Duck breast and cranberry sauce.
Duck Breast with Cherry Wine Sauce
One word of caution: Don’t overcook duck breast; it is best rare to medium rare. It’s not like chicken.
- 24 ounces duck breast
- 4 tablespoons (about 1/2 stick) chilled butter, divided
- 1/3 cup finely chopped shallot (about 1.5 large shallots)
- 1 cup low-salt chicken broth
- 16 pitted frozen sweet red cherries, halved and thawed
- 1/2 cup Pinot Noir, suggested, (or Merlot or tawny Port are good also)
- 2 tablespoon honey
- Place duck breast halves between 2 sheets of plastic wrap.
- Pound lightly to even thickness (about 3/4 inch). Discard plastic wrap.
- Using sharp knife, score skin in 3/4-inch diamond pattern (do not cut into flesh!).
- This step can be done 8 hours ahead. Cover and chill.
- Melt 1 tablespoon butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat Sprinkle duck with salt and pepper.
- Add duck, skin side down, to skillet and cook until skin is browned and crisp, about 5 minutes.
- Turn duck breasts over, reduce heat to medium, and cook until browned and cooked to desired doneness(medium rare, suggested), about 5 to 7 minutes longer for small breasts for large breast for medium-rare.
- Transfer to work surface, tent with foil to keep warm, and let rest 7-10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, pour off all but 2 tablespoons drippings from skillet.
- Add shallot to skillet and stir over medium heat 30 seconds.
- Add broth, cherries, Port, and honey.
- Increase heat to high and boil until sauce is reduced to glaze, stirring often, about 3 minutes.
- Whisk in 1 tablespoons cold.
- Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.
- Thinly slice duck—after it has rested.
- Fan slices out on warm plates.
- Spoon sauce over warm slices of duck and serve.
- Pinot Noir is the classic pairing with duck.
- Merlot is also another good choice.
Ham Loaf - Leener’s Jones Street Cafe Recipe
Wohlner’s Ham Loaf is a mix of ground ham and ground fresh pork. The recipe below transforms it into a unique type of meat loaf which is good for special events, entertaining a crowd, or as an easy to serve buffet on a busy holiday, especially for a large number of people. It is a very affordable dish with which to entertain a crowd with no apologies. Since I may be prepped ahead, baked, then served right out of the oven it makes for easy entertaining there is little last minute fuss. Good for a buffet since it is eaten with a fork and no knife is required.
My mom often doubled or tripled the size of the recipe, depending on the size of the crowd, and baked it in ring molds. After unmolding onto a large serving plate she filled the middle of the ham loaf ring with baked beans. The key to this, imo, is to be sure to get both some ham loaf and some baked beans with each bite---yum. Be sure to let your guest know to first place some baked beans on their plate then a slice of ham loaf on the baked beans.
Ham Loaf Recipe
Serves 6 (Bread loaf size pan), or double each ingredient to serve 12 people and bake in a ring mold pan.
- 2.5 pounds Wohlner’s Ham Loaf
- 1.5 cups bread crumbs (unseasoned bread crumbs, or white bread ground in food processor)
- 1 cup milk
- 2 eggs
- Salt and pepper
- Sweet and Sour Sauce—recipe below
- Baked Beans doctored up with brown sugar and dry mustard
- Preheat oven to 375°. Spray a bread loaf pan with Pam cooking spray.
- Mix Wohlner’s Ham Loaf, bread crumbs and salt and pepper.
- In small bowl beat milk and eggs. Then mix into the ham loaf and the bread crumbs.
- Pack ham loaf mixture into the greased loaf pan. Place the loaf pan into a a a larger backing pan and place into the oven. Pour boiling water into the larger baking pan to make a water bath for the loaf pan.
- After 15 minutes baste the ham loaf by spooning some sweet and sour sauce over the ham loaf. Baste again every 15 minutes. Cook for almost 1 hour 15 minutes ( an internal temperature of about 175°-180°.
- Remove from the oven, allow 5 to ten minutes to cool enough to handle. Unmold the cooked ham loaf and cut into 6 slices.
- Serve each slice on top of a couple big spoonfuls of Baked Beans (canned baked beans doctored up with brown sugar and some dry mustard.). Spoon a little more Sweet and Sour Sauce over each serving. Be sure to get both some beans and ham loaf in each bite!
Tangy Sweet and Sour Sauce for Ham Loaf
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- ¼ to 1/3 cup pineapple juice, apple juice Note or water
- 1 Tablespoon powdered dry mustard (such as Coleman’s Dry Mustard)
- Mix ingredients in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil to dissolve sugar.
- Remove for heat once it boils.
Fresh Cranberry Sauce with Orange and Ginger
- 12-ounce bags Fresh Cranberries
- ¾ cups sugar
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 tablespoon grated orange peel
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 cup (about 1 ounces) minced crystallized ginger (candied ginger)
- Place first 6 ingredients in heavy medium saucepan.
- Bring to boil, stirring until sugar dissolves.
