RECIPES: Chef Mike Lata of Fig

PHOTO: Chef Mike Lata?s Crispy Pork Trotters with Succotash Salad and Serrano Vinaigrette

Crispy Pork Trotters with Succotash Salad and Serrano Vinaigrette

Serves 8

Ingredients for the brine:

4 pounds fresh pork hocks

4 quarts water

1 pound salt

1 carrot

2 ribs celery

1 large onion

Bayleaf

6 cloves

2 sprigs rosemary

2 sprigs thyme

12 black peppercorns

Instructions for the brine:

Add all the ingredients to a stock pot. Bring to a simmer then chill. Pour over the hocks and let brine overnight.

Ingredients for the trotters:

Brined hocks

4 quarts water

1 carrot

2 ribs celery

1 large onion

Sachet of:

3 bay leaves

6 cloves

4 sprigs thyme

2 T coriander

12 black peppercorns

¼ cup salt

1 bunch chives thinly sliced

3 T Dijon mustard

Instructions for the trotters:

Place all ingredients into a stockpot and bring to a simmer. Cook at a lazy simmer until the hocks are tender and falling from the bone easily, approximately 2 ½ hours. Remove the hocks from the liquid, cover with a kitchen towel and let them cool enough to handle.

Carefully remove the meat and skin from the bone, making sure to get all the little pieces. Separate the skins and the meat. Finely chop the meat and then skin (it's easier if they are separate).

Place the chopped meat mixture into a stainless steel bowl and add the chives and the mustard. Season with salt and white pepper.

To shape the trotter, place a 1'x1' sheet of plastic wrap on your work surface and place half of the mixture in the middle. Carefully work into a log by wrapping the wrap from the back to the front and then rolling tight to create a well formed cylinder. Let chill in the fridge overnight.

Slice the chilled trotter into 3-4 oz. disks, paint with Dijon mustard, roll in fresh breadcrumbs and sauté in canola oil until golden brown and hot in the middle.

Ingredients for the succotash salad:

1 cup corn, shucked and taken off the cob

1 cup butterbeans, cooked until very tender

12 ripest and sweetest cherry tomatoes, halved

¼ cup polebeans, blanched and coined

2 T flat leaf parsley leaves, torn

2 T tarragon

2 T chervil

2 T chives

Ingredients for the serrano vinaigrette:

1 oz good quality red wine vinegar

3 oz extra virgin olive oil

1 T Dijon mustard

½ shallot, minced

2 roasted serrano chilis, peeled and seeded

Pinch salt

Instructions for the serrano vinaigrette:

In a blender, add the vinegar, chilis, mustard, and salt. Blend on medium speed and slowly stream in the olive oil until emulsified. Transfer to a container and stir in the shallots.

To assemble:

Combine all the succotash ingredients into a bowl and dress with the serrano vinaigrette to taste. Place in the middle of a dinner plate and top with the trotter. Drizzle a small amount of the vinaigrette around the plate. If you like, top the trotter with a sunny side-up quail egg.

Swordfish with Heirloom Eggplant Caponata and Chanterelles

Ingredients for swordfish:

4 swordfish fillets, steak-cut

1 lb. chanterelle mushrooms

Herb infused olive oil

1 T butter

Saba (Italian cooked grape juice)

Celery leaves

Sea salt

Fresh cracked black pepper

Instructions for swordfish:

Brush swordfish steaks with herb oil and season with sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Heat grill on medium high and grill swordfish 4 minutes on each side, until warm in center. In sauté pan, heat 1 T butter and 1 T olive oil over medium heat. Add a sprig of thyme and a crushed clove of garlic. Add chanterelles and sauté until tender and golden brown. Discard garlic and thyme. Reserve.

Ingredients for caponata:

2 pounds heirloom eggplants such as rosa bianca, or thai green, medium dice

4 ribs celery peeled and sliced thin

1 medium julienned local red onion

1 small fennel, diced small

5 banana peppers, cut in to ½ strips

¼ c roasted garlic cloves

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

1 cup raisins soaked in 1 cup red wine vinegar

½ cup chicken stock

1 cup pomodoro/ simple tomato puree

¼ cup sugar

Juice of 2 oranges

1 sprig thyme

Olive oil to saute

2 T capers

3 T toasted pinenuts

½ cup sundried tomatoes, soaked in water overnight, diced

Salt & sugar to taste

Instructions for caponata:

Place a medium sized non-stick skillet over medium heat and coat the bottom with olive oil. When oil becomes hot and starts to smoke. Working in batches being careful not to overcrowd the pan, add the eggplant and sauté until golden brown and just cooked through. Reserve.

In a heavy bottom sauce/soup pot, add 2 T olive oil, the onion, peppers, fennel, and celery. Cook over medium heat until it is translucent but still has crunch. Be careful not to brown. Add the raisins in vinegar, orange juice, sugar, thyme, and pine nuts. Reduce by half. Add the roasted garlic, capers, sundried tomatoes, pomodoro, eggplant and cook for 5 minutes more. Season to taste with salt and a pinch of sugar.

To assemble:

Spoon caponata on plate, and top with swordfish. Drizzle with herb oil, saba, sautéed chanterelle mushrooms and torn celery leaves.

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