All right!! Time to sum up the last month, at least for my own sake. Backwards.

22 Jan

Over the past month–OK 5 weeks; I am spoiled with a long winter break from school–I cooked my ass off, if there’s ever been a more oxymoronic sentence written down or even posted on the internet.  In fact, perhaps I cooked my ass on; I feel I may have put on a little with all my cooking, eating, and drinking in the past five weeks.  I digress; I don’t really care about that–this is about the food!  Here goes, in an unfashionably written way, countdown style…

Today, Jan. 22, 2010: I cooked nothing.  Sad.  I am sad.  But I did unload some delicious parm regg and truffle butter into my dorm fridge, an action that made me very happy.

Yesterday, Jan 21, 2010:  I woke up and ate a sous vide egg, cooked to 143, from the previous night.  I made sous vide duck, apples, and pork belly all at 160 degrees.  After dropping them into the machine for tubby time, I made white chocolate-miso-coconut pudding.  I am sorry for the lack of recipes on my site, but I wing almost everything. : (  Later, I made hazelnut praline-swirl sable cookie dough and froze it for my siblings to bake while I’m gone.  That’s a recipe I can give:

Praline paste: 1 cup of hazelnuts, toasted dark.  1 cup of sugar, dry-caramelized dark brown until molten.  Puree the nuts and pour caramel into the food processor while still grinding.  Process smooth and salt.

Cookie dough: Cream 8 oz butter, 1/2 c sugar, and 1/4 c confectioner’s sugar.  Add 2 yolks and homogenize w/ mixer.  Dump in 2 c flour and mix until smooth.  Salted butter is good, but if not, add some salt for flavor.

Form dough: pat out dough on waxed paper to a half-inch thick rectangle with one end much longer and about a six inch “short end.”  Spread cooled praline paste (not all is needed) over dough, starting from the middle and leaving a 1 inch border.  Roll dough into a long log and twist the parchment to seal the log.  Freeze or refrigerate for 3 hours and then slice and bake at 325 for 17 min.

Jan 20, 2010:  I worked during the day, but when I got home, I made chocolate-hazelnut-caramel pudding for my sister.  Then, I made my brother a melted gruyere, taylor’s ham, and fried egg on a toasted bun sandwich.  Later, I sous vide eggs and brisket.

Jan 19, 2010:  I worked during the day, but when I got home, I made chocolate-chip-curry cookies, almond marshmallows with caramel and nuts, covered in chocolate, and chipotle-cayenne marshmallows.

Jan 18, 2010:  I woke early to finish saucisson en brioche with the pheasant sausage.  Then…

My family and I went into Brooklyn and the City for the day.  We started by getting pastries from an Eastern European bakery (poppy cookies, cake, and a large donut), and then we had lunch at An Nhau, a viestnamese place in Williamsburg.  It looked OK, but the food was REALLY GOOD.  I had a lotus salad with pork belly and shrimp; my sister had pork belly and egg cooked in coconut milk; my brother had “shaken beef,” which was delicious, and it came over watercress with sauteed red onion; my mom had pho with tendon, meatballs, beef, and tripe (SWEET); my dad had classic pho (also great) and a vegetarian curry that kicked ass, with major pieces of tofu, tofu skin, gluten things, and a thick curry broth.  YUM.

Later, if you can believe it, we “had room,” to go to The Breslin Bar and Dining Room at Ace Hotel, April Bloomfield’s new place.  I was so psyched, since I wanted to go there ever since I heard of it, and when I stepped into the dark-lacquered room with pig figurines, plaid lampshades, and an open kitchen, I knew I made it to my kind of place.  The food was also excellent.

My brother wanted only “thrice cooked chips,” and even though they were great, he later regretted being an obese person and ordering just fries.  Eh, he can stand the calories.  Skinny growing boy situation.  My sister got the caramel corn snack, which was yummy, and then she had the smoked salmon appetizer.  It was good, but she regretted not ordering a main.  My dad got the lamb burger, and I think he really liked it.  My mom got the scotch egg, which was nice, especially since it wasn’t hard-cooked, and she shared the pig’s foot with me…

I was the biggest fat-ass of the night; I got the beef and stilton pie “snack,” which was great but a caloric bomb.  I also tried the bone marrow and onion soup, which was basically a super-rich, meaty onion soup.  Very good.  The pig’s foot was GLORIOUS, but I wondered why one end had so much stuffing, while the other was mostly foot.  My mom almost ate all the foot, but I caught her just in time…The large log of foot came decorated with a confetti of Brussels sprouts, garlic, and onions, and it was great.  The stuffing had mustard and a certain spice mixture that was just perfect.

Dessert, you ask?  Yes, we had it.  I got the sticky toffee pudding, and my mom got the chocolate-stout syllabub, and we all shared.  The pudding was good, especially with its nice coffee undertones.  The syllabub was also really good, and I liked the little chocolate beads on top.  They offered a good contrast to the smooth, rich, slightly beery mousse beneath.

