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.

Barbecue Pork Crostini with Sweet Corn Relish

Barbecue Pork Crostini with Sweet Corn Relish by John Young

BBQ Pork Crostini with Sweet Corn Relish

Ingredients

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

Directions

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.

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