Confit de Canard avec les Pommes de Terre et Legumes

 

In France this summer I enjoyed eating duck on many occasions.  One night Corey and I made our own confit de canard dinner at a B&B.  We had this gorgeous outdoor space to cook and eat our meal in.  Duck confit is cured in salt, then cooked in its own fat.  And is amazing!  In France it is readily available, but not so much at home.  If you’re in Vancouver, I’ve heard you can buy it at Oyama Sausage at Granville Island.  The excess fat can be saved in the fridge to cook potatoes in the future.

What you need:

two legs of confit de canard

potatoes

1 zucchini, sliced about 2 cm thick

butter

2 tomatoes

salt and pepper

What you do:

1. Heat a frying pan on medium high and put the duck legs in it.  Cook them until they are nicely browned.

2. To cook the potatoes you can begin by either boiling them, or pierce with a fork and pop them in the microwave.  Then cut into thick slices.

3. Remove the legs from the pan and keep them in a warm oven.  Remove some of the fat from the frying pan, then add the potatoes.  Fry them until they are browned on each side. (If you want to make Perigord style potatoes, add some garlic and lots of parsley.  We didn’t get to try this, but our B&B host told us it was amazing, so that is how I’ll try it next time).

4. In another pan, heat a tablespoon or so of butter, then add the zucchini slices.  Brown them slightly on each side, then add salt and pepper.

5. Cut the tomato into slices and salt and pepper them.  If you have some balsamic reduction you can add some of that too.

Plate the duck, potatoes, zucchini and tomatoes and enjoy a gorgeous meal with a glass of red wine.  Ours was a Bordeaux.

 

The French countryside

Black Bean and Corn Soup

This is my new favourite soup recipe –  hot sauce makes it a little spicy, corn adds a little sweetness, and a there’s a ton of flavour in here.  Some of the soup is pureed, but there’s lots of colour from the remaining vegetables.  Topped off with a little yogurt, it tastes decadent.

What you need:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 red onion, chopped

5 cloves garlic, minced

1 red pepper, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon cumin

1 – 398 mL can of diced tomatoes

5 cups black beans, cooked (about 1 & 1/2 cups dry)

6 cups vegetable broth

2 – 341 mL cans of corn

salt and pepper

hot sauce

plain yogurt

1 lime

What you do:

1. If you are cooking your own beans, place them in a pot of boiling water, bring back to a boil and cook for a few minutes.  Turn heat off and soak for about two hours.  I like to drain in the middle of the soaking time and bring back to a boil – this helps ward of the gas causing properties beans can have.  The last step is to rinse, then bring the beans back to a boil, then lower the heat and cook until soft.  This shouldn’t take too long.

2.  Heat the olive oil and add the onions, garlic, peppers and carrots.  Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.

3.  Add the oregano, cumin, beans, tomatoes and broth.  Bring to a boil, then simmer for about half an hour.

4.  Puree about a third of the soup.  I just put my immersion blender in and blended until I thought it looked good.

5.  Add the corn, along with its juice, and cook just long enough to heat through.

6.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

7.  Top with a big dollop of yogurt and some hot sauce.  Serve with a wedge of lime to squeeze on top.