Happy belated Valentine's Day to all! As I mentioned last year, we usually try to plan a getaway around Valentine's Day but it never works out. Without plans or reservations, we end up making a fancy meal at home which is always better and more relaxing than we could have wanted. This year, we had the best of both worlds! We actually managed to plan a last minute weekend getaway to the Bahamas, but were home in time to cook an elaborate Asian-themed meal for Valentine's Day. On the menu was tuna tartare, wild mushroom salad, and duck pizza.
The tuna tartare was everything I dreamed taste-wise, but it looked like a pile of soy vomit, for lack of better words. Without thinking of presentation, I marinated it in dark soy sauce which completely ruined the beautiful pink hue of the raw tuna. The tuna was mixed with avocado and should have created a gorgeous pink and green tower, but alas. I learned my lesson! Tartare requires clear marinades! I'll make it again in the future and post the recipe, but this one is going into the vault.
The mushroom salad was a simple mix of shiitake and oyster mushrooms served over greens with an Asian-inspired vinaigrette. Pictured below, but no recipe is really needed.
The hoisin duck pizza was the star of our evening. I will spare you the "before" pictures, but let's just say that I didn't realize when I bought a frozen unrecognizable ball of duck from the Asian market that, when thawed, it would be Mr. Quackers in full; duck bill, webbed feet, and all. Thankfully it was at least gutted for me. I had to learn my way around a meat cleaver right quick! Since I only needed the breast for the recipe, I saved the legs for another day. The carcass (neck and all) made duck stock which is sitting in my freezer. Not sure how good it will be but I'll let you know!
Anyway, to the pizza...
Friday, February 24, 2012
Monday, February 6, 2012
I made this soup last winter, took pictures of it because it was so delicious, then never got around to writing about it before the weather got warm! At that point, a hearty sausage-y soup lost out over more summery grill and salad recipes. But fear not; I made the soup again the other night and remembered how awesome it was, and how easy to throw together with ingredients that you probably already have. I usually keep a variety of meats and sausages in the freezer, and chickpeas always live in my cupboard. Feel free to use turkey sausage if you want to reduce the fat a little, but I'll keep the yummy spicy chorizo thank-you-very-much. The original recipe has you adding extra olive oil but I omitted that and instead used some of the rendered sausage fat to cook the onions. I didn't miss the oil one bit.