Carrot Top Pesto

Surprising

Surprising

Normally I use carrot fronds in stocks but this is a really tasty way to use them as well.

Use only the leaves for this and make sure the fronds are really fresh, like out of your garden or from a farm that morning. Otherwise the pesto will be way too bitter.

Adjust lemon juice, cheese and pepper to taste.

Carrot Top Pesto

  • 5-6 large cloves garlic
  • 7 cups firmly packed carrot fronds
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup grated Romano
  • Olive oil
  • Black pepper

Roast garlic in two tablespoons olive oil in oven wrapped in foil until golden at 350 degrees. Place garlic in a blender with oil then add carrot fronds two cups at a time with enough oil to blend into a smooth paste. Continue adding fronds and oil until everything is blended. Scoop into a bowl and add remaining ingredients. Taste for seasoning and serve just like pesto. Store in refrigerator.

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Duck and Apple Crepes

There really thin pancakes

They are really thin pancakes

So maybe there is some left over seared duck breasts in the refrigerator and maybe the sage plant is producing giant leaves like crazy.

Time for breakfast, or dinner.

Go here for the crepe batter and how to make them.

Duck, Apple and Sage Crepes

  • 2 seared wild duck breasts cut into small dice
  • 6 large sage leaves cut into thin ribbons
  • 1 apple cored and cut into small dice
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 8 cooked crepes

Melt 2 tbsp butter in a frying pan and saute apples until golden. Add sage and saute until wilted then add duck and quickly mix into apples. Remove from heat. Spoon 1 1/2 tbsp mixture into center of a crepe. Top with a thin slice of butter and roll up. Place in a greased baking pan and continue with remaining crepes. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Serve with fresh fruit.

Here is a photo of some sage leaves about to be dried.

That is a large serving dish for size comparison

That is a large serving dish for size comparison

 

 

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Mint Julep

The mint is in

The mint is in

Bourbon has been on super sale at one of our favorite liquor stores and our mint plants are already beginning to take off. We think this might be our drink of the summer. But no we don’t plan to buy the glasses made just for this concoction anytime soon. Our cabinets already runneth over.

Mint Julep

  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 5 mint leaves
  • 1 tbsp simple syrup

Tear four mint leaves and mix with simple syrup in the bottom of a tumbler using a muddler or back of a spoon (or mint julep cup if you have one.) Add crushed ice and bourbon. Garnish with mint leaf.

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Duck Breasts in Orange Sauce

That looks so tender

That looks so tender

Here is a really quick and fancy way to serve wild or farm raised duck. Juice the oranges, do not buy orange juice.

Seared Duck Breasts with Orange

  • 8 wild duck breasts or 4 farm raised some fat trimmed off
  • 1 tbsp finely minced ginger
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 oz Grand Marnier
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp butter if using wild duck

Melt butter in a frying pan large enough to hold all duck in one layer. Add ginger and fry until fragrant then add duck and sear breasts on each side until very rare over medium high heat. If using farm raised sear fat side of breasts, then add ginger and sear other side. Add liquor and light on fire. Saute meat until fire goes out then remove to a dish and add juice and balsamic to pan. Bring to a simmer and reduce by half. Place meat back into sauce with any juices on plate and quickly coat in sauce. Serve immediately drizzled with pan sauce.

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Salmon and Red Pepper Quiche

That is a flaky pie crust

That is a flaky pie crust

The sweetness of the roasted red bell peppers and the smoky salmon really elevate this quiche.

As does the cream and cheese.

Salmon and Red Bell Pepper Quiche

  • 1 pie crust
  • 8 oz smoked salmon chopped fine
  • 1 red bell pepper sliced in half and seeded
  • 1 cup swiss cheese shredded
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill chopped fine
  • salt/pepper

Broil pepper until skin is charred, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool, then remove skin and chop flesh into small dice. Bake pie crust at 375 degrees until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Beat eggs, cream and dill until light golden. Add half of salmon, chopped pepper and all cheese to egg mixture and mix well. Layer remaining pepper and salmon on bottom of pie crust then pour egg mixture over. Place back in oven at 365 degrees and bake until custard sets and is cooked through about 45 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes before slicing.

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Scofflaw

That is a lot of red for a drink that is not even orange in color

That is a lot of red for a drink that is not even orange in color

Here is another great way to enjoy bourbon.

For those who do not know simple syrup is 1 part water and 1 part sugar brought to a boil and then cooled.

Scofflaw

  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 1 oz dry vermouth
  • 1/4 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • 2 dashes agnostura bitters

Pour everything into a shaker filled with ice. Agitate and serve.

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Grit Cakes with Spicy Cheese Sauce

Mmmmmmmm cheese sauce

Mmmmmmmm cheese sauce

Here is another way to use grits. Any sauce can be poured over the cakes and they work as well as polenta with most meats.

Of course a heavy cheese sauce is always a good way to go.

Grit Cakes

  • 1/2 cup regular grits
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup romano grated

Bring water, salt pepper and butter to a simmer then add grits. Whisk until smooth, then cook over low heat until thick stirring constantly. Add cheese mix well and pour grits on to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and smooth out until 1/2″ thick evenly. Let set until cool, then cut into squares and refrigerate at least 1 hour. Can be made the day before. When ready to cook, heat a griddle to medium, grease with butter and fry cakes straight out of the refrigerator until browned on both sides. Serve hot or cold.

Spicy Cheese Sauce 

  • 2 cups cheddar shredded
  • 2 cups monterey jack shredded
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 4 pickled jalapenos diced
  • 1/4 cup onion finely diced
  • 1/2-1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • Hot sauce

Mix cheese with flour in a bowl. Melt butter over medium heat and saute onion until golden brown. Add peppers and cheese and quickly melt cheese stirring often. Add enough cream to get sauce to a thick but pourable consistency and add more hot sauce to adjust seasoning. Serve over whatever suits you.

Posted in Appetizers, Breakfast, Food, Recipes, Sides, vegetarian | Tagged , , | 6 Comments