Friday, December 26, 2008

Dark Days of Winter Challenge - week 6

Happy holidays!

This week's dinner was quite spur-of-the-moment; fortunately that moment happened at the North Market around lunchtime, so I had plenty of time to implement it. We'd gone to pick up some ice cream from Jeni's as a present for my mom, and our walk around the market took me past North Market Poultry. I was struck by the loveliness of the duck, so despite a small qualm as I remembered the pet ducks of my childhood, I purchased a couple of duck legs for our Christmas eve dinner. Never having cooked them before, a Google recipe search seemed to indicate that braising or confit were my best options. I selected this recipe from Epicurious because I had the ingredients on hand. The fruits were a raisin medley and dried cranberries, both from Trader Joe's - not local, but purchased for the mince pies I didn't get to make.* I used herbes de Provence instead of the thyme sprigs, because my thyme is currently frozen and I am patently incapable of following a recipe to the letter (except for baking.)

Side dishes were all local - All Blue and Desiree varieties of potatoes roasted in rendered duck fat; roasted Brussels sprouts from the freezer with homemade butter (from cream from Snowville Creamery), and mashed carnivale squash from Toad Hill organic farm with maple sugar from Pleiades. A nice glass of syrah from Ohio winery Kinkead Ridge (under their River Ridge Cellars label) accompanied the meal.

*All baking was put off because of the knife wound I sustained to my right thumb while trying to remove a new chef's knife from the package on Monday. I didn't really want to wrestle with dough with such a wound. I hereby lodge my complaint with the adage that "more injuries come from dull knives than sharp." As my brother (a former sous chef) says, "sharp knives just keep going." (It's healing nicely, thank goodness.)


Anonymous said...

Ouch on the finger!! I was cutting a pumpkin about a month ago and literally sliced off the tip of my finger - had to go through the stitches, the oozing, etc... I am so relieved you are okay!

And the "spur of the moment" local dinner sounds great, I love how you put together things even without a plan in mind. Carnival squash is one of my favs, though I've never had it with maple syrup, how does that add to the flavor? And you make your own butter? Neat :-) My mum used to do that as a girl and tells me how she hated all the long churning... do you have a gizmo?

Laura said...

I got new knives for Christmas and also promptly cut myself several times - small nicks, but still...

Hope you're feeling better.

Nancy said...

Thanks for enjoying our River Village Cellars Syrah! And hopefully your cut is healing nicely. From Nancy, Kinkead Ridge Winery