04Aug- rambling account of a kangaroo lunch
One of our severs is leaving. Jennifer. So because of her interest in consuming exotic/interesting/beautiful animals I acquired some kangaroo tenderloin. My intention had been to grill the kangaroo and serve it on a layer of champagne/mushroom risotto. The tenderloin would’ve been surrounded by slow-roasted mushrooms topped with quartered sesame-marinated hard-boiled quail eggs with a quail egg sunny-side up centrally placed atop the kangaroo steak proper.
Naturally, I waited until the last minute to buy the quail eggs and the only place in town which seems to have them is the Hyundai Korean Grocery on Decker Blvd, which was closed on Monday. Drat, said I. So I thought I might head out to the Asian grocery near Broad River Road, but that suddenly seemed terribly far away so I headed up the street to the European Corner Store on Two Notch Rd where I’d bought some wonderfully thick, cut to order Gypsy Bacon. I don’t know what, specifically, made it gypsy but I do know that it was rich, flavorful, and totally worth the price. I thought if I couldn’t have quail eggs I could at least have something interesting and saltily flavorful on top. Upsettingly, as I pulled into the parking lot next to a moving van and entered the store, I discovered that the European Corner Store was no more and was replaced, instead, by an empty room save for three people with dollies carrying boxes and looking at me quizzically. Mildly-plussed I turned around and headed to the German Meat Market, also on Two Notch, thinking that they might have something interesting. They may very well could’ve but I wouldn’t find out that day as it was also closed on Mondays. So, I went ahead to the Asian market off of Broad River where I did not find quail eggs but did find jellyfish head, an interesting animal that Jennifer hadn’t tried.
So. Lunch consisted of a jellyfish head appetizer, which turned out to be oddly crisp. Sort of a pliant, rubbery consistency with a peculiar crunchiness to it. It came with some seasoning packets which gave it, I suspect, the bulk of its flavor. The kangaroo tenderloin was purchased from Fossil Farms. Lightly seasoned with sesame oil, salt, and freshly ground pepper and grilled to medium-rare, it tasted like lean beef tenderloin. I went with Boar’s Head bacon crumbles on top, which Jennifer took care of. I took the bacon fat and added some of it to the sparkling wine, mushroom risotto. A layer of risotto covered the plates (with a light layer of grated pecorino romano), the kangaroo, and then sprinkled with bacon crumbles. Naturally, a glass of the remainder of the Mumm Brut Prestige used in the cooking was consumed during the cooking process and, to pair with the lunch, we went with the 1999 Guigal Lieu-Dit St. Joseph Rouge, an all Syrah Rhone that time had smoothed out to a fine tannin with some strawberry, light cherry, and leather notes.
So that’s her good-bye dinner, served for lunch, on the Monday before the Saturday that she leaves.