In the past, when there were no refrigerators and freezers, confit was a popular way to extend the shelf life of meat. The principle is simple: pieces of meat are slowly cooked in salt and animal fat. Today – even now that we can simply freeze ingredients – the technique is still widely used. This is because candiing not only extends the shelf life of ingredients, but also positively influences the taste and texture.
Just look at duck confit ( confit de canard ): an exemplary example of how the technique creates crumbling, ultra-tender meat. Now we know few things that are tastier than that, so that we automatically ask ourselves: what else can you actually preserve?
You can confit all of this
1. Candied fish
What can be done with meat, can of course also be done with fish. Confiting fish is even ridiculously easy: you simply cook the fish at a low temperature in oil, to which you can add seasonings if desired. We applied the principle for a Christmas recipe (with candied cod, pumpkin puree and warm spices ), but the possibilities go much further than that. From candied salmon with pea puree to candied octopus (#omg), don’t limit yourself too much.
2. Candied Vegetables
Also something we see more and more often: candied vegetables. Both Molly Baz , Samin Nosrat and Alison Roman swear by it. And if you know these ladies a little, then you already know: you will not dispute this position. Because cooking vegetables in a generous amount of oil makes them softer, more delicate and tastier. Whether it concerns parsnips, cherry tomatoes or aubergine, chicory or courgettes. Tip: choose quality olive oil and test the principle with a few good recipes.
These candied peppers with garlic and oregano , for example. Or candied zucchini with lemon and thyme . Once you’ve mastered these types of recipes, you can also freestyle on your own with whatever you find in your crisper drawer.
3. Candied fruit
Fruit is also a popular candiing ingredient. Usually no olive oil (or fat) is used for this, but sugar syrup. Again, the same principle applies to low and slow cooking of fruit: patiently and at a low temperature.
Try it out with pear (delicious with cardamom crème frache, like here ), apple or stone fruits. With regard to the latter, candied apricots , for example, are very tasty as a topping for apple cake.
4. Candied nuts
You can sometimes find candied nuts in specialist shops, but you can just as easily make them yourself. For example, make a jar with candied almonds , which can be kept in the fridge for about a month.
The almonds are delicious with desserts, the almond oil can be used for salads. Of course, this also applies to other nuts. For example, this recipe for candied pine nuts in honey sounds great to us.
5. Candied Garlic
Candiing garlic opens up a new world for you, believe us. The sweet, creamy garlic in aromatic garlic oil boosts vegetables, but is also divine in salads, in sauces, soups and on toast. Candied garlic tastes a lot milder than the raw version. And it’s dead easy to make too.
6. (All kinds of) meat
And finally, there are of course many other types of meat that you can confit – in addition to duck. Chicken confit, pork confit, leg of lamb confit… Did we mention that there are many options? Read more about how to do that below: