Thursday, December 1, 2011

A little bite of summer in the winter. . .

Curing - curing - curing - my heart!

I love curing meats. This time was the first time I have cured in my house! I was spoiled at my former job having a wine cellar. It provided the ideal 60% humidity and 55 degree environment to stash all of my experiments in. Nearly every endeavour was a success story!

This time was tricky. I am well known for my creative and cheap nature. True to form I was bouncing around this Fall and happened upon an estate sale. While my friend Julie walked with 2 awesome full sets of china I opted to rummage through the pile of "FREE STUFF." There I found a cooler that most likely had housed the same murky water since 1970. Since the vessel was already attune to aging water I thought it was lend itself nicely to aging meats! 

I pitched the 1970 vintage water and soaked it with bleach solution for about 4 days.

This cooler would be my curing house.  I inserted a jar of salt water to pick up the humidity.

While most people in this competition sought out garage spaces and hallway corridors to achieve their ideal curing conditions. I didn't need to look further then my kitchen. Yes my apartment is cooled.

  First I made the loinzino. Since Halloween was just around the corner I decided to cure a Frankenstein version of loinzino. I chose the cut of the loin with some of the neck muscle attached so that I could enjoy a a hybrid loinzino and coppa.

A generous rub down with salt and pepper then into the fridge for 48 hours.

Thankfully the inside of the cooler was perfect for makeshift shelves! Some butchers twine and scrap backer board did the trick.

A few days later I tackled my saussion sec! I was stoked!

I was decided to use a hickory salt that I smoked myself.

I am so proud!! I didn't really want to cook the sausage at all and have been eating it every day with just bread and cheese. However then it dawned on me. My recipe would be an alternative to eating a charcuterie board.

Admittedly I would love to eat seasonally and locally all year round but alas my brain developed in such an American way that allows me to think that eating a tomato cucumber and pepper salad in the winter time is acceptable.

So I have made some compromises this time around.

The Menu Tonight:

Panzenella Salad - Bread salad with house made pickled peppers and sauacisson sec in Dijon vinaigrette.