Well Good Morning All Tangy Great Cookies & Happy Tuesday To You!
Vegans are always preaching that one should, "EAT MORE KALE!"
And so I'm sure that all vegans will downright ADORE my feast from today therefore!
So let the details begin...
So I had this organic Tuscan raw kale...
And I also had some little snails...
Least I forget too, these downright adorable little quails!
Dr. Seuss would be damn proud, although his cousin, "Dr. Sauce," would insist that a very good wine would be paired, and I have JUST the one in my refrigerator now, although I'm going without wine this week, and so I take a pass...Sigh.
Meanwhile, some odds and ends to use up today were the following: Shallots, Shitake Mushrooms, a tomato, and those sassy capers wrapped in anchovies. (Those savory "chovy treasures" are just so crazily beautiful, or to this Salty Broad anyway)! Delish!
So I chopped up the tomato, shallots and mushrooms, and added in the snails...
I put one "caper wrapped in anchovy" inside each quail...
and then stuffed them with that mixture of chopped goods...
And I mopped them through lots of grapeseed oil...
And I put the remaining stuffing/mixture into an old frying pan that's handle had broken off. (Unsure whether any smoke would get in there or not, but I was willing to try).
So pistachio shells were used as "smoking chips" in my tiny gas smoker...
and that pan of "mixture" went on the lower rack...
and then the lovely quails went onto a grapeseed oil greased "grill grate" atop the top rack of my smoker...
and I fired that up at about 270 degrees for 30 minutes...
Meanwhile, for the plating, I got out Tunisian olive oil (liquid gold and just luscious), and black pepper in my electric pepper mill (my only battery toy ever and something I just find incredible on every day), and two more little caper/anchovies as garnish, and then some Persian Blue Salt.
Now this Persian Blue Salt is just a really sexy rock salt, that's strong and flavorful and confident and terrific - some of the crystals being a stunning blue that offsets the white - due to compression, but it's really a finishing salt that sits right on the food and doesn't permeate it.
(I figured with the capers and anchovies all around, I only needed some dusting atop the plate with salt, just before sitting down).
This fabulous rock salt choice was just perfect!
When the quails came off, they smelled hypnotic! Just gorgeous!
And to my surprise and delight, that pan of goods became really smoky too - with the kale being nice and "al dente" and not a mound of mush, and yet not as abrasive as it was when it was raw.
The whole ensemble was terrific, and while I really love the raw quail EGGS, I'll say that quails themselves are the only poultry where the breast meat is fantastic to me, and even more so than the legs! (Normally I am a drumstick gal bar none, with other birds). But these were great!
And what is it about poultry of any kind, that allows all etiquette to go entirely out the window?
Suddenly there's yanking and pulling at carcasses and scraping and noshing at pockets of skin - grease running down the chin - and just grinding in for more!?
With unstoppable locomotion, I was just ravenously savaging these delicacies and almost like eating whole sparrows, yet with the bones not being malleable enough to munch right up!
Still, from hollowing out the snail-shitake stuffing (WON-DER-FUL) and coming to that illustrious anchovy and caper, midway, once inside of each piece, (oh my GOD was that moment divine), I went at these fantastic fowl finds, and with so much appreciation and gratitude, that it now goes onto my dear list to indeed have again!
The mound of pan smoked "stuff" was really tremendous as well!
And the great black pepper and bold blue salt just made it all right up my salty alley! AMAZING!
While I don't like to waste, and am often eating heads/bones and all of some fish and so much; I DID have a pile of remains here (and I admittedly had cut off the quail necks before I cooked) though I can assure you that as much gallant eating which could possibly take place, did indeed happen!
Funny, in addition to skipping wine this week (drank more than my surfeit during the Easter weekend you see) I vowed to eat a little "lighter" over these next few days as well.
I suppose I'll get right on that then. Tomorrow that is.
For now however, THANK YOU TONS for sharing in my Snails, Quails, & Kale!
Cheers! - Leah