Monday, January 31, 2011

Yoga in the morning duck ham in the evening. . . .

Julie and I were "threading the needle" in yoga this morning and all I
could think about was, "How do I set up a blog and what do I want to eat
with duck prosciutto tonight?" Well, twenty six postures and a coconut
water later - it hit me. No doubt, one of my most favorite classic
pairings is duck with celeriac! We had driven across Washington earlier
this summer, escaping from the city, to stay at Cave B, a hotel built on
a winery where we each had a friend we knew working there. Her friend
hooked us up with a sweet suite and my friend hooked us up with a
tasting menu - O the soup! Celeriac soup to be exact, with crispy duck
confit. So I had my inspiration but how could I change this classic into
my own? The roux thickens. . .

Then I remembered a smoked pasta dough recipe in the new "Ideas in Food"
book that I've been meaning to try out - this was the flavor profile I
was lacking: smoke. . .

The Menu Tonight:
Smoked Pappardelle Pasta Celeriac Cream Sauce with Crisped Duck Prosciutto

The next step was the blog. Being the daughter of a librarian and an
academic college drop-out the library is where I go (like many other
cheap 23 year olds) to seek answers to life problems. Let's just put it
this way: you're reading this, so perhaps you might be inspired to visit
your local library.

I'm always excited for any opportunity to cure to my heart's content.
I'm especially perplexed by duck prosciutto because the first one I ever
made was out of Heston Blumenthal's book, NAME THE BOOK HERE, calling
for only 50g of sel gris - salt is amazing huh? I threw in some
coriander, thyme, and laurel bay leaf into mine for the "What the hay?"
factor. Hay . . . that might not be a bad idea for next time - yummm -
maybe pork loinzino? Anyway. . .
These ducks are Magret from Artisan Sonoma in California.

Perhaps not the greatest showmanship of my knife skills but alas, waste
not want not and  it IS super tasty!

Recipes for success:

Your favorite pasta dough recipe. Here's a basic if you don't have one
4C flour
6 whole eggs
1tsp. salt
1T Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Cold smoke the flour for approximately 2 hours, stirring every half
hour. Mix the dry ingredients in a pile. Mix the wet ingredients in a
bowl. Make a hole in the center of your dry ingredient pile and pour
your wet ingredients into it so it looks like an egg filled volcano.
Slowly take your pointer finger and begin to stir the egg around
clockwise incorporating the flour into the egg - this is called the well method. Once a
dough forms knead until it is a cohesive mass and feels like play dough then keep it covered while you make the sauce.

4 large celeriac roots
Cream to cover
Salt t.t
1T butter

Peel and slice the celeriac into even sizes. Throw everything into a pot
and simmer until the celeriac is tender and tasty. (If you're like me,
you'll eat a couple before the next step.) Strain off liquid and put
celeriac into the blender. Pour enough of the cooking liquid over the
celeriac so that it will spin freely in the blender Reminder: this is
your sauce. It's okay for it to be runny and creamy but you don't want
to lose that celeriac taste to the heavy cream taste.

Duck Prosciutto to taste

Crisp up as much duck prosciutto as you can handle in a pan over a low

Roll out your pasta. Cook in a generous amount of boiling salted water
until it's the texture you like in your pasta. I like mine with a little
bite to it.
Dress the pasta with the celeriac sauce. Top with crisp duck prosciutto
and take a picture to show me!

I love all of these things with all my big cured heart!