Dreamy's Delights

It's all about the food!

Planning ahead

on August 4, 2012

I was going to cook up something really yummy today… As I said in yesterday’s post, sometimes plans don’t come to fruition. I got up early this morning, went to Palo Alto, FINALLY changed my name on my bank account (I’ve only been married for nine months lol), visited Whole Foods (Whole Paycheck), had an excellent lunch with my husband and came home for a “short nap.” That nap lasted five hours lol. So instead of cooking tonight, I’m planning the cooking for the upcoming week.

One of the things I’ve always wanted to play around with is making “confit.” Confit is a method of food preservation that was used by the French. Basically, the food is salted and seasoned, left to sit for a day or so, then slow cooked in its own fat. Once it’s cooked it is then stored covered in a layer of fat. Duck is especially good for this, although pork works too. Today at Whole Foods I picked up some duck legs and rendered duck fat to make confit this coming week. The meat is currently thawing. Tomorrow I’ll salt and season it and cook it on Monday.

Another dish I got ingredients for is Vinha d’alhos (Garlic Wine Marinated Dishes). This is a Portuguese dish that takes meat and marinates it in vinegar, wine and garlic. After 3-7 days marinading the meat is cooked in even more vinegar, wine and garlic. I’ve got a nice chunk of beef cross-rib roast for this. It will be going into the marinade tonight. Here it is soaking in a mix of white wine, white wine vinegar and crush garlic cloves. I’ve squeezed all the air out of the bag and it will soak for up to 3 days. I’ll turn it a couple of times a day to make sure the marinade soaks in evenly.

An easy way to clean and crush garlic is to place the side of your knife on top of the garlic clove (with the skin still on) and smack the knife with you hand. Make sure the edge of the knife is NOT angled up or you can cut yourself badly! When you smash it, the skin will loosen up and you can just pull it right off the smashed garlic. Then toss the garlic into whatever you needed crushed garlic for.

There’s something pulling me in the direction of slow food this week. I think part of it is that this is food I can start  and then leave alone for a bit. I’m having trouble keeping up with cooking dinner every night now that I’m working. I also think it is the satisfaction of the crafting process. To me food is not just the means to an end. Creating it is an end in itself. I get to start with a raw product and not just make it edible but craft it into something that makes the people around me sit up and take notice.

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2 responses to “Planning ahead

  1. Tane Marie McKee, DVM says:

    Are you sure you are not a classically trained chef, Kris????? A note about the French. I was married to a French Canadian. { Quebecois} Some will say that is not true French, but his mother trained him well in the culinary arts. He is from an upper class Montreal Family. Those of you who know me, know I love to eat. When I was doing the crazy 4th year of clinical rotations in veterinary school, he would make me amazing dishes when I did not have time to cook. As our relationship grew, we complimented each other with our cooking stiles. Ok…….did I really mention something postive about my past with him?? Well, I guess I did… .. Bon Nuit………….

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