Recipe: Warm Autumn Foragers Salad

October 21, 2008 4:56:18 PM PDT
Are you in the mood for something simple to make and mind-blowingly delicious? Nick Smith discovers a yummy foragers salad and crispy pork confit that will knock your socks off.

Foragers Salad with Crispy Pork Confit
Serves 2

1 four inch piece carrot (cut in thin ribbons with a peeler)
1 four inch piece parsnip (cut in thin ribbons with a peeler)
4 yellow wax beans, blanched and cut in half
4 blue lake beans, blanched and cut in half
8 small chanterelles, cleaned
¼ red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup torn curly endive leaves
2 pieces pork "confit"
1 teaspoon sherry wine vinegar
2 teaspoons hazelnut oil
Salt and fresh ground black pepper

Heat a small cast iron skillet over low flame until it is hot, add pork confit and sear gently for 2 minutes on each side.

In a large sauté pan, sauté the sliced onion, chanterelles and ribbons of parsnip and carrot with the hazelnut oil for about 2 minutes until they just begin to color. Add the beans, season with salt and pepper, toss for 30 seconds. Deglaze with the sherry vinegar, add the curly endive and toss again.

Divide salad among two plates and top with a piece of crisp confit.

Pork Confit

½ pound boneless pork shoulder "butt"
2 cups rendered pork fat
Salt
Pepper
1 bay leaf
1 sprig thyme
1 clove garlic

Rub the pork with salt and pepper. Place in a small pyrex roasting dish, add enough fat to cover, the garlic, thyme and bay leaf. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 240 degress for 4 hours until the pork is "jiggly" tender. Remove from oven, let cool to room temperature and chill intact overnight. Untouched (and carefully wrapped) in the refrigerator in its own fat, it will keep for weeks until ready to use. Remove from fat when ready to use. Keep the fat to use next time, it keeps getting better. You may substitute duck for pork in this recipe and also achieve a fabulous result.

La Toque Restaurant website: http://www.verasanapa.com/westin_verasa/la_toque.asp


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