We have been to several 5-Star restaurants in Boise – Richard’s, Chandler’s, Cottonwood Grill, Andrae’s (when it was open) and Bern’s Steak House in Tampa, FL – and the dinner that Chef and Winemaker Storm Hodge and Sous Chef Megan Hartman prepared for us, and 50+ others, last night at the winery, gives any of these restaurants a very serious challenge. This dinner was every bit a 5-Star dinner. It was amazingly delicious. Kudo’s to the Chefs, their kitchen staff and the wait staff! I sincerely urge any of you who are in the area, to visit the Bistro on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday Brunch and have superb meal. (Here is more info at Parma Ridge Winery – Snake River AVA Happenings) Look at what they prepared and we enjoyed! (Left-Click any of the photos to see them enlarged.)
OK, since Trader Joe’s will be opening in Boise on February 28th, I thought it would be nice to see at least one thing that they will offer. (The photo here is from their web page) OK. 2 things – Recipes and Pork Belly. That’s nice. But just what is pork belly? Bacon? Well ….. not quite. From their web site, or more specifically from an article posted there and some recipes are posted there also, we see this explanation of pork belly Move Over Bacon –
Prediction for 2014: pork belly will be the new bacon. Oh, sure, you could get nit-picky and argue that pork belly is bacon, but to that we say… um, not quite. Yes, they come from the same cut of meat, the belly. But bacon, traditionally, is smoked or cured, and pork belly is not. You can buy pork belly raw and spend hours preparing it from scratch yourself – it’s very popular in both Chinese and Korean cuisines – or you can buy Trader Joe’s Fully Cooked Pork Belly and revel in the rich, lightly seasoned flavors without having to do any of that kitchen labor.
Trader Joe’s Fully Cooked Pork Belly comes to us from a supplier in the Midwest who supplies fully cooked pork belly to restaurants, as well – yes, that’s why so many restaurants are featuring pork belly now; they’re getting it fully cooked as well, and just doing final preparations in-house! Our supplier takes the big chunks of pork belly, lightly seasons it with salt, and then braises it over low heat for 12 hours. After it’s cooked, they vacuum seal it to keep it fresh, and send it to us. We’re selling each 12 ounce package of Fully Cooked Pork Belly for $4.99, every day. You’ll find it in our refrigerated case.
Just a little more information for you to absorb. Pork belly is not a new item by any means. The now closed Andrae’s Restaurant in Boise used to serve it and it is delicious. Chef Andrae Bopp is now in the Walla Walla, Washington area and he has a food truck there. Hope you enjoyed this info and will at lest give Pork Belly a try. I will! Cheers and Gut essen!