friend boyfriend of mine kindly not once but on two different occasions recently provided my cocktail-sipping self with much needed pizza delivered to my hand inside a bar (it was from the “outside”), and to thank him for not only 1. going to get it but 2. paying for it, I offered to cook him dinner. We drank a Sicilian white wine with the first two courses and a cabernet franc from Carmody McKnight in Paso Robles for the duck. There were also some bottles of cabernet sauvignon, but let’s not talk about that.
Beet SaladÂ – I used baby bitter greens (in this case, baby kale and arugula) and tossed it in my garlic-lemon-olive oil-salt-pepper dressing, roasted three small red beets in the oven (inside foil, with olive oil, salt, pepper for 1 hr at 400 degrees), peeled them and sliced them in wedges, and served it all up with a slice of the wonderful french goat cheese ($34.50/lb) Tomme Affinee Grandmere.Â The beets were still warm, but feel free to roast them in advance.
Pasta with Roast Tomato Sauce, Fried Eggplant & Mussels – I made fresh pasta, cut the noodles quite thin, dressed them in a food-processor sauce of two roasted heirloom tomatoes, roasted shallots, garlic, fresh thyme, fresh rosemary, salt, and pepper, and added several cloves of fresh garlic at the end, then topped it off with two slices of eggplant fried in olive oil (very thin) and two mussels for each serving.
Pan-seared Duck Breast with Rum Pears & Almond-shallot Risotto – I scored the duck breast in a diamond pattern, seared it fat side down on very high heat, flipped it over, threw the whole pan in the oven at 350 for a few minutes, took the duck out of the pan to rest, threw the pan back on the burner, tossed in sliced pears and let them brown,Â poured some rum in and let it reduce. Meanwhile, I made risotto with home made chicken stock, shallot, and onion, and at the end I mixed in some hazelnut oil, and toasted marcona and sliced almonds, along with some rum & amaratto soaked raisins.
We ate it right up.