The Wild Table—Seasonal Foraged Food and Recipes by Connie Green includes recipes like Cuitlacoche (Huitlacoche or Corn Smut); Cuitlacoche and Squash Blossom Quesadilla; Foil-Wrapped Matsutake with White Soy and Ginger; and Stir-fried Dandelion Greens with Duck Fat and Garlic.
If you've cooked with duck fat before, you can jump into this simple recipe with gusto because you've experienced duck fat as the culinary gem that it is. Its unctuous and rich flavor is worth going that little bit out of your way for. Believe it or not, it's close to olive oil on the health meter. You can buy containers of duck fat at fine grocers, or you can buy a duck, render the trimmed fat, and have a lovely duck ready to roast another night.
For the Duck-Fat-Roasted Garlic
Place the duck fat and garlic in a small heavy-bottomed sauté pan over low heat. Slowly bring the mixture to a simmer. The garlic will burn quickly, so keep an eye on it. If it cooks too much, it will taste bitter and unpleasant. Cook until the garlic is just turning light golden brown. Turn off the heat and let the garlic cool in the duck fat, about 30 minutes. The cloves will continue to brown as they sit in the fat.
Remove the garlic cloves from the duck fat. Store the garlic and duck fat separately in the refrigerator in covered containers for up to 1 week. Let stand at room temperature about 1 hour before using.
Trim the tough ends from the dandelion greens and discard. Wash the greens thoroughly and drain.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop the greens into the boiling water and cook for 1 minute. Drain in a colander. When the greens are cool enough to handle, place them on a cutting board and cut into 2-inch ribbons.
Heat the duck fat in a large sauté pan or castiron skillet over medium-high heat. When the fat is hot, add the greens, stirring to coat with the fat. Add the salt, pepper, and garlic cloves. Cook, stirring frequently, until the greens are just tender, 2 to 3 minutes.
Tips and Techniques
Curly dock weed and younger dandelion greens don't need to be blanched before sautéing.
Substitutions and Variations
Olive oil can be substituted for the duck fat for cooking the garlic cloves. Store the oil and garlic separately in the refrigerator. The garlic-flavored olive oil is delicious for sautéing potatoes, vegetables, fish, and meats or using in a hearty vinaigrette.
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This page created November 2010
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