Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Quail Sauce for Pasta

I picked up a package of 4 quail at the local market. Why? Because they were there. What were my plans? I had none. I mean, I knew I was going to cook them, but I had no idea how. So, off to Google I went, and found this recipe for Quail Sauce for Fresh Pasta on Epicurious. It got good reviews, and it's a Marcella Hazan recipe, so how could it go wrong? (That's not foreshadowing. Nothing went wrong.)

You start by browning the quail in olive oil. I have a new-found appreciation and love for my cast iron skillet, so that's what I used.

Take the quail out, and saute carrot, celery, onion, rosemary and sage. The recipe called for 2 teaspoons of each vegetable, which I thought was just silly, so I upped it to at least 4 tablespoons each. I also doubled the sage and rosemary. When the vegetables are starting to soften, you add back the quail, glug in some white wine, cover and cook. I also added anchovy paste at this point, because...why not?

After 20 minutes, add a chopped up tomato (I used 2), and cook for another 25 minutes, adding water as necessary. Remove the quail, pull the meat from the bones, and add back to the sauce. (Keep a couple legs whole for presentation if you want to be all fancy.) Cook up some fresh pasta (fettuccine in this case), and toss it with the sauce. You'll probably want to add some of the pasta cooking water to make it more, um, saucy.

Top with parmesan, a sprinkle of fresh pepper and a dusting of some crunchy salt, and you're in business.

Would I make it again? You bet. And yes, I tagged this post "chicken" because I think it would be ridiculous to have a "quail" tag with only one recipe. There might be more in the future, however.

What would you do with quail?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Random Quotes from the WIP Household, Part XVI

It seems like there's been more talking than cooking around here lately, huh? Rest assured that I have been cooking, but it's all been stuff you've seen before. So...talking it is. Happy St. Patrick's Day.


I wouldn't mind some corned beef in my taco.


I don't understand why our Spanish teacher wouldn't tell us how to say midget nipples in Spanish.


You can't have multidimensional holes! Stop it!


Me: What are we doing?
Youngest: Dad's putting on pants, and I'm dancing.


"Will you stop talking sh!t about your Lord and Savior?"

"I love my Lord and Savior. I wear him on my wrist. He sexy."


No me gusta pelotas en mi ensalada.


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Wine Vault & Bistro, San Diego

Back in December, Hubby and I went to Wine Vault & Bistro in San Diego for the first time. Dinner, was, simply put, amazing. For $35 per person, we had a 5-course tasting menu, each course with a paired wine. This was a special event, highlighting the wines of Gérard Bertrand, an importer with vineyards in the Languedoc region of France.

First course: Black Missing Fig | Chèvre | Fried Shallots | Candied Bacon | Wild Arugula | Pistachios
Wine: 2007 Gérard Bertrand Cremant de Limoux

2nd course: House Smoked Salmon Rilletes | Toasted Brioche | Tarragon Pistou | Petite Herbs
Wine: 2008 Gérard Bertrand Chardonnay

3rd course: Duck Confit Roulade | Fried Quail Egg | Red Wine Gastrique | Frisée
Wine: 2007 Gérard Bertrand Minervois

4th course: Sous Vide Tri Tip | Sunchoke Purée | Caramelized Garlic | Bloomsdale Spinach
Wine: 2007 Gérard Bertrand Pic Saint Loup

5th course: "Boeuf Bourguignon" | Braised Maitake Mushrooms | Pearl Onions | Pommes Purée | Watercress
Wine: 2007 Gérard Bertrand Chateau L'Hospitalet Rouge

This past Fat Tuesday, we had the opportunity to visit Wine Vault for the 2nd time. This was, of course, a Mardi Gras dinner, again for the phenomenal price of $35 per person. (I apologize for the picture quality, the lighting was horrendous, as is my iPhone camera.)

1st course: Asparagus "Benedict" | Biscuit | Béarnaise | Poached Egg | Bacon Jam
2nd course: Pickled Apricot | Hazelnut | Crème Fraîche | Watercress
Beer: Abita Amber Lager

3rd course: Shrimp "Po Boy" | Braised Lettuce | Hot Sauce "Mayo" | Pickles | Crostini
4th course: Dungeness Crab Cake | Creole Mustard Aioli | Pickled Pepper Relish
Wine: 2008 Halter Ranch "Ranch White" Rhône White Blend

5th course: Gumbo | Crispy Braised Pork | Micro Celery
6th course: Andouille Sausage | Black Eyed Peaks | Okra
Wine: 2008 Sextant "Wheelhouse" Zinfandel

7th course: Charred Strip Loin | Red Beans 'n' Rice | Onion Chutney | Fried Broccolini
8th course: Braised Short Ribs | Grits | Goat Cheese | Smoked Paprika Chimichurri
Wine: 2006 Saddleback Cellars Merlot

9th course: Brioche Beignet | Espresso Ganache | Steamed Milk
10th Course: Housemande Cappuccino Truffle
Beverage: Cafe Brûlot Diabolique (Devilishly Burnt Coffee)

Based on these two magnificent dinners, I can assure you we'll be visiting again in the future.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Cheese-Stuffed Bacon-Wrapped Tater Tots

Doesn't that sound incredible?

I thought so when I saw this post by Lori of Recipe Girl. So I ran out and bought some tater tots.

These are super-easy to make - partially thaw the tots, cut a lengthwise slit into each one, stuff with a bit of cheese. Sprinkle with hot sauce, and wrap in bacon, and stab with a toothpick.

Bake at 450 for about 15 minutes, turning once.

Not health food, but oh so good.