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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Pumpkin It Up!

How festive it all looks, does it not? This distinctly autumnal cocktail perpetrated by pumpkin puree makes an appearance as time-appropriate as changing leaves at the wonderful Cuba in Manhattan, via veteran bartender Eduardo Tavares. Instead of the panela syrup, which may be difficult to find, I used Crown medium amber maple syrup. How fall-tastically novel! 

Here's what to when creating this seasonal sipper, with a few of my suggestions slipped in:

Pumpkin Raspado Cocktail
2 oz Appleton estate rum
2 oz pumpkin puree
1 oz fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 oz Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
1 oz splash of lemon juice
1 oz panela syrup
Wet the rim of a gorgeously fashioned, chilled martini glass with half of a lemon wedge and roll it gently over the rosemary. Pour the rest of the ingredients into a shaker filled with crushed ice and shake well. Strain into glass, garnish with a sprig of rosemary perhaps, as well as a wheel of lime--and do enjoy! 


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Murdery Delicious Duck Breast

I'm sure I've said this before--it is truly amazing what you might discover lurking in your very own pantry, cupboards and freezer. There it was before me, a perfectly good duck breast in my freezer! But what to do with it? I thought of my novel, The Murdery Delicious Hamwich Gumm Mystery that features a number of creepily written recipes that anticipate the action in the unfolding fiendishly hilarious drama. I wrote them with tongue firmly planted in cheek but they are actually viable dishes to make. So here I present a variation of A Recipe for Bloodcurdling Duck Breast with Red Wine Sauce that I created from ingredients I that I already had on hand. It was so delicious indeed and utterly fowl-tastic. A soupcon of ingenuity is always the best ingredient in any kitchen concoction.

Murdery Delicious Duck Breast
(Figure on one duck breast per ghoulish guest)

Several Barolo wine-soaked figs from a jar, quartered
1 cup or so of dry white wine from an already opened bottle
1 cube of porcini broth dissolved in two cups of hot water
1/2 TB ground cinnamon
4 TB butter
1/2 large white onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 fistful of dried Polish mushrooms
1 tsp ground ginger
1 6 oz duck breast
1 TB olive oil

Melt butter and add olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic gently. Add figs and mushrooms. Pour in broth and simmer, reducing the liquid. Pat the duck breasts with a generous amount of salt and pepper on all sides a put in skillet, skin side down. Flip once until duck has achieved an internal temperature of 135 degrees for medium-rare. Let duck rest for ten minutes, covered in foil and then serve perhaps with roasted potatoes and green beans. And don't neglect the rest of the wine!