Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Pan Roasted Duck with Blueberry Sauce

Yes, I agree these ingredients sounds slightly out of the norm. But that is ok, trust me duck needs the sweet tartness of berries to bring out the sweetness of the meat. Plus, this is very easy to make and delicious. The work to reward ratio is highly favored on the cook's side.

You can make the blueberry sauce a few days in advance, but this is what I did:

1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 of a sliced red onion
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
salt and peper to taste

What you do:

1. Throw everything in a pot, let simmer over medium heat. When bubbling turn to low and stir once in a while. Cook until your desired thickness, I let it go for about 20 minutes. But only because that is how long it took for me to get the rest of my dinner together.
2. Serve along side the duck or on tacos, it is very tasty. It keeps in the fridge for about a week.

For the duck this is will only take 15 minutes maximum.

What you need:

1duck breast (this feeds two people well, about 1 pound)
Maldon sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Special equipment: heavy bottomed ovenproof skillet

What you do:
1. Crank your oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Warm a ovenproof skillet over medium heat.
3. Using a sharp knife make slits (score) the fat of the duck breasts in a criss-cross pattern. This will help the fat render off and let the meat cook more evenly.
4. Season both sides of the duck with salt and pepper.
5. Lay fat side down in the skillet for about 5 minutes, but don't let it blacken. If it does go to far, that is ok you can just take the fat off before you serve it.
6. Flip it over for about a minute just to sear the other side.
7. Place in the oven for about 10 minutes until the duck is medium, or about 160 degrees

I served this with green beans, because that is what I had in the fridge but, you can certainly serve this over a wilted spinach salad, sauteed swiss chard, or anything else you like. Many people serve duck and potatoes together, I think this is mostly because only the French knew how to make duck taste good for many years, and the French love potatoes. But, feel free to buck the norm. I saw a duck confit leg deep fried with a pecans over spinach salad. God bless you Emeril.

As always, much love, many blessings, and happy cooking... one day I am going duck hunting...

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Pasta with Grilled Zuchinni and Herbed Ricotta

This is a super simple dish that lends itself to leftovers and a wonderful way to hide vegetables that might be past their prime in the veg drawer. I cooked simple parpadelle pasta, added fresh herbs, ricotta, and any veggies you have leftover. For me that was a little grilled squash, grilled zuchinni, some roasted mushrooms and fresh tomatoes. Serve with a crisp white wine and enjoy, as the sun sets on another summer day.

What you need:

1 lb of parpadelle pasta
left over veggies
1 cup of ricotta
any fresh herbs you like in your garden or not
parmsean to top
hot pepper flakes if you so desire

What you do:

1. Boil a huge pot of water, add lots of salt "so it tastes like the sea." Cook the pasta al dente, but save the water, you will need about a 1/2 cup to loosen the sauce, and if you let it cool you can use it to water your plants
2. Cut up your left over veggies
3. Mince your fresh herbs and mix with the ricotta
4. When your pasta is done add to a large bowl using a strainer. It is ok it if is a little wet, add the veggies so that they are heated by the pasta. Top with the ricotta herb mixture. Adorn as usual with parm and peppers or not.
5. Enjoy

As always, many blessings, much love, happy cooking.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Berry Sangria

Over the weekend, my thermometer registered over 100. And what is a girl to do when the wine she loves is just not cold enough for a hot summer's day. Make Sangria. I am Latina afterall, plus it is so easy everyone can make it. Plus the responses are usually thunderous applause and affirmations of undying affection. For instance this picture inspired my friend Leslie's text, "I love you"

My mother and I were in Seville once, and after a long hot day of walking Al Hambra we saddled up to the bar. My Mom proceeded to order a Sangria but she requested that it wasn't to strong. To which the affable bartender explained, "Here, we give this to the children." Not, that I am advocating giving this to children, but it is tasty and easy to make.

What you need:
1 bottle of cheapo red wine (white works too, Spanish preferably)
2 cups of fruit juice (I used blueberry and pomegrate, but any kind you like)
1/2 cup of brandy
cut up fruit to decorate

What you do.
1. Mix all together.
2. Serve over ice. Enjoy with friends and responsibly.

As always, much love, many blessings, and happy drinking!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Pancake Friday: Peaches and Cream Pancakes

This is not so much of a recipe as an idea. We recently instituted a new tradition in the Burnaska Household, I think we are on week three of pancake Friday. Today was Peaches and Cream. I had a can of organic peaches preserved in peach juice open in the fridge. I took the juice of the peaches and added it to my Aunt Jemimah Pancake mix that only requires water. I cooked the pancakes and put small pieces of peaches in the batter. I served them with the peach juice instead of syrup and light whipped cream (from a can). It is a work morning after all, but feel free to whip your own cream if you would like to make this special.

