23 June 2017

Deconstructed pork belly BLT salad... and the summer salad

Gloria Duggan, Homemade & Yummy

 Glorria Duggan Gloria Duggan is a passionate home chef, and the food blogger/recipe developer for Homemade & Yummy. As a wife, mom and very proud gramma, food is an important part of creating wonderful memories. Gathering around the table for dinner, celebrating holiday traditions, or experimenting in the kitchen with new techniques and flavours…food brings it all together. My philosophy is: Food doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does have to taste good!!  

 


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Who doesn’t love the classic BLT? Simple flavours that make one delicious sandwich. But have you tried it deconstructed—in a salad?

As you can see, we LOVE pork. I will confess, if I had to choose my favourite cut… pork belly RULES! As a child, my mom would often cook pork belly for dinner.

I love when hubby cooks bacon on the BBQ (and so do the neighbours!). Nothing beats a weekend bacon and egg breakfast cooked outside. When I get my hands on some fantastic pork belly, though, my taste buds go into overdrive. If you love bacon, this takes it to a whole new level of awesome.

There are lots of ways to cook pork belly, but I prefer simply using a cast iron skillet on the grill. An overnight rub with spice, a quick fry in the pan, and you have the crispiest crackling going. Perfect to pick up with your fingers and eat… and this is THE BEST way to eat it!

I love a great BLT, but hey, summer salad season is here. This Deconstructed Pork Belly BLT Salad is perfect for brunch or dinner. Simple ingredients are always a winner in my kitchen. You can customize this salad however you like: the spice rub, lettuce, tomatoes and even the mayo dressing.

This simple, tasty recipe is easy to put together. Score the pork belly, generously season with a spice rub, and let it sit uncovered overnight in the fridge. This is the key to that crispy crackling that is over-the-top delicious.

For the spice rub, you can use whatever you like. In fact this whole recipe can easily adapt to your flavour preference. You can use any “no salt” spice rub you like, either store bought or your own creation. There is no right or wrong way to make a spice rub—let your taste buds be your guide! We like things on the spicy side and always whip up blends and put them in jars for use all year long.

Lettuce and tomato are the base of a BLT, so in this recipe I used some artisan lettuce leaves and coloured mini heirloom tomatoes. Store bought mayo mixed with sriracha sauce was the dressing that pulled it all together. A few slices of grilled baguette on the side, and this Deconstructed Pork Belly BLT Salad is ready to go!

Grab yourself a nice piece of fresh Ontario pork belly and drive your neighbours crazy when you fire up the grill. Make lots—you just might have unexpected company!

Deconstructed Pork Belly BLT Salad

Yield: Serves 4
Prep time: 15 minutes + marinating time
Cook time: 20 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb fresh Ontario pork belly
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 2 tsp hot smoked paprika
  • 1 container of mini heirloom tomatoes
  • Lettuce leaves (your choice)
  • Sriracha mayo (regular mayo with sriracha added to your preferred level of heat)
  • Fresh baguette (sliced thick)
  • Olive oil (for grilling the baguette)
  • Salt and pepper (for garnish)

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS

  1. The night before, mix garlic powder, onion powder, thyme and hot smoked paprika (or use any pre-mixed no-salt spice blend—or a spice rub of your own creation!).
  2. Score the top of the pork belly with a sharp knife every 1/4" and rub your spice mix all over. Place pork belly on a plate, uncovered, and leave in the fridge overnight.
  3. Mix your mayo and sriracha sauce, and set aside (in the fridge) till ready to use.
  4. The day of, wash lettuce and tomatoes. Dry leaves, and cut tomatoes into bite size pieces. Put aside till ready to assemble.
  5. Remove pork belly from fridge about 20 minutes before cooking. Slice into 1/8” slices.
  6. Heat a cast iron skillet on the grill. Cook the pork belly until crispy (about 8 minutes), turning every couple of minutes. Remove from skillet, and place on a plate lined with paper towel to absorb excess fat
  7. With the grill still on, brush your baguette slices with olive oil. Place on the grill to toast.
  8. To assemble salad, top lettuce leaves with cut tomatoes. Dress with mayo and season with salt and pepper. For each serving, place 3 slices of pork belly on top and add a couple slices of grilled baguette on the side. Enjoy!
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