Just in Time for Fourth of July

Pork Belly Carnitas with Watermelon Salsa!!

The month of June just zipped by — And Fourth of July weekend is coming up!!  I know that likely means Burgers-on-the-Grill for most folks, and then a slice (several slices) of Watermelon before dessert — But I’m thinking of something just a bit different.  Summery, but different.

I’ve been making quite a few NEW pots (almost ready for a firing) — But more importantly, I’ve been trying NEW techniques, NEW approaches to ‘how’ I make my handbuilt pieces, NEW forms, and mixing up some NEW glazes.  Hope to show you some goodies soon!

I guess I thought I would try a few new FOOD items as well — Just in time for Fourth of July….

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I’ve certainly encountered Pork Belly in various dishes in restaurants, but I’ve not been able to find it at my grocery shops.  I’ve certainly had plenty of Watermelon, but I’ve not yet tried Jicama.  It was time to try all these tasty things together.  Perfect for Summer — Rich Pork Belly with refreshing Watermelon (and Jicama)!!

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The Food — Pork Belly Carnitas with Watermelon Salsa:

Pork Belly Carnitas — I found a wonderful chunk of Pork Belly (organic) at my market, and I thought I would try a recipe I discovered a few years ago.  A ‘Carnitas’ approach — A few hours of brining, then a rub with allspice, and a slow braise with stock and orange juice.  Finally (yes, it was all a bit involved), OMG — So incredible, melt-in-the-mouth yummy!!

And the Watermelon Salsa, with jicama, red onion, jalapeno, and lime — Was a perfect, refreshing balance to the earthy, allspice, richness of the Pork.

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The Carnitas made wonderful Tacos — Carnitas and Salsa wrapped together in a tortilla.  I also tried Quesadillas — Tortilla heated with Manchego cheese, then topped with Carnitas, served with the Salsa.  Again, OMG — Amazing/wonderful flavors!!

Confession — I LOVED the Quesadilla!!  The nutty, just-melted Manchego helped carry the earthy/rich flavors.  I cannot wait to make this again!!

Recipes (adapted from Food52) for both the Carnitas and Salsa included on my Recipes Page.

The Pottery — Plates by Steve Rolf:

I’m serving both the Tacos and the Quesadillas on two favorite Dinner Plates made by Wisconsin Artist, Steve Rolf.

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One with a textured rim enhanced with a Korean Celadon Glaze.  The other, stunning — With a variety of rich brown glaze treatments, creating a set of concentric circles.  Of course, the Tacos and Quesadillas were DELISH on these Plates!!

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And that’s my get-ready-for-Fourth-of-July adventure.  I’ll be serving Appetizers on the deck — Quesadillas with Carnitas and Watermelon!  Happy ‘Fourth’ everyone!!

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