Wednesday, February 10, 2010

My weird and wonderful evening in the kitchen

I'm not sure if I can really call it cooking.

I decided to cook the little pork roast before I was pushing it's shelf life limits. So this is a beautiful fresh little local pork roast from the little local butcher shop - Rolf's on Lexington Ave.. Nothing to let go to waste or anything like that.

But what to do? I didn't want it to be just plain roast. I just got finished with a plain pork roast and I wanted something a little jazzed up. I decided I would let it cook slowly because I had all night. So I also wanted to use some of my really great frozen local organic yellow tomatoes from Winter-Sun Farms CSA. I thought on my mother's "barbeque" from the 1960s when she used to start with ketchup and add orange juice or pineapple juice, a little apple cider vinegar and onions.

So I thawed the tomatoes which ended up like a puree. They were picked at peak ripeness and are beautiful. Then I went to my huge spice shelf and began picking things: five spice powder, garlic, bay leaf, dried red chilies, Busha Browne's Authentic Jerk Seasoning, my friend Irina's homemade apricot and current jam. I could tell it was going to be sweet and hot. I also spied the key limes my brother sent me from Florida. Sweet hot and tangy. I thought of the jaggery I had in my big cannister. That finished the job that the jam began.

I had it in a 280-degree oven and basted the roast about every twenty minutes for three hours. I don't really care if it's barbeque or something else - it's magnificent.

The jaggery is a different story altogether. The last time I was in the Indian grocery I bought a huge "rock" of it. The shop keeper said that her mother always made a syrup with it. I had been treating it much like brown sugar and just using pinches of it here and there, including in my spiced coffee, which I spice with cardamom, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg.

I put the whole rock in a pan with a couple cups of water to see what would happen. When there was an adequate sort of syrup and put a little into the roast pan to sweeten the sauce a little more.

But I still had this huge amount of syrup. And there were a bunch of intriguing spices on the counter. So I added the cardamom, cinnamon, clove and got out a vanilla bean. There were a couple Meyer lemons on the counter too, so I cut one in half and squeezed in all the juice and plopped the whole thing in. This is one heavenly syrup. I'm going to be having coffee at home or toting a bottle of this stuff to the cafe.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

I've learned something new today. Never heard of this jaggery. Off to do an internet search...

Oh, and I make jam but I never thought to put apricots and currants together but now that I think of it, I bet it's fantastic. I may have to steal that idea for next summer's jamming sessions :)