Last night I had dinner at Au Pied de Cochon for the first time. It was an incredible meal. I shared the Foie Gras Poutine with one of my cousins. For those of you who don’t know, poutine is a Quebecois dish that consists of french fries topped cheese curds and covered in gravy. Under normal circumstances it’s delicious, but when the gravy is made with foie gras, the cheese is homemade, and the whole thing is topped with a piece of seared foie gras, it is artery clogging heaven.
As a main dish I ordered the Duck in a Can. It’s a magret duck breast with a piece of seared foie gras placed between the meat and the skin, the duck breast is then canned with wine braised cabbaged and cooked in the can. The waiter opens the can at the table and empties it onto a plate of celery root and potato puree and a piece of toast. The duck breast is perfectly cooked, and the foie gras somehow stays intact. It was incredible. For dessert I had a molten chocolate cake, which was also delicious, but I think next time I’ll have the Pudding Chomeur. Pudding Chomeur, which translates to welfare pudding, is a Quebecois dessert that was popularized during the depression. It’s a vanilla cake batter cooked in a hot sugar syrup, and the version served at Au Pied de Cochon is oh soo good.
Strangely enough, this morning I woke up with desire to eat nothing but salad. What I made was inspired by the Wild Rice Salad in Ina Gartens new book, How Easy Is That?. I was missing a couple of the ingredients, and I wanted something that could be a main course rather than a side, so I made a few changes.
Wild Rice and Chickpea Salad
- 2 cups red rice, cooked (2 cups cooked is about 1 cup raw)
- 2 cups cooked chickpeas, or one can drained
- 2 oranges, peeled and sectioned
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup almond slivers, toasted
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp orange juice
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
- parley to garnish
- In a large bowl toss the rice, chickpeas, orange sections, cranberries and almonds together.
- In a small bowl or cup, stir together the olive oil, orange juice, vinegar and seasoning.
- Dress the rice salad with the orange juice mixture. Garnish with parsley.