Saturday, March 7, 2015

Appetizing Aperture

“Pure Pork Awesomeness,” the second cookbook from Atlanta chef, restaurateur and “Top Chef” alum Kevin Gillespie, squeals onto shelves March 31. Be one of the first to the trough and pig out with Gillespie at a special “Pure Pork Awesomeness” Cookbook Party at his nationally acclaimed Glenwood Park restaurant Gunshow on Sunday, March 29 from 2-6 p.m. Tickets are $50 and include a signed copy of the book plus a plethora of pork portions such as Korean barbecued pork bulgogi, Indianapolis-style fried pork loin sandwiches and Buffalo pork “wings.” Chase your pig with drink specials including brews from SweetWater Brewing Company. Preview of the preview? The recipe for spicy sausage and kale soup, a favorite of Gillespie’s mom, is plucked right from the book and so right for cold winter nights. 
Spicy Sausage and Kale Soup
(Makes 3 quarts)    
1 pound boneless pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch cubes
2½ cups ¼-inch-diced Vidalia onion
8 cloves garlic, thickly sliced, about ¼ cup
1 tablespoon Espelette pepper or hot paprika
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon toasted fennel seeds
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil + more for garnish
3 Yukon gold potatoes, halved and then sliced into ¼-inch slices, about 3 cups
2 quarts chicken stock
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese + more for garnish
4 cups packed sliced kale leaves, preferably black lacinato kale, tough ribs removed
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or apple cider vinegar 
Refrigerate the pork until well chilled; the fat should be solid and firm. Chill your meat grinder and the large die. Toss 1¼ cups of the onion, 2 tablespoons of the garlic, Espelette pepper, fennel seeds, salt, and red pepper flakes with the pork and mix well. Chill until ready to grind. Assemble the meat grinder and grind the pork into a large bowl. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and swirl to cover the bottom of the pan. Add the ground pork, stirring gently until it just starts to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining 1¼ cups onion and 2 tablespoons garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions start to caramelize, about 5 minutes. Your sausage should be crumbly. Add the potatoes and toss to coat with oil. Add the chicken stock, bring to a boil, cover and decrease the heat to low. Cook until the potatoes are cooked through and are just starting to break apart, about 20 minutes. Remove the lid, add the cheese and kale, and cook until the kale is completely wilted, about 10 minutes. Just before serving, stir in the vinegar. Garnish each bowl with additional Parmesan cheese and a heavy drizzle of olive oil. The oil and other garnishes take the soup from ho-hum to over the top. 

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