Monday, February 8, 2010

Crepes and Pigs

Superbowl party and crepes? Only at the CIA....
But don't despair, because we also had chili and cornbread like every other normal American. Only ours wasn't just average. Made in a cast iron pot with local venison (Quattro's) and some Kozak family dry-aged grassfed beef top round, plenty of spice from roasted chilies and simmered for hours, we ate it with wedges of golden cornbread hot from the cast iron and slathered in butter.

The crepes were only the prelude. I've never made buckwheat crepes before, and they're a tricky thing - super delicate from the absence of gluten in the flour, so flipping them requires skill - but once you get that down, they start to look pretty and taste even better. The innards of choice were sauteed diced apples with butter, sugar, and brandy, and mounds of whipped cream. I can't wait to do savory ones with Gruyere and ham and maybe a fried egg.
Or nutella?

In place of lecture today we all trekked down to the Meat Room for a porchetta demo. I think there are two camps in this world - those who see or hear "porchetta" and wonder what the heck it is, and those who start frothing at the mouth and whimper and swoon, overcome by the (always too distant) memory of an authentic Salumi porchetta sandwich.

The porchetta itself - braised pork shoulder and sausage, somehow melded into one joyous porcine potpourri - is smothered in onions and peppers and melted provolone (the Salumi sandwich makers scowl if you order cheese, but it only makes it that much better). The bread, warm and crusty, is drizzled with a roasted garlic/parsley/olive oil mix so good but totally proprietary. Grrr. Fortunately I can eat there every time I visit my dad at work in Seattle - he's literally two blocks away.

Back to school...
Chef Kamen went from normal (but dead) baby pig to a completely boned carcass in 20 minutes, tops. Every single bone was taken out, save for the tail and head. Back upstairs Chef G ground the trimmings along with some pancetta, breadcrumbs, fennel fronds and rosemary, lemon zest, and cooked onion and garlic. This was spread a half inch thick inside the pig, then topped with chunks of meat from the legs. She rolled it up and sewed it shut, rubbed it with oil and rosemary, and stuck it in the fridge for tomorrow. The completed pig was quite a looker - a "pig slug" if you will. Gross, but so true!

1 comment:

  1. Nutella and crepes - heaven.
    Let us know how the pig slug turns out.