In the wise words of Jennifer McLagan, rillons are “a big brother of rillettes and less work.” Knowing the wise words from her blog would likely be detailed in one of her great cookbooks, I went to my kitchen cookbook cabinet and guessed it would be in “Fat“, I had guessed wrong. The recipe for rillons was in “Odd Bits“. One of the only ways to describe Jennifer’s books is with paradox. Her books are simultaneously approachable and adventurous – albums of hits and deep cuts – and Odd Bits was right along those lines. It doesn’t EPCOT-ify offal or off cuts. Continue reading
Over much of the fall and early winter, I’ve been working on building a cold smoker made from a bullet smoker, chimney pipe and cinder blocks. I am 90% there and the smoker is fully functional. The first step was testing the dosage of smoke provided by the new smoker. I started with something I wanted lightly smoked, chicken livers, and something I wanted heavily smoked, some extra sharp cheddar cheese.
After a recent trip to Madison for a visit to the Dane County Farmer’s Market, I have been longing for food from my home state. We sat across from the market at the Old Fashioned sharing cheese curds and Lazy Susan #6 filled with smoked trout, salami, herring, Merkts and other meats. It reminds me how well made food doesn’t need to be fancy. There does not need to be a handmade label with “artisanal” scrawled on it. Continue reading
After another blowout New Year’s Eve dinner at the Butcher & Larder, I was handed a large item wrapped in butcher paper to take home. We had decided to grab a ride home from a car service for smart reasons and the car was waiting, so I said my thank yous and good byes and ran outside. When we arrived home, I was tired enough to simply throw the package in the fridge and run off to bed. Continue reading
Good riddance to the old kitchen. It is only fitting that the last morsel of food I cooked in the old beast was the best I cooked in it. This was a function of how we would make it through the time with no kitchen. The thought of being without my only burner did not trouble me nearly as much as being without a sink did, so I did made food best suited to paper plates and plastic forks. I started the smoker and filled it with meat. I barbequed. 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.
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
Going out to dinner on Valentine’s Day is not how we do things. Going to the mattresses at home is one of those things that I get to do pretty infrequently – mostly for larger family gatherings and dinner parties. Making dinner, I do every night, but not like this. Every night is usually a little protein, colorful veg, and green leafy things, but Valentine’s Day is a fun day to go all out.
With the Super Bowl later today, I set out on yesterday’s long run in the snow with the goal of arriving home with a few ideas of dishes to make which would be creative, use what we had on hand, and fit the football party atmosphere. It was really helpful to set out with something specific to think about because once I walked outside, I knew that the run would be difficult. We had about 4-6 inches of fresh snow and, since I head out at 5 AM, not a single flake of it had been shoveled. Throughout the thirteen miles, I thought of all of the terrible emails sent notifying me of a chicken wing shortage or how spinach-artichoke dip can be made at home (and with only 3 cans). The one flavor I kept going back to was buffalo sauce. I love the sharp blast of vinegar-y heat and the way the butter keeps the that heat and acidity on your tongue for far longer than a salsa or hot sauce. Continue reading