good morning! last night was my first calm, quiet night for what feels like ages. i've been eating more than my share of chinese takeout and cereal-dinners, so i was excited to finally come home and make a nice, big dinner. i'd been saving a bottle of champagne since my birthday back in june, so i told sam to put it in the fridge, fillet the perch he'd caught and be home in time for supper.
i'd been wearing uncomfortable pants all day, so i was pretty determined to make dinner with whatever i had in the fridge, and nothing more, so that i could remain in sweatpants-and-barefeet mode for the remainder of the night. i ended up having sam pick up a couple of things on his way home, but for the most part managed a dinner of convenience.
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arugula & duck confit crepes with tangerine buerre blanc
1/2 cup flour
1/4 t salt
1/2 cup whole milk (i just mixed half and half and 2%)
3 T water
sift or whisk together flour & salt. now whisk milk, water, and egg together until mixed, slowly add flour mixture while whisking. strain through a seive, pour into a cup measure, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
simply shred the duck confit and toss it around in a pan for a few minutes, until nice and hot. turn off heat and add arugula, stirring to coat it with the duck fat.
to make the crepes: melt about 3 tablespoons of butter. i like to use clarified butter, so i melt it at a high heat and simply spoon off the fat that rises to the top. brush just enough butter to coat the pan you're using; pour the crepe filling while turning the pan to coat it completely. i got about 10 crepes from this batter. once the crepe starts to bubble along the edges, flip and cook it for another thirty seconds or so, until browned. repeat until you run out of batter.
for the filling:
1 leg duck confit
about 2 cups baby arugula
tangerine beurre blanc: (i adapted this from a recipe found here)
1/2 cup freshly squeezed tangerine juice (about 2 tangerines)
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 stick unsalted butter, cold and cut into tablespoons
a couple pinches cayenne pepper
1 T lemon juice
salt to taste
put tangerine juice in a small pot and bring it up to a boil; let it cook down for a few minutes, until it's thickened and only about 1/4 cup remains. add garlic and bring heat down to very low, and add one tablespoon of butter, whisking until almost melted; add another, and whisk. add half the butter this way, whisking and adding another just before the other one has entirely melted. then remove from heat and add the remaining butter one piece at a time. whisk in cayenne, lemon and salt to taste.
to serve, i simply filled up three crepes each for us, and topped each one with half a cherry tomato; the purpose of that was mostly to hold in place the pipettes, which i filled with the beurre blanc. i'd been looking for some pipettes for cooking ever since we ate out on our honeymoon, and a place served raw tuna cubes with a pipette of soy sauce puncturing it; i thought it was such a cool, playful presentation. i lucked out and a friend of mine was able to score me a box of 500 from a manufacturing plant that apparently thinks he works for a hospital. score! (thanks, brad!) so prepare to see a lot of these in the coming weeks. and months. and possibly years.
it seems gimmicky, but this was actually kind of perfect for the dish - the pipettes held the perfect amount of sauce for each crepe, and waiting until the last second to dress them meant they stayed crisp until the last second, and didn't get all soggy while i took photos of them before we dug in.
i also made a tomato bisque variation of our honeymoon soup, using some fresh perch sam caught this weekend. de-licious.
we toasted with the veuve cliquot i'd been holding on to, scarfed down our food and retreated to bed to snuggle up with breaking bad, which sam has taken a liking to at last. how was your night?
man, i'm out of practice. i feel like i can't remember how to write a blog anymore! i'll get better, i swear.
until next time,
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