My laundry hamper reeks of Kingsford and the bathrooms of asparagus. Its undeniably grilling season and not a moment too soon. Figuring out how to translate barbecuing successes into morning glory has occupied a inordinate amount my time.
The last thing I’m looking to do as temperatures here push 100 is stand over my hotbox. That doesn’t mean that I have to give up eating painfully large breakfasts, it just means I have to think two steps ahead rather than one.
The Bee is devoting more and more column inches to profiling River City bloggers, and commanding the most space so far is Hank Shaw over at the very deserving Hunter Angler Gardener Cook. There isn’t much new I can say about his take on the intersection of food and internet besides that it got me thinking. While I sat around feeling sorry for myself for not getting invited to a Sacramento Food Blogger Party of the Century I actually said “fuck it” out loud and decided that for the night I would be embrace all my inner hunter,
angler, gardener and cook.
Hunter, you ask? I’m a proud member of the California Waterfowl Association and ever since I was old enough to not be a danger to myself or others I have gone duck hunting with dear old dad. As I read Hank defend hunting as a locavoristic endeavor and a way to get closer to our food, I thought back on all the times I had to defend my hunting background from my hamburger chomping friends. Sweet irony.
Wild duck is unlike anything else to come across your plate. Domestic duck is much richer, lighter in color and in my experience is kind of porky. Wild duck, on the other hand is lean, gamy and a dark red meat. It makes sense that this skybeef is red, the Pacific Flyway makes I-5 look like a dragstrip.
In the course of housesitting I stole two of the early season ducks out of the freezer and immediately set them out to thaw. This is real food, with holes in it from where it was shot, and birdshot in those holes- dental insurance is a good idea when trying wild duck. I stuffed the defrosted ducks with backyard lemons, oregano and chives and threw them over red hot coals. Whenever I’ve had duck in the past its been charred to shit anyway so I’m used to it. Oddly enough after flipping them five about every two minutes or so, the outside was a deep brown and the meat felt, done but not dry.
I carved the bird and set aside one for the morning. I took some nibblets out the Second Saturday crowd that without fail develops on our porch and proceeded to convert some vegetarians. I then relished in the thought of a great big plate of duck hash while new friend Carly cried out, “Is this a fucking bullet?” Kinda.
Duck Hash With Garlic Quark
Serves 3 pretty well
1 duck’s worth of meat chopped and screwed
.75 cup chopped carrots
.75 cup chopped onions
3/2 cups chopped taters
1/2 cup green garlic cloves
1 tbsp honey
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
coupla tablespoons chopped parsley
3 tbsp garlic quark from Spring Hill creamery in Petaluma. What’s that? Can’t get it? Well come down to the Sunday Farmer’s Market and pick some up from me as I recently got tapped to mong (yeah I made that up) cheese at the market.
I think you can see where this is going.
Sizzlin’ taters. Hey now they’re browning. Might want to get water simmering for the eggs.
Onion carrot one two punch. Toss a little vinegar in your poach coach. And then your eggs, one at a time. Remember?
When adding the carrot I toss the honey in. I just think that carmelized carrot really can overpower and the sweetness helps balance it out. Hey the carrots are almost cooked, Throw the duck meat in.
Allocate the has in such a way that you get more of it than the people you cooked it for. Top with parsley and quark.