Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Where to Start?

First, regarding the last post, there doesn't seem to be much interest in the uni mushroom pasta. It should be enough to note that it was just like making spaghetti carbonara, with butter subbing for the pancetta and resulting fat. There's plenty on carbonara here and elsewhere. It was a nice dish.

Now, regarding the above the spread, it was laid out for a few friends coming over to celebrate the new house and the ridiculously beautiful fall weather (which seems to have disappeared). There's a bit going on there, but nearly all of it was purchased on Saturday and prepared during a few hectic hours on Sunday. The goal was for everything to be easy to eat, i.e. no knives necessary, and to taste okay at room temp. I'll list it without worrying about specifying right to left, or clockwise because it should be kind of obvious. Here we go:

Bread. From Mediterania (I think that's the name) at The West Side Market. It's a Pittsburgh bakery that recently opened up a stand at the Market. Not bad bread, and very artful.

Pickled Watermelon Rind. Recipe very loosely borrowed from the pickled salmon recipe here. Watermelon from the Shaker Farmers Market (vendor closest to the info booth on the northernmost side of the Market).

Pretzels. For the less adventurous.

Roasted Fall Vegetables (w/ and w/o goat cheese). All from the Shaker Market. 2 parts carrots (Blissful Acres), 1 part rutabaga (id.), 1 part pumpkin (id.), 1 part turnip (from the "pea shoot" people), very little garlic (garden), olive oil, salt, and pepper. After a good time peeling and dicing, it went into a 425 oven for about 45 min with some stirring now and again. I'll be making this a few more times as winter approaches. Simple and tasty.

Fake Pickled Cauliflower. Orange and white cauliflower florets (northwestern most vendor at the Shaker Market). Very briefly steamed and seasoned with salt, pepper, and white wine vinegar. It looked and tasted very fall.

Veggie Burgers (under the foil). Mark Bittman's recipe, with black beans, heavy on the oats, and a bit of cumin. Really good raw, and I heard they were good cooked. Pretty cool fake burgers.

Cheese. Great cheese, picked up at The Cheese Shop at the West Side Market with the expert guidance of this guy. Maybe he can help out with the details, but one was a peppercorn pecorino, another was a nice Spanish sheep milk cheese, then a creamy French cheese that tasted like butter meets creme fraiche, and a nice cave aged raw milk cheese. No complaints, and, unfortunately, no leftovers.

Pig Tongue Rillettes. For you, Heidi, if you're reading. Pig tongue (Country Gristmill) cured for a day in salt, pepper, bay leaf, and garlic (pictured below), rinsed of cure and then poached in lard (also from Gristmill). After it came out of the lard hours later I skinned it and processed it in my mini food processor with some room temp pork fat and pepper. It went fast, and, shockingly, was a hit with the kids. I have a veal tongue (Plum Creek) in the fridge. It may meet the same fate.

Still left, Chocolate Chip Cookies (thanks Smitten Kitchen), Cacciatore Salami (from Gallucci's), and not pictured, Cheese (Tillamook) Burgers (Millgate Farm), Hot Italian Sausage (Country Gristmill), and Sauerkraut (homemade). Maybe next post.

Suffice to say, no one starved.


maybelle's mom said...

everything was delish. thanks

lifeinrecipes said...

I'm reading, I'm reading! Wow - I am so impressed, cured AND poached in lard - fantastic. Glad to hear it was a hit. What a wonderful spread.

The CFT said...

MM and Heidi, thanks for the kind words. I hope using "poached" for "confit" was not too bad a corruption. Just wasn't sure about confit as a verb. Not that I'd be the first to corrupt "confit." Either way, there's something lovely about cooking something in its own fat.

Ben said...

Dan: Everything at the party was yummy, and I'm definitely glad I decided to try the tongue.

Maybelle's Mom: I had no idea you were at the party and don't know if I met you or not. I was the gray-haired guy with the five year-old blonde kid. I left at around 3pm or a little after. My wife Sarah and I enjoy your blog.