Tag Archives: lemon

Confit… con? or fit?

2 Jun

Confit: [kohn-FEE, kon-FEE]

This specialty of Gascony, France, is derived from an ancient method of preserving meat (usually goose, duck or pork) whereby it is salted and slowly cooked in its own fat. The cooked meat is then packed into a crock or pot and covered with its cooking fat, which acts as a seal and preservative. Confit  can be refrigerated up to 6 months. Confit d’oie and confit de canard are preserved goose and preserved duck, respectively.

© Copyright Barron’s Educational Services, Inc. 1995 based on THE FOOD LOVER’S COMPANION, 2nd edition, by Sharon Tyler Herbst.

Read More http://www.epicurious.com/tools/fooddictionary/entry?id=2028#ixzz1OA1VZ100

Confit, as defined above is reserved for slowly cooking poultry in their own fats for preservation reasons. But, lately, it seems as though you can “confit” anything. I’ve seen recipes for tomato confit, garlic confit, lemon confit and most recently, chickpea confit. Personally, I feel that confit is turning into one of those culinary terms like carpaccio. You see anything sliced paper thin is a carpaccio of “fill in the blank.” Granted anything salted and slowly cooked in fat sounds delicious to me, but is it really a confit?

It’s an interesting thought really. Why not just poach these items in oil. They certainly done have their own fat to bring to the party. But what’s the different between oil poaching and confit? Mostly, when you poach something in oil, you are removing the item from the cooking liquid whereas with a confit it is being stored in the fat. Still, doesn’t tomato confit sound so much more luxurious than tomato dip or even preserved tomatoes. And an oil poached tomato kinda sounds like a greasy mess.

Confit or not, I made my version of chickpea confit. The bottom line is that this is a dip or spread. It’s similar to hummus but with infinitely more flavor and texture. Plus it sounds so elegant for a dip. Here’s the recipe:Chickpea Confit

Chickpea Confit
1 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 large garlic cloves
1 sprig rosemary
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup canola oil

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and cook over low for 45 mins-1 hour. Let the mixture cool slightly and mash with a fork. Serve chilled with fresh baguette or crackers.

So what is my final verdict on the proper nomenclature? Well, I think that whenever something sounds exotic and exciting it makes me want to eat it more. I’m still not convinced that radish carpaccio should be allowed… but the idea of elevating a simple vegetable to new heights by cooking as if it was as special as duck or goose, can only be a good thing.

Always thinking of the next meal

-Katie

Advertisements

Lemon Chicken on the Grill

7 Mar

I love chicken. Seriously, I think I might have to join an “anonymous” group to get over this. I know there are a few chicken nay-sayers out there. They think chicken is boring and dry… why eat chicken when there’s juicy medium rare beef and fantastically fatty pork parts. To be honest, I have never ordered chicken at a restaurant. Well, maybe a chicken sandwich, but otherwise I keep to my own chicken. And not that I like to toot my own horn, but I make a damn good chicken.

Tonight I made grilled lemon chicken. Just as with roasting, when you grill the chicken whole, you get all the extra flavor of the skin and bones and drippings. In hind sight I should have taken pictures to demonstrate how to remove the backbone and keel bone of the chicken before you grill the chicken. I guess that means that I’ll have to do another post detailing it. Until then you can check out this page

The recipe is simple. Flatten the chicken and then drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and then toss on a hot grill skin down. I sliced 2 lemons in half and thew them on the grill as well. Let the chicken cook for 5-7 minutes and then turn it 45 degrees. Allow the chicken to cook for another 10 minutes and the flip. Squeeze the lemons on the chicken and close the grill. Turn the heat to medium let the chicken cook for about 25 minutes or until the chicken is cooked to about 155 degrees. Then wrap the chicken in foil and let it rest for 10 minutes. Slice the chicken and re-season with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Serve hot.

This recipe works with thighs, breasts, whole chicken and wings 🙂

Always thinking of the next meal

-Katie

Snowed in, liquored up

8 Feb

If you don’t live on the East coast, you might not know, but we were hit with 22 inches of snow on Saturday. To make things even more interesting, we are hearing predictions of another foot to a foot and a half this coming Wednesday. Ah winter, you make me miss Florida.

In any case, when you’re cooped up in the house all day, after all the cleaning, cooking, napping, TV watching and Wii playing, you need a drink. Thankfully we were stocked! It’s easy to make a dry martini, but it makes it more fun to come up with cocktails that add a little excitement to the snowy day. I’ll admit that our happy hour started a little before 5, but it was 5:00 somewhere, right?

I started the night with lemon basil martinis. They are refreshing and light. It’s a great one to stimulate the appetite too.

Lemon Basil Martini

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon basil, roughly chopped
2 oz lemon vodka
2 oz water

shake all the ingredients with ice

The the next martini I made is pictured above and I called it a breakfast martini…sounds weird, but I promise you it is fantastic!

Breakfast Martini

2 oz vanilla vodka
2 oz banana rum
1 tablespoon real maple syrup
pinch of cinnamon

shake all ingredients with ice

Give these a try on the next snow day, they are sure to cure cabin fever

Always thinking of the next meal

Katie

Dinner Party

16 Nov

Last night I played chef for 2 of my favorite clients. They asked me to go with them to a friend’s house to make dinner. I didn’t have much time to plan, so I kept the menu simple. A classic combination of French and my own personal flare. I love making things that are fresh and flavorful, but not overcomplicated. Here’s the menu:

Cheese Course
Le Coutances and Foi Epi with apples and French bread

Appetizer
French Onion Soup

Dinner
Honey Mustard Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Ratatouille and Creamy Polenta

Dessert
Classic lemon crepes with ginger cream

I wanted to start with French Onion simply because it’s classic, and easily turned vegetarian. With one client being vegetarian, I wanted to make something that wouldn’t make her feel like she was having a different meal than everyone else. French Onion Soup is typically made with beef stock and is not veggie friendly, but my version is. I substitute mushroom and vegetable stock to maintain the intensity of flavor that French onion usually has. By adding dijon mustard instead of worchestershire sauce you get a delightful bright flavor without the extra saltiness that worchestershire sauce can sometimes bring to the party. Top the whole thing with buttery nutty guyere cheese and this is one flavorful vegetarian version of French Onion soup.

Dinner needed to have the same intensity of flavor that also had a fulfilling flavor in a vegetarian version. The polenta and ratatouille made a satisfying main course for my vegetarian client, and adding pork tenderloin medallions to the other dishes, made for a well rounded meal. I served the pork with a honey mustard sauce that was equal parts whole grain dijon mustard and clover honey. I cooked the pork to a perfect medium and then added the sauce sparingly. The pork was so perfectly cooked, I didn’t want to mask the flavor or the color of the meat.

The flavor that tied all the dishes together was thyme. Thyme in the soup and thyme in the ratatouille pulled both courses together. Someone once told me that repeated an ingredient in 2 courses was repetitive, and repeating them in 3 was a theme. But, I think that the thyme was so subtle that it didn’t come off as the same thing.

Dessert was very simple. Hand whipped cream with a 1/2 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger, 1 teaspoon vanilla, a pinch of cinnamon, and 2/3 cup of powdered sugar. The cream was rich, but still light and refreshing. It was served on top of the lemon crepes. The crepes were made with a basic sweet crepe recipe and filled with a combination of lemon zest, lemon juice and sugar. The combination of lemon and ginger was a refreshing way to finish a meal of hearty flavors.

It was a great night. I had a lot of fun cooking and chatting with my clients. I hope to do it again soon.

Always thinking of the next meal.

-Katie