Roast Christmas or New Year’s Duck

Traditionally, we always have duck for Christmas Eve due to the reality that most people will have turkey for Christmas Day! This is a new recipe I found in place of the Duck L’orange that I have roasted in the past. The combination of balsamic vinegar, honey and lemon was incredible. It would be great for New Year’s Eve or Day!

Roast Christmas Duck

Ingredients

  • 6 lb whole duck
  • salt
  • 5 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 lemon small or medium, chopped

GLAZE

  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 lemon, freshly squeezed juice
  • 1/4 cup honey

A. If you purchased frozen duck, make sure to defrost the frozen duck in the refrigerator for a couple of days. Once the duck is completely defrosted (in the refrigerator), take the duck out of the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to cooking to bring it more or less to room temperature.

B. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. You will be roasting the duck for a total of 3 hours (3 hours will be divided into 4-time chunks where you will be flipping the duck, brushing it with glaze, etc. – see the instructions below).

1. Remove the giblets from inside the duck. Rinse the duck, inside and outside, with cold water. Pat dry with paper towels.

2. Set the duck on the working surface. Score the duck’s skin on the breast in a diamond pattern, making sure you only cut the skin, without reaching the meat. Poke the other fatty parts of the duck with the tip of the knife all over, to ensure fat release, especially in very fatty parts. You don’t need to poke the duck legs as the skin is pretty thin there (except for where the duck legs connect to the duck body). Season the duck very generously with salt both inside the cavity of the duck and outside on the skin, legs, all over. Place the duck breast side up.

3. Put 5 chopped garlic cloves and lemon slices inside the duck cavity (these are just for flavor, not for eating – you will discard them after cooking). The duck will have flapping skin on both ends – fold that skin inwards, to hold the garlic and lemon inside. Tie up the duck legs with butcher’s twine.

4. Place the bird breast side up on a large roasting pan with a rack (roasting pan should have a roasting rack to lift the duck from the bottom of the pan and allow the fat to drip below the duck). Roast the duck, breast side up, for 1 hour at 350 F.

5. After 1 hour of roasting, flip the duck on its breast and roast it breast side down (roast the other side) for 40 minutes, at 350 F.

6. Remove the roasting pan with the duck from the oven (you now have roasted the duck for 1 hour + 40 minutes), carefully remove the duck to a platter (making sure the lemons and garlic from the cavity do not fall out – keep the skin on both ends of the duck folded), and carefully pour off all the duck fat juices from the roasting pan into a large heat-proof bowl or container.

7. Flip the duck breast side up again on a rack in a roasting pan (the pan will have no fat juices now). In a small bowl, combine ½ cup of balsamic vinegar with the freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon. Brush all of the duck with the balsamic mixture (especially the scored duck breast) and cook the duck breast side up for another 40 minutes at 350 F, brushing every 10 minutes with the mixture.

8. Now, in a separate small bowl, combine ¼ cup honey and 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar lemon mixture that you will have left over from the previous step. Brush the breast side of the duck with this honey-balsamic mixture, and roast for another 40 minutes, brushing the duck breast side every 10 minutes with honey balsamic mixture. You can even carefully broil the duck for the last 10-15 minutes if you like (do it carefully, checking the duck regularly to make sure it doesn’t char too much). Final temperature should be 180 F or 82 Celsius!!!

9. After the duck is cooked, remove it from the oven, let duck stand for 15 minutes. Then, carefully remove and discard the lemon from the cavity (being careful not to get burned).

Carve the duck and serve!

TOTAL COOKING TIME: The duck should be roasted for a total of 3 hours at 350 F. These 3 hours of roasting are divided into 4 distinctive time chunks (1 hour breast side up + 40 minutes breast side down + 40 minutes breast side up brushed with balsamic-lemon mixture + 40 minutes breast side up brushed with honey-balsamic mixture).Calories: 2862kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 79g | Fat: 267g | Saturated Fat: 89g | Cholesterol: 517mg | Sodium: 438mg | Potassium: 1558mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 1145IU | Vitamin C: 48.8mg | Calcium: 104mg | Iron

Grilled Lamb Chops with Roasted Garlic Butter Baby Potatoes

Just came across this recipe in my DropBox and seemingly it was never shared here. In actuality, it is pretty straight forward, including the potatoes.

