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January 19, 2020

Food Thread: Duck, Government and Chicken With Chocolate Sauce...Or Something Like That


Duck fat is one of the glories of cooking, and the purveyors know it and charge a fortune for it. Even my sort-of-local duck farm charges $44 for a quart, and $110 for a gallon. Wow, that's exorbitant. And D'Artagnan charges even more.

So what's a fellow to do? Well, buy a whole duck and render the fat for yourself. It's easy, yields quite a bit, and you are left with the bonus of a whole duck!

Yes, yes, I have talked about this before, but I have duck on my mind for some reason. Mostly because I found a recipe for duck confit using Sous Vide, and that is an exciting prospect, because making duck confit the old fashioned way is a pain in the ass and requires a ton of the aforementioned expensive duck fat. But the Sous Vide recipe requires no extra fat, so I am salivating at the prospect!


One of the recent recipes in the NYT food section was a simple roast chicken with a rub of Rosemary, lemon zest, red pepper flakes and black pepper. Nothing out of the ordinary, but the kicker was a sprinkle of grated Parmesan half way through the roasting. I haven't tried it yet, but it certainly sounds like fun. It also illustrates one of the important ideas in relaxed and carefree cooking; if it sounds like it might taste good, then by all means...try it! The worst that can happen is that you discover that some new (to you) combination doesn't really work. Now, I am not suggesting that you take that roast chicken and dump some chocolate sauce over it (wait...Mole?), but branching out a bit will often yield some fun meals.

The last time I went through an airport duty-free liquor store (is there anything else to bother with in duty-free?) I found a bottle of gin that looked interesting. The description suggested a different sort of flavor profile, so I bought a bottle, hoping to make a Martini with a twist.

Well, it was a twist all right, but the twist was that it just wasn't very good. Too piney, too herbaceous, too...everything. But in a G&T? That will be next! The only downside was one evening of a not-too-wonderful cocktail, and I am comfortable with that.

Even when trying something new doesn't quite work, it's still a satisfying experiment, unless you really screw up and make something inedible or undrinkable. And even then, there's always pizza delivery.


I have mentioned before how wonderful it is when market economies find solutions for problems that government finds intractable. And when it includes selling the offending critter as good food, everybody wins.
Invasive Catfish Are Rewriting Chesapeake Bay Cuisine
Ever since it was introduced to Virginia’s waters for sport in the 1970s, the blue catfish has eaten the Chesapeake alive. “You cut one open and you’d see six blue crabs in their stomach,” says ecologist Dr. Howard Townsend. “The problem is they eat everything.” When they eat enough—and they often do—they can grow to well over 100 pounds.
Anyone try these fish? I would love an alternative to pricey halibut!

From long-time Moron Fritzworth comes a really nice sounding recipe, complete with some family history which, as you all know, makes the food taste better.
Grandpa Jack’s Mexican Beans
It looks so good that I put it into my recipe program and checked the nutritional information. As I suspected, an eight-ounce portion is a nice snack: 419 Calories; 25g Fat ; 23g Protein; 25g Carbohydrate; 9g Dietary Fiber; 65mg Cholesterol; 1030mg Sodium.

Maybe a tad high in carbs for all of you low-carb folk, but hell, you only live once. If it concerns you that much, just add bacon.

Okay. I'll admit it. This was supposed to go to the world-famous Moron Cookbook, but ...uh...Fritzworth was drunk that year.

So as usual, the Food Thread sucked hind teat.


This guy has a love affair with bread. it's a little uncomfortable, but a lot of what he says in this video matches my experience over the last few years baking a ton of sourdough bread.
15 Mistakes Most Beginner Sourdough Bakers Make
His solution for what to do with the extra sourdough starter (you bakers know what I mean) is brilliant. I tried it a couple of times and it is fantastic.

One of the problems with cooking in microwaves is that they heat so unevenly, so whatever you are making requires constant stirring and manipulating. That's why I don't do it, but this may be one of those quick and easy meals that might just work.
Coffee Mug Omelets with Sausage, Peppers, and Cheese
You still have to stir, but eggs cook so quickly that it isn't that big of a deal. Still...I can make this just as easily in a pan, so maybe it isn't such a good idea.

Is there anything that government can't screw up?
How the Government Came to Decide the Color of Your Food
The story of how America’s federal government helped select specific colors for certain foods dates to late 19th century, when new processed foods were introduced. The color of margarine is a particularly powerful example of how the intersection of political power, industry competition, and regulation determined the look of what people ate.

When margarine was first introduced to the U.S. market in 1873 as a cheaper substitute for butter, dairy producers, fearful of intense competition and a price decline for butter, lobbied against the manufacturing and marketing of margarine. One favored way of limiting margarine was to restrict the color of margarine, so it would not look like butter.

[Hat Tip: Misanthropic Humanitarian]


Speaking of halibut, I made some a few nights ago, and instead of whipping out my trusty Sous Vide machine, I decided to try cooking it in a pan, but at a more gentle heat than most. I used a big heavy Le Creuset pan with a large knob of butter and thyme, which I melted but didn't heat enough to brown. Then I put the heavily salted halibut fillets in for two minutes on medium heat, then flipped them for another two minutes, basting with the butter and thyme the whole way. Then into a 350° for another four minutes, and took it out at a perfect 130° internal temperature. Well, almost perfect. Next time I will try for a bit cooler...maybe 128°, but I'm not complaining.

Food and cooking tips, Large-breasted Muscovy ducks, well-marbled NY strips, bartenders who use vermouth in Martinis, crisp bacon (although I am moving toward less crisp), thick and fluffy pita, and good tomatoes that aren't square, pale pink and covered with Mestizo E.coli: cbd dot aoshq at gmail dot com. Any advocacy of French Toast with syrup will result in disciplinary action up to and including being nuked from orbit. And yes, shaking a Manhattan is blasphemy...it's in the Bible!

&topic=world_news">digg this
posted by CBD at 04:00 PM

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