Sunday, August 4, 2013

Ham Hocks

What a beautiful day! Not a cloud in the sky, mid 70d, so we road our bikes up to Lollapalooza.  One of the largest musical festivals in the world - they say - and it was fun to watch all of the eager kids waving their $95 (per day) wrist bands. It got so crowded that we tied up the bikes and continued walking then cut through the Art Institute.

Then, a Saturday night with no plans (for a change) except to make a new dish for the two of us. I've been wanting to make this one from the Girl and the Goat cookbook but it sounded complicated and expensive for a group ($16 just for 8 scallops - which comes from a fishmonger in the Fulton market district - and the price is as good as it gets around here).

The recipe called for a new sauce (sorrel) but I already had a cilantro sauce plus the good old salted milk caramel. Mariano's had three ham hocks - in a package - pre-cooked for about $5 (I apologize for the $ references but keep reading). The instructions said to cook them for 30 minutes. The recipe said to boil them for two hours but I assumed that they weren't pre-cooked. Anyway, they cooked then they cooled then Paul pulled them apart. "They're all fat!" Not really - 75% bone, 15% fat and 10% meat. I figure that he was off by about 10% LOL. In the end, that was some expensive bacon.

Anyway, here's the dish (starting from the bottom):

Potato and goat cheese (puree)

(Seared) scallops

(Sauteed) asparagus and ham (fortunately the ham got cooked again - enough to crisp it up)

Cilantro "vinaigrette" (her word - several years ago broths were a sauce, now vinaigrettes are a sauce)

Salted milk caramel.

Here's the "experience":

Delicious but for the ham that I couldn't eat. It was advertised as smoked but tasted like it was "smoked" in some chemical.

Here's the lesson(s):

A refrigerator full of sauces is a good thing.

Ham hocks are not.

Scallops are.


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