Barking Kitten

Fiction, musings on literature, food writing, and the occasional Friday cat blog. For lovers of serious literature, cooking, and eating.

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Close to forty. Not cool. Politically left. Atheist. Happily married. No kids.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Channeling Iron Chef

Somehow I became possessed by the idea of making this pate. I was planning a trip to the market anyway, and decided I would relax my self-imposed veal ban. Anthony Bourdain came to mind:

"You've made meat loaf, right? You've eaten cold meat loaf, yes? Then you're halfway to being an ass-kicking, name-taking charcutier. 'Ooooh ... pate, I don't know.' Please. Campagne means "country" in French--which means even your country-ass can make it." The Les Halles Cookbook, 90.

My ass is decidedly urban. I decided to try it anyway.

In perusing the ingredient list you might notice this dish is a heart attack waiting to happen. Barring that, it is very, very un-kosher. Pork and cream. Together. Veal is kosher but no pc foodie worth her organic-free-trade views would be caught within a mile of a dead baby cow.

Never mind. I ordered organic pork shoulder, some veal, bought a bottle of Straus organic cream, came home and cracked open a beer.

I do not have a food processor, but my immersion blender came with a chopper/bowl attachment. It's a plastic two-cup job with a chopping blade. You fit a plastic lid over it, attach the stick, plug it in, and go.

I cubed the meats, hoping the chopper could handle it. It could; everything was quickly reduced to an impressive mush.

The recipe calls for three slices of bacon to be blended with the meats. A shred wrapped itself around one of the blades. I fussed with a spatula: nothing doing. Like a mindless idiot, I reached into the bowl.

The dulcet sounds of my swearing interrupted Hockeyman, who was absorbed in the Sharks/Predators playoff game. Jonathan Cheecho got hurt in the second period. Friends, the Sharks are toast. You heard it here first.

[Final score 5-4 Sharks in the second overtime. Take that! - Hockeyman]

"What?"

"Nothing. I cut myself. Oh, fuck." Blood everywhere. I stood over the sink, surveying my messy domain. I'd slashed my right middle finger, near the nail. It didn't look deep. Just annoying. The counter was spread with dirty cutting boards, knives, garlic. I plastered bandaids over the wound and returned to my meat. It was time to add the cream.

"Are you okay?"

"Yeah." I noticed the immersion blender's cord had migrated into the sink, acquiring a soap-bubble sheen. Oops. If I didn't bleed to death I'd electrocute myself. Either God was punishing me for making such a treyfe dish or I was having a Bobby Flay moment. I swore a little more.

"Dear?"

"I'm fine. Really."

I finished blending everything, did a final mix with the spatula, admired my gorgeous handiwork, then poured it into a baking dish. I lovingly spread more bacon over the top and tucked it into the oven. The kitchen looked like a toddler had torn through it. The dishtowels bore alarming pink smears. The chopper's unfamiliar noise had frightened Kitty, who took refuge in the closet.

Never mind. I felt stoked. All amateur cooks are secretly happy when they cut or burn themselves. There we are, manfully holding our maimed extremities over the sink, far from the food, waiting for the dripping to cease so we may resume our culinary handiwork. We can play like the big boys. We're tough. We're Bobby Flay, or even better, Masaharu Morimoto, whose knife skills trounce Flay's. We are Julia Child, smiling as the omelet falls to the floor on live television.

We are Dan Akroyd mimicking Julia Child on Saturday Night Live. O, humiliation.

But, soft! What light through yonder bandaid breaks? Is the bleeding slowing? Might we survive to consume our terribly treyfe, politically incorrect pate?

Bon Appetit!

(Meanwhile, the Sharks, having given up a 4-2 two lead, are heading into their second overtime. Go Wings!)

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