Potato Pizza

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This pizza is surprisingly good!

I’ve been hearing about potato pizza from my guy for a long time, and to be honest, I wasn’t really interested. For a long time. But I gave it a try recently, and it was actually really good! And then he asked if we could have it a week later for his birthday dinner, so I knew it was a winner. 

This is not the type of pizza that I am used to: no sauce, just salted potato slices and onion tossed in olive oil, and some rosemary and Pecorino cheese. But really good! I love the thin crust and the crispy edges on the potato!

I looked at a lot of recipes to figure out what to do here, and went to a local Roman pizzeria in Vancouver to try theirs. I mainly followed the instructions in Smitten Kitchen’s recipe, but the Pecorino was my addition. The grocery-store-bought Pecorino wasn’t the best, so I’d say to splash out  on a cheese from a fromagerie/cheese shop if you can. A good substitution would be a nice Parmesan, or you could leave it without any cheese.

I’m leaving some of the amounts kind of vague here. You know how much pepper or rosemary you want on your potato pizza, right? If not, just play with it and see what works best for you!

If you don’t want to make your own pizza dough (although once you’ve tried this one you might find you love that it is easy and tasty) the Whole Foods dough is quite good.

What you need:

  • pizza dough (try this no-knead method) 
  • 4 teaspoons sea salt
  • a few Yukon gold potatoes (I used 2 smallish ones for one pizza)
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • olive oil
  • fresh rosemary, chopped
  • Pecorino cheese

What you do:

  1. At least half an hour before assembling the pizza, and up to a few hours before, peel and slice the potatoes. They should be sliced as thinly as possible; if you have a mandoline, this is the perfect time to use it. If not, try to cut the slices thinly and uniformly. Place them in a bowl of water with the salt, and let it sit until you are getting the pizza ready for the oven.
  2. Preheat the oven to 260C/500F.
  3. Drain the potatoes and use a clean kitchen towel to dry them. Toss the dried potatoes with some olive oil, pepper and rosemary.
  4. Pour a bit of olive oil onto a baking pan and spread it around with your fingers.
  5. Use your olive oil covered hands to form the crust into the pan, pushing it around until it is a somewhat uniform thickness.
  6. Spread the potatoes around the top of the dough, overlapping slightly. If you’re a cheese lover you can sprinkle a bit on now, or wait until it is baked.
  7. Bake for 15-25 minutes, depending on the thickness of your crust. The pizza will become crispy and somewhat browned. 
  8. Add a sprinkling of cheese before serving. My pizza cutting tool of choice is my clean kitchen scissors, so use those if you have them.
  9. Enjoy!

Delicious and Easy Pizza Dough

no knead pizza dough - trustinkim.com

The title says it all – this pizza dough really is delicious and easy. All you need is some time, but most of it is the planning ahead kind of time. You just need to mix up the ingredients and wait. We ate pizza twice this week – once when the dough sat in the fridge for two days, one after four – and the second round was even better! So if you can plan that far in advance, I recommend the three to four day ferment.

The most difficult part about making pizza dough at this time in history (Covid 19 times) is sourcing flour and yeast!  I happen to have half a jar of yeast in my fridge from “before,” and managed to find some flour recently – lucky me!

I’m not going to suggest toppings at this time, but I will say that it seems best when the toppings are minimal, as things get a bit mushy on pizza if there’s too much moisture on top. So a few well-chosen ingredients will be amazing on here. The one in the photo is just a simple tomato sauce with Mozzarella, but we also had a potato pizza, which was surprisingly good.

This is a Jim Lahey recipe, the guy who made this no-knead method so well known.

The recipe makes enough for four medium-sized hand-stretched pizzas. If you want a thin crust pizza it makes four large pizzas.

