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January 25, 2005



What elegant menus! I recently had a very similar beet salad, except it had gorgonzola instead of goat cheese. It was amazing. And I would definitely go with the butternut squash over delicata. As for the duck... count me OUT! =)


LOL! Well, that one is a menu for carnivores -- but I also enjoy cooking meat-free on occasion. Why butternut over delicata? I love delicata, it's just not always easy to find.


Your brothers b/day menu sounds lovely, especially the chocolate cake with mocha ice cream, great combo.
What's nice is that the meal is so light, you'll really be able to enjoy the dessert! Very important.

Did you see Nigella's roast duck
recipe, in the NY Times last Wed.? You could change the blueberry sauce, but the roasting method seems fairly painless.
Both desserts sound nice,but the almond cake seems more suitable with "fancier" meal!


Here's a little comment about duck from Nigel Slater:

But we shouldn't forget the other January Seville classic - duck a l'orange. This week I bought the plumpest duck ever from my butcher, and for once managed to roast it so that its breast stayed sweetly moist. A little sauce on the side made from onion, carrot and celery, stock, grated Seville orange zest (if the oranges are very bitter then I use only one or two of these, with the bulk made up with the 'ordinary' Spanish oranges), a dash of Grand Marnier and the juice and zest of a couple of Sevilles is enough to make you wonder why this dish has fallen so dramatically from grace. It's one I look forward to every year.

The only sad part about it is that after several years of eating roast duck I have to finally admit that even the biggest, fattest, most waddly duck is really only a meal for two. There is always a temptation to get a third portion out of it and it is always a mistake. Better a feast for two with a bit left over for cold than a squabble between three.


Ernie, thanks so much for your kind comments -- I did see both the Nigella recipe for duck, and the Nigel Slater blurb -- because you were considerate enough to post them both at Nigella's Kitchen! I wish Nigel Slater said a little more about how he roasted his duck. I'm definitely going to follow his advice about quantity, and make 2 ducks for the 4 of us.

I'm thinking to try roasting it Nigella's way, although the blueberry sauce sounds too sweet for me. I want to try something more like Slater's sauce, with the possible addition of cranberries for tartness (since we don't really get Seville oranges here). Amanda Hesser's book also has a recipe for ginger duck -- but that one is boiled until it practically falls apart, then roasted until crisp. Sounds like a bit too much cooking!

Anyway, thanks for your suggestions. I think I'll either go with the Amanda Hesser almond cake recipe for the second menu or maybe I'll finally get to the Damp Lemon and Almond Cake...

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