July 22, 2010

Bellini Popsicles

We had some people over on July 3rd, a BYOB-and-a-snack-to-share kind of backyard thing. Jerad & I made porchetta di testa (aka pig face), caramelized onion dip, roasted tomatoes with white anchovies, and bellini popsicles. Our fabulous friends brought good cheeses, onion & blue cheese tartlettes, Free Range cookies & cupcakes, oatmeal bars, salami from Salume Beddu, Greek dip, meat corn, broccoli dip, pasta salad, panzanella, and bacon s'mores.

July 14, 2010

Grilled Beef Heart

Jerad has been wanting to cook a beef heart ever since his parents grilled a deer heart last fall & raved about how good it was. After weeks of asking for one at the farmers’ markets, Jerad finally brought one home a couple weeks ago.

Once again, he researched online & found another video of Chef Chris Cosentino cleaning a heart. Unfortunately, as with the pig’s head, I didn’t get to witness this part of the process…and Jerad didn’t take any pictures. But, the untrimmed heart looked pretty much like this:

After all the fat, silver skin, & arteries were trimmed off, I marinated the meat in 3 cloves of garlic (crushed), a handful of fresh oregano, 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 cup freshly-squeezed lime juice, 1/2 cup white wine, & 1 cup beer for 2 hours. We grilled the meat for 2 -3 minutes per side, sliced it thin, & ate in on heated tortillas with grilled peppers & onions.

I have to admit that I was initially fairly grossed out about eating heart, but I rationalized it by reminding myself that it’s just a muscle, just like (well, not exactly like, but close enough) any ol’ steak. The meat turned out to be tender & not “weird” or gamey tasting at all. It tasted like…well…steak. The only difference is that it’s very lean, with no fat marbling at all. Therefore, it was pretty dense meat. The thin slicing worked well in that aspect.

After pig's face & beef heart, I'm a little excited to see what animal part Jerad will want to cook next.

July 12, 2010

Porchetta di Testa

Warning: This post involves some gratuitous cursing.

Intro: WE MADE MOTHERFUCKING CHARCUTERIE! You have no idea how happy this makes me. I am so smitten with salume & people who have the know-how to make it (see Cute Meat Guys). So, when Jerad decided to make porchetta from a pig’s head, I knew I married the right guy.

Background: A couple Sundays ago, Jerad & I taught a sushi class for couples at Kitchen Conservatory. There was a whole hog class going on in the other kitchen, and since they didn’t use the head Anne asked if we wanted to take it home. Jerad said yes without hesitation. I figured we’d just use the cheeks (the best part on nearly any animal) & ears (blanched, cut, & fried = yum).

Preparation: We hadn’t done anything with that head for a few days, and I told Jerad on Wednesday that he had to make something with it THAT DAY or it was going out with the trash the next morning. I was, quite frankly, a little tired of seeing that thing staring at me every time I opened the refrigerator.

I worked that day and received a text message from Jerad that afternoon with only a photo….this photo: