dinner for four.

by lisafischoff

On a cool August evening. All served with brown rice and white wine, on the deck of course.

Duck Breast with a cherry reduction

Serves 4

2 1lb Moulard or Magret Duck Breasts

1/4 cups red or white wine

1/3 cup tart cherry jam

2 tsp light colored honey

salt and pepper

Using a sharp knife, score the fat of the two duck breasts in a a cross hatched position.

Rub generously with salt and pepper on both sides. Set Aside.

Heat a cast iron skillet on medium high heat.

Place the duck in the skillet fat side down and cover.

Cook for about seven minutes then drain most of the fat.

Flip breasts and cook another 5 minutes. Again, drain most of the fat and return skillet to stovetop.

Deglaze the pan with the wine (I used white because it’s what I was drinking).

Add the cherry jam and the honey and roll the duck around to coat.

Add a little more salt and pepper to taste.

Continue to cook another 3 minutes or so uncovered.

Remove and let sit a few minutes.

Slice and serve with rice, polenta or potatoes and the pan sauce poured over the top.

Roasted Tomato and Corn Salad

Serves 6 as a side

2 pints of tomatoes roasted sorta like this. Only this time, instead of using roma, I used some tomatoes from a friend who knows his way around a tomato. There were several kinds and I can’t for the life of me remember the names of any of them. Tomatoes can be roasted a few days in advance.

1 pint mixed yellow and red grape tomatoes

5 ears of fresh sweet corn

1 handful fresh parsley, chopped

1 handful fresh basil, chopped

olive oil, champagne vinegar, salt and pepper to taste

Roast the tomatoes, cool to room temp and place them in a large bowl. Slice the grape tomatoes in half the long way and add them to the bowl, set aside. Using a paring knife, slice the corn kernels from the cob. If you are confident your corn is fresh and sweet, leave it raw. If there’s a chance it’s the amazing corn, steam or grill it first. Add corn to bowl along with parsley and basil. Drizzle with olive oil and champagne vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste and toss to combine.

Arugula, Beet and Duck Bacon Salad

I like to bake mine at 400 degrees until crispy rather than fry it. Less messy.

3 cups beets; roasted, peeled and cubed

2 big handfuls arugula

2 oz duck bacon (or regular bacon), cooked crispy and crumbled

1 cup homemade blue cheese dressing (recipe below)

Toss all ingredients to combine. Serve immediately.

Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing

I used greek yogurt in place of sour cream as noted below. Feel free to switch it back. Can be made up to three days in advance.

Enough for a salad for 4-6 people. Adapted from David Lebovitz.

4 ounces (115g) blue cheese, crumbled (I used Bayley Hazen Blue from Vermont)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
a few turns freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup (60g) greek yogurt
1/4 cup (60ml) buttermilk
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice or white wine vinegar
a few drops of red wine vinegar

In a medium bowl, mash the blue cheese with the salt and pepper with the back of a fork until the pieces of cheese are finely broken up.

Add greek yogurt, buttermilk, and lemon juice or wine vinegar until well mixed.

Add a few drops of red wine vinegar. Taste, and adjust any of the seasonings to your liking and if the dressing too thick, add a bit more buttermilk.

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