9 hours ago
First of all, I'm so glad everyone is all kinds of pumped about the give-away this week. I've loved reading your stories and googling your games and generally discovering that all of you are super nerds, just like us. That is tremendously gratifying and had me pulling my "new move" - for the description of which I hope you'll allow me a short digression.
It was two weekends ago in Vermont, playing the very game around which the give-away was centered, when Silver Man was asked about "the name of the author who, upon meeting his friend's daughter, was inspired to write about a young girl's adventures through the looking glass" - not the exact question, but a fair rendering. Anyway, Silver Man, who is famous for pulling impossible answers out of thin air (the infamous Sonja Henie Event of 2009 springs to mind), obviously had this soft-ball in the bag.
But then (BUT THEN!) he said "Welllll I'm wondering if they mean Lewis Carroll OR his real name Charles Dodgson" to which we all groaned dramatically and feigned choking to death because OMG NEEEEEERD and then I scrunched up my face, pushed invisible glasses up my nose and sniffed dorkily. This is my "new move", to be deployed whenever someone is being adorably and excessively intellectual or enthusiastic. And people? I was sniffing and invisible specs pushing like crazy yesterday reading your comments. You made me so happy. You nerdy, fabulous, bastards, you.
Now let's get back to those spuds.
My love of potatoes is almost as well documented as my love of all things porcine, wouldn't you agree?
Is it an Irish thing? That and the drinking and all these fucking freckles?
(Moles, really, if I'm being honest. I just tried to look up synonyms on the off-chance there was a nicer, prettier word, but the truth is that big and small, pale and dark, we of the fairer skin are often covered in moles. It is an unfortunate fact. Not beauty- or birth- marks, not freckles. Moles. Two of which I had to get scraped off and biopsied today with the dermatologist looking at me all judgy-like. You know. Because I CHOSE to be covered with these things. It was a lifestyle choice. I was all "I'd like blue eyes, wavy hair, and to be covered head to toe in moles." I blame Nico.*
You guys still here?
I didn't break down a duck for my duck prosciutto, but I still came by the seeming barrels of duck fat in our fridge honestly. One duck prior and two ducks over the holidays using this excellent fat yielding recipe and wielding multiple containers and a good healthy fear of spatter, we managed to squirrel away quite a lot of duck fat.
Oh, and duck fat. It is golden goodness. Never has a food used its powers for so much evil. It is a delicious elixir good for so many bad, bad things. Like confit. Or, in this case, roasting.
Roasting potatoes are simple enough and, if you'd like, you can roll some raw potato wedges in olive oil and salt and pepper, sprinkle them with rosemary and roast them up to crispy perfection. These will be tasty potatoes. You won't kick them out of bed for eating crackers, or, as I do when Rob is on business trips, Doritos. Duck-fat roasted potatoes, however, bring something else to the party. Something cracktastically delicious. Something that threatens pork for fat dominance in the little list I keep in my head. (Uhhhh, that's normal, right?)
Potato Slices Roasted in Duck Fat
Adapted from a recipe by Gordon Ramsay
4 lbs potatoes
Fat from the ducks, about 10 ounces
2-3 thyme sprigs or 1 large rosemary sprig, stripped and chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Peel the potatoes and cut into one inch slices, discarding ends. Boil in lightly salted water for about 5 minutes. Drain.
Meanwhile, heat the fat in a large roasting pan at 375 degrees until it has a slight haze coming from it.
Remove the pan and carefully add in the potatoes, turning them in the hot fat to coat. Season nicely and scatter with the herbs.
Roast for 25-30 minutes, turning once when they should be golden and crispy.
I didn't change much about this recipe. Mostly the shape of the potato, and that for sentimental reasons. I knew an Irishman once who always roasted his potatoes in slices. The outsides are crispy and golden and the insides are as much like mashed potatoes as you can hope to get without mashing. I might add garlic next time, as I have trouble leaving well enough alone.
When next we meet, potato. When next we meet.
*No, seriously. I blame Nico. I won't hold it against him or anything but all the loopy shit that is supposed to go down in your body when you're pregnant went full on with me. My wisdom teeth for one, coming screaming out of my gums after 30 years of relative dormancy all "OH HAI! Some pain for the lady?" Well, the other typical thing is that if you are freckle friendly to begin with your body starts manufacturing freckles at lightning speed. And they start popping out on your skin like when cartoon characters get chicken pox. And the ones that are already there get bigger. Generally....it is pretty gross.
posted Wednesday, January 19, 2011