Le Pâté en Croûte: Édition Spéciale Pistaches et Abricots. Saturday, Mar 31 2012 

Pâté en Croûte:

Special Pistachio and Apricot Edition.

Râte my Croûte.

Berkshire pork (Craig Hagaman’s, from High View Farm; Berryville, VA)  some dry-aged Randall Lineback, its tongue, heart, some pistachios and dried apricots soaked in liquor with peppercorns and brandy.  Madeira aspic.  Damn fine pâté.  Sold the whole thing within 48 hours.  The lid’s integrity was maintained by turning off the fan in the convection oven, which was otherwise causing the forcemeat to swell and blow the top loose allowing the aspic to ooze out, which is not good, and requires anxious applications of butter spackle.

Petal power.

Tasted very good.  Lean, aged,  rose veal, wholesome pork, aromatic booze, unctuousness from cream and spice seasoning reminiscent of a firm handshake. Apricots invigorated the savory pageant with sweet, boozy applause while peppercorns whistle the parade back in line. Formidably rich farce à gratin (chicken liver, duck fat, mushrooms, onion, brandy, orange zest) dutifully replaces the humdrum raw liver binding agent which instead can best be applied to liver pâté and Leverpostej (Danish liver pâté seasoned with salted anchovies).

Roof is being raised a little less, to good effect.

Des modèles pour un magasin Tuesday, Mar 13 2012 

Models for a store.

Business end of a meat store.

The sands of 16 years worth of dedicated culinary work have at long last bound to form a professional methodology of disciplined theory and deliberate practice, heavily influence and inspired by a modest monument to unflappably consistent epicurean technique in Cleveland Park; Washington, DC, the likes of which would intimidate the corporate chef at Mercedes-Benz headquarters.

The sands of French cuisine.

A sound repertoire (a fraction on which is for sale in Old Town, Alexandria), has been dutifully assembled, the prototypes and subsequent improvements documented on this electric diary as an exercise in accountability, the pursuit of reliable gustatory results and edging the window of error shut. Eventually, if the effort ever pays off, a singular, personal storefront to showcase the wares would be the prologue and foundation of a new volume in the tome of a culinary career. However, without full coffers or the guidance of business savvy entrepreneurs, unrecognized skills must be shelved for more proven measures of attention earning endeavors: tattoos and TV.  Fortunately, a respect tattoo anthropologist and handsome Hollywoodland actor  are in the circle of friends. Tattoo suggestions (recipe tattoos would seem to benefit most chefs, particularly those vying for a lifetime supply of plastic wrap on Top Stupid) and worthwhile gameshow participation are welcome and will be filtered through the appropriate experts.

The model for the envisioned full service butchery with dry goods is based on grocery greatness in capitals across the Atlantic and butchery/charcuterie craftsmanship by which all others should be measured against:

Boucherie Hugo Desnoyer: The contemporary monarch of artisan Parisian butchers. World class quality and selection.

The benchmark of meat majesty.

A Litteri: A panoply of Italian sundries. Something like food enthusiast Hoarders running a consignment store. Somewhat organized collection of bottles/jars/boxes of olive oils, vinegars, pastas, condiments, wine, canned goods…etc.

A Litterally good selection

Gilles Verot: Daniel Boulud’s go-to charcutier and silver medalist in the 2011 world Pâté Croûte Championship.

The cures for appetite.

Épicerie Izrael: Breathtaking variety of top-notch epicurean bric-a-brac.

They have 2 kinds of it. That too.

The Worthwhile Meats & Provision business plan was a finalist in the Grey Market business plan competition, but ultimately lost to…you guessed it… someone who teaches cupcake classes. Campy food trends should likely be added to the venn diagram.

Le Pâté en Croûte: Édition Spéciale Canard et Cerises Sèches. Tuesday, Mar 6 2012 

Pâté en Croûte: Special Duck and Dried Sour Cherries Edtion.

Pretty feathery pastry.

Some duck marinated in Sailor Jerry rum.  Damn fine rum.  Nice & spicy.  Then a nod to Neil Diamond’s fruit of choice.  Farce a gratin (chicken livers marinated in brandy, shallots, duck fat), pork (30% of the weight of the duck), confit gizzards, fatback, pistachios and some warm spices.  No structural breaches and the most recent pastry proportions provided noteworthy savor and palatabilitinessness.  A worthwhile endeavor.  It’s be even more worthwhile is someone bought any of the damned stuff rather than gazing mouth agape at the meat case as if it were some sort of kooky dead animal exhibit at the zoo.

Doing what Pablo Neruda wants me to do with cherries in preparation for spring, I think.

Plenty of similar cooked charcuterie offerings available, in addition to raw sausages and a wide variety of cuts from all animals.

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