Jerked Pheasant

What I like best about my current life is all the people from other countries I've met. My counterpart and I have met people from all over the world. The cultural exchange is really an amazing experience sometimes. We recently had lunch with a former colleague from the Islands who gave us a wonderful explanation of Jerk. It turns out it's easier than you think, but it's all about technique.

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Mary Cooks: Poussin with Pomegranate Sauce

Someone once said that a man's reach should exceed his grasp. This was me in the kitchen tonight. With my counterpart away on business for a second week, I thought about what it was I really wanted to eat for dinner tonight. As we still have a surplus of small game bird from D'Artagnan , I decided that one little poussin wouldn't go missing and rolled up my sleeves to actually cook something.

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Birthday Dinner: Ballotine of Pheasant

Birthdays are special - any seven-year-old can tell you that. My birthday in particular is extra-special. And even though it is still a couple of days away, my extra-special birthday dinner was today.

A while back, a new cooking technique gained some attention - the Modernist technique. It gained attention for the $300 cookbook full of breath-taking photographs of culinary daring-do. A few years have gone by, and now there is a marketplace for the home gourmand who wants to try their hand at this.

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Duck Roulade

My counterpart has been binding meat for about a year now and is getting fairly good at it. For this Sunday's dinner, he decided to try a specific meat-binding technique - the Roulade.

A roulade is a French dish in which a flat piece of meat is rolled around a filling and then bound and roasted. We had just received a shipment of duck from D'Artagnan so we decided on one of their Moulard duck breasts for tonight's meal.

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2012: The Year in Review

This past year has been one of growth: for  me personally, for this blog, and for me and my counterpart culinarily speaking. The year started off with the acquisition of a new camera and a commitment from me to this blogging endeavor - to improve the quality of the content and to attempt to find a voice.

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Nothing as Pleasant as Pheasant

This afternoon my counterpart asked me why I was fascinated with small game birds. He then proceeded to answer this question by preparing roast pheasant for our annual pre-Christmas dinner. This has become a tradition of ours over the years. The day or two before Christmas are hectic and harried, filled with forgotten tasks and last-minute cleaning. You need more than cookies to get through. How much better we are at these preparations when we feel well loved and appreciated. And nothing does this quite as well as a special quiet dinner between me and my spouse.

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Forcemeat Quiche, or What to Do with Your Leftover Gizzards

According to Le Gastronomique, forcemeat is "a seasoned mixture of raw and cooked ingredients, chopped or minced (ground)... Forcemeats are the basis for several pates, meat pies, terrines, and ballottines..." etc. etc. Faced with a Sunday all to himself while I was working a software deployment, my counterpart found inspiration in the concept of forcemeat and decided to prepare a quiche.

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Rabbit Dinner After Hurricane Sandy, and the Secret to Perfect Squash

We survived Superstorm Sandy, and (even with the power outage) so did all our frozen meat. This is not as surprising as it sounds when you remember that what made Sandy a superstorm was the unlikely combination of a hurricane and a cold front. Which means (at least in my area) once the center of the storm blew through, the temperature dropped. By the time the lights went out, it was in the low 40's - not much warmer than the inside of the fridge. It dropped just below freezing that night and stayed in the 40's the following day. Nothing went bad, and all the frozen food stayed frozen.

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Squab: You Never Know Until You Try It

Honestly, one of the best parts of my life is being able to share it with someone who punctuates it with really good food. Because I live with a cook, I can actually get away with doing things like spending the weekly grocery budget on a medley of game birds ordered off the internet. What we got for our $100 (including shipping) was:

  • 1 pheasant
  • 4 quail
  • 1 guinea hen
  • 2 squab
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