Saturday, December 6, 2008

Mother Nature Laughs Long and Hard

Mother Nature's Son

Red Rocket

"You should really get that checked out..."

I'm just sayin'?! Okay, that has to be the most hilarious thing I've seen growing from the ground. I almost pissed myself, I laughed so hard. It got picked.

I don't post many recipes here, but today, inspired by this radish, I'm going to. This is a recipe that comes from The Whole Beast: Nose to Tail Eating, by Fergus Henderson, owner/founder of St. John. This may be one of the least unusual recipes in this canon of offal, game, and swine. You should buy it. 

Radishes to Accompany Duck or Goose

The fresh, peppery radishes make a perfect foil for the rich birds. 

3 bunches of radishes with happy leaves
Juices from the roasting pan of the duck or goose, or duck fat and a splash of chicken (duck) stock
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Remove the leaves from the radishes and wash both the leaves and radishes. Heat up your roasting juices or fat and stock, then add the radishes. Let this sizzle, stirring frequently. In approximately 5 minutes the radishes will have changed to pink blushing orbs, still crispy but with a hint of giving. Add the radish leaves and remove the pan from the heat. The leaves do two things: they give a wonderful flavor, and they add a structural weave, preventing your radishes from rolling all over your plate when served. Season with salt and pepper and stir, letting the leaves wilt a moment, then serve with roast duck or goose. 

Duck Fat  Loves You

I think that this dish can do more than accompany duck or goose. We had it last night with a Niman Ranch Ribeye Roast, and it was a nice foil for the rich meat of the roast. I think you could use the drippings from roast beef or pork, and it would be just fine. If you have duck fat laying around, then use it. Duck fat is the bomb. I've made this recently to accompany pan seared duck breast, and it is a nice complimentary flavor, so if you plan on having duck soon, try this. If you are a vegan or vegetarian, or may be entertaining one, butter (preferably the Remember When Dairy variety, for the non-vegans) and some Imagine No Chicken Chicken Broth would do fine. For those vegans who may actually read this, a blend of some of the richer oils, like walnut, and grapeseed oil, with the aforementioned broth, would produce nice, tender results. 



TexasDeb said...

Wow. Mother Nature is AWEsome.

I have questions (of course).

You only use the leaves, no stems, correct? Also- if somebody were to not have a duck roasted but still wanted to try this out with, say, bacon fat or something, are you thinking about 1/4 cup of fat/meat juices per 3 bunches of radishes?

And finally. How many radishes makes a Bunch, oh produce guru? If I were to be grabbing my (nonpenile) radishes from the garden for this, how many would I need, ballpark?

Sounds and looks yummy. How could anything all peppery and quick blasted in bird fat not be?

Shadd Scott said...

You didn't use that radish for cooking did you.
No, I bet I know what bearded weirdo do with radishes like that....Here kitty kitty kitty;)

Flapjacks said...

i used a piece of duck fat about the same size as a pat of butter, and not too much drippings. it says a splash and means it? who knows.

as far as bunches of radishes go, i'd say you could get away with like twelve, or less. we did about that many last night. i trimmed the stems off.

Laurie said...

Happy leaves! The radish was funny enough, but "happy leaves?" Does it say that?

Thanks for veganizing and not criticizing:) Walnut oil is on my next shopping list.

Word verification is "uniza" as in "I'm a uniza, not a deviza"

Flapjacks said...

Fergus Henderson says things like 'happy leaves', or 'let sit in fridge twenty-four hours to find itself'. it cracks me up.

jen mcclure said...

Intelligent it's sexiest!

Flapjacks said...

It was only about 2 - 2 1/2 inches tall, but the picture does it justice. Niki said it best - "It looks 10 inches tall. 10."

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