Saturday, November 23, 2013

Fried Pork Rinds with Three Sauces






Pork Rinds!

     Some people would rather eat a bag of pork rinds, than to munch on a bag of candy.  There are folks who prefer jerky or pork rinds over any other kind of snack.  People who like pork rinds do not necessarily have to only be country folk.  Pork rind munchers do not necessarily have to reside in a big city ghetto, a Mexican barrio or a trailer park.  On second thought, maybe they do!  
     The demographics of pork rind consumers is not exactly refined high class city slickers.  In fact, I have rarely seen people of high social status eating pork rinds in public.  There is a slim possibility that socialites eat pork rinds in private, away from possible criticism by their peers.  There actually could be a demographic sector of closet case pork rind munchers, who save face by not letting their fellow high society members know that they "have a thing" for this crunchy snack.  
      
     It is kind of funny, but a lot of my relative are from the Carolinas.  Carolina people have good old fashioned down to earth taste preferences.  Since I have some Carolina blood flowing through my veins, it is just natural to crave pork rinds on occasion.  I have actually shown up at some of the classiest places with a bag of pork rinds, just to get some amusement out of the public reaction that this snack creates.  
     Snobbish people hear the enticing crunching and munching going on, then they curiously turn around and say "What is it that you are eating?!"  The best way to answer this naive question is to hold up the bag and say, "Spicy BBQ Pork Rinds!  Y'all want some?"
     Offering pork rinds to classy acting folks who pretend to have social grace really does draw some amusing reactions like, "Ugh!  You are disgusting!  How could you eat that disgusting garbage?  I am becoming ill, just by watching you eat that stuff.  You unrefined lowlife country bumpkins should not even be allowed to exist!"   
     It works every time!  Munching on pork rinds, when high society members are around, does create a stir.  Coaxing a classy elite person to try one can successfully be done.  This also creates a funny reaction that is similar to what a person does before telling an ethnic joke.  Elite high society members actually turn their head and look over their shoulders, in order to make sure that there are no witnesses, before accepting the offer to try a crunchy pork rind!
     After tasting a Spicy BBQ Pork Rind, a high society member usually says that the crunchy snack tastes pretty good.  They also mention that they would appreciate not letting the word get around about how they actually tried a pork rind, because it would certainly cause frowns among their peers.  
     Even with the risk of lower social ranking, asking for a second pork rind is not uncommon for a classy person to do.  Pork rinds have an addictive savory flavor.  A personal pork rind addiction truly is something that is kept "locked in a dark closet" by high society members.  An empty bag of pork rinds on the floorboards of a Mercedes Benz could be a sad sign of hopeless addiction.  "Oh dear, ...  Oh dear, ... There seems to be no recourse for poor Biff now, ...  Oh dear, ... What shall we do?  What shall we do?"
     What shall we do?  Well, seeking pork rind addiction counseling or attending "Pork Rind Eaters Anonymous" group sessions might be upper class options.  The chances are that the fall from social grace may be so severe, that a pork rind eating outcast of society might even be subject to complete financial ruin.  
     
     The answer to the problem is easy!  Instead of fighting pork rind addiction, just give in and get a big bag of pork rinds.  Better still, make a batch of pork rinds from scratch.  By presenting freshly fried pork rinds in a tasteful manner, this crunchy snack can achieve the elegance that it deserves.  A rebound from being labeled as a "pork rind addicted social outcast" could possibly be achieved, just by whipping up a batch of gourmet pork rinds as a classy dinner party hors d'oeuvre! 

     Pork Belly Skin Preparation:
     Pork belly sections are usually sold with the skin attached.  The skin must be removed, before making home cured bacon or pork belly recipes.  Pork belly skin can be frozen for later use or prepared on the spot.  
     It is best if the skin has a minimal amount of fat attached.  The pork fat trimmings can be rendered to make fresh lard.
     Soaking pork belly skin in bacon soda water overnight in a refrigerator will help to make the flavor milder.  About 1/2 tablespoon of baking soda per quart of water is plenty.  
     After soaking, drain off the water.
     Place the pork belly skin on a roasting rack in a refrigerator.
     Allow the pork skin to air dry. 
     Use a steak perforating tool to pok a holes through the skin.  (optional) 
     Cut the pork rind into large bite size rectangular pieces and set them aside.    

     Japanese Teriyaki Sauce:
     This recipe yields 1 small portion!
     Place 3 tablespoons of soy sauce into a small sauce pot.
     Add 3 tablespoons of sugar.
     Add 1/2 cup of water.
     Place the sauce pot over low heat.
     Simmer and reduce the teriyaki sauce, till it becomes a syrup consistency and till the sauce can easily glaze a spoon.
     Place the teriyaki sauce in a ramekin.
     Keep the sauce warm on a stove top. 

     Lillet Blanc Dijon Mustard:
     This recipe yields 1 small portion!
     Place 2 ounces of Lillet Blanc wine in a small sauce pot.
     Add 2 tablespoons of Dijon Mustard.
     Place the pot over low heat.
     Simmer a reduce, till the sauce becomes a medium thin consistency.
     Keep the sauce warm on a stove top.

     Fried Pork Rinds with Three Sauces:
     Any amount of pork can be fried per batch.  The oil will have a pork flavor after the frying is done, so the oil can then only be used for certain applications.  
     Heat 4" of vegetable frying oil in a high sided pot to 360ยบ.  
     Place a few pork rind pieces in the oil at a time, so hot oil foaming does not occur.
     After no moisture sizzling can be heard and the pork rinds become crisp, then they are ready.
     Use a fryer net to place the pork rinds on a wire screen roasting rack on a drip pan.
     Season with sea salt and white pepper.  
     Place a bed of kale leaves on a plate and mount the pork rinds on the kale.
     Serve with your favorite hot sauce, the Lillet Mustard Sauce and the Teriyaki sauce on the side.

     Pairing:
     Since this is the late autumn and early winter season, a nice beer pairing came to mind.  Seasonal craft beers are always en vogue.  During the fall season, spiced pumpkin ales are a great choice.  Pumpkin ales are usually dry and not sweet.  A mild German dessert spice blend in the brew makes pumpkin ale suitable for the holiday season.  One of the best tasting seasonal pumpkin ales that I have tried is made by the Buffalo Bill's Brewery.  This ale has a medium body and the hops flavor is not overpowering.  Buffalo Bill's Brewery Pumpkin Ale is a nice early winter beer!     

     Pork rinds are a tasty snack to eat while watching a ball game on the weekend!  Yum!  ...  Shawna

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