A few weeks ago, I was looking up my go-to polenta recipe in Suzanne Goin's book, the a.o.c. cookbook. I have never been to any of her restaurants but always say, "on my next trip to L.A......." However, I often cook from this book and Sunday Suppers at Lucques. Her flavor and creative combinations of ingredients never let me down and surprise anyone sitting around my table. I can wow dinner quests with any recipe from her books or adapt part of her recipe to spice up our weekday family dinners. I also enjoy reading the lively stories she includes with each recipe. This passion for cooking and following great chefs has been my inspiration for starting Mille | Lottie.
As I was flipping through the book, I saw the recipe for "duck sausage with candied kumquats." As I glanced up I saw a bowl of sad, forgotten kumquats on my counter just beyond the book. They were a bit on the shrivelled-side but not completely finished. I was serving sausage the next night for dinner, it was just in time to add some je ne sais quoi to our meal.
The recipe was presented in paragraph form, saying to me, "go ahead, it's easy". There are three ingredients, kumquats, sugar and water. Note: I did not have as many kumquats as the recipe called for, 1 1/2 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar and 1/2 lb of citrus. Here's what I did with my small amount of fruit; sliced the kumquats as thinly as possible, dicarding the seeds. Soaked the kumquats at room temperature for 24 hours in one cup of water in my stainless steel 2 qt pan. Boiled over medium heat until sugar was disolved, reduced to a simmer, for 15 minutes or more until the thermometer read 220 degrees F.
I separated the fruit rinds and placed them on a plate, they were glistening and golden in the morning sun. My children were eating breakfast and barely waited for them to cool before they placed the candied fruit on buttered toast. Someone stuck their spoon in to the jelly left behind and we all had to have another piece of toast slathered with this too.
This little bit of sunshine was such a welcomed addition to our home. We love grapefruit marmalade in the Winter but we now have a Spring/Summer option.