Saturday, February 16, 2008

Food Day

I awoke this morning slighty hungover from the combination of ProstheticallyHip's 18 Year Jameson, regular Jameson and, later on, a few Turbo Dogs at Saturn Bar. I stupidly stood in the street chatting with a friend until 3:30 am, and when my alarm went off at 8am for my planned trip to the Farmers' Market, I was all too willing to turn it back a few hours.

(side note: Two different sets of Military Police stopped to check us out last night, while we were loitering outside of a closed Saturn Bar. They were really nice, but I can imagine a situation or two where they wouldn't be. Perhaps they should be patroling the neighborhoods off St. Claude instead of just cruising back and forth. Moving on ...)

When I finally bothered to get up at 9:40 am, I bounced out of bed with hope for a quick trip to the Farmers' Market and then maybe a trip to the gym to work off some of the food I've gorged on all week (starting last Sunday and going through the week: a marvelous spread of brunch at Dante's, bagel and lox, red curry, fried shrimp, Valentine's dinner at Crepe Nanou, more curry, lots of coffee, more bagels and , catfish and mac and cheese...)

Instead, parking in the Warehouse District was a horrid experience. I drove around for a 1/2 hour looking for a space while dodging tourist drivers. I finally made it into the market at 11:30 am and was pleasantly surprised to find that most of the vendors still had stock to sell. I gave myself a $20 budget and started wandering. I found some amazing tomatoes and was pondering the local honey, when the need to purchase sausage took me over. My obsession with sausage is a fairly recent development - and I'm sure, only to intensify in the future. I secured 2 lbs of what the vendor called "whole hog" smoked sausage. Its currently hanging out in SmasHer's freezer ...

...Because the same friend who a) hung out outside of Saturn Bar last night with me and b) shares my food passions invited me to lunch with his visiting parents and his toddler at The Joint. Amazing BBQ: dry rub ribs, pulled pork, and brisket and the sides of cole slaw, Bunny Bread and mac and cheese. *Absolutely worth skipping the gym*

Later, on my way home, I swung by Whole Foods and picked up the makings for pate' two ways: Chicken Liver-Bourbon Mousse Pate and Pork and Liver Country-Style Terrine with Pistachios and Figs. I spent the last 3 hours making these decadent treats. The pork terrine will not be ready until tomorrow morning, due to the necessity to weight it, but the mousse style one will be ready to eat in about an hour.

In order to bring myself one step closer to making this a food blog, I will share my recipes.

Bourbon Chicken Liver Pate
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon minced fresh marjoram or 1/4 teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon minced fresh sage or 1/4 teaspoon dried
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1 lb chicken livers, trimmed
2 tablespoons bourbon

Special equipment: a 2 1/2-cup crock or terrine or several small ramekins
Accompaniment: crackers or toasted baguette slices
Garnish: a fresh thyme, marjoram, or sage sprig

Melt 1 stick butter in a large nonstick skillet over moderately low heat, then cook onion and garlic, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add herbs, salt, pepper, allspice, and livers and cook, stirring, until livers are cooked outside but still pink when cut open, about 8 minutes. Stir in bourbon and remove from heat. Purée mixture in a food processor until smooth, then transfer pâté to crock and smooth top.

Melt remaining 1/2 stick butter in a very small heavy saucepan over low heat, then remove pan from heat and let butter stand 3 minutes. If using herb garnish, put sprig on top of pâté. Skim froth from butter, then spoon enough clarified butter over pâté to cover its surface, leaving milky solids in bottom of pan.

Chill pâté until butter is firm, about 30 minutes, then cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 2 hours more

Pork and Liver Country-Style Terrine

1/2 lb chicken livers, cleaned
1/2 lb pork of your choice, diced
1 shallot chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 egg, beaten
4 tablespoons cream
1/6 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon fresh sage, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
salt (use your judgement)
pepper (seriously, use your judgement - I'm not a chef. I don't have all of the answers.)
1/2 cup pistachios
1 cup chopped figs
1/4 cup butter
a glug of bourbon (I would've used brandy if I had some)

Preheat over to 350 degrees. In a small saute pan, melt the butter, and cook shallots and garlic for approx. 3 minutes. Move butter-shallots to a mixing bowl. Deglaze pan with bourbon. If you want, put the pork cubes through the food processor (or a meat grinder, if you are lucky enough to have access to one). Next blend the chicken livers. Mix the egg, pork, chicken livers, pistachios, figs, spices. Grease a loaf pan with butter and pour mixture into it. Cover tightly with foil. Bake for 1 1/2 hours in a bain marie.

Allow to cool, cover top with parchment paper and weight with two 1 lb cans for at least 10 hours in the fridge.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Like You Do

Or maybe... try as I might to not, I'm pining. This is asinine. Ridiculous. Absurd. Inane. Silly. Stupid. Lame. Foolish. Laughable. Nonsensical. Ludicrous. Irrational. Daft.

I. Could. Go. On. And. On.

Someone please slap some sense into me, ok? Thanks.

I should get moving on that food blog so I can actually write about something worthwhile.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


I am officially teamless. I guess you could say I'd be classified as injured reserve, if BERG has such a thing. Rather, on the bios page, I'm listed as a free agent - the only person on that list, by the way, to have actually been placed on a team in the past (two teams, actually).

It kind of sucks. I mean, we do this for fun, right? So great - I've been injured since May. Not getting to skate leaves me feeling pretty left out all of the time. Add to that now being officially teamless, and I have to wonder why I even bother anymore.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

I just got home from work. Now granted, work involved lots of beer and printing materials after 6pm. The career side of me feels alive. I worked my ass off tonight, and I'm also drunk - so that works out right.

Other things have left me ... deflated.
Life is full of disappointment. Its always on the horizon. I'll never lose sight that fact again.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Tim Gunn is my Spirit Animal

I wish I had a Tim Gunn to walk in and say in his oh so calm voice, Talk to me. What are you doing? Maybe he could talk to me through the somewhat questionable decisions I have a tendency to gravitate toward. I have a feeling that he is a pretty handy guy to have around - and not just for fashion emergencies. I bet Tim is really handy when it comes to career drama, boy trouble, and even that 4th glass of wine (Is this moment really an appropriate time to get drunk? Talk to me. Tell me what you are thinking.)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Lock Your Doors

This is a fairly elementary lesson. Lock your damn doors: your house doors, your bathroom door and most certainly your car doors.

Last night, I bragged that I never lock my car doors. My drivers' side door handle is woefully broken, therefore leaving me to lean in and unlock it from the back drivers' side door. If I lock all of the doors I have to go around to the passenger door, unlock it and lean across the car. My answer: just leave all of the damn doors unlocked. What can I say? I'm lazy.

Unfortunately today I followed normal protocol. Parked in an alley near my office, left the car doors unlocked, and headed into work. Luckily, I remembered my camera was on my front seat, and returned to my car to get it.

Later in the afternoon, a coworker and I left to run some errands. As he was hopping in, he noticed my knee and elbow pads on the ground. Further inspection uncovered my glove compartment and ashtray open. However - the dollar I dropped on the car seat, my skates, the change in my counsole -- all still there.

Unfortunately, I didn't notice it until just now, but they stole my fucking gym bag (yes, the profanity is necessary at this point). In there was - a fairly new dress, yoga pants, newish Mastodon t-shirt, makeup AND my knee brace. I can do without all of them, except the knee brace.

So yeah - learn my lesson, and lock your doors. Some bum is walking around in women's yoga pants, a knee brace and a pretty damn cool Mastodon t-shirt. My Friday trip to physical therapy is going to be more expensive than usual.