Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Dinner: The Most Beautiful Word In The English Language

I've been cooking delicious things again and I want to talk about it. It's not that fancy.

Dinner last night: Yogurt chicken with roasted turnips

Cut in big chunks, throw in a pan and drizzle with oil, salt and pepper. Roast at 450 until they start to brown (or throw them in to broil at the same time you do the chicken). Check on them and stir them around once or twice when you think about it.

Slather boneless/skinless chicken breasts with full-fat yogurt, cumin, paprika, coriander and a little salt. Don't be shy about the spices. Put it under the broiler for 10 minutes each side.

Dinner tonight: Lazy sausage, kale and corn

Heat up some olive oil in a big pot. Slice up a thing of kale and a package of precooked sausages. Especially chicken-apple or chicken-mango. Throw those in the pan with a package of frozen corn. Salt and pepper it. Put a lid on it so it steams in the liquid from the kale. You could also pour some beer in there and that would probably be really good, but it's really tasty without too. Give it a stir now and then. It's ready when the kale is not a total chore to eat.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Boar and Beer

Chris Carriker, who's been head chef at Gilt Club for about a year, is having a lot of fun at work, as was evident in the all-out wild boar dinner he and Gilt owner Jamie Dunn hosted there on Wednesday. He got his hands on a whole 77-pound boar and made charcuterie, roasts and even dessert out of it, blowing the minds of a table full of chefs, food bloggers and their lucky plus-ones.

A seven-course spectacle of deliciously rich, salty, gamey wild boar interpretations gives lots of chances to toy around with drink pairings. I like pairing with this kind of food because it stands up to a lot without being overwhelmed. Whiskey drinks worked well - I had a Brooklyn and my arm candy had a Sazerac - but the Rodenbach Grand Cru Lucy and Tony brought and generously shared with us was even better.

Rodenbach is a Belgian sour beer (by way of Saraveza) with a lot of personality. It's fresh and funky sort of like a saison, and sour and fruity sort of like Duchesse de Bourgogne but without the sweetness. The combination of bold flavor and crisp tartness meant the beer shone articulately through the whole meal while also working to cleanse the palate. It was a great match for everything on the table - mellow but unbelievably flavorful boar loin and liver sausage, butter lettuce salad with snacky crisp boar ears and bacon, fatty trotters with foie gras and mushrooms, perfect gnocci with bits of melty slow-cooked boar, boar tenderloin roast with succulent succotash, some sort of boar something wrapped in chicken skin with more foie gras, and the so-wrong-it's-right boar liver creme caramel with figs and berries.

I've been reluctant to accept the coming autumn, but if it provides a suitable environment for sturdy, warming flavors like these, I think I can handle it. After a summer of delicious but direct food-as-fuel, I want to have fun with it too. Thanks guys.