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What's for Dinner?

Bagofcats

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Slayer of Spam
Now, after a heap gourmettish and photogenic meals, for something more down to earth and with a wiff of countryside: busecca - a tripe stew/soup made Milano-style with carrots, turnips, celery, leeks, white fava beans, juniper berries and cloves, to keep winter away:
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Bagofcats

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Slayer of Spam
I got hold of some burrata, here in the rainy north. You'd say here it's luxury product. At 5 euros for 120g, I guess it's still be cheaper than a Lamborghini, by weight. I splurged and it won't happen again until they start to produce it in Scandinavia at affordable prices ;) -- Not to smother the experience, I kept it simple: some tomatoes, spring onions, ransoms a dash of balsamico and a heap good olive oil. It's close to satori, I tell you. Now, if I only could get some colatura d'alici .... (getting greedy, I shouldn't eat...) :p

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Kitarra

Chaos and Ferrets
I got hold of some burrata, here in the rainy north. You'd say here it's luxury product. At 5 euros for 120g, I guess it's still be cheaper than a Lamborghini, by weight. I splurged and it won't happen again until they start to produce it in Scandinavia at affordable prices ;) -- Not to smother the experience, I kept it simple: some tomatoes, spring onions, ransoms a dash of balsamico and a heap good olive oil. It's close to satori, I tell you. Now, if I only could get some colatura d'alici .... (getting greedy, I shouldn't eat...) :p

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Looks delicious!!!! I love burrata!
 

Bagofcats

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Slayer of Spam
Well, we went out for sushi with mi niece (43) and her partners. Very nice place, a bit fusion. Must share. It was absolutely fantastic, everything, but especially the tempura octopus with chili hairs, a dream...). They didn't have cat or turtle beers, or even bag beer, so I made do with a nice owl ale.
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Bagofcats

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Slayer of Spam
And as promised in chat, elk meatballs. For my niece's BD, part 2, Friday edition (no work tomorrrow). These are not Swedish meatballs, but albóndigas or polpette, the elk notwithstanding. Browned first in butter and olive oil, quickly braised in white wine until half done, and finished in a tomato sauce as estofado. (that's not me in the piccie, but my 'assistant' - I'm on the other side of the camera).

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Bagofcats

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Slayer of Spam
I took a couple of days off SWL to catch up with the rest of my life. One of the things that needed doing was a State of The Fridge assessment (one of the things I tend to do is to buy more food than I'll be able to consume all by myself, a habit left from when mouths were many and time was not to be wasted shopping every day).

Not too bad, this time around, a half carton of milk and a couple of onions went to the garbage, but I was left with a grab bag of things past their best-before-date and getting well on, but still edible: a carton of eggs, spring onions, some mozzarella, broccoli, and a whole-grain pie dough I had bought because it was a new brand and it was on sale. Call me unadventurous, it kind of became pie. I threw in some bacon for good measure and to be allowed to call it quiche, because. (the dough was bland and rather boring, which I should have expected, but OK)

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Bagofcats

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Slayer of Spam
Arroz con leche

Out of the fever doldrums, and it's a wintry Sunday. So, arroz con leche or rather, arroz doce, as it's a bagofcatted version of the classic Portuguese recipe. My second partner was Mozambican with Portuguese Goa family, and I learned to cook and eat and love an odd cocktail of hot and sweet African/Asian/South-European dishes.

4 cups milk
1/2 cup rice
2/3 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
cinnamon, vanilla, lemon zest, salt

Rice: round-grain is best -- japanese is the best quality for this, but any other decent round-grained will do well enough. Do not use parboiled as it will throw the cooking times askew. Or perfumed: basmati will do at a pinch but jasmin, well, unless you want a Thai variation...
The classic Portuguese recipe uses orange zest instead of lemon. Myself, I'm partial to lemon.
Put rice and milk to boil, together with half of the sugar, a pinch of salt, 1/4 to 1/2 zest of a lemon, a bit of cinnamon stick and a small bit of vanilla (or half a teaspoon of vanilla sugar or essence). In a bowl, mix the yolks and sugar and whip it smooth.

Simmer the rice for 12 minutes. Mix with the yolk and sugar and simmer for 2-3 minutes more, to thicken. Pour out and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Usually a dessert, but I do this for breakfast. It's sort of a porridge, after all :)

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Bagofcats

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Slayer of Spam
Dinner with my son and a friend of his, both of them former professional cooks. Xmas because it was Xmas, for us simply another excuse for a cookup and warmth, with neither presents nor tinsel. We had fun both planning and improvising on the spur and following the flavours of whatever we've been having a moment before. In the end, we stayed in the kitchen eating at the prep table and a couple of metres away from the range where one of us would always be fixing the next thing.

Smoked crocodile for an appetizer, camel for the hors d'oeuvre, breast of duck for main, flan for afters. Champagne, cava, bourgogne, sherry, calvados, mezcal and whisky, for both cooking and drinking.


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Smoked croc, with champagne -- and counting the camel, I imagine that's what was on Bonaparte's menu in Egypt ;)

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Camel (garlic, black pepper, a couple of cloves, sea salt), tomatoes, olive oil, a few drops of truffle balsamico, a bit of bread fried in the camel's deglacé. This was a total experiment, never having handled camel before. Doesn't look like much, but the taste! After this, if we could have a bit of camel for lunch every day... excellent, wonderful, flavourful meat. More camel for the people! :D

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Breast of duck, massaged in olive oil and coarse black pepper, lightly seared, then oven braised in the crock with champagne (it was a French duck), onions, garlic, chili, lemon zest, and a minimal touch of achiote, anis and clove. Once ready and the duck sliced on a plate, we heated up the stock with a generous dash of calvados. That last was a successful improvisation, and in the future I'll always use calvados for a duck sauce, a perfect combination of flavours.

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Arroz pilau, one of the pilaff variants, this one Portuguese, basmati rice, saffron, lightly roasted almonds, raisins, an onion with cloves and thinly sliced onions caramelized in olive oil and honey

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Sheep's milk flan with a sherry caramel. We've been eating with champagne and cava, so we felt necessary to open the bourgogne for the flan, which was kind of a surprise. Maybe it was the flan, or maybe the sherry caramel, but bourgogne goes beautifully with it.
 

Bagofcats

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Slayer of Spam
I need to know what camel tastes like! And what sheep's milk flan taste like. You are killing me!
Lol! Sheep's milk, could've used cow milk and wouldn't've noticed the difference. A bit firmer, so I could've used one egg fewer, but flavour wise, nothing special.

Camel, though. Wow! One of the most flavourful meats I've ever had. Absolutely fantastic. You can imagine it's quite expensive here, but at least it was very nice quality, probably young camel. And the taste! I want more! And I want it every day! :D
 

Bagofcats

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Slayer of Spam
Sunday Goat with the kids! (well, 40ish kids, but still...)
So goat stew (estofado) with gnocchi, comparatively simple to fix (although I was lucky to find goat, I was prepared to do lamb).

And with this, we have completed The Manger Challenge!!! Yay!
We have eaten all the animals represented in the traditional Xmas manger, from camel to goat. We even took some extras (crocodile, for example), just in case they had been photoshopped away by the Inquisition :p
sunday_goat.jpg
 

Bagofcats

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Slayer of Spam
Not quite dinner, not yet. My niece arrived from a weekend in the country with a load of ramsons and 'real' eggs. I also have a bottle of quite nice Cahors Malbec. Something will have to be done...

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