Fickle Fork of Fate

Open Discussion - 7/18

The cassoulet shopping and planning has eaten up most of the cooking energy and space this week, so the veg has been piling up. A giant teardrop cabbage in this week's box has made fridge space... interesting, to say the least.

Since I'm in the midst of the least seasonal dish on the planet, this week's question is:

What do you love to eat even when it's completely out of sync with the local weather conditions?

Cassoulet?

Because nothing says late July than a day and a half cooking a French meat and bean stew, right?

Look. There's a French themed potluck tonight, is the thing. And slow cooked meats are kind of my thing. So I did what I usually do, check to see if Alton Brown has one. He doesn't.

So I looked at other recipes, adjusted, synthesized, adapted. I settled mostly on this Saveur recipe, but I didn't have or want to track down duck confit, so I ditched that, substituted lard for duck fat and sort of went from there.

The Good Life

So, today, I made a chicken salad consisting of:

Smoked chicken breast from chickens I smoked myself
Garlic scapes from the CSA
Scallion whites from the CSA
Radishes from the CSA
Three types of basil (mammoth, regular, lemon) from the garden

Plus salt, pepper, 2% greek yogurt, and good olive oil.

That is some Gwyneth Paltrow level shit right there.

Open Discussion: 7/11

Items of note from the past couple of days.

I made barbecue sauce yesterday by taking the reserved pork juice from last weekend's pulled pork, sauteeing onions in the separated fat, adding the gelled liquid, two cans of diced tomatoes, and some molasses, simmering it down for about half an hour, then blending it with red wine vinegar to taste. Not bad.

The cucumber apocalorgy has begun. Four large specimens in this week's CSA box. Gonna be starting this year's fridge dill pickles sooner than I thought.

Dickey's Barbecue Pit

So, remember when I went to PizzaRev, a chain doing counter service bake to order individual pizzas in a sort of Chipotle model? And how I said that while I'd never crave anything specific that they're doing, they'd be useful for when I was craving pizza and wanted a quick counter service deal?

Yeah, that's Dickey's in Eden Prairie.

Open Discussion - 7/4

I do not know where this went. I know I wrote one. I thought I posted one. All yesterday. Today, it's gone. Never was. Weird.

Anyway, Thursday, I busted out the sous vide for some beef tenderloin and ahi tuna steaks, and made some dressed thin-sliced kohlrabi and garlic scape / bacon mashed potatoes as sort of a pre-holiday splurge meal.

CSA Surplus Doom Rankings, Week 3

In lieu of past years' boring CSA lists, I'm just going to rank each week's Shit I Have Too Much Of, starting with Week 3.

#1: NAPA CABBAGE.

Last week's box had a single giant head of the stuff. This week brought two that were slightly smaller than one you'd buy in a store. That's a lot of napa cabbage. I mean, I like the stuff, but.

#2: LETTUCE

Missing The Point

Digiorno's Design A Pizza Kits can eat the inexplicably separate bag of pepperoni-flavored dicks they come with.

You'd think that Digiorno, who've sold frozen pizzas to people for decades, would understand why people buy frozen pizza. It's because they want pizza, but don't want to make pizza or order pizza. You know what taking a bunch of bags of frozen processed topings, opening them, and putting them on top of a frozen crust is? MAKING PIZZA.

Things I Learned This Weekend

1. The Weather Channel app is pretty, especially after the new update, but is even less help in actually figuring out what the weather's going to be like.

2. Lamb shoulder takes longer to braise than I thought. Two and a half hours at 275 did not cut it - it needed another two and a half at 325 to cook properly.

3. Do your research on unfamiliar meats before halfway through the cooking process.

Open Discussion - 5/27

Goddamn all these rainy weekends. I want to make pulled pork, and any weekend I have time, the weather forecast tells me I'll be inside for most of the weekend.

Instead, I'll be coming up with ways to use vegetables. The third CSA box was HUGE, and included two giant heads of locally grown butter lettuce. Absent unicorn-headed stripper dudes, I used up most of one head last night on Korean lettuce wraps with either ground beef or marinated, rice-flour-coated fried tofu cubes.

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