- Boil until cranberries pop, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
- Cool. Mix in crystallized ginger. (Can be prepared 3 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
Spiced Cabernet Cranberry Sauce
Here is a Cranberry Sauce recipe I made for Thanksgiving. It was good the first day but even better the next few days. I think this would be excellent with Husker Chops or a Center Cut Pork Loin Roast.
- 1 ½ cups Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot
- ¼ cup orange juice (or use more wine)
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¾ cup (packed) light brown sugar
- 6 whole cloves
- 3 whole allspice berries (optional)
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 3x1-inch strip orange peel
- 1 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries
- Combine all ingredients except cranberries in medium saucepan.
- Bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves.
- Reduce heat and simmer until reduced to 1 3/4 cups, about 10 minutes.
- Strain syrup into large saucepan.
- Add cranberries to syrup and cook over medium heat until berries burst, about 6 minutes.
- Cool. Transfer sauce to medium bowl.
- Cover and refrigerate until cold. (Can be made 1 week ahead. Keep refrigerated.)
I have been wondering if a can of Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce could be doctored up with some cinnamon, ginger and orange zest. Have any of you tried that?
Tilapia Fish Tacos
Grilled or pan sautéed fish tacos are healthy and tasty to eat, and also fast and easy to make.
To make Tilapia Fish simply season the fillets with salt and pepper, then cook them in a skillet for about 3 minutes per side. Tacos with flour tortiallas fresh Avocado slices, Dole Leetuce, and finally make a fresh Pico de gallo with finely diced fresh tomato, onion, cilantro, jalapeño chile, and lime juice. Or, instead of the lettuce and pico de gallo use some Mr. Juice’s Coleslaw mix, and a dressing made with bottled Kraft Coleslaw dressing fortified mixed with a little heat from some Srirachi sauce (with the rooster on the bottle—it’s great stuff.)
Go Bananas with Tilapia Fillets
Bananas and fish? This Frank guy who writes these recipes must be either wack or a culinary genius---the jury is still out on that issue. Well, bananas and white fish do go well together especially with the refreshing lime juice. There is certainly a lot going in this dish—sweet, savory, tart, and bold.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- 6 (4 ounce) Tilapia fillets
- 1/2 cup white wine (Sauvignon Blanc suggested, or pinot grigio is OK)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 bananas, sliced lengthwise
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter, then blend butter and flour until mixed. Stir in the milk. Cook, stirring constantly, until a thick sauce has formed.
- Spray a baking dish with Pam and then arrange Tilapia in a single layer in the dish. Next cover fish with the wine and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper. Pour 1/2 the sauce over the fish. Arrange bananas over the fish, and cover with remaining sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
- Bake 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until the cheese is lightly browned and the fish is easily flaked with a fork. Drain any of the remaining wine and lime juice mixture before serving.
Serve a salad made with Mr. Juice’s Cabbage Coleslaw and Marzetti’s Coleslaw Dressing or bottled Kraft Coleslaw dressing. The cabbage is a cruciferous green vegetable related to broccoli, the bananas are both a starch and a fruit, and the fish is a great protein source—viola you have a complete meal. Well, unless you consider dessert as an essential food group.
More of “Going Bananas” at Wohlner’s this Week
Bananas are on sale and here is a long list of flavorful dishes to make with them.
Recipes to try:
- Bananas Foster—The original recipe from Brennan’s in New Orleans RECIPE. One of my all time favorite desserts. If you don’t have banana liqueur don’t worry. The “dark rum” of choice for this recipe is Meyer’s Jamaican Rum.
- Bananas in Lime Syrup - RECIPE Best with Vanilla Ice Cream
- Bananas and Fish with Lime—wait, we did that with Tilapia, see above.
- Banana Muffins or Bread—Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Banana Bread and Muffins. I always make this as muffins but it is a good banana bread, too. The pecans are absolutely essential, imo, and be sure to toast them in the oven for a few minutes, but watch they don’t burn. RECIPE
- Banana Upside Down Cake: RECIPE.
- Banana and Pecan Pancakes: My Kid’s Favorite Pancakes! RECIPE
- French Toast Topped with Banana Caramel Pecan Syrup and Whipped Cream: Top your French Toast with the Banana Caramel Syrup in this RECIPE.
Banana Pecan Caramel Syrup for French Toast, Pancakes, Waffles
- 2 large bananas, peeled, divided
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
- 1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar, divided
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Cut 2 bananas into 1/4-inch-thick rounds.
- Combine melted butter, sugar, and water in heavy large skillet.
- Boil over medium-high heat until mixture thickens slightly, about 2 minutes.
- Stir in vanilla extract and sliced bananas.
- Remove syrup from heat.
Those rolled cookies from Pepperridge Farm filled with chocolate hazelnut cream. They are Secret Santa Gift people will want, festive cookies for the office and parties, and just plain good eating!!! These are a stocking stuffer in my family, that and a jar of Nutella.