First, about Sam: A resident of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., he is now a student at the University of Vermont and the son of a world-class cook. Some years back at their home, after another amazing meal and several of the Spouse's Caipirinhas, I volunteered to cook dinner the next day for Sam and his parents. Was I too bold? Presumptious? Foolhardy? Suffice to say, when my head cleared tyhe next day, I felt like a high school wide receiver who had just offered to run routes for Eli Manning at Giants' training camp. My strategy was simple: lots of pinot grigio. And the freshest seafood I could get my hands on, which happened to be some dayboat sea scallops. Because I can never make a decision, I decided to stuff half of them with some basil, and the other half with some pepperoni. In the midst of this, Sam came in and asked what i was doing. After I explained, he looked at me quizzically and asked, "Why don't you do both?" Which made perfect sense, and was enthusiastically devoured by all. This recipe is what eventually evolved from Sam's suggestion, although the original is still in the rotation. Thanks, Sam! —wssmom
Pork Belly Hash
1 pound pork belly
1/4 cup salt
2 tablespoons brown sugar
pinch each of coriander seeds, black pepper and cumin seeds
handful large basil leaves
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 garlic gloves
18 good-sized sea scallops, about 2 ounces each
pork belly hash
In This Recipe
Pork Belly Hash
In a ziplock bag, put the pork belly fat side up and rub well with the salt, sugar and spices. Add apple juice to cover, and refrigerate for at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours.
Remove from the brine, place in a small baking dish and cover tighly with aluminum foil. Roast for 90 minutes at 300 degrees. Turn oven to broil, remove foil, and broil until top of pork belly becomes nice and crispy. When cool enough to handle, and when you're about reeady to serve, dice along with some red onion and cook in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until browned.
Pull the little tab of muscle off the scallops and set on a plate in the refrigerator to dry out for about an hour.
Mince together the basil, garlic cloves, and salt and add enough olive oil to make it spreadable. Take out the scallops, cut in half almosty all the way through, smear some of the basil paste on each and close those babies up. Heat a large nonstick skillet until almost smoking, add a bit of olive oil, and working in batches, add the scallops without crowding. Cook for a couple minutes until you have about 1/4 inch of golden crust on the first side, then flip and cook for another minute. Serve atop a small mound of pork belly hash.