Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Dinner 2009

Some people make turkey for Christmas, but not me. If I never see turkey again, I'd be very happy! This holiday, my bird of choice was duck.

Meet Donald. I roasted him for 4 hours at 300°F and an additional hour at 350°F, after slashing through the skin all over. Most of the fat rendered out (and was greedily saved by me for cooking potatoes in the future) which resulted in crisp skin.

Donald was yummy.

While he was a-roasting, I prepared an appetizer of chicken-fried sweetbreads with lemon mayo.

Man, sweetbreads are a pain-in-the-tuckus to make. First they have to be soaked for a couple hours, then poached. Membrane-removal is next, followed by several hours of pressing. After all of that, I cut them into small pieces, dipped each one in seasoned flour, then beaten egg, then seasoned breadcrumbs, and shallow-fried them in canola oil. The lemon mayo was a simple concoction of 2 T mayo, the juice and grated rind of one half lemon, and a pinch of salt.

Overall, it was pretty good, although I feel I could have poached the sweetbreads just a tad longer. The texture I achieved wasn't quite as firm as the sweetbreads we ate at Volt.

The duck was a much easier preparation. I wanted to make a riff on Thai Luong's Basil Duck, so I mixed up a chunky sauce of sautéed onion, fresh basil, garlic, and a couple of tablespoons of Thai chile basil sauce.

The sides were a leek and mushroom fondue (leeks, fresh shiitake, dried chanterelle, and white mushrooms cooked in butter and olive oil until the leeks "melt" and the mushrooms are tender), and Jasmine rice.

Everything turned out deliciously, and I impressed even myself.

For dessert, I put to use some of the many cookies we had on hand and made ice cream sandwiches. This was accompanied by hot chocolate.

A shame Mr Minx and I had only one guest for Christmas dinner. It meant more food for us...which is not necessarily a good thing. [urp]


Dara Bunjon said...

Wish I could have been there. Love sweetbreads and duck. You are an amazing cook. I had lasagna that my bil made.

Nanc Twop said...

Next year I'll break out the skis and head your way - it all sounds 'delish'! *forgive me for channeling RRay*

And sweetbreads are a pain... so, since -anything- tastes great when
''dipped in seasoned flour, then beaten egg, then seasoned breadcrumbs, and shallow-fried'' you may want to just toss some figgy pudding in there and see what happens.


p.s. my verification word
was... squalpig. Think they link the vword to the blog content somehow?