Tuesday, December 30, 2008

NYE Cooking

Happy New Year everyone!!!

I hope all you competition BBQ cooks out there win lots of plastic pig trophies in 2009.

I am cooking for my family tomorrow and will be featuring Cassoulet. I have the duck confit legs (I made a week or so ago) and some garlic pork sausage. I also have some lamb shanks braising in the oven right now as well two stocks on the stovetop - one a dark chicken and the other a clear vegetable. I'm going to serve 4 or 5 courses in addition to the Cassoulet... I have some great Oysters from Island Creek and a small, but prime, piece of tuna loin in addition to some other goodies. I'm going to try to to keep the servings small so we don't get stuffed and pass out early!

For recipe guidance I have been using Michael Schlows cookbook... which I have really enjoyed.


Monday, December 22, 2008

Indoor Cooking

The Big Green Egg is encrusted in a foot of snow. Trying to put out some good eats out of my semi-functional electric stove. Cooked some steak fries brushed with duck fat, and just put a pot of short ribs in the oven which I'll re-heat for Christmas dinner....

Saturday, December 20, 2008

No Cooking Today

I guess I'll just have to sit on the couch and drink egg nog all day.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Duck Confit

There is nothing particularly difficult about making duck confit. It does take some planning and a bit of time though. Basically all you need is salt, duck legs and duck fat. Large quantities of duck fat in particular can be hard to find. Your butcher should be able to order it for you.

I used Thomas Keller's Green Salt recipe which is 1/2 cup kosher salt, 2 bay leaves, 2T thyme, 1/2 cup parsley, 1t black peppercorns all buzzed in a spice grinder. 1 tablespoon of this cure went on each duck leg for 24 hours. I then rinsed and dried the legs, and warmed the duck fat to 190* on the stovetop. Legs and a few heads of garlic were added to the oil and into a 200* oven for about 5 hours. I used a polder probe thermometer in order to monitor my lame kitchen oven... I kept it set at 212* in order to maintain a true 200* in the oven. I now have about 2 dozen duck legs preserved under fat... I'm thinking potato and duck pizza first and then cassoulet for NYE.

Friday, December 12, 2008

A case of ducks legs, sack of potatoes, 10lbs duck fat, pack of beef franks, sauerkraut and two green apples

This was the bounty I  hunted/gathered yesterday.  

Duck and duck fat are for the weekend confit project.  Tonight's dinner may feature taters fried in duck fat.

Last night was a casserole of saurkraut, franks, apples and potatoes.  The meal matched perfectly with a Harpoon and the cold rainy weather.

Monday, December 8, 2008


Final cooking project of the year is looking to be a Cassoulet to be served on New Years Eve. First step will be worked on this week which will be to make some duck confit.  I also plan on incorporating some home-made garlic pork sausage and smoked lamb shanks.   Stay tuned.

Monday, December 1, 2008


The game and weather sucked in Foxborough yesterday... but the tailgate was a good time... our take on Philly Cheese Steaks... I don't think they usually use Shriacca in Philly....