Dinner:  November 2, 2007

We kicked the weekend off with dinner out at our favorite little place, and as always, we had an excellent meal and came home inspired. I plan to try my spin at some of the dishes we tasted there very soon.

Now that Mike’s not working Saturdays, I’ve got him back for “food safari.” We headed into the city fairly early on Saturday morning, stopping for dumplings and pork buns before making the rounds. After we got home and put away our haul, we sat and relaxed with a snack: a chunk of Mossend Blue from Saxelby Cheesemongers, slices of Mutsu apple from the Greenmarket and some walnut halves.

post-Food Safari snack

Then I got to put my feet up while Mike took apart the bigger of two stewing chickens we picked up from Flying Pigs Farm and got to work on Saturday dinner: Coq au Vin a la Julia Child. Delicious.

Dinner:  November 3, 2007

I spent Marathon Sunday doing a bit of a marathon of my own in the kitchen. Our second stewing chicken, along with the neck, wings and backbone from the first, spent the better part of the day in a pot with water, herbs and vegetable trimmings, yielding more than a gallon of rich, deep golden stock.

liquid gold

In a second pot, I braised a 4 lb. piece of pork shoulder for about 6 hours. I carved off a few big chunks and served them with potato croquettes (made with leftover mashed potatoes, chopped parsley and grated Gruyere cheese), sautéed chard, and the strained and reduced braising liquid (a bit of a hodgepodge of rye whiskey, flat ginger beer, dry mustard, cumin, wine vinegar, bay leaf and mirepoix).

Dinner:  November 4, 2007

We’ve got quite a bit of pork left over, which was part of my plan: with a short vacation coming up, we’re trying to be a bit thrifty, so I intend to use the remaining braised pork as the base for a couple of future dinners. Stay tuned for more fun with leftovers…

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