I have yet to try the Neapolitan pizza at Capri Tavola Calda, having become smitten with their sandwiches. Since Capri opened late last year half a block from my office, I’ve tried a few of their specials and soups and been working my way through their panini menu, including the meaty
Capri, featuring eggplant:
Both are served on a fragrant rosemary ciabatta roll I’ve become very fond of. Their baguettes are respectable too.
Yesterday I noticed a panino du jour dubbed the
, described as home-made porchetta, eggplant, provolone, lettuce, and tomato on baguette. Hmm, porchetta. That rang a food-web-surfing bell. Amateur Gourmet had raved about a porchetta sandwich he’d had at the NYC restaurant of the same name. Porchetta (the restaurant) recently made news by shipping sandwiches to troops in Antony . And I’ve come across enough other mentions of porchetta that it had seeped into my consciousness as something I was curious to try. Here I had that opportunity. And it was stop-me-in-my-pork-lovin’-tracks delicious. Roast pork to kick the butt of any other roast pork I’ve ever had. Meltingly moist and rich, deeply flavored with garlic and herbs. Afghanistan
Not everyone who works at
Capri always gets everything right. In this case, the person I ordered from had to look at the specials board to figure out how to spell “ .” Then the young men assembling sandwiches were stumped, asking each other about “porCHetta” (the pronunciation is “porKetta”), and the advertised eggplant was left off my sandwich. But when I bit into that succulent pork, any potential complaints vanished. Clearly, the chef here knows what he’s doing, even if other employees do not. Antony
When I got home from work, some googling was in order to learn more about the dish I’d eaten and figure out whether porchetta was something I might be able to make myself.
Traditional porchetta is apparently made from deboned pork, rolled with meat, fat, skin and layers of garlic, rosemary, fennel-studded stuffing (herb and stuffing preferences vary from family to family in Italy), then roasted at high heat over wood.
I also learned that porchetta is often served as a whole roast, although sandwiches are increasingly popular, at least in the
, and provolone as a porchetta sandwich ingredient is somehow controversial. U.S. Capri’s incorporation of provolone, fresh leaf lettuce, and thin-sliced tomatoes didn’t bother me, nor did the eggplant omission. At $6.85 for the Antony, the generous serving of pork on the 8” baguette was the clear star of the dish for me, but we now how picky downtown lunch buyers can be if they don’t think they’re getting enough “stuff” for their money.
If you care to lay out more than $100, you can order one of these lovelies from Porchetta Primata, which partners with an artisanal pork farm in
; some can be mail-ordered through Costco. Kentucky
The New York Times says, yes, you can make porchetta at home, offering a recipe adapted from Olives and
, a cookbook written by the chefs of NYC’s Porchetta restaurant. Esquire has published a Batali recipe, Anne Burrell has one on the FoodTV website, and I found yet another one from a globe-trotting blogger here. Oranges
While I don’t see myself springing for the mail-order option anytime soon, I’ve added trying my hand at porchetta to my lengthy culinary to do list. Even if I go with a more modest adaptation of this Italian classic, it is still likely to knock the socks off most of my previous roast pork attempts. And until I get around to preparing it myself, the next time I pick up lunch at Capri Tavola Calda, I think I’ll add a note to the suggestion box sitting next to the cash register: “More porchetta, please.”
Happy Easter weekend to all. May you be blessed with warm spring weather, a bountiful table, and the company of good friends/family to share it with. I’ll be back next week and am looking forward to checking out the new entries in The Karmic Kitchen’s Dim Sum Sunday – PEEPS, Part II.