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, Wyoming
Thanks for visiting Sauce du Jour. Feel free to share a great recipe, leave a comment, or make me dinner. I'll bring hors d' oeuvres and the wine! To visit my website go to Thanks for visiting the Sauce ~Tammi

May 26, 2010

Dessert With A Side Of Duck Fat Fries

    Duck Fat Fries—they called my name. I was looking for a new restaurant to try and saw them on a menu. Some of you may see those three little words and think triple by-pass, or maybe just ewww. Not me, I thought ahhh, heaven served up in a paper cone! As a lover of foie gras, I made a beeline to the phone to make a reservation. Paring fancy food with the familair, succulent with simplicity and the rich with the redneck is just one of the many things that I love about food. As a certified-double-stamped foodie, I know that duck fat fries are sooo last year, but that doesn't mean that I haven't been jonesing for them for an entire year., The Big Guy, Daughter #1 and six of our best friends headed straight to Tag, a hip restaurant in Denver’s Lodo district. We all bellied up, ready to sample as many dishes as we could, even if it meant having to undo the top buttons of our pants at the table.
     We started with cocktails—strawberry-basil swizzle; jalapeno-kumquat mojito; amante picante; to name a few. Interesting but a little strange was the general consensus, so after one we switched to wine.
     We then fell head over heels for the Surf and Turf Sushi Roll (Kobe beef, lobster, shitakes, masago {which is an Icelandic caviar, for you lay folk}). Next it was love at first bite when we tasted the Taco Sushi (charred Ahi, sticky rice, mango). Then it was on to the Angry Volcano Roll, which, by the way was plenty pissed (read spicy).
     I may think of myself as a food snob from time to time (or all of the time, for that matter) but I should probably have my card pulled because I have never had pop rocks in my food. Not on purpose anyway, so I ordered us a round of the Flash Seared Hiramasa. Sitting all pretty on top of it was yuzu (a sour Japanese citrus fruit), white soy, myoga (a Japanese vegetable—I had to look that one up myself, so don’t feel bad lay folk) and get this…pop rocks. Yes, the candy from the 70’s has gone culinary! Who’d of thunk? And then finally, the real reason we were love us some duck fat fries!  Frying then in duck fat gave them a perfectly crispy outside with a silky finish. Inside they were sweet; not like sweet potato sweet, but like savory, caramelized heaven sweet. They tasted like pure indulgence. Unfortunately there weren’t enough of them and it became obvious that we could have eaten our combined weight in duck fat fries.
Troopers that we are, we  proceeded to the entrees! The Big Guy, RL and Bell had the Hanger Steak. All agreed the meat was nicely cooked, had great flavor, but wished it would have met up with a tenderizer before it hit their plates. Daughter #1 and Girlfriend went with the Scallops which were plump and therefore hiding behind some fat peas and a drape of a yummy, creamy Latin-y sauce. Mr. & Mrs. Lexus hit the dinner jackpot with the Miso Black Cod, served with edamame salsa. The second it touched the tongue it melted like butter in a hot skillet. Lady BelI and I went with the farm raised Kauai Moi, which is a fish that neither of us had never eaten before. We learned that it is usually reserved for Hawaiian royalty.  Well, well—if it’s good enough for the Queen of Hawaii then I guess it’s good enough for us. (Disclaimer here…The waiter told me that Tag is the only restaurant in CO that serves it, but I have no way of verifying that so don’t call me if you see it on a menu in a truck stop in Walsenburg.) It was delicate and mild, yet had the flavor of a much meatier fish. I barely noticed the fava beans, root beer carrots and tiara, which were served on the side.                      Some or all of us may have unbuttoned one button at this point. After all, there was a dessert menu to be scrutinized. We chose two, the standout being the Sticky Toffee Cake—served with bourbon butterscotch ice cream, chocolate truffle, raspberry passion sauce and hot toffee sauce. We grabbed our forks and loosened up another button. It was AMAZING!  The only way it could have been any more decadent was if it had been served with a side of Duck Fat Fries!  
I put a recipe for Duck Fat Fries with Cilantro Aioli on the "Soups-Salads-Sides" page.  I have no idea where one can find duck fat, so just go ahead and make regular fries and serve them with the cilantro aioli.  I'll vouch for its delish factor!

