Sometimes when it rains, it pours and over the last two weeks it has been pouring broken glass. This was the start of some of the craziest bad luck in a long time. I had spent most of the prior Sunday recovering from a long run watching old Marco Pierre White videos on YouTube when I saw a video showing him just throwing together beautiful terrine of leek and lobster. It looked simple, elegant and beautiful.
It stood out to me as a dish that exemplified the “simple isn’t easy” mantra that I have been struggling with lately. With that in mind, I took the ingredient list and reduced it by one. I removed the lobster. Realizing that it was a vegetable only terrine, I was happy. Leeks are just coming into season and are a favorite vegetable of mine. I had herbs to spare from my herb boxes. I had a terrine.
At least to start with, I did. After cleaning the leeks, then boiling the hell of them, and finally arranging them along with hyssop, tarragon, and mint in my terrine, I pressed the leeks as they cooled to mold them into a nice, firm terrine. Approaching hour twenty-four, my wife was reaching into the fridge when she accidentally knocked the ceramic terrine to the floor. I was in the other room playing with the girls and heard a crash and then that sound of small pieces rolling around a hardwood floor. I knew it.
My terrine had shattered. Oddly, I pushed the pieces aside and hoped against hope that the leek loaf would survive. It did and was a fantastic change of pace from the typical rich, heavy terrines made from duck or pork.
In-season, local leeks are a treat. In season, local leeks cooked unabashedly until soft, then pressed with only salt, pepper, and herbs are a revelation. Nothing against roasted or, especially, fried leeks, but the textural softness of a boiled leek is something that I had avoided, wrongly. Avoiding the lobster, in my opinion, was a good choice. I am certain that MPW, a genius, had the right idea, but for me, I benefited from tasting leeks cooked this way and left alone.
Later in the week, L, still feeling badly about breaking the terrine, felt even worse. As we prepared for our younger daughter’s second birthday party, she disappeared. An hour later, she emerged white as a ghost. We spent the remainder of the night in the ER and early the next morning, she had an emergency appendectomy. After she insisted on going on with the party, I finished the food and on zero sleep, hosted a bunch of folks.
Nearly a week later, she is home and resting, somewhat comfortably, and I have a new terrine in the fold. It is easy for me to say that there is no harm and no foul, but I am not the one with the giant scar on my abdomen. What I can say is that I hope that my new blazing red terrine brings good, or at least better, luck to our household.