Month: March 2013
Sweet Lettuce Leaves With Bacon, Guacamole and Cream
I think this is a Bibb lettuce in America. It’s not bitter in the slightest and does justice to the guacamole I made. I’ve never taken to the chip- guacamole dip extravaganza. I was more interested in the guac over the chip. When you make a quick lunch based on the guacamole you made last night, it must involve bacon and cream. Had I not eaten all the salsa last night, that would have trifecta-ed the dish. But the salsa was not hugely missed as the green goob of yum was the star ingredient.
Should you cook too much bacon and your partner in cured flesh eating crime has taken a nap, you can skip the fancy greens and load your fried, poitrine fumee with Mr. Green. It’s all good.
Cilantro ( only a dash because my husband is one of those “cilantro tastes like soap” people. )
Potato Cakes Fried In Duck Fat
I feel bad, sometimes, that I have a surplus of duck fat. I have friends in America who finally find a duck fat source and they buy two little pots ( were I there, I would do the same ). I’m guessing they ration it as I can imagine duck fat being an effort to purchase. I’ll bet it’s expensive too. I have duck fat everywhere at the moment. Leftover from confit. Leftover from duck breasts that Brent cooked. Bags and Ikea bags full in my freezer. I have a jar of duck fat by my stove. I tossed some duck fat out for the birds. Our friend is a duck farmer, can you tell?
So when it comes to leftover mash, nothing ties a dish together like duck fat. Potatoes and duck fat are a match made in culinary heaven ( or whatever ethereal culinary nirvana you believe in ).
In these cakes:
Next Day Cakes:
One farm fresh egg
Dash o’ salt
Duck fat in hot pan
Medium heat to get a little puff, then turn it up a bit to brown and get it all cakey-like.
Potatoes are not a frequent side on our family table, but when the root veg does a service clinging cream and fat together, I have no issue serving.
This dish was made with the doors wide open. The sun is shining. The retriever is opportunistically positioned.
I suppose we’ve opportunistically positioned our farm in duck country.
Have you hugged your local duck farmer today?
Dinner: Fish Cakes with Iceberg Wedgettes and Special Sauce
Fish cakes tonight.
Some mash pots
Some white fish
Salt and pep
Leeks precooked in buttah
Little cakes floured lightly ( in Einkorn ) and fried in lard with butter.
I made some “special sauce” to go with. A little something that makes iceberg lettuce and fishcakes taste like a McDonald’s Burger. One bite of special sauce and fishcake instantly took me to plastic playground happy meals with toy surprises that failed to fulfill my hopes and dreams.
My husband took a bite of fishcake with special sauce and quickly followed with, “mmm. Big Mac.”
Not unlike Mock Apple Pie with the Ritz crackers and cinnamon ( no apples ), the special sauce is the quintessential Quarter Pounder umami.
This Is My Office
I spend a lot of time here. There was no preconceived design. No dream kitchen. This galley evolved as I found myself cooking more and more. When you – the parents – lay out a philosophy on how you wish to feed your family, the execution and equipment follow. As the beef Bourguignonned, I would hammer drill some racks to hold my pots and hang a ladle and some tongs. The curry needs a half hour to bubble, I’ll hang these cabinets. And so it went.
Sure, I should have slapped some paint up. I should also remove the old light fitting from the retired wiring. At this point, I might miss it. It’s art now.
When the baby is sleeping and I’ve done my brush cutting duty, I come here and think about food. What do I do for dinner? Those leftovers, ginger- onion stir-fry, over cooked broccoli, potato dauphinoise, intense tomato sauce, roast pork, how can I move this? This is my happy place. It’s warm. It’s warm from the oven cooking meringue that I’m making because I made blanquette de Veau a few days ago. It’s warm from Fremont the wood burner heating “The Mess” and this galley because of a thick, red velvet curtain, curtainsy of Ikea, that traps the warmth.
I see a backsplash I should mount properly, but I don’t because it’s easier to clean this way and besides, I need to work out the tile-to-wall gap. I see duck fat, lard and butter ready for action. I see dishes backed-up do to weekend kids and craziness. I see a kozmo.com magnet that I cherish because it reminds me of crazy times when people believed in crazy ideas.
I love this little kitchen of ours. The hours I spend here challenge me to build something yummy with what I have right now in this fridge, in this house. The hours I spend here feed my family. We feed them well so they can grow.
Dinner: Pork -n- Stuff
That’s not beef, it’s pork. Black Gascon pork. Bigorre Noir. A lovely, tasty beast that was pastured and culled for our table. We also have a jambon seche in the cellar working magic before it’s ready to fold into our menu.
This pork roast got all roasty roasty last night and will appear as dinner when it does some time with my quick sauce.
Served with simple broccoli and some dauphin pots, bellies will be filled.
Digging For Confit
The duck confit is ready. I suppose most people stick a few cuisses in a jar and seal them. By the time the confit is ready for this, I’m tired, busy, feeding some animal human or otherwise and / or laughing. So, I stick the entire confit pot in the fridge when it cools down a bit. There it sits and gains flavor ready to be eaten a week or so later. After the first few legs have been exhumed, I warm up the pot slightly and stick in ziplock bags. You can stick these in the freezer if you wish, but with six monsters, we go through confit like six monsters going through confit.
Duck confit for lunch it is. Wish you were here.
Breakfast: Eggs With Salsa
Three eggs beaten up and slowly manipulated in a butter bath.
Salsa made last night for some overnight, juicy infusion.
Half of a small onion
Three garlic cloves
Splash of red wine vinegar
Salt ‘n’ Pepper
Frozen chopped cilantro
A plop of hot stuff
Served with real cheddar cheese from England and a little creme fraiche
Yum. Now I’ll be fueled until lunch. What’s for lunch?
Confit To The Left Of Us, Chili To The Right
Sunny, warm with a gentle breeze. Kids are home for another week of vacation. I have a pile of duck legs to process as well as some ground pork. My lunch hours will be spent cooking chili and tending to my confit. The weather is telling us more sun and more warm. Our future looks bright. Here, I yam.
I love deveining foie gras. It means that we will be having foie gras for dinner.
Brent did the cooking this evening. He kept it simple with with a hot pan for a sizzle on each side. He peppered. He salted, but he used big salt which really gave it that something.
Served with a Pat original chutney involving green and red tomatoes. Some left over potato purée, just a wee bit, allowed you to do a foie gras, chutney, potato purée layering on your fork for a bite beyond bites. So good. Wish you were here. With foie gras, you need to perfect the balance of salt, sweet and spice. I thought the chutney version did the trick without all the work of fancy sauces. Okay, four more livers to go and we may get our consistency on.