Cooking Classes


Pommes Frites in Duck Fat with Homemade Catsup

 Pommes Frites cooked in Duck Fat

Cut a baking potato into 1/4 inch thick sticks.  Soak in cold water for at least 2 hours and then dry thoroughly.  Heat duck fat in a pot to 275F.  Fry the potato sticks in batches for 3 minutes each.  Remove with a slotted spoon and drain.

Heat fat to 320F and fry the potato sticks again, in batches, until golden and crisp.  Drain on fresh paper towels.  Sprinkle with sea salt and crispy duck cracklings.  Serve immediately.

It was an early frost this year and I was forced to pick all of my roma tomatoes while they were still green.  However they did ripen nicely indoors!

My meager four plants produced about 10 pounds of tomatoes.  That was a amazing.  I think I will plant a dozen plants next year and then I will have enough to also make my annual tomato sauce.  I cannot find a local grower of romas.

With my ten pounds, I decided to make tomato catsup and adapted a recipe from Tom at Tall Clover Farm.  If you would like to see 'how not to make catsup' click on the link and you will be quite amused.  I have to say that reducing catsup is much like having a boiling mud pit on your stovetop.  It does spatter all over.  I used my All Clad spatter guard and it was the bomb.  But even to lift it for stirring left spatters on my walls and stove top.

Tomato Catsup
              from Tall Clover Farm
  • 5 pounds tomatoes
  • 2 sweet red bell peppers
  • 2 onions
  • 2 heads of garlic
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1/2 tablespoon of fresh grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves
  • 1/2 tablespoon mustard powder
  • dash of Worcestershire sauce
  1. Quarter tomatoes, onions and peppers
  2. Leave garlic heads whole but cut tips off to expose fresh garlic
  3. Place veggies on baking sheets, drizzle lightly with olive oil
  4. Roast tomatoes, peppers, garlic and onions at 400 degrees F
  5. Remove from oven when they become lightly carmelized
  6. Peel roasted peppers
  7. Remove garlic and onion skins
  8. No need to peel tomatoes
  9. Place roasted veggies in large non-reactive pan
  10. Add all remaining ingredients, mix well
  11. Simmer very very slowly, watching at all times (trust me on this)
  12. After about 15 minutes on  low simmer, turn off heat, add a lid and let it rest until cool
  13. When cool, puree in a food processor or blender.
  14. It will be chunkier than storebought ketchup
  15. Return to heat and simmer slowly.
  16. Seal, process in a water bath for 15 minutes (using pints)
Makes about 7 - 250 ml jars using roma tomatoes.

The other recipe that I made was Green Tomato Relish and I have documented that previously while I was on a house sit in Tennessee.  The locals  l...o...v...e...d  this relish!  I was suitably flattered.  After all, they are the sultans of green tomatoes.

It was absolutely perfect with a Christmas tourtiere.


  1. "A boiling mud pit..." That's too funny for words.

  2. And Sarah I totally agree--it can be the La Brea Sauce Pit of kitchendom. Thanks for the shoutout and the spatter guard tip--um um love those fries!

  3. I have the duck fat, guess what I am going to try tomorrow? Diane

  4. Marjie> honestly, that is what it is...

    Tom> these fries are so good. I might make them again tomorrow...

    Diane> pommes frites?

  5. Sarah, I had read somewhere to make frites exactly the way that you do; with a good soak in water first! Nice tip for me to try! Yes, I agree, the more tomatoes in the garden, the better!

  6. Those fries look amazing, Sarah. I am so sorry I don't have enough duck fat to do it... next time I do duck I may... As for the ketchup.. looks grand and the mud pit remark was spot on... I had the same experience. As for green tomatoes, I used to make a green tomato lasagna that was the best from an old magazine... just do the tomatoes like eggplant... bread and fry and put as a layer in lasagna.. so good... tangy and rich at the same time!


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