While watching the Olympics, I was struck by our ability to celebrate both similarities and differences, seemingly without contradiction. And the same holds true in food.
Well into my adulthood, all I knew about prickly pears was that they are the fruit of a cactus, the Sicilians eat them, and that according to Baloo, they are a bear necessity. I’d filed them in the back of my mind to the “someday I’ll get to it” list, along with perfecting bechamel and giving
I’ve made a lot of escabeche in my time, and read scores of recipes from all over the world. This vinegary, bracing sauce make a perfect summer lunch or dinner and is ideal for weekly lunches because escabeche keeps for days in the fridge. It’s one of my go-to dishes when the heat arrives. But
Pheasants and pomegranates just seem to go together; the bird’s mild flavor is nicely offset by the tangy flavor of the juice. It’s part of that whole connection between game and fruits: Duck and orange, venison and prunes, wild boar and apples. I had no real foreknowledge that I would make something with pheasants and
I do a lot of comfort food with big, flavorful, stew-y things loaded with tomatoes and herbs and some sort of meat. In this case the meat is pheasant, and what better dish than pheasant cacciatore? Hunter’s style. The French call it chasseur, the Spanish cazadores, the Italians cacciatore. This dish in its variations exists in
I have for several years recoiled at the idea of hanging game birds. The idea of hanging shot pheasants or partridges undrawn and in the feathers for days and days just did not seem terribly hygienic or sane to me. Old texts wax rhapsodic about the sublime flavor of “high” game, which usually means pheasants
Roasting whole game birds has always presented something of a Hobson’s Choice for me: Perfect breast meat or properly cooked legs and thighs? Is it possible to achieve both? I suppose it is, but I have not yet achieved the perfect roast pheasant: Juicy breast, thoroughly cooked legs and thighs, crispy skin. This would be sublime.
This is a story about the lengths we hunters will go to get our game. It is also a story about how tough Johnny Ringneck can be. Saturday was the opening of pheasant season, and as we do every year, we go to a large rice farm off Highway 99 just north of Sacramento to