Saturday, September 5, 2009

CHICHARRON LONJA-Deep Fried Pork Belly

YES!...this is like a whole triple wide thick slab of bacon, deep fried in...what i would venture to say...IT'S OWN FAT!...lard, pig fat, BACON FAT!...
i'm starting to wonder if i'l soon find myself out in the backyard rooting for truffles...hmmmm
maybe i should get my cholesterol checked soon.
so the story on this brick of bacon gold is...
i went out to my new favorite market to check out what kind of trouble i could get myself into. it's a killer Mexican style market, Northgat #9, out in Santa Ana, CA. it's really nice. the produce will out-shine any, and the meat dept. is unbelievable. i have yet to try their carne asada or the chicken marinating in all its glory. they also sell ALL parts of the animal...that's where i get myself into trouble. lately i've been going a bit extreem. i'll be posting about that soon. this particular visit i went to get somemore pig tails (posting soon) that i have found to be quite tasty, but that's another story. as i was making my way through the produce, i saw a bunch of people waiting in a deli-like section....ooooh boy!...all these ready made goods. salsas..sooo many salsas, fresh guacamole, civiches etc...then in the hot area i saw HUGE fresh made chicharrons, some as big as 2 ft. x 1 ft. i was just going to be happy with that, but then i saw a bunch of people with #'s waiting infront of this one area, so i nosed my way up and spied the chicharron carne and this big chicharron lonja. chicharron carne is the pork belly with a little meat attached, cut fairly small and fried crispy like the pork skins you get in a bag, but oooh soo much better. the lonja, is the big piece like the one i bought. well, nedless to say, I WAS IN PIG HEAVEN!...they also had trotters ( i attempted this at home if ya care to read about it here), spareribs and some other unrecognizable stuff, cooked or deep fried probably...i don't speak Spanish so i'll have to investigate more next time...knowing when it was my turn was challenge enough 'cuz, of course they called it out in Spanish...well, even I can count to ten in Spanish, so there i was #67, a foot taller than the other women and spikey blond hair...i kinda stuck out like a sore thumb, but still i waited, all smiles... my heart jumped as i heard sesenta y siete. i pointed and nodded and gracias'd my way through the language barrier and walked away with what i knew was pork fat gold.
the chicharron carne were so good and sinful they didn't make it into a photo. i can't stop thinking about them and will probably find myself back there just to get some. i have to admit, i got a little pork fatted-out, so i didn't dive into the lonja right away. as a matter of fact i put it in the fridge for later, kinda wondering how i was going to eat it. well, this morning for breakfast i cut off a hunk of it and put it in the toaster oven. DEEE-LISH!...with scrambled eggs, jalepenos, and a drizzle of maple syrup...sweet savory spicy...what more do i need to get my day rollin'?
so the point of this post is that i emplore any and all of you to find a great (reputable) Mexican market somewhere near you. i happen to luck out with this one, but will probably venture out to find more. it's like a treasure hunt. what treasure will i find next?
by the way...the chicharrons are fabulous with lime and fresh salsa. that is, if they make it home.

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