Sunday, March 15, 2009

Asian Carrot Slaw

This Asian carrot slaw makes use of beautiful winter carrots that comes in all colors. Although with this light fresh flavors, it will remind you that spring is on its way.
I know I should give you quantities. But I don't measure too often and I believe the best way is to taste, 1. you will develop your palette 2. you can fine tune it to your likes and dislikes.

1 bunch assorted carrots cut thinly on a bias
1/2 a head of cabbage, thinly shredded
1 large red bell pepper in a small julienne
4-5 scallions thinly sliced on a bias
1/2 bunch cilantro leaves and stems (yes you can eat the stems!!) finely chopped and some wgole for garnish

To make the vinaigrette, combine:
You want to taste to have a balance of sour, sweet and spicy:

Rice wine vinegar
Sugar (or use agave or honey)
Sesame oil (just a few drops)
Peanut oil
Sambal (hot sauce)
Sesame seeds
Grated ginger

I served this slaw with a miso marinated piece of halibut. It was delicious.

You might not know this, but I am highly interested in all issues pertaining to food, especially how our food is produced in America. I try to be open minded about new ways to create sustainability. I thought this article "Spoiled: Organic and Local is so 2008" was well researched, and yet controversial. Not everything I agree with. But I do think the ideas addressed in the piece are compelling: 1. We need to take action now, not later, now 2. And we might want to look at sustainability from all angles, to food miles, pesticides, feeding everyone, cost and so forth. Let me know your thoughts.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Duck Confit: How To

Duck confit is a process, like anything good it takes time, care and a lot of love.
Confit means braising in its own fat.
I prepared duck confit for my wonderful boyfriend. We love eating it at the Modern (NYC), as well as Balthazar, even Egg (Brooklyn) has a pretty swanky southern version. I paired mine with a blood orange sauce, a simple arugula salad with blood oranges and pommes lyonnaise (a thinly sliced potato cake). But it can be eaten a number of ways.
Duck confit was a way to preserve the duck during the winter. After being braised in its own fat, it is stored in a cold place. It lightly ferments giving it a more complex flavor, kind of like cheese. The duck leg can be taken out of the fat and reheated, pair it with a cabbage, chestnut and walnut salad for a winter meal, or serve it over mushroom risotto to complement the richness. Any way you serve it, you will sure enjoy the benefits of your very own duck confit.

The duck confit process is a long one, but not unattainable for the home cook.

1. Remove the thigh bone from the duck legs, but keep in the bone for the drumstick. Trim off excess fat.
2. Make a rub of salt, shallots, thyme and parsley in a food processor. Liberally rub all over the duck legs. Places in a colander or perforated pan with a pan or bowl underneath. Place a weight on top of the duck legs. This is to draw out excess moisture.
3. Put in the fridge overnight.

1. Scrape off the rub and heat a lot of duck fat into a large rondeau.
2. Add bay leafs, thyme and black peppercorns. Just a decent sprinkling of all.
3. Place duck legs in the fat and place a plate on top.
4. Put in a 300-degree oven. They will probably take 3 hours. They will be tender and delicate.
5. Store the duck legs in their own fat and refrigerate. The more they sit, the more they ferment.
6. When you are ready, carefully lift the duck out of the fat and place on a rack over a sheet tray. Bake at 400 until skin is crispy and delicious.
7. Serve and enjoy the duck of your labor!!!

Where to buy duck legs ( make sure they are Moulard):

  • D’Artagnan :
  • Citerella sells Hudson Valley Foie Gras
  • And check out the Farmer's Market in Union Square for other local purveyors.

I would like to apologize for not posting in a while. I got addicted to a TV show, “Friday Night Lights.” Don’t start you will be addicted…it will suck you in and consume endless hours. But I am back….and ready to blog!!!