Monday evening was cold and dark as I drove to town bearing fresh sage, dried cherries and small onions. I was early because Darren and I were doing the main course that night, Roasted Duck with Cherry Madeira Reduction, and we had to get a head start if we wanted dinner before 9 p.m.!
We chopped and stuffed and got that baby in the oven and within 45 minutes the house smelled divine.
Kat arrived with a bag of oranges and a big ol’ bag of whole cloves for us to decorate them with. I’ve always wanted to do that, but never had the chance. Even the guys got into the holiday spirit and we had grand fun clustered around the new dining room table (thanks, Jon!!) visiting happily as we attempted to make recognizable designs on our respective oranges.
Don made the evening truly festive with the best cocktail I’ve had in ages: a divine concoction of Coffee Liqueur, Vodka and cold milk. Delicious!!
At last the duck was ready and everyone gathered in the kitchen to fill their plates with Cameron and Robin’s sprightly Spinach Salad with Mandarins and Almonds…
Jon’s fabulous mashed potatoes infused with cumin, mustard, and pistachio mustard sauce…
Kat’s savory Spanish Rice studded with peppers and herbs…
And the succulent duck that was tender and flavorful with marvelously crispy skin. I’m not usually a huge fan of duck, but this dish rocked my world. 🙂
Hope you have a lovely day! 🙂
Robin and Cameron’s Spinach Salad
1 bag spinach
1 can mandarin orange segments or 1 mandarin orange, segmented
1/2 cup toasted, slivered almonds
1 part olive oil
1 part balsamic vinegar
herbes de Provence
splash of milk
- Place spinach, mandarin orange segments and almonds in bowl.
- In small bowl wisk together olive oil, vinegar, herbes de Provence and milk until emulsified.
- Toss with spinach and serve immediately.
Kat’s Spanish Rice
1/4 cup olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
2 green bell peppers, seeded, ribs removed, and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup long-grain white rice
One 8-ounce can tomato sauce
2 cups water
1 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon cumin (optional)
- Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat, then add the onions, green peppers, and celery and sauté until soft, about 3 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook for another minute while stirring.
- Add the rice and stir together to mix.
- Add the tomato sauce and the water carefully.
- Season with the salt and pepper, and add the cumin, if using.
- Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, until the rice is done, stirring once or twice.
Jon’s Mashed Potatoes
1 onion, chopped
2 Tbsp pistachio yogurt sauce
2 Tbsp creme fraiche
2 tsp cumin
salt to taste
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp dried cilantro
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup milk
- Place potatoes in saucepan, cover with salted water, bring to boil, reduce heat slightly and cook 15-20 minutes until tender.
- Saute onion in olive oil until transparent and soft.
- Drain potatoes, add all remaining ingredients and blend together until they reach mashed potato consistency. Serve warm.
Darren and Krista’s Roast Duck with Cherry Madeira Reduction
1 duck, washed, dried, innards removed
1 small onion or shallot, minced
2 Tbsp butter
2 onions, cut in quarters
handful fresh sage leaves
1.5-2 cups dried cherries
1 cup madeira or port wine
salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Set roasting rack/cooling rack in roasting pan, place duck on top and set aside.
- In saucepan melt butter and saute onion until translucent. Add 1/2 cup wine and cook 1-2 minutes until mixture reduces and becomes saucy instead of watery.
- Stuff cavity of duck with quartered onions, sage leaves and 1/4 cup cherries. Return to roasting pan.
- Brush with onion wine sauce, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast for 3 hours, basting occasionally.
- Remove from oven and place duck on serving platter and let rest while you make sauce.
- Set roasting pan with juices on burner, add remaining wine and cherries, bring to boil, stirring constantly to scrape bits off pan. Let simmer until liquid reduces and cherries are soft.
- Slice duck and drizzle with Cherry Madeira Reduction.