What you need:
1/2 cup of pancake mix that only requires water
1/4 cup of peach juice
cut up peach
whipping cream
reserved juice to be used as syrup

What you do:
1. heat up a skillet with butter
2. mix the pancake mix and the juice, add some of the cut up peaches
3. cook the pancakes until the edges are bubbly, and flip
4. cook for another minute until complete
5. serve with whip cream and peaches

As always, much love, many blessings, and happy Friday!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Morel and Fava Bean Fresh Pasta

I love fresh pasta. I love eating it, I love making it, I love cooking it. I love fresh pasta. I especially love fresh pasta in the late spring with a homage to the budding gifts of nature. This is my declaration of spring happiness, fresh pasta, morels, and fresh fava beans.

I am Egyptian, so I have an unhealthy obsession with fava beans of all varieties. Most Egyptians eat fava beans for breakfast in a dish called Fool Medamas. However, I adore fresh fava beans. They are a labor of love, you have to deshell them, parboil them, peel them, and then cook them, but they are so worth it.

The dish comes together very quickly, and you don't want to over cook the pasta. I think the total cooking time is about 3 minutes. So it is best to have everything ready, or as the professionals call it, mise en place.

Here is how you do it.

For the pasta:
2 cups of semolina flour
4 eggs
Cornmeal for dusting and flour for your hands

1. In your mixer add the flour and turn on low.
2. Add one egg at at time until fully incorporated.
3. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
4. Cut your dough into 4 peices.
5. Use a pasta press to slowly get your dough thinner and thinner, starting with the largest setting and working to the smallest. Use flour to help the dough from sticking.
6. Change blades on your pasta press and cut the dough for the pasta what ever thickness you like. We like linguini.
7. Pile the cornmeal and allow the pasta to fall into the little mound. Seperating the strings with your fingers so they don't stick.
8. Fresh pasta, ready for cooking... :)

For the dish:
1 cup of morels
1 pint of fava beans in the shell
1 lb of fresh pasta
oilve oil
salt and pepper

1. Set up a large skillet and a large pot of boiling water on two burners next to each other.
2. Take the fava beans out of the pods. Set a big pot of water to boil, and put a heat-safe strainer in it so you can re-use the water to cook the pasta. Parboil the favabeans in the boiling water for about a minute or until they looked shriveled. Take them out of the water. Let them cool so you can touch them, and remove the outer casing.
3. Pour a few teaspoons of olive oil on the bottom of large skillet (it should be large enough to hold the entire dish). Add the morels and sautee lightly for about a minute.
4. Add the fresh pasta to the boiling water in the large pot with the strainer in it, cook for 1 minute.
5. Add the shelled fava beans to the pasta in the boiling water, cook for 1 minute.
6. Take the strainer out of the boiling water with the fava beans and the pasta, pour into the morels.
7. Turn off the heat.
8. Turn the pasta and the fava beans into the morels. It is ok if some of the liquid from the pasta mixes in, that is good.
9. Quickly serve and enjoy. You can add salt and pepper and a little bit of grated parmesan if you wish.

Mange! Enjoy!

As always, much love, many blessings, and happy cooking!

Proscuitto Asparagus Bundles

This is an easy and elegant side dish or appetizer. You can even make this a lovely party food. Just make sure you have good quality prosciutto and fresh asparagus. For this recipe I am using San Danielle rather than Prosciutto de Parma. I like the taste and texture of the San Danielle better, it leaner, gamier, and more salty. But by all means get the best you like.

How you do it:

What you need:
1 lb of asparagus trimmed
4 oz of prosciutto
olive oil
salt and pepper

What you do:
1. If you are making pasta as well, please feel free to reuse the pasta water. Either way you need a large pot of boiling water.
2. Trim the woody ends of the asparagus and wash.
3. Drop in the boiling water for about 2 minutes until the asparagus is tender crisp. It may be less or more depending on the thickness of the spears.
4. Set aside and allow to cool so you can handle them.
5. On a serving dish or plastic cutting board, cut the prosciutto slices in half long way so that you have long thinnish strips.
6. Take two or three asparagus spears and wrap the middle with the prosciutto, by keeping one end in your hand and wrapping the other around the middle of the spears leaving about 1/2 an inch on each side. Tie the prosciutto ends together to have a lovely display. You can just wrap them, but lately I have been into presentation.
7. Display on your serving dish. Drizzle with good quality olive oil, Maldon sea salt, and some freshly ground pepper.
8. Eat with gusto and enjoy!

As always, lots of love, many blessings, and happy cooking!