What you need:

  • 500 grams (3 & ¾ cups) all-purpose flour, plus more for shaping the dough
  • 1 gram (1/4 teaspoon) active dry yeast
  • 16 grams (2 teaspoons) fine sea salt
  • 350 grams (1 & ½ cups) water

What you do:

  1. Combine the flour, yeast and salt in a bowl.
  2. Add the water (room temperature) and mix it in until it is fully combined.
  3. Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap. Let the dough sit on a counter for about 18 hours. It could take longer if it is in a very cold room, but less if it is very warm. When it has about doubled in size you will know it is ready.
  4. At this point the dough is ready to use, but I think the tastiest pizza crusts are made with dough that has sat in the fridge for a few days. So go ahead and skip to step #7 if you want to make pizza today.
  5. Cut the dough into four equal pieces and wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for a few days. You could even freeze a ball or two for a few weeks.
  6. Take the pizza out of the fridge a few hours (minimum 3 hours, but longer is okay too) before you want to begin making it. Unwrap the plastic wrap, put the dough on a plate. Place the plastic wrap on top of the dough, tucking it in lightly so the dough can expand. I like to put a tea towel on top of the dough while it sits.
  7. Heat the oven as high as it will go. Get your toppings ready.
  8. I like to drizzle a bit of olive oil on the pan, but only where the dough will be or it will burn.
  9. Take a ball of dough and press it into the centre, then hold it in your fingers and let the weight of the dough stretch it, turning it as it stretches. Here is a video with some dough-stretching tips, since it’s a bit difficult to describe. 
  10. Place the dough on the baking tray, put your toppings on it, and stick it in the oven. Depending on the thickness of the dough and the toppings you’ve put on it, it could be ready in 5-10 minutes.
  11. Eat it while it’s hot! 

Italian Wedding Soup with Turkey Meatballs

Italian Wedding Soup - trustinkim.com

My friend Maureen has been making this soup on a regular basis for years. I’ve made it a few times too, and am happy to finally be sharing it. This soup is super delicious, healthy, and . . . there’s wine in it! It also makes some beautiful leftovers.

I highly recommend using a great chicken stock, preferably a homemade one.

It comes from the Whitewater Cooks Cookbook. The main change I made was to use turkey rather than beef for the meatballs. Turkey it s bit lighter, more heart healthy, and my main eater doesn’t eat beef. The only other change I made was to substitute the type of pasta, from Acini de Pepe to orzo (because that’s what I had in my cupboard), and to cook it separately. There are two reasons for cooking the pasta separately: everybody can add as much as they want to their soup (I prefer it light on the pasta), and I don’t like the leftovers as much when there is pasta in it because I think it gets too gludgy. Oh, one more change: I used fresh basil because I think dried basil tastes nothing like fresh. I keep fresh basil in my freezer for occasions like this.

Hope you love it too!

What you need for the meatballs:

  •  450 grams (1 pound) ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup onion, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup panko crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1 egg

What you need for the soup:

  • 2 tablespoons butter (or less if you prefer, as I do)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced (I will add more next time)
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed and chopped
  • 3 litres (12 cups) homemade  chicken stock
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup orzo (or small pasta of your choice)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 pound fresh spinach, chopped
  • Parmesan cheese for garnish

What you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F before making the meatballs. Prepare a baking pan lined with parchment paper.
  2. Place all the meatball ingredients in a bowl and mix with your hands. Form bite-sized meatballs with your hands and place them on the baking pan. Bake for about 15 minutes and set aside.
  3. Melt the butter in a large pot, then add the onions, carrots and garlic. Sauté the vegetables for about 5 minutes, until they are tender. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil, then turn to medium heat and cook for about 5 minutes.
  4. In another pot cook the orzo.
  5. Add some salt and pepper to the soup, then add the meatballs. Allow the soup to cook for a few minutes, until the carrots are just cooked through. 
  6. Add the lemon juice, red wine and the chopped spinach and let it cook for a few minutes.
  7. Ladle the soup into bowls with some orzo. Grate some Parmesan cheese on top before serving.
  8. Enjoy!

 

 

Baked Falafel Loaf with Tarator Sauce

falafel loaf - trustinkim.com

Love falafel, but hate to deep fry? Then this one’s for you!

It’s got all the yummy and protein-y goodness of a falafel, minus the deep frying. It’s super easy to whip up if you’ve got a food processor. It is delicious. (this photo doesn’t do it justice; I’ve made this a number of times, and we end up eating it before I remember to take a photo. So finally I got this shot, not the best, but not nothing.)

