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Rogue Estate Chef’s Night – Pantry Raid

[Rogue Estate Chef's Nights are a weekly dinner club for Rogue Estate residents and guests to get together to prepare and enjoy new menus, share, learn, teach and be inspired. Each week is hosted and led by a different person, giving everyone an opportunity to sharpen their knives and their skills.] This week for Chef's Night I hosted one of our recurring themes we call "Pantry Raid" - an excuse to use up various odds and ends that may be kicking around in dark corners, rediscover items of interest from previous recipes and of course meet the challenge of pairing a few good bottles of beer and wine to fit the flavors on the plate. We also had an added bonus of welcoming some new members this month as we expand the estate - the Tag Team of Megan and Jason joined Jack, Ian and myself in the kitchen and Frank did a Drive-by during the evening. Our menu was decidedly pork-centric, with a side of lake fish and a few vegetarian adaptations to meet Jason's obnoxious dietary needs. We started the evening snacking on water crackers and Slow Jams jam, along with a treat of Iberico Ham provided by Megan. Jack's App was up first - a Japanese rice & green tea dish with lots of condiments called Ochazuke, in which one of the condiments was a heavily camouflaged sinus clearing, eye searing blob of wasabi. Jack is a bastard. Thankfully, the dish was paired with Sake and beer, so we all managed to pull through OK. Next up - Ian presented a German inspired soup of pork, white beans, sauerkraut and carrots which was immediately dubbed "Fart Soup". He also came up with a veggie version for Jason which substituted additional fart in place of the pork. Despite the gravity of the ingredients, the broth remained light and clear and the dish didn't weigh too heavily on our bellies. My turn for the main:  a modified Filipino Pork Adobo starting with the basic preparation and adding some flavor punches and green veg at the end to mouthwatering results. And yes, I even came up with a veggie version for Jason involving carrots, jicima and beets. The beets turned it all red, but the textures and flavor were worth the christmas theme. Recipe for the Pork Adobo at the end of this article. Dessert - a rare treat at the estate since Rok went full time with her Cake and Rock Star business - Megan and Jason produced a pair of chocolate souffle cakes from scratch over the course of our dinner preparations - one topped with strawberry jam and whipped cream, the other with espresso whipped cream. I added my two cents to the sweets with an impromptu congee made from the first batch of rice that was way over cooked mixed to a pudding with a can of coconut milk and sweetened condensed milk and a handful of dried berries. As usual, nobody left even slightly hungry.     Rogue Estate Pantry Raid Pork Adobo
  • 2 tblsp oil or lard
  • 2 lbs Pork loin, chops or shoulder, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup Soy sauce
  • 2 tblsp fish sauce
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp tumeric powder
  • 1/2 lb frozen peas
  • 1 cup zucchini, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup flat parsley, finely minced
  • 2 cups of cooked rice for serving
  • option: 1 tsp cornstarch + 1/2 c water
Rice cook time will vary, so use the instructions on the package to determine when to start cooking your rice so that it's ready to serve when the adobo is done after a 90 minute cook time. Season chopped pork with salt. In a 6 qt sauce pot, heat oil or lard on medium-high heat, add pork in batches until browned. push off to the sides and add the onion in to saute until just taking on color. Turn the heat back up to add vinegar, water, soy, fish sauce, bay leaves, black pepper and turmeric. stir to combine and un-stick anything from the bottom of the pot since this is essentially a de-glaze. As the liquid comes to just a boil, reduce the heat to maintain a good tremor without a full on boil. Cover and let it cook for an hour. Check occasionally to give everything a stir and adjust the heat as needed to keep everything below boil. After an hour, remove the lid and add the zucchini, stir and adjust the heat as needed to keep a merry tremor in the pot. After 15 minutes the liquids should be reduced and beginning to thicken. If you'd like a thicker gravy, whisk 1 tsp of cornstarch and 1/2 cup of warm water together, then stir that slurry into the adobo. continue stirring, add the frozen peas and remove from heat. Portion rice into bowls, spoon the pork, zucchini and peas over it and the gravy over that, then garnish with parsley and serve immediately. Hop on over and LIKE The Rogue Estate on Facebook to check out the full food porn gallery for this week's Chef's Night, as well as previous Chef's Night galleries.  -///  
A consummate nerd, yet still plays well with others.