left-overs, of course


making food for two can be a hazard. certain folk are hungry at various times, unpredictably from a kitchen's point of view. i don't run a restaurant where the cook apportions per diner. one never knows if there's a wolf charging through that door, or merely the lamb. the variant appetite often arrives from a recent late lunch, or enters my kitchen ravenously, not a nibble since early breakfast. hence i make food for three. and cope with the gathering of little jars anon. 

sometimes it is a better deal at the butcher to buy an entire flank steak, toute la bavette, for the french. and roast it all in one take. like the curious cook says, work your meat fast over scorching heat, charcoal preferred, then move it to the cool side, say 210. my old grill, as it is, has just about enough rack to frizzle an entire bavette over white glowing coals, so i finish the thing in the oven, slowly on gentle heat. i want the temperature inside the meat not to exceed 125, 130 max. this way the meat has had time to render its flavor without drying out. 


its done, as you might like it. for rare, it should feel like prodding your cheek (left or right); medium, the tip of your nose; well done, your chin. i allow the meat to settle on a warmed platter, after its cooked. it needs to re-arrange its juices, so to speak, before it is sliced. incidentally, searing a steak in no way locks in its juices. it does however caramelize the meat, creating a nutty, sweet flavor. which is why i start out blistering the bavette on those white hot coals.


nowadays the markets around here carry loads of chanterelles, at a decent price. from southern washington they say. the golden mushroom has its own, very distinct fragrance. which is only enhanced by butter. alright, so i roast thinly sliced leek, and deglace my pan with a good shot of sake. in go those "pfifferlinge" to stew, the fat ones cut bite size, leaving wee snippies whole. my aunt paula cooked them that way, she didn't have sake and hashed hers in an ever so sΓΌffig, sweet mosel. we'd come back from a wood's marge, late light casting dark from tall conifers, where the mushroom grows, often hiding under clutter and leaf mould. aunt paula knew just where to go. she returned to their lair each season, that den, where she had plucked them then as a young woman. oh, and the stories she told about my uncle, how he showed her a path skirting the woods when first they courted. me, i carried the basket, proud of the heap, the hoard of the forage, flush of those todes under a muslin cover. and not without snagging a couple of thumb-sizeds along the way. munching a small, raw "gelbling" now, sends me right back to those woods, to the grove where the valley opened to vistas of my suabian alps. long since, yes, and i'll bet those chanterelles still sprout in that spot, secret as it was then, the den sheltered by those trees, tall woods now secure in perpetuity.