Sunday, November 11, 2012

Duck Breast, Sweetcorn Puree, Wild Mushrooms

I haven't cooked with duck breast for a while and have to say that I missed it. Duck is such a beautiful product, the flavor is amazing. It has some gaminess to it, but is not overpowering. It is a strong meat, dark red in color and therefore is best eaten medium to medium rare.

Of course the cooking point is always something one can debate. For me personally a good cut of red meat should be eaten medium rare, except a rib eye which is best consumed medium. Why?? Because there is a lot of fat in it and if the temperature is too low, the flavor won't develop and it is not nice to eat. But then of course on the other side, if a guest, friend or fiance would like to have their meat more cooked (or less), it is no problem. From a chef point I feel that it is my duty (and to a certain extend pleasure) to cook the meat to exactly the cooking point wanted. If somebody doesn't like blood in the meat, this person doesn't like blood in the meat and it is not up to me telling that person that this is not good......because it is good, it is the way that person enjoys the meat best.

So, after all this long story, cook the duck the way you like it, not the way I like it, because I want you to enjoy your meal.

Today I made my duck breast with a sweet corn puree, marinated red cabbage, rosemary potatoes and a berry jus. Duck pairs well with sweet items like sweet corn or the red cabbage which is marinated with red wine, sugar, honey, cinnamon, onions, apples and more. I have added some berries to the jus (gravy) to give it a bit of a different flavor.

Lastly a tip when you cook the duck breast. You won't need any fat to cook it. I usually take a non stick pan, heat it up and then fry the breast skin down. You will see, within no time there is a lot of fat in the pan. Be careful with the heat, as it takes a bit time for the heat to penetrate through the fat and cook the meat, if the breast is not long enough on the skin side, it will still be undercooked under the skin. I like the skin crispy, so it takes good 5 to 7 minutes on the skin side, then I turn the breast around and finish it off under a salamander or the oven with more top heat.

When the meat is cooked I let it rest. You should do that with every red meat, the resting will help that the juices stay in the meat and don't just run out as soon as you cut it. As a rule of thumb, you let the meat rest in a warm place for the same amount of time you cooked it....ok, with a big piece of meat you don't have to wait that long, but 10 to 15 minutes is the best time.

2 Kg Duck breast
1 Kg Sweet corn
0.5 L Cream
1.3 Kg Potatoes
0.1 l Olive oil
0.05 Kg Rosemary

1 Kg Red Cabbage
0.5 L Red wine
0.25 Kg Onions
0.25 Kg Apples
0.1 L Cider Vinegar
0.05 Kg Honey
0.05 Kg Sugar
0.5 L Orange juice
0.1 Kg Cepes
0.1 Kg Chanterelles
0.1 Kg Oyster mushrooms
0.1 Kg Shimeji mushrooms
0.1 Kg Trumpet mushrooms
0.05 Kg Garlic
0.1 Kg Shallots
0.15 Kg Butter
0.05 Kg Parsley
Demi Glace

Marinate the red cabbage with all ingredients and let it covered in the fridge for 24 hours
Braise slowly till most liquid is gone

Boil the sweet corn till soft and most liquid gone
Add cream, boil for another 10 minutes
Blend to a smooth puree

Cut the skin of the duck breast in criss cross
Fry on the skin side till golden brown and crispy
Turn around and leave the pan on the side.

Clean the mushrooms, then saute with garlic, shallots and butter, season to taste

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