Like Knockers In A Wind Tunnel

So in anticipation of today’s big stuff-a-thon, yesterday I ground a couple kinds of sausage meant to hang and cure into salami. But of course all of that pungent meat, fragrant with garlic and spices and the like, was impossible to resist once it came time to shake the magic dinner 8-ball.

As with so many meals, the rest rested upon the twin pillars of fridge and garden. The fridge yielded duck bones–I had carved all the meat off for grinding, so they were uncooked, a plus–and the garden had a panoply of green goodness to offer. I strolled around, enjoying verdant evidence of the particularly good year we’ve been having so far: not too hot, not too cold, with a good alternation of rain and sun (though we could use a good soaking right about now). I feel more and more like a curator in the garden; there’s lots on offer now, and more coming on line each day, so the skill of it comes with combining things at their peak with things that need eating with things just getting started so the results can be as varied and pleasurable as possible.

In this case, the peas are finally going strong, so I picked some flat pods, leaving many more to fatten. Some very early-planted mizuna is bolting, so I picked the yellow flowers. I grabbed some radishes, and then I noticed that the bigger garlic plants are scaping, so I gleefully lopped off a few of those. The rest of dinner took care of itself, beginning with a ginger-and-garlic-heavy stock from the duck leg bones. I banged out a basic pasta dough, flavored with a spoon of gochujang, and rolled it into sheets. The sheets got bedolloped with some of the chorizo mixture–having been to LA recently, gochujang and chorizo are a perfectly logical combination–and I folded and sealed them into ravioli. By this point I was tired, so the extra geometry required to make things that looked like wontons was beyond me.

Oh, I forgot–I had also set up the immersion circulator and put three eggs in at 63˚C to get those quiveringly perfect onsen eggs only available to the acolytes of sous vide. These eggs are so sexy, you could get in trouble tweeting a picture of them. They sat in there for about an hour. Thus: poached ravioli, a ladle of duck stock, an artful composition of flora (which also included cilantro and baby scallions) and a lusciously gelatinous ovum to finish.

Pretty, isn’t it? It tasted fantastic. Duck stock is one of my very most favorites, and it embraces these sorts of flavors with hot, wet enthusiasm. The smoked paprika in the sausage was seamless, and the viscosity of the egg was such that it thickened the stock and sauced the other components all at once. With a squirt of hot sauce, this banished all regret that I live in the sticks and there’s no good Asian takeout for miles.

Obscure titles aren’t so much fun in today’s modern world of The Google™, but you’re welcome in any case.

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  1. June 8

    Inspired and spectacular. Makes me want to rummage around your refrigerator and garden with you!

  2. June 8

    Carving off my duck legs tomorrow. Now I know what to do with the bones, will probably whack them in the pressure cooker a la Modernist Cuisine.

  3. Looks very tasty. I have to make more soups around my house, especially like this one.

  4. Peter
    June 8

    Cathy: We missed you today. Maybe next time?

    David: I had the luxury of letting them simmer for four hours, but I’m glad to see you’ve become a pressure cooker convert.

    Mark: Start with the bones, and the rest will follow.

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