Friday, December 28, 2007

Goose Gumbo and Seasonal Ramblings

On several fronts,things get pretty wild around the Unique Culinary homestead come the Holidays. With family converging from afar, the activities begin with arrangements to have interesting food and drink around the house, to compiling and preparing a Christmas dinner menu, and ultimately to coming up with something appropriate for ringing in the New Year.

This Christmas it all began with 100 Olde Salt oysters ordered from Rappahannock River Oysters in Virginia. You can hear all about this ultra-high salinity take on those wonderful Chincoteague oysters of yesteryear by downloading our December 26 Unique Culinary Adventures podcast.

Next ordered were the breasts and legs of two geese from Schlitz Goose Farms in Sisseton, South Dakota. The result is pictured above. Known as "goose gumbo" around our house, it's really the buckshot gumbo for which a recipe appears in the November, 2006, issue of Food & Wine Magazine.

The great culinary surprise of the season was the impulse purchase that accompanied the goose parts order from South Dakota, namely a couple of individual smoked goose breasts. Ranging in size from 1/2 pound to 1 1/2 pounds and in cost from $5.50 to $11.75, they provided the most delectable smoked meat experience of my lifetime. The slices pictured at left were all that remained of the second breast by the time it occurred to me to shoot a picture.
The Christmas dinner menu was as follows:
  • Mrs. Yi's Caviar Pie as featured on this site Nov. 30, 2006.
  • Shrimp Ceviche from my sister-in-law Carmen.
  • Sweet Corn and Chile Soup according to a recipe provided in 1992 from the Yellow Brick Bank Restaurant in Shepherdstown, West Virginia.
  • Luscious Turkey Breast as featured on this site Nov. 26, 2006.
  • Baby Peas with Mustard Horseradish Butter from the April, 2007 Gourmet Magazine.
  • Wild Rice and gravy.
  • A salad that Mrs. Yi made up as she went along of red leaf lettuce, arugula, pomegranate seeds, chopped apples and chopped pears tossed in lime juice, chopped red onion, and crumbled bleu cheese tossed in olive oil, Champagne vinegar, lime juice, salt,and pepper.

After all that, no one had room for desert, which would have consisted of ice cream and and whatever sweets had found their way into the house in the days leading up to Christmas.

Now it's time to be thinking about New Years. At the moment, pickled rainbow trout is the only item all but certain to figure in. If that happens, you'll be able to see a picture and read the recipe here. Happy New Year if we don't get to you before then.