Archive for October, 2011

A duck and a sauce

Posted in discount, duck, french, sauce with tags , on October 21, 2011 by oskila

This recipe is literally ancient by today’s internet standards (originally posted on Facebook in January 2009). I forgot to photograph the completed dish, which at the time didn’t seem an important thing to do. As with most of my other recipes (they will be posted soon enough) the recipe was triggered by a discount product, in this case duck breast. The supermarket in question also had pheasants and quails but that seemed a bit over the top for a weekday dinner.









This is what a duck breast looks like. I’d say one of these babies serves two unless you’re decadent and truly starving. Since the ideal core temperature for a cooked duck breast is about 55º Celsius, it still being frozen in the middle when starting is probably just fine.

Ingredients for the sauce. Cream, wine, mushrooms, garlic, basil, carrot, celery, leek. Forgot to put obvious ingredients like butter, flour and vegetable stock in the picture.

So basically the sauce is based on an adulterated mirepoix (it’s supposed to be onion or shallot, not leek), in creole cooking also known as the holy trinity. The basil was probably added just because we had it already. If aiming for proper orthodox French cuisine-ing there would have been several other fresh herbs included.

In hindsight, white wine would probably have been better, mainly because sauces with flour and cream look really ugly when you add red wine. This can be averted with a splash of soy or food colouring though.

The ducky getting a quick fry. It’s especially important to sear the skin side so it doesn’t get soggy and boring later.

The copious amounts of butter used are more planning ahead than decadence – after the duck was removed I started on the sauce in the same pan. For a less festive dish one would still have settled for a bit less fat though.

Birdie goes in oven. Nothing added but thermometer, salt and pepper. Since a simplistic view on quality protein was maintained for this recipe, the aim is to preserve the taste of duck and not clutter the palate with marinades, bastes, overseasoning and whatnot.

The acutual cooking temperature is a matter of debate. Either you want a good crust by applying lots of heat or by making sure all the fat is rendered and removed. As long as the inner temperature ends up around 55º C it’s not important which.

Frying (or perhaps sauteeeeing) the mirepoix, garlic, basil and mushroom. Once again, if going for purist french cuisine, the vegetables should be cut Brunoise – that is, in 3 mm cubes, which is basically a hard and tedious task that will go unnoticed unless you brag about it at the table.

Add a tablespoon or two of flour and let it brown properly before also adding wine. Simmer for a while.

Here stock and cream has been added, along with a splash of soy, since purplebrown isn’t the best color. Keep the sauce warm over low heat while moving on to the next step.

With any luck and depending on oven setting, the duck is probably finsihed by now. Remember that temperature will continue to rise for a while after removing it from the oven, so wrap it up in tinfoil and let it rest while setting the table, tasting the wine or preparing the side dishes, which we won’t be doing in this recipe since I forgot to photograph it. If I recall correctly we had King Bolete-flavoured tagliolini which seemed awesome on paper but wasn’t all that great, especially considering it was pretty expensive. A traditional side dish for duck is chestnut purée, but I’ve attempted that on other occasions and failed spectacularly.

A connoisseur snarkier than me might argue that this duck is overcooked, but it’ll still be awesome since it’s only off by a few degrees and thus it hasn’t had a chance to go dry or chewy.

Subcutaneous fat, the breakfast of champions.

The natural thing to do was of course to add it to the sauce. In hindsight one will want to go a bit easier on the butter if doing so, since the sauce got a bit greasy, which some people like and some don’t.

Anyway, thank you for reading. Next time there will probably something more rustic and Mediterranean.

Spicing up discount sausages

Posted in asian, discount, rice, sausage with tags on October 19, 2011 by oskila



I’m going to start this out with a fairly recent recipe that I’ve already put on Facebook. The main goal was to keep costs down while making the bland discount sausages as interesting as possible. Let us begin.

Ingredients: Romanesco broccoli, boring but cheap sausages, jasmine rice, Red chili, brown button mushrooms, onion, carrots. I forgot to put garlic and seasonings in the picture…

Basically grab whatever is in the fridge. I bought the romanesco together with the sausages, mainly for looks. Cauliflower and/or broccoli are good substitutes.

I clearly had too much time on my hands and cut the carrots into fancy shapes, otherwise it’s just slice, chop and fry. If you want to add spices, better do it now as they get better with fat and heat.

More slice and fry!

Sausage and chili enter the fray

Add the rice that forces unknown have prepared and stir thoroughly. Rice is notorious for sticking even to a non-stick pan, so it’s best to keep things moving.

We’re done! See you next time.


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