Day 8: Pickling and Preserving

When I found out duck confit is a method of preservation, I immediately tried to justify it as being a healthier dish. Any excuse to eat duck confit, or duck legs cooked in a pool of their rendered fat, works for me.

Marinating the duck.

The method behind preserving these legs is coating and sealing. You basically cover the meat in a thick layer of liquid fat, let it solidify, and then pop it in the fridge. It’s kind of like laminating something, but with congealed fat.

Chef trimming the salmon for gravlax

Some other methods of preservation we experimented with were a dry cure for gravlax, a traditional Swedish salmon dish, and pickling vegetables and preserving lemons.

Casey portioning our pickled vegetables

The one bad part about today’s lesson is we didn’t get to eat a lot since we were prepping it to be eaten at a later date. But we did tinker around with salted cod and made brandade, a mashed potato and fish puree.

Getting fancy with brandade

And then we turned that mixture into cod fritters, which was the best thing I’ve tasted in class so far. The doughy exterior almost had a sweet kick, which married perfectly with the salty, creamy filling.

Chef Laura and Chef Dominique mixing the cod fritter mixture

Deep-frying fritters

TIP OF THE DAY: When pickling or canning, turn the jars upside down to evenly coat your vegetables or fruit with the spices.