Crack­ling Pork Belly Crou­tons

Natural Solutions - - Food Matters | -

We love foods that orig­i­nate from the Mid­dle East, In­dia, and Asia, as they are of­ten so as­ton­ish­ing in fla­vor. This dip has been de­scribed as “bet­ter than hum­mus” and is de­rived from a clas­sic Mid­dle East­ern dip called Muhum­mara. This one uses a fig fruit paste in­stead of the pome­gran­ate mo­lasses that is tra­di­tion­ally used for this dish, be­cause the mo­lasses may not be read­ily avail­able every­where. Serve the dip with fresh veg­gies or toasted pita. It can also be used as a spread on sand­wiches or as a base for piz­zas!

MAKES 3 CUPS 1 cup raw wal­nuts Hi­malayan salt, coarsely ground, to taste 1 cup roasted red pep­pers from jar, drained ¼ cup bread­crumbs ½ cup yel­low onion, cut into large pieces 4-5 medium gar­lic cloves 3 ta­ble­spoons lemon juice 2 ta­ble­spoons fig fruit paste 1 tea­spoon cumin 1 tea­spoon red pep­per flakes 1 tea­spoon pa­prika 3 ta­ble­spoons olive oil ¼ cup Kala­mata olives for gar­nish (op­tional) Pita, oven toasted and brushed with olive oil, for serv­ing

Toast nuts in a medium skil­let over low-medium heat, adding salt to taste through­out the process, un­til the nuts are golden brown and fra­grant. Com­bine toasted wal­nuts and re­main­ing in­gre­di­ents (ex­clud­ing olives and pita points) in food pro­ces­sor. Pulse un­til mix­ture reaches a uni­form con­sis­tency. Pour dip into a serv­ing bowl. Top with olives and serve with toasted pita. Source: For The Love Of Food And Yoga: A Cel­e­bra­tion of Mind­ful Eat­ing and Be­ing by Liz Price-Kel­logg and Kris­ten Tay­lor Reprinted with per­mis­sion from Sky­horse Pub­lish­ing, Inc. Slightly crunchy and salty, th­ese crack­ling crou­tons will have you want­ing to eat them by the hand­ful. Although tra­di­tional crou­tons are made with bread, th­ese turn pork belly into sa­vory bites of de­li­cious­ness. Add a heap­ing spoon­ful to clas­sic Cae­sar salad or tomato basil soup, or watch them quickly dis­ap­pear straight from the pan!

MAKES 4 CUPS 2 pounds pork belly 2½ tea­spoons sea salt 1 tea­spoon freshly cracked black pep­per 1 tea­spoon gar­lic pow­der

Cut the pork belly into ½-inch cubes. Sprin­kle the salt, pep­per, and gar­lic over the cubes, toss­ing to­gether so that all sides are evenly sea­soned. Place in a seal­able bag and then in the re­frig­er­a­tor to mar­i­nate for 8 hours (or overnight). When you are ready to cook, re­move the pork belly from the re­frig­er­a­tor and bring to room tem­per­a­ture for 20 min­utes. Warm a large cast-iron or non­stick skil­let to medium heat. Place the pork belly in the skil­let, evenly ar­rang­ing so that all of it touches the heat. You may have to work in batches, de­pend­ing on the size of your skil­let. Sear for 3 min­utes with­out touch­ing, then flip to the other side and con­tinue sear­ing for an ad­di­tional 3 min­utes. Give the pork belly a stir and con­tinue cook­ing for 2 min­utes, stir­ring con­stantly to en­sure that all sides are golden brown. Re­move the crou­tons with a slot­ted spoon and place them on a pa­per towel. If you are mak­ing the herbed crou­tons, toss in the herbs while the pork belly is still warm. Use as needed and store re­main­ing crou­tons in the re­frig­er­a­tor. Source: All-Amer­i­can Pa­leo Ta­ble: Clas­sic Home­style Cook­ing from a Grain-Free Per­spec­tive by Caro­line Pot­ter. Reprinted with per­mis­sion from Page Street Pub­lish­ing Copyright 2015.

PRO TIPS: •Crou­tons are best served im­me­di­ately, be­cause that is when they are the crunchi­est. If you are stor­ing ex­tras in the re­frig­er­a­tor, lightly re­heat in a skil­let or the oven to make them crisp. •For herbed crou­tons, add: ½ tea­spoon fresh rose­mary, chopped ½ tea­spoon fresh thyme, chopped

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