'Bucks' Quail deserved much respect. Enhancing the game flavors was the main priority, this meal was going to need a little love. And little extra effort on a Wednesday night was indeed appropriate, especially after finding out the news about Saveur magazine article '50 More Food Blogs You Should Be Reading'. Apparently the magazine had to troll through 45,000 blogs and somehow managed to find mine of interest enough for it to get a mention. So you can see why a mini gastronomical celebration was in order! Plus the odd glass of vino!
Now I must make this perfectly clear, I'm not a pretty cook. My main interest is about getting the flavor right. Sure presentation is important but the fascination with presentation is a relatively recent addition to dining. Ages ago food was more about flavor and filling that stomach after a day plowing the fields. This 'peasant food' is what interests me. Natural flavors, rustic recipes. And like a true peasant I did end up back out in the Creswick forest and picked a foragers basket of Slippery Jacks and Saffron Milk Caps, such a beautiful natural bounty. These little gems where to play a pivotal role in the base of the dish, the stuffing for the birds. Don't you just love the honeycomb underbelly of Slippey Jacks!
Thyme picked straight from the garden, so pungent! I picked normal and Lemon Thyme and my eldest immediately showed her lack of culinary interest....'yucky smelly'. I'm like....what EVER! She was like....'yucky'. Hilarity ensued. A bunch of Rosemary, perfect with most game along with garlic, brown onion, Jamon, Chorizo and some whizzed up stale sliced bread.
The result was a dish in itself, we couldn't help but have extra testing spoonfuls. 'Nope I need to try that again'.....'Yep thats delicious'. Again it wasn't the prettiest looking thing but it tasted great. Now I just needed to stuff the Quail up the whopsy.
I was going to go down the Polenta path but I changed course at the last minute and baked some scalloped potato with the herb mix, Grana Padano and Philly Cream.
I baked the birds in a dish with a little chicken stock and used this after baking to make a wild mushroom gravy. I'm getting excited just writing about it! The end dish was simple and full of flavor. Something I could imagine a game keeper cooking after a day of beating the woods for his landlord. All I had to do was open the front door and take a bag of Quail from 'Buck'. How uncouth and redneck I am.