Grilled Wild Boar Sausage and Matsutake Mushrooms over a Potato and Brussels Sprouts Hash with Romesco Sauce

This meal was totally improvised… I had picked up the wild boar sausage at Laurelhurst Market and the matsutake mushrooms at Pastaworks. I came up with this so I could use them both before the weekend was over. And, any excuse to work in Brussels sprouts, of course…

I didn’t write anything down. The potatoes and Brussels sprouts were essentially the recipes that I used here. The Romesco sauce I made from scratch using this recipe. The matsutake mushrooms, I brushed with garlic oil and grill with the sausage.

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As for the beer… I pulled a bottle of Urtica – a beer brewed with stinging nettles – from Propolis Brewing up from the cellar.

Acorn Squash Stuffed with Venison, Fennel and Moroccan Spices

Acorn Squash Stuffed with Venison, Fennel and Moroccan Spices:

I stumbled upon this recipe on Food52, and was intrigued… But, I made a few changes that I thought were better suited for the Moroccan concept – namely switching the dried cranberries for pomegranate seeds and using manchego instead of cheddar cheese.

1 large acorn squash, cut in half and seeded
½ tsp sea salt, divided
½ cup water
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lb ground venison
½ cup red onion, finely chopped
½ cup fennel bulb, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground fennel seed
½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
½ tsp harissa
¼ cup pomegranate seeds
½ cup Greek yogurt
½ cup manchego, grated
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

Pre-heat oven to 400°.

Cut the acorn squash in half and scoop out the seeds and fiber. Place the squash halves, cut side down in a baking pan with a rack. Put enough water so the pan fills just below the rack – and is not touching the squash. Bake for 30 minutes. Pour out water, flip the squash so that the cut side is facing up, season generously with sea salt and spray with an olive oil cooking spray. Bake for another 10 minutes.

While the squash is cooking, heat the olive oil and sauté the venison, onion and fennel in a skillet on medium high heat until the vegetables are soft, and the venison is crumbled and cooked through. About 8 minutes. Then, add the minced garlic, coriander, cumin, fennel seed, black pepper and harissa, and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the yogurt and pomegranate seeds. Taste the filling and adjust seasonings as needed.

Scoop the filling into the acorn squash, packing it tightly and mounding it on the top. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes, then top the squash with cheese and bake for another 10 minutes. Garnish with the chopped parsley.

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I decided to go with a bottle of the Arctic Saison from Grassroots Brewing.

Crispy Duck Breast with Glazed Carrots and Baby Bok Choy with Sesame-Maple Sauce

Crispy Duck Breasts with Glazed Carrots:

This recipe is in the latest issue of Saveur magazine – although strangely absent from their website…

2 lb small carrots, peeled
3 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tsp sugar
1″-piece ginger, peeled and grated
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Zest and juice of 2 limes
4 boneless skin-on duck breasts, skin scored in a crosshatch pattern
2 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
3 tbsp kecap manis (sweet soy sauce)
1 tbsp honey

Place carrots, butter, sugar, ginger, salt, pepper, and ½ cup water in a 12″ skillet. Place a piece of parchment paper cut to the size of skillet over carrots; bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook until carrots are tender, 12-15 minutes. Uncover; cook until liquid is reduced to a thick glaze, 1-2 minutes. Stir in half the lime zest and juice; keep warm.

Season flesh side of duck with Chinese five-spice, salt and pepper. Place duck skin side down in a 12″ skillet; heat over medium-high heat. Cook, without flipping, until fat is rendered and skin is crisp, 5-6 minutes. Flip duck; cook until browned and to desired doneness, about 3 minutes for medium rare or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the duck reads 130°. Transfer duck to a cutting board; let rest 10 minutes before thinly slicing on an angle.

Bring remaining lime zest and juice, plus kecap manis and honey to a simmer in a 1 qt saucepan over medium-high heat; cook, stirring, until honey is dissolved, 1-2 minutes. To serve, divide duck breasts and carrots among 4 plates; drizzle with sauce.

As I was eating the duck, I realized what it was missing something: Fish Sauce. It really made a huge difference. I highly recommend it.

Baby Bok Choy with Sesame-Maple Sauce:

This is another recipe from Food52. You can find it here. I would suggest doubling the amount of maple syrup, since it cannot compete with the sesame oil.

