Tea-Smoked Duck Breast

Or, how to smoke indoors with a wok

11th May 2011

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I love what smoke does to foods—preserving, often cooking them, and adding layers of flavor. Next to cooking over wood fire, there's nothing more basic and caveman.  There's just one major problem with this particular hobby (true of many caveman-esque cooking experiments): it's impossible to pull off without outdoor space and a backyard. This isn't always a luxury we're afforded living in a c...

Chez Panisse Cassoulet

A tastier and quicker version of the classic.

4th Mar 2010

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I'm tired of people lying about cassoulet. Every recipe I've ever read calls it a "peasant dish," and the fact is, cassoulet is really, really expensive to make. You need duck confit, which, if you don't buy pre-made, costs you either in the form of overpriced duck fat or the need to buy a whole duck to render it yourself. Then, you need fancy sausage, preferably the garlicky "Toulouse" vari...

Serious Eats Roundup: Italian-American, Anglo-Indian, Chinese, and Californian Fare

25th Jan 2010

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Our weekly roundup of what the two of us have written over on Serious Eats.

"Dinner Tonight" Column

Quick meals to your table five days a week.

Shrimp Tikka Masala
Martha Stewart Approved shrimp curry that's pungent, rich, and easy.

Squash and Fennel Soup with Candied Pumpkin Seeds
Blake could really "go on for paragraphs about this soup," but advises you to just "please cook i...

Serious Eats Roundup: Fried Chicken, Chicken-Fried, and Some Famous Quinoa

18th Jan 2010
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Our weekly roundup of what the two of us have written over on Serious Eats.

"Dinner Tonight" Column

Quick meals to your table five days a week.

Chicken-Fried Rice
From Mark Bittman, "a vibrant and clean fried rice recipe, that's blessedly free of hijinks."

Pork Chops with Vermouth-Braised Fennel
Juicy pork over a bed of caramelized fennel: most people would pay good money for a m...

Faux Confit: Steamed Duck Legs

Can steamed duck legs tasted better than ones poached in duck fat?

14th Jan 2010

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The question about whether a steamed duck leg tastes as good duck confit has been boggling my mind for months ever since I read this article in the New York Times . Finally, last night, after spending the previous three days hacking up two ducks, rendering loads of fat, and figuring out what to do with the heads ( Jonathan Gold actually sent me some interesting options on Twitter), I f...

Wednesday Links: The New Classic Cocktails, Mad Science and How to Buy a Duck

6th Jan 2010

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[Photographs: Evan Sung and Christopher Smith for The New York Times ]

Welcome to the first edition of Wednesday Links. This is our weekly collection of four of the most interesting food links we've discovered in the past week. Enjoy!

Nick:

Heston Blumenthal's Mad Scientist Christmas Dinner
This video showcases Heston's perfect Christmas meal...and I thought my Christmas dinner of f...

Idea Lab: Steamed Duck Confit?

Can you really leave behind all the fat??

5th Jan 2010

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Welcome to the Idea Lab, where we explore topics before we head into the kitchen. We welcome your thoughts, opinions, and ideas, so please leave them in the comments!

Is duck confit a lie? According to Dr. Myhrvold, who runs Intellectual Ventures in Seattle, the technique is actually rather pointless.

...confit, the French technique of cooking slowly in fat, is supposed to impart a uniq...

Duck Rillettes

22nd Sep 2008

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It was a last-minute whim, but there I was at the checkout, buying a whole duck. I've cut up dozens of roast chickens into legs, thighs, and breasts -- usually with the meat and skin steaming and burning my fingers -- so how much harder could it be to do the same with a duck?  Above all, it's much cheaper to buy a whole duck and cut it up yourself than it is to buy the parts separately -- and...

Au Pied de Cochon

4th Jun 2008

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Montreal is famous for a dish called poutine, which we sampled heavily the weekend we visited, in which crispy frites are salted, tossed with pillowy, tender cheese curds, then smothered in rich brown gravy. A dish, suffice it to say, to be eaten with a fork.  At Au Pied de Cochon , Montreal's cult restaurant where gluttony and excess have become signature sins, they include all of tho...

