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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Our Patchwork Peach/or Apple Cobbler, As I Remember

When we were children, my sister and I would throw together a wonderful, big cobbler (from memory) with a homemade crust.  We'd make apple cobblers during snow or ice storms in our gas oven when the electricity was out, and everyone would gather in the kitchen for warmth from the gas stove.  In the summer, we'd make peach cobbler, so juicy, and refreshing!  Sometimes we'd make homemade ice cream with the old hand-cranked ice cream maker to go with that cobbler.  Generally, making homemade ice cream was a social affair, with visiting relatives, and often it was peach ice cream.

My sister and I have racked our brains trying to remember how we made this cobbler.  I feel I've come close to it and made it even easier using prepackaged pie crusts.  I like it warm with vanilla ice cream or cold with whipped cream.  I prefer it cold, and I think it's actually better a couple of days later when served cold.  It keeps well in the fridge up to seven or more days.  It also freezes well.

Warm or cold, you'll find this cobbler delicious, satisfying and easy as pie!  Just in time for Memorial Day...make it a family or social affair!

Doesn't  Peach Cobbler Just Evoke Memories of Lazy Summer Days, Porches and Rocking Chairs...

Monday, May 16, 2011

My Guest Post on Tips For Food Blogging

I'm really flattered that Ben at Broke and Starving recently requested any advice from me for a start-up cooking blog.  On his post today, he has passed on some tips which I shared that I've learned since I've been food blogging.

I encourage you to visit Ben's unique website at Broke and Starving, where you'll find cost-saving, quick and easy, unordinary and delicious recipes for everyday meals.  I just crack up every time I look at his logo...isn't it so typical of sticking your head in the fridge and trying to find what you want? 

You are invited to comment on his post with any tips you may also have.

I've been working on a couple of new recipe posts which I think you'll love...look for them soon.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Crispy Roast Duck with Curry-Honey Glaze

I'm sharing with you one of my most treasured recipes, which I developed over the years utilizing Julia Child's method for a crispy duck and James Beard's fabulous curry-honey glaze. Their recipes are timeless!

You'll find this duck moist inside with a crispy exterior which has one of the best glazes you'll ever find. (I feel it's the best!) This duck will curl your, really it will...because you'll have your head in the oven so often!  But it's worth it, as turning the duck frequently is critical to achieving the crispy exterior.

                                      Not Just for Special Occasions!

One duck serves 2-4 people


For the Duck
  • one 4 1/2 - 5 1/2 lb duck - preferably under 6 mos. old (Shoot, I have no idea how old the last duck was that I bought, I can only tell you that it was fantastic!)
  • peeled small onion inserted with two clove stems
  • salt*
  • lemon juice*
  • pepper*

For the Glaze, mix together:
  • 4 TB honey
  • 1 1/2 TB curry powder


Thawing:  If frozen, thaw the duck in the refrigerator two days before cooking or unwrap and set in a sink filled with cold water to which you've added ice cubes. Change the water periodically.

Remove as soon as possible any giblets--checking both ends of the duck. (Maybe you can use the giblets in another recipe such as a soup--I just toss them.)

Prep for Roasting:  Pull out all the loose fat from the cavity of the duck and around the inside of the neck.  To make carving easier, cut out the wishbone from the inside neck cavity.  Chop the lower part of the wings off at the elbows (it's only bone).  Be sure the fat glands on the back and at the base of the tail have been removed; dig out any yellow residue remaining and rub the area with salt and lemon juice*.

Dry the duck thoroughly and season the cavity with salt and pepper*.  Place the onion with the cloves in the cavity.  Truss the duck with the wings and legs close to the body and the cavity closed.

Using a sharp paring knife, prick the skin at 1/2" intervals along the thighs, the back and the lower part of the breast.  If you are not ready to cook immediately, wrap and refrigerate the duck, then let it come to room temperature before roasting.

Roasting:  (Allow approximately 1/2 hr., plus or minus, per lb. to roast.)  Preheat the oven to 450º.  Set the duck breast side up on a rack in an uncovered roasting pan.  Leaving the duck in the oven, after 15 minutes, turn the oven down to 350º.  Then turn the duck from one side to the other every 15 minutes.

After the duck has roasted for 55 minutes, remove it from the oven and brush well with some of the curry and honey glaze mixture. Return the duck to the oven and continue turning it every 15 minutes, adding the glaze each time until it is all used.  Keep roasting and turning the duck every 15 minutes until done. 

To tell when the duck is done, prick the thickest part of the drumstick deeply with a fork...the juices should run faintly rosy to clear in color; and when the duck is drained, the last drops of juice from the vent should run faintly rosy to clear yellow in color. Also, the temperature should register 180º at the thigh joint and the legs should move freely.

                                                You Deserve it!

When ready to serve:  Remove and discard the onion.  Cut the duck into halves or quarters with poultry shears. (This is another recipe I just use my beloved surgery scissors!).

Serve with yellow or long grain and wild rice, chutney and a nice salad.  You'll feel so gratified as you watch your guests "tear into it"!  So wonderful! Enjoy!

Printable Recipe