RECIPE 49: Duck Confit

-= Exported from BigOven =-

Duck Confit

Once esteemed as a preservation method, cooking and keeping duck in its rendered fat results in meltingly tender, moist, and extremely flavorful meat which can be used in a variety of simple preparations. Sear the duck legs in a hot skillet or shred the meat and add it to salads, or, perhaps best of all, make duck rillettes. Just remember the duck must be salted a day before you plan to cook it.

Recipe By: Tom Colichhio, Gramercy Tavern, NY
Serving Size: 4
Cuisine: French
Main Ingredient: Duck
Categories: Salads, Main Dish

-= Ingredients =-
3 tablespoons Salt
4 cloves Garlic ; smashed
1 each Shallot ; peeled and sliced
6 sprigs Thyme
to taste Black pepper ; coarsely ground
4 each duck legs with thighs
4 each duck wings ; trimmed
4 cups Duck fat ; (approximate)

-= Instructions =-
Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of salt in the bottom of a dish or plastic container large enough to hold the duck pieces in a single layer. Evenly scatter half the garlic, shallots, and thyme in the container. Arrange the duck, skin-side up, over the salt mixture, then sprinkle with the remaining salt, garlic, shallots, and thyme and a little pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 days.

After 1-2 days, preheat the oven to 225°F. Melt the duck fat in a small saucepan. Brush the salt and seasonings off the duck.

Arrange the duck pieces in a single snug layer in a high-sided baking dish or ovenproof saucepan. Pour the melted fat over the duck (the duck pieces should be covered by fat) and place the confit in the oven. Cook the confit slowly at a very slow simmer — just an occasional bubble — until the duck is tender and can be easily pulled from the bone, 2-3 hours. Remove the confit from the oven. Cool and store the duck in the fat. (The confit will keep in the refrigerator for several weeks.)

NOTES: The duck fat can be strained, cooled, and reused.

This recipe for confit is vastly superior to a few others I’ve tried, which invariably have involved way too much salt — making the duck too tough and salty to eat in anything besides stews and cassoulet! This one is perfect and allows for use in salads and other dishes where the confit isn’t being “recooked”.

Good recipe for a salad involving the confit: Mesclun (preferably on the bitter side — add some arugula), (cold) blanched green beans, (cold) cooked French lentils (cook in salted chicken stock, perhaps with some onion bay leaf, and thyme, until just tender then cool), dried cherries in a sherry-shallot vinaigrette topped with warm shredded duck confit (about 1/2 leg per salad).

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RECIPE 50: Bill Knapp's Chicken Marinade

-= Exported from BigOven =-

Bill Knapp’s Chicken Marinade

This is a delightful marinade to dress up chicken.

Recipe By: http://www.cooknchat.com/recipecards/miscella
Serving Size: 0
Cuisine: American
Main Ingredient: Soy Sauce
Categories: Sauces

-= Ingredients =-
1/2 cup Honey
1/2 cup Apple Juice
2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon Ground Ginger
2/3 cup Soy Sauce
1/2 cup Cider Vinegar
2/3 cup Vegetable Oil

-= Instructions =-
Mix all ingredients together in a blender.

Add chicken pieces and refrigerate, covered, overnight.

To grill, remove chicken from marinade, letting excess marinade drip back into dish. Cook over medium-high heat with a little oil.

To bake, remove chicken from marinade, set chicken in baking dish and bake in a 350-degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until done.

Do not reuse marinade.

** This recipe can be pasted into BigOven without retyping. BigOven.com ID= 161269 **
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READING: Charcuterie & French Pork Cookery

I recently started reading Charcuterie & French Pork Cookery by Jane Grigson, originally published in 1967. It is both an interesting historical document and an excellent introduction to charcuterie. The recipes are classics and, while rather uncomplicated by today’s standards, still yield excellent results.

I am reading it because a chef-friend of mine is opening a new place this year, and she’s very interested in preparing charcuterie in-house and has invited me to assist them in getting up and running.

12/11/2007 Wine Dinner at Midwest Culinary Institute

The Summit Room at Midwest Culinary Institute
Sensational Wine Dinner
December 11, 2007
Chef Arthur Leech

Tuesday, December 11, 2007 marked the inaugural Wine Dinner at Midwest Culinary Institute at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College. As part of the planning team, I worked with College administration, Samantha Smith (from E&J Gallo Winery) and Carmen Parks (formerly of Rondo’s restaurant) to organize this, the first of our monthly Wine Dinners. It was gratifying to see this event come to life, and to have it so well-attended (somewhere in the neighborhood of 70 people attended the event).

Chef Arthur Leech provided the following menu, paired with wines by Samantha Smith.