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I ended up going with a bottle of the Bourbon Barrel Quad from Boulevard Brewing Co. with dinner and then a bottle of Darkest Hour from Anchorage Brewing Company for dessert…

Chicken & Sausage Gumbo with a Salad

One of the main reasons I cooked that chicken the night before, was that I knew there would be plenty of leftovers. Plus, I had some andouille that I had picked up from Chop as well as some left over roux in the freezer. I don’t have the recipe for the roux really written down. Next time I made a big batch, I’ll be sure to post it. I served this with a simple green salad with my homemade salad dressing (another one of those recipes that’s a “little of this and a little of that”).

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Recommend beverage: Flemish Kiss from The Commons Brewery.

Chicken Chimehuin and Sauteed Broccolini with Royal Trumpet Mushrooms and Pancetta

Chicken Chimehuin with Lemon Confit and Parsley, Olive Oil and Garlic Sauce:

This recipe came from Francis Mallmann’s Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way. You can find the recipe for the chicken here, the lemon confit here, and the parsley, olive oil and garlic sauce here.

Sauteed Broccolini with Royal Trumpet Mushrooms and Pancetta:

This is another Food52 recipe that you can find here. The recipe calls for ¾ lb of pancetta, but ⅓ lb is more than enough.

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This time, I went with a bottle of Erthe from Propolis Brewing that has been sitting in my fridge for quite a while…

Mémère’s Tomato & Corn Soup with Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

This recipe was my grandmother’s – which I’m sure probably she found in either a magazine or on the back of a soup can. I’ve streamlined is a bit, using pre-cooked bacon to shorten the prep time (and add more bacon to the soup) as well as added a few extra spices for more flavor.

1 tbsp of bacon fat
1 box of pre-cooked bacon, sliced into 1 in. pieces
1 bunch of green onions, chopped
2 cans of Campbell’s tomato soup
1 can of cream corn
½ tsp of sweet paprika
1 or 2 drops of Chipotle hot sauce
Fresh cracked black pepper to taste

Melt bacon fat in medium saucepan. Add bacon, and fry until crispy. Then add the remaining ingredients.

Serve with grilled cheese sandwiches – preferable made with sourdough bread and sharp cheddar cheese.

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I went with a bottle of the Sleigh’r Dark Doüble Alt Ale from Ninkasi Brewing Company.

Grilled Calamari, Grilled Vegetables with Tzatziki and Israeli Couscous with Black Trumpet Mushrooms

Grilled Calamari:

I found this recipe at Food52. You can find it here. I ended up using Aleppo since I only had sweet paprika versus smoked – which the recipe calls for. I also did not use skewers since I did not have any tentacles and left the bodies whole. 

Grilled Vegetables with Tzatziki:

This recipe is from Hassan M’Souli’s Moroccan Modern cookbook. In his version, he has you make the harissa and tzatziki from scratch. I’ve also left out the leeks, snow peas, sweet potato and zucchini – since I’m only cooking for two. I did add some garlic, since I thought it could use it.

2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp cilantro, de-stemmed & chopped
1 tbsp harissa
2 cloves of garlic, minced
juice from ½ lemon
1 medium eggplant
1 medium sweet potato
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 bunch of asparagus
½ cup of tzaziki sauce

Make the marinade by mixing the first five ingredients together in a non-reactive bowl.

Then wash all of the vegetables. Quarter the bell peppers and de-seed them. Slice the eggp/ant and sweet potato into 1/2 inch slices. Snap the hard ends of the asparagus. Mix in with marinade, and let sit for at least 15 minutes.

When done marinating, discard the marinade and grill the vegetables for 5 minutes per side. After platting, put a good dollup tzaziki on top.

Israeli Couscous with Black Trumpet Mushrooms:

This one is my own creation. I love black trumpet mushrooms. I buy them dried at the local farmer’s market.

½ cup chicken broth
½ cup water
¼ cup white wine
2 tbsp dried black trumpet mushrooms
1 cup of Israeli couscous
1 tbsp butter

Mix the broth water and white wine is a small saucepan. Chop the dried black trumpet mushrooms into small 1/4 inch pieces and stir into the small saucepan and let sit for 15 minutes. The mushrooms will absorb the mixture and increase in size. Bring to a boil and mix in the Israeli couscous. Simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mix in butter just before serving.

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As to what to drink, I decided to go with a bottle of the Ferme De La’ Ville Provision from Block 15.