Monday, May 6, 2013

Inspiration: The Shaved Duck's BBQ Cheesy Fries

French fries are universally known as the world's perfect food.

Now, add some ribs.

And cheesy fondue-sauce.

And maybe some jalapenos. 

Do I even really need to describe how amazing these are?

Thanks to the Shaved Duck for this magnificent inspiration.

1 lb russet potatoes, peeled and cut into fry-shaped wedges
1 rack ribs
1.5 cups shredded white cheddar/monterey jack
 2 cups milk
1/2 cup pickled jalapenos
Salt, pepper
Oil for frying

1. Make the ribs: season well with your favorite rub (ours is an ever-changing mix of Soulard Grill seasoning, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper). Roast the ribs in a 400 degree oven for 2 hours or until they're fall-apart tender.
2. Meanwhile, make the cheese sauce: Melt some butter in a pan, add the same amount of flour (1:1 ratio) to make a roux. Slowly whisk in the milk. When it's thickened (about 5-7 minutes of simmering), add the cheese and let it melt in the sauce. Add salt, nutmeg, pepper, or any other seasoning to make it perfect for your taste.
3. Par boil the potatoes for 3-4 minutes. Drain and dry as much as possible. Fry them lightly in a pan until they're golden on all sides.
4. Assemble: Fries first, rib meat, cheese sauce, jalapenos. Optional, but recommended: Stretch pants.


Sunday, May 5, 2013

Salmon Rilletes

A couple weekends ago Justin and I went to Innsbrook for a couple days of wining and dining (which is like most of our weekends, but with a pretty lake to look at).

I've been wanting to make salmon rilletes ever since I saw the recipe on Bon Appetit's website. I LOVE rilletes -- so creamy and rich and decadent, it's basically pate but in spreadable form. Traditionally, you cook meat in fat (confit), shred the meat, then let it cool with some of the fat to form a paste.

Salmon rillete is a bit of a healthier alternative. The key to this recipe, though, is homemade mayo. It sounds kind of scary to do, but it's actually really easy. Try it. It will change your life.

1 lb salmon fillet, cut into 1-inch cubes
3-4 oz smoked salmon, minced
2 cups white wine or chicken broth
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 onion
2-3 bay leaves
1/2 cup homemade mayo {2 egg yolks, 1/2 tsp Dijon, 2 tbsp red wine vinegar, 1-1.5 cups olive oil}
Juice + Zest of 1 lemon

1. Heat up a pan with the wine/chicken broth, bay leaves, and onion. Simmer for a few minutes to infuse the flavors.

2. Cube the salmon into 1-inch pieces.

3. Lightly poach the salmon in the liquid for 5-7 minutes, turning them as they cook. When they are firm and opaque, they're done. Drain them on a paper towel and let cool completely.

4. Make the homemade mayo: combine 2 egg yolks, 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard, 2 tbsp red wine vinegar, salt and pepper in a food processor. With the food processor set on low, drizzle in 1 cup olive oil slowly. If the mayo is too thin, drizzle in more olive oil until is thickens up to the consistency you want it. I thought it sounded strange to add more liquid to something to make it thicker, but it's something magical to do with chemistry that I don't understand...

5. Chop the smoked salmon very finely.

6. Mix together the smoked salmon, poached salmon, 1/2 cup of homemade mayo, the parsley, lemon juice and zest, and some salt. Mix well, breaking up the salmon as you go.

7. To serve: spread on some grilled toast, crostini-style.


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