We have moved. We are still in boxes, but we are in our new home. Before we left though, there were things I had to take care of. I went to some of my favorite restaurants, I ran my old running routes, and I cleaned out our fridge. In the meat drawer of our fridge sat a glass container that had been there so long I barely recognized it. A week before we left, I was reminded what it was – smelt, little fresh water fish with a small, but fervent following in Chicago. A few days before we left, I finally tried the smelt I had been salting and preserving like anchovies for over two years. Continue reading »
One bowl from my first two gallons of homemade ramen and I was hooked. It was not the best, but it was mine and it put the bug into me. Tinkering on the recipe to improve it, or in some cases make it worse, was a new “hobby”. From the order of operations to the ratio of bones to water to the time boiled, the process is set up to make it your own, but the part of the process that pleases me the most is the fabrication of the seasoning, the tare. Continue reading »
Twitter again has proven to be a petri dish for ideas. I have been using this salt for four months or so when it was suggested that you might be able to cure meat using preserved lemons. I suggested one better, use the residual salt to actually do the curing. It takes the guess work out of how much to use. Continue reading »
In full freezer cleaning mode in advance of an upcoming move, I grabbed the most delicious thing in my freezer door. A cryovac’ed bag of cured bone marrow from Matt Troost at Three Aces (you may remember this ingredient from Valentine’s Day anticuchos). I looked around at what I had and realized that I had some levain left over from making sourdough. At first, I simply thought of making marrow burgers for Sunday Dinner. Continue reading »
There is a long circular path on which many of my thoughts travel. After making both giardiniera and xo consomme, I had an idea that making an aspic from both of them which encase an egg would be a delicious and interesting dish. Only once I made them, one suspending cauliflower florets in the aspic and the other peas, eating them never quite appealed. I used tumbers to create the suspension which meant that I had eight ounces of aspic per egg and that was far more oddly flavored jello than I was willing to consume in one sitting. The project went on the pile of posts that seemed like a good idea until I actually did them and goodness left the building.
Sometimes the things I throw on the smoker are fancy and sometimes they are silly, but in the case of bacon trotter gear, the output is of maximum utility and minimum beauty. It combines two staples in my kitchen, bacon and trotter gear, into a single delicious deli container full of the actual foodstuff that makes everything better, gelatinous pork stock, amplified by the flavor that everyone claims makes everything better, bacon.
St. Patrick’s Day is a pretty serious holiday for my family and not in the “green beer and pass out before it is dark” kind of serious either. Every year, I tell myself that we will just grab some corned beef from the store and do it cliche and every year, I decide not to go that route. Continue reading »
There are a ton of limitations to making charcuterie in a non-commercial kitchen. There are even more when you live in an apartment in an urban area, so when you look at projects that you want to try, but have no space to do so, you have to get a little creative. I have wanted to try making speck for some time but the thought of buying and storing another hog’s leg (who in their right mind, would do that?!?) was something that I was not quite ready to undertake. I did have a jowl. While not lean like a leg, it was just the right size and it was beautiful. Continue reading »
I am a hoarder. I admit it. In fact, I admitted it to a communal dining table on Saturday evening. Granted, the table was filled with a few friends, others known online and a few less than that, but, in my mind, the first step to solving a problem is to admit that you have one. Admitting that I hoard animal fat was the start I needed to solving the problem. Continue reading »
After a twitter rhyme regarding ham jam, I knew that I was going to try, but didn’t know when. Just before bringing last week’s country ham home, I realized that I needed to clear fridge and freezer space to make it happen. I had just a bit of some beautifully fatty country ham from Cypress left in my fridge and I had an idea of how to piece a batch of ham jam together Continue reading »