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Here Be Dragons

18 Dec

Dragon Stoop

These two noble beasts guard a lovely stoop on East 2nd Street in the Village.  For years I used to walk past them every single day on my way to work, and somehow I adopted the somewhat odd habit of squeezing their bulbous noses.

I got laid off from that job years ago, but I still walk by these guys on mornings that I can drag my lazy butt to the gym.  I love the elegant curves of their bodies.

I can’t help but think that at some point in time they’ve lost their wings.

Where’s Winter?

18 Dec

Have I mentioned the kind of weather we’ve been having here in New York City? Yesterday, I went out in a sweater. I mean, I was wearing pants and shoes and a tee-shirt, but other than that all I wore was a sweater. On December 17th; no coat, no scarf, no hat, no gloves. This is weird people.

Jefferson Market

Usually around this date (a date I remember every year as it’s my mother’s birthday) we’re freezing, sometimes knee-deep in snow. The thing is, it may be warm, and yet, only one week away from Christmas, I’m craving serious wintertime food. Venison, boar, rabbit, polenta, gnocchi, breads, root vegetables, pickles, wine sauces, dried fruit. So despite the warmth, it was time to scratch that December itch.

After a full day of Christmas shopping I met up with the boy to forage for dinner. I was hoping for venison, which they had, but only in a stir fry pack. I used to go deer hunting with my father. We used to have venison nearly year-round in the freezer (one thing to note though is that the venison never came from our hunting trips, if you know what I mean), but it was always in big cuts, never little ones like this. I wanted a rack or a loin or a steak, not little slivers of meat!

Wild Boar Braised In Red Wine

So, rather than getting something I wanted in a way I didn’t, we settled on a mini-boar roast from Dartagnan. The recipe on the back of the package was complex, stupidly complex, to the point that we nearly didn’t buy it for fear that we wouldn’t be able prepare it properly. Luckily, we did, and when we got home, I checked their website and found a far more agreeable recipe, Slow-Cooked Wild Boar Roast, that had good technique, but not exactly the flavor profile I was looking for.

So, I did what I do best and improvised. I had some dried fruit, some leftover wine and fresh thyme. And on the side? Polenta and french fried carrots. French fried carrots? Yep, completely by chance I figured out a way to make roasted carrots even more awesome.

Wild Boar In Wine With French Fried Carrots

The meal was incredible, better than some game meals I’ve had at really expensive restaurants, perfect for two people craving a taste of winter.

So, even though it’s beginning to feel a lot like a California Christmas outside, we’re feeling very New England inside our tiny Lower East Side apartment.

Head below the jump for the recipes for Unboring Boar & French Fried Carrots.

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