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Convection Roast Pork Belly
Because we wanted plenty of nice crisp crackling, we followed a recipe from the website Recipetineats. In this recipe, the author recommends not scoring the skin rather leaving it intact, and we were thrilled with the results. Reading the reviews, it was clear that everyone who tried it was impressed with the results. The spices you use will depend upon the flavor you are going for. Traditional spices such as fennel powder and mixed Italian seasoning will work well, but so does Chinese 5 Spice powder or a BBQ style seasoning.
1 3-4lb pork belly
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
Freshly cracked pepper
1/2 tsp preferred seasoning blend
1 tbsp vegetable oil to brush the skin
For best results let the pork belly sit uncovered in the refrigerator overnight. The drier the skin the better it will crisp.
Heat the oven in the Convection mode 300 - 325℉.
Line a small rimmed baking sheet with a sheet of foil and place two more sheets of foil horizontally in the pan and fold the sides up to form an open box. This will capture the rendered fat and basically, the pork will cook in the rendered fat, like Carne Asada.
Season the meat (not the skin) with ½ teaspoon of kosher salt and some freshly cracked pepper and ½ tsp of your preferred seasoning blend. Place the meat in the foil-lined pan and pinch the corners to form a tight seal. Brush the skin with a tablespoon of vegetable oil and place the pan in the oven.
Cook for 2 - 2 ½ hours until the meat is tender, increase the oven temperature to 350℉, and cook for another 30 minutes or until the skin has crisped all over.
Remove from the oven and remove the pork from the pan and set it aside to cool before slicing. We found it easier to turn the roast over and slice the meat cutting through the crispy skin on the underside.
Allow the rendered fat to cool in the foil-lined pan, and once it has hardened, discard it unless, of course, you like to use it to roast potatoes or other vegetables.
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Almond Orange Olive Oil Cake
One of the great mysteries of the the appliance industry is that most ovens sold nowadays feature Convetion cooking modes; however, recipes rarely reference cooking with Convection.
1 - cup whole raw almonds lightly toasted and cooled
¾ - cup twice-sifted cake flour
1 ½ - teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of kosher or sea salt
4 - large eggs
1 - cup sugar
1 - teaspoon vanilla extract
Finely grated zest of one small orange or Meyer lemon
⅔ - cup extra virgin olive oil
Toast the almonds in the Convection Mode 325 degrees until golden brown inside, set aside to cool completely.
Leave the oven set at 325 or change to 350 degrees if using standard Bake Mode.
Butter the bottom and sides of a 9” round cake pan and line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper.
Place the almonds in a food processor with one third of the cake flour and process until almost as fine as sand.
In a medium sized bowl whisk together the remaining cake flour, baking powder and salt then whisk in the ground almond mixture.
In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the eggs on high speed until well-blended. Add the sugar gradually then add the vanilla and orange zest. Continue whipping on high speed until the mixture triples in volume, about 3 minutes.
On low speed, add the flour mixture in three batches alternating with the olive oil and beating just until the batter is blended.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until firm to the touch in the center. Cook in the pan for 10 minutes before inverting onto a rack.
Recipe from “Wine Country Table ” author Janet Fletcher