I served it with a tomato and cucumber salad on the side, and my guest made it into a pita sandwich – both were delicious! In my opinion it must be served with this delicious tarator sauce, but maybe you have your own favourite.

This recipe came from the awesome cookbook called Taste of Beirut by Joumana Accad. I’ve taken it out of the library so many times and tried a whole bunch of recipes, and I think I finally need to buy this book!

The recipe says to serve at room temperature, but it was also good straight out of the oven. I didn’t change much with this recipe, just the order in which the ingredients are added to the food processor. The most recent batch I made I halved the recipe, using one egg. It was plenty for dinner for two plus leftovers – love leftovers!

What you need for the loaf:

  • 2 cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/ 2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 1 cup flat leaf parsley
  • 1 cup cilantro (I like to use the stems too)
  • 1 tablespoon crushed garlic
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika or Aleppo pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt

What you need for the tarator sauce:

  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup water
  • salt to taste

What you do for the loaf:

  1. Heat the oven to 375F. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
  2. Add the chickpeas, eggs, bread crumbs, onions, parsley, cilantro and garlic to the bowl of the food processor and process until the mixture becomes doughy.
  3. Add the baking powder, seasonings and olive oil and process again until all the ingredients are combined.
  4. Spread the mixture into the lined loaf pan and even out the top surface a little.
  5. Bake for about 35 minutes, then check to see if it is done; mine needed more time. You will know when it is done if a knife inserted in the centre comes out pretty much clean.
  6. While the loaf is baking you can make the sauce.

What you do for the sauce:

  1. Mix the garlic in with the tahini.
  2. Add a little bit of lemon juice and mix well. Add lemon juice and water a little at at time until the sauce is creamy but not too runny.
  3. Add salt to taste.
  4. Enjoy!!
parchment paper 1 - trustinkim.com
fold parchment paper in the bottom of the pan
parchment paper 2 - trustinkim.com
open the parchment paper
parchment paper 3 - trustinkim.com
Fill the parchment paper with falafel

 

Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs

spaghetti and turkey meatballs - trustinkim.com

Here’s my own recipe a yummy turkey meatball in tomato sauce. It something I’ve been making regularly for years, but I never think to record what I’m putting in, or to take a photo of it. So, at long last, here it is.

I love this recipe because the turkey makes it a bit lighter than a beef meatball, and both the sauce and meatballs have a great combination of flavours. At the end of the sauce cooking time, a little secret is to add some garlic that you have just heated in a bit of butter. This one is so great if you make it ahead of time, as it only gets better when it sits. It freezes well, so if you make a big batch you will have a quick meal that you can thaw someday when you need it.

You can make the meatballs and add them to your favourite tomato sauce, or use the recipe that I’ve provided. Fresh basil is a must for the sauce, and the Parmesan rind adds some great flavour. 

I’ve served this with pasta, or zucchini noodles, with some Parmesan grated on top.

What you need for the sauce:

  • about 1/4 cup diced onion
  • olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jar passata (strained tomato sauce)
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste (optional)
  • red wine (optional)
  • fresh oregano
  • pinch of flaked chili pepper
  • parmesan rind (optional, but really makes this taste great!)
  • 1 bunch fresh basil, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • butter

What you need for the meatballs:

  • about 1/2 cup panko or other bread crumbs
  • about 1/4 cup milk or cream
  • 1 egg
  • 400-500 grams (less than a pound) ground turkey breasts
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup parmesan
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons onion, minced
  • 2 teaspoons chanterelle mushroom powder (optional)
  • butter and olive oil for frying

What you do:

