Tuesday, March 3, 2009

After The Storm

Last night may have been more about drinking than eating, but I still had my share of interesting snacks.  Chef was making sausage for a special tasting menu, so I sat in the kitchen and ate fresh sausage with my hands. 

Pork and garlic sausage may have been my favorite, the most robust of the things I ate.  Boudin blanc, a light and pillowy pork sausage, didn't disappoint.  Duck sausage was new to the menu for the evening, rustic and gamy like only the best duck can be.

He also made a tart with thin pastry dough, boudin noir, and cheddar cheese crumbles.  In the past, I have avoided boudin noir because, quite frankly, it freaks me out.  In traditional form, the sausage is just pig's blood in casing, and the idea of cutting into something that's nothing more than a whole lot of blood is pretty unappetizing.  I'll eat anything, and I certainly won't turn away free food in the kitchen, so I ate that boudin noir tart like it was my job.  Actually, it was my job.  The tart had a deep pork flavor and if I didn't look at it too long I could convince myself that I wasn't eating blood. 

For the record, the other thing that freaks me out--and that I have, unfortunately, had quite a lot of in my 28 years--is headcheese.  I don't like the consistency and I don't like thinking about boiling the head of an animal down to its essence.  I should say this: Better to use the entire animal than to let offal go to waste.  I honestly believe that we are a wasteful and careless society and that European cultures totally show us dumb Americans up when it comes to using what's on hand.  I'll eat sweetbreads, liver, kidneys, and brains until the cows come home, but headcheese just isn't my bag.  Maybe the problem is that it's called headcheese and I don't like to think that the inside of anything's head resembles cheese.  But that's just me. 

It was a night of meat, which means that today, on my day off, my culinary asceticism must kick in.  It's back to fish and vegetables for a while.  And how I've missed you!

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