February 26, 2010

Transcending the Stereotype

Although I'm sure many of you have it in your minds that simply because I did not attend an Ivy League university or descend from old money that I am not capable of appreciating the finer things le monde gastronomique has to offer. True, I do have rather simple tastes, but occasionally I allow my creativity to run free and explore the ideas of 'what can be' when it comes to comestibles.

Just this morning, my thoughts dwelt upon those foods I consider to be essential elements of American cuisine, and a tantalizing potential brought itself to my forebrain--a savory synergistic fusion of all that is good, decent, and utterly delicious about my native foodstuffs.

That invention? Why, a delightful tid-bit, an hors d'oeuvre (a word which I hasten to tell you has nothing to do with either horses or ovaries, but is French and therefore untranslatable) of utter simplicity yet enormous, near cosmological complexity.

My friends, I give you Pork Rinds with Spray Cheese.

Soft, yet crunchy.

Creamy, yet bristling with brio.

The goodness of real pork by-product, with the kick of modern industrial propellant-assisted pasteurized processed cheese food product.

The perfect no-carb, high-protein addition to your favorite yacht club gathering, polo tourney, or monster truck derby.

The endless variety of sizes, shapes, and textures of the pork rinds alternately cuddle and conceal, fling and flirt with the decorative yellow sunburst streamers of the cheesemaker's art.

The photo arrangement above uses Mac's Vinegar and Salt flavored pork rinds, with filling of Aldi's Leland-brand Sharp Cheddar squirt cheese (no refrigeration needed), arranged upon one of our Wedgwood Queen's Shape dinner plates. It was photographed using my Samsung SCH-u550 cell phone, because my Hasselblad is in the shop. (Note: I don't actually have a Hasselblad.)

You are welcome.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at February 26, 2010 11:25 AM

I'd send the link to Miss Kathie, but she might still be eating lunch. I think she's too much of a Yankee to view this without harm.

Posted by: steevil (Dr Weevil's bro Steve) at February 26, 2010 12:46 PM

Now this is a classic Possumblog post. A little short but definitely captures the true nature of the Axis of Weevil.

Posted by: Larry Anderson at February 26, 2010 02:59 PM

I'm not even sure they sell pork rinds up here.

Posted by: Diane at February 26, 2010 03:14 PM

"Harm" Steevil?! Come now--this sort of thing is no more harmful than a plate of ill-prepped fugu.

And Larry, sorry to disappoint, but this is obviously not a blog post, seeing as how this blog no longer exists. However, I do accept with profound humbleness (or at least as much as I can fake) your accolades.

And Diane, if Wisconsin can make cheese in a can, it can most certainly fry bits of hog skin.

One thing I did fail to mention--I believe this would be even better dipped in batter and deep fried. Then again, what isn't!?

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at February 26, 2010 03:27 PM

Now that is some quality food blogging. Bonus points for the artful presentation.

Posted by: Sarah G. at February 28, 2010 11:46 AM

Thank you--it's just all part of being a culinary genius.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at February 28, 2010 08:53 PM

Yumm! Batter dipped and deep fried, these would be a perfect food!

Posted by: Nate at March 1, 2010 11:53 PM

I think we need some cheese curls on the plate to round things out a bit.

Posted by: Jordana at March 1, 2010 11:59 PM

If someone can invent a way to wrap a pork rind around a cheese curl (not a cheese puff), batter it, and deep fry it, we will have found the perfect food.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at March 2, 2010 01:06 PM

Once again you redneck rubes think you've got what it takes to join homo erectus (i.e., coastal snobs), and again you fail.

If you truly wish to be a culinary elite, you must

  • take said comestible;
  • reduce the offering down to a manageable size - say two pieces, about the size of a dime;
  • drape them in a bit of greenery - seaweed (or felt in a pinch);
  • develop an unintelligible name - "reduction of fromage avec croute porc et vert

Charge $40 a plate, and you're truly amongst the culinary geniuses.

Posted by: skinnydan at March 2, 2010 01:29 PM

Pshaw! Shows what YOU know. Of COURSE we have coastal snobs--they come here in the winter from Canada. They walk around the beaches in their dress shoes and black socks, we laugh at them, take their money, then send them home in the summer.

HOWEVER--your point about the size and presentation of the servings does have merit. I have noticed in my travels around the world that the high-class reputation of various foodstuffs seems to be in inverse proportion to their size, and in direct proportion to their price.

But sometimes, less is not more, it is simply less. And more's the pity. Or something.

In any event, I believe that my creation deserves more than to be reduced to tiny flinders of nothingness. It must fill and inhabit space on the plate the same way the noble hog inhabits its sty, or the noble spray cheese fills out its can.

And not only that, but...HEY! Wait just a ding-derned minute here! How come YOU get to lecture ME on the proper way to prepare treif!?

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at March 2, 2010 10:30 PM

Look here, son. I may not know a hog jowl from a lobster tail, but I am a certified expert in overpriced food.

When you too pay $17 bucks a pound for handmade matzah, you can lecture me on how to lecture you.

Posted by: skinnydan at March 3, 2010 10:49 AM

Do what!? For that much, I hope you at least got dinner and a show! Did someone dare you to pay that much!? Was it some sort of supermodel matzah that was gently kneaded between the lightly floured thighs of Bar Rafaeli?

I concede your point and your expertise. I would like to say, though, that next time you get the urge for some handmade matzah, Iíll be glad to knead it between my thighs for you for half the price.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at March 3, 2010 01:53 PM

Down here we just deep-fry the whole pig after stuffing it with Bega Bar-B-Cubes and sage branches. Perfect.

Posted by: kitchen hand at March 4, 2010 03:34 AM

Whew. I thought for a second there you were going to say you stuffed it with Vegemite.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at March 4, 2010 08:51 AM

Unless Bar Rafaeli has magically transformed into this fine specimen, and has a grip that will crush an I-beam, no.

Posted by: skinnydan at March 4, 2010 09:50 AM

Dan, seeing that, I am reminded of a certain off-color quip, which shall remain unwritten.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at March 4, 2010 01:31 PM

Here you go: http://www.rheem.com/Products/tank_water_heaters/hpwh/hpwhcontractor/

This won't work for my condo but it do look good for them that needs a 'lectric unit. I'm going to go w/a tankless gas unit once my current tank dies.

Oh, sorry. I forgot y'all are talking about food. Never Mind.

Posted by: Chef Tony at March 11, 2010 03:56 PM