Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Crisp Roast Duck

1 5-6 pound duck
2 cups boiling hot water
1 tbsp kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat to 425F. Remove all excess body fat from bird inside and out. Prick all over with a fork. Fold neck under body and then place duck, breast side up on a rack on a roasting pan and pour boiling water over duck to tighten skin. Pat dry all over, and then rub with salt and pepper.

Roast duck, breast side up for 45 minutes. Turn duck over with wooden spoons and roast for 45 minutes more. Return duck to breat-up position, tilting to drain fluid from the cavity and into the pan. Roast until skin is golden and crispy (about 45 minutes). Remove bird from oven and let sit for 15 minutes before carving. Total roasting time about 2 1/4 hours.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Potato Parsnip Latkes

1 large russet potato (8 to 12 oz)
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 medium parsnips 1lb total, peeled and coarsley grates
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 tbsp finely chopped fresh chives
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
3/4 cup oil for frying
Applesauce and/or sour cream for topping

Preheat oven to 250 degrees
Peel potato and coarsely grate into a bowl. Add lemon juice and toss to combine. Place potato on towel, then gather up corners to form a sack and twist lightly to wring out as much liquid as possible. Stir potato together with parsnips, flour, eggs. chives, salt and pepper until combined well.

Heat oil in a 12 inch skillet over moderate heat until hot but not smoking. Fill a 1/4 measure three quarters full with latke mixture and careful spoon it into skillet, then falttern to 3 inches in diameter with a spatula. Form 2 more latkes in skillet, then cook until golden, about 1 1/2 minutes on each side. Transfer latkes with spatula to paper towls to drain. Keep warm on rack set in a shallow baking pan in the oven.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Cumin-Scented Stir-Fried Beef with Celery

6 oz steak such as blade or flank (trim any fat and gristle)
2 1/2 tsp reduced-sodium soy sauce, divided
1/2 tsp cornstarch, divided
2 tbsp Chinese rice wine or medium-dry Sherry
2 tsp vegetable oil, divided
1/2 tsp minced peeled ginger
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/8 tsp cumin seeds
1/8 tsp hot red-pepper flakes
2 celery ribs, sliced diagonally 1/4 inch thick,leaves chopped and reserved sperately

Equipment: a well seasoned 12-14 inch flat-bottom wok or 12-inch heavy skillet

Halve steak lengthwise if large. Slice across the grain about 1/8 inch thick.

Toss beef with 1/2 tsp soy sauce, 1/4 tsp cornstarch and a pinch of salt.

Stir together rice wine, remaining 2 tsp soy sauce and remaining 1/4 tsp cornstarch.

heat wok over high heat until smoking, then poor 1 tsp oil down side and swirl to coat. Add beef in 1 layer and cook, turning occasionally, until browned, less than 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl.

Add remaining tsp oil to wok, then add ginger, garlic, cumin and red-pepper flakes and stir-fry 15 seconds. Add celery and stir-fry 1 minute, then ass beff and juices and stir-fry 15 seconds. Stir in rice-wine mixture, then pour in wok and stir-fry until sauce is bubbling, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat and stir in celery leaves.

Makes: 1 serving

From Gourmet, Nov 2008 via epicurious

Kale and Mushrooms with Creamy Polenta

1 1/4 lbs kale, stemmed, cut into 1-inch pieces

4 cups whole milk
3 1/2 cups water
2 cups polenta
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground black pepper

4 oz. pancetta (Italian bacon) or bacon, coarsely chopped
4 oz. mushrooms (such as crimini, oyster, and stemmed shitake), sliced
4tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 large yellow onion, minced
1 stalk celery
1/2 cup low-salt chicken broth
2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
1 tbsp grated lemon peel

Cook kale in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 6 minutes. Drain.

Bring milk, water, polenta, salt, and pepper to boil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to low and simmer until thick, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat.

Meanwhile, cook pancetta in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat until golden brown, about 3 minutes. using slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to paper towels. Add mushrooms, onions and 2 tbsp olive oil to drippings in skillet. Saute until mushrooms are tender, about 6 minutes. Stir in kale, celery and pancetta. add garlic and broth; simmer until broth is slightly reduced, about 6 minutes. Stir in thyme, lemon peel, an d 2 tbsp oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Whisk butter and Parmesan into polenta and divide among plates. Top with kale mixture.

Modified from a recipe found in Bon appetit Feb 2006 via

4tbsp unsalted butter
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese