salami, sausage, and pickles – oh my!

by brendan on October 2, 2006

recently i’ve been looking to expand my kitchen knowledge into some other culinary fields. i embarked on the great cheddar cheese experiment about six months ago – an experiment that failed in it’s first attempt, and has made me scared of cheese ever since (i get over my fear by eating cheese, so it’s worked out ok). i plan to get back on that horse soon, though preferably with something like cottage cheese, where i don’t have to wait 3 months to see if i fouled it up or made something heavenly (anything in between would be fine too).

in the meantime, a hankering for pickling, smoking, preserving, and stuffing has been welling up inside me, so after doing some research, i went ahead and bought charcuterie: the craft of salting, smoking, and curing by michael ruhlman and brian polcyn with a foreword by thomas keller. after looking through the book, reading the recipes, and generally absorbing all the techniques and tricks, all i can say i wow. . .and then one more time, wow. i’m planning on doing some pickles this week, sausage next week, and then trying a terrine as well as curing something. i don’t know what i will cure, but it will be meaty (i must add that my wife is very pregnant, so this plan may get derailed). the one thing i will probably have to hold off on for now is smoking something, since we live in an apartment without a porch or backyard, and i am not sure how much the neighbors or my wife will enjoy the place smelling like a bbq joint. i know i would love it. . .

so, to make a long story short, if you’ve ever wanted to cure, salt, pickle, smoke, or learn the art of forcemeats, this is the book for you. and since i am giving you the recommendation, you are required to give me 10% of all your cured meats from this point on.

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