As you can tell by the title, I cooked with duck fat for the first time this week and I’m IN LOVE. Does this make me a glutinous asshole who feasts on the richest, fattiest part of a poor, helpless duck? Probably and I’m sorry. For the most part I’ve been making an effort to eat less meat but sometimes you just need the sweet powers of duck fat to bring your meal to the next level.
I was all over the place this week and didn’t have a chance to cook many blog worthy meals, BUT I did cook one feast that is maybe the best meal I’ve had in at least 4 months. Last week I posted my blog right before I headed to Ottawa for a gig. I stayed with my parents which is a treat because they always send us home with a ton of goodies. My uncle, who is a man of sophisticated tastes, is on a new diet. Lucky for me, I inherited a beautiful tub of un-opened duck fat. My good friend and comedian Steph Tolev came over Friday night and I decided to try this magical butter like substance. I made a caprese salad, baked dijon trout, steamed asparagus with lemon, and DUCK FAT FRIED BABY POTATOES.
How many times have I said duck fat? If you say it 10 times in the mirror the fattest duck you’ve ever seen will appear and give you a kiss. (OK, it’s late, I’m getting silly.) I’ll start with the potatoes because as my friend Steph commented “These are the best damn potatoes that have ever touched these lips.” (or something along those lines.) I sliced red skinned new potatoes, soaked them in cold salt water for an hour, drained them, then fried them in a generous scoop of duck fat in my cast iron pan for about 45 minutes, flipping them everyone once and a while. I gently seasoned the taters with my barbarian steak spice but salt, pepper and garlic powder would do too. Put them on a paper towel (like you would bacon) before serving so they don’t taste greasy. They were PERFECT. Garnish with parsley to add a bit of brightness. I could have eaten them all night.
For my caprese salad I used fresh mozzarella and Kumato tomatoes that my mom sent home with me. Kumato’s are a brownish heirloom tomato that are like regular tomatoes hotter, nicer friend. I layered the slices and topped the stack with fresh basil, mushroom and sage olive oil from the Kingston Olive Oil Co. (thanks uncle Billy!) and a drizzle of balsamic. What a treat. The creamy fresh cheese marries so well with the sweet tomatoes, the tangy balsamic and the earthy oil. Any salad that is half cheese is fine by me.
Trout is one of my go-to fishes because I find it has a slightly milder taste than salmon and it’s usually cheaper. In a bowl I mixed a healthy squirt of horseradish dijon, generous squeeze of lemon, 2 pressed garlic cloves, splash of olive oil, dried parsley, salt and pepper. I spooned the mixture over the trout and baked it for 15 minutes at 400. Make. This. NOW. It’s the perfect combination of flavours that enhance the fish while making sure not to overpower it. Pair it with some lemony asparagus and the whole meal sings together like a sassy barber shop quartet.
Sunday Morning Matt and I went to the farmers’ market because it’ll probably be one of the last! We got some apples, cheese curds and a pumpkin! We’ll carve it up this week and make some delicious toasty seeds. Famished from the market, I was craving a big breakfast. Because my mom sent me home with so many veggies, I wanted to put them good use. If there’s anything I’ve learned from my previous blogs it’s “When it doubt, make a hash!” Because anything can be a hash! I diced half an onion, a red pepper, asparagus and mushrooms and sautéed them in DUCK FAT (not too much) with salt, pepper and garlic powder. I had a small amount of frozen hash browns that I tossed in as well as a few slices of diced salami. When the veggies in the hash were tender I fried up two sunny side eggs and served them on top of my hash with slices of avocado and tomato. BYE BYE EXPENSIVE BRUNCH AT A RESTAURANT. Who needs that when you have this beautiful HASH! And you don’t feel like a pile of garbage after because it’s mostly vegetables! This picture doesn’t do it justice. My food photographer wasn’t on his A-Game 😉