Pork Crostini with corn relish fancy fare for summer
In the summer, when food revolves around salads and grills and fresh vegetables, I often forgo things that seem fancy or fussy. We eat whole foods that don't require much in the way of chopping, or even turning on the oven.
But I am also interested in using up every shred of food in my house. I am never so satisfied as when I have cooked something and eaten it in three delicious ways over the course of a week or more.
Recently, I cooked a couple of pork shoulders for BBQ pork to serve at a party. The leftovers were divided into containers: one for the fridge for immediate snacking, and one for the freezer for future happiness.
That happiness came in the form of a need for an appetizer to serve a few friends with wine on a weeknight. Looking around my kitchen, and not wanting to go to the store for extra ingredients, a plan was born. It may have been one of the best things I ever invented, and I only used leftovers and bits of things I had on hand.
An ear of corn, some pickled jalapenos, a day-old loaf of ciabatta, and a dash of creme fraiche and I was on my way to my happy place.
BBQ Pork Crostini with Sweet Corn Relish
1 1/2 cups barbecue pulled pork
For the relish:
1 ear corn
1/4 cup sliced pickled jalapenos
1 teaspoon juice from the jar of jalapenos
2 teaspoons minced onion
Pinch of salt
Dash of finely ground black pepper
For the creme fraiche:
(For full disclosure: I had some store bought in my refrigerator that I used, but it's very simple to make.)
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons buttermilk
Stir well or shake up in a canning jar. Leave it partially covered for 8 to 12 hours, until it thickens to the consistency you like.
(But again, if you are like me, there is usually a store-bought container on hand.)
For the crostini:
1/2 loaf of day-old ciabatta or other porous, soft bread
1/2 cup olive oil
Preheat your oven to 400 F. Clean your corn and either boil or steam it.
Slice the ciabatta vertically into about 5 slices, and then halve the slices so you have 10 pieces.
Brush each piece top and bottom with olive oil.
Lay them on a cookie sheet and bake for about 5 minutes, until they begin to look golden brown and a little crispy.
Meanwhile, cut the corn from the cob and chop the pickled jalapeno and onion. Stir in the salt and jalapeno juice.
Then top each crostini with 2 tablespoons of hot pulled pork, a sprinkle of relish, and a drizzle of creme fraiche.
This took no time to put together, since I had the pork thawed and ready to use. Simple, lots of flavor, and a hearty appetizer to serve even in lieu of a meal. This, my friends, is about as "fancy" as summer food gets at my house.