Pork Shoulder Speck: One Result From My November Cold Smoking Experiment

Bonless pork shoulder speckJust before Thanksgiving I cured and cold smoked a boneless pork shoulder and a picnic ham then hung them in my curing fridge in the basement. This past weekend the speck cured shoulder was ready. I was pretty excited to see how it turned out. (more…)

Savory Buckwheat Crepe Breakfast – Galette Complète

Galette CompleteHappy New Year! Once again, I’m finding inspiration from our trip to Paris. While waiting to check into our Airbnb flat on Ile St. Louis we ate brunch at a place on the tip of the island called Café St Regis. I had a ridiculously fluffy omelet and Cheryl had a buckwheat crepe with ham, cheese and egg. It looked so simple I made a mental note to give it a try at some point. Today was that point. (more…)

Vin Chaud – Mulling Over a Paris Inspiration

Vin ChaudI could not let our Paris trip go by without trying my hand on at least one thing we experienced there. As I mentioned before, the chilly December weather in Paris made vin chaud a perfect café drink to warm ourselves up with. Perfect winter warmer for Chicago too. (more…)

Roast Duck with Apple-Chestnut Hash

Roast Duck with apple chestnut hashA few weeks ago I decided to roast a duck for our weekly Wednesday date night. Looking at The Flavor Bible, duck has a pretty wide and interesting mix of flavor ingredients and most are very seasonal for fall and winter; like apples, potatoes, ginger, allspice, chestnuts, cinnamon, and more. There were many ingredients on the list I liked and wanted use but bringing them all together for one dish seemed way over the top, so I decided to pick and choose a few favorites and add them to separate parts which when later combined would complement each other. Thus the idea of making a sort of hash seasoned to pair with a glazed roast duck. (more…)

Paris at Christmastime: A Fun Winter Trip

Paris10 It’s been almost two and half years since we were last in Paris over Easter weekend. The sun was shining and spring was doing what it normally does to cities, make them beautiful and lively. Paris in the spring is a wonderful, and we spent a lot of time outdoors. This time, it’s pre-Christmas winter so we spent a lot of time seeing another side of Paris, indoors and at night.


Chronicles of Charcuterie Continued: Cold Smoking Pork into Speck and Country Ham

Country Ham and speck in the fridge

The fennel pollen coated coppa hanging in the middle (benefit of de-boning the shoulder yourself) will pick up some nice smokiness from the speck and molasses country ham.

First of all, Happy Thanksgiving! Normally I spend Thanksgiving week doing a lot of shopping, prep work, and pie baking but not so much this year as we’re celebrating with some friends. Even though I’m in charge of the turkey (and my favorite stuffing) I found I actually had time to do something I’ve been wanting to do for a while: cold smoke some cured pork. (more…)