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This is an Italian classic, sugo d’anatra, or duck ragu. It’s a meaty pasta sauce that uses slow-cooked duck legs or wings for the meat, and is damn good with any pasta or polenta, but especially good with pumpkin-ricotta gnocchi.
A few years ago I traveled to Louisiana and learned from the McIlhenny family themselves how to make Tabasco Sauce. Now, two years later, I can finally tell you how to make it. It’s easy, but like fine wine, it takes time.
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.
I’ve been trying to catch a Pacific halibut all summer, so far without success. But on a recent trip to Oregon, my fishing buddy Todd did catch one, and was nice enough to give me a piece of “mercy halibut.” Here’s that ‘but, brined with saffron and served with an Italian salsa verde.
Seared pheasant breast with a refined parsley sauce I learned from the French Laundry’s cookbook. It’s an elegant way to sex up a simple seared piece of pheasant.
A Chinese style plum sauce made with wild plums. This stuff kicks the crap out of store-bought, and is even better on Peking Duck than the more common hoisin sauce. But hell, this stuff is so good it’d be awesome on an old tire.
Quail barbecued slow and low with Arizona sauce. What is Arizona sauce, you say? All that is good about the wild foods of the Southwest: mesquite honey, tequila, and wild chiltepin chiles.
Every spring I create a dish that celebrates spring’s colors, which for me are green and gold. Here is this year’s edition, a trout dish that is as simple as it is pretty.