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Sometimes when you eat at a restaurant, the food is so good that you immediately take notes to try and replicate that dish at home. Sometimes you decide to replicate it for other reasons.
I won’t go into details about the fated dish, but I’ll say that I enjoyed my re-creation so much that I made it twice in the span of 5 days, which is kind of a lot when considering pork belly. I decided to name it after the restaurant that gave us the first taste of the dish – after all, it does bear resemblance to the dish Hoppin’ John, and you can certainly serve it over rice if you desire a more hearty meal.
The original used white beans instead of fresh summer peas, but I think the change makes the dish a little brighter and more suited to our hot temperatures. If using white beans, the dish transitions well into fall, as we start to get more of the cold-weather greens in.
I was lucky enough to have some smoked pork belly confit on hand from Kocurek Family Charcuterie, but if you don’t have pork belly or would prefer not to use it, I recommend using a smoked kielbasa. You could just as easily use grilled chicken or perhaps even tofu, but you’ll miss out on that deep flavor.
- 1 cup summer peas
- Olive oil
- 2 shallots, diced finely
- 2/3 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 4 slices thick-cut pork belly
- In a small saucepan, gently boil the peas for about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat a large, flat saucepan over medium. Add oil and heat through, then add shallots and cook until aromatic.
- Drain peas and add to shallots. Stir in broth, wine, and lemon juice, reduce heat to medium-low, and cover. Cook for about 8 minutes, stirring occassionally and making sure the liquid has not completely evaporated. (If it has, add more broth.) Salt and pepper to taste. Add spinach and re-cover pan.
- In the meantime, heat a frying pan to medium and add pork belly. Cook for about 5 minutes on each side, until fat starts to firm up and get a crisp edge. Remove from heat.
- Once spinach has wilted and the liquid is mostly gone, stir in butter until melted.
- To serve, pour peas into two bowls and lay two slices of pork belly on each.