As noted in a recent post discussing supplementing andouille with lamb’s heart, I happened upon a treasure trove of odd bits while walking through a Wisconsin farmer’s market. In addition to the lamb hearts, I found a pound of bison liver for a dollar. I had no idea what to expect. I figured it would be similar to beef liver and I was concerned with what the animal ate while it is was upright. I had an idea of the answer when I saw the prices of the more desirable cuts, but the grass-fed provenance was confirmed by the farmer, so I picked up the pound. Continue reading
Sometimes having zero context gives freedom, but there is a fine line between having the freedom to use your own style and messing up what others hold very close. Food, on top of being nourishment, is such a sentimental thing. People talking about food go on about grandmothers. Cooks with amazing training and mind-boggling skills devote hours recreating junk food from their childhood. It goes even further when things get cultural. It goes back far further than grandma in cases like these and my instincts, as I found in this case, are often wrong. Continue reading
This year we finally got a holiday goose. There really is only one time of year where one would pay the expense (and the expense is far more substantial than it ought to be) and with the girls waist deep in stories referring to a Christmas goose, we took the plunge. The thing is a goose is big and we have 2 adults and 2 preschoolers, so after trimming the fat from the goose, I cut it in half. Continue reading
For those following closely, my love for great cookbooks is no surprise. One of the cookbooks I received in a family gift exchange that has stood out as a “top of the pile cookbook is Pok Pok by Andy Ricker. I am not sure what the formula is for being one of those books, the kind that you cook from over and over again despite having others just waiting to be read, but this one joins The Art of Cooking Vegetables, Joe Beef and Momofuku in that club. Continue reading
After taking the legs off of a rabbit, I was left with the remaining carcass which, in my previous experiences accounts for loins and scrap. Given that I had some time to finish butchering the rabbit, I decided to take my time and cut through the sternum, split the chest and pull the ribs from the backbone by hand. A little while later, I had two small, rectangular flaps of rabbit, if someone was so inclined, could be made into micro-bacon. It was rabbit belly. Continue reading
For as long as I can remember, we have been sold the myth that there is a magic rabbit that hatches eggs made from chocolate containing an bi-colored interior of congealed confectioner’s sugar. As someone who does not understand the draw to this marketing ploy or the egg itself, I wanted to take Easter back a little by marrying the bunny and the egg in a more natural way.
Just like I was always mystified by the Cadbury egg phenomenon, I have been mystified, both equally and oppositely, by the Scotch egg. The idea of wrapping a hard boiled egg in sausage then breading it and frying it seems like one of the more complete, handheld breakfasts around – certainly better than a pop tart or any of the artisan pop tarts that seem to be popping up everywhere lately. Continue reading
With March in it final days, winter is ending and with it go some winter favorites. Braising turns to grilling. Roasting goes to grilling. Hell, it all goes to grilling. Cooking foods over fire is one of life’s great pleasures, but, despite two weeks of record high temperatures in Chicago, I had been putting off cooking rabbit and could not let the winter go by without making this winter-y dish. Continue reading