Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Finished Pizza

The crust was light and crisp. I like to bake my pizzas in a 385 degree oven, I find that it keeps the crust from becoming too hard. The combination of the mascarpone, duck, chutney and onions was a delight. A very full mouth mellow flavor with a tart finish. Amy and the rest of us loved it! I used some of the left over dough to make fresh buns and made duck confit cranberry chutney sandwiches for lunch. A very tasty experiment! We won't be at the Winter Market at Local D'Lish this Saturday, but Ann carries our products in her store so I highly recommend trying this one out!

The Pizza Part

I started with a thin crust of dough and let it rise for about an hour. This adds a lot of air to the dough and makes for a very light, crunchy crust. I topped with Red onion, Duck Confit, Lucille's Kitchen Garden Cranberry White Balsamic Chutney, and Mascarpone. I also sprinkled with olive oil and just a little White Balsamic Vinegar.

Duck Confit Update # 3

Place duck meat into sterilized jars and cover with duck fat. Place lid on and refrigerate. The fat becomes solid so you can pull the pieces of duck out without getting chunks of the fat. However the fat gel is very rich and flavorful, so a little sticking to the meat enhances the flavor. I have read that the duck confit is good in the refrigerator for a month to 6 months, but as this is my first time making it, and because I am using cooked duck from the start I am not sure how this will affect the shelf life. For now I am concerned with the long anticipated pizza.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A Quick Garlic Tip

I process A LOT of fresh Garlic for our Garlic Pepper Jam. We use this wonderful garlic that we get from Swede Lake Farms. The quickest way to undress fresh garlic is a gentle blow from a meet mallet. You don't want to crush it, just crack the skin off a bit. If you break the top off the bulb and use the corner of your mallet to hit the base, most of the cloves break away and lose, at least, some of their skin.

The Duck Confit Adventure Part One

We love duck confit. LOVE LOVE LOVE it. In fact, Amy's favorite thing to order in the whole world is the duck confit pizza at Pairings Food and Wine Market in Minnetonka I have looked into making my own duck confit, as buying it is out of the question, and have found several snags. First of all most recipes call for dedicating a whole duck purchase to the venture, which makes it as costly as just buying the confit. Secondly, most recipes only recommend using farm raised duck. Now, while I do purchase and enjoy farm raised duck, we eat a lot of game, which means wild duck. Wild duck tends to be much lower in fat then farm raised duck and rendered fat is an essential element of duck confit. Some recipes say to add pork fat, but I didn't want to dilute the flavor. So. . .I decided to save and freeze all the leftover duck and duck fat from the past three times that we have had it. We have it about once a month. The last time it was partially smoked, since once I fire up the smoker I tend to grab anything in the house and smoke it. (See my smoked garlic blog). So I assume that my confit with have a mildly smoky flavor to it. I have just completed phase one. Since the thawed duck had much of the fat stuck to it I decided to start the rendering process by putting the whole bits of leftover duck into a pot and melting it off. I wish that I could say that the duck confit is a fabulous success. . .but I don't know yet. I just finished part one and am now sharing it with you.

Also, since my goal is to make Amy her favorite pizza (with my own twist) I have also begun the dough from Zoe Bakes recipe book "Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day" , I have started a fresh batch of that as well. It is the most practical bread recipe that I have come across and you can add whatever grains etc. that strike your fancy. We always have a batch in the fridge and use it every Friday on our family Pizza and a Movie night. I will let you know what happens next. . .