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Duck Confit with Blueberry Sauce

I finally thawed that duck we bought circa Christmas last year.  We have plenty of duck fat so a confit was a no-brainer:The 6 inch deep hotel pan was just about perfect for this…This is after 3 or 4 hours at 250.  I grabbed a bone with tongs and it slipped right out.  Had to have been a thigh bone because the two leg bones were still there.I had the notion that I could crisp the skin under the broiler of my toaster oven but I think a pre-heated 500 degree oven would have been the better call.  The skin wanted to brown under the broiler but I could see that it was going to burn the high spots.  I pulled the skillet because the veggies were done and needed to be served.We went with Brussels sprouts and teeny potatoes with prosciutto, sauteed in olive oil and balsamic vinegar.The blueberry sauce was a reduction of red wine, balsamic vinegar, and the last of our blueberry syrup, with a dash of allspice and cinnamon.The rice is my favorite box mix, Zatarain’s Long Grain and Wild Rice.

 

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Chicken Marsala

20150615_165337 (1600x1060)Mmm… this is so easy to make!  The link is to Emeril’s recipe but there isn’t much variation in the recipes that I’ve found on line.  The easy to yummy ratio is right up there with peanut butter jelly sammiches.  The green beans were steamed and then sauteed in garlic butter and a splash of balsamic vinegar and were very good that way.  I’m no cooking purist, the Zatarain box mix rice was on point for this.20150615_165351 (1600x1060)

Baked Lemon Chicken

DSC_9757 (1600x1060)This worked out nicely.  I saw this recipe the other day after a search prompted by one of the foodie shows on TV.  I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the one I saw put together on the show but it looked really good.  I made some minor changes but nothing radical.DSC_9747 (1600x1060)Dredge the chicken in seasoned flour and brown the pieces in oil.  Set them aside and wipe the pan out, add more oil and cook some sliced onions down, then add sliced lemons, sliced garlic, chicken broth, and a little lemon juice with a few sprigs of rosemary and let it come to a simmer.DSC_9746 (1600x1060)Spoon the veggies into a baking pan and lay the chicken over the top, then pour the liquids over everything and place the tray into a preheated 400 degree oven.  Baste every 15 minutes until the chicken is cooked through, about 40 minutes in my oven.  I turned the chicken over for the last 15 minutes and then back again before I took this shot.DSC_9752 (1600x1060)We had pearled couscous and Brussels sprouts to go with the chicken.  The sprouts were sauteed in bacon fat with balsamic vinegar and more lemon juice.  Pretty decent dinner.DSC_9755 (1600x1060)

Roasted Grape Tomatoes

We have a couple of grape tomato bushes out back and they have been churning out tomatoes by the score.  I went out this morning and picked a half bucketful and there were that many on the ground.  I went looking for a roasting recipe and Martha Stewart came through for me.DSC_9082 (1600x1060)I used more olive oil than required, probably, and had a lot of fresh thyme.  These took longer than a hour and I bumped the temp up to 400 or so before I got much in the way of  a color change.  I stirred them once and returned them to the oven.DSC_9088 (1600x1060)We ate some of them with angel hair pasta for lunch.  My basil has gone to seed but I did find a few bright green new leaves that looked tender.  The portion of the tomatoes I used for the dish had a tablespoon or two of butter stirred in.  Pretty good stuff, not sure what to do with the rest of the tomatoes, I picked enough to fill that pan three times, the last batch is in the oven as I write this.

Roasted Sprouts with Prosciutto and Balsamic Vinegar

DSC_8137 (1600x1060)I’ve ordered a couple of times now from a St Louis based food retailer, Ditalia, getting in rolls of pancetta, different cheeses, olive oil and a few other items as they suit my whim of the moment.  I just got in a fair sized chunk of prosciutto and wanted to use some right away.  I managed to slice a few little wafers with my old raggedy meat slicer but this prosciutto is more than it can handle.  It needs to sliced so thin you can read through it.  I have a pal that may be able to help me out with the slicing.

Anyway, back to the sprouts – I searched for prosciutto and sprouts and ran across this recipe that called for shallots and pine nuts along with stuff I actually had on hand and decided it was close enough.  I used onions and left out the pine nuts, it worked out well.

