Your Life A to Z Recipe: Monday, January 27th, 2014: Seared Duck Breast with Cherries and Port Sauce with Bittersweet Chocolate Souffles

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Your Life A to Z Recipe: Monday, January 27th, 2014

By: Chef Maggie Norris

Pan-Seared Duck Breast
Bob Blumer
Servings: 6

6 (6-ounce) boneless duck breasts
Dried Cherry Salsa

Procedure:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Place the duck skin side up. Using a sharp knife, score 4 (1/4-inch-deep) cuts across the skin at a 45 degree angle. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper over the meat side of each duck breast.
  • Heat a well-seasoned skillet or nonstick pan over high heat. When pan is hot, add duck breasts, skin side down, and cook for 5 minutes, or until skin is brown and crispy. Flip and cook for 2 more minutes. If you are unfamiliar with duck breasts, don't be put off by their unusual look. The fat-to-meat proportions reverse themselves when cooked, as much of the fat is rendered and the meat expands.
  • Remove pan from heat and transfer duck breasts to the oven.   Bake on the top rack of the oven for 6 minutes.
  • Remove duck from the oven and let rest.  Slice each breast at a 45 degree angle into 1/4-inch-thick strips (properly cooked duck should resemble medium-rare steak). Arrange in a fanlike pattern on a warmed plates and spoon Dried Cherry Salsa atop the duck breasts.

Bittersweet Cocoa Souffle with Orange Blossom Cream
Alice Medrich
Servings: 4

Ingredients:
1/4 cup plus 1 ½ teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoons whole milk
1/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder (spooned into cup to measure, then leveled)
1 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large egg whites
Pinch of cream of tartar
1 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate (do not exceed 61% cacao), finely chopped Orange Blossom Cream

Procedure:

  • Butter eight 2/3-to 3/4-cup ramekins or custard cups; dust with sugar, completely coating to top edge. Whisk 1/4 cup sugar, flour, and pinch salt in small saucepan. Pour 1/3 cup milk into measuring cup; whisk enough milk from cup into saucepan to form thick paste (2 to 3 tablespoons), then gradually whisk in remaining milk from cup. Stir over medium- low heat until bubbles begin to form around edges of pan. Continue cooking until slightly thickened, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes longer.
  • Transfer mixture to large bowl. Add cocoa powder, remaining 1 tablespoons milk, egg yolks, and vanilla; stir until smooth, thick paste forms. Using electric mixer, beat egg whites and cream of tartar in medium bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in remaining sugar, beating on high speed until firm peaks form. Add 1⁄4 of whites to chocolate mixture; fold to blend. Add remaining beaten egg whites and chopped chocolate and fold until whites are just blended into batter.
  • Divide batter among prepared ramekins; place on rimmed baking sheet. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.
  • Position rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 375°F. Bake soufflés until puffed above rim of ramekin and toothpick inserted into center comes out with thick batter attached, about 12 minutes (15 minutes for chilled soufflés). Using spoon, form small indentation in top of each soufflé; spoon dollop of Orange Blossom Cream into indentations. Serve immediately.

Orange Blossom Cream
Alice Medrich
Yields: 1 cup

Ingredients:
1/2 cup chilled heavy whipping cream
2 ½ teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon finely grated orange peel
1/2 teaspoon orange-flower water

Procedure:

  • Using electric mixer, beat all ingredients in medium bowl until peaks form.