$20 Challenge [Marinated Pork Belly Grilled Pimento Cheese Sandwiches] #dcfarmkt ~ Nik Snacks

Bite it and write it. That's what I do.


On 8:00 AM by Nikki @ NikSnacks in , ,    13 comments
Welcome to the THIRD episode of the $20 Challenge!

This week, I was joined by my friend and fellow blogger, Janet Cooper-Bridge of TheArmyMom.com. She was my girl, Friday, and acted as my sous chef. Without her, the day could not have been possible because squash had to be cut and cherries had to be pitted! I was also joined by my sweet mother, and here we are caught in a behind-the-scenes moment

To prove that you can eat locally grown food AND stay within your grocery budget, the Dixie Classic Fair Farmers Market and the City of Winston-Salem is sponsoring the $20 Challenge twice a month from now through September in 2014. I will stage a live cooking demonstration in which I will prepare a meal for a family of four for $20 using ingredients I buy at the market that day.

DISCLAIMER: All of the recipes I prepare at the Dixie Classic Farmers Market are created that day with little to no prior planning. I use a limited amount of pantry staples that you can purchase at a free-standing retail grocery store and have on-hand at all times.
Flour (all-purpose and self-rising)
Baking powder
White granulated sugar
Brown Sugar
Dijon mustard
White wine vinegar
Olive oil
Vegetable oil
Soy sauce
Tomato sauce
Tomato paste

A little behind-the-scenes action with Van Myers of Vantastic Pimento Cheese

Did you not make it to the market on Saturday? Watch the $20 Challenge on WSTV-13 on Time Warner Cable (Channels 74.3 and 1303) OR subscribe to the City of Winston-Salem's You Tube channel.
Watch the freshest $20 Challenge episode right HERE and look below for the recipes!

Marinated Pork Belly Grilled Pimiento Cheese Sandwiches
Serves 4 (with leftovers for lunch the next day)

~1lb sliced pork belly, cut into medium dice
¼ cup onion, sliced thin
½ tsp minced fresh ginger or 1 tsp, dried
1 T tamari or soy sauce
1 T white sugar
2 T brown sugar
a pinch of ground black pepper
2 T sesame oil
3T hot pepper sauce (like Texas Pete Original, CHA! or wing sauce)

What the marinated pork belly should look like

Butter, as needed
8 slices sandwich bread
8oz. prepared Vantastic jalapeƱo pimento cheese

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the pork belly  and the marinade and mix until every piece of pork belly is covered completely with sauce. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it against the surface of the mixture so there are no air pockets. Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes, up to 8 hours. When ready to cook, place a skillet over medium heat and put the entire contents of the bowl into the pan. Let the mixture cook for 10-15 minutes, stir occasionally. The fat of the pork belly will render, the onions will caramelize and the pork belly will remain soft and tender.

Meanwhile, prepare your skillet and sandwich bread for the grilled cheese. Place a cast-iron skillet or other heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Put 2 Tablespoons of butter in the pan and swirl it around to coat the bottom of the pan. When the butter had completely melted, turn down the heat to medium.
Spread 1 teaspoon butter on one side each of 8 slices of bread. When ready, place 4 slices of the bread, butter-side down into the hot skillet. Spoon 2-3 Tablespoons of pimiento cheese onto two slices of the bread and spread it to the edges of the bread. Using a slotted spoon, spoon 2-3 Tablespoons of the marinated pork belly onto the remaining slices of bread in the pan. Using a spatula, lift one of the slices of bread covered with pimento cheese and flip it onto one of the slices of bread covered with marinated pork belly. Let the sandwich cook until both sides of the bread are golden brown. Repeat with the remaining slices of bread. If needed, add additional butter to the skillet before placing the remaining slices in the pan.

Picked Root Vegetable Salad
Serves 8

Pickling mixture
6 cups water
1 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup white granulated sugar
2 tablespoons sea salt
2 tablespoons ground black pepper

Root vegetable mixture
4 to 5 cups julienne vegetables [daikon radish, carrots, yellow squash, zucchini] (see below for slicing tips)
Bring the 6 cups water to a boil and add all of the julienne vegetables. Turn the stove's heat off and add the vinegar, sugar, salt and black pepper. Stir ingredients together to dissolve the sugar and the salt. Let cool to lukewarm and serve or place in the refrigerator for later.

Panzanella is Italian in origin and is basically a salad made of stale bread. The original recipe (well, the recipe I've always known) is stale bread soaked in water (then rung out), basil, tomatoes, olive oil, onions, and the juice from the tomatoes mixes to make a light salad dressing. The juice from the cherries soaks into the pound cake and gives a new twist to an old classic. 

Cherry Panzanella Dessert Salad
4 half-cup servings

1/2 lb fresh cherries, pitted and sliced
8-10 fresh mint leaves, chiffonade1 -2 slices 5-Flavor Pound Cake
2 teaspoons sweetened flake coconut

Panzanella usually requires that you soak and wring out the cake before assembling the salad. If the cake is stale: soak cake in juice before adding to bowl. If you make this with fresh cake: Cut the cake into cubes and let sit to dry out. In a medium bowl, add cherries, mint, cake and coconut (if using) and toss with your hands or two spoons to combine. Serve.


Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes said...

Meals using pantry staples and helping me stay on a budget are alright by me! Thanks for another good meal idea! Have a wonderful weekend :)

Jessica said...

A. Looking at that photo, I could hear your infectious laugh and it made me smile. B I'm insanely jealous you got to spend quality time with Janet. C. Your sandwich is putting my current lunch to shame.

Angie - Big Bears Wife said...

I'm watching your cooking challenge right now! Awww my heart is so happy for you haha. I love it all! I need to come up there one weekend and visit the market! Everything looks wonderful there! Love the cherry and mint dessert! <3

Lana@NeverEnoughThyme said...

I'm loving this $20 challenge! And I'm also loving these recipes! That root veggie salad and the marinated pork belly...wow, my mouth is watering.

Ginny McMeans said...

What a great time! Your marinade is wonderful and I have to make it too!

Angie said...

What a great challenge! And that pork belly, WOW!

Christine said...

What a fun challenge! I really need to budget my grocery spending.

Isabelle @ Crumb said...

It's amazing how far $20 can stretch when you're cooking with fresh, seasonal food.
I can just imagine how perfectly the freshness of the salad cuts through all that richness of the pork and pimento. Great combination of flavours!
PS: That behind the scenes photo is just too precious. Looks like you and your mom were having a great time. :)

Unknown said...

For a $20 challenge you came up with an amazing sandwich and side dish, plus leftovers! Bravo!

Nutmeg Nanny said...

I love this challenge! It's amazing with just a little thought how much delicious food you can put together for just $20.

Nikki said...

I'd love to have you, Angie! We'd eat, go shopping... I'm already planning it in my head!Haha!

Michelle said...

Wow - what you came up with is impressive! I need to work on keeping my food budget down and coming up with more creative meals. I love pickled vegetables so that is going to be the first thing I try! Thanks so much for linking up with us at Foodie Fridays!

Unknown said...

I am a BIG fan of grilled cheese and this sounds SO good! Never thought to add pork to mine but am going to now!