Turducken: Live Poultry to Culinary Grotesque to Epic Stock

25th Mar 2008

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My friend Matt's email arrived in my inbox, forthright and serious.

"This coming Saturday, March 22, a turducken will be assembled and cooked in my apartment...in the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn.  Beginning at about 12 or 12:30, the birds will be deboned, the stuffing will be made, and the ingredients layered and sewn up...resulting in the creation of a delicious culinary grote...

Chicago Eats

20th Mar 2008

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I'm definitely not the first to point this out, but Chicago has some great food.  You know, with all the high accolades for their inventive restaurants and classic comfort foods, and the fact that they are hosting this year's Top Chef , I have nothing new to add.  It's just that over the past weekend Abby and I managed to fit more good food into our bellies than we had any right to do...

Charcuterie Tales

10th Mar 2008

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Time to play catchup.  Blake has been on the forefront of this curing business for awhile now and I just couldn’t stand back while he was slicing off hunks of his own fresh bacon and duck prosciutto .  I picked up a duck and a pork belly and got to work.

It might seem a little redundant to document two projects that Blake has already covered, but in all fairness, these are d...

The Duck Prosciutto Emerges

A results of a simple dry-cured meat project revealed

28th Nov 2007

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About ten days after I hung a salt-cured duck breast in the vestibule of my garden apartment, wrapped in cheesecloth and suspended by kitchen string in a little tent of wooden dowel rods, I retrieved it, unwrapped it, and laid it on a cutting board in my kitchen.  It was my first attempt at curing, my Duck Prosciutto .

The flesh had taken on a dark red, almost black color on the outside...

Beginner’s Charcuterie

1st Nov 2007

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There are two kinds of cookbooks: some I buy and use, and others I buy and admire. I plan for the former, but end up doing the latter.  I have cookbooks about offal , bread-making , and curing meat , but I’ve yet to order beef bones to roast . I have a copy of the River Cottage cookbook , which tells you how to deliver a lamb, dig for scallops, grow carrots, make bacon, and...

In Portland: A Menu Based on Duck Fat

23rd Jul 2007

I should apologize before I begin, because what I write about Portland is no doubt going to sound like a tourist ad.  After just a few days spent there, it became one of my favorite cities.  It has a number of things on its side: proximity to the water; an industrial, scruffy charm; a relaxed, West Coast vibe; and above all, more than a couple world-class restaurants.

Hugo's , for example, i...

The Duck Confit is Served

16th Apr 2007

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I was cleaning out my fridge, throwing away plastic bags full of blackened herbs and limp celery and muttering about how I felt wasteful, of course, but also uncreative.  Why does the ability to look into the fridge and dream up recipes with what’s there elude me?  I'm a failure and a hack.  Why even cook anymore?  I should just order takeout and go to sleep.

But in the midst of this crisis...

Cassoulet, Hooray!

25th Jan 2007

Cassoulet2_10 It was a terrifying moment: The bottom of my pan was lined with raw pig skin, on top of which were alternating layers of beans, the meat from pig knuckles, duck confit, sausages, a paste made of blended onions and more boiled pig skin--and I was rapidly reaching the top rim.  In fact, I'd already reached it.  I still had a bowl of beans, not to mention 4 cups of gelatinous bean and pork water...

Duck Confit, Part 1

19th Jan 2007

It's snowing in Brooklyn this morning.  When I opened my eyes it had just begun to fall, and I padded over to my window like a little child at Christmas.  Snow makes me very happy, as does winter in general--I absolutely love bundling up in all sorts of ridiculous scarves and hats and I love the invigorating nip of freezing wind.   When it's summer and hot, there's nothing you can really do ab...

Patois: Best Brunch in Brooklyn?

24th Aug 2006

By Blake Royer Library_5693 It's difficult, sometimes, to make Brunch plans.  They usually happen in a haze at 1:30 in the morning, when everyone's hungry, a bit tired, and getting very sentimental.  "Oh, let's all wake up and have a big intimate meal together tomorrow!"  It's a way of ensuring, in hopeful and vague way, that the night never has to end--just after a short nap, we'll all get togeth...