Too much

Too much of a good thing can be wonderful! by Mae West
That's my philosophy about all things in life!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Seared Duck Breast and Different Sauces!

I can't believe this is the first time i blog about Duck! I really can't believe it's the first time i blog in over a month! But there is a lot going on and i'm following my dreams, and onto bigger and better things, which i'll share with my blogging community soon!
I absolutely love Duck and think every restaurant should have it on their menus. Yes, it comes with a high price tag, but the taste is amazing! And after you cook a breast of duck, you have enough fat to roast the most delicious potatoes ever and still have some left to thrown in the freezer for a later use or to make some even more delicious duck confit, which will be shown at a later post! Duck deserves a sweet sauce added to it. Plums are a fantastic addition, and so are passion fruit, pears, apricots, pomegranates; i use something different every time!
A lot of people think you have to cook duck until well done at 165F, but that's not true, i cook mine to medium, pink inside and crunchy on the outside, super yummy and melt in your mouth deeeelicious!
Seared duck breast with pomegranate balsamic reduction, over milanese risotto, topped with caramelized onions
Seared duck breast, plum sauce,truffled porcini risotto

Seared duck breast with passion fruit white balsamic red wine reduction, over arugula and brussel sprout truffled israeli couscous, topped with jicama

Printable Recipe - Click Here!
Ingredients for 4:
4 - 6 ounces boneless duck breasts( they may come as 1 whole butterflied breast. Slice down the middle for 2 breasts)
salt and peppe

Plum Sauce:
1 tablespoon duck fat
6 plums, pitted, skin left on
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup wine(red or white- whatever you have opened in your fridge)
salt and pepper

Heat duck fat in frying pan, add plums and cook on medium for about 3 minutes. Add vinegar, sugar and wine and simmer for 10 minutes until plums are soft. Season with salt and pepper.

Passion Fruit Reduction:
1 tablespoon duck fat
3-4 passion fruits, juiced with seeds
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup white wine
fresh pepper

Heat duck fat in frying pan. Add passion fruit juice, seeds, vinegar, sugar and wine. Reduce to half over medium high heat (about 4-6 minutes)

Balsamic Pomegranate Reduction:
1 tablespoon duck fat
juice and perils from 2 pomegranates
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup balsamic vinegar

Heat duck fat in frying pan. Add juice and perils from pomegranates, sugar and vinegar. Cook over medium high heat until reduced by half (about 4-6 minutes)

To prepare duck, lay breasts flat on a cutting board, skin side up. With a meat tenderizer,lay a piece of plastic film on top of duck and beat breasts a few times. The same should be done on the other side of breasts. Score 4 (1/4inch) slits across duck skin at a 45 degree angle (as per picture bellow). Sprinkle salt and pepper all over breasts.

Heat a heavy bottomed or cast iron frying pan. When pan is hot, add duck breasts, skin side down. Duck will plump up and you will have a lot of grease. Cook skin side down for 6-8 minutes or until skin is brown and crispy. Flip breasts and cook for 3-4 minutes. Remove from pan and set on cutting board to rest covered with foil for 8-10 minutes. Slice and serve with favorite sauce. Save duck fat from pan to roast veggies or cool and freeze for later use.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Braised Brisket

I hadn't cooked a brisket in a long time, until my dear friend Ally from Ally's Kitchen posted a recipe for a terrific looking brisket, and that was it. I ran to Fresh Cuts Butcher and Seafood (the best butcher shop ever!) and got a nice brisket! Ran home and decided to make it for lunch, without realizing that it takes quite a few hours to cook a brisket. I'm not a dinner person, but that day, i ate dinner, and then  had another plate, and leftovers the next day! And of course, put some brisket on a bun and add some slaw to it, and bring lunch to your friends at work, since with a brisket that large , you will have enough for a few people! 

5-6 lb brisket
salt and pepper
olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4-6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 16oz can whole peeled tomato, slightly crushed by hand or use fresh tomatoes, quartered and peeled
1 12oz can lager beer
3-4 cups beef broth
1/4 cup favorite bbq sauce( i used my own)

Preheat oven to 300F.
Remove most of the fat from brisket, discard the fat. Sprinkle salt and pepper all over meat. Add olive oil to the bottom of a dutch oven. Brown brisket on all sides. Remove from pan. Add more olive oil if needed.

Add onions and cook for 4-5 minutes. Add garlic, jalapenos, smoked paprika, cumin and coriander. Cook for another 4-5 minutes. Add brisket back to pan. Add beer, tomatoes and broth. Bring to a boil, cover and transfer to preheated oven. Cook for 4-5 hours, until meat is coming apart. Remove brisket from pan. Add bbq sauce to broth and reduce over high heat by a third. Slice brisket and arrange on serving platter with reduced sauce poured over the meat. Serve warm.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Mushrooms en Papillote with Miso Caramelized Onion Shot

My love affair with mushrooms didn't start until my 20's living in NYC. Growing up, my family never really ate mushrooms, unless it was the jarred stuff that would go into beef stroganoff. I remember the first time i had a grilled portobello, it was a dream.. taste buds going wild, and my brain is going like "why haven't you tried this before?". And then there was no end to the amount of mushrooms i would consume on a weekly basis!
This dish is a plus at a dinner party! You will "awe" your guests when you bring out this course.
So easy to make and tastes amazing! you can add the choice of having guests open up parchment pouches and place mushroom into plate and pour miso caramelized onion shot over it.... yummm!

For mushrooms:
1/2 lb maitake mushrooms, sliced
1/2 lb enoki mushrooms, sliced
1/2 lb baby bellas mushrooms, sliced
1/2 lb shitake mushrooms, sliced
black truffle oil
6 cloves black garlic or roasted garlic, sliced
salt and pepper to taste
6 square pieces of parchment paper
6 pieces of cooking twine

Miso caramelized onion shot:
2 large onions, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon sugar
4 cups beef broth
2 tablespoons miso paste
1 tablespoon soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste

In a large frying pan cook 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon butter and onions for 5 minutes. Add sugar and sprinkle a little salt and pepper on it. Turn heat to low and cook for about 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. The onions should be golden brown and caramelized. 
Heat broth in a large pan. Add miso and stir until completely dissolved. Add caramelized onions and soy sauce. Season to taste. You can make this ahead and reheat to serve.
Preheat oven to 350F.

Lay 6 pieces on parchment paper on a flat surface. Divide mushrooms equally in parchment squares. Add garlic and drizzle truffle oil on top. Sprinkle salt and pepper and close pouches with twine.
Place pouches on a baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes.
Remove from oven and serve hot with hot shot of miso caramelized onion soup.