Summer Break

Claire and I tend to take a cooking hiatus during the summer; our kitchen is small and it gets hot quickly so we find that it’s easier just to grill outdoors or hit up our favorite restaurants while the summer sun blazes. We haven’t forgotten about documenting our culinary adventures though, so hopefully as the weather cools down the kitchen will heat up (without suffocating us) and we’ll have fun new content here on MI.

That said, a few months ago I whipped up some ‘foie gras and pork heart stuffed’ squab. Tiny delicious pigeon stuffed with a rich, meaty paste of breadcrumbs, foie gras, ground and chopped pig heart, celery and onions and capped off with another slice of foie. Heavily salted and peppered, browned and roasted.

I’ve got a friend on the lookout for Deer Tongue for another corned tongue experiment, and curing season is upon us. I can’t wait to get back under the apron!

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Quail

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.