dinner 03.23.13

As you can tell by the date, I’m pretty far back.
This was Fatboy’s “surprise” dinner for his birthday, but he ended up helping with a few dishes.

Everything was either purchased through work or Costco, so pretty low budget but with full flavours and fun making it.

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Dr. Loossen – Riesling

If you don’t know what to pick for Rieslings, go for a German one, they make the best Rieslings so you can’t go wrong with them. A really good one is Dr. Loosen, the price is reasonable and the taste is well rounded that anyone can enjoy.

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Foie Gras and Mixed Greens

First appetizer we have here is pan fried foie gras. Trick here is to not cook it for too long, and be warned, it is VERY oily so make sure you have a lid in hand. Your whole house will smell of yummy foie gras goodness after you’re finished. Best way to store foie gras is to cut it into individual servings and keep it in the freezer. Take it out the night before, and cook each side for about a minute or two, depending on how thick you cut it. The salad itself is just a mixed green purchased from Costco. vinaigrette I cooked shallots down in the remaining foie gras oil, added a bit of balsamic vinegar with salt and pepper, then added extra pepper, cherry tomatoes and goat cheese.

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Smoked Salmon

Once again, from Costco. Pretty straight forward and easy to do, just squeeze a little bit of lemon, olive oil is optional, and enjoy with salad.

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Stella Bay; fresh shucked oysters with cocktail sauce

These were shucked by Fatboy, since he’s better at it than I am. Makes it easier if you have an actual oyster shucking knife for an easier job. Stella Bay is a pretty friendly oyster. Medium to small in size, clear, crisp flavours and easy on the wallet.

Just like me, Fatboy just eyes the amount that he puts in for his dishes. The cocktail sauce is nothing fancy, but I think it’s better than most out there. Start off with Heinz Ketchup with Tabasco, then continue to taste and add white vinegar, minced garlic cloves and simple sugar syrup until it is to your liking. Finish with a little bit of lemon and extra tabasco.

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Pan Seared Duck Breast; with bell peppers, roasted pineapple & habanero sauce

Even though it looks pretty bloody in the picture, it was just right.

The main course, duck breast! To prepare, defrost and score the fatty side, make sure not to cut into the meat. Then season both sides thoroughly with salt and pepper, then on the fat side, load up thyme and chopped fresh rosemary. Cook it on the skin side first, as oil starts to come out, add shallots, garlic cloves, and sprigs of rosemary into it. Close the lid, and let it cook for about 12-15mins.

Tilt the pan a little and move the duck breast on top, away from all the oil and heat. Using a spoon, baste the meat side with the infused oil. Drain out the oil, and put the duck on the other side and turn off the heat, this should render it medium rare. If you end up needing to reheat the breast or cook it more thoroughly, do NOT cook it on the meat side. Instead, place it back on the skin and cook on low, or else you would end up with an over cooked breast.

As for the side dish, I chopped up orange and yellow bell peppers, I think it was the yellow one that was sweeter, did a quick blanch and threw them in cold water to preserve the vibrant colours and crispy texture. With no seasoning, just add the Roasted Pineapple & Habanero sauce from Costco, it is to die for. The actual company name is Robert Rothschild Farm, the taste is very sweet with just a hint of habanero right at the end. Perfect for spreads or sauces.

That night was a success, aside from the pile of dishes neither of us wanted anything to do with.

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