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Franco-Cuban Duck Confit Y Tortilla w/Herbes de Provence Meringue

This post has been long planned and finally I bore the brunt of racking my brain over what I was going to prepare.

Natasha of 5 Star Foodie, a DC chick and one I’ve yet to meet in person as much as I’m up there, invited me to join a wonderful monthly event of food bloggers cooking up concepts she and her cooking buddy Lazaro from Lazaro Cooks! (and my Cuban compadre) have established. This month’s challenge was a huge conundrum for me. Unless I’m caused to sin, I will eat anything! But this dish involved food I don’t eat: bacon. Notwithstanding a life of never eating it or any parts of the oink, oink, (well except for when Emeril and I make some pork chops on TV–enter *faint*), I accepted the invitation to be part of this talented group of bloggers.

The challenge: Bacon and eggs. Good ol’ crispy and flavorful bacon with eggs. Feel good food. Should be easy enough, right? Well, considering my diet, I woke up this morning a slight bit anxious on how I was going to create a dish that reflected my interpretation of bacon y huevos.

I KNEW from day one I wasn’t going to make bacon. That was an easy decision. The questions then turned to what was I going to use in its place. Duck came to my mind quicker than anything else and faster than I had a chance to even read Natasha’s email with an example of something someone made on TV. So, the duck, although not convinced on how I was going to prepare it, was the basis for my dish and everything else I did depended on it. I was excited. See, I’ve never really played with duck. I seldom order it when I eat out, let alone cook it at home and probably even less for clients. So yeah, I was pretty geek’d about it.

I started my quest yesterday with a visit to my local cheese monger, Tim (@TimtheCheeseman) at Star Provisions, a gourmet market in town. Tim knows cheese. Tim is cheese. So he was in for guiding me in the right direction. For whatever reason, I had this idea that eggs can’t be eaten w/out cheese even though I never add any variety  to mine. Ever. I’m a purist when it comes to eating my eggs. A bit of salt and pepper. Maybe some guac, and I’m good. Again, the cheese decision threw me for a loop. We spent over an hour looking, smelling and tasting the different options that would pair well with my duck.

I started with Brun-uusto, a justaleepia bread cheese from Norway. OM! Buttery and fruity but definitely better when grilled or toasted. I knew it’d go well with eggs, but still wasn’t convinced. It was a bit thick and offered a great filling, but I didn’t want my eggs to be heavy, rather fluffy.

On to the next one. And this one is the deal-maker. Right when Tim started wrapping a block, I was attracted by the wax casing and halted him.  I asked for a slice and the deed was done! Gasp, swoon and savor! This Cantorel cow’s milk cheese hails from Auvergne, France and claims to be oldest cheese ever made. Nibbling it transported me to a dairy farm I once visited in Lye, France. That’s when you know a cheese is good–when you can see yourself squeezing milk right there in the middle of an overcast day. It was aromatic, a bit woodsy and nutty with buttery notes. Oh, and its ever so slight pungent after-taste caused girly reactions.

Though Cantorel was my choice, I left with both just in case I wavered in my decision once I was home.

And now is when the fun starts. After some minimal debate, I opted for duck confit and the French cheese. Having two French components made it logical to maintain a Franco theme. But I needed to add my Latin flavor and style in there. Somehow.

I seasoned the duck confit with sea salt and dried tarragon which emitted aromas of flowery villas in the Loire Valley.

(L: cottage in Loire Valley; R: structure at  dairy farm in Lye, France)

So on to the eggs. Scrambled and all the ordinary, tous le jour styles were unappealing so I went to what I know isn’t seen so often.

The Spanish tortilla! That’s how I’d make my eggs! It’s a delightful breakfast option and even for afternoon lunches. I grew up eating very Spanish-like fritattas, with my fav always being a plantain one I’ve modified over the last few years.

For this take, a bit of garlic, onion, black truffle salt and the Cantorel cheese, and my tortilla was perfectly round and golden!

All this sounds mildly ordinary until I got fancy with a few more flavors and textures. I wanted to do an avocado mouse since I have a serious obsession with guac on my eggs. But I totally forgot to stop at the market and grab some Haas. I still wanted a green element and a smooth texture.

I made a herbes de Provence merengue to top on the confit! Genius if I say so myself. I actually wanted to keep it liquiefied enough to make a bath on which the tortilla could sit on, but that didn’t make much sense. I drew enough energy and beat the hell out of one egg white, added my additional herbs, some sugar and whisked long enough for it to stiffen.

Total magic occurred over here this afternoon! I was happy with the result. Sure, there are some things I’d mix up and even try differently in terms of plating. But for this challenge, my goal was to interpret an American staple into two cuisines which represent and influence my cooking style. The most fun was subsititing the bacon with duck confit. It worked wonderfully for me!

Next time, I might break off pieces of the confit and make a mini omellette sandwich with…. wait for it…. herbes de Provence creme!

Thanks to Natasha and Lazaro for hosting this fabulous and delicious event and for inviting me to be a part of it! You had my kitchen smelling all kinds of yummy today! And to the wonderful Tim for sharing some wonderful cheese with me! If you’re in Atlanta, make sure to visit him. He will school you on all the best cheese there is to know!