Fortunately I was able to buy local lamb, rather than the usual New Zealand. Enjoy!

Grilled Lamb Chops

(Serves 4-6)

  • 8 lamb chops
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. of Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. of chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 Tbsp. of fresh thyme
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tsp. of fresh ground pepper
  • sea salt & fresh ground pepper
  • lemon wedges
  • dried Greek oregano

1. In a shallow glass baking dish, add all the marinade ingredients (olive oil, garlic, mustard, parsley, thyme, lemon juice and black pepper) and stir to blend. Pour off and reserve about 1/3 of the marinade (for finishing the lamb chops). Add the lamb chops and ensure all of the meat is coated with the marinade. Cover and place in the fridge for 2 – 4 hours.

2. Return your lamb chops back to room temperature before grilling and pre-heat your gas or charcoal grill to a high heat (you want the meat to sizzle when it hits the heat). Ensure your grill surface is clean by brushing it and wipe it with vegetable oil. Season your lamb chops with salt and pepper.

3. Grill your lamb chops for 3 minutes a side (medium/pink inside) and brush on the reserved marinade on by sides when cooked.

4. Squeeze some lemon juice over the chops, sprinkle some fleur de sel and finish with some dried Greek oregano.

Easy Garlic Butter Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp. garlic powder or fresh garlic
  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 pinches Maldon Sea salt
  • 2 pinches black pepper
  • 24 oz. baby potatoes
  • fresh parsley optional, to taste

Instructions

Preheat oven to 425°F. Cut creamer potatoes into halves and add them to a bowl.

Sprinkle 1 Tbsp. garlic powder, 4 Tbsp. melted butter, 2 pinches Maldon sea salt, and 2 pinches black pepper on the potatoes.

Mix potatoes with seasoning until fully coated.

Add seasoned creamer potatoes to an oven-ready cast iron skillet. Spread out evenly. Sprinkle with fresh parsley if desired.

Roast for approximately 1 hour for crispy potatoes. Enjoy!

Baked Feta Cheese with Olives and Lemon

If you should get invited to a Spanish ‘tapas’ party, this makes a perfect dish to bring. Okay, in English we might say appetizer, in French hors d’oeuvres ??? No matter it was another great find on Pinterest. It was also quick to prepare.

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Baked Feta Cheese with Olives and Lemons

Ingredients

  • one block of sheep’s milk feta (sold in the brine) about 10-14 ounces
  • 1/3 cup good extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 large lemon
  • 1 – 2 cups mixed olives* (recipe calls for whole and pitted) see below
  • a few sundried tomatoes chopped
  • 3 Tbsp fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • a few coarse grindings of black pepper

Instructions

  1. Set oven to 350F
  2. Put the feta in a gratin dish or other small ovenproof dish that you will also serve out of.
  3. Pour the olive oil into the dish, followed by the lemon juice. Arrange the olives* (I would suggest using ONLY sliced olives as they whole ones fall off when you lay them on the cheese when serving) around the cheese, with the rosemary.  I quarter the squeezed lemon half and throw that in as well. Sprinkle the red and black pepper over all. I also added some slices of sundried tomatoes.
  4. Bake for about 15 – 20 minutes, or until hot and bubbling. I loosely laid a sheet of foil over mine. You can finish under the broiler if you like for a little charring effect.
  5. Serve hot with toasted bread

Limoncello Tiramisu

Some of you are aware of my recipe posted some time back for homemade limoncello liqueur. Recently I was asked to bring a dessert to a potluck and I decided to make a limoncello tiramisu instead of the traditional one with espresso and Grand Marnier. What follows is this very tasty but time consuming recipe…thanks to Coleen, the Redhead Baker for sharing this recipe on Pinterest.

