Flat Belly

Back in my golfing days a “Flat Belly” was a term used to describe a young athletic golfer that could hit a golf ball further than old fat guys wearing ugly shorts like me. Except my shorts were stylish. Calling a golfer a Flat Belly could be both a compliment and a way to make fun of them at the same time. It was a good conversation around the men’s locker room when an old fat guy beat a flat belly.

It would go like this:

Golf Buddies- “Hey Scott, how did you play today?”

Scott – “I Took fifty bucks from a Flat Belly that hit his tee shot so far out of bounds that you could have wrapped a piece of bacon around his ball and Lassie couldn’t find it”.

Better Than Bacon

These days for me a flat belly is pork goodness. Saying pork belly sounds kind of funny doesn’t it. Pork belly sounds like something that will give me a large belly. Words like Pork and Belly makes me feel a little glutinous, but that’s not the case in reality.

Pork Belly…makes me smile.

 

A pork belly is a flat cut that can be trimmed up nicely into squares and rectangles. It’s the same cut of meat that is cured for making bacon. Pork belly has great flat symmetry. Then it plumps up a bit randomly as it smokes and the fat renders into gelatinous juicy nom noms.  We season and smoke uncured pork belly out on The Black October for a tender moist piece of smoked porkyness.

Every time I say pork belly I can’t help but think of the movie Trading Places.

 

 

Pork Belly futures are no longer traded as a commodity, but not before Louis and Billy Ray teamed up for the win.

On the Chicago Stock Exchange, trading futures of pork belly was a way to hedge against supply and demand forces on bacon.

Demand for bacon moved downward one time?

It’s hard to find a person that doesn’t love bacon for the salty, smokey, crunchy pleasure it brings to the table. Old school bacon was pork belly seasoned, cured for a week, rinsed, and smoked. Most bacon at the grocery story these days is injected with sodium nitrate to A) speed it to market and B) make the bacon weigh more. It’s always about the dollars isn’t it. You can find uncured bacon at the market if you look for it.

Pork Belly does sound like something terrible for you, but its really not. It’s meat with some extra fat which is right in the wheel house of many modern day hard core diet plans. It’s the modern food processing junk that bacon is cured with that might be worth avoiding.

Saturday morning we sliced pork belly and seared it on the flat top as one of the meats for breakfast tacos.

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This gave the pork belly a little crispy edge and made for great tacos. These were sort of like meaty strips of extra thick cut bacon. Shut the front, back, and side door. I look for pork belly to be a regular menu item in the near future.

Sandwich Art

Perhaps you might consider having us add pork belly to a sandwich. I just love our sandwiches the way they are, but pork belly can be a nifty addition to the party.

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We use a wonderful brioche that is toasted up on the flat top. Fixin’s and sauces are there for you to make your own barbecue sandwich Picasso. I saw the assembly line for a few of our Bird & Bacon sandwiches on the cutting table one afternoon.

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Adding pork belly to our signature Bird & Bacon sandwich seemed like a reasonable idea. Why stop with bacon when you can add pork belly.

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Between puffy clouds of toasted brioche are layers of smoked turkey, avocado, crispy bacon, pork belly and a fried egg. I don’t know how a sandwich gets better. I see it like this…the turkey cancel outs bacon & pork belly while the avocado levels off the fried portion of the egg and bread. In my view, this sandwich is dietary neutral. I’m going with that.

On days we have pork belly you can add it to any sandwich. It’s an option for you on those days.

While I’m on the topic of pork belly, you can also order it by the pound and we can slice it for you. Eat then or save it for later. You never know when thick cut strips of pork belly might come in handy.

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By the end of Saturday there was a small piece of pork belly about 2″ x 3″ left over. Chef Greg and I agreed to split it once I found it in his hidden stash.  See how that works. This morning Michelle took my half and made us a nice brunch.

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Perfectly poached eggs & pico de gallo, over pork belly on top of a toasted muffin with a side of uncured bacon. Pork Pork!  🙂 How lucky am I. What a great brunch Michelle made me today. She does this most every Sunday. I like her a lot for this.

Special Visitors

The Blue Knights is a national organization of active and retired law enforcement people that like to ride motorcycles. My friend Lee Schreve led The Louisiana VIII chapter on the ride over from Lake Charles to grab some lunch on Saturday.

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This group said the road was hot but the food was worth the trip.  The Blue Knights do a great deal of fund raising with a particular soft spot in helping children get help they need. It was nice having them visit The Craftory.

It was picture day on Wednesday. I can’t say what this about just yet but a lot of pictures where taken. Notice that a food network person on the TV photo bombed my photo of a photographer photo shooting our food. Those guys on the cooking show are pretty quick is what I’m saying.

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Familiar Sight

Summer showed up Saturday. We began offering fresh lemonade this week and then someone asked for an Arnold Palmer, a classic summer sip that is half ice tea and half lemonade. I hadn’t enjoyed one of those in a long time and forgot just how refreshing that drink is on a hot day. I posted about it on our page.

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It truly is as refreshing as it looks. A shady sip of this drink will cool you down a bit. Right about that time I noticed the skies south of The Craftory were getting dark rather suddenly. I was sitting there thinking about those summer days when you really wanted it to rain because everything was so dry. You’d get all excited about the rain coming and then the thunderhead would fizzle out right before it got to you. Someone would say “it’s going to rain” and then it didn’t. Then you’d tell that person they jinxed it. Remember those summers? No worries about jinxing rain so far this year.

A brief late afternoon summer shower on Saturday caught a couple off guard. You know it is summer when it rains with a blue sky in the background.

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As I came around to the side deck I discovered the couple wasn’t caught off guard at all.  They were enjoying the refresher with a cold beer laughing about their perch under the umbrella. To drink beer in the rain on a hot summer day is living right is how I’m seeing it.

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Our first Tuesday being open to the public was a success with a better than expected turn out.  We had a nice mix of regulars and new faces. Some regulars came to support our first Tuesday, while some regulars came forgetting that we used to be closed on Tuesdays. There were many new faces that came because they heard about us and assumed we are open on Tuesday like most any other business.  Ha ha ha ha. We are hoping the extra day will go far in helping our business grow and succeed. Once that’s done, perhaps I’ll pick up the sticks again and play some golf.

The picture of the week was a nice shot of pulled pork tacos dressed up they way the photographer wanted them. Nice shot there @foodeepphotog on Instrgram.

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Have a great everyone. See you around the hood.

Cheers! Scott

 

 

 

 

 

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