|Eating my feelings... with a fried egg - Photo by Wasabi Prime|
We heart our Seahawks, win or lose, let me make that clear. It was still a championship-worthy and we-got-to-play-in-the-Super-Bowl season, regardless, and it only makes us more excited for the 12th Man flag to fly for this year's season. The only thing more powerful than Beast Mode, is, I daresay, FEAST MODE. We love our game day food, and it's not some mournful bag of chips with a can of shelf-stable dip that requires a pop-top -- we take our food seriously in the Pacific Northwest.
|We will forever celebrate the warrior colors and Jello-shots of the 12th Man - Photos by Wasabi Prime|
|Flashback to another disappointment - 2014's Aurora Borealis/Boreanaz no-show. But there was a puppy - Photos by Wasabi Prime|
|Stromboli - like a Pizza Sandwich! - Photo by Wasabi Prime|
|Even more to-go friendly than a pizza! - Photos by Wasabi Prime|
As far as the stromboli filling, yes, the sky is the limit. You could make a Philly cheesesteak stromboli, or a Southwest-themed one; basically anything with cheese because really... who doesn't want to cut into bread and have cheese spilling out?? One thing I would recommend is, choose ingredients that don't have a lot of liquid, or cook out any liquid ahead of time. It's not like a pizza, which has its toppings exposed to the dry oven air; the stromboli is all wrapped up like a pizza burrito, and the ingredients basically steam inside. That was why I went with a tomato pesto instead of sauce -- I knew the artichoke hearts would give off some liquid, so the thick pesto would help balance that out. A stromboli is perfect UnRecipe food for a crowd; you can make several at a time, take shortcuts by getting store-bought dough, top with what will please the crowd, and roll the whole thing up, tucking the outer edges in like when you roll a burrito, just to keep everything sealed and contained. I also recommend giving the finished rolled stromboli some time to proof, maybe an hour or so, in the oven (turned off), with just the oven light on. It will give the dough time to puff up a little more, and get an airy outside crust.
|Faux porchetta (faux-chetta??) - Photo by Wasabi Prime|
|Wrestling and seasoning the Beast - Photos by Wasabi Prime|
Wrapping with bacon is tricky; I considered doing a bacon-weave blanket, but the slices of bacon I had were too short. I'd recommend if you use bacon, get strips as long as possible. You can either use all-cotton string to tie, or toothpicks to hold the bacon in place.
A great tip I learned from this recipe from Saveur was to wrap your porchetta in plastic and foil, and keep it wrapped for the first two hours of lower-heat cooking in the oven. I've always been wary of putting plastic wrap in the oven, but it totally worked, and it kept the shape pretty tight while it did the majority of its cooking, so that when that plastic/foil layer is removed and the oven is cranked to super-hot, you're just crisping the outside while the interior keeps its moisture. Yes, it will look like a giant silver burrito-torpedo in the oven for a few hours, but it totally works. Wanna know what else works? Sprinkling a little baking soda on the bacon while it cooks, to help crisp it up. MAGIC.
|The making of Feast Mode Sandwiches (egg optional) - Photos by Wasabi Prime|
|If you Put an Egg On It, just have plenty of napkins handy - Photo by Wasabi Prime|
Faux-chetta (recipe adapted from Saveur)
1.5 pound whole pork tenderloin, cut into a single, flat piece, like for a roulade (have your butcher do it if you don't want to mess with it)
1/2 pound of thick-cut, long strips of bacon
1 cup fresh sage leaves
1 teaspoon rosemary leaves
1/4 cup thyme leaves and tender stems
1 cup roasted garlic cloves
1/2 cup chopped sundried tomatoes
1 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest (about 2 lemons' worth)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
1/4 cup of olive oil
Tin foil and plastic wrap
Prepare the filling: finely chop the sage, rosemary, thyme, sundried tomatoes and garlic cloves. Crush the fennel seeds with a mortar and pestle or run the knife through to do a rough chop. Combine the herbs and tomatoes into a bowl, add the salt, pepper, lemon zest, red pepper flakes and olive oil, and mix until it's an easily spreadable paste. Add more oil if it's too dry.
Take the pork tenderloin that's been cut into a single, wide piece and lay flat. Spread the filling in one even layer. Roll the pork as tightly as possible so that it looks like a swirl from the side, with the filling. Take your slices of bacon and wrap around the roll until it's completely covered; use the cotton string to tie, or use toothpicks to pin the bacon slices together, around the pork. Allow the bacon-wrapped pork to sit in the fridge for 12-24 hours, uncovered, to dry out the surface as much as possible, and then wrap it tightly in a layer of plastic wrap, and then foil. This can sit in the fridge, wrapped, for another day before baking
When you're ready to cook the faux-chetta, let the wrapped roast sit on the counter for 20-30 minutes before baking, to take the chill off. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit, and place the roast in a pan before placing into the oven (it will release juices as it cooks). Allow the roast to cook for 2 hours or more, at 325 degrees. Use a quick-read thermometer to check for center done-ness -- should be 130 degrees in the center.
When the center has come to temperature, remove the roast from the oven and raise the temperature to 475 degrees. Carefully remove the plastic wrap and foil from the roast and place it back into the baking dish. Lightly sprinkle the bacon surface with baking soda -- about a teaspoon's worth -- and place back into the oven. Remove every few minutes to baste with the pan juices and turn the roast, adding a little more baking soda, if you want more of the bacon to crisp. When the surface is crispy and the bacon has fully rendered, remove and allow the roast to cool before removing string/toothpicks and slicing.