The countdown to Claus is coming quick! I know it is because the calendar says so and I have an enormous tree in my bay window with presents under it. But I am still not really feeling a whole lot like Christmas. Last weekend was our annual Christmas party where we all sang Christmas carols and that usually does the trick for me but I’m really not into it this year!
I proposed to my family that instead of a ton of presents under the tree there will be a few and then we will do something together as a family. Here are a few things I proposed that we do together. Take a cooking class, dance lessons, attend a Broadway show or concert. Maybe find a restaurant that has at least one Michelin star and have dinner there since we are all foodies. My husband suggested going up North and ski/snowshoe. We haven’t decided what we are going to do yet but will make a plan over the Holiday!
What is a Michelin star?
Michelin Stars are given out on a scale of one to three, and only the top establishments in the world qualify for this designation. To earn one star, a restaurant must be considered “a very good restaurant in its category.” For two stars, the criteria is “excellent cooking, worth a detour.” To qualify for the elusive three stars, a restaurant must serve up “exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey.”
People have taken vacations centered solely around visiting restaurants that have earned Michelin Stars. Because of this, it is easy to see why chefs are so eager to earn this recognition; having at least one Michelin Star can do wonders for a restaurant. Having three stars solidifies a restaurant as undeniably one of the best in the world. My daughter is looking into it for her 30th birthday this coming year!
Since we had our party last weekend we had family up and I had a large piece of Pork Belly in the freezer so I thawed it out, seasoned it, baked it and brought it out for dinner for a crowd. Ramen is delicious and can be time consuming; if made the traditional way. Mine here is crazy quick and crazy good; mind you having homemade chicken stock on hand is key. And starting the pork belly a day or so ahead of time. But the hands on time is nothing.
I hope you all have a wonderful holiday with all family and friends!
Pork Belly Ramen
- 1 - 3 pound Pork Belly
- 1 Ramen packet per person
- 1-2 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1-2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 2 32 ounce chicken stock roughly for 4 people - adjust to how many people you are serving
- bunch of swiss chard or bok choy chopped - I made it both ways this week - bok choy add a little more punch
- scallions sliced thinly - sprinkle on top
- basil chopped - sprinkle on top (optional)
- cilantro chopped - sprinkle on top (optional)
- eggs - 1 soft boiled egg per person
- Pork belly;
- 1 pound = 2 teaspoons salt, 2 teaspoons sugar and 1 teaspoon black pepper. adjust for what you have
- season generously on all sides with kosher salt, black pepper and white sugar. cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Pre-heat oven to 450'F. roast fat side up for 30 minutes. Lower oven to 275'F for an hour.
- Let it cool to room temperature, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or more, up to 2 days.
- Soft boiled eggs;
- bring a pot of water, enough to cover all of your eggs to boil, lower each egg gently into the water and cook for 6 minutes. Remove from the boiling water to an ice bath to stop them from cooking. Peel and slice when you assemble your bowls.
- In a stock pot add the broth bring to a boil, add the ramen and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the bok choy or swiss chard cook for another minute or so. Remove from the heat and add the ginger, soy sauce and sesame oil to taste.
- Divide ramen and some broth between the bowls. Add the sliced egg, a few pieces of browned and crisped pork belly and the scallions. Also add the basil and cilantro if you are using.