Lately

Mince Pie

Mincemeat pie made with Granny Smith apples and persimmon jelly; dried cranberries, apricots, plums, figs; candied ginger and orange; walnuts and my medlar-infused brandy. Lots of butter (in lieu of tallow, which I don’t have) and spices too! Second photo is of two little blackberry […]

Celery on Marketplace

I had a wonderful opportunity to talk to Molly Wood on Marketplace about that wacky Victorian celery craze! The interview is after the photo (I’m at around 3:45). Had a super fun chat with @mollywoodpro on Marketplace (yes, THAT Marketplace!!) about that kooky Victorian celery […]

Fruity Booze

Guanciale (oh, oh)

(To the tune of “Volare”) Got my guanciale hung in the very sophisticated curing setup in my basement (the basement is 60F and 61% humidity, which isn’t too bad). Not pictured is the small, weak fan blowing a gentle breeze in the guanciale’s general direction. […]

Great British Game Pie

THAR SHE BLOWS! Like a precocious baby, my game pie is standing on its own. I’m still going to wait until tomorrow to slice it open and reveal the cross section, but ain’t she a beaut? #gamepie #meatconcierge #britishfood #proudmama 🐇 🐖 🦌 🕊 🇬🇧#food52 […]

The (Head) Cheese Stands Alone

I had quite the adventure when I realized that the bag of pork skin I’d pulled from the freezer was actually a whole deboned pig’s head. Got quite a bit of action out of that guy. I ended up making my first guanciale AND my first head cheese from it.

Oh! I meant to tell you about my further adventures in head cheese. The first pass tasted good, but melted too fast on a warm baguette and became a gloppy mess. I was crestfallen. So yesterday I gently melted it all back down, added five leaves of gelatin and a few scoops of the jelly that I made last week by slow-simmering a pig’s foot in smoked pork stock. (I keep this in a jar in the fridge for adding unctuousness to broths and gravies.) It’s much more perky now! It stays together nicely, can be sliced cleanly and layered onto a sandwich. Here’s to second chances! Here’s to learning from our mistakes! 🐽 🐷 🐽 #makestuff #praticemakesprogress #charcuterie #headcheese #sülze #meatconcierge

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Persimmon Season

Was just revisiting some old Instagram posts to find inspiration for using persimmons. This one was particularly sublime.   Tails & Trotters pork tenderloin with caramelized onions, apples and persimmons and a red ale reduction; pumpkin risotto with home-cured bacon lardons. Not pictured: green salad […]

Spam Musubi Fried Rice

Musubi fried rice with an egg on top and a dribble of teriyaki sauce. It needed sriracha to bring some sweetness and acidity but it tastes exactly like I crumbled up musubi into a bowl! #brunchathome 🍙 🍖 🍙 🍖#spam #nori #rice #musubi #friedrice #hawaiianfood […]

Cassoulet

Toulouse-style cassoulet: Dear lord, what an undertaking. Even if I *hadn’t* accidentally unearthed a whole pig’s head to add to my weekend workload, cassoulet is a fucking Project. I simplified it somewhat to spare myself the trauma: making what is basically French tare saves a lot of work — just purée the simmered pork skin from the smoked pig’s tail with five raw cloves of garlic and the head of confited garlic that cooked with Grimaud Farms duck legs (available from @nicky.usa !). All that shit is cooking together anyway so I can’t see why everything needs a separate hour-long step. I didn’t find Tarbais beans, so I opted for similarly creamy European soldier beans. I didn’t have any pork shoulder so I used trimmings from the pig’s jowl, which I poached in duck fat. And there are @tailsandtrotters Toulouse sausages, also available from Nicky USA! I tossed the bread crumbs with duck fat and fresh thyme, then crumbled on duck skin cracklings for good measure. The whole thing took about three days, but it’s worth it. #meatconcierge #cassoulet #toulouse #beans #dinnertonight 🥘 🍗 🥘 🍗 🥘#duck #sausage #homecooking #frenchfood #winterfood #pork #instayum #instafood #food52 #foodgawker #foodstagram #forkyeah #f52grams #thekitchn #bareaders #foodandwine

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Fire and Mushrooms

I wrote about fire ecology and mushroom-hunting for Fish & Game Quarterly. I’ve been kind of worried that the piece comes off a bit glib, since the rains have not yet begun in California and real danger yet looms, but my intent was for encouragement […]