Friday, August 21, 2009

It's for good luck!

It's way to early for Holiday + New Year's Eve talk. So I thought. But not in Butcher world: Kris just made 'Cotechino', an Italian specialty sausage, traditionally served in Italy with green lentil & polenta around new year. The lentils symbolize coins = money, the dish is eaten to hopefully receive lots of it - and good luck in general. In New Orleans, we eat black-eyed peas on New Year's day for that same reason.
'Cotechino' is a thick, fatty pork sauage, seasoned with warm spices like clove, nutmeg + cinnamon. Butcher's Kris says it's best served hot to really bring out its creamy texture. Traditionally the sausage is either slow cooked in water over small heat for a couple of hours or cut in chunks + cooked together with lentils, soup or stew. Butcher's Kris likes to cut it in think slices + pan sear them for a nice crunch.
2010 is not around the corner quite yet, but hey, I'll eat a hearty lentil stew with some tasty 'cotechino' any day. If some good luck comes with it, I'll take that too.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Coniglio arrotolata

You take a bunch of lardo strips + lay them out on a plastic foil. You bone out two whole rabbits. One is laid out on top of the lardo, the other one is coarsely ground + seasoned with salt, black, white + cayenne papper + savory. The ground up meat is then spread in a thick layer on top of the rabbit, the whole thing get's rolled up into a big, fat sausage + cooked.
The result of this process is called 'Coniglio arrotolata' or rolled rabbit. Slice the roll open + there it is, a beautiful looking cold cut: you can make out the loins, even the heart! If done right, 'coniglio arrotolata' is seasoned only subtly to let the natural rabbit flavot shine. It's best eaten as is, just with some mustard, some cornichons + a fresh, crusty bread.
It goes into our meat case as we speak.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


We were recently talking about chaurize, and its origins. Well, here it is, the father of the creole version: the spanish chorizo. You can get it cured, but the one we just put into Butcher's meat case is fresh.
We tasted it straight out of the oven, sizzling hot + oh so good. It's savory with a hint of sweet flavor, just the right amount of spicy heat, a hint of smoke from the smoked spanish paprika or pimentón. A foodie's mind starts spinning thinking of all the dishes one can make with chorizo... Think swapping ground beef with chorizo for your classic Spaghetti Bolognese. Make fried eggs + chorizo with some grated provolone for breakfast. Or have this late, late at night after going out...