Dear Chef Bourdain;
I know, I said my next post would be some sweet, sweet knife-porn. Which isn’t anywhere as dirty as you’d think. In fact, somebody somewhere just googled their way into something a *lot* different than what they were looking for. Anyway, this isn’t about knives, it’s about stock.
I’ve always used the stuff that comes in those flimsy waxed boxes, but the once or twice I’ve made my own stock, it was palpably better; and that was just chicken. So I’m …somewhat excited that this coming Sunday is going to be stock and demi-glace day. I’m going to make some chicken stock, and dark veal stock. I’ve only got one stock pot big enough, so for one day that’s enough. Oh, and some demi-glace, too.
Unusually for Los Angeles, it’s been cool and rainy this week. This is what we’d call Winter weather, but anywhere would be like…early Fall. But that’s pretty much perfect for making a good soup. My woman will be off at a baby shower for her sister-in-law, so it’ll just be me and Assistant Chef Bourdain (my dog) in the house making stock and drinking the left over wine. I’m going to start the day at the Venice farmer’s market to look for some good, locally sourced veggies in season, too. Maybe they’ll have some veal bones, too – but if not, the local Whole Foods does. I have mixed feelings about Whole Foods – they do have some good ingredients, but they’re heavily priced and owned by a deep Right Wing Libertarian who stands for almost everything I’m against.
But hey, any business is owned, by definition, by either a corporation or a business-owner, almost all of whom have a vested interest in making a profit and relatively few in being responsible community partners. So I’m just going to get the best stuff I can get wherever I can get it, and try my best to get it local and in-season. Fortunately California has an awful lot of really amazing stuff locally. In your book you sneer at Californian strawberries, but I have to say, we grow a mean berry out here, and they only have to come from Ventura, which is the next county over. Local enough for me!
I’m also going to grow my own thyme and parsley. Well, I say “I” but what I really mean fiancee, who unlike me is capable of growing more than just a cactus or succulent, unlike me. Her parents have a bay tree in their yard, too, so we have all the fresh bay leaves we might ever need. And that’s what I need to make “bouqet garni” which is in, I might point out, every damn recipe in your book. What’s up with that? I mean, if there’s going to be one thing in everything I make, it would probably be garlic.
But you, sir, are the chef. So I’ll do it your way and see how it turns out. Especially the parts where it says “and drink excessive amounts of good burgundy”. I’ll have to just brace myself, and do as you instruct.
Into your hands, I commend myself, Chef – now let’s fuckin’ cook!
(again, obligatory f-bomb.)