Motivation – ‘what the hell am I going to do with that stuff’
We pulled off this meal in the style that I like to think of as a little daunting, but ultimately one of the most satisfying feats. Here’s the stuff we had from last night’s sort of pan Asian bonanza: stir-fried shitakes with shallot and garlic, napa cabbage with onion and chive, orange-glazed pork. Great. Kind of as a rule, cooked vegetables and cooked meats don’t really like to be cooked again. So, I’m poking around in the pantry and here’s what I find:
– Russet potatoes, English style bangers, plums, chicken stock. And now I can see where we are going. We also happen to keep a pretty wide array of spices on deck, which really saves my ass in moments like this. I pull down some caraway, juniper, mustard seeds, Italian herbs, cloves, coriander, poppy seeds, a little bacon (not technically a spice) and some whole grain mustard.
I worked for the summer season at the Fawn Brook Inn in Allenspark Colorado. This was a shaping experience, for sure. I lived on-site with the owners, and slept in what used to be their son’s room. There were some awkward moments, let’s just say. Anyhow, the chef was German born and his wife grew up in Holland. The menu was firmly planted in Continental European flavors and traditions.
One of the menu items was (and still is, as their current menu reads) –
Alsatian Vineyard Dinner
a combination of Old World sausages, smoked pork chop and cured bacon. Served with sauerkraut and potatoes.
Bingo! In chef Hermann’s dish, the cabbage and cured meats cooked in one dish all together. I could do that. We had some onion and celery kicking around, so they got chopped up and thrown on the fire as well.
A San Franciscan Summer Dinner, Borrowed from Alsace
a combination of Old World sausage, sauteed pork and cured bacon, served with braised onion, cabbage, and mushrooms – alongside lovingly whipped potatoes and a plum mustarda.
Results – Yes! have some
Success – Didn’t have to bust into my emergency starch kit –
kill your recipes – see you next time