Saturday, March 08, 2008

what to do with two cans of duck confit

what’s a girl to do with two cans of duck confit which may or may not be past their best by date? my boss recently gave me a can of duck confit – which was fantastic, since I generally love duck in most of its permutations. the only problem was, already taking up a major tenancy in my very small larder was another can of duck confit from some forgotten trip to paris. and my larder was definitely not big enough for two rather large cans of duck confit. I figured there wasn’t going to be anything wrong with the duck – it was canned in its own fat. not being one to throw away (almost) perfectly good food, there was only one thing to be done – make pasta.

I had seen, in ages past, emeril lagasse making duck confit pasta on the food network (the American version of UKTV Food). of course emeril lagasse made his own duck confit by slow roasting the duck legs in their own fat for a very long time in a very low oven. well I didn’t have to bother with all that slow roasting business – I just needed to open one very large can.

I made a pasta dough out of flour, eggs and a tablespoon of hot water in which a substantial bunch of saffron had been infused. the dough was left to rest in the fridge for an hour while I tended to the filling. shredded confit duck, an assortment of sliced mushrooms, and lots of freshly milled black pepper was sautéed and cooled. I contemplated the addition of cream to bind it, but decided against as it was sufficiently rich as it was. rolling out the pasta dough at the thinnest setting on my pasta machine, I cut out 3 inch rounds of pasta, half of which were filled with a mound of the duck and mushroom filling and a parsley leaf, and sealed with the other half of the pasta rounds. the ravioli took no more than 3 minutes each in briskly boiling water. drained, and dressed in lightly warmed butter to which a few drops of duck fat had been added and seasoned with sea salt and more black pepper.