North African Style Braised Duck Breast with Dried Pear

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 duck breasts, about 2 lb total weight
4 onions, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
1-3/4 cups chicken stock
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup ready-to-eat dried pears
3 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan (skillet). Add the duck, skin side up, and cook for 1-2 minutes until lightly browned.
  2. Turn the duck breasts and cook, as gently as possible, until the skin is brown and crisp. Remove and drain on kitchen paper.
  3. Pour off all but 3 tablespoons of fat. Add the onions and cook for 15 minutes until completely soft.
  4. Slice the duck breasts across into 1/2-inch slices. Place the onion and duck in a heavy flameproof casserole.
  5. Stir in the garlic, sugar, cinnamon, saffron and stock. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes.
  6. Cut the pears into pieces, add to the casserole, cover and cook gently for a further 30 minutes.
  7. Stir in the coriander and serve with couscous.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: North African Cooking

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Bay Scallops and Foie Gras Ravioli with Cipolline Bouillon and Black Truffles

Ingredients

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 slices bacon, cut into small dice
10 ounces cipolline onions, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
3 cups chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
sprig of thyme
1 bay leaf
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
30 bay scallops, about 6 ounces
salted freshly ground black pepper
18 toasted walnut halves (about 1/2 cup)
3 tablespoons walnut oil
1 large fresh or flash-frozen black truffle (about 2 ounces)

Foie Gras Ravioli

Cornmeal, for dusting
18 wonton wrappers
3 ounces fresh duck foie gras, trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch dice, or foie gras terrine, cut into 1/4-inch dice.

Method

  1. To make the bouillon, melt the butter with the olive oil in a medium saucepan over moderate heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until it has rendered its fat, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the onions, garlic, and sugar and cook, stirring, until the onions are soft and browned, about 7 minutes.
  2. Add the sherry vinegar, increase the heat to moderately high, and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Boil until the vinegar is reduced to a glaze. Add the stock, thyme, and bay leaf, bring to a boil, and boil until the liquid is reduced by half. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a saucepan and set aside. (The bouillon can be made up to 2 days ahead, covered, and refrigerated.)
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boll, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Skim off and discard the fat that has come to the top of the bouillon. Bring the bouillon to a simmer over moderate heat. Reduce the heat to low and keep warm.
  4. Heat a large nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot. Add the 2 teaspoons olive oil and heat until hot.
  5. Season the scallops with salt and pepper. Add the scallops to the pan and cook just until browned on the first side, about 1 minute. Turn the scallops over and cook until just barely translucent in the center, about 1 minute longer.
  6. To make the ravioli, sprinkle a large baking sheet with cornmeal. Lay the wonton wrappers out on a work surface. Place about 1-1/2 teaspoons of the foie gras in the center of each wrapper. One at a time, using a pastry brush or your fingertips, moisten the uncovered portion of each wrapper with water, than fold the wrapper over the filling to make a rectangle and press the edges firmly together to seal. If desired, use a fluted pastry wheel or a 2-1/2-inch round cutter to cut the ravioli into half-moon shapes. Transfer the ravioli to the baking sheet. (The ravioli can be made early in the day, covered loosely with plastic wrap, and refrigerated.)
  7. Add the ravioli to the boiling water and cook, stirring occasionally so the ravioli don’t stick together, just until the wonton wrappers are al dente, about 3 minutes. Remove the ravioli with a wire skimmer or slotted spoon and drain briefly in a colander.
  8. Arrange 3 ravioli and 5 scallops in each of 6 shallow soup bowls. Scatter the walnuts over the top, and ladle in the broth. Drizzle the walnut oil over the broth, shave the truffle over the top, and serve immediately.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Truffles

Duck Breast with Figs

Ingredients

1/2 cup red wine
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup sliced shallots
10 sprigs fresh thyme
6 large boneless, skinless duck breasts
1-1/2 pounds duck bones
1/2 cup diced carrot
1/2 cup diced onion
8 peppercorns
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
6 cups veal stock
coarse salt to taste
freshly ground pepper to taste
3 tbsp clarified butter
12 small fresh figs, halved
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup Riesling wine
4 large leeks, split in half lengthwise and rinsed
12 Red Bliss potatoes, cut crosswise into thin slices

Method

  1. Combine red wine, olive oil, shallots and thyme in a bowl.
  2. Wipe the duck breasts clean and pat dry. Place into a shallow, nonreactive container and pour red wine marinade over all. Cover container and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
  3. Cut duck bones into 2-inch pieces; place in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in carrot and onion and saute for 5 minutes or until bones and vegetables begin to brown.
  4. Stir in peppercorns and cinnamon. When well blended, add stock and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for about 1 hour or until reduced to 2 cups. Remove from heat and strain through a fine sieve into a small saucepan. Discard solids.
  5. Preheat oven to 500ºF.
  6. Remove duck breasts from refrigerator. Wipe off marinade and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Heat butter in a large, ovenproof saute pan over medium heat. Lay duck breasts in pan, taking care not to crowd them. Sear for 4 minutes.
  8. Turn and sear 3 more minutes. Remove from pan and place on a warm plate. Lightly cover and keep warm.
  9. Keeping pan on medium heat, set figs in browned butter. Drizzle honey over all and lightly coat with pepper. Place in preheated oven and roast for about 5 minutes or until figs begin to singe.
  10. Remove from oven. Lift figs from pan to duck plate.
  11. Return saute pan to medium heat. Stir in wine and simmer, stirring constantly to lift browned bits, for about 5 minutes or until reduced to 1/4 cup. Add reserved sauce and simmer for 10 minutes or until the sauce has a smooth consistency.
  12. Steam leeks and potatoes until tender. Place equal portions of each on 6 dinner plates. Slice each breast, on the bias, into 4 thick pieces and place on top of the leek-potato mixture. Set 2 figs next to each breast. Lightly spoon sauce over the breasts. Serve immediately with remaining sauce on side.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Met Home