About Me

I have been cooking my way through life for over 50 years, beginning with mud pies as a child. I've turned a corner now and feel a Renaissance in my life. Recipes and Random Thoughts is my personal spin in a blog about how to prepare good food and how it prepares you for life. I want to share with you, honest to goodness food punctuated with perspective from the special memories and moments that have marked my journey.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Stupids Entertain - Roasted Potatoes in Duck Fat and How to Clean up Candle Wax and Other Tips

Has my blog title confused you?  Well, I think I've gotten most of it cleaned up instead of calling Pro Serve.  Let me get to the point.  It was a lovely spring evening and perfect for dining outside with, probably, the last opportunity to use our outdoor fireplace until next Fall. We invited close friends for a casual grill meal.  I realized I was out of votives and opted for candelabra on the patio to complement the fire and other outdoor lighting.  Perfect! The meal, weather, lighting and so forth.  We turned on the overhead fan to send smoke from the grill elsewhere and I noticed the candles where starting to drip furiously over the pierced wrought iron table.  Well the ambiance was lovely. I'd clean it up in the morning. Funny, I noticed the dog hovering under the table for a dropped morsel was splattered with wax but didn't associate it with anything much. Ah! Wine can help you skip a detail like that - it was all so pleasant.

The Stupids where a childrens' series of slightly dark humored books my children read occasionally, only because their mother found them amusing.  Last night, I certainly was a worthy character. By morning the dinner site looked like a wax museum after a fire. What a mess!

Here's a tip for candle wax on everything. Google, "candle wax on ...."  I've spent most of the day ironing old terry cloth towels over my patio and other assorted methods and chemical applications to remove candle wax from dogs, stone, candelabra, cast iron and shoes. The dog got by with just a combing.

Aside from that, roasted potatoes in duck fat is a worthy blog.  I'd read about duck fat quite a bit and contemplated ordering it on line until I found it on the shelf in a specialty store.  Roasted potatoes as a side to grilled lamb chops seemed to be the right opportunity test drive duck fat. Duck fat, is popular in France omitting the heaviness of other fats making it ideal for frying or roasting at high temperatures.  Potatoes roasted or fried in duck fat give a  light crisp exterior crust to a soft smooth interior. Try it, you'll like it.

Just a note on grilling bone end chops before I get to the potatoes.  Cook a T-boned chop straight up on it's flat bone end.  The bone transfers and conducts the heat to the meat efficiently without searing first.  Finish the with a one minute sear on each side.

For Potatoes:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

2 lbs Fingerling or Pee Wee Potatoes or Yukon's peeled on cup into bite size
1/4 cup Duck Fat
salt and pepper to taste

Rise and cut potatoes in halves or in bite size
Put in a pot and cover with cool water to an inch above
Bring to a boil and cook 3 minutes.
Drain in a colander and pat dry or reserve lightly covered until ready to cook.

On a rimmed baking sheet warm 1/4 cup duck fat in oven for2 minutes.  Remove from oven and add cut potatoes tossing in duck fat with a spatula until coated.  Sprinkle with Kosher salt and pepper.  Return to oven and cook 20 minutes.  Toss with spatula and cook 10 to 15 more minutes until the potatoes are golden brown.

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