Saturday, April 18, 2015

Friday's Foraged Food

Friday's meal with all local ingredients was awesome!

Duck breast over sauteed pokeweed and hostas with poached egg and goats milk cheese.

Pine Street Market had duck breast in house on Friday and I picked up a couple. I also used their bacon in the sauteed greens.

I always pick up goat's milk cheese from Capra Gia every Thursday at the Tucker Farmers Market.

The eggs came all the way from the side of the house, around 30 feet. Zero food miles.

Rounding out this dish was pokeweed and hostas plucked from the backyard. It was a variation on a Fried Poke Sallet recipe that I got here.

I didn't have as much pokeweed as I needed because it is just now beginning to come up. The hostas have already gotten pretty big so I substituted them for what I lacked in poke.

You are supposed to boil the pokeweed in two changes of water before you eat it. But I don't really think you need to do that with very young pokeweed. You only harvest the leaves. Mature pokeweed that is red can make you sick if you don't boil it first. It tastes like spinach to me.

I boiled the poke and then I sauteed that and the hostas in the bacon grease with garlic and soy sauce. The soy sauce was not locally sourced. The hostas wilt down very quickly kind of like radicchio. It eats just like a lettuce. It is very popular in Asian countries.

I sauteed the duck breast skin side down on high heat for a few minutes, starting with a cold pan. This allows the fat to render out. Flip it over and then put it in a 200 degree oven for 6 - 8 minutes. It's best when rare.

Poached eggs are incredibly simple. Bring water to a boil. I like to swirl it before dropping in the egg. Then just crack the egg into the water and let it boil for 4 minutes. Remove it to a bowl of water.

This dish came out seriously good, better than I expected. It's the first time I've cooked pokeweed. I had no idea hostas were eatable until very recently and the yard is full of them. They come back every year whether you want them to or not. Poke salad was a staple not that long ago. Now it's been deemed poisonous by the internet and is fatal to even look at. But I don't buy it. Something so ubiquitous as to have a song written about it can't be that bad!

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