Burger Week: Focaccia Burgers w/Italian Condimenti

Continuing the Burger Week series with one of my favorites. The series started here and this weeks recipes can be found here.

Originally published July 24, 2010

If you are looking for something different to grill this weekend instead of the same old burgers, this one brings new flavors to an old favorite:

Focaccia Burgers

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/2 lb spicy Italian sausage
  • ½ yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 ½ tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp crushed dried basil (or 1 tbsp fresh, snipped)
  • 1 tsp crushed dried oregano
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 4 ounces thinly sliced mozzarella (you’ll want 8 slices total)
  • 16 oz Focaccia bread, cut into 4 square pieces, then sliced horizontally

bowl

In bowl, mix together all ingredients, (except mozzarella & bread), mixing well and forming 8 small patties. Grill until cooked through. Watch carefully because they are small, they won’t take as long and you don’t want them to dry out. Top each burger with cheese and let melt. On each plate, place two slices of Focaccia bread and put a patty on each slice, top each with lots of Italian condimenti (below). You’ll have two open-faced burgers per person when you’re done.  Serves 4

Italian Condimenti

  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 bunch basil leaves, chopped
  • 4 mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp dried oregano

bowl

In bowl, mix together all ingredients and let marinate while you prepare the rest of the meal, at least 30 minutes.

Mmm…Salad Again

We lunched on leftovers, warmed up the refried beans and chorizo and had burritos again.  A few nacho chips and the guacamole was wiped out.  Mrs J spent the morning at the shelter and then came home and dragged poor Jack off to the vet after lunch.  He’s been gimping around as bad as I have been.  They’ll run some more xrays and start him on some serious antibiotics in case the problem is the Rocky Mountain fever flaring up in his ankle.  I go in next week for a procedure on my knee that I’m hoping will allow me to walk again without looking like Chester on the old Gunsmoke.

Where’s this salad I was talking about?  Well, it’s gone now, but I have some pictures:

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Mmm…Roasted Chicken

This chicken was one of the treats we gave ourselves when we made that turducken order.  Mrs J pulled it out of the freezer today.  It went straight from the freezer to the oven, it took 1 hour and 45 minutes or so at 350 to cook through, the last 20 or so with the foil off.  this one was stuffed with a crawfish rice dressing that was just delicious.  I made a bit of gravy with the pan drippings that worked just great.

I had a half a head of cauliflower I roasted in some balsamic and olive oil with a couple-three cloves of pressed garlic.  And don’t tell me a real cook doesn’t use a garlic press because I’m not listening to ya. La la la la lah.

I was juggling oven time to get the bread baked and everything ready for the table.  Oh, the bread!  I ordered that baking tin thing with the holes all over it.  Worked great!  I did forget to slash the top as it went into the oven.  I started it out pretty hot, 450 or more but cranked that back to 350 or so after 10 or 15 minutes.  The salad was the last of the romaine hearts with some caesar’s dressing.

Enjoy!

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Mmmushroom Gravy.

Mutter mutter…Called out and me sans ripe tomatoes.  Well, just going to have to get by somehow.  Here is a nice meal of pork with mushroom gravy, mashed potatoes and asparagus.

The pork was sliced from a Boston butt I roasted weeks ago and froze for later.  Braised those slices in some chicken stock and finished them with a can of mushroom soup and a few small cans of whole buttons.  The pork simmered covered for a couple of hours and was falling apart by the time it was served.  The asparagus was tossed with olive oil and a splash of balsamic vinegar and roasted at 425 for five minutes on a baking tray.  The potatoes were mashed with minced garlic, sour cream, and a dollop of ricotta.  Good stuff.

Enjoy!

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French Onion Soup

Mrs J called from the store the other day, asking if I needed anything in particular she could pick up.  I was thinking a big Vidalia onion to slice up for the pizza I was working on so I asked her to get one or two.  She came back with an entire bag, saying that they didn’t have them per each.  Vidalias are great onions, but they don’t keep long so today I made the entire lot of them into onion soup.  First time I’ve ever made it so I Googled a few recipes.  Found the Alton Brown recipe that I had seen him make on his show but it called for stuff I didn’t have on hand.  Went with this one today. Minor changes only, not worth mentioning save for the switch from red and yellow onions to the sweet, sweet Vidalias.

Enjoy!

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