For all of you duck prosciutto fans out there, and there are a bunch, if you are looking for a little change up from the deliciously easy cured and dried duck breast, but with only slightly more effort, then look here. This recipe contains less salt, more heat and the same amount of hanging time. Continue reading
It is the time of year for pot luck parties and if your family, friends, or coworkers recoil at the sight of duck confit (cooked in fat!!!), guanciale (what part?), or gravlax (it isn’t cooked??), then let them enjoy something a little less controversial, but no less cool – chocolate salami. You may spend most of the evening assuring them that, despite the name, there is no meat in the recipe (all the while serving it on a pig shaped cutting board), but the payoff will be once they try it and realize that their fears are unfounded. This is a decadent, rich dessert, but is delcious and interesting. Continue reading
After using the legs for stuffing the duck neck and the livers and heart for some offal toast toppings, I broke into the high dollar cut, the breast, and, with it, made one of the best sandwiches that I have had in months.
In general, I am a sucker for substituting duck breast in cured meat applications. Whether it be prosciutto, ham, cretons, and bacon-ish meat, it was all very good, but the pastrami may be my favorite. The nice layer of fat on the breast compares pretty favorably to the fattiness of a brisket, but the richness and ease of cure distribution are obvious plusses to working with the duck. Continue reading
After a few discussions regarding the cotechino that I picked up from Riviera, I decided to try my hand at making cotechino from scratch. Included in the great book, Cooking By Hand by Paul Bertolli, is a recipe for essentially ten pounds of cotechino. For better or worse, I have no use for ten pounds of cotechino, so I needed to scale the recipe down to more manageable size. Continue reading
Nearly five years ago, I had my first persimmon. At the time, I lived about 100 yards from the great Harvesttime Grocery Store which stocked a ton of produce that I was not familiar with. Without familiarity, I took the persimmon out of the bag and took at bite. What a huge mistake. The fruit was not ripe and, as I know now, unripe persimmons wreck havoc by being incredibly astringent. This past week was the next time that I had bought persimmons since. After having my share (and much more) of the amazing Persimmon Pie by Hoosier Mama Pie Co., I wanted to try and make something of these volatile fruits. Continue reading
In the often-time Saturday afternoon movie, Bull Durham, it is said that “sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains.” This sausage taste-off had a little bit of each of those. Over the past weeks, I have stopped by a number of local sausage shops picking up their sausages. This weekend while having a family holiday celebration, we had ourselves a little taste off. Continue reading
Paired with lentils, serving cotechino on New Year’s Eve is an Italian tradition – very similar to serving greens and black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day in our household and in the American South.
According to legend (and those who know), lentils are meant to represent the coins coming to those who eat them. Cotechino is a gelatinous pork sausage made with shoulder, fatback, and pork skin and simmered gently to cook through and then sliced.
This is the second year getting holiday cotechino from Riviera (one of my favorite sandwich shops/salumerias) on Harlem and Belmont. Continue reading
Despite the title focussing on the glamorous liver, this post is broader than that. After breaking the duck into two legs, two breasts, and 4 wing pieces, you are left with the carcass (wait a few weeks), a pile of skin, and the offal. For most people who buy a duck, these three piles are trash-bound. In reality, with very little effort, these are piles can be turned into dishes that rival and/or enhance the more traditional cuts.
The duck from Gunthorp was a gift that kept on giving. Not only did it have loads of fat on it, but the regale in the cavity included two livers and a heart. It is a damned miracle of nature (TWO LIVERS!!) or rather a generous butcher. The livers would go into a mousse. Since, the recipe that I used for chicken livers from Naomi Pomeroy worked really well, I decided to adapt it to include some jarred truffles picked up on our most recent trip to Italy. Continue reading
This sausage was a long time in the making. After watching this video by Mike Pardus on Bob DelGrosso’s A Hunger Artist in March, I tackled a pair of ducks turning them into confit, proscuitto, duck stock, pate, smoked wings, and duck fat. It has taken nearly since then to find a critical piece of this dish from a well raised local duck. Thanks to the hard work of Cassie at Green Grocer Chicago, I got what I needed. Duck neck skin.
I had ordered a Gunthorp duck in August from Cassie with the request of keeping the neck skin on the duck to see if I could use the neck skin as a more delicious version of sausage casing. With modern meat inspection, it is difficult to obtain a duck with the head 0r neck skin on. I had no idea this was the case, but months later when Cassie let me know that they had the neck skin, I was ecstatic. Continue reading
Let me start this out by saying, I am not a restaurant critic nor a reviewer of restaurants. Not professionally or even by hobby. I like good food and I like the community of the table. This list (and the list before it) is not measuring greatness, but rather favoriteness. We do not make it out nearly as much as we used to and sometimes when we do, we have child or children in tow. To that end, our oldest is about a year and a half and has her own list of best of the year that includes Mado’s Beef Heart BBQ from the Green City Market BBQ, pea puree from Longman & Eagle, and Oatmeal from Nightwood’s Brunch. I would love to read comments or links regarding your favorite dishes of the year. Continue reading