Friday, November 17, 2006

Conservatives Rejoice!

Given the way HE eats, fortasse non est longus huic mondo, Eheu! But these will send him out with a smile under the smile of the one who bids him go (to paraphrase Marcus Aurelius):

Fennel and Sauteed Pear Salad:

Shred 1 bulb of fennel in a grater with large holes. Mix with 1 T. dried currants, 1 T. champagne vinegar1/4 t. sea salt and 1/8 t. pepper. Let stand at room temperature 30 min. Put salad plates in warm oven to heat gently. Quarter 1 pear lengthwise, core, and slice lengthwise into 1/8 inch slices. Sautee pear gently in 2 T butter, browning on both sides. Place small amount of fennel and pears next to each other on warm plates and serve. Serves 2-4.

Puree of Butternut Squash Soup with Fresh Orange and Spice Cream

In a large saucepan heat 2 T butter; add 4 c. cubed butternut squash and 1 medium onion roughly chopped. Cook til the onion is translucent but not brown. Ad 3 c. low sodium chicken broth and 2 T honey or sugar; add ½ - 1 c. fresh squeezed orange juice (according to taste). Simmer 30 min. til squash is tender; add some salt and pepper. Transfer soup to food processor and puree it. Taste and adjust seasoning – if too thick you may want to add a bit of water. Mix together 6 T crème fraiche and ½ t. nutmeg with just a hint of cayenne. Serve soup in bowls with dollop of cream.

Roasted Duck Breast with Maple-Rosemary-Juniper Glaze

Combine 2 3inch sprigs of rosemary, 6 cracked juniper berries, and ½ c. maple syrup; cook in small saucepan til the glaze is reduced by half. Now score the fatty side of the duck (use 6 duck breasts) and season with salt and pepper. In a heavy skillet on medium heat cook the duck breast fat side down 10 minutes. Spoon off and save the fat (for cooking veggies, etc.) Preheat oven to 350; flip duck so it’s fat side up in the skillet and roast 10-15 minutes depending on how well done you like it. Remove from skillet and brush with glaze. Cut in slices, arrange on platter, and drizzle with remaining glaze.

Chocolate Espresso Cake

Preheat the oven to 350. Butter an 8 inch cake pan and line bottom with kitchen parchment (butter the parchment and lightly flour the pan – I like to use coco instead of flour when baking with chocolate). In a small heavy saucepan over medium heat melt 5 oz. semisweet chocolate (chopped) and 3 oz. German sweet chocolate (chopped) and 1 stick of butter (4 oz). Set aside. With a mixer whip 4 eggs at room temperature, ½ c. sugar, ¼ c. brewed espresso or double strength coffee cooled to room temperature and 1 T very finely ground and sifted espresso beans and ¼ t. salt. Whip together for on medium high speed for 8 minutes or so then mix in the butter/chocolate mix; sift in ¼ c. flour over the batter and fold in. Pour batter into cake pan and cook 25-30 minutes til a toothpick comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes then remove from pan. Serve with whip cream or coffee ice cream.


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