I have a screaming headache and my stomach is spilling over my jeans because I ate too much today. Charcuterie day. It’s days like these I don’t know how I will return to reality. Office chairs? Lame turkey sandwiches for lunch? No more screaming “HOT!” or “KNIFE!”? How will I cope without homemade sausage for lunch?
Today’s buffet showcased the diversity of what you can do with half a pig–like make a killer ham. Seriously, it was the best ham of my life. And if you don’t believe me, ask Chef Alain Sailhac (former executive chef of Le Cirque). He couldn’t stop eating it. But Hank was in charge of cooking this massive ham with a circulator in a warm water bath. And if I don’t give Hank credit, he’ll kill me. So, Hank, congrats on a job well done. (But you conveniently forgot that the girls made the brine. Muahah.)
- Another favorite on the table was the pork rillon, or cubes of pork that are cured and then soaked in milk to tenderize them. Vaughn seared them in fatback (pork fat). It was heavenly to bite into a salty meat crust that then crumbles into a fatty center that melts on your tongue. And to cut the grease, it rested on a bed of apple-juice braised red cabbage. Definitely one of the most memorable dishes from school.
And then there was the country pate and headcheese that I skipped over to eat rillette (pork confit) and sausage. I just needed a glass of crisp, slightly acidic white wine to pair with this fat pig (myself included).
TIP OF THE DAY: Want to revive a baguette? Run the bottom under water. Moisten every smooth surface (top included) except the cracks. Then pop it in an oven preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit until the crust develops a crunch and the center is soft, about 15 minutes.