As a single, I need to tap into every trick in the book to preserve food. One such method is confit; it’s not my intention to describe the technique as much as showing how I use its products in different ways to reduce my waste on cooking and make more flavorful dishes.
What’s confit? It’s a way to preserve food by cooking it very slowly in some kind of fat. Maybe you already heard the term “duck confit” as something you ought to try in France. However, you can confit almost anything and preserve it for a long time. Here is an example of Thomas Keller teaching how to preserve eggplants in oil.
Let’s dissect the byproducts of Thomas’s Keller recipe:
- Preserved eggplants.
- Preserved garlic cloves.
- Cooking oil that will help the products keep.
You can use the preserved eggplants in the way that chef suggests in the recipe; however, there are two jewels here that ought not to be overlooked. On the one hand, we have the preserved garlic cloves that we can serve with the eggplants or other preparations; think hummus, pasta sauce, or even spread it on freshly baked bread. On the other hand, the most valuable treasure is the oil; this oil was infused with garlic, the herbs of the bouquet garni, and the eggplant, rendering a delicious finishing oil that will add a surprising touch to any dish.
Let us discuss a few items I like to confit and how to wrap up the post.
Garlic confit: I like to confit an entire head of garlic in olive oil with some salt, rosemary, and thyme. I discard the cooked herbs but use the garlic for hummus and the oil for finishing my dishes.
Tomato confit: I grew San Marzano tomatoes, and I confit them in olive oil with a pinch of salt, basil, garlic, and fresh oregano. I use the tomatoes in sauces, bruschettas, and many other ways; I use the garlic cloves the same way as garlic confit, and this oil is excellent to use as an easy sauce in pasta.
Mushroom confit: Any sort of expensive mushrooms are fantastic for confit with thyme and garlic. Confit mushrooms and oil can elevate risottos and other preparations.
There are many more ways to get creative with this cooking method. I encourage you to try it out and hopefully it will become a staple of your pantry. With this, I conclude my post. I’d like to know if you’ve used this method in the past and, if so, which are your favorite items to confit. Please can leave your comments in the section below.