Dinner:  September 27, 2007

As expected, the hectic pace I’ve been keeping over the last few weeks at the office in in preparation for our party last weekend caught up with me. Wednesday night I got home from work and was too exhausted to do much of anything; dinner that night was a platter of cured meats and cheeses left over from the party, along with cherry tomatoes, crackers, and a very quaffable red Mike brought home. I was still very stiff and achy when I woke yesterday morning, so I stayed home and spent most of the day in bed with the cats watching a fine selection of food shows on the DVR.

I often worry about dinner on sick days, but yesterday, I didn’t have to – I could smell it cooking all day long. Before he left for work in the morning, Mike seasoned a bone-in pork shoulder and put it in the crock pot, bathing it in a mixture of water, applejack, cider vinegar, chopped fresh figs (left over from the party) and chipotles in adobo. The aroma was heavenly.

By the time we were ready to eat, I was feeling well enough to put together a couple of sides – cannellini beans cooked with tomato and fresh sage, and Tuscan kale sauteed with a bit of garlic, chile flakes and lemon zest. The pork was so tender it was falling apart, so I carefully transferred it to a baking sheet and kept it warm in a 200 degree oven while I reduced the strained cooking liquid. I let it bubble away until it was reduced down to about 1/2 cup, whisked in some cold butter and plated everything up. We opened a lovely Sangiovese which highlighted the flavors of both the pork and the figgy pan sauce, and toasted to a great team effort.

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