Tag Archives: Holiday Recipe

Recipe: Duck Ragu with Pappardelle

Duck Ragu with Pappardelle

Duck Ragu with Pappardelle

The Duck Confit I made was used to make this dish: Duck Ragu with Pappardelle. This is what I served on Thanksgiving rather than turkey. It was a nice change of pace from the Thanksgiving norm.

The pulled duck and the ragu go great with the pappardelle to make a hearty dish that’s perfect for Fall and Winter.


  • Pulled duck meat from the Duck Confit recipe
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, minced
  • 1/4 cup carrots, minced
  • 1/4 cup celery, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Leaves from 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 6 TBSP unsalted butter
  • 1/2 lb. pappardelle
  • 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. In a deep skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot and celery and season with some salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until slightly softened (about 2 minutes).
  2. Reduce heat to medium, and continue cooking and stirring until browned (about 8 minutes).
  3. Duck Mix

    Duck with Carrots, Celery and Onion

  4. Add the rosemary and garlic and continue cooking until fragrant (about 1 minute).
  5. Add the duck meat and stir gently to coat with the vegetables.
  6. Add the wine and chicken stock and simmer until 3/4 cup of liquid remains (about 10-15 minutes).
  7. Remove from heat and stir in half of the butter. Cover and keep warm.
  8. In a large pot of water, cook the pappardelle until al dente, drain and drizzle with olive oil to prevent sticking. Add the pasta to the ragu and cook over medium heat, stirring gently, until simmering.
  9. Remove from the heat and stir in the mozzarella and remaining butter. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Pappardelle should be available in most supermarkets, but if it’s not, feel free to use a thick pasta of your choice. I would advise against using a thin pasta like angel hair or spaghetti. However, this dish is truly at its best when you use pappardelle.

Feel free to add in other veggies or use another cheese if you so desire. This is a great holiday/cold-weather dish that makes a complete meal.

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Posted by on November 29, 2011 in Cookin', Entrees


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Recipe: Duck Fat Potatoes with Caraway and White Onion

Red Potatoes

Red Potatoes

Potatoes and duck fat are a culinary match made in heaven. Some would argue (and they would be right) that the best thing to cook potatoes in is duck fat. The potato really takes in the flavor of the duck fat and the duck fat brings out the crispiness and earthiness of cooked potatoes.

Since I recently made Duck Confit, I was lucky enough to have rendered duck fat on hand. If you aren’t so lucky, you can order duck fat from specialty food stores or online.


  • 4 TBSP butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp caraway seeds
  • 2 TBSP rendered duck fat (plus extra for greasing the baking sheet)
  • 2 lb. red potatoes, unpeeled, cut into thin slices
  • 1 small white onion
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. Brush a foil-lined baking sheet with duck fat.
  3. Duck-Fat Potato Galette

    Duck-Fat Potato Galette

  4. Toast the caraway seeds in a small skillet over low heat until fragrant (2-3 minutes). Use a pestle or other blunt object to crush the seeds. Set aside in a large bowl.
  5. In the same bowl, add duck fat, 2 TBSP butter, 1 tsp salt and pepper. Add potatoes and toss to coat with duck fat and seasoning.
  6. Arrange a quarter of the potatoes in an even layer on the baking sheet. Place 1/3 of the onions over the potatoes. Repeat layering two more times, finishing with potatoes on top.
  7. Bake approximately 45 minutes until potatoes are tender. Brush top layer of potatoes with remaining butter and bake 5-10 minutes longer (until top layer is golden-brown).
  8. Remove from oven, season and serve on a platter.

This is a close to a perfect potato dish you can find. Forget baked potatoes, mashed potatoes and potato salad. This galette is what you need to serve this holiday season.

Splurge on the duck fat. You and your guests deserve it.

Finally, I was lucky enough to have some duck skin on hand. I broiled it to make duck skin cracklins and added them to this recipe. They really sent it over the top, but it’s still great without them.

