Apr 5, 2010

easter lunch & bunny

we had some lamb in the freezer but there were also 2 mallards that the great white hunter (certain someone) got last fall. we thought it was time to do something with the birds. also, although i don't have anything against chopping and such, i wanted to keep preparations to a minimum, therefore the menu was quite simple.

for a starter i made pears with blue cheese. found an inspirational recipe in the martha stewart living cookbook, the original classics, click here for that recipe. as there was only three of us for lunch (certain someone's mom was the third) i didn't want a huge starter, therefore not a whole wheel of camembert but just a tiny bit of very mild blue cheese. let me make one thing clear, the brandy was for the dressing, not for the cook

started by peeling and dicing one (very ripe) pear, then sauteed it in 1 tbsp butter (who said this would be light...) for a couple of minutes on medium heat, then added 1 tbsp of brandy and sauteed for another minute.

meanwhile, i tore up some romaine lettuce, divided it on 3 plates, placed 2 slices of blue cheese on each plate, then divided the diced pear among the 3 plates. then returned the pan to medium heat, added 1 tbsp of honey and 2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar, brought that to a boil and poured on pears.

some of you might have noticed the walnuts in the previous picture... well, my intention was to garnish the plates with them but i sort of forgot...

these dried funnel chanterelles got soaked and used in a risotto

these went into my risotto, the soaked mushrooms, red onion (yellow onion would have looked nicer) butter and white wine, among chicken stock, etc

cooked the risotto almost according to package instructions, quite nice if i may say so myself (could also be the amount of butter and cream in it...)

and now the main event, the mallards. certain someone had plucked them before freezing but they still needed some tidying up. i had not eaten, let alone cooked mallard before so this was adventurous

i had checked several cookbooks and we decided on first browning the birds on pan in butter, then cooking them in 200C oven on a roasting pan with an onion, carrot and some brown stock, turning occasionally and basting with the stock. the only seasoning was some salt and pepper inside the birds

i have no idea how it should have looked, ours turned out like this. i think for an ultimate presentation all the stubbs of feathers should have been removed before cooking. but as we were not going to eat the skin anyway (it was there just to make sure the meat would not dry up) it was fine. the meat tasted like very mild game, and was very tender, so i guess we managed to cook it fairly well. certain someone may try his luck again in august when the next season for mallards and such start

mini-plum tomatoes and leek salad, white balsamic vinegar, olive oil, little salt and pepper as dressing

steamed cauliflower with little butter, black pepper and sugar

lahey's no-knead bread

it is so good. if you think you don't know how to bake a bread, give it a try, you'll amaze yourself, honestly

the chocolate cupcakes (slightly warmed in the oven) and old-fasnioned vanilla ice cream, and port wine

the dog thoroughly enjoyed certain someone's mother's attention

the easter bunny made a surprise (and compassionate) visit

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