April 16, 2006

At Niman Ranch, the cows have no feet

Funny how none of the upscale butchers in town seem to have calf's feet. (In their defense, Golden Gate Meat Market did offer to special order it for me and said it'd take a couple of days to get it.)

Why a calf's foot? I'm making Beef Burgandy today (Boeuf à la Bourguignonne). The recipe calls for it, and I figured I'd give it a try (it's just for flavor and maybe gelatin or something). A lot of classic french food derives from peasant roots and use cheaper cuts of meat. I was hoping to go a little upscale and use beef that was well cared for (free range, fed with grass, rather than fed corn and antibiotics), but I guess it wasn't meant to be.

I've actually been cooking a bit in my new kitchen. In the last week, I've made:

  • Larb Gai

  • Panang Chicken (with a home-made curry paste)

  • Lamb chops with a fennel relish

  • A Roast Chicken with Prosciutto, butter, lemon zest, and thyme stuffed under the skin

  • Rogan Josh, Khatte chhole (sour/spicy chickpea dish), and Rice pudding

In the week or so before that:

  • Fusili Carbonara

  • Rigatoni con Salsiccia

  • Penne in Pumpkin Sauce

  • Chile Verde

  • the Panang chicken again

Lots of what have become old standbys.  (The chicken and beef are new dishes, though.)  I've got a bunch of recipes I want to try, but I've got to sort through them.  I am simultaneously working on the house and trying to develop software to keep track of them and present them on the web.  (Actually, I'm doing a bunch of semantic web related stuff, but that is one aspect of it.)

My other big problem is picking a direction to head in - I have done a lot of italian in the past, and was planning on learning more mexican stuff. I got Rick Bayless' book for christmas and figured a lot of ingredients would be available in the new neighborhood.  Then, I bought a Wok, which needs to be used more (to give it a good seasoning). And, finally, I'd like to gain a mastery of french sauces.

No comments: