Monday, November 11, 2013

French Junk Food

Junk Food? This is actually the first in a new series called THINGS WE LIKE! I grew up in the USA and I have learned to appreciate cross cultural appeal of fried pork products...after 25 or so years of living in NYC and eating street food in Puerto Rican neighborhoods, I understand, all too well, the appeal of Cuchifritos!
What you may ask are cuchifritos? Simply the deep fried crunchy morsels from a pig! Pork rinds, the ears, any other other assorted body parts luridly displayed in shop with an appropriate flashing neon sign...I was looking for the iconic animated neon Cuchifrito sign from 14th Street and Third Avenue which had a pig trying to escape from a cook with a meat cleaver! Okay, pork rinds and deep fried pork products are not what you would consider health food, but for a pathetically skinny guy like me, who craves fat...they are deep rooted part of my pathetic craving for  cholesterol. But I live in France now...not in Loisada, Manhattan. Sure, we got pork can get all kind of pork stuff here...pork stuff that would make your little goyim brain explode....but, I've discovered something I like better, much better! DUCK! And duck fat, believe it or not is actually good for you! It's an omega three fish is a good fat. I am now addicted to a kind of junk food called Grattons de Canard Gras...and I'v started to make them myself...

Pulling out the feathers....
Grattons are made from cutting and boning duck (or pork) when you are trimming it...the skin and fat. They are deep fried over low heat. You can put the crackly morsels in salads, which most normal people do, but I salt them lightly and take them as a snack on bike trips! I am addicted to these little suckers. Here's a pretty simple photo explanation of how I make them....You don't need to have fat barbary duck breast, but since they are a major part of my diet, I am using them for this explanation.
trimming the excess fat off of the magret
So, I trim the skin and fat off of the duck breasts I try to remove all of the feathers, but well, it's not always possible, so, I remove most of the feathers....
Since, the duck breast is the very best part of a duck, I leave the fat on one side and then usually put it on a the barbecue...but cooked in a very hot pan is the more traditional technique
Strips of fat and skin
Cut the skin into strips with a width of about 1 .5 cm
don't burn them!
Then I put the duck fat and skin into a saute pan over low heat...this will take a bit of time because you don't want to burn the grattons...
The finished product!
You just have to stir from time to time
The grattons are ready when they are nice and crispy brown
Strain off the fat and save!
Then I strain off the fat is one of the most essential ingredients in Sud Ouest cuisine!
Remember, duck fat is a health food...repeat after fat is a health food and there is nothing better on this planet than potatoes sauteed in duck fat!
Et Voila! 
bon appetit, bien sur!

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