Wednesday, June 11, 2008

This Weekend's Party

Here's the menu...

Celeriac Remoulade
Chickpea & Carrot Salad
Cantoloupe & Proscuitto
Selection of Cheeses
Chardonnay gelee
Escargot (snails cooked in mushroom cream sauce)
Mussels in White Wine

Vegetarian Cassoulet
Sausage & Lentils
Chicken in Reisling (summer version of Coq au Vin)

Chocolate Mousse
Lemon Tart

Alsatian Reisling
Cotes du Rhone
Cosmos (don't ask)

I'll give you guys a follow-up...

Monday, June 9, 2008

Lentille & Sausisse

Can't help myself, still on the Bistro kick! I lost my mind a few weeks ago and agreed to host a party for one of the departing faculty members. French food was requested. Thus far 25 folks have RSVP'd. Party is this Sunday. With that background, I have been actively looking for tasty but easy classic Bistro fare. Though Lentils & Sausage would be good, but where can you find classic tasting French sausage in Augusta, GA? You can't, but you can make some yourself and it's unbelievably easy! From Cooking at Home with Jacques and Julia, this is Jacque's recipe.
1 ½ pounds coarsely ground pork, about 20 percent fat (from the Boston butt or shoulder)
*I just bought some ground pork from Kroger*
2 ½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon sugar
¾ teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped pecans
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons red wine (I used some Rosemont's Shiraz)
*You can also at 1/8 tsp of potassium-nitrate aka saltpeter to preserve the color, but where in the hell can you find saltpeter...heh, heh, heh, I said peter*
In a stainless steel bowl, mix ingredients well. To avoid poisoning everyone, I wore some latex gloves. Lay out about 1 1/2 feet of plastic wrap and plop the sausage down. Form into about a 2 inch diameter log about 1 foot long. Wrap tightly, twisting the ends to remove all the air. Next, wrap in aluminum foil in a similar fashion. Toss in the back of your fridge and leave alone for atleast 3 days but up to a week.
To cook the sausage, you'll need a cooking vessel big enough to allow the sausage to sit on the bottom of the pot. Drop the still wrapped sausage in the pot, cover with water by about an inch and bring to a simmer. Careful to keep the sausage submerged. I used a plate. Cook for 45 minutes to one hour. You could check the temperature before serving, should be about 160 degrees.

Here's my mise for the dish:

Lentils are easy, for about 4 servings, you need:
1 cup French green lentils
4 cups chicken broth
1 diced carrot
1/2 diced onion
some aromatics (I used some thyme sprigs, garlic, and 2 bay leaves)
Olive oil

Saute onion and carrot in olive oil until tender. Add lentils. Add broth and bring to boil. Toss in aromatics. Reduce heat and simmer about 25 minutes until tender. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve in bowls topped with sausage and a little drizzle of olive oil.

This is delicious! I will definately make it again, and again, and again. Will experiement with the seasonings. The plastic wrap/aluminum foil technique is genious! Someone try this and let me know what you think!


PS> I am cooking like a mad man, but can never find the camera. These pics were taken with my cell phone. I will try to post more.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

To HELL with Tech!!!

After losing the first game of the NCAA Baseball Regional hosted in Athens, our beloved Dawgs had to fight back through the losers bracket. Sunday we found ourselves needing to beat Tech twice to win the regional. Sunday we had a masterful pitching peformance by Nick Montgomery who threw a 124 pitch complete game shutout as we won 8-0.

Last night in the penultimate game we kicked the ever living shit out of Tech 18-6 to advance to a Super Regional vs NC State this weekend in Athens. Winner of that best 2 of 3 series goes to Omaha for the College World Series.

The boys on Kudzu Hill were on their game last night as these pics attest. Apparently Tech coach Danny Hall protested their playing of music prior to Tech batters coming to the plate. The crowd favorite was when they'd play "I'm a little teapot" song before the smaller Tech players at bats.

My personal favorite is the "Joe Hamilton for Heisman" sign. If you haven't heard of his recent troubles click here.