Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
On the radar this week are fellow recreational butchers, courtesy of the New York Times. Great article, even though it uses every conceivable butchery anecdote, leaving me to feel a bit like a can of potted meat.
Legendary food writer Jonathan Gold shared his words of wisdom and caution for us aspiring food writers at class on Tuesday. He is quite the inspiration-- had the class hanging on his every word! Just as candidly eloquent (if that makes sense) in person as he is in his columns. Too bad his event at LAPL is full for tonight. Any suggestions on how a lady might sneak in?
My new issue of Meat Paper magazine came in the mail this week! Such a lovely magazine. Gorgeous and full of flavor. In this issue, they set out to determine whether a T-Rex tasted like chicken. The diagram is priceless. Truly the best way to stay on top the trends in the meat world.
KCET (or your local PBS, I'd imagine) has been airing loads of episodes of Julia and Jacques cooking at home. I caught an episode this week about pork and watched Jacques break down an entire rack. His methods and instruction were so simple and straightforward I could imagine someone actually doing it at home for themselves. All the while, Julia towered over him making fabulous yummy sounds and smacking her lips. Now that's classic TV.
And because we really just like cook dinner at home, drink wine, and watch bad TV, I made an somewhat elaborate birthday dinner for the man that I have to share.
We love, love lamb, and these chops were pretty killer. They come with a silly story, too. I usually buy my lamb either from my favorite local butchers, Marconda's Meats or Huntington Meats at the Farmer's Market at 3rd and Fairfax or from Whole Foods, but the giant Ralph's near my house now carries quite a selection. I didn't give it a second glance when it first appeared, as grocery story lamb makes me think of the suspicious meats I remember as a child-- an oozing slab of a mystery cut shrink-wrapped with a little packet of mint-flavored jelly.
Not wanting to be too pretentious, I thought I'd check out Ralph's supply. I then ran into roadblock number two. All of the packages of chops were labeled "Wine and Mustard Marinade." Hm. I kept walking. That didn't seem right.
One more try. Aah. They weren't actually marinated, just topped with a poorly designed, misleading recipe card. So four pretty little lamb chops came home with me and did not get marinated in mustard.
Instead, they were quickly seared in my trusty cast iron and topped with the birthday boy's favorite mint sauce, a zippy seasoned-to-taste puree of fresh mint, olive oil, red wine vinegar, sugar, garlic, onion, salt and pepper.
Delicious. Sweet, spicy, savory and just special enough for a birthday.
Have a protein-packed day!
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
I do have a few things to share.
First, I would like to give thanks to the artisan butchers of America. I know that all is not sunshine and happy cows in the meat industry here, but at least I can feel pretty sure that the USDA has some regulations on things like this.
Fiji meat man. Now, I've never been to Fiji so I don't want to judge. I thought their cuisine was primarily made up of fish and seafood? On second thought, maybe that explains their excitement for the pig heads and sausages.
Next, let's talk about some bizarre livestock breedings. Have you seen the tiny potbelly pigs?
Kind of cute, in an alien sort of way. Apparently they are the hot new celebrity pet. Paris Hilton ordered one this week, just to tick off those pesky PETA people. They're supposed to be cleaner and more intelligent than dogs (Paris better watch out-- wouldn't want her to be outsmarted), but I can't imagine carrying them around in a designer pet carrier. Would it be inappropriate to mention the possibilities of bacon sliders?
They've been messing with cows, too. This is a Piedmontese cow:
This oddly sad looking creature is the result of a breeding phenomenon that began with an Italian cow that has "double muscling." What does that mean, you ask? Well. According to earthy.com, "this low fat beef is...lower in calories, higher in protein and contains a higher percentage of desirable Omega 3 Fatty Acids..beef from both full-blooded Piedmontese and Piedmontese-cross cattle consistently has these qualities of leanness and tenderness because it is due to their unique genetic makeup rather than an effect resulting from their feeding or environment." The article also mentioned that these cows were bred specially to retain their positive traits and remove the negative. I'm a bit unclear of what the negative traits were, but since they're mostly bred in Michigan, perhaps I'll ask my parents to look into it. They might want to pick up a few. Might be nice to have some cows to visit next time I make the trip to the homeland.
That's all for this week! Stay tuned.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Woman's Shattered Life Shows Beef Inspection Flaws
Or, would you rather suffer from E. coli as a result of eating this:
Father's Office burger*
McDonald's Side Salad
Thursday, October 1, 2009
First up-- Candied Salted Bacon
(source: the kitchn)
Next up, Juice Box-Sized Stock.
And lastly, Butchery as Theater!
Anyone want to sponsor a lady's trip to SF for this?
In a rare U.S. appearance, Dario Cecchini, Italy's master butcher made famous in Bill Buford's Heat and portrayed in Douglas Gayeton’s new book Slow: Life in a Tuscan Town, will give a demonstration on artisan butchery. You are invited to experience Dario up close breaking down a steer and a pig with mastery and flair at the Cowell Theater. Following his 250-year-old family tradition, Dario will share his exceptional skills with chefs, butchers of all levels, and other sustainable food industry professionals who wish to find a deeper understanding of and relationship with meat.