  1. In a large frying pan or pot, heat a glug of olive oil on medium high heat. Add the diced onion and lower the heat a bit so that it cooks but doesn’t brown. Add half of the garlic and cook for a minute, just until the onions are translucent.
  2. Add the passata to the pot, then put some water into the jar and give it a shake to get the rest of the tomato sauce out, then add that to the pan. Add the oregano, chili pepper flakes, some of the basil, as well as the optional tomato paste and red wine. Place the Parmesan rind in the pot and let that simmer on low heat while you prepare the meatballs. The longer you cook the sauce the better!
  3. To make the meatballs, combine the bread crumbs and milk in a large bowl, then add the egg and mix it all together.
  4. Put the ground turkey, some salt and pepper, nutmeg, grated Parmesan, garlic, onion, and optional chanterelle powder in the bowl with the wet bread crumbs. Use your hands to bring the ingredients together, being careful not to over-mix.
  5. Add a bit of olive oil and/or butter to a large frying pan and let it get hot without burning. Form meatballs with wet hands; I find that this works best when I roll them a bit with my palms and then toss them back and forth a bit to make them round. After you form each meatball place it in the hot oil. Don’t overcrowd the pan – you may need to do this in several batches. Roll each meatball once one side has browned, until most of the outside has been browned. They do not have to cook through, as they will continue to cook in the sauce for quite a while. Once the meatballs have browned move them from the frying pan into the pot of sauce, then continue to brown the rest of the meatballs.
  6. Let the sauce cook on a low simmer for at least half an hour, but preferably longer. I find that tomato sauce splatters so much, so I like to put a splatter guard over it; it keeps in the sauce, but lets the steam escape.
  7. Near the end of the sauce cooking time, heat about a tablespoon on butter with a clove of minced garlic in it. Add the butter and garlic to the sauce. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
  8.  Serve with a grating of Parmesan cheese.

 

Turkey Barley Soup

turkey barley soup - trustinkim.com

This soup made the perfect meal on a cold winter evening, and paired well with Savoury Cheddar Muffins.

As with most soups, the broth you use is so important to bring a fullness of flavour. I had some homemade chicken broth in the freezer, but turkey broth would also be perfect here. If you don’t have a homemade broth it might be wise to splash out a bit on a better quality broth like the one made by Pacific.

I bought some raw turkey breasts for this recipe, but left-over roast turkey or chicken would also be great.

What you need:

  • olive oil
  • 1 leek, halved lengthwise and then sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 3-4 carrots, sliced
  • 1-2 turkey breasts (or leftover turkey or chicken meat)
  • 4 cups chicken or turkey broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • pinch of sage
  • pinch of thyme
  • 1/2 – 2/3 cup pot barley
  • salt and pepper to taste

What you do:

  1. Chop the veggies.
  2. Heat a small glug of olive oil in a large pot. Add the veggies and cook, stirring from time to time, until they soften a bit.
  3. Push the veggies to the sides of the pot (or remove them from the pot if you want) and place the turkey breasts in the pot. (Unless you are using leftover meat which you will add with the broth). Cook the turkey breasts for a minute or two on each side; it doesn’t need to cook through yet, as it will continue to cook when you add the broth.
  4. Add the bay leaf, sage, thyme, broth and barley. Bring to a light boil and cook for 25-30 minutes, until the barley is cooked but not too soft.
  5. Remove the turkey breasts from the soup and shred them, using two forks or your hands. Put the turkey meat back in the pot.
  6. I like to keep the salt and pepper until the very last moment, as the flavours of the soup develop as it cooks, and you may over-season if you add it sooner. Also I think the salt makes the veggies a bit mushier. So add salt and pepper to taste just before serving.

Roasted Tomatillo Chicken Enchiladas

roasted tomatillo chicken enchiladas - trustinkim.com

The roasted tomatillo salsa on these enchiladas is really what makes it a special dish; you get that slightly smoky taste, and there are those authentic bits of char you can see in there. You can use whichever fillings you like, or you can follow the suggestions in my recipe.

There are three main steps to this recipe: roast the vegetables for the salsa and cook them, assemble the tortillas and pour the salsa over top. Then bake for just a few minutes. The best part of course is devouring them, nicely garnished with cilantro and maybe some Cotijo cheese.

This recipe comes from Rick Bayless’s website. After visiting one of his restaurants in Chicago a few years back I started searching through his recipes and trying some out. This one was a big hit when I made it recently. (Once again, the eating experience outshines the photo.)

