Then I stumbled upon Charcutepalooza.
I was taking a quick breeze through Michael Ruhlman's blog, and read his post on Charcutepalooza. Ruhlman actually wrote the book on charcuterie (no really, he did!), defined by the fine folks at Epicurious as meaning " ... "cooker of meat," charcuterie has been considered a French culinary art at least since the 15th century. It refers to the products, particularly (but not limited to) pork specialties such as PÂTÉS, RILLETTES, GALANTINES, CRÉPINETTES, etc., which are made and sold in a delicatessen-style shop, also called a charcuterie."Hallelujah!
Finally, a set challenge to test my skills as a cook. A task to advance my knowledge in an area that fascinates me. Folks...we have a winner!
The challenge is this: On the 15th of each month, a charcuterie challenge will be posted on the blog Mrs. Wheelbarrow's Kitchen. The post will kick off the project and offer some tips for success. Participants have one month to complete our take on the challenge.
Kim from The Yummy Mummy will post her take on the monthly challenge on the 15th, also. She’ll be addressing the charcuterie from a "never-done-it-before" point of view.The ladies are letting us slide a bit with the January challenge, Duck Prosciutto, which just has to be made and posted about at some point during the year. I have a few duck breasts from my friend Chan's fall hunting trip in my freezer, so I'll probably get started with those, even though wild duck is much, much leaner than farm-raised Pekins.
And that's how it goes.
Right now, I'm getting to work on my pancetta. I need to post by the 15th of February, which means I'll need to figure out a way to speed up the 3 week process to just over a week. Hey...no problem (fingers crossed!). I am a bit giddy about the very thought of hanging pancetta, prosciutto, sausages and the like in my basement from the rafters. So stay tuned. A fabulous quick pancetta recipe is just around the corner...