29 April 2010


Step one: marinate lamb riblets and goat chops in toasted & ground cayenne, coriander, pepper, salt and cumin.

Serve greek feta and moroccan sardines while waiting.

Marinate asparagus in olive oil and diced preserved lemons.

Have harissa on hand, mix with some pomegranate molasses and garlic. Sear ribs/chops on both sides, cover and grill for twenty minutes. Mix with harissa mixture, cover.

Take a break, eat an arugula-strawberry salad by Kate.

Grill the ribs/chops a second time.

And eat — with that asparagus, marinated and grillled. This was wonderful with tzatziki and some bulgur tossed with lots of parsley and some preserved lemon.

17 April 2010


This site is thanks to the efforts of the erudite, concise, Jake Walker. Do check it out.

13 April 2010

« chocolate hazelnut ramekins »

I was planning to make a far breton for dessert for some friends the other night, having callously forgotten a friend's aversion to dried fruit (far breton is basically clafoutis with brandy-soaked prunes in place of the cherries), so I needed to find a substitution (which was, in hindsight, a godsend, as this was great).

I had eggs for the far and leftover cream from my pâté, and by chance came across my new favorite dessert. This one of the variations of Tartine's "Chocolate Hazelnut Tart" in their eponymous cookbook.

The filling starts with ½ c. butter, ¼ c. brandy and ⅓ c. sugar melted in a double boiler and then poured over 6 oz. bittersweet chocolate until melted and incorporated. Meanwhile, beat another ⅓ c. sugar with 3 eggs, a pinch of salt and ½ t. orange zest (or lemon, which worked wonderfully with the brandy).

At this point, slowly fold the egg mixture into the chocolate mixture, in thirds. (This part can be refrigerated and portioned out later). Divide into four 5- or 6-oz. ramekins and bake 9 minutes or so, until slightly puffed.

Serve immediately. I topped this with a barely sweet, boozy brandy whipped cream. As these are deeper than a tart would have been, they don't set up as much and you get a cross between pots-de-crème and mousse. Thanks, Tartine!

11 April 2010

pâté de campagne / country terrine

Finally using my great-grandmother meat grinder for its intended purpose.

Here's a little over a pound of pork belly — it's on the lead side (that is to say, it's not all fat) so I used just the belly (no other cut of pork) with the liver. I used beef liver, since it's easy to find, cheap and local. I soaked it in milk to take out any overwhelming flavors.

Started with the belly, but alternated, per Jennifer McLagan's suggestion in Fat, meat and liver (belly being tough, and liver soft, it makes it easier). I then sautéed onions and garlic in lard and suet with some sugar, until caramelized.

Heavy cream, parsley, thyme, brandy, salt, eggs, pepper and a mixture of hungarian paprika and merquen ahumado, a great, smoky chili pepper that a friend passed onto me.

The meat gets mixed on slow as the spices, eggs and cream are added. Then the onions and garlic are added.

A bastardized version of several recipes, this was finished with strips of belly fat as I couldn't find caul fat for wrapping but also didn't want to go the bacon wrapping route (I wanted to taste liver and belly, not bacon).

Baked in a water bath until it reaches 165ºF — and the aged at least two days.

Voilà — simple, very rich (and best after a week), coarse like the pâté de campagne I tasted at wine tastings in the Loire as a student, and proving that beef liver can be great. Now if only I could find caul fat for the next try!

02 April 2010


And this is how to get the most flavor out of mushrooms.

(Butter, olive oil, cremini, garlic, brandy).