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The Mid-Range Party: Strings Attached

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Bringing Home the Wow
David Burke’s high-drama menu.

The Menu

• Scrambled Eggs With Lobster and Caviar Served Ostrich Style
WINE: Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut NV
• Sashimi of Tuna on Salt Bricks With Bonito Flakes and a Muscat Vinaigrette
WINE: Nigl Grüner Veltliner Kremser Freiheit 2004
• Roasted Maple- Lacquered Duck With Corn-Cranberry Pudding, Candied Kumquats, Cider-Vinegar Sauce, and Braised Swiss Chard
WINE: Rozak “Rozak Ranch” Pinot Noir 2003
• Kir Royale Panna Cotta
WINE: Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut NV

Roasted Maple-Lacquered Duck With Corn-Cranberry Pudding, Candied Kumquats, and Cider-Vinegar Sauce


DUCK
3 female Muscovy ducks with head and feet on (about 4 pounds) (available from D’Artagnan; 800-327-8246)

DUCK MARINADE
3 cups soy sauce
1 1/2 cups maple syrup
4 1/2 tablespoons black pepper, crushed
4 1/2 tablespoons smashed garlic

Trim excess fat from each duck (especially from breast) and score the skin in a crosshatch pattern.

Mix all the marinade ingredients together with 3 cups of water. Place the ducks and marinade in a large plastic bag; close the bag, and marinate for two days in the refrigerator, rotating the ducks several times.

Preheat the oven to 350. Remove the ducks from the marinade, and place them on a wire rack in a roasting pan; allow them to come to room temperature. Cover with aluminum foil, and place in the oven. Roast the ducks for about 2 hours or until the skin is crisp and an instant thermometer reaches 165 degrees when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh. If the skin is not crisping, remove the aluminum foil for the last 15 minutes of roasting. Garnish the ducks with candied kumquats and serve with the corn-cranberry pudding, braised Swiss chard, and the cider-vinegar sauce.

CANDIED KUMQUATS
2 pints (or 24–36 pieces)
kumquats
1 1/2 pounds sugar

Poke small holes in each kumquat with a fork. Add 8 cups water and the sugar to a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Add the kumquats, and simmer for 1–1 1/4 hours until the liquid becomes syrupy. Leave the kumquats in the syrup to cool. Reserve the syrup for the cider-vinegar sauce.

CIDER-VINEGAR SAUCE
2 tablespoons butter
2 shallots, minced
1/2 bay leaf
1 thyme sprig
3/4 cup reserved kumquat syrup
1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
1/4 cup demi-glace
2 cups chicken stock

Melt the butter in a sauté pan, add the shallots, bay leaf, and thyme, and cook for 1 minute. Add the kumquat syrup and reduce until it turns a caramel color. Add the cider vinegar and reduce by half; then add the demi-glace and stock, and reduce until it forms a saucelike consistency. Strain the sauce, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Adjust the sweet-acid balance with vinegar and syrup, if necessary. Add some of the kumquats to the sauce, and garnish the duck with the remaining fruit.

CORN-CRANBERRY PUDDING
1 12-ounce bag cranberries
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 1/2 cups milk
2 eggs, beaten
2 egg whites
1 tablespoon melted butter plus additional butter for ramekins

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter eight 8-ounce ramekins.

Add the cranberries, 1 cup water, and ∏ cup sugar to a small saucepan, bring to a boil, and cook until the cranberries are soft and start to split. Drain and set aside.

Add the flour, cornmeal, 3/4 cups sugar, salt, and baking powder to a large mixing bowl and stir together. In another bowl, beat together the milk, whole eggs, and butter, and slowly stir into the dry ingredients until it forms a smooth batter. Whip the egg whites until soft peaks form and gently fold into the batter, followed by the drained cranberries. Pour the batter into ramekins, set on a baking sheet, and bake 25 minutes, or until firm and golden.

Kir Royale Panna Cotta
1 bottle champagne
5 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons powdered gelatin (2 envelopes)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 vanilla bean
2 cups raspberries


GARNISH
1 cup raspberries

Reduce the champagne in a saucepan set over medium heat to 1 cup. Pour 1 cup cream in a bowl and sprinkle with the powdered gelatin and leave for 5 minutes. Add the remaining cream to a medium saucepan with the reduced champagne, and ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the cream. Heat gently until the sugar dissolves and the vanilla infuses into the mixture. Add the gelatin mixture and heat until warm, stirring so that the gelatin dissolves. Strain the mixture into a bowl and set over an ice bath to cool slightly, stirring frequently.

Crush 1 cup of raspberries with 2 tablespoons sugar and allow to macerate for a few minutes. Put 1 tablespoon of the fruit in the bottom of 8 martini or champagne glasses. Pour the champagne-cream mixture gently over the raspberries, and place the glasses in the refrigerator to set for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Put 1 cup raspberries and 2 tablespoons sugar in a blender and purée until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve and set coulis aside. Just before serving, when the panna cotta has set, pour a little coulis over the top to cover the surface completely, and decorate the surface with remaining raspberries.

Scrambled Eggs With Lobster and Caviar Served Ostrich Style
VIDEO RECIPE: Watch David Burke make this dish

4 tablespoons butter
6 shallots, minced
2 cooked 1 – 1 1/4 pound lobsters (shrimp can be substituted) to make 1 1/2 cups lobster meat, chopped into 1/4-inch chunks
2 plum tomatoes, seeds removed and cut into 1/4-inch chunks
2 tablespoons chopped tarragon
16 eggs
1 cup cold lobster bisque (heavy cream can be substituted)
4 tablespoons chopped chives
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup crème fraîche, whipped
8 teaspoons caviar

Presentation: 4 Ostrich Egg shells, cut in half (available from Ostrich.com)

Heat the butter in a large sauté pan; add the shallots, 1 1/2 cups lobster meat, tomatoes, and tarragon; and sauté until warm. Beat together the eggs together with the lobster bisque, add to the pan, and stir continuously over low heat until the eggs are softly scrambled. Stir in the chives and season with salt and pepper. Set eight ostrich-shell halves in bowls or pots on a bed of salt.

Divide the egg mixture among the eight ostrich shells nestled into bowls or pots on a bed of salt. Top each portion with a dollop of whipped crème fraîche and 1 teaspoon caviar.

Sashimi Tuna on Pink Himalayan Salt Bricks With Muscat Vinaigrette and Bonito Flakes

8 salt bricks
1 pound sashimi-quality tuna, trimmed into 2-inch-by-4-inch rectangles
1 English hot house cucumber, cut into 24 thin slices
2 tablespoons bonito flakes
2 tablespoons chopped chives
8 lime wedges

Cut the tuna into 1/4-inch thick slices.

Place a cucumber slice under each piece of tuna and set three on each salt brick or plate. (The sashimi tuna must be set on the salt immediately just before serving; otherwise, it will get too salty.). Top the tuna with bonito flakes, chopped chives, and a lime wedge on the side. Serve the Muscat vinaigrette in a small bowl on the side.

Muscat Vinaigrette
1 cup Muscat vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon zest
2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon extra- virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped nori
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and set aside.


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