May 12, 2010

Poison Meatballs

I love Meatballs—making them and eating them!  My daughters, on the other hand, would prefer to chew on tinfoil (after having a mouth full of cavitites filled) than to eat meatballs.
     Savannah’s hate affair began almost immediately after her first bite of one.  I remember her wrinkling up her tiny nose, stomping a little foot and demanding to know what I had put in them. “They taste just like poison”, she howled after one bite. (I’m not sure how she would know that, since to my knowledge I had never fed her poison before.) Sierra, always a suspicious child, brought her fork to a screeching halt mid-air and starred me down like a prison warden until I agreed to put it in writing that, Nooo I did not put poison in the meatballs. Even to this day Savannah will not and can not be bribed into eating one, and now, almost twenty years later, Sierra still raises a suspicious eyebrow to any meatball she meets.
     Enter The Big Guy into the picture…this is a man who has never met a meatball he doesn’t like.  While the kids where crying at the dinner table because of the poison meatballs on their plates, he was poking them down the old pie hole faster than a televangelist can poke dollar bills into his pocket. “Do I look like I’m dying here?” could be heard between bites.
     My toddlers turned into little girls, who turned into teenagers, but there was no turning them into meatball eaters.  Instead they went on hunger strikes whenever the poison meatballs appeared on the table.  I just learned to live with the accusations as I subconsciously practiced the deposition that I would surely be required to give, in the event that one of my family members turned up….well you know…poisoned.
     These days The Big Guy still loves his meatballs and requests them for dinner on a regular basis. And I still love making them.  Putting my hands into that mixture of raw meat and herbs and crumbs and seasonings and whatever else and then forming it into a ball, is what I love most about meatballs.  But it’s just not the same anymore  (insert a heavy sigh here).  Whenever I bring that goo together I think about those days so long ago, when two little girls sat at the dinner table and objected to my meatballs—certain that my hands were molding a giant poison pill and that I was trying to coerce them into swallowing it. Oh how wrong they were! Those crazy kids…mistaking love for poison.

This is The Big Guy’s all time favorite Spaghetti and Poison Meatball recipe.  It’s a bit time consuming to make but worth every minute.  If you have some moral issue against using veal, substitute it for ground beef and plug your ears for a second.  Shhh...the secret to a tender, melt in your mouth meatball is veal.  I've included a variation for Stuffed Meatballs, (my fave) which are delish and oozing with cheese!  But hey, you could stuff cheese into a turd and I'd be tempted to eat it!  Go to the "Pasta" tab at the top of this page to view it.

May 3, 2010

Call Me Careless

 I once read that to lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.     
      Call me careless.  I have lost both of my parents—my mother almost ten years ago and my father just recently.  After my mother died I spent the next several years adrift—lost in a sea of grief.  It felt like I was in a small boat and that the Queen Mary had just passed in front of me, trapping me in her wake.  Gradually I was able to paddle my way out it and back to a calmer place.
     Now I have lost my father.  I heard the warning whistle and knew that the storm was imminent.  I braced myself, expecting hurricane force grief to come bearing down on me. Instead I felt only a slight breeze.  Unexpected tranquility on a cool night. 
     It has never before occurred to me that there are varying degrees of despair. I believed that the pain of loss was as infinite as death itself.  Anguish is anguish, or so I thought. But this time around it feels so different.
     When my mom died I was grieving not just for her, but for both of my parents—my mother because she was gone and my father because he was left.  Now they are both gone and technically I'm an orphan, if that is possible at age 40-something.  This time it is different.  The sadness I feel is mostly for myself, my daughters and my unborn grandchild, who will never meet his or her Grandpa Coyote and Grandma Di.  Sometimes my sadness is overshadowed by my own embarrassment.  Any daughter worth her sea salt would be ashamed to admit that twinges of happiness eclipse her sorrow.  I am happy that my parents are together again and I am happy that my dad’s suffering is over, as is my mom's waiting.  They are happy because they are together again, riding into a sunset that promises them an eternity together.  And it is because of that promise, that I am at peace.  I am praying that I will find it easier to live with carelessness than it was to live with misfortune.

And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” Luke 23:43


"Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime." - Martin Luther