Saturday, March 8, 2008

Recipe: Tiny birds in the oven

What do you do a day when it just rains all day? We cook. Italian chicken filled with cheese and spinach, wild mushroom tart, cevapcici (long Turkish meatballs), braised fennel with parmesan crust, while we wait for the rivers, roads, and our driveway to become completely flooded. The driveway has already flooded and I had to dig two diverting trenches to get most of the water towards the meadow instead of the front door. In the basement the sumppump is keeping up so far, but there is a little waterfall the cats like to play with.

This recipe is from a dinner a few weeks ago, but it is so good I think you all should try it. I bet it works with chicken too.

This is a fantastic recipe we adapted from the book Under the Tuscan Sun. Mmm, so good! Try it.
Slowly braised Quail with Juniper Berries

6 servings (2 quails per person)

Take 12 quails and dip them in flour. Brown them in a dutch oven pan or cast iron frying pan in olive oil on top of the stove, turn the quails so they get brown all over. Arrange quail in a oven-proof dutch oven pan with a tight lid with backs up. Pour 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar over quails. Add strips of pancetta on top of each quail and sprinkle minced shallots over. Add sprigs of thyme, crushed pepper, and about 1-2 tablespoons juniper berries. Cook in oven (275 degrees F) for 2-3 hours (check for doneness, the meat should fall off the bones). After an hour turn the quail over so the breast side is up, make sure pancetta is still on top of each quail. Add liquid (red wine, sherry or balsamic vinegar) if pan gets dry. Eat.

PS. Griggstown Quailfarm in New Jersey is the best place on this side of the Atlantic for quail.


LS said...

Part two of the sump pump story:

At 6.30 the lights flickered and the power went off, in the middle of the cooking. It had stopped raining, but there were storm winds outside, among the worst I have ever seen here. Wind blew in through the closed front door. We continued cooking on the gas stove with candle light and, wise from earlier experiences we had plenty of flash lights.

The problem appeared a little later when PP checked on the back up battery to the backup sump pump. The backup pump wasn't running normally and the water was rising fast in the sump in the basement, and would soon flood the floor. Panic and fast acting kids and parents and two hours of hard work (and no dinner, it was getting cold on our table), and the basement never flooded. We ran two garden hoses from the sump out the door and down the low hill, and hoped that the gravity fed hoses would suck some water out (they did). AREA had to suck air until her stomach hurt out of one hose to get the water going, but it worked - the hoses did they job, if slowly.

The electricity came on for 30 seconds around 9 PM but wasn't back until 11.30 PM. By then the flow of water into the basement had stopped. Thank god the rain had stopped by dinner time or we would have been flooded. Outside you could hear the first spring peepers (frogs) in the wind and the neighbor's generators. I think we need a generator...

Now the problem is that the electricity is back but the sump pump is not working at all. The hoses are still doing their job, but it better not rain for a few days before PP figures out what is wrong. I wonder how many trees are down in the forest.

Here is from the news:
"New Jersey got as much as 3 inches of rain from the storm, and heavy wind and rain caused power outages and downed trees late Saturday there, as well as in Pennsylvania and New York. More than 100,000 customers were without power during the peak of the storm in New Jersey, utility companies in the state reported."

Olle said...
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