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Showing posts from July, 2010

Cookbook #31: The Thrill of the Grill

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Adapted from Cookbook #31:  The Thrill of the Grill

Recipe: Bourbon Peaches

I have had these bourbon peaches sitting in a bourbon, vinegar, mint, and clove bath for about two weeks, and I have been anticipating this day for some time.  And here it is, filled with bourbon-y goodness.  Our chefs (Schlesinger and Willoughby, who were also our chefs two weeks ago) suggest serving these with venison (recipe on page 208).  They believe that the strength of the bourbon goes well with a gamy meat.  However, the husband and I served them to friends with a pork tenderloin that was all gussied up with salt, pepper, and olive oil and smoked in pecan chips.

Not that I have anything against venison.  Growing up I ate a lot of venison--or at least whenever my uncle "bagged" a deer.  I am not sure he ever used the term "bagged" but I suspect he did.  His garage had been converted into a woodworking shop, and every fall, he would bring in a deer or two, and the room would tra…

Cookbook #30: Chez Panisse Fruit

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Adapted from Cookbook #30:  Chez Panisse Fruit

Recipe:  Grilled Cured Duck Breast with Pickled Peaches

I think that duck is for some people what rabbit is to me:  frightening.  While I have admitted to not making a lot of duck out of avoidance of gamy and fatty tastes, the duck cooking has never filled me with dread.  Here's a lovely little SF Gate article on the avalanche of advice one might receive about duck.  Below you will find a little more advice from Alice Waters (who does say score the skin and definitely brine it).

Alice Waters has created two cookbooks that I stand by, and stand by firmly:  This one and Chez Panisse Vegetables Both cookbooks are arranged by produce, so when you get that CSA box filled with lemons or the farmers market seems overrun with kale, you can figure out something to do with all of it.  [The Vegetable chapter where we find page 210 is on mushrooms, so we have to wait for the rains again before I bust that baby out.]  Page 210 in Fruit is …

Cookbook #29: License to Grill

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Adapted from Cookbook #29:  License to Grill

Recipe: Grilled Duck Breast with Peach-Green Grape Chutney

Duck.  I don't eat a lot of duck.  In part because of the pricetag associated with this fair fowl, but also because I, like many, find it a little fatty and gamy.  So I went a searching for tips on how to reduce the gamy taste and I discovered this:  soak the duck breasts in a salted ice water for about a hour before using.  The brine should be about a quarter cup of salt per quart of water.  Ice water helps.  Rinse thoroughly and then pat dry.  Viola.  Less gamy duck.

Also duck can be tricky on a grill.  It likes to drip fat and cause flare ups, and even if you have the duck over to the side of your charcoals (see below instructions), you still need to keep an eye on the bird.  The husband and I grilled together (see earlier post on my novice status as a grillmaster), and at one point, he walked around to look at the plants in the garden.  Immediate flare up, and a rush t…

Cookbook #28: The New Best Recipe

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Adapted from Cookbook #28: The New Best Recipe

Recipe: Basic Pilaf-Style Rice

My trip to Illinois was all that I had hoped it would be--filled with good friends and family.  I celebrated love, gave a good toast, danced until sweaty, dragged my nephew around by his ankle (he's five), saw The Last Airbender (again, the young nephew), rode a carousel, was led through Jesse James' hideout, ate French food, held smiley babies, told jokes with my niece (What do you call a boomerang that doesn't come back?  A stick.), and had a martini with my best friend.   I, however, also ate a lot of really unhealthy food.  Potato chips (seriously, you cannot find anything better than  Kitchen Cooked and it's a good thing I cannot find them in California), iceberg lettuce salads, and cheeseburgers.  Ouch.

Since coming home, it's been salmon, mixed lettuce salads, oatmeal, and melon.  Last night, I made Indian food.  Again, Ajanta came through for me with the main dish (a creamed…