PORK AND POLENTA
Reheating time: 7-10 minutes
Let’s talk about pigs! We love pigs. They are so cute, and they are sooooo freaking tasty. Love it. Pigs are my spirit animal. In the best way. Ok so tonight? Pork cheek. To be honest, I was a little disappointed with the amount of orders for tonight. We still sold to our capacity, but it didn’t fly off the shelves like all the other days this week. Good thing is, I know why- and it’s because most folks are just completely turned off to pork cheek. So, thank you for being awesome and adventurous and for trusting us with this dinner. Pork cheek is the same as any other muscle group in the pig- delicious. When treated properly, it really turns into something magical. Also, we can’t do pulled pork and tenderloin and pork belly ALL THE TIME, we need to use up some of these more secondhand cuts- and I thank you for doing your part in eating nose to tail. We need more people like you. Taste the rainbow. The pork rainbow. I hope skittles doesn’t sue me. Ok I’m done. Get in there!
For the pork and veggies:
At some point in the process, Chef Matt and I had a conversation about the saffron jus for the pork, and why we were doing it on the side and not just mixed in. Well, neither of us had a good reason for doing it on the side, so we both mixed it right in 🙂 the braised pork cheek and carrots/parsnips are all together, with the saffron jus (what we used to cook the pork and veggies, reduced and fortified with saffron and aromatics). To heat, simply warm this container up over medium heat in a saucepot until it’s steamy and hot. Stir to prevent scorching, and add a splash of water if you want it to be more brothy. If you’re me, you’d put some butter in there, too… Just saying. Once it’s hot, plate it up right on top of that polenta!
For the polenta:
Polenta is a PITA to heat up sometimes, so bear with us here. In a saute pan, bring some butter or oil and water to a simmer. Probably like a tablespoon of each per portion. Add the polenta to the pan, add a bit more water, and start breaking it up. Stir, adding more water and fat (butter/oil) until it begins to soften. Basically you just gotta stir the heck out of this over medium heat, adding liquid or cooking out liquid as necessary. It should be bubbly and smooth when you’re done. Give it a taste, might need a bit more salt after the water has been added. Once it’s hot, smooth, and seasoned, it’s ready for you!
For the brussels:
Broiling is the way to go for these. Line a sheet tray with tinfoil, and lay out the brussels in an even layer. I’d drizzle some nice olive oil on here, but that’s cause I like olive oil and I put it on everything. Broil the brussels for 4-5 minutes, until they caramelize and pop. Should be roasty and charred, and nice and hot. When they are ready, pull them out and get ready to plate!
The idea is to use the polenta as a bed to catch all the porky goodness. Scoop some polenta into a wide, shallow bowl, and make a divot in the center. Pile some brussels in one half of the divot, and some pork/veggies in the other. Spoon over some of the pork jus on top, and finish with a bit of fresh cracked black pepper on top. You did it! Enjoy 🙂
CHEF GIGI’S GREEK SALAD
Thanks for ordering!
As you may have noticed, I’ve been asking for help when it comes to designing the second options on our weekly menus. I have gotten some great suggestions from all of you- thank you, and expect to see them on next week’s menu. However, our two sous chefs in Acton (the flagship WECO, for all you Detroiters out there) have been the biggest help. Gigi and Theo are what we now call the dream team. These kids rock. Couldn’t do it without them. Sometimes they come at me with some crazy far-fetched idea, and we decide well, no, but sometimes they chime in with perfect suggestions that just make me realize how blind I can be. Example: greek salad. Gigi was like “dude, what about just a really good greek salad- with smoky chicken, olives, cucumbers, you know… greek salad”. For something so simple, it felt like such a relief. Because I knew you would all want it, and I knew we would make it delicious. Win Win. So without further ado, we present to you Chef Gigi’s (idea of a) greek salad. Swapping out grilled chicken for smoked, feta for queso fresco, and with loads of shaved veggies and olives. To prepare, simply mix everything together in a bowl, dress with the red wine vinaigrette, give a season with some salt and pepper, and toss!