Potato and Leek Soup

Potato Leek Soup 1When I was a kid I would run outside every New Year’s Eve just as the ball was dropping and the whole neighbourhood was shrieking “Ten! Nine! Eight…” to stare up into the sky and feel the changing of the old year into the new.

I’d stare and stare listen and wonder what made the last year different, and squidge my eyes shut and search in my guts to feel something new and grown up inside.

Every year was the same. No change… No difference between one year and the next. Not until this year… 2014 is the year everything changed! (more…)

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Tagliatelle with Duck Confit, Toasted Walnuts and Spring Vegetables

Pasta with Duck ConfitThe last damp ghosts of winter have been exorcised by this weekend’s sunshine, and everyone (myself included) have been out in their gardens preparing for a beautiful and bountiful spring. I have dirt under my nails, scratches all over my arms, a slight buzz from sunstroke and a mid-afternoon beer. I could not possibly be happier.

In my enthusiasm to “get ‘er done”, I’ve left dinner far too late. But, never fear! I’ve got all that Duck Confit in the fridge, and plenty of slightly scrumpy vegetables to sing back-up. I’ve got a pasta recipe that I conceived of last year that is so easy to throw together, and so freaking satisfying that I just have to bust it out. It’ll be the cherry on my perfect day parfait. (more…)

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Duck Confit

Duck ConfitDuck is, by far, my favourite thing to cook and eat. Tender, juicy, deep ‘n woodsy, fat and formerly feathery. Fantastic in every way!

I always buy whole ducks, either from the store (usually frozen) or from a local farm (like Christine’s Quackery in Comox) and process ‘em myself. The breasts get sautéed, stuffed, roasted or whatever, the bones get cleaned up and go into a stockpot, the excess fat is carefully removed from all over the bird, chopped finely and rendered, and the legs… Ahh, the legs. They get some extra special treatment. The whole thing is like an event. Duck Day! Hurray! (more…)

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