Pork Belly Double Cheese Bites
Yes you read that correctly. I’m sure if you were browsing and saw the headline you couldn’t help but click to discover the wonder behind that combination of words.
You won’t be shamed for it. It deserved your click.
Pork belly is something I don’t make often at all, and I absolutely love and crave. I’ve been watching what I eat lately – having to sit down 10+ hours a day for work – so our meals have been on the healthier side. I am ready for crispy pork fat and smoke.
Putting together a crave-able dish.
Not being able to go out and buy exactly what I want, my journey of brainstorming took me straight to the pantry. Straight to that beautiful blue box of processed mac n’ cheese. Cheese and pork, it’s gotta be a thing right? I mean, there’s pulled pork mac n’ cheese. Ham and cheese sandwiches. SOLD. I don’t need to debate this combo any further.
My kids don’t like the powdered cheese, I always make them a cheese sauce from scratch. This was a great opportunity to finally work on my idea for a cheese salt: a cheese-flavored finishing salt for meats, popcorn, rice, anything-you-want-cheese-on.
Cheese sauce with some pickled mustard seeds I happened to make recently sounded like a great sauce. I wanted something to dip all of this in. Those little pops of bright flavors ended up being the star that tied everything together too.
Popcorn? Sure why not. I need some more texture to soak up everything. Bread not necessary. Let’s call it the vegetable on the plate, even if it was popped in bacon fat…
Let’s put this together.
This isn’t a dish that you could assemble without some planning. It’s definitely a dish you want to plan for. There’s 4 main components:
- Pork belly – rubbed & smoked, you can make the rest while this is on the smoker.
- Cheese salt – 3 minutes of finding & mixing a couple of ingredients.
- Bacon fat popcorn – 2 minutes in the microwave.
- Cheese sauce – OK this one is tricky. I use a secret, “cheffy” ingredient called Sodium Citrate. (NOT sodium nitrate, which is completely different and could cause some injury if you mixed up the two!) It takes only 5 minutes to make the sauce, but you need the citrate. Trust me, you WANT this sauce.
NOTE: You’ll see that the recipe says “chile powder”. I’m not trying to make this more complicated than it already is. Use what tastes good. I make my own chile powder which is a 70/30 mix of toasted guajillos & arbols ground up. You can use chipotle powder, New Mexico chile powder, or whatever else you have on hand.Print