Jan 17, 2010: I cooked the hunted birds and made some goodies to bring to the kind benefactor who brought the hunted beasts.  1) I made sausage with ground pheasant, pork belly, red wine, porcini powder, truffle butter, and shallots.  I smoked the sausages on the grill (cold smoke).  2)  I made a pheasant pate with ground pheasant, pork belly, pheasant livers, egg yolks, cream, spices ground together; pistachios; and prune de veille-soaked prunes in the middle.  3) I made pheasant, duck, and partridge stew with polenta for my family and my brother’s friend.  Little did they know the stew had pheasant hearts, mushrooms, and duck toungues.  The wine-y broth made it too hard to tell.  4)  I made beef jerky.  5)  I sous vide pork belly.  6)  I made orange-almond madeleines.

Jan 16, 2010:  Disembowelment day.

All the birds I plucked the night before were ready to be broken down.  I removed a lot of smelly guts.  Have you ever found undigested corn inside a bird?  I didn’t think so.  I also made baguettes from Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  Really good with truffled Brillat Savarin or some rabbit pate and mustard.  Later I did not feel like cooking birdies yet, but I made spicy Maine shrimp, seared in their shells and then quickly simmered with some cream, salt, and cayenne.  I drank some brown butter rum and Imperial Stout and also some Riesling.  Who says mixing is that bad anyway?

Jan 15, 2010:  Essentially, a new holiday.

I came home from the mall with my mom and chilled out, made some praline paste.  My grandma was over, so we were hanging out, shooting the breeze…AND THEN my neighbor walked in with 15 birds and the sous vide supreme.  You might say this was a beautiful thing.  All I could do was speechlessly hug these kind people and promise to cook them anything for the rest of my life.

When they left, I felt it was time to celebrate.  We opened a decent bottle of Cab Sauvignon we had gotten (Souverain from the Alexander Valley), and I began to de-feather the birds.  Also, we ordered a pizza and a sub, and my sister invited her friend over.  The friend found my strange rituals of bird plucking very intriguing.  Not a problem, people, we’ve known each other a while.  Every time she comes over, I am in the same spot in the kitchen, cooking.  This time, I was just doing something a bit different.

As I plucked, my dad fed me wine on demand, so I didn’t have to touch a glass with my feathery hands.  It was great.  I liked the pizza also.  And the sub, with turkey, roast beef, American (what I call “bastard”) cheese, lettuce, and tomato.  Yum.  My grandma thought I was nuts, but she’s an artist, and I feel she might paint a picture of my pheasant revelry.

Jan 14, 2010: I don’t remember doing much besides going to work.

Jan 13, 2010: I don’t really remember, but I know I made some miso coffee cake with praline swirl and captain crunch struessel, but that may be a week after this…

Jan 12, 2010:  My mom and I went to the new cheese shop in town and bought some truffled Brillat Savarin and a bottle or Souverain cab sauvignon.  Also, the owner, a man who knows more about good cheeses than many, made us aware of the fact that his favorite parm reg makers were not going to make any more cheese, and that he bought 18,000 pieces of their cheese (sold, strangely, in vacuum sealed bags),  He would sell us 4 8 oz. pieces for $30, a great deal.

Jan 11, 2010:  I don’t remember.  I think I made coconut cupcakes with coconut-lemon filling and coconut frosting, but I’m not sure.  I’m sure it was great, but I might have been too tired from the previous day.

Jan 10, 2010:  See the post about the rabbit dinner.

Jan 9, 2010:  I went to the farmer’s market with my parents and bought a rabbit, a rutabaga, carrots, beets, and bread.  and a half chicken, the best cream ever, a dozen eggs, some whole milk, seckel pears, and mutsu apples.

Jan 8, 2010-Jan 4, 2010:  Unfortunately, I don’t remember.  I know there was a ribeye my dad made in there somewhere.

Jan 3, 2010:  See “Dinner for my Parents”

Jan 2, 2010:  I don’t know

Jan 1, 2010: Momofuku chicken wings

December 31, 2009:  I know I cooked a lot this day; just give me a minute to remember…I ate oysters with my mom as we drank champagne before our new years parties.  I made tuna tartare for her to bring to her party.  I infused rum with brown butter and spices.  It was great in hot chocolate!!!  OH!  I made cupcakes.  Chocolate cupcakes with caramel frosting.  And I think this is the day I made beer ice cream…

oyster sluuurp

December 30, 2009:  I don’t remember…

December 29, 2009:  ???

December 28, 2009:  ???

December 27, 2009:  …

December 26, 2009:  Boxing Day!  My uncle and I cooked all day, and I made cassoulet (really just finished it) and bacalao gratin in pastry cups.  I ate too many cookies.

December 25, 2009: Christmas!  My illegitimately favorite holiday!  I made mincemeat sticky buns, lobster with champagne sauce, and thick hot chocolate.

me making mincemeat sticky buns

December 24, 2009: Christmas eve!  I made maple-parsley-lemon creamy artichokes and shrimp on shrimp pain perdues with shrimp jus!  We also had oysters Rockefeller, matjes herring, and bottarga with olive oil and lemon on crostini!  Also, we had clarrey (spiced white wine) and cookies!

December 23-18, 2009:  I hit the ground running when I got home from school and started selling baked goods for the holidays right away.

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