Sometimes, you have an idea what's going to get you in trouble. Other times, it's totally a left field kind of thing. Way out there.
I should have known that this was going to be "one of those".
It started innocently enough. The Karate Kid mentioned that The Runner Girl was not going to like me cooking duck and she shook her head at me in that adorable way only a teen-aged girl can.
These types of conversations happen often enough in the house. I usually ignore them and push ahead - chances are good that whatever objection is out there will eventually fade.
Sometimes. Not so much.
I really thought I would be home free - because The Karate Kid is the fussy eater. And she approved. The Runner Girl will eat almost anything (except for fish & seafood).
The guilt trip went on for quite a while.
Somehow, we eventually made it through dinner. And everyone ate. WHEW.
I am going to be frank here. This was a dinner that I agonized over. I wish I had the natural flair that some are blessed with - knowing exactly what goes with what. That's not me. Totally not me (kind of like that missing artsy-crafty gene).
Duck is not something that normally appears on the table. And because this was already a 2nd mortgage kind of dinner, I didn't want to screw things up - I was very nervous about what to pair it with... Enter The Flavor Bible. This has become my "go to" guide for figuring out what to do with food items I am not familiar with (and there are many...) (and for new options on the "same old"). People like me need help with these things and it is comforting to know that there is help to be had - based off the recommendations of people who have a clue.
Fortunately, the pairings for duck included: pear, fennel, squash (see where I am going?) - this meant that next week's spiced squash, fennel & pear soup was a fit. The list also noted rice & dried apricots - oohhh - jewelled rice - perfect.
And chestnuts. I had a jar of chestnut cream that I procured from a trip to Chelsea Market this summer - just waiting for the perfect occasion. What better occasion than a 2nd mortgage dinner? Chocolate-chestnut cream cake for dessert (which was killer - future post fodder, I am sure).
I really don't mean to come off showy or anything - I was just tickled pink with how everything came together. It all just worked. Now if only the holidays had the potential to work out just as well...
Dorie's recipe for Twenty Minute Honey Glazed Duck Breasts can be found here. This was a simply elegant preparation; however, since I don't feel like taking out a 3rd mortgage I don't foresee this as a revolving menu item at Chez Cher...
This post participates in French Fridays with Dorie. Because what's more French than casual duck? Seriously.