to thicken it. Reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes adding the browned lardons as they are ready.
Garnish with cilantro and an optional dollop of sour cream or yogurt.
Love big and eat well.