phobicfoodie

My Year of Adventurous Eating

Lost and Found, Wild Boar, and…AN INVITATION! (*WHEW!*) June 15, 2011

So, you are probably wondering why I haven’t posted about The Great Wild Boar Experience of last Saturday yet!

(Actually, you probably aren’t, but I like to pretend that maybe you are…)

Well, the reason is this:

Saturday night Friday Cat took off, and we didn’t realize it until Sunday morning.  When I got up and while was getting ready for the day I noticed that only Monster was in the bathroom, getting underfoot and making a general nuisance of himself.  Initially I didn’t feel overly concerned.  I figured Friday’d  tucked herself into some dark corner and was snoozing peacefully.  Well, a couple of hours later when we hadn’t seen so much as a whisker, we began to worry.

After a bit of sleuthing around (i.e. tearing the entire apartment apart) we decided that Friday had taken a leap off the back balcony while we weren’t looking. Hubby made some signs and we spent the whole day walking around the neighborhood, putting them up, poking around in the shrubs, and foolishly hollering “here kitty kitty!” until we were hoarse (incidentally, have you ever known a cat to respond to “here kitty kitty”?  I haven’t).  Well, it turns out there are about a dozen short-haired black cats in our neighborhood.  Every bush we looked under had a pair of bright green eyes staring out at us!  Hubby started getting phone calls around 2 from people who thought they had seen our cat.  We would chase down every lead, only to find a black and white cat…or one that clearly belonged to someone else.  At one point we even chased down a long-haired black cat thinking Monster had somehow gotten out while we were searching around!

We finally gave up at around 9 pm and had dinner.  We went to bed feeling frustrated and worried.  But then, at 11 o’clock, Hubby received a call from a man who thought he had our Friday Cat in his apartment!  He described her down to the last whisker—even including the scar from her spaying.  We ran over to his apartment, three buildings down, but as soon as we stepped through the door a little black cat went streaking outside and down the sidewalk!  We gave chase and eventually caught it.  We snatched her up off the dark sidewalk and brought her home.  Monster came bounding around the corner to greet his missing buddy…then suddenly came to a screeching halt and stared at the cat we’d set on the floor by the door.   She wasn’t acting right at all!  She was crouched against the door, eyes the size of quarters, hissing at everything that moved…Monster couldn’t get within a yard of her and she wouldn’t let me pet her.  And something about her didn’t look right….tail too long….a little too fat…

We stared at her.

She huddled into the front door and stared back.

“Is it her?  I can’t tell…it sure looks like her…maybe it’s not her…!!!”

Meanwhile, Monster was getting himself geared up to start a fight.  Hubby scooped him up and stuffed him into the bedroom.

“Mmeeeoww!!”

I finally grabbed the strange cat by her scruff and rolled her over.

“This cat is a boy!”

I set him back on the floor and opened the front door.  The cat skittered out and vanished around the corner.  Hubby and I went back to bed feeling even more frustrated than before!

And then, at about 5:00 Monday morning, Hubby heard someone meowing outside.  We rushed out onto the back balcony, and there was Friday…huddled into the bushes and yowling!  She couldn’t figure out how to get back up.

I ran around the building to go grab her, and she took off.  Friday made us track her all over the parking lot for about 20 minutes before she finally figured out who we were and came running up to me.  We brought her in and this time it was clear to us that it was the right cat.  Now we wonder how we ever could have thought that other cat was our soft, sweet little Friday!  She let Monster get a good sniff at her before swatting him in the face and going over to the food dish to wolf down some kibble.  Everything is back to normal!

Hubby spent that morning tearing down all the signs.  We were worried that people would keep abducting the imposter and holding it hostage for us!

Although a part of me believes he is probably hiding in some dark corner of his home, terrified to leave in case someone snatches him up again!

 

So, all’s well that ends well, and now we can get back to the real theme of this blog…

FOOD!!!

Wild Boar Night was a wonderful evening with friends at a wonderful restaurant!  Radda Trattoria is one of my favorite places to eat in Boulder, and if you’ve never been there you have been sorely deprived!  It has fantastic, fresh, original Italian dishes and some of the best appetizers I’ve ever put into my mouth!  The portions are perfect, the prices are suprisingly reasonable, and the decor is lovely.  It almost feels like a fine dining experience, but in comfortable clothes and without the grumpy waiters or enormous bill.

Anyways, enough advertising.  At this point you might almost think Radda paid me to rave about them…they didn’t! 

We started the evening off right with appetizers of bruschetta with seared greens and garlic confit…

 

And delicious, tender, salty prosciutto with crispy, wafer-like breadsticks…

 

And more bruschetta with lovely white bean puree and arugula that isn’t pictured here because I ate it all.

There was also steaming, hot flatbread with melted cheese on it.  Also not pictured.  Also because I ate it all.

I’m such a pig.

For dinner, Hubby and I both ordered (you guessed it!) Wild Boar Ragu with pasta (you’re so smart!)

 

The wild boar had been braised for hours and came in tender shreds with a light tomato, spinach, and cippolini onion sauce.  I topped it generously with parmesan and crushed red pepper before digging in.  It smelled so delicious I almost forgot to take a picture!

 

The flavor was similar to pork with just a very mild underlying gaminess, and the sweet onions complimented but didn’t overpower it.  I thought some garlic would have wildly (*harhar!*) improved the sauce.

But then, I think garlic improves almost anything. 

(Except maybe dessert.)

I speculate that the strong taste of garlic would have masked the subtle gaminess of the wild boar, and perhaps that’s why they chose not to put any in this sauce.  I suppose most people who order wild boar want it to taste like wild boar!

I enjoyed the dish and found the gaminess to be inoffensive and benign.  I didn’t mind it, but if I were going to choose between pork and wild boar, I’d most likely choose the pork.

On the other hand, wild boar was the perfect way to ease myself into the world of game animals.  Having tasted and enjoyed a gamy tasting beast, I feel significantly less intimidated by the looming thought of eating elk, venison, or other gamy animals!

Another success!

I ate (almost) every bite. 

I would have eaten every bite, but I was filled up with all those appetizers!

Cest la vie!

And now, to look ahead…NEXT!!!

I’m thinkin’ now might be the opportune moment to try some more wild game. 

I will have to move my next food adventure over one day yet again, as I’m working all night on Friday, June 24th.

(Well, maybe not all night, but in my world 3 am is as good as!)

So, anyways, June 25th (that’s a Saturday, y’all) is Wild Game Day, and you are all invited to join me!

Please RSVP in the comments below if you would be interested in joining me for some elk, or venison, or something else just as wild!

However, be ye warned now, we’ll likely be heading to Denver.

Because I’m crazy like that.

And because I hear there’s some great places to try wild game down there!

The first 6 people to respond below will receive further instructions as the plan develops.

It’s gonna be a wild party (*nyuk-nyuk!*), so you’d better be there!!!

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