Hors d’Oeuvres
Barefoot Brut Champagne

Spicy Asian Pepper Seared Wild Caught Salmon with a fresh thyme lemon vinaigrette
Martin Codax Albarino, 2006

Granny Smith Apple Chestnut Soup with Saffron Creme Fraiche
Bridlewood Reserve Viognier, 2006

Duck Confit & Roasted Mushroom Potato Lasagna resting on sauteed baby spinach and raspberry braised beets
MacMurray Ranch Pinot Noir, 2006
&
Louis Martini Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley, 2004

Cheese Sampling of Brie, Compote, French Blue, and Manchego drizzled with Mission Fig Syrup
Bridlewood Reserve Syrah, 2003

Peach, Apple, and Golden Raisin Rustic Tarts with moscato and honey reduction, creme anglaise
Moscato, N.V.

The meal was neither too conservative nor too ‘wild’, which was appropriate for the first time. We, as a planning committee, needed to begin to understand our audience and where their tastes are.

RECIPE 51: Pork Braised With Celery Avgolemono

-= Exported from BigOven =-

Pork Braised With Celery Avgolemono

Recipe By:
Serving Size: 4
Cuisine:
Main Ingredient:
Categories: Greek

-= Ingredients =-
3 pound Lean Shoulder ; Or Leg Of Pork
4 tablespoon Butter ; Or Margarine
1 Onion ; Finely Chopped
Salt & Pepper ; Freshly Ground
3 cup Hot Water ; Approximately
1 Bunch Celery
2 tablespoon Flour
2 Egg Yolks
1 1/2 Lemons ; Juice Only
Parsley ; Or Celery Leaves

-= Instructions =-
Wipe the pork with damp paper towels, then cut into 1-1/2 inch cubes (the fat and skin may be left on during the cooking and removed later). Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a heavy pan or Dutch oven. Add the onion and cook until soft and transparent, then add the pork and cook, stirring, over medium heat until the raw meat color disappears. Season with salt and pepper, add hot water to cover, then cover and simmer gently (or bake in a 325 F oven) for 30 to 35 minutes, or until almost tender. (The timing is important because the celery is to be added and cooked with the pork only until both are tender but not overcooked.)

Meanwhile, prepare the celery. Wash the stalks and scrape the heavy ones slightly. Cut each stalk once lengthwise (if large) and then across into 1-1/2 inch slices. (Use the leaves as well, if desired, but a few might be saved for a garnish or an accompanying salad.) Add the celery to pork and continue simmering 25 minutes until both are tender. Using a slotted spoon, remove the pork and celery and place in a serving dish, first removing and discarding the fat from the meat. Keep warm. Skim the fat from the cooking liquid, then add water or boil down rapidly to make to make 1-1/2 cups. Keep hot while you prepare the avgolemono.

To prepare the avgolemono, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a pan. Stir in the flour, and after cooking over low heat for 1 minute, gradually add 2 cups of the hot cooking liquid from the meat. Stir until the sauce comes to a boil. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, beat the two remaining egg yolks and add the lemon juice, droplet by droplet, beating all the while. Beat a little of the thickened cooking liquid into the yolk mixture, then add the yolks to the pan of hot liquid. Mix well and cook over low heat until thickened. Pour the hot sauce over the pork and celery, garnish with parsley or celery leaves and serve warm.

NOTE: Celeriac may be substituted for the celery. Use 2-1/2 pounds of celeriac, and peel, quarter, and cut it into 1/2 inch slices before adding it to the pork. A little scraped, diced carrot may be added with the celery.

From: “The Food of Greece” by Vilma Liacouras Chantiles. Avenel Books, New York.

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HAPPY MOUTH — December, 2007

On December 19, 2007, members of the Happy Mouth Supper Club, along with guests Julie, Terry, and Adam, dined at Zola’s in Covington. It was Ed’s month to pick, and we really enjoyed the convivial pub atomosphere of Zola’s. Comfortable, fun and unpretentious. The burgers are widely rumored to be the best in town, and based on what we ate, there is little reason to doubt that claim. We had the upstairs room pretty much to ourselves, and we made very merry indeed.

RECIPE 52: Baked Brie

-= Exported from BigOven =-

Baked Brie

Recipe By:
Serving Size: 8
Cuisine:
Main Ingredient:
Categories: Easy, Appetizers

-= Ingredients =-
1 Brie Round ; 5-6 Inch Diameter French Brie
1 Pastry Dough ; Pepperridge Farm Frozen is fine
1 Egg
2 tablespoons Milk

-= Instructions =-
Preheat oven to 400.

Completely enclose cheese in pastry.

Make egg wash of egg and milk. Put brie on baking sheet with seam side of dough down. Cut garnish of leaves, flowers, etc., from scraps of pastry and decorate top of Brie. Brush with egg wash.

Bake for 20 minutes or until the outside is golden, reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees and cook for 20 minutes longer.

Let baked brie sit for some time (1 hour) after cooking otherwise the cheese inside is molten.

Serve with crackers.

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