A couple weeks ago, I got a bunch of free pork. In exchange for Jay and I helping her move a couple months ago, Karyn paid us in pork. Actually, she’d asked me earlier if I’d be interested in some, as she had a friend who’d bought either a half or a quarter of a pig (a hog? I’m still citified enough I don’t know the correct terminology for such things!) for processing, and was sharing the wealth, so to speak. So a few weeks ago, Karyn brought me a large bag of a few pork roasts, some bacon, sausage, and chops. I told her I would gladly pay for the meat, but because of the help with moving, she declined to accept any money from us. That, and she also needed Jay to look over her laptop a couple weeks ago, so I thought it was a fair trade (that, and we would up with some beef in exchange for that, which was totally NOT necessary–In case you’re reading this, Karyn!).
Last year, when I got Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking for my birthday from the bambino, I read through it (yes, I read cookbooks like regular books–It’s not totally unheard of. I had an uncle who’d do the same thing), and bookmarked many recipes that I wanted to try. One of them was Roast Pork with Vinegar and Bay Leaves. The recipe suggests using a boneless pork loin roast or Boston butt. I had a roast that Karyn gave me already thawed, and I figured that even though it was bone-in, I could still use it. I was also going to make some gnocchi alla Romana to go along with it, but I realized that with going to Sunday dinner at Jay’s folks’, I wouldn’t have the time (nor did we have the extra milk). So I went back to the cookbook and came upon a recipe for some baked potatoes and tomatoes. I mentioned it to Jay who thought it sounded like a really good side dish, so that’s what I went with. It did involve getting tomatoes as well as some Romano cheese, but we had to pop out to the store anyway.
It’s one of those side dishes that could be a main meal with the addition of a salad and some delicious crusty bread. Which is why I’m glad I made some panini to go with, because guess what I’m having for lunch tomorrow?