Boudin, the ultimate Cajun comfort food. Not quite a sausage, boudin is more like jambalaya in a hog casing. You eat it on crackers or just by hand, right out of the casing. I learned how to make it at Legnon’s in Lafayette, and here’s my version.
Sorrel sauce. It’s so basic, yet so profoundly useful… and awesome. Sorrel tastes like lemonade in a leaf, and both wild and cultivated varieties grow like weeds in any garden. This rich, tart sauce is perfect with pasta, poached fish or poultry, or any other lightly cooked meat.
Fromage de tete. Coppa di testa. Presskopf. Brawn. Anything but “head cheese.” Only that’s what this is. This is the head of a wild boar I shot, cooked and pressed into a terrine pan. It’s actually damn good. No, really.
Steak au poivre, a/k/a pepper steak, is a French classic. Normally done with beef, this method works great for any red meat, from venison to duck or goose. I use specklebelly goose breasts here.
This is a venerable dish, one of the great classics of French cuisine. Napoleon could have eaten this, as could Victor Hugo, Camus or Charles de Gaulle. Escoffier certainly ate salmis, and my recipe is based on his.
Most of us know about duck confit — where you salt duck legs, then slow cook them in duck fat until they are meltingly tender, then you crisp them up in a hot oven? Yeah, that’s confit. There’s a reason it’s all over restaurant menus, but check it: This process works great with pheasant and other upland game birds, too!
We had some epic frog gigging last week up at Lake Tahoe. Yeah, I know, not a place you’d associate with hunting bullfrogs. But that just made it more fun. And once we got ’em, I just had to cook the frog legs in the classic French method. Call me a frog, eh?
One of the cool things about salmon is that it is rich enough to make rillettes with, especially when you use belly meat and the trim from around the bones. This is a pretty classic version, with both smoked and fresh salmon or steelhead trout.