Chef's Blog

Solage Calistoga's Executive Chef Brandon Sharp shares his passion for cooking, life and all things Napa Valley.

February 11, 2011

Pork rinds.  Hm.  Kind of have a socioeconomic stigma where I come from–but so do ”git’er done” ballcaps, popped collars, and jeans in church.  But in our constant effort to bring soul food to California (solidarity, Fremont Diner!), I thought we’d fry our own pork skin here at solbar.

To start out with, we boiled the skin from the belly of a hog for a good long while, watching UNC destroy Duke at Cameron Indoor (the Heels were beating them so mercilessly at halftime, we just went ahead and turned it off).  Then, we laid the skin out carefully in the walk-in, and once it was cold, we scraped off as much fat as we could.  Then we cut it into large chunks and placed it in the dehydrator overnight:

You no toucha the dehydrator.

gotta keep ‘em dehydrated

Then it gets popped into hot oil, AND:

BOOM!  It’s back on the same paper towel; you can see that it blew up to about five times its original size.  Ridiculously crunchy, big clear bubbles, wow.  We’re dusting the pork rind with korean chili flakes, salt, and powdered toasted nori and using it as garnish on an entree of seared scallops with roasted maitake, fuji apple, apple-miso soubise, and ginger caramel. 

That one’s not on the menu at Cracker Barrel.

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