If you’re new to the process, making a confit is an ancient way of preserving foods by cooking something in fat at a very low temperature for hours. Cooked this way and sealed in a jar, food can last on the shelf for several months. But that’s not why I’m doing it. When you confit something, it becomes very tender (not crisp like frying) and tastes damn good. Usually, you confit duck legs this way, but I didn’t have any, so I decided to try the process on some veggies. The resulting confit of garlic and mushrooms are not just a side dish. They are the main attraction.
They are best served simply, on toast for instance. Don’t worry, folks. These aren’t crazy fattening. The oil doesn’t penetrate the inside of the garlic and mushrooms. It just gives them a creamy, meaty flavor. You can really up the flavor and texture by giving the mushrooms a quick sear in a pan. Spread a garlic clove on the toast point, then top with a single mushroom and a sprinkle of sea salt. It’s a flavor explosion in your mouth.
There’s a bonus to this recipe. Not only does it make incredible mushrooms and garlic, it also makes roasted garlic and mushroom infused duck fat. Is your mind blown?
Take that delicious, fragrant duck fat and cook some potatoes in it. Stir a tablespoon of it into simmering rice, or roast some vegetables or nuts in it. Heaven! It will be your secret weapon in the kitchen for a very long time.
Preheat oven to 250°F/125°C
Toss garlic and mushrooms in salt, so they are very lightly coated. Place in a small saucepan and add duck fat (and herbs if using). Cover place in the oven for 1 1/2 - 2 hours.
Remove from the oven and serve as-is, or sear in a pan. To store, remove veggies from fat and serve within a few days. The leftover fat can be strained and will last several weeks.
This addicting-ly delicious duck fat recipe with roasted cashews and rosemary can be whipped up in just a few minutes. The duck fat adds a very subtle flavor, making the already sweet and meaty cashew just a tad more savory. These aren’t greasy at all, and are seasoned with a touch brown sugar, honey (or maple syrup) and cayenne pepper. Guaranteed, these nuts will go quickly, whether you tell everyone they were roasted in duck fat or not.
I have a tub of duck fat in the refrigerator, leftovers from a duck I cooked a few weeks ago. You can get about a cup of the precious stuff from one duck. If you don’t plan to roast a duck, you can buy duck fat in some specialty markets. I usually use it for roasting potatoes, but these duck fat roasted nuts are a great alternative. They would be just as good with raw pecans, pistachios, or almonds. Serve them warm. You’ll love the pungent rosemary scent perfuming the air.
In a medium bowl, combine the rosemary, cayenne pepper, brown sugar, salt, honey or maple syrup and duck fat. Heat in the microwave for 30-40 seconds until the duck fat is just melted, and stir to combine. Add the cashews to the liquid mixture and stir until the nuts are completely coated.
Arrange the nuts in a single layer on a lined baking sheet. Roast for 5 minutes. Remove and stir. Roast for an additional 5-6 minutes. Remove from the oven and toss with more salt or sugar if you like. Serve warm.
It’s been a few months since I started this blog and I have yet to do a recipe that actually contains duck fat. Since my blog owes its name to the stuff, I intend on creating a lot more duck fat recipes, but I have to start somewhere. You see, I don’t cook with duck fat very often. It is something I like to keep around though, for this very recipe. Duck fat, potatoes and shallots are just perfect together. They are crisp and caramelized with the perfect balance of fatty/creamy and a delicious sweetness from the shallots.
Why on Earth would you want to cook with duck fat? I’ll tell you. Because it’s good. Really good. It’s also not as fattening as you think. Nutrition experts are touting the health benefits of cooking with duck fat over margarine and butter. It seems our feathered friend not only tastes good; duck fat is high in beneficial monounsaturated fats and one of the healthiest animal fats. While it isn’t as good for you as olive oil, duck fat is a “healthy fat” because it is unprocessed, and contains linoleic acid.
Some shops actually carry duck fat for sale. I’ve seen it for sale by the pound in Miami locally at Proper Sausages. If you can’t find it fresh, you can make it yourself. Just cook a duck! You’ll end up with about a cup of wonderful duck fat. It stores for a long time in the fridge, and is perfect for frying, roasting and even baking. Add some duck fat to savory or sweet pastries for an even more indulgent treat.
This recipe makes cooking with duck fat easy. I recommend using really good potatoes, like an heirloom variety or Yukon Gold. You can use fingerling potatoes too. Most recipes for roasted potatoes with duck fat call for boiling the potatoes first. I’m not sure why, because they cook up just fine without the extra step. Why make things more complicated if you don’t have to, right?
Cut potatoes into equal sizes. Half or quarter them until they are bite-sized. Toss the potatoes, shallots, duck fat, garlic (if you are using it), salt and pepper until everything is well coated. You can do this right on the sheet pan. Arrange in a single layer. Roast in the oven about 35-45 minutes, turning a few times until the potatoes and shallots are soft and browned.
Remove from the oven and check for seasoning. Serve hot, sprinkled with fresh parsley.