It’s the December 23rd and I’ve got no christmas shopping done because my po-mo-marxist ass doesn’t believe in such capitalistic modus operandi–purchasing self-fulfillment. And nevermind(!) that this Boucheron on rye costs cash, all I can think about is how good it tastes.
We drink Three Philosophers, “To my favorite three philosophers,” prousts LGFats. “Here, here,” we sing.
It’s “christmas” time in sanTana. The weather has definitely turned; there has been some spectacular sunsets; and the Santa’s Claws in front of FAMSA just won’t quit–the holiday version of their usually perverse neon clown.
Because we have families that we must go back to, LGFATS, on a whim, decides we have to have christmas eve’s eve here at thefiveohnotwo. He’s rented a car and calls from Whole Foods, “You have ten minutes to text me your list,” he states glibly. “Hoe hoe hoe,” I reply.
I quickly turn to two sources of Dionysian pleasure: 1) Epicurious(dot)com, to which I consistently go to for food/product reviews, recipes, and insightful articles, and 2) The Silver Spoon (english version, just published in 2005, fifty-five years after the original italian edition), which I just received in the mail a couple months ago. It is a wellspring of tried and true italian recipes–over 1000, I’m sure.
I take the plunge by immediately looking up “duck.” “I’ve never worked with duck before,” I say silently while looking through The Spoon’s index. From Epicurious I take the mushroom-duck pairing idea; from The Silver Spoon I take cues on how pancetta might play an essential role in the duck-braising process.
Boucheron: I fucking fucking love love Boucheron, and since we bought a pound of it (about 14 bucks from Whole Foods) it here is entitled to its own category. My first experience with it was over a campfire in the mountains of New Mexico where my chef-friend spread it onto a baguette, put the baguette on the low-flame end of the campfire-grill, and let the heat souffle the Boucheron to utterly maddening perfection.
Braised Duck Legs: Duck Legs are the reason why everything ought be prepared confit. But, since tonight we have neither 48-hours, nor pounds of duck fat, we decide to braise the little buggers. After the braising, it’s two hours in the oven for these guys where they lay in a lake of broth, red wine, garlic cloves, and seasonings–all simmering in a cast iron dutch oven, of course.
The Woman: Poofy is looking especially good today–she hasn’t shit, shaved, or showered in weeks. Just my type.
Wild Mushrooms: Oysters, portabellas, shitaakes, and chantrelles shall be sliced and sauteed with shallots in pancetta fat.
Hors d’oeuvre: There is a bricolage of eats. Boucheron on sourdough souffled to perfection. Crisped pancetta. Carmelized onions atop a cube of manchego. Rye squares underscoring bites of prosciutto. Three Philosophers beer. Spanish red wine. Lobotomy Bock because it’s an oh-so-special occasion.
The evening ends itself somehow. I’ve slipped into some coma on the couch. The last thing I remember is Pepe Le Moko hanging onto his existential-self somewhere in Algiers.