I had something of a result this week. I'd budgeted a certain amount for the leccy bill and it turned out to be only half what I thought it was going to be. So I was able to push the boat out a bit foodstuff-wise.
And one of the treats I allowed myself was a kilo of glorious Gloucester Old Spot pork belly, courtesy of Marky Market, whom God preserve.
I thought that such a fine chunk of meat demanded to be cooked and served relatively unadorned, to be the star of the show. And it most certainly was. The layer of fat between the skin and the flesh was just the right thickness to flavour the meat (as opposed to some you get where the fat is the major element of the joint) and rendered off during the cooking to leave a slab of tender juicy meat. It wasn't cheap - £9 per kilo - compared to what you might find in a supermarket, but it was worth every penny.
I didn't fancy going the gravy and potatoes route particularly, so I came up with this salad as an accompaniment. It worked really well. I'll be making it again soon (minus the crackling) - it would, for example, make a superb partner for a plate of cheese.
I still fancied a small carb hit with the meal. There was some tomato sauce, heavy on the garlic, left over in the fridge, so I simply stirred in some cooked haricots and chopped parsley and drizzled over a little olive oil.
Verdict: the second result of the week.
The simplest of mid-week suppers, I had this last night with some cheese and fruit to follow.
one or two slice of serrano, roughly torn
a thick slice of pugliese or sourdough bread
a splash of olive oil
a small garlic clove crushed
a pinch of chilli flakes
4 raw prawns, peeled (I leave the tails on, but it's up to you)
a pinch of black pepper
roughly chopped parsley
Toast your bread, ideally on a griddle. Fold on the roughly torn pieces of serrano.
Heat a small pan (I use a 20cm wok) to a fairly high heat and add a splash of olive oil. Throw in the garlic and chilli, then the prawns and add a pinch of pepper (no salt). Toss until the prawns are cooked through - a matter of moments.
Place the prawns on top of the ham, pour the pan juices over and around and scatter some parsley over.
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