- When roasting butternut squash – consider adding honey, it really elevates the taste.
- You can use meat glue (Activa) to ‘glue’ lamb and scallops together and get an amalgamated surf ‘n turf.
- Don’t be afraid to use bread crumbs in ground meat and charcuterie – they act as a binder, but also ‘lighten’ up preparations. Sometime charcuterie can be a bit too ‘heavy’.
Every two weeks, there is a charcuterie buffet done by whoever is in charcuterie class. Next week we have ours, so we have to start thinking about the display design, which has to be pre-submitted. I asked around about what gets eaten up at these buffets, and clearly the duck galantine and chicken galantine are the big hits. They certainly were one of my favourites at the last one. (the least favourite was the head cheese – surprise surprise!).
Duck galantine is made by taking a duck ‘stuffing’ of ground duck meat, liver, foie gras, shallots, mushrooms and spinach, and rolling it up in duck skin. Conceptually this sounds reasonably easy, however you have to take the skin off the whole duck in one piece to get a coating big enough. This is definitely not easy. Starting with the whole duck, you have to first cut off the wings at the knuckle, cut the skin around the end of the legs, and then carefully peel the skin off the body, and untuck the wings and legs (sort of like getting a shirt hanger out of a tight shirt). Spencer and I were sharing a duck, he managed to get this half ‘peeled’ without making a hole in the skin, I didn’t do as good a job.
Once the skin was off, we could remove the duck meat, grind it up with the liver, and mix in the rest of the ingredients. Because the final product is going to be cooked, we had to sauté a small piece of the mixture to taste for seasoning. More salt! (what else is new!). Once the seasoning was right, next came the meat glue – Activa!.. which is a transglutaminase and acts as a binder. It is apparently naturally occurring, but doesn’t really sound like it – I thought it was a yogurt. Anyway, you add some Activa into the meat so it will hold its shape, then roll up the mixture in the skin, and ‘glue’ it closed with some more Activa, and tie it up with twine. Next we sautéed the ‘sausage’ till nice and brown on all sides, and then braised it in duck stock, sherry, shallots, garlic and thyme. The pot smelt really nice – unfortunately we can’t taste the final product until the buffet. It is served in a reduction of the braising liquid.
We also did a chicken galatine. This was done in a similar way, except that is bound with a panada (a paste of flour, cream, brandy, egg, spice). There was also Madeira. This aroma instantly brought back memories of the delicious dessert sabayon from Level 1 which I can still taste.
It was meatless Monday’s so there wasn’t as much commotion as usual in the family meal section of the kitchen. The highlight for me was Terrence’s roasted squash (secret ingredient: honey).
Grabbed some bread from the bakery kids, and off home to write out tomorrow’s recipes – chorizo and hot dogs!!!!