A chronicle of my adventures growing, preserving, cooking and eating from my garden and everywhere.

Duck proscuito, cornichon pickles, pickled beets charcuterie
Chicken Liver & Duck Confit Paté Recipe
Host a Winter Dinner Party
Maple cured bacon recipe charcuterie
Maple cured bacon recipe charcuterie
Maple cured bacon recipe charcuterie
Roasted Butternut Squash & Maple Cured Bacon Tart Recipe
Roasted Butternut Squash & Maple Cured Bacon Tart Recipe
Roasted Butternut Squash & Maple Cured Bacon Tart Recipe

Maple Cured Bacon


The maple cured bacon recipe is from Michael Ruhman’s Charcuterie.  Talk about easy.  I purchased a 5 lb slab of pork belly from my neighborhood butcher, who had already trimmed the belly square.  I combined the salt, pink salt, brown sugar and maple syrup, spread it over the belly and put it into the fridge.  I flipped it every other day, and after a week, it was cured.  Then I rinsed it well and set it to dry on a rack in my refrigerator over night.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to smoke it, so I added a little all-natural liquid smoke before slow roasting it at 200 degrees in the oven.  When the internal temp hit 150, it was done.  Not as good as smoking it, but pretty good none the less.  My 5 year old daughter and I celebrated the next morning with thick cut bacon for breakfast.  Fantastic.  Like bacon candy, really.  Why did I buy bacon before?  Making your own is worth it.

Roasted Butternut Squash & Maple Cured Bacon Tart Recipe

By Tammy Kimbler


Ingredients

2 sweet onions

1 butternut squash

olive oil, salt, pepper

2 cups bacon lardons (about 1lb)

puff pastry, enough to cover a sheet pan

8 oz gruyére cheese

1 tbs fresh thyme


Instructions:

Thinly slice the onions and saute with a little butter, salt, pepper and thyme.  Set aside just after they start to brown.  Peel and slice the squash into 1/3” slices.  Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper and a little cayenne pepper.  Roast in a 450 degree oven until just cooked, around 15 minutes.  Cut the bacon into 1/2” lardons and saute until brown.  Drain on paper towels.  Don’t let them get to crispy or dark brown as they will continue cooking on the tart.  Shred the gruyére and set aside.  Roll out puff pastry edge to edge on a sheet pan.  Cut boarders for the edges, sealing with egg wash.  Prick the bottom of the pastry with a folk.  Cover the pastry with all but 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese.  Layer with the onions.  Layout the roasted squash in a pattern, then sprinkle with bacon and remaining cheese.  Bake at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes until the pastry is brown and puffed.

how to butcher a duck
how to butcher a duck
Chicken Liver & Duck Confit Paté Recipe
Duck Confit charcuterie
Chicken Liver & Duck Confit Paté Recipe
Chicken Liver & Duck Confit Paté Recipe

Chicken Liver & Duck Confit Paté Recipe

By Tammy Kimbler

Recipe Adapted from Julia Child “Mousse de Foies de Volaille” in Mastering the Art of French Cooking


Ingredients:

8 oz chicken livers

2 tbs minced shallots

2 tbs butter

8 oz duck confit, shredded  (yes, I made my own--have to wait for another blog post for this!)

1/4 c dry sherry

1/4 c creme fraiche

1/4 c soft butter

1/4 c duck consume from duck confit, melted or 1/2 tsp gelatin dissolved in 1/4 c stock

1/4 c duck fat, melted

salt, pepper, pinch of thyme & ground allspice


Instructions:

I noticed that there’s a lot of loose interpretation between savory mousses and patés.  Old school French points to mousses being cooked stovetop while patés are baked in the oven.  New school doesn’t seem to make much of a distinction.  Whatever!  I don’t really care as long as it tastes great.  So here is my new school, old school French mousse/paté interpretation.


Chopped the livers.  Saute the shallots in butter, then add the livers.  Saute until done, but still a bit pink in the middle.  Season with salt, pepper, pinch of time and allspice. 


In a food processor process duck confit as finely as possible.  Add liver mixture and blend.  Slowly add sherry, followed by creme fraiche and butter.  Process until smooth.  Careful not to break the emulsion.  Check the seasonings.  Pass the mixture through a fine sieve for extra smooth texture.