Some changes were made to the chicken filling. The recipe called for just shredded cheese, but I squeezed some lime juice over the chicken, then I added some cilantro, avocado, Cotijo cheese and a bit of Ancho chili powder and salt. I also meant to add some pinto beans but forgot about them, so they were served on the side. I love a nice crumbly, salty Cotijo cheese sprinkled on top of these; I buy a locally made one at Whole Foods in Vancouver.

I also made one change to the tomatillo salsa – I chopped up some of the cilantro stems and tossed them into the salsa as it was cooking.

If you have some bottled tomatillo salsa on hand it can be helpful in case you don’t have quite enough to cover the enchiladas, or if you really don’t have time to make the salsa you can substitute with bottled green salsa.

I served this with a jicama/cucumber/mango/orange salad, and some pickled red onion to put on the enchilada.

Warning: serving this meal may cause arguments over who gets the leftovers.

What you need:

  • 1/2 kg tomatillos
  • 4 garlic cloves with peels on
  • 2 fresh Serrano chiles
  • 1 small onion, sliced about 1cm thick
  • 1 & 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth (I used a bouillon cube)
  • olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 bunch chopped cilantro
  • cooked, shredded chicken (I used a rotisserie chicken, mainly the breasts with a bit of other meat)
  • juice of one lime plus more for serving
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • pinto beans (optional)
  • Ancho chili powder
  • Cotija cheese
  • salt
  • 8 corn tortillas

What you do:

  1. Preheat the broiler in the oven and move the rack to the highest position.
  2. To prepare the roasted tomatillo salsa, remove the husks from the tomatillos and place them on a rimmed baking sheet. Place the garlic, onion and Serrano peppers on the baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the oven for about 4 minutes. The vegetables should begin blackening. Flip them over and let the other side blacken for a few minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool somewhat.
  3. Turn the oven heat to 400F (200C).
  4. Remove the skins from the roasted garlic and take the stems off of the peppers.
  5. Using a blender or immersion blender, purée the vegetables and any of their juices, along with half a teaspoon or so of salt, leaving some chunks of tomatillo.
  6. Sprinkle some salt and Ancho chili powder over the shredded chicken, then pour the juice of a lime over it. Add the chopped cilantro and toss the chicken to evenly coat it. Prepare the sliced avocado and crumble some of the Cotijo cheese. Set the chicken ingredients aside while you finish preparing the salsa.
  7. Add a drizzle of oil to a pot and bring it to medium-high heat. Add the salsa ingredients to the pot and let it cook for about 5 minutes, stirring, and allowing it to thicken. Add the broth and about 1/4 cup of cilantro and continue to cook for about 5 minutes more until thickened a bit. Season with salt, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer while you assemble the enchiladas.
  8. Wrap the tortillas in a cloth and microwave for a minute.
  9. Stir a little bit of the salsa into the chicken mixture, then add a little bit of the salsa to the bottom of a baking dish.
  10. Lay out one tortilla at a time, adding some chicken, avocado, and Cotija cheese (reserving some to garnish). Roll the enchilada, the place each of them in the baking dish. Spoon the salsa over the top of the enchiladas, making sure to spread it all the way to the edges.
  11. Bake the enchiladas for about 4 minutes, then garnish with cilantro and Cotija cheese before serving.

Magret de Canard (Duck breast)=YUM!

magret de canard - trustinkim

The first time I tasted magret de canard was at Chez Janou in Paris. We had been invited to someone’s apartment one evening, and I thought we were there for dinner. Turns out it was just for drinks. By about ten pm it became clear that there would be no food served, so we headed over to Chez Janou where I ordered the magret de canard for the first time. It was served medium-rare with roasted potatoes, and a red wine pan sauce.

When I made it this time (I’ve made it several times before, but always forgot to take photos) I served it on greens, but what you don’t see in the photo is the  potatoes roasted in duck fat, nor the pan juice I poured over the duck after I took the photo. I also served it with a baguette, which was perfect for mopping up extra juices.

In my opinion the duck breast in the photo is cooked to perfection. You might be thinking to yourself – isn’t that a little too red for poultry? Duck is a red meat, and the breast must not be cooked to well done or it will be dry. I was served a well-done duck breast on a subsequent visit to Chez Janou (they must have thought North Americans liked it this way) and it tasted like liver (ick). Some sources say that rare duck meat is unsafe, but most say it’s fine, and restaurants typically serve it even rarer than the one I have show here.

