I’m flying to Colorado in a few hours and i wanted to leave some food on the table for you my friends. Let’s do a little live cooking, shall we? A 30-minutes meal a la Zenchef. Simple, good and not fussy at all. Instead of following a recipe i’m gonna ask you to trust your inner chef, that sleepy little bastard that lies within all of us. Shake him up a little. Cooking is more fun that way.
Throw a handful of double-smoked bacon cut into lardons into a pot with a little olive oil, set the flame to medium and wait until that bacony goodness gets all happy and sweaty, add a tablespoon of fennel seeds and a sliced onion and stir from time to time. Cook until the mixture starts to stick to the bottom of the pot. I know, you might want to stop the cooking at this point to pick up a fork and start eating but that would be cheating. I promised you a 30-minutes meal.. not a quickie. To distract you from this orgy of flavors turn you back on it, pick up the knife and start slicing a red cabbage. Throw it in there like you don’t care and while you’re at it, chop an apple or two and add it to the party. Season this baby with salt and freshly ground pepper. Let it all cook down a little while you sit cross-legged on your kitchen counter and meditate on life’s crucial questions like: what’s for dinner? Yes, it’s important! Your inner chef is shy, meditation helps him build confidence. Time to deglaze all this goodness with some vincotto or good old balsamic vinegar, or preferably a mixture of the two. If you’re using a whole red cabbage you want to deglaze with at least 3/4 cup of the stuff and scrap the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. We’re looking for a sweet and sour equilibrum here. Cover the pot and let it cook for a while.While the magic happens, peel some fingerling potatoes, cover with cold water and let them cook until tender. Strain the water out, mash them with a fork with a drizzle of olive oil and some sea salt. Add some chopped chives, et voila!If you have access to Berkshire pork chops by all mean, try them! I’m begging you! They’re incredible. They’re so good in fact i don’t like to serve them with sauce of any kind, and you’ve got the magic cabbage anyway. I marinade them quickly in garlic and rosemary and olive oil and grill them.Guess what? Your thirty minutes meal is ready. Pack it all on a plate. Go for seconds of magic red cabbage. Enjoy!
Take a peak at your sweet and sour braised red cabbage. Ohhh! Ahhh!.. This is just too freakin’ good and it goes so well with pork! One bite and you’re be a believer, everything from the texture to the combination of flavors rocks. You’ve got the smokey and the sweet and sour with hints of fennel seeds rounded-up with bacon! [gasp.. fainting]
Now if your inner chef starts bragging to everyone about a job well done, tell him to shut the f**k up and take full credit. That lazy little bastard!