I'm currently quite sick and yet swamped with work. I scraped up the energy to make a pot of caldo de pollo with chayote, yellow corn, zucchini and carrots, otherwise known as the Mexican cure-all (even more so than Vicks, which I am also using).
However, in order to make myself feel truly better and able to do the things that need to get done, I've decided to turn to the ultimate weapon: experimenting with pork belly.
I bought a small piece of uncured pancetta (pork belly) from my friendly neighborhood pork butcher, and I'm going to cure it. I haven't yet decided if it will be air cured, Italian style, or oven cured, bacon style. I don't have a smoker, but the internet authorities are clear that one isn't necessary.
It'll be a week before any results come in, but just beginning the curing process is making me happy. In the mean time, I've got caldo...and roommate's mom's lasagna.
Salt (no curing salt, which means it won't be as pretty when I cook it later but is plenty safe in this case. I'll be ordering curing salt ASAP)
Brown Sugar (and a bit of Honey)
Cumin (just a touch)
We'll see what happens with this little test run...if it is successful, the pork butcher is going to be seeing a lot more of me.
In other news, the owner of my local Korean restaurant told me where to find the Korean market. My roommates have no idea what lies in wait for them once I have my hands on some doenjang and gochujang (and hopefully homemade tofu).