Here is a quick guide to testing for doneness so you don’t have to poke into the meat with a thermometer, using the feel of the meat compared to the feel of different parts of your face as a guide. When you prod the top of the breast with your finger, you are checking for the following:

  • feels like when you prod your cheek = rare
  • feels like when you prod your chin=medium rare
  • feels like when you prod your forehead=well done

To make the pan sauce you will use the bits of meat that are stuck to the pan acter cooking the breast, along with some wine and a bit of butter. The stuff left in the bottom of the pan is called “fond,” (silent ‘d’) from the French word for bottom. It is concentrated flavour that you don’t want to waste, and makes a really easy and tasty sauce.

You don’t have to eat the skin (but it is crispy and delicious), but you need to cook the breast with the skin on or it will be very dry. And that would be such a shame.

What you need:

  • duck breast
  • salt
  • red or white wine for the pan sauce
  • butter

What you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  2. Remove the duck breast from the fridge at least half an hour before you plan to cook it. Score the fat using a very sharp knife, making sure you don’t cut all the way down to the meat. Salt the fat side quite a bit, then salt the other side a bit.
  3. Heat an ovenproof pan (I used cast iron) to high, then lower the heat to medium high. Add the duck breast skin side down and cook for 5 minutes – it should sizzle quite a bit. Flip the duck breast.
  4. Put the breast, still in the pan, in the oven for 4-8 minutes. Cooking time will depend on the size of the breast and how well you like it done. When cooked to the desired doneness remove the breast from the oven and place it on a plate or cutting board to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
  5. While the breast is resting, put the pan on the stove again and add a little wine to loosen up the fond. Let the wine cook down a little, then add a pat of butter to make a glossy sauce.
  6. I like to slice the breast before serving, and for a small meal the one breast can be shared between two people. After slicing pour some of the pan juice over the top.
  7. Enjoy!

Confit de Canard

confit de canard - trustinkim

Duck confit is one of my favourite special dinners. Locally I am lucky enough to eat at Les Faux Bourgeois once in a while – so tempting since it is mere blocks from my home in Vancouver. When I’ve been to France I’ve brought home cans of confit de canard to enjoy with friends. When I was in the Périgord region of France a few years ago I bought some ready-made confit de canard and cooked it up in an outdoor kitchen ,  along with Potatoes Sarlardaise, and lovely fresh summer vegetables.

Confit de canard is a method of preserving duck in its own fat. After the curing process which makes the meat tender and flavourful, the duck is cooked so that the skin becomes crispy.

When I made this at home recently I prepared four duck legs, figuring that if I’m going to do this multi-step process I might as well make a larger batch. In retrospect I realize that I could have made even more, as they keep well in the freezer. I understand that the confit process and the storage in duck fat is a way of preserving the meat, but I prefer to use it within a week or freeze any legs that are not used in that timeframe, just to be on the safe side.

Now that I’ve made this recipe a number of times I’m not exactly sure what all of my sources were, so I can’t attribute this recipe to anyone in particular. Some recipes call for using thyme instead of bay leaves, which is also delicious. I draw the line at adding juniper berries, because I find the flavour to be unpleasant.

This is a somewhat decadent meal, and best served with a full-bodied red wine, potatoes, a lovely salad or side vegetable, and possibly even a baguette. In the photo it is served with roasted potatoes and a green salad dressed in a light vinaigrette with a little bit of goat cheese crumbled on top – heavenly!

