Pleeeeaaase oh please excuse my absence the last two weeks. Valentines Day in the restaurant industry + wedding planning + my sickie self meant precious little free time. In fact, I love this blog and all of you oh so much that I’m sitting in my less-than-tidy living room writing this instead of power cleaning while I have a few moments of free time. And, admittedly, I may have already power cleaned my kitchen.
Wanna know what took up my time yesterday (after work, that is)? We finally, finally went to Ox! Ox is an Argentinian steakhouse here in Portland and it’s regarded as one of the best restaurants in the area. We tried to go two birthdays of mine ago, only to find a two and a half hour long wait to be seated, so we gave up and went to a local fondue chain instead. Still good… but I still just really wanted Ox. Then we were out of the country for a year, and this place remained at the top of my “restaurants to conquer list” while we were gone. So I finally dragged my parents, aunt, uncle, cousin, and Fiance there last night. Holy moly, guys. We got drinks at the Whey Bar next door before heading over, where I got an incredible tequila cocktail and we enjoyed some seriously tasty oysters with a thai chili sauce. Then we went over to Ox and started with an unwooded malbec and a round of appetizers: steak tartar, Dungeness crab bruschetta, and oxtail terrine. All of it crazy good, I especially loved the oxtail. On to entrees, where Fiance and I shared the best steak I’ve ever had, a ribeye, and a lamb chop, both with plenty of chimichurri. The table shared sides of caramelized cauliflower and grapes, brussels sprouts with mascarpone and salmon roe, and roasted carrots and beets topped with more mascarpone. There was also some phenomenal duck breast on the table that I insisted on sneaking a bite of. We paired the entrees with a wooded malbec (oh my gosh, wine, why did I have to discover how wonderful you are?). We ended everything with a hazelnut torte, lemon brioche bread pudding and pistachio ice cream, and chocolate cake with peppermint ice cream. I think the hazelnut torte is the best dessert I’ve ever had. For reals.
All that to say, if you live in Portland or spend some time in Portland in the future, please make your way on over to Ox. It’s officially surged to the top of my Portland restaurant list.
On to other super yummy food! So I’ve discovered that my waffle maker is magical and can do so much more than just breakfast waffles. Not that the cheesecake stuffed waffles I made weren’t crazy wonderful, but who knew this small appliance could be so multipurpose? These cornmeal waffles are essentially cornbread in waffle form, and would be perfect topped with a thick chili >>> cue to me running to the kitchen immediately to start making chili.
The pork is just about the easiest thing ever: a pork roast (just grab whatever’s on sale) thrown into your slow cooker with plenty of salsa verde, some cayenne pepper, some chili powder, onions, and let it go nice and slow.
Top the warm (make sure they are nice and toasty!) cornmeal waffles with the shredded pork, some cojita cheese, and a little fresh cilantro.
You can totally leave things here. Or, if you’re lucky enough to have a brilliant fiance who says “these are amazing and would be even better with a little enchilada sauce” run to the kitchen and make a quick batch of enchilada sauce to really rock your work.
These would make such a yummy and easy party or sporting event food- guests could grab a waffle and top it themselves- or they’re perfect for dinner. You can have the pork cooking all day in the crockpot and the waffles take just a few minutes to make right before serving. And I toootally understand if you go for a canned enchilada sauce, but if you wanna make your own, please try the recipe in my chicken enchiladas recipe. It’s the best enchilada sauce I’ve ever had, no exaggerations.
For those who are thinking this flavor combo sounds like it might be a little out of their comfort zone, just trust me on this. Cornbread and pork are best friends and the acidity of the salsa verde and enchilada sauce is perfectly balanced by the creamy cojita cheese and thick, bready waffles. GO FOR IT! And then tell me all of your thoughts.
- 2 lb pork roast
- 1½ cups salsa verde
- 1 tsp chili powder
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ yellow onion, sliced into strips
- 1¾ cups flour
- 1¼ cups yellow cornmeal
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 3 tbsp canola oil
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- ½ cup crumbled cojita cheese
- ½ cup red enchilada sauce
- Combine all ingredients for the pork verde in your crockpot. Cook on low for 6 hours. Shred the pork in the crockpot and continue to cook on low while you make the waffles.
- For the waffles, combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Add the milk, buttermilk, canola oil, and eggs and whisk until combined, but don't over-whisk. Batter may be lumpy.
- Preheat your waffle iron. Cook the batter according to your waffle irons instructions, using just a bit less of this batter than you would other batters (about ⅓ of a cup at a time if you're using a Belgian waffle iron).
- Top waffles with a generous serving of shredded pork, fresh cilantro, cojita cheese, and a drizzle of enchilada sauce. Serve warm.