Monday, January 6, 2014

Confit alla Corningware - Leek Confit and Crostini

Every have a Cocktail party?  Ever struggle and lament over what sort of finger foods to serve at said cocktail party?  Heck, ever want to pretend you are having a cocktail party just so you can eat fingers foods?  I love appetizers.  They tend to be a lot of work, so there are not many in my repertoire, but I love them just the same.

If left to my own devices, I lean towards being a "grazer".  Thus, when going out to eat, I will chose the nearest Tapas or Sushi joint where I can graze and socialize until my hearts content.  Failing that, and being forced to a more traditional restaurant, I have a propensity for ordering an appetizers, or two if I am REALLY hungry, and that usually does the trick.  When I am forced to sit down and consume an actual meal, I feel like I have to roll back to the car.   I do NOT like being over-stuffed, but at the same time I don't like being "That Guy" who drags 3/4 of their meal home in a doggy bag.  Suffice it to say, I eat out VERY rarely.

Anyway...  This particular appetizer/antipasto/canape/finger food/hors d'oeuvre/meze/amuse-bouche is one of my favorites.  Not just because it is delicious, but because it is actually fairly simple to prepare. (relatively speaking)  It's a lovely French twist on an Italian restaurant staple.  Crostini lovingly smeared with soft Goat Cheese and topped with an unctuously decadent Leek Confit.

Oh, it's good... it's really good. Like "I need a cigarette" kind of good. (If you catch my drift)

So what exactly is "Confit".  Traditionally it is either Goose or Duck cooked low and slow in it's own rendered fat or fruits cooked in a sugar syrup (what we call "Candied" in the U.S.) as a method of preservation.  Thankfully, it is possible to cook other things in this manner, though technically this is properly referred to as "Leek en confit" since it is neither Goose, Duck nor Fruit. 

When I make this, I don't intend on it lasting very long, thus I use Butter and consume it with relish in less than a week.  If you are expecting to preserve this for the long hall (up to a couple months) then I suggest forgoing the butter and heading straight for either Olive oil, rendered Duck Fat or even Ghee.  Butter contains water and that water causes spoilage.  So unless you can be sure you have simmered ALL the water out of the butter (as would be the case with Ghee) do not plan on this staying viable in the refrigerator for more than 2 weeks tops. 
I don't think you will have to worry though, it never lasts that long
Leek en Confit


1/2 cup Unsalted Butter
4 Leeks (about 5 cups) white and light green parts, halved and cut into 1/4 inch slices
2 TB Water
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp dried Thyme Leaves

Corningware 10 inch Skillet - P-10-B (with lid P-10-C) or A-10-B (with lid A-10-C)

Preheat your oven to 300F degrees.
Prepare the Leeks by halving them, and slicing into 1/4 inch pieces.

By the time you are done, you should have about 5 cups.

Place your 10 inch Skillet (P-10-B) over medium flame and add the Butter.

Once the Butter has melted into a pool of golden elixir......

Add the Leeks.

Toss everything together to coat well and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the Leeks begin to soften slightly.

Add the Water, Salt and the Thyme, stirring everything together.

Cover with the lid.(P-10-C)

Move the skillet to the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so.


Remove the lid (P-10-C) and bake for an additional 5 minutes to allow any remaining water to escape.

Remove the skillet from the oven and allow the Confit to cool.

Spoon into a serving vessel, if you wish, for your guests to apply as a condiment

(cause it's even good on crackers) or you may continue.....

Crostini


1 Baguette, sliced into 1/2 inch slices on the bias
Olive Oil
Salt
1 clove Garlic
Chevre or other soft Goat Cheese, room temperature
Leek Confit

Corningware Broil and Bake Tray (P-35-B) - Depending on how much you are making, you may need a second tray

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees.
Slice your baguette at an angle into 1/4 inch thick slices and lay them out on your Broil and Bake Tray (P-35-B).

Brush liberally on both sides with Olive Oil and season with a pinch or two of Salt.

Place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes, turn the Crostini over and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until they begin to turn golden and toasty.

Cut the end off the Garlic Clove and rub each Crostini with the clove.

Lay out on a rack to cool slightly before spreading the Chevre over each slice.

Top with warm Leek Confit.

Arrange on a platter and Serve.....


Then bask in the glow of your guests adoration of your prowess in the kitchen.  I'm just sayin'  It really is THAT good.

Where is your Corningware??
~~

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