Day 193: Jerk pork, new potatoes, roasted beets, sugar snap peas, and strawberry shortcakes

Anytime I visit Sue’s I know I’m going to be fed extraordinarily well. As I may have mentioned before, she’s one of the best cooks I know. And she doesn’t even do it for a living! She’s also one of the best writers I know, so I am hoping to get a project going with her that will take advantage of her multi-talentedness and love of food. Stay tuned.

We were there for the day, lingering mostly at the high stools of her kitchen island. In the early afternoon, she slathered a pork shoulder with a jerk paste she found on Epicurious, but edited out half the jalapenos (and all their seeds, which contain most of the heat) which produced a blend of spices with the perfect amount of heat, in my humble (and slightly wimpy) opinion. It was fantastic. The crispy bits in the bottom of the pan were stupendous. Aside from pork shoulder, this thick pasty marinade would also do good things to a pork loin or tenderloin, or even beef, bison or chicken.

With the pork, roasted beets – the stripey kind – and new potatoes, some the size of marbles, both with olive oil and salt. And sweet potato fries. The beet greens were stripped from their roots and sauteed in a little oil and butter, and a few handfuls of sugar snap peas she tossed in a hot skillet for only a minute or two with a slick of sesame oil, then tossed in a few black sesame seeds at the last minute.

In the afternoon we wandered around the farmers’ market – ironically located in the Wal-Mart parking lot – and picked up some raspberries and wee strawberries, redder than any I’ve seen with a flavour that makes me angry that supermarkets try to pass big, woody, anaemic berries off as the same. We couldn’t in good conscience not make strawberry shortcakes with berries like these. (As Sue described, they are at their zenith.)


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