Saturday, October 4, 2008

Don's Birthday Pig Out! Restarant Adventure Saturday

I'm going to attempt to write this blog--but I'm sluggish with pig meat.

So tonight we went out for Don's birthday dinner to a very cool Spanish restaurant where we had preordered their specialty--a "suckling pig."

But first things first--they had some interesting sangria on the menu and we got a pitcher of the one the waiter recommended which was sangria with mango--delicious!

Then we had this amazing selection of cheeses--fresh "cow milk" and "goat milk" cheese--each paired with an interesting preserve. The first was apple lavender, then black olive caramel and then my favorite--chocolate hazelnut puree--OMG!!

The stuff in the background was some kind of crazy-delicious focaccia-type bread. I only had a little taste though to save room for the pig.

We did want to try a couple of tapas--so we had one of my all-time faves--dates and almonds wrapped in bacon:

And octopus with potatoes and paprika:
Then it was time to get our pig on!! Now, let me say that I was excited to try the pig--but I was also feeling nervous as there was some sort of table side "pig presentation" and I was feeling kind of worried about seeing the pig head, etc.So without further ado--here is the pig:
The chef prepared the pig for us and explained how it had been cooked which included a 24 hour soak in a brine of water salt, oranges,herbs and spices. Then it was slow cooked for many hours at a low temperature, then something about a brick oven--I started losing track because there were so many steps!

Anyway--it was truly delicious and I am glad we tried it for the experience--but I must say that I am feeling a little funny about the whole thing. Now, I'm no vegetarian--but I guess I like being "detached" from the animal and this was a little too close for comfort! I might be turning vegetarian after this!!

I was taking a walk this morning with a friend of mine who is from Spain. I told her about the suckling pig--which she seemed to know a lot about--and she said her favorite part was the brain! So when the chef asked us if we wanted to try it--we said yes. Now this part I felt REALLY weird about--but decided to try it just to say I had. I had just a little tiny bit and it was ok--but nothing I would seek out again. Don wasn't crazy about it either.

The pig was served with some very nice sides dishes. Fingerling potatoes:
Delicious white beans with bacon:
Green onions:
And spinach with apples:
But wait--there's more! We managed to save room for dessert. Don had a creamy orange concoction with cranberries and chestnut cake:
And I had a pineapple upside-down cake with cucumber poppy seed relish and--dig this--molasses flavored Pop Rocks!!

Those are the Pop Rocks on the spoon.

We have quite a big of the pig leftover which we brought home for the kids to try--I'm sure Pickle will be all over it considering her love of all things pork!

So that completes Phase One of Don's birthday bash--more to come!
Happy Birthday Don--nice couch!!


Ronda's Rants said...

OMG! Well, Happy Birthday Don! It did look amazing...all but the pig! I really am not sure I would have made it!!!! Tee Hee!
But, everything else looked amazing...Did the kids come or was the grown-up party? (y'know I want to know what Pickle wore)
Bob and I did find an really cool Japanese Restaurant but that is pretty tame compared to your finds!
Thanks, it was fun!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Amazing birthday bash! I would totally want the Sangria and the white chili. Great information shared here - what a meal!

Linda S said...

I'd love to say that looked great...then the pig...I like mine on a bun with sauce...minced already!!

happy bday, Don!
glad you guys had fun!

Dee said...

Wow, what a feast! I think I would pass on atually seeing the pig myself.. just stick it on the plate for me. and Brains? Brave lady!

Happy birthday Don

Jennifer said...

What a delicious looking Birthday dinner! Well, minus the brains. :P

Jennifer said...

Thanks Everybody!

Ronda--No, the kids didn't come--it was just Don and me!

Unknown said...

That looks like a rather tasty feast!! Though I think I probably would have passed on the brains and the pig head !!!

The kids would probably have thought that was very cool !! :-)

Happy Birthday to Don, welcome to the second half of your century !! :-)

Anonymous said...

OMg how cool but yeah the whole head thing...yikes. I like my roasted pig with head attached and an apple in it!

Happy Birthday Don!

Becky said...

I absolutely need to pretend my food was never alive. I think I am meant to be a vegetarian but am not!

I'm glad he is having a good birthday! You definitely get points for origionality!! Have a great weekend!

Susie said...

Wow!! That's quite the feast. We had a pig roast out in Kansas for a family reunion this summer. It was quite the "to do".

I am mostly intrigued about the cheese and preserves. It sounds delicious!!

oº˚ Homeschool Mom˚ºo said...

You must of been stuffed. Happy Birthday Don. Thanks for sharing -- Much Love --


Jen said...

Happy Birthday to Don! Looks like a great evening out for the two of you. Glad you had such a great time!

Mamahut said...

Wow that looks like a fiest fit for a king!
We roast a pig every year at our family get together. It freaks me out every year. They bring the pig in alive....ickkky.
Glad you guy's had such a good dinner though.

Kelly said...

Ton of food!!! Happy 1/2 century Don!!!
It was great that you guys got some alone, adult time to enjoy!!

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed seeing and hearing about your feast. The meal looks the thought of molasses poprocks. I could not have eaten pig brain, though. What did it taste like?
Happy Birthday, Don!

Jennifer said...

Thank you for all the birthday wishes for Don!

The pig brain was weird and hard to describe. It's a flavor I've never had before and a bizarre consistency. I'm in no hurry to try it again!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Don! That was one GOLD couch!!!

Uh, I'm glad you had a good dinner....but I think seeing Babe on your plate like that would have made me cry....

I'm with food cannot look like the animal it came from. But you guys are always brave in trying new things....:)

Putting the FUN in DysFUNctional said...

I couldn't eat it with the head right there. I'm way too far in denial for that!
And brain? You are a brave woman!