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Cook's Corner - CharcutePalooza

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It's not in line with my usual recipes - though technically livestock can and has been grown in my garden (pigs, goats, sheep, chickens) - but I read about this challenge from Mrs. Wheelbarrow's Kitchen and couldn't resist. I bought Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing by Michael Ruhlman for my dad when it first came out. We made a couple of batches of sausages (mmmm rosemary apple chicken sausage) but never got much more adventurous than that. We read through some of the recipes and said to ourselves, "Oh, pink salt and pork belly?  The grocery store doesn't carry that, we'll have to special order it someday." Someday was quickly forgotten and the book sadly started gathering dust so I confiscated it.

I'm also embarassingly squeamish about cooking meat. Well, maybe not the cooking as much as the touching and cutting. It's a serious shortcoming and I need to get over it. I'm not a vegetarian by any means, but somehow I ended up learning to cook like one. I'm more than willing to eat it, as long as someone else will do my dirty work. Now that J. is an intern and has no time to cook yummy things for me, I'm really starting to miss things like steak and roast chicken. It's time to get past it and start branching out my cooking instead of waiting for someone to feed me.

The plan is to throw myself into the fire and do all twelve charcuterie challenges this year. Whenever possible I'm going to go as far out of my comfort zone as I can and by the end of the year I'm going to be a meat cooking maniac!

January Challenge: Duck Prosciutto

February Challenge: Bacon

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Cook's Corner at California Gardens