Claire is convinced that quail look like “little naked people”.
That didn’t stop her from enjoying them with me for our pre-Valentine’s day dinner.
We decided a few weeks ago to simplify Valentine gift giving; instead of getting each other a present, we’d go out for a nice dinner and pay each others tab. That still left us with our usual Monday night cooking date, so we decided to have a little fun and make a batch of roasted quail.
I grew up eating quail; Robert (my brother) and I used to hunt them on the P5 farm in Plant City. He usually did the dirty work with a shotgun and I handled plucking. As fun as you’d think picking birdshot AND feathers out of a tiny game bird is, I assure you that buying six packs at the supermarket is much, much easier.
I seasoned all six of the little naked gents (after removing any stray feathers) with sea salt and pepper, and browned them with prosciutto. While they were browning, Claire started working on a porcini & shiitake mushroom risotto. For greens we sauteed a small batch of broccolini.
Everything came out perfectly. We tore the little guys apart (saving all of the wishbones!) while watching Superbad. The porcini was wonderfully woody; I haven’t used porcini before but I think it’s going to be my go-to fungus for future mushroom risotto.
As for Valentine’s dinner?
We went to Morimoto.
It’s been a while since I had gone and was Claire’s first time. Our dishes were spectacular. Pork Belly, Kobe carpaccio, seared duck breast with duck confit fried rice and overeasy duck egg and buckwheat soba with truffle oil, bacon and scallops. An orgy of awesome.
Two days of good food and amazing company!
Happy Valentine’s day, everyone.