It’s going to be a busy week for me– scheduled six days straight to help cover a staff taking vacation days, no car to rely on (long story revolving around a needed $3000 repair estimate on a car we have decided ain’t worth the expense such that, in the meantime! I bike everywhere and wife walks) so on this Friday, after biking off to Cafe Tribu to relax and read, visit Escapist Comics to visit with the folks there, drop in at Pegasus Books to see if any new cookbooks showed up, and finally buying ingredients at the original Berkeley Bowl, it was time to hit the kitchen.

First, the dishes–I can’t begin cooking without a clean and tidy sink…which is very unlike me historically, but…yes, folks change.

Turn on the house furnace–the house is cold from the recent weather snap, so I need to get comfortable. Also–turn on the tv, use the Roku controller to tech up some tunes off of Pandora, and oh yeah…celebrate that I’ve dropped 1.8 pounds this past week. A good day.

The Plan? Glorious, but I’m pushing it, I know, and am not certain I’ll get to all of these. Some are directly for tonight’s dinner, others simply snackables for a few days.

Sweet and Salty Nut Brittle
-you got to starts with dessert to get that out of the way (this will end up at the Bowl for snacks)
Espresso-Hazelnut Bark
-oops, don’t think I’ll get to this in the time I have, but will try (but look, I did!)

Here’s another shot of it broken up into pieces–rich, bright with espresso notes.

Peppery Duck Steaks with Parsley Salad
-hell, got to get to this one–its actual dinner for tonight!
Here’s how it looked while cooking…

Crispy Potato Galette
-made this before with mixed success…here’s hoping (and yeah, it worked out very nicely)

Cucumber Spears with Dill
-just a snacky thing to have around


Winter Minestrone
-the longest shot of all…but ingredients can wait till another day soon…never happene!

The complete dinner came out great–the duck breast (a Pekin duck) was almost a pound and was just a little under the $8.99 a pound–fresh, too. The interesting thing about duck breast is that you treat it not as poultry, but as beef–usually best served rare or medium rare. This steak was marinated with salt and crushed peppercorns along with a bit of garlic paste. Seared in a cast iron pot for 6-7 minutes, about 2-3 minutes on the other. My wife looked askance at the heavy amount of pepper on it but made a face like having an orgasm while she ate it. Can’t tell you how much I love that.

The parsley salad was treated with lemon, olive oil, garlic and besides salt and pepper had a big of Parmesan reggiano shavings as well. The potato galette was fried in the skillet briefly and baked to a finish in a 400F oven.

Great meal. We think it was a great run through for a soon-to-come post Christmas get together which will feature this dish.

God I love duck!