 

Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.

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Enjoy

FRANCO-CUBAN DUCK CONFIT Y TORTILLA w/HERBES  de PROVENCE MERINGUE

Duck Confit

Ingredients:

  • 1 duck leg confit ( I bought mine at the market–kinda cheated!)
  • 1/2 tsp. dried tarragon
  • pinch of sea salt to taste

Method:

Remove duck leg from seal. Season on both sides with tarragon and salt. Heat small non-stick skillet.  Cook duck leg on both sides until crispy brown and can be lightly flaked off or for about 10 minutes total.  Remove from heat and set aside. While duck leg is cooking, make tortilla. See recipe below.

Spanish Tortilla

Ingredients:

  • 2 whole eggs, 1 egg yolk
  • Fat from duck
  • 1/2 tsp. truffle oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 heaping tbsp. minced onion
  • 1/4 tsp. black truffle salt
  • 1 tbsp. Cantorel cheese

Method:

Whisk eggs in medium sized bowl. Add in remaining ingredients and blend well. Heat 8″ non-stick skillet and add duck fat and truffle oil.

Add egg mixture. Cook on on side until top of omelette begings to bubble and dry up and bottom begins to brown. Gently flip and cook on other side until golden brown.

Herbs de Provence Meringue

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg white
  • 2 pinches tarragon, basil, oregano,
  • 1 tsp. lavender sugar

Method:

Whisk in bowl without breaking form. Or, you can use a hand mixer. Mix until mixture has stiffened but not too hard.

Place confit on top of tortilla and top confit with 1 tbsp. of meringue. Add more if desired.

0 thoughts on “Franco-Cuban Duck Confit Y Tortilla w/Herbes de Provence Meringue

  1. And here I thought you might be honoring today being National Tortilla Chip Day! 🙂 The duck sounds really good, and I respect your decisions as I saw them on Emeril’s show … but I gots ta has mah bacons. Slow-smoked, sliced thick, grilled extra crispy and lots of it. Wait a sec, there’s some now … gotta go okbye …

  2. Wow, Bren, this is an amazing creation – I love the fusion flavors in your dish! The cheese tasting must have been so much fun and your choice of cheese for the tortilla is perfect, along with the truffle oil and the truffle salt, and it must pair beautifully with the duck confit. And the herbes de provence meringue is just awesome, love it!

  3. “It was aromatic, a bit woodsy and nutty with buttery notes.”
    Words that make a cheese-a-holic nearly pass out!
    Great article & amazing photos….I always love seeing the end results, and these are gorgeous!!

  4. “grasp, swoon and savor”, In my Fabolous voice…NICE! Well written. Look forward to tasting!

  5. Aye, aye, aye, you know I’m a sucker for tortilla (ommelette) and cheese and the duck confit was a great choice to substitute for bacon. Very French/Cubano!! You’ll have to make some when you come this way. A great finishing touch would have been to pair it with a good Chardonnay from Val de Loire (since you mentioned it) like the 2007 Bernier, Domaine de Chardonnay which is really inexpensive and still does the trick … unless you are too discriminating, that is 🙂

  6. Rosa: It was. I wasn’t 100% certain they would work, but it did completely! I’d make it again and again!

    Bridgett: Gracias! It was fun playing with the meringue! Oh and the confit was my lover for a while! 🙂

    Dave: you and your swine! I Love it. Sheesh I gets no love even though Emeril had me eat it!?

    Natasha: Thanks chica! And, it was a great challenge since I don’t do bacon. I’m glad it worked for you guys. And yes, the truffles did so much talking in these dishes! Fantastic!

    Diddy: You love my quotes don’t you! You’ll taste my food soon enough!

    David: oh yeah, I know you are which is why you’d looove this one here! Especially the confit. Next time, I cold add the confit in the tortilla–how about that? The chard sounds good!

  7. Bren,

    An amazing contribution to the makeover event. This is the kind of creative cooking that inspires me. The flavors are on point and the execution is flawless.

    Te la comiste!

    Bravo

  8. Incredible combinations. My hubby and I were actually looking for duck recipes…and you’ve out done yourself with this one. Can’t wait to try the recipe….would be great for a brunch and as David said pair with a good Chardonnay! Fotos….simply yummy.

    Oh…and yes, I need to ck out the cheeseman…..I love me some cheese. We have got to meet up soon Bren!!!!

  9. Hi B! Como estas?
    Your dish definitely pushes the edges of the envelope! I bet it tasted awesome. That is an interesting Spanish Tortilla – the cheese sounds to-die-for and anything with truffle gets my attention. I am also intrigued by your meringue, you don’t have to cook it at all? The color is gorgeous.
    LL

  10. Lazaro: Gracias, muchacho. Sabes come hacemos! Someone said on FB, how come duck confit isn’t in everyone’s fridge?!! True that! Thanks or checking out and hosting a fun and delicious event!

    Joi: Thank you, lady. Yes! Make this duck. And if you’re still unsure on how to confit, Star Provisions sells some leg quarters. And this would be superb for a great Sunday brunch! And my dad is always dead on with the wines! I’d love a Chard with this, too. Or even a good Rioja!

