Charcuterie

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rugelach. naughty or nice.

There are many cookies in my repetoire. Chocolate and ginger, biscotti, florentines, the sort of famous peanut butter cookies. But, rugelach I’ve made for years. It started early with my great-grandmother Agatha, who taught me to roll up rugelach for the Temple Sisterhood bake sales. It was one of those recipes I made all through college, baking in the toaster oven in the dorm kitchen. It’s a great cookie, lasts a long time (sure it does….) and can be mixed, rolled up and baked off without having to go to the store for any special ingredients beyond a brick of cream cheese. In fact, it was a review of the larder and an obvious overload of preserves last year that got me thinking about rugelach […]

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charcutepalooza. my mincemeat experience.

I had such hope for this post. Sometime back in the summer, I learned of the availability of beef suet and an idea was hatched. It became my own personal Charcutepalooza extra credit. The sweet side of meat preservation – just in time for the holidays. Real mincemeat. Sweet, savory, boozy. Intense. It’s how bits and pieces of beef have been preserved for hundreds of years. And so it began. I have a long history with mincemeat. It was my mother’s favorite pie, and joined apple as dessert at both Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. This mincemeat was decidedly vegetarian, out of a jar. My mother would top her piece of double crusted pie with a dab of well whipped fresh cream. The next morning, there […]

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spiced smoked turkey breast. for thanksgiving.

It all started with the chorizo cornbread. I had it in my head to use chorizo in cornbread for months. So when McCormick Spices asked me to tell them about my Thanksgiving, that chipotle chile flavor was already haunting my kitchen dreams. I wanted to offer up something different. Something appropriate for a small gathering. A different twist because I’m always so darn traditional when it comes to Thanksgiving. McCormick has asked many of your favorite bloggers to celebrate Thanksgiving – check out their terrific recipes by liking the McCormick Facebook page. Since we’re traveling for the holiday, and I was wistful for turkey, I was thrilled for the excuse to cook, but the fifteen pound birds of past years would be way too much […]

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chipotle chorizo cornbread. for thanksgiving.

For the first time in quite a few years, Dennis and I will travel for Thanksgiving. There will be no weeks of mad planning and shopping, notebooks filled with recipes and timetables, and sketches of the table settings.  There will be no Dead Poultry Society meeting this year, much to the dismay of friends and family. This year, we will make a quick jaunt – about 24 hours – to visit family in the Berkshires. We will eat at a local Inn and someone else will make the pies. Truth be told, I’m okay with all this. It’s good to change things up. But I began to get a little wistful about turkey, and how good the house smells when Thanksgiving is in the oven. […]

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charcutepalooza december challenge. showing off.

This is it. The last challenge. It’s time to show us what you’ve learned. You’ve had a year of experimenting and practice. You’ve had the benefit of this exceptionally creative and daring Charcutepalooza community. And ‘tis the season. What better reason to gather your friends and family than a celebration of all things charcuterie? It’s exciting to serve up these homemade lovelies. No reason not to crow a little. You’ve earned it. Cassoulet is a natural. Choucroute garnie, as well. Perhaps Schweinshaxe? Or a long simmered Italian “Sunday Gravy?” A tapas offering? What about dim sum? We’ve looked cross culturally for so much of the year, the possibilities seem endless with a little internet research and a dollop of imagination. Create a menu, a meal, […]

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november challenge. curing.

The eleventh challenge. We’re almost through the Year of Meat and a trip to France is so close for one of you. We’ve come a long way. We’ve salted, brined, smoked, ground, stuffed, packed and stretched our way through parts of pork, slabs of beef, flocks of chickens, dozens of ducks and hundreds of feet of casings. We’re ready to cure. The weather is cooling and it’s time to hang meats and sausages in the garage, the wine refrigerator, the attic, the back of the pantry – wherever you have the right conditions for curing. Apprentice Challenge: Please cure a sausage, ex: soppresata, saucisson sec, Spanish chorizo, salami or coppa Charcutiere Challenge: Please cure a whole cut, ex: lonzino, bresaola, jambon de Camont, lardo Some […]