Pork Leg (Loin) Crostini with Crawfish Aioli and Sweet Potato Chips
The pork marinates for one to three days in the refrigerator, so the dish must be started days ahead. Chef Stitt suggests another option: rub the pork with about a quarter cup of molasses just before roasting for a rich, sweet flavor. Chef Stitt uses a mortar to control the grinding of ingredients into a paste; they may also be ground in a food processor.
- Herb Rub
- Rosemary - 1 sprig
- Thyme - 1 sprig
- Black peppercorns - 1 teaspoon
- Kosher salt - 1 teaspoon
- Juniper berries - 1 teaspoon, toasted
- Garlic - 2 cloves
- Uncured pork leg - 1 fresh, trimmed, aitch bone removed (alt. 1 boneless pork loin)
- Olive Oil - 2 tablespoons
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Sweet Potato Chips
- Sweet potatoes - 2 large
- Canola oil - For frying
- Salt - To taste
- Crawfish Aioli
- Crawfish - 1 lb fresh, cooked
- Garlic - 1 head, roasted
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Cayenne Pepper - 1/8 teaspoon
- Thyme - 1/4 teaspoon, dried
- Parsley - 1 sprig, stemmed and chopped
- Egg Yolk - 2 large
- Grapeseed Oil - 1-1/2 cup (alt. other neutral oil)
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil - 1/2 cup
- Sherry Vinegar - 1 tablespoons
- Lemon Juice - Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Sourdough bread - 1 loaf
- Olive Oil - For brushing
- Watercress - 2 cups fresh (alt. other greens)
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil - 2 tablespoons
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
To make the rub: Grind the ingredients in a mortar until combined into a paste.
To prepare the pork: Rub the herb mixture over the surface of the pork. Wrap the pork in plastic wrap and let marinate in the refrigerator for one to three days.
To roast the pork: Preheat the oven to 325 F. Unwrap the pork and place on a rack in a oven pan. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Roast 4 hours, to an internal temperature of 150 F. Remove, tent with foil, and let rest.
To make the sweet potato chips: Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into very thin slices on a mandoline or V-slicer. Pat dry with paper towels. Heat the oil to 365 F in a deep-fryer or deep saucepan. Place a handful of potato slices in the hot oil and fry until they stop furiously bubbling and are crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Dust lightly with salt. Set aside in a dry place until ready to use.
To make the aioli: Reserve four whole crawfish for garnish. Twist the crawfish tails from the heads of the remaining crawfish and squeeze the meat out of the tails. The shells may be reserved for use in shellfish stock, or discarded. Cut the roasted garlic head in half horizontally. Squeeze the roasted garlic from the garlic head into a large mortar. Add 2 crawfish tails and 1 crawfish head, salt, pepper, cayenne, thyme, and parsley. Crush together until pasty. Remove to a mixing bowl and add the egg yolks. Whisk to blend with the seasonings. Mix the oils and slowly drizzle into the egg mixture while whisking vigorously; the mixture will gradually thicken to the consistency of mayonnaise. Whisk in the vinegar and lemon juice. Strain through a sieve and fold in the crawfish tail meat.
To assemble and serve: Preheat the broiler to high. Slice the bread into 1-1/4-inch-thick slices (if the shape of the bread yields long slices, cut the slices in half crosswise). Brush with olive oil and place under the broiler until browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove and spread with crawfish aioli. Place three crostini on each serving plate, browned-side up. Carve the pork into thin slices and fold one or two of the slices on top of each crostini. Toss the watercress with the extra-virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper and place a large bunch of watercress to one side of each plate. Pile sweet potato chips in the centers of the plates. Garnish each plate with a whole crawfish.