Kaybray's Cooking

What we threw on the plate today

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Pate de Canard

As a major carnivore I've had a lot of fantasies about making all sorts of pates. I've purchased terrine molds and read a million recipes (check out Garde Manger from the Culinary Institute of America for some amazing recipes). Pates with good crusty bread and cornichons are my go-to appetizer at French restaurants. I've made some mousses and liver spreads, but never gotten brave enough to do a real terrine. The December 2008 Saveur has an excellent recipe for Pate de Canard, or Duck Pate, and I decided it was now or never, and that this would be my appetizer contribution to Thanksgiving. Though this is a recipe that has to be completed over a few days, and then sit for a day or two, that was perfect with my busy schedule - I could just do a little each night over the course of a week.

The recipe was also pretty easy to follow, with easy steps and good pictures along the way in the hard copy .

I didn't have piment d'Espelette, so I just used regular paprika. Also, I had a lot of trouble finding fatback, which, contrary to some, is not the same thing as salt pork. So, I winged it and used good bacon that I poached to get as much salt out of as possible. I was worried that my final product would be too bacon-y (I know, how could that ever be a problem) or too salty.

And the results? Really, really good, if I do say so myself. It certainly didn't taste like a bacon terrine, which I had worried about. It was very flavorful, and just got tastier over the week after the holiday. I'm planning on doing this again for Christmas - different family - and I will make a couple of adjustments. The recipe says to cut the duck into 1/2" cubes. I'm going to cut it just a little larger so the duck doesn't get lost. Also, I'm going to cut back just a little on the peppercorns. They were fine for the overall flavor, but there were many bites with too many peppercorns. Finally, I'll use fatback instead. Most of the butchers said they could order it for me, so I'll just get ahead of the game next time.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Easy Summer Fruit Salad

Sorry I haven't written in a while. This new job makes it hard not only to cook but take some time to shoot and write about it. But this fruit salad, taken to a potluck BBQ, was easy. The sizes don't really matter. We had some blueberries from my folks garden, some left over cantaloupe. I bought a watermelon to make up the difference.

1/1 medium watermelon
1/2 cantaloupe
1/2 cup blueberries, thought I would have used more if I'd had them
1 tbsp minced fresh mint
1/4 tspn sugar

Using a small melon baller, remove all the fruit from the water melon and the cantaloupe, reserving all the removed fruit and the empty watermelon half. Using a large metal spoon, scrape out any remaining fruit, leaving a smooth surface. Pour reserved fruit, mint and sugar in bowl and mix well. Let sit in fridge for 30 minutes before serving for flavors to set.

Pretty, simple and tasty. Would work with almost any combination of summer fruits.

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Monday, July 09, 2007

Chicken Cilantro Lime Soup

This is a great dish - easy, very tasty, and quick to make. I used the Cilantro Lime Soup recipe from Epicurious at http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/recipe_views/views/599. However, I used two chicken legs and 2 chicken thighs. When the soup was done cooking, i pulled the pieces out, pulled the meat off the bone, chopped up the meat and tossed them back in the soup. The only other change was the addition of sliced avocado on top. Mmmmm...summer.

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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Crab and Cantaloupe Soup

Hmm. You know those food combinations that taste good for a bite or two, but you really don't want more than that? This recipe fits into that category. The cantaloupe and crab tasted pretty good together, but an entire bowl of it was just way way too much. I did enjoy the contrast of the lemony crab with the mellow sweetness of the cantaloupe, and it certainly felt healthy. I think this would work better as an amuse bouche, served in a little dumpling spoon. One bite would have been perfect!

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Monday, June 04, 2007

Apple Pie Beauty

I've said it before and I'll say it again - my sweetie is the real baker in this house. He made this beautiful apple pie recently, using the Fannie Famer Cookbook recipe. Isn't it gorgeous? Most importantly, it tasted as good as it looked!

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Hobo Packs

Grilled out with the rest of America for Memorial Day. I cooked some Shrimp and Mussel hobo packs, recipe from this month's Food and Wine. Honestly, they were just ok. The mussels especially weren't that great. Hmm. There's nothing wrong with the recipe per se. It's simple and has potential, but I don't think it was worth it for the cost.

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Saturday, May 26, 2007

Flatiron Steak Salad

Ding ding ding! Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner! Last night I made a fabulous salad for dinner. It was a huge hit and absolutely delicious. It's a definite keeper. Check out the Flatiron Steak Salad with Thai Dressing in this month's Food and Wine. The flavors were amazing, and we drank it with Dulle Teve, a Belgian Tripel Ale, since I was unable to find the recommended beer. (BTW, watch out - there's a higher alcohol content here...rough, rough morning.)

Let me know what you think. I was thinking that next time I might make it just a tad spicier, and add a little avocado.

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