Pretty Dishes

Duck Fat and Other Delights
December 30, 2010, 10:56 am
Filed under: Kitchen Wares

I hope all of you have had a cheerful holiday season. It has certainly been a wonderful one for me (more on that below).

After preparing Duck a l’Orange and Jacques’s Skillet Duck, I was left with a sizable portion of duck skin, fat, and parts. The bones and pieces went in the freezer to make duck stock down the road. The skin and fat, however, were rendered the next day. I spent about an hour sautéing small batches in a saucepan to render every drop of duck fat possible. I have heard it referred to as liquid gold before, and now I know why. Gorgeous.

While on our honeymoon, my husband and I went to a bistro in Portland, Maine, called Duckfat Restaurant. They specialize in duck fat fries and dipping sauces. The fries were so earthy and crisp and delicious, and I wanted to recreate that (to a degree: I didn’t render enough to deep-fry anything) at home, so I’ve been slowly using the fat to fry hash browns and toss with oven fries and the like. It adds a smoky, musky flavor that can be really nice—especially with roots, poultry, and certain sauces.

A number of weeks back, the husband and I made a trip to a Goodwill, and I found myself drawn to the rather sprawling kitchen and housewares area. There was a lot of mismatched junk to be sure, but I also managed to scrounge up a few interesting dish and ware finds, including the enormous stock pot I used to make chicken stock and the items below:

It’s especially great for food photography and styling since there is very rarely much more than a matched set, and most items don’t carry a brand name or an easy trace to the original source to round out a collection. I now have a pretty healthy assortment of dishes and flatware to use.

Finally, I am excited to continue my photography and food styling education with a couple of new book acquisitions that have rounded out my collection (pictured) covering the best of what’s available at the moment. I have plenty of reading ahead of me! I will be sure to share any noteworthy tidbits and tricks I learn along the way.

I also received an incredibly thoughtful surprise gift this Christmas:

I am now the proud owner of a Canon EOS 7D, the camera body I’ve been eying for more than a year. It is massive and weighty—a real beast. The many wheels, buttons, and options are somewhat daunting (the possibilities are nearly endless), so it will take me a little while to adjust. It’s quite a step up from my four-year-old Rebel, in all the best ways. It bridges the gap between the dedicated amateur and the professional photographer. It’s pretty awesome.

I still need to catch up with a few of my older photos and recipes, but pretty soon I hope my photos will be looking better than ever with my new gear. Stay tuned for more!


1 Comment so far
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I love Goodwill, too. Though I’ve never come across teacups as lovely as those. You’ve inspired me to keep my eyes peeled :)

Hope you’re enjoying the new camera!

Comment by Tara

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