I’ve been working butter for the last few weeks. Out of tallow, out of lard, out of duck fat. Just butter.
Thank you neighbor for supplying us with the duck fat we need!
all better now. Pots are bubbling away in their duck fat bath.
Make mousse. I actually had to google, “how long do fresh eggs last?” We’ve never had this backlog. I love to make mousse because it uses the entire egg. Yolks go with the chocolate, sweet bit. The whites are whipped and give it texture. Ice cream is wonderful, but you must make merengues. It goes a little something like this :
1 bar of chocolate, cooking, noir, we used praline
80g of butter
— melty that
separate 4 eggs
whip the whites, add some sugar. not much as your bar of chocolate is sweeter than you think
add the yolks to chocolate nirvana
scoop into fancy mousse bowls
there it will set in the fridge until dinner
we tasted after three
I try hard to get the buffet look with my stir fried rice. In this guy, we have in this order
ground beef browned and set aside
load of duck fat with butter nub in the pan
when the onions are looking sexy
then the pre-cooked rice, Uncle Ben’s style yo.
then the ground beef back in
after it’s all cooky cooky, push it to the side
scramble two eggs in the gap
add the eggs to the rest
yell, ” dinner is ready!!”
heat some more and serve
oh merde! don’t forget to add some frozen peas!
The chickens are laying well these days. We now have a few spare eggs to make some ice cream. I made a vanilla custard, extra sweet. Ice cream needs to be sweet. You should let the custard sit overnight before you spin it in the machine.
I rushed it and stuck it in the big freezer for a spell, then put it in my fancy Snoopy Sno-cone Machine. Otto heard the noise, rushed downstairs and said, “I hear the sound of vanilla ice cream!” Yes sir. You are correct.
6 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
4 cups of cream and milk, fix your ratio
dash of Armagnac
egg yolks and sugar whipped together
milk heated on the hob
slowly make them friends
back on the hob, stir and thicken over low heat
let it cool
add the Armagnac
put the mix in the fridge overnight and then let ‘er go in the ice cream maker
Making Fritons today. These are lovely, crunchy ducky bits. They are the Gascon version of Chicharrón. Duck skin and fat leftover from your gorgeous duck butchering boiled in fat.
I’ve not done Fritons before. I asked our local duck farmer extraordinaire how to cook them. She said, “just cook the shit out of them.” … but it was in French and I’m sure she said something more elegant and less American.
Once these little crunchies become crunchy, I’ll slot them out with a spoon and salt. Fritons are a great snack that will keep you going until dinner.
WKRP electron, proton, neutron ref:
After much pressure from my husband, I finally created life with him other than human. This is Bodie. He is our sourdough starter. Below, you can see he has just been fed. He will bubble and froth soon.
A ladle of this fermented beast mixed with flour, salt, duck fat and warm water will bring sourdough joy to serve with many things.
Zélie did the advanced dry pour, I added water. We stretched and kneaded for five minutes or so. After, we did some loaves.
It runs something like this:
Mix it in and do the stretchy knead thing. Things will be sticky. This was a rye loaf so only needs one rising. From here, make your loaves. After a few hours, bake ’em. Let ’em cool. Stop calling them ’em and add a big butter pat. It’s fun to say, “butter pat.” More importantly a good butter pat will make you healthy.
Bodie has serverd us with two loaves of bread thus far. To honor his namesake I offer you this tribute. R.I.P. real Bodie, May 1946 – November 2013.
I made some beef sausage last night. I should have asked or read or followed somebody. I had beef. I had casings. I had the drive.
I wasn’t quite sure what to do with the casings. Brent passed by on his way to pick up Lucy, “Brent,” I say, “what do I do with this shit?” “You soak them,” he says, like he has made sausage. I actually don’t know. Maybe he has made sausage. Hopefully this won’t come up when we’re on The Newlywed Game ( T.V. game show ).
My first sausage:
It was a bit fatter than I was expecting. Things got a little heated and I had to stop. I was doing it wrong. Brent came back in from picking up Lucy from school. “Here’s my sausage!” I say, “I think I did it wrong.” “Stop. I know where you went wrong,” he says in an even tone. Evidently, I needed to roll the intestinal condom on the hoob-a-joob completely, then let the sausage unfold into slinky sausage magic.