What you need:

  • duck legs
  • plenty of salt (I used Maldon)
  • whole peppercorns
  • bay leaves, fresh or dried, enough to have 2-4 per leg
  • garlic cloves, sliced thinly, enough for half a clove per leg
  • duck fat, enough to cover the legs (olive oil is a substitute if you absolutely can’t get the duck fat)

What you do:

  1. Remove the duck legs from their packaging and lay them on paper towels. Blot the legs dry.
  2. Cut excess skin and fat off the bottom of the legs; reserve it to render the fat. Keep the skin on the top of the leg – when you cook them later the skin will become deliciously crispy.
  3. Sprinkle salt in the bottom of a flat dish, then toss in a few peppercorns and bay leaves. Place the legs, skin side up, on top of the salt. Sprinkle more salt over the legs, then place bay leaves, sliced garlic and peppercorns on top of the legs. Cover and refrigerate for 24-48 hours.
  4. Preheat the oven to 110°C (225°F).
  5. Remove the garlic, pepper corns and bay leaves from the duck legs and brush off as much salt as you can.
  6. Place the legs in a single layer in a high-sided oven-proof dish.
  7. On low heat melt the duck fat. Pour the fat over the duck legs. If they are not quite submerged in fat, add some olive oil to top them up. Cover with foil and place in the oven. Cook for three hours, until the meat is almost falling off the bone.
  8. Allow the legs and fat to come to room temperature to refrigerate until used. The legs can be refrigerated in the fat until they are to be used.
  9. To prepare the legs for your astonishingly awesome dinner, remove the legs from the fridge and allow them to come to room temperature so that the fat softens.
  10. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Remove the legs from the fat, scraping off excess fat and saving it for later use (such as roasting potatoes or making another batch of confit de canard).
  11. Heat a cast-iron or other oven-proof frying pan on high heat, adding some of the duck fat. Place the legs skin side down in the pan, then place them in the oven for about 15 minutes. By this time they should be easy to turn over, and you can put them back in the oven for about three more minutes.
  12. Bon appetit!
salting confit de canard - trustinkim
salted duck legs with herbs, 24-48 hours
duck legs submerged in duck fat - trustinkim
duck legs submerged in duck fat, waiting to be slow-cooked

Italian Potato Frittata

Italian potato frittata - trustinkim.com

This frittata makes a nice breakfast, lunch or dinner with a salad, and it is also extremely delicious served cold the next day.  I’ve made frittata in the past, but I’m finally happy with how this one turned out – practice makes perfect! It’s quite simple to make, and you can cook it in a frying pan on the stove-top, or you can finish it in the oven.

I used a cast-iron frying pan, but you can use whatever kind of frying pan you have. If you’re going to put it in the oven, make sure it doesn’t have a plastic handle. I have read that you can cover a plastic handle with aluminum foil to protect it, but I haven’t tried it myself.

You can put whatever kind of herbs you like in your frittata; I used fresh parsley, tarragon and oregano.

What you need:

  • 500 grams potatoes, sliced or cubed (slice smaller potatoes, cube larger ones)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 6-8 eggs
  • fresh herbs of your choice, finely chopped
  • Parmesan cheese, grated
  • salt and freshly cracked pepper

What you do:

  1. Boil a pot of salted water for the potatoes.
  2. To prepare the potatoes: If you are using smaller potatoes, slice them about 1 cm thick. For larger potatoes, peel and cube them, about 2cm cubes. Boil the potatoes for about 5 minutes, until they are tender.
  3. In the frying pan heat half of the olive oil on medium heat, then fry the onions and garlic until the onions are translucent.
  4. Crack the eggs into a bowl and beat them with a fork or a whisk. Add the herbs, some grated Parmesan, and salt and pepper to taste, then beat them in. 
  5. You may want to add a bit more olive oil to the frying pan, especially up the sides, so the frittata won’t stick.
  6. When the potatoes are cooked, drain them and add them to the frying pan along with the onions and garlic. Pour the eggs over top, then distribute the potatoes evenly throughout the pan. With the heat on medium-low, place a lid on the frying pan and let the frittata cook for 6-8 minutes.
  7. At this point, if the frittata is not too liquidy, you can flip it. To do this, loosen the edges with a knife, then place a plate on top of the pan and flip the frittata onto plate. Slip the frittata back into the frying pan and cook without a lid for about 5 minutes. Now… if you don’t want to do this flipping thing, you can simply put it under the broiler for a few minutes – Watch It Carefully! You don’t want it to burn, you just want to firm up the egg until it has just set. No browning necessary; we want the egg to remain tender.
  8. Enjoy it while it’s hot, or allow the frittata to cool, then refrigerate and eat it within a few days.