Limoncello Tiramisu                                         Author: Coleen, The Redhead Baker

Serves: 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 5 large eggs, divided
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1½ cups limoncello, divided (1/2 and 1 cup)
  • Zest of 3 Meyer lemons
  • Juice of 5 to 6 Meyer lemons (enough to yield ¾ cup)
  • 1 cup water
  • 16 oz. mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
  • 40 ladyfinger cookies

Directions

  1. Line a 9×13 baking sheet with wax paper, letting it hang over the edges on two sides.
  2. Fill a large saucepan with about an inch of water and set it over high heat until the water comes to a steady simmer. Reduce the heat to keep water at a steady simmer.
  3. Place two cups of ice in a very large mixing bowl and fill with about 2 inches of water.
  4. Place the egg yolks, ¼ cup of sugar and ½ cup of the limoncello in a medium mixing bowl. Place the mixing bowl over the simmering water, and whisk vigorously until the mixture thickens (about 5 minutes).
  5. Take the mixing bowl off the double boiler and place the mixing bowl in the ice water.
  6. Empty the simmering water from the saucepan. Place the 1 cup of water, the remaining 1 cup of limoncello, the lemon juice, and ½ cup sugar in the saucepan. Heat over high heat until boiling, and cook at a boil for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  7. In a large mixing bowl, with a hand-held mixer or whisk, beat the mascarpone cheese until softened. Add the lemon zest and beat until light and fluffy.
  8. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until frothy. Gradually add the sugar and beat until the whites form medium peaks.
  9. Fold a third of the egg yolk mixture into the mascarpone cheese, then fold in the rest of the yolk mixture. Then fold in the egg whites, a quarter of the whites at a time.

Happy New Year Everyone!

Perfect Lemonade

Time to make my annual limoncello drink, which takes 15 yellow lemons. The only problem is that I have the fruit of 15 lemons left after I remove the necessary peel. When life gives you lemons (or Costco), the only thing to do is to make lemonade, right? Pinterest to the rescue once again… It was great…you be the judge of how much sugar to add….

 

Perfect Lemonade Recipe (Simplyrecipes.com)

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6.

For more intense lemon flavor, grate the zest from one fresh lemon and add the zest to the simple syrup as you are making it. Once the sugar has dissolved in the water remove from heat and let the zest seep in the simple syrup for several minutes, then strain out the zest when you add the simple syrup to the lemon juice.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup white, granulated sugar (can reduce to 3/4 cup) I used 1/2 cup
  • 1 cup water (for the simple syrup)
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 2 to 3 cups cold water (to dilute)

Method

1 First make a “simple syrup”. Place the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Stir so that the sugar dissolves completely and remove from heat.

2 While the water is heating for the simple syrup, juice your lemons. Depending on the size of the lemons, 4 to 6 of them should be enough for one cup of juice.

3 Pour the juice and the simple syrup sugar water into a serving pitcher. Add 2 to 3 cups of cold water and taste. Add more water if you would like it to be more diluted (though note that when you add ice, it will melt and naturally dilute the lemonade). If the lemonade is a little sweet for your taste, add a little more straight lemon juice to it.

Refrigerate 30 to 40 minutes.

Serve with ice, sliced lemons.
Read more: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/perfect_lemonade/#ixzz4BwfxF5jH

Greek Lemon Chicken Soup (Avgolemono)

As my wife and I had Greek neighbours, we often had Greek food with them or at the ethnic festivals each summer. Across the border from us in Detroit there was Greektown with wonderful restaurants (before the casinos moved in)…nothing like flaming cheese and OPA followed by this great soup!

From Wikipedia…Avgolemono or egg-lemon (from Greek: αυγολέμονο or αβγολέμονο), is a family of Mediterranean sauces and soups made with egg and lemon juice mixed with broth, heated until they thicken. In Arabic, it is called tarbiya or beida bi-lemoune ‘egg with lemon’; and in Turkish terbiye. In Sephardic Jewish cuisine, it is called agristada or salsa blanco, and in Italian cuisine, bagna brusca, brodettato, or brodo brusco. It is also widely used in Balkan cuisine.