I got the hang of it. A bit tough juggling the raw meat, toddler, casing, sausage spooge and glass of wine, but I managed. No toddler was used in the making of this sausage. She screamed and cheered and wondered what the heck I was doing.
We cooked it up for a taste.
It was a bit crumbly at the fat end. I might need to add an egg or something. The skinny end ( we have a nickname for this, but I’ll hold it in ) was not as crumbly.
A little Dijon and it tasted not bad. There is a lot of work ahead arriving at the perfect beef sausage, but this one was edible and almost enjoyable.
Two out of four Curtis children approved. Zélie loved it and wanted more. Though, maybe she would do anything to avoid going to bed. A sausage good enough to delay bedtime.
Otto detested it. He’s sick, so perhaps another go.
I made four kilos of beef curry. It took most of the day to cook, but a little part of the day to prepare. It warmed the kitchen while cozying you up inside with a fantastic aroma. I used a recipe given to me by a friend and fellow beef eater. It’s Peter Kuruvita’s Sri Lankan Beef Curry. I’ve made it so many times that I have a few variations to reduce labor, pots, pans and availability of ingredients.
First, some beef. I used the “beef bourguignon” cuts from our meat box. I cut the chunks a bit smaller as I have young kids with cute, little teeth. It’s easier for them this way.
I marinate over night in all the spices and the ginger. For a 1 kilo batch, the spices are:
Everyone gets acquainted in the fridge.
When I’m ready to cook, I chop a pile of onions and a load of garlic. That goes in “Big Red,” our big pot that rules them all. The onions and garlic bubble gently in butter waiting for the meat.
In a butter-lard fat mix, the beef gets colored.
I don’t brown it. There will be enough flavor with everything else joining the beef curry party.
The meat goes in Big Red with the onions and garlic.
Then the tomato paste, a little can ( not the little, little can. The tall, little can ). Add some pepper.
Then some water. It looks watery, but don’t worry. After some patience, it will turn all curry like.
On this day, award winning food blogger Anneli Faiers from Delicieux was around picking up some beef and met Big Red. She gave him a stir and a sniff.
This is her “hungry face.” I think the curry was progressing nicely.
A few hours later, beef curry magic. I cooled it down and stuck it in the fridge for further infusion. Curry the next day always seems to taste better.
Some chutney, some Substance P perhaps some creme fraiche … lovely. I thought my four kilo beef blast would last and I could pull some out of the freezer when I felt like an easy “chuck it in the pot” day. It went. All of it. I managed to freeze a bit for later, but later came so soon. It’s beef day today, maybe I’ll pull out Big Red and do it all again.
Out there in the world they sell curry powder blends ( My favorite being “Tandoori Ass.” ). While there may be some good ones, my feeling is that these powders do not add much value to a dish. After one bite, I’m left with the feeling that I’ve lost my money on some overpriced turmeric. My first experience with building a spice blend for Indian dishes was when my husband made a chickpea dish from Madhur Jaffrey’s little golden cookbook. That dish was so panty-droppingly good, I called it “The Dish of Love.” From that moment on, we make curry powder from the basic spices ( most of which begin with the letter ‘c’ ).
I made 4 kilos of beef curry the other week. I use a recipe given to me by one of our beef loving customers. But before you even think of going there, you need to whip up a batch of Sri Lankan Curry Powder. It’s very simple. Add the spices in a cast iron skillet and brown. Then blend it. The only trick is to not burn it while browning. Cumin is the usual culprit, so you can add that in later as the rest of the goodies begin browning.
Sri Lankan curry powder recipes don’t vary much, I settled in on the one our friend gave me from Peter Kuruvita’s beef curry. It does the job. And it goes a little something like this:
Brown the spices until they smell like love.
Pour into a big bowl and grind in a “spice” grinder. I use a coffee grinder. I grind in batches.
Starts like this.
Ends like this.
I usually do a double grind to make sure I didn’t miss anybody.
Now you are set for beef curry a-go-go. This blog post took longer than making that lovely curry powder. I only wish I could insert a “scratch-n-sniff” button.