Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Leftover lunch rehab: Old Pork loin gets a new lease on life
The best brown bag sandwiches are made with leftovers of a meal you have been bragging about to your cubicle brethren for say the past two days(I keep leftovers a week plus, but I was reared by parents of the third world who never threw food out and finished every grain of rice on the plate).
The left over protein above is a roasted loin of pork, rubbed with salt, fennel seed, rosemary and black pepper, and finished with a balsamic mustard vinaigrette spiked with a little brown sugar. It was a fine roast but, not surprisingly, the flavors diminished considerably after a day in the fridge.
Spicy, salty and sweet are great ways to wake up the flavors of leftover pork. Whenever I think of a great Cuban sandwich, I am reminded of the harmony that exists between brine and swine. Pickles also give the added benefit of texture as long as you buy the good stuff that packs a crunch.
Splurge worthy: Bubbies makes the best bread and butter pickles I have had and the big jar is worth the $7 price tag.
A little heat goes a long way when trying to balance out the sweetness presented by these pickles and the general mildness that pork has. I went for a dusting of the pickles here:
After a few more pensive bites I realize that I could have gone a biter heavier on the crushed red chile flakes, but the salting was near perfect. Finishing salts have puzzled me as I try to season my food before it hits the plate but in leftover lunch rehab, a finishing salt is your ace in the hole in bringing this roasted pork loin back to life.
Multi grain, spinach and a little mayo wrap things up. The sandwich held together nicely, the flavors were bold but well behaved. A few bites in and you would almost forget that you were eating leftovers.