Spoon into ramekins and chill slightly.  When slightly set, top with a layer of melted consume, followed by duck fat.  Don’t worry if they mix, the fat will rise to the top.  Chill completely in the fridge.  Remove 15 minutes before serving.  Serve with buttered toast points and mustard.

Pork Confit charcuterie
Pork Confit charcuterie
Pork Confit charcuterie

Pork Confit


Out of all the charcuterie items I’ve made over the last year, this one has to be the most versatile.  This recipe is also from Michael Ruhman’s Charcuterie. The 5 lb pork shoulder has lasted me over a month.  I’ve cooked it with eggs, potatoes, black beans, burritos, stir fry and BBQ sauce.  It has some hamy flavors, some fall flavors, a little sweet, and a lot savory.  And of course it’s just delicious on it’s own.  The preparation was simple, although the actual cooking took quite a bit longer than I anticipated.  The first night I seasoned the large chunks of pork with garlic, shallots, sage, pepper and bay, along with a little pink salt.  This sat in the fridge until the next night, when I rinsed the pork, patted it dry, then submerged it in rendered lard from my local butcher.  I placed it in a 190 degree oven over night for about 8 hours.  I thought this would be enough time, but the meat still had not become tender. I refrigerated it until I got home that night, then returned it to a 200 degree oven for another 4 hours.  Perfect!  Into the fridge it went, where I’ve been unearthing pieces of pink gold ever since.

shredding Pork Confit charcuterie
Pork Confit Parmentier Recipe
Pork Confit Parmentier Recipe
Pork Confit Parmentier Recipe
Pork Confit Parmentier Recipe

Pork Confit Parmentier Recipe

By Tammy Kimbler


Parmentier is a classic French dish of layered potatoes and meat.  It seemed like the perfect vehicle for pork confit, so here is my version, layered up in a fancy way for company.  Could easily be done in oven proof bowls with the ingredients inverted, the meat on the bottom, potato on top.  This recipe makes enough for 8 people.


Ingredients:

Potatoes-

3 lbs buttery potatoes (we used German Butterballs)

1/4 c butter

1/4 c milk to taste

1/4 c creme fraiche to taste

salt, pepper,

3/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg to taste


Kale-

2 lb Tuscan kale (dinosaur)

3 cloves garlic

olive oil

salt, pepper


Pork Confit-

3 onions

3 apples

4 cups shredded pork confit

olive oil

salt, pepper


Final Assembly-

1 bunch arugula

lemon

olive oil

salt, pepper


Instructions:

Peel and boil potatoes until soft.  Mash smooth, then add butter, milk and creme fraiche.  May need more of each to reach a creamy consistency.  Season with salt and pepper, then add freshly grated nutmeg.  Taste as you add the nutmeg so you don’t over do it.  This can be made a few hours ahead and kept at room temp.


Quickly blanch the kale in salted boiling water for 3 minutes.  Shock in cold water.  Strip off the leaves from the stems and roughly chop the leaves.  Squeeze out the excess water.  The kale can be done up until this point the day before and kept in the fridge.  Just before forming the parmentiers, heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil, add the garlic until soft, then the kale.  Saute just until warm and fragrant.  Season with salt and pepper.


Thinly slice onions and medium dice apples.  Saute onions over medium high heat until soft.  Add the apples.  When apples are firm but cooked, season with salt and pepper.  Add shredded pork and heat through.


Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Using a double layer of folded non-stick aluminum foil or buttered foil, create 8 tube molds, 5 inches high.  You can also use fancy metal ring molds if you have them.  Place on a buttered sheet pan.  Add 1/2 cup potatoes to each mold, pressing down with a spoon.  Next evenly divide the kale between molds, pressing lightly.  Finally, evenly divide the pork confit mixture.  Give everything a final press down, then bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes until heated through.  Just before their done, toss together a quick arugula salad lightly dressed with a squeeze lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. 


Remove parmentiers from the oven and let stand 5 minutes before unmolding.  I used kitchen shears to cut off the foil , then a spatula to plate the parmentier.  Add a small handful of arugula to each parmentier and serve.  I was so depressed that we did not have leftovers!

Tammy & Chris cooking on this snowy winters night.

Host a Winter Dinner Party

Known to many for my incredible ability to organize, I tackle gardening and life with equal verve.  Obsessive, is that a bad thing?

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