Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Tuesday, May 1, 2007
i've been thinking about making duck for a while now, so finally i got around to doing it. i think the reason it took so long was deciding what to serve with the duck...the only thing i was sure of was that i wanted duck with a blackberry cabernet sauce, but then what? it's been a while since i had brussel sprouts, so what the hey, brussel sprouts it is. if you have ever cooked duck, or for that matter eaten it, you know how fatty it can be. most of that fat is right under the skin, but you dont want to remove the skin because that's one of the tastiest parts. when dealing with duck breast, most recipes will tell you to score the skin, but not all the way through to the meat of the breast, just through the skin revealing all the fat; this gives the fat a way to escape when you cook it. i find that method to be a good one, but i like my skin to be really crispy, so another trick of the trade is to "boil" the fat out. after you scoring the breast you place it skin down into a a pan with 1-2 inches of water for about 10 mins (if you want added flavor the water could be chicken stock if you have it around); you get alot of the fat to cook out this way. becareful not to poach the duck breast because that's not what you're going for. after you boil the fat out you remove it from the fatty water and pat it dry, removing any excess water. then you sear it skin side down first using a hot pan; brush the pan a bit with oil, not too much, but you want something in there so the duck doesn't stick, remember you just cooked most of the fat out in the water bath. i finished the duck off in the broiler to about a medium rare/medium doneness seasoning it first with some s&p; i like my duck just pink in the inside. the blackberry cabernet sauce is just a reduction of cabernet, beef stock and blackberry perserves; really simple. the brussel sprouts were sauteed with pancetta, a very classic/common dish. i added some red pearl onions for added color and flavor. oh! i also used some white wine and chicken stock to deglaze the pan after cooking up the pancetta...flavor, flavor, flavor!!...mmmm. let's eat!!
Saturday, April 28, 2007
the citrus soy and balsamic glaze has a touch of honey for some added sweetness, especially since the roasted veggies and couscous had a lemon vinaigrette dressing; the mouth would have puckered with all the acidity going on in this dish if not for the honey. the green stuff in the couscous mixture/salad is basil. you don't want to over cook the swordfish, otherwise you get a really dry piece of tough fish, at which point you were better off buying canned tuna. the fish should be just done and yet not quite in the middle. i don't cook the fish with the glaze on it; the sugars from the balsamic vinegar and honey caramelizes quickly, which can lead to a very dark, hard coating on the fish and not a shiny, translucent glaze, which is what i was going for. after grilling the fish and while it's still hot i used a pastry brush to brush on the glaze.
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
taking into consideration how summery the weather has been these past few days, i thought this would be a nice light dish, it definitely satisfied my craving for something savory, yet had a nice bite to it with the crisp fennel and peppery watercress. i chose to use some left over prosciutto because i couldn't find any serrano ham at any of the markets, but prosciutto worked just as well. the fennel along with the red onion was thinly sliced using a japanese mandolin; i find them to be easier to use than their more bulkier, western counterparts. the salad was dressed using an orange vinaigrette and the zest of the orange; you could use store bought orange juice, but fresh gives the vinaigrette such a brighter taste and natural sweetness, not sugary. there's no need for much pepper because of the watercress, but still season the vinaigrette a bit. included in the salad were the fennel ferns which were added at the very end to keep their form. the salmon fillets were seasoned with s&p before wrapping them with the procuitto. oh! and they were skin on cuts, just a personal preference. the skin holds so much flavor i think, but you can definitely use a skinless cut. the salmon was topped with a lemon butter caper sauce: garlic, shallots, lemon juice, dry white wine, butter and capers. i may have added some cream to thicken it up a bit, but i can't recall. the sauce would go great with any fish or even some chicken, most definitely. let's eat!