    Lori Lynn: The flavors worked so well together and no, the meringue was wonderful and light/fluffy just as I made it. The herbs gave it the color and I whipped long enough to get that stiffness…for a traditional meringue, I would have added more sugar and would have beat the egg much longer. 🙂

  11. Wow- what an inspiring and creative take on bacon and eggs! I love the tortilla- spanish tortillas are near and dear to my heart, and although I’ve never deviated from the way I learned to make them, I love what you’ve done and think that I need to branch out some!

  12. You got me at the herb de province meringue. What? Fantastico! I love duck confit and have made it many times and many ways: simple herbed salt rub, Thomas Keller’s green salt, sous vide (the best result) and have never posted any of them. I must. This looks like a deadly delicious dish. I was taught how to make the Spanish Tortilla by a couple of Spanish gals staying with us for a month. Of course, they each had their own technique. I love that.
    Glad to hear you are a fellow Slow Food member. The philosophy is fundamental to everything I do and I am passionate about it.
    Great post, Bren!
    Thank you, and lucky you to be invited into this elite circle! I have enjoyed reading many of the posts, each unique and phenomenal!
    🙂
    Valerie

  13. Great job, I do love duck confit and this would make an awesome brunch/lunch. The cheese is new to me but your photos really bring home the provenance in a wonderful way. Delicious and creative… doesn’t get better than that!

  14. I love the range of interpretations that are emerging from this makeover! You’ve just put several things together that I would never have thought of (and add to that the fact that I just love tortilla in any form…), what can I say?

  15. A Confit Triumph!!! This dish would definitely make me rush to the breakfast or brunch table!! I still await my care package of delectable delights from the great Ms. Herrera!!

  16. ahora si se me abrio el apetito eso se ve delicioso definitivamente lo hago .voy a impresionar a mi esposo manana ,y dejarlo pidiendo mas gracias .

  17. Patti: thanks, dear and I hope you feel better!

    Jennifer: aren’t Spanish tortillas oh so good to the tummy! I couldn’t get enough when I was in Spain last. They were on every street corner. I know they bake their and are much, much thicker. But the way my mom taught me works just lovely for me!

    Canadian Foodie: I love that you said “deadly delicious dish”– that rocks. I’ve not tried Keller’s green salt and need to.

    Deanna: oh if you can get your hands on that cheese, you def. should! it was really good and had lots of flavor. unlike anything i’ve had, and i’m a French cheese lover!

    Daily Spud: oh well I’m glad you like the combo. I had good time playing with them also and being confident they’d work. I love tortillas so that was a simple decision. I am in love with the meringue, too!

    Joan Nova: Thanks, love. You know how we do! I’ll let you know where the knife is from.

    Leslie: hahahahahhaha. how abot you just need to come down to ATL or DC and have Ms. C. Herrera join you (wink)

    Yaime: verdad que si! el patico ese estuvo super delicioso… un ternedor para picarlo y no mas!

  18. I love the picture of eggs on the pan.This looks like a fab combo.I love tortilla and cheese.Some great fusion flavors going in there.And yes what a stylish cheese knife.Have a nice weekend, my friend!

  19. Wow … this is really inspired. I loved reading about your process of arriving at this dish, and using duck confit in place of bacon is a very smart (and delicious) choice! And the photo is just gorgeous.

  20. Wow!!! I love your writing style, for it’s lively and descriptive. This post just inspired me. Cooking is not about following a recipe, it’s about passion and learning about new food. This is a beautiful post. btw… there is duck bacon, too! A bit pricey, but it’s delicious. Check the Italian markets for it.

  21. How can one not admire your creative tenacity in the kitchen as well as respecting your needs.
    I love the way you took on this challenge and made it unique!

    Btw…your visit was much appreciated on the ‘chocolate ‘Torta Caprese’ from the lover’s Isle of Capri ;o)

    Nice having had a chance to visit your place also,
    Flavourful wishes,
    Claudia

  22. Debi: well then I did my job! You forgot the bacon! I love it! thanks for visiting!

    Tanvi: I love cheese in my tortillas, too! Have you had plantains in any of yours? You must try!

    Trix: Yes, it’s always a pleasure sharing how I come up with my dishes!

    Katie: Why don’t we all put together a national blogger brunch!? How amazing would that be! I think I’m going to put it together!

    Sanura: Wow, thanks! Some say I write too much and that my posts are too long. I agree for the most part, but I’m such a story teller that it helps me go back to whatever place I’m talking about! I think, not 100% sure, there’s an Italian market in town I could look into. Would love to play with it. But, I loved the idea of confit!

    Faith: Thanks!

    Forager: hahahaha. seduce him, girl!! put it on him good!

    Foodessa: aww, ur so sweet, too. Ooooh, Capri, you took me back there so it was such a delight visiting your blog and reading about that. I must go back one day real soon!

  23. Hi B! It’s very nice to meet you too! I love the combination you have here, and I love that you described each step of your thought process! The ingredients all sound amazing, especially the cheese. What a great job you did on the makeoever!

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