Monday, February 06, 2006

Dinner debriefing

The smoked duck carcass just became a nice dark broth to pour over udon. I used a bunch of broccoli stalks in the broth since I had saved them and they added some complexity.

The bison roast Saturday night was awesome, and went particularly well with the 1998 Beaucastel and 1990 Vieux Donjon (it was all Rhône except the 2002 Orion John had left from the night before.) I took the leftover split pea soup (made with smoked ribs instead of hambone) and mixed it with some amaranth Liz had in the fridge, plus teff flour, and made little cakes. Rolled in sesame seeds, and then fried crisp, they were really good with her porcini sauce. There was also braised burdock, bok choy in coconut milk, the duck and kumquat served sashimi-style, and a bunch of grains and pickles to round it out.

The key is to use the best raw materials you can get, in season and local, which leads to better leftovers. Better leftovers can become mighty sauces, fritters, soups or almost anything else a few days hence. Witness the duck: smoked, the legs were dinner that night. The breasts became the appetizer on Saturday, and the carcass made a beautiful broth for tonight. I can freeze the rest, or use it to make mushroom risotto in a couple days, or reduce it to make a base for the best BBQ sauce of all time, since I didn't salt it much.

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