Although we appreciate the freedoms we have in our daily lives, the Cute Gardener and I tend to cringe from the normal Independence Day crowds and social mores on the 4th of July. American national pastime rituals like parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnic, grassy concerts and large outdoor convergences are just not our style. But meat is definitely our style so instead of the typical burgers and dogs, we tend to seek out our own versions of protein extravaganza. Last year it was salt and pepper crab and Peking duck in San Francisco’s Chinatown and this year, well; let’s just say both our marathon watching of the show Dexter (which inspired the CG) coupled with my admiration for Chef Chris Cosentino duly compelled us…
…see ever since watching Chris’ appearance on Top Chef Masters last year, I have had a grueling obsession with trying real blood pudding. He made it from scratch on one of his challenges causing me to subscribe to his daily Instragram feed which is a never-ending offal heaven of nightly portraits from his restaurant Incanto, of which I am devoted to trying at least once in my lifetime. Yes, I am one of those weird girls who will show photos of duck guts to the CG as if it were a shoe catalog, wondering aloud how we can possibly replicate the dish at home or making it known that it’s on my official “to eat one day” list.
Blood pudding (or black pudding, or blood sausage) is a type of link made by cooking blood with a filler of ingredients like herbs, spices, bread, suet, and nuts until it is thick enough to congeal when cold. Sound appetizing? Well, it actually is and we were lucky enough to find a package of it ready to go at a local authentic down and dirty butcher in a seedy strip mall.
Inspired by our non-traditional holiday, the CG decided to take the nonconformity up a notch by making breakfast for dinner utilizing the blood sausage as replacement meat in an upscale and adult version of ham, hash and eggs. We simply cooked the sausage in a toaster oven until the outsides were firm and crisp and the insides a soft and steaming spreadable and crumbling mass. For the hash, he fried potatoes in vegetable oil and then added diced bits of Swiss chard stems and leaves. When that had all sautéed down into a nice and even hash, he made small holes in the pot and cooked up some eggs right in the mix. The beauty of this preparation is the way the eggs ooze all over the hash ready to be speared up by a fork already holding some of the blood sausage – one of those meals where everything goes together into the mouth creating a bold burst of flavor and texture. Kind of like the fireworks we enjoyed later from the privacy of our bedroom window overlooking at least fifteen separate shows in the sky throughout the valley and cities of Los Angeles.