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Saturday, November 24, 2012

T-Day Top Secret Recipes

We have been surrounded by family and friends constantly for the past 3 years, so this Thanksgiving when my Mom asked me what I wanted to do, I replied "Nothing. You and Me, I want to cook, and I want to be at our house". So...that's what we did. I made a dish that was inspired by a meal that my friend Emily and I had at SALT in Boulder, Colorado...but the recipe is 100% original. 

Roast Duck Breast over Goat Cheese Lentils 
with a Blueberry Vinegar reduction and Creamy Kale. (P)

Blueberry Apple Cider Vinegar Reduction: (P, V, VG)

  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar
  • 1/2 pint of blueberrys
  • fresh sage, fresh thyme, fresh rosemary...two sprigs each.

When you reduce vinegars, you get rid of a lot of the acidity and you heighten the reduced vinegars are great on everything from salads, to fruit, cheeses, meats, and even ice cream! I usually do balsamic reductions, but I felt that apple cider vinegar would be the best fit for the Mallard duck breasts. I infused the vinegar with fresh herbs, which simply means that I added a bit of fresh sage, thyme and rosemary to the pot. You cook the vinegar down over a medium heat for about 30minutes or so (you want it to reduce to less than half). I also added a half pint of blueberries to the mixture, and the end result was a bright purple reduction that was out of this world. Be sure to remove the herbs from the pot before serving. 


Creamy Goat Cheese Lentils: (VG)

  • 1 small log of goat cheese
  • 1 cup French Lentils
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 clove
  • vegetable broth

Cook the lentils as you would....and if you're new to lentils, don't be intimidated. Simple rinse them and then put them in a skillet and cover them with water and bring to a mid-high to high heat. In about 5minutes you will have pre-cooked the lentils and the water will be gone. Add to the skillet the bay leaf, clove of garlic (whole, unchopped!), and the clove. Cover the lentils again, with vegetable broth, and bring back to med-high heat so it's simmering for about 25minutes. Depending upon how creamy you'd like the lentils you'll use anywhere from 1/2 the log to the full log of cheese. Simple crumble it over the warm lentils and it will start to melt into them. 


Creamy Kale : (VG, P)

  • 1 very large head of Kale
  • salt and pepper
  • nutmeg
  • heavy cream (1/2cup to 1 1/2 cup)

First you'll de-rib the kale (simply pulling the greens off the dense bitter ribs of the kale). Wash it and then bring a pot of salted water to a boil, a ROLLING boil. You blanch the kale first, so a few minutes in the pot in the boiling water. Then drain it and in a skillet put your blanched kale and heavy cream and let it cook down for about 15minutes over med-high heat as the cream starts to thicken. I only used half a cup of heavy cream but if you want really creamy kale then obviously just add more! Season with a touch of salt and pepper (you really wont need much salt since you blanched the kale in salted water) and a generous sprinkling of *NUTMEG* <<< it sounds weird, but it's the finishing touch for sure. **This can be PALEO if you use coconut milk**


Roast Duck:

  • duck breast (we used Mallard)
  • salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit. Season with a touch of salt and pepp. Sear the duck breast on each side in a hot skillet...this seals in the juices. You only sear it for about two minutes or so on each side, so don't walk away from the stove. To finish off the duck put it in a pan in the oven for about 8minutes. Boom. LET IT REST for at least 5 minutes and then thinly slice it on an angle. 

This is thanksgiving recipe is PALEO if you leave out the lentils and cook the kale with coconut milk instead of heavy creamy*. This would be just as delicious if served over the creamed kale and was topped with the reduction.

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