Every once in a while a literary recipe pops into my head and I have to ask myself, “Cara, are you going too far?” This might be one of them, but I just can’t help myself. Fava beans are in season, they are everywhere in the markets looking like the Arnold Schwarzeneggers of sugar-snap peas and it’s impossible not to think about the Thomas Harris Hannibal Lecter series. Was anyone else as obsessed with these books as I was in high school? No? Is that why I only had one friend?
by Cara Nicoletti on May 4, 2013
One of my favorite high school English teachers once told me that the most beautiful line in all of literature comes from The Great Gatsby. I can still recite the line by heart after over a decade—“In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars.”
See the recipe ▸ ▸ ▸
by Cara Nicoletti on May 3, 2013
The Emma Woodhouse Ham is officially done! A month ago it was deboned, skinned, rubbed in salt and spices and left to cure for two weeks. After two weeks it was removed from the crock, double-wrapped in cheesecloth, tied and hung to cure for ten more days.
After those ten days we removed it from the fridge, unwrapped it and smoked it at 150F for 45 minutes with chips, then another eight hours without chips until the internal temperature was 140F.
It was hung to cool in the refrigerator overnight then cut in half and sliced very very thinly (the saltiness makes this necessary). In an attempt to keep things as close to how they would have been in Emma Woodhouse’s time every component of this crostini, from the pork we used (Dustin Gibson’s farm, Ghent, New York), to the honey drizzled on top is local—much of it from no further than a mile away!
Here, the thinly-sliced ham is on a thick hunk of Roberta’s city white bread, topped with Salvatore ricotta, locally-foraged pea shoots, and drizzled in Davis honey
. It was salty and sweet and smokey and I ate a lot more of it than I’m going to tell you about.
I hope this took the scariness out of curing your own meat a little bit, and maybe even inspired you to explore your local foods. If you have any curing questions please feel free to email me with them.
Now go! Get curing!