Unusual Meat in the Mail

Mon, Dec 24 • 0

Here are some sources for unusual products. (If you’re on this list, and you’d like to send me samples, by all means…)


  • D’artagnan (Newark, NJ) is a pretty well-known supplier of packaged pàtés … in fact, my supermarket carries it for the holidays in the specialty cheese case … but I had no idea they also sell game meat for not completely outlandish prices.
  • Cajun Grocer (Lafayette, LA) is your source for authentic Cajun and Louisiana foods. I’ve bought from these guys before — andouille, boudin, chaurice. They also ship crawfish and turduckens.
  • Exotic Meats (San Antonio, TX) seems to sell the hardcore game stuff — antelope, elk, wild boar, even yak. Their prices seem a little high to me, but then, I don’t really know the going price for a good hunk of yak.
  • Lobel’s (New York, NY) is a high-end, high-class butcher. They offer more than my grocery store butcher, but at prices that make me lose my appetite. I bought a single hanger steak from them more than 5 years ago, as part of a promotion, and I’m still getting email from them. If you order from them, you’ll get a friend for life, I think.

The Scavenger’s Guide to Haute Cuisine

Mon, Dec 24 • 0

book cover : scavenger’s guide to haute cuisineI found this to be a surprisingly readable book. The author, Steven Rinella, is a writer for sports magazines, and he and his friends spend much of their free time hunting and fishing. When he got a copy of The Escoffier Cookbook, it started him on a year-long quest to create a fabulous feast for his friends using wild game and products he scrounges up over the course of a year. With detailed information about his successes and failures (including the dreaded food poisoning), as well as the prosaic and interesting adventures he has to get the goods for his feast, I had a hard time putting the book down. He goes above and beyond what most of us would ever imagine doing for a holiday feast. While the author does relish in his intimate knowledge of exactly where his food comes from, this book is definitely not for the squeamish. And, make no mistake, there’s not a single recipe in this book. An excerpt from the book’s second chapter can be read on Culinate.com.

The Scavenger’s Guide to Haute Cuisine, by Steve Rinella.

Scaling Up a Recipe

Mon, Dec 24 • 0

I’ll be cooking for a crowd in a couple of days over the holidays, and I have a recipe that I’ve settled on. Unfortunately, the recipe as it’s written says that it serves 4, and I’ve got to make it so that it feeds 18.

I was able to find an online recipe converter that helped me figure out the quantities, but I couldn’t find any real hard and fast rules that help me figure out what I need to do to alter the cooking times. One source suggests that when you’re baking an increased recipe in a double size baking pan, “you should drop the oven temperature 15-25 degrees and increase baking time, to allow center to cook without burning edges” On the other hand, the same page says that if you’re cooking multiple pans of the same thing, you should increase the oven temperature by 25 degrees, and allow for more cooking time. But it doesn’t say how much more.

White and Brown Stock

Mon, Dec 24 • 0

When making chicken stock, using raw chicken will give you “white” chicken stock, while using a roasted bird will give you “brown” chicken stock.

According to Escoffier, white stock is used for the base of white sauces. Brown stock should be the color of “fine burnt amber” and used for the base of soups and thickened gravies, and for meat glazes after it’s been reduced. He also suggests using it to moisten meat for braising.

In both cases, he suggests breaking the bones, and that if you want the stock to be gelatinous, you need to simmer the stock for at least 8 hours.

His recipes (below the break) aren’t limited to just chicken meat, either, and they’re naturally more involved than almost any other recipe for chicken stock that I’ve ever come across.

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