Craving pheasant

As American Regional is winding down winter is rapidly approaching and braising season is upon us.

An autumn “hike” through (and at times in) the woods along the Kankakee River yesterday, complete with the sound of hunters shooting small game and game birds, now has me in the mood for pheasant. This area is to date the most beautiful area of Illinois I’ve seen (ok, that’s not really that hard to accomplish but it was still beautiful) and even reminded me at times of my native Virginia. 

So maybe I’ll call my local butcher and order a pheasant for next weekend.

Class has been going along just fine.  Today was the cuisine of California – yes, one state is considered to be its own region, which is fine, especially when you consider Alice Waters and Thomas Keller both ply their trade there (well Northern California at least).

In focusing on California I made a chilled cucumber and avocado soup (could have used a dash of white wine vinegar and indeed champagne vinegar did brighten this up a bit), did the seafood prep for cioppino and helped season it (cioppino is a very fine Italian seafood stew not dissimilar to bouillabaisse), assembled dates with a goat cheese/pistachio/honey mix with a caramel sauce (the caramel sauce was superflous and I would in the future make this a more savory dish employing a different sauce, perhaps an orange gastrique or something along those lines), and lastly I caramelized onions for our bbq chicken pizza. 

Not bad but kind of a slow day.

Only two more cuisines to go (three if you count the combining of Alaska & Hawaii into one day).  Thurday is the final and Friday we move to menu planning and nutrition – only six weeks until Christmas break.

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