If you're going to make party food, make sure you cram a lot of party in there. That's why we're armed with Chopped champion, chef Eric LeVine's new book, Small Bites Big Flavor, for the entertaining season ahead. It's full of innovative things on sticks, small plates and other reasons to justify another cocktail or two.
Chile-infused pork belly is flawlessly balanced by sweet and smoky bacon jam. This intense flavor combination will make your taste buds dance.
Jalapeño pork slab
- 3 jalapeño peppers, split, seeds removed and chopped
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 pound slab pork belly
- rosemary, pea shoots or any greens, for garnish
Crispy brussels sprouts
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 6 large brussels sprouts
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 red onions, cut into small dice
- 1 cup honey
- 1 cup small-chopped bacon
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
For the jalapeño pork slab:
- Combine jalapeños, chili powder, brown sugar, and oil to form a rub. Rub onto pork slab. Prepare a grill.
- Grill pork over medium heat on both sides until cooked through, about 5–7 minutes each side (internal temperature of 155°F). Keep on medium heat or the pork won’t char. Let rest for 3–4 minutes before slicing into 1/4-inch pieces.
For the brussels sprouts:
Core brussels sprouts and separate into leaves. Heat a sauté pan over high heat.
Add oil, brussels sprout leaves and salt and pepper to taste. Sauté until leaves are light brown and crisp.
For the bacon jam:
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Cook over low heat 15–20 minutes, stirring constantly.
In the bottom of a small cup or cone, place 1/2 teaspoon bacon jam, followed by 2 pieces of pork and small portion of brussels sprouts. Top with a little more jam from tip of teaspoon and garnish with rosemary, pea shoots or any greens.
Chef's Notes: These items can be prepared ahead of time and finished just before serving. The bacon jam can be made a few days ahead of time and refrigerated. The dish can also be made with veal or chicken and is best served with a Pinot Noir or an IPA.
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