Guess who's coming to dinner?
It’s that time of year again, when training camp, two-a-days, recruiting violations, and bar fights yield to the action on the field as the LSU Tigers prepare to put a purple and gold carbon footprint right on the backsides of our hypermiling, Prius-loving opponents from the Pacific Northwest. And there’s no better tradition to accompany the game than the ritual consumption of the other team’s mascot. In this case, the Oregon Ducks have provided us with the opportunity for a tasty game-time meal that you don’t have to keep on the down low. Later in the season, buffets of stuffed War-Eagle or Rack of
Hillbilly Mountaineer can produce some awkward moments for the more sensitive among us.
But a duck and andouille gumbo is as mainstream down here as a bong hit is for our friends in Eugene, so there’s no reason not to do it. As you prepare for the game, here’s a reprint of one of our favorite recipes, a chicken and andouille gumbo courtesy of our esteemed guest columnist, Mr. Mirepoix. We substituted the chicken with duck in the instructions below and voila: everything you need for your Saturday tailgate centerpiece. Please remember to increase all quantities by 50% if you expect any Oregon fans at your event; they are likely to arrive fully baked and very hungry.
Enjoy, and Geaux Tigers! Continue reading
He and She Said:
We told you where to take your special someone for Cupid’s favorite day, but what if you’re staying in? Some choose to avoid one of the busiest dining nights of the year and just stay home. If you do, we suggest you cook. Try something ambitious. Turn off the TV, put on some music, open some vino (or, even better: Champagne) and cook together. Romance may bloom, sparks may fly, and if the mood strikes you can eat naked with no legal repercussion. So you’ve got that going for you, which is good.
He and She Said:
A long, long time ago, some French people were talking over dinner. ‘Henri, this duck is very good,’ one of them said. ‘But, do you know what would make it better? Next time, let’s try cooking it in it’s own fat!’
Merde, those French know what they’re doing in the kitchen! If you’ve had duck prepared in other ways, you know they all pale in comparison to confit. If you haven’t had confit, make sure you do the very next time you see it on the menu. Even better, why not try making it at home? We’ll be taking a run at this recipe from our esteemed guest columnist, Mr. Mirepoix, over the holiday break and will report on the results. Here’s the skinny.
Mr. Mirepoix Said:
So it’s winter & you know what that means (at least I hope you do- it’s duck confit time of year……..Get duck legs from 6 or more ducks (at least 12 legs for the work you need to do. I’m doing 24)
You could buy whole ducks, and remove the breasts (skin ON of course) to freeze & use to sear & slice thinly for salads come Spring time or just buy legs. Those carcasses make AMAZING demi glace or sauce Espagnole for anyone with a copy of LaRousse Gastronomique. The only difference is you need simmer only 4-5 hours for duck bones in sauces rather than overnight for veal…..
He and She Said:
We’re happy to announce the return of guest-blogger Mr. Mirepoix, a frequent contributor in the days before we left on a nine-month pilgrimage to the Dali Lama in search of the meaning of blogging (big hitter, the Lama.)
Mirepoix is an actual, real chef, so we and he are quite similar. Similar in the way the sandcastle we made at the beach this summer is to Krak des Chevaliers, if you know what we mean. Click on his name in the Category Cloud or the tags, or just search for him to see some of the ridonkulous recipes he sent our way in 2009. Don’t miss the chicken and andouille gumbo, the last recipe for this you will EVER need. This guy is good. Well, for the past month, our people and his people have been in heavy negotiation regarding his return to our little endeavor. Unfortunately, those talks made little progress, probably because our people are actually two lazy Boston terriers (but they also do our IT, so it’s kind of a 2 for 1 thing…recession and all) and Mirepoix seems to have no people at all. At least none he will let us talk to, which might be wise.
Fortunately, we were able to break the impasse via back-channel negotiation and the offer though one of our boosters (the little kid we met at urgent care last night who’d swallowed a quarter) of $180K in Monopoly money, plus the little metal race car (shrewd bargainer, Mirepoix). When you read his posts, you may become bewildered at how a chef of Mirepoix’s stature would associate himself with a blog of ours. We pretty much wondered the same thing., but we think it has something to do with the Witness Protection Program, hence the anonymity. But hey, who are we to judge?
We need reader help: below is his first new submission, a winter cocktail, which we have tested extensively (for quality control purposes, of course…gotta protect the brand) and declare yummy. (Full disclosure: we were fresh out of Bushmill’s and subbed with Maker’s Mark)
We are cooks, and Mr. Mirepoix is also a cook. We are very much alike.
Kind of like how Sherwin Williams and Picasso are both painters. See where I’m going here?
Being his house guest is like Mario Battali inviting you over for a slumber party. You stay up all night, drink too much with the lovely Mrs. Mirepoix, and watch him combine random shit in the fridge and pantry into something incredible.
So here’s his take on Chicken Liver Mousse. On a related note, I made hot chocolate from scratch last weekend. No, really. I don’t want to upstage his post, so I’ll save that for another day.
Mr. Mirepoix said:
Another appearance from our distinguished guest chef, Mirepoix. Today, he gives us his take on a no-knead cinnamon raisin bread. Who doesn’t want that? Come on, all the cool kids are doin’ it.
He and she said:
As we have mentioned before, Mr. Mirepoix is a real-live chef. In contrast, we like to eat food and we can spell many ingredients (except for the really French ones). Somehow this qualifies us to write a blog (isn’t the internet a wonderful thing?)
Below is Mirepoix’s recipe for honest to goodness homemade bacon. This sounds like the coolest idea in the world, but we must insert here the disclaimer:
please note Mirepoix’s words of caution and follow the directions exactly if you try this.
Remember, if even one of you gets sick, the readership of our little site plummets. They say one person can’t make a difference; that’s not true. When your entire reader base is, like, twelve people, one person sure can. But we’re all grown ups here, right? So if you want to take a chance on bacon, knock yourself out:
Unfortunately, our team of corporate attorneys has advised us of the very large potential liability should we post our gumbo recipe. Rather than take that risk, we provide here instead the gumbo approach of Mr. Mirepoix which, as far as we know, has not caused bodily harm to anyone. We wish we could say the same about our own.
Here’s the good stuff: