Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fried Pork Belly and Potatoes with Parsley Sauce

I think people are surprised when they learn that I am (semi) fluent in the Danish language and I am pretty familiar with traditional Danish cuisine. It's my Thainess that throws them off and I completely understand. I would probably be pretty surprised if I met a 6'3" Dane who could speak fairly fluent Thai and cook a mean green curry from scratch.

Anyhow, I purposely chose Scandinavia as the spotlight region for Regional Recipes because whenever cold weather sets in, I get an itching for Danish food. It's stick-to-your-ribs-warm-you-to-the-bone-comfort food. Besides, I'm a sweet and loving wife who likes to give Hubby a little taste of home every once in a while.

Originally I planned to make a traditional Danish-style pork roast with pork belly served with pickled red cabbage and potatoes but MIL assured me that fried pork belly with potatoes and parsley sauce was as Danish as it gets. And not only did she suggest this dish, she cooked it! All I had to do was snap a couple of pictures and dig in. So a big, fat TAK FOR MAD! goes out to my awesome MIL!

Apparently all Danes can make this with their eyes closed, it's that easy. In other words, if Hubby can do this without a recipe, anyone can! Simply cut the pork belly (remove the skin if you wish) into 1/4 to 1/3 inch slices, season generously with salt, and fry until wonderfully crisp. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels. In the mean time, boil some small, cute potatoes (skins removed) until tender. Just before you're about to serve, make the sauce by melting a couple tablespoons of butter and adding about 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour to make a roux. Don't let it cook get dark. Add warm milk (about a cup to start with) while whisking vigorously to eliminate clumps. Turn up the heat a little bit. The sauce will be thin at first but will start to thicken up once it begins to simmer. If it gets too thick, add more milk. If it's too thin after it has been simmering for a few minutes, sprinkle in a little more flour while whisking vigorously. Once it reaches the desired consistency (see photo above), add salt and a healthy handful of finely chopped Italian parsley. Drizzle over the boiled potatoes and serve immediately.

Craving more Danish food? Try these:
karry sild (curried pickled herring)
leverpostej (Danish-style liver pate)
frikadeller (Danish meatballs)
lakridsis (licorice ice cream)
napoleanshatte (marzipan cookies dipped in chocolate)

This is my submission to Regional Recipes, where the spotlight region is Scandinavia. The host this month is Joanne of Eats Well with Others. Be sure to check her site on the 20th (or there abouts) for the round-up and she'll be announcing the next spotlight region.


Paula said...

Now that's what I call cultural culinary diffusion at it's best! Plus, I got a hoot that there was Italian parsley in there, too! You know, I've never had pork belly. That photo alone makes me want to try it. And who could say no to those potatoes. YUM!

Lars said...

looks great, darlene. and yes, it doesn't get more danish than this. but actually it is more traditional to use curly leaf parsley :-)

when is the best time of the year to come to portland, if lene and i were considering making the trip next year?

Mary Bergfeld said...

This does look so good! Our local Asian market has started to carry pork belly. Now that I have a recipe I have no reason not to try it.

dp said...

Paula, if you've had bacon, you've had cured pork belly :-). Many people don't like pork belly because it's fatty yet they love bacon. I think those people may like it prepared this way because it's kind of crispy like bacon.

Lars, of course noticed the parsley! However, I rarely cook with curly parsley. It has little flavor compared to the Italian variety. Americans see it more as a garnish.

So the best time of year in terms of weather is the summer, hands down. July, August and even September are good. However, during Thanksgiving (end of Nov) and Christmas is when it's most festive, but the weather sucks.

Mary, I usually have to get pork belly at the Asian market as well or special order it from the butcher if I need a larger quantity. But as luck would have it, I have a vendor at the local farmers' market that sells high quality pork cuts of all variety. I can even get fat, trotters and all those misc parts people want to throw away. Unfortunately the market will close for the year in Nov. :-(

Wandering Chopsticks said...

"Sweet and loving wife." Bwhahaha!

My verification word is "recal." Ha!

Dee said...

WC, I was waiting for someone to comment on the sweet and loving wife thing. Because, you know, I'm exactly the type that gushes over my husband and sees to his every need. NOT! I once called myself a "trophy" wife, which I found wickedly funny, but no one called me on it.

Some of those word verifications are so spot-on and funny. It makes me wonder if the program that generates them is actually "aware." Creepy.

Zupan's Markets said...

We agree—Cheers to your MIL! Crispy, crunchy pork belly paired with tender Yukon Gold potatoes and a clean roux sauce should be a part of every cook's repertoire. So simple and delicious!