Greek Lemon Chicken Soup

Ingredients

2 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons shredded carrots
2 tablespoons chopped onion
2 tablespoons chopped celery
1 tablespoon and 1-1/2 teaspoons chicken soup base
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 tablespoon margarine
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cooked white rice
1/4 cup diced, cooked chicken meat
4 slices lemon
2 egg yolks

Preparation
1. In a large pot, combine the chicken broth, lemon juice, carrots, onions, celery, soup base, and white pepper. Bring to a boil on high, then simmer for 20 minutes.
2. Blend the butter and the flour together. Then gradually add it to the soup mixture. Simmer for 10 minutes more, stirring frequently.
3. Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks until light in color. Gradually add some of the hot soup to the egg yolks, stirring constantly. Return the egg mixture to the soup pot and heat through. Add the rice and chicken. Ladle hot soup into bowls and garnish with lemon slices.

Shrimp and Artichoke Linguini

Always great to have dinner with longtime friends. Made even better by this great tasting dish! Know you will enjoy it. Test out some of the optional ingredients at the end…

Shrimp and Artichoke Linguini a la Chuck

This recipe is great for pasta and shrimp. I think I might even try the sauce over cooked chicken, served with rice!

500 grams linguini pasta

2 T olive oil

1 large onion chopped

4 cloves garlic crushed

1 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined

 

Sauce:

1 can artichoke hearts

½ cup white wine

4 T lemon juice

4 tsp. lemon zest

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

½ cup chicken stock

Corn starch

4 T fresh chopped parsley

 

Optionals: 1 T capers and/or ¼ cup diced red peppers and/or 1 T Dijon mustard and/or crushed red pepper flakes

 

1.       Cook pasta in boiling water.

2.       Sauté onion and garlic (and red pepper) in oil for about 5 minutes while pasta is cooking. Remove to a bowl.

3.       Add shrimp to drippings and cook for about 3 minutes. Stir in artichoke hearts, wine, lemon juice, zest, salt, pepper and cooked onion and garlic. Heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to simmer, cover for 4 minutes.

4.       Thicken with cornstarch.

5.       Toss with pasta and parsley. Serve immediately.

 

Limoncello Liqueur

We first tasted limoncello while in Sorrento and fell in love with it. You can buy it at the liquor store but it can be pricey and a little too sweet. Just in case you are wondering it is a great after dinner drink served in small liqueur glasses, ICE COLD. I apologize for not sending this sooner, but honestly thought had…que lastima! If any of you are interested I have a great cake recipe for using this…mmm…

Italian Limoncello – How To Make Limoncello

Prep time: 20 min           Total time: From 40 to 80 days

Ingredients:
15 lemons*
2 (750 ml) bottles 100-proof vodka or 1 (750 ml) (we only get 40 proof here)
4 cups granulated sugar
5 cups water (filtered tap water or distilled water)

* Choose thick-skinned lemons because they are easier to zest. The lemons must be yellow and not tinted with green.

Step One:

Wash the lemons with a vegetable brush and hot water to remove any reside of pesticides or wax; pat the lemons dry.

Carefully zest the lemons with a zester or vegetable peeler so there is no white pith on the peel. NOTE: Use only the outer part of the rind. The pith, the white part underneath the rind, is too bitter and would spoil your limoncello.

Step Two:

In a large glass jar (1-gallon jar with lid), add vodka. Add the lemon zest as it is zested.

Cover the jar and let sit at room temperature for at least (10) ten days and up to (40) days in a cool dark place. The longer the mixture rests, the better the end taste will be. (There is no need to stir – all you have to do is wait.) As the limoncello sits, the vodka slowly takes on the flavor and rich yellow color of the lemon zest.

Step Three:

In a large saucepan, combine the sugar and water; bring to a gentle boil and let boil, approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and let the syrup cool before adding it to the Limoncello mixture.

Add cooled sugar mixture to the Limoncello mixture (from Step One).

Cover jar and allow to rest for another 10 to 40 days.

Step Four:

After the rest period, strain the Limoncello; discarding the lemon zest.(I leave the zest in) Pour strained Limoncello in bottle/bottles (of your choice) and seal tightly.

NOTE: Coffee filters or cheesecloth work great for straining the mixture if you don’t want the zest in the drink. Moisten the filters before beginning the straining process.

Keep your bottle/bottles of Limoncello in the freezer until ready to serve. Serve ice cold from the freezer. If it freezes hard, run it under a little warm water for two minutes.