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Posted by on November 27, 2011 in Cookin', Sides


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Recipe: Duck Confit

Duck Confit

Duck Confit

During the holiday season, if you’re looking for an alternative to turkey and ham, I highly encourage you to consider duck. Duck is one of the richest meats on the market and it’s become one of my favorite.

Making Duck Confit doesn’t require much. You just have to let the duck cook slowly in it’s own fat. Once it’s done, it should fall off the bone.


  • 4 duck legs with thighs
  • 4 duck wings
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 TBSP salt
  • 1 TBSP cracked black pepper
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 2 TBSP dried thyme
  • 1 cup rendered duck fat


  1. Preheat oven to 225F.
  2. Poke several holes in the duck pieces’ skins so the fat can breath.
  3. In a large skillet or dutch oven, place all seasoning, shallots and garlic in the bottom with the duck fat. Place in oven until duck fat is melted.
  4. Put in the duck pieces, skin side up and cook until the duck is tender and can be pulled from the bone (about 3 hours).
  5. Remove from oven, let cool, then serve. Save the duck fat.

Whatever you do, do not discard the duck fat! Duck fat is perfect for cooking potatoes, other vegetables or anything that you would normally use bacon grease for.

As for the duck meat, you can serve it however you choose — in a salad, with pasta, curry, etc. Duck is very versatile so the possibilities are nearly endless. Save a turkey, roast a duck.


Posted by on November 24, 2011 in Cookin', Entrees, Recipes


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Recipe: Salted Caramel Upside-Down Pecan Pie

Salted Caramel Upside-Down Pecan Pie

Salted Caramel Upside-Down Pecan Pie

Pecan pie is one of my favorite desserts, but this year, my goal was to create a recipe presenting a new take on a classic. I decided to make a version that uses a salted caramel instead of a maple syrup base. It’s also baked upside down in an iron skillet. I’m of the belief that all things cooked in an iron skillet turn out better.

With the holidays just around the corner, this pecan pie recipe is one worth trying. It’s sure to be a hit because of the salty/sweet balance.


  • 12 TBSP unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 cups pecan halves (about 1 pound)
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • Salted Caramel

    Making the Salted Caramel

  • 1 TBSP salt
  • 1 pre-made pie crust (thawed)


  1. In a 10-inch iron skillet over medium heat, melt butter, honey and sugars. Bring to a boil and boil for 4 minutes. Add in pecans and heavy cream and boil 3 more minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and set aside. Let cool about 30 minutes.
  3. Using a wooden spoon, mound pecans and caramel slightly in center of skillet, leaving space between pecans and edge of skillet.
  4. Preheat oven to 425F and place rack in the top third of oven.
  5. Roll out pie crust into a 13-inch circle. Place the crust over the skillet, tucking the dough down against the edge of the skillet and around the pecans.
  6. Place two baking sheets, one of top of the other, underneath the skillet to catch drippings while pie is baking. Place skillet in the oven and bake until dough is just turning golden brown (about 10 minutes.
  7. Reduce oven temp to 350F and continue baking until pie crust is cooked and the caramel is bubbling around the edges of the skillet (about 30 minutes).
  8. Remove the pie from the oven and let cool about 20 minutes.
  9. Salted Caramel Upside-Down Pecan Pie in the Oven

    The Pie in the Oven

  10. Carefully invert the pie onto a parchment-lined tray, baking sheet or directly on to serving plate. Do not invert into a pie dish, you should invert the pie onto a flat surface.
  11. If the pie does not release easily, heat the skillet over medium heat for about 30 seconds.
  12. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

You can always adjust the salt of this dish if you want something sweeter. I’m a big fan of salty/sweet dishes and this pie is the perfect blend. Especially, with the salty/sweet of the caramel pairing with the nuttiness and butteriness of the pecans.

Make this pie to wow your guests on Turkey Day.

Photos courtesy of Miguel Solorzano Photography.


Posted by on October 31, 2011 in Cookin', Desserts, Recipes


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