Tuesday, May 25, 2021

LEFFtovers: Pork Chop Curry Penne

This consists of:

A leftover pork chop (sliced)

A leftover serving of spicy Indian vegetable curry

Some really good penne.

Before cooking, as I went about my day, I backburnered a process of visualization, envisioning not how I, as a cook, would approach it, but how I, as an eater, wanted it to come off. I never push with the cooking, I always pull from the eating. The best route, I've found, is to reverse engineer a clearly envisioned result. Work it out carefully in your imagination, like a puzzle, then execute.

The pork chunks, being leftover, were bound to be slightly dry. So I didn't want to "feature" them. They had to be buried in sauce. But I didn't want to give them the "meatball" treatment. I wanted the pork flavor to remain pure, and not be lost in the curry. I even wanted the caramelization from the rewarming to come through.

So I didn't rewarm the pork chunks in the curry, nor did I add curry over the reheated pork to heat in the same pan. I braised the pork chunks by themselves, removed them from the pan, then heated the curry, finally stirring it together with the pasta at the very end. Leftover flaws in the pork wouldnt be obvious, but it wouldn't be stewed, either. You knew you were eating pork chops, but they didn't particularly stick out.

Do I sound obsessive? Well, that's what it takes to produce quality. You have to care to a degree that would be off-putting if people knew.

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