For this week’s cooking challenge, I haven’t been able to find an inspiring recipe to test out this weekend, so I cheated. I didn’t “really” cook anything new, but sort of.
When I was scouring the internet for duck confit recipes a few weeks ago, I read in one of the recipes that you can put an entire bulb of garlic in with the duck while making the confit, and the garlic becomes garlic confit. That was an interesting concept. So in this last batch of duck confit I made, I threw in a bulb of garlic (with the top sliced off).
The recipe didn’t say anything about how to use this garlic confit. I figured we’ll just try eating it with the duck. I fished the bulb out of the duck fat, fried it a bit in a pan to heat it through, and just served it with the duck confit for lunch yesterday, along with some sauteed okra.
The garlic confit was a hit with both Cliff and I. Joshua enjoyed it too. Unfortunately we only had one bulb to share, leaving all of us craving for more. The cloves have turned brown from the cooking process. It has lost the pungent-ness, and become mild and sweet and fragrant. Using a fork, you can easily squish the flesh out of the paper. It’s almost like a spread. You can mash it a little and eat it with the duck. I’m sure it would have been a good side with pretty much anything. I’m sure it’ll be an awesome addition to a pasta sauce, roasted vegetables, maybe a steak sauce, or anything you can use mashed garlic with.
Last weekend, I made duck confit for the first time. By the time I finished cooking it, I read the last step of the instructions–wait a week before you eat it. Doh!
So our guinea pig friends, Ray and Sally, came over to test out the duck confit with us tonight. I pan seared the confit and put the whole pan in the oven to heat through, sauteed some kale with garlic and grapeseed oil, and made a spicy candied kumquat sauce to go on top of the confit.
The much anticipated duck confit was, well, decent. I wouldn’t say it was the best confit I’ve ever had. In the process of pan searing it, the skin stuck to the pan and tore off, taking a piece of my heart with it. That was supposed to be the best part! The flavor was pretty good and salty, the way I like it. I think next time I’ll cook the confit in a lower temperature for a longer period of time and see if the meat can get more tender. The spicy kumquat sauce was quite good, and I thought the kale was a good pairing with the confit.
We had the Sterling cabernet sauvignon and an endive grapefruit salad to go with dinner, and a blueberry lemon crumble for dessert. Oh, and Ray made tuna tartar with endives.
I felt very richly blessed to have people to test my food on and enjoy a meal with.
Next week, I’m going to attempt making soufflé! That’s right, the cooking challenge continues! Anyone want to come and be my guinea pig next week?
So the holidays are over, and the next statutory holiday is about THREE MONTHS away. Just the thought of that previous sentence makes me shudder. On top of that, it’s usually a busy time at work, and lots of rain and darkness in Vancouver.
So, I need something to do, something to look forward to, something fun. Since Cliff and I both love to eat, and I’ve been having fun trying a few new recipes, I’ve decided that for the next 3 months, I’m going to try a new recipe every week.
Now, trying new recipes is not a challenge. I love cooking and trying different ways of making things. But I want to also focus on trying things I’ve never tried before. This all started with being spurred on by a friend. I made an off-hand comment that I’ve never cooked duck before, and he said it’s really not that hard to cook duck meat. So, I went home that night and looked up some duck recipes. The next weekend, I bought some duck breast and made a pan seared duck breast with orange blueberry chipotle sauce. It turned out well, and I tried cooking duck for the very first time. That was fun.
So for this week, since I’m kind of on a row for duck, I’m going to try making duck confit. I love duck, and I love salty foods. So duck confit is just the right choice as my first challenge.
The problem with duck confit, is that once you make it, you have to wait (at least) a whole week before you are supposed to eat it. So I made some duck confit yesterday, making the whole house smell crazy delicious, and have to put it in the fridge and not eat it. That was just so wrong. Anyway, we’ve invited our friends over to eat the confit with us this weekend. I’ll keep you posted on how that goes!