02 April 2007

smoked paprika... I LOVE YOU!

Ben is starting a new diet to help him get back into shape. Unfortunately, he's dating me and decided to start his diet on a Saturday. We did follow breakfast (pancakes with butter and syrup and an orange), but we had it at 11am rather than 7am, which is what was recommended. Anywho, to help his diet get stomped further into the ground, I decided to make duck for dinner. Turned out pretty good, but it was extremely hard to carve.

Smoked Paprika Duck (adapted from Simply Recipes)

1 whole duck

2 tbsp smoked paprika

2 tbsp honey

zest an
d juice from half a lemon
1 tbsp softened butter

1 tbsp
Essence (by Emeril)
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Mix all ingredients and slather all over the duck. Roast duck in the oven until cooked though (an instant read thermometer yields 170 degrees F when inserted into the breast or 180 degrees F when inserted into the thigh).

Sides: Sauteed Broccolini and Roasted Zucchini

1 bunch broccolini

zest and juice of half a lemon

2 cloves of garl
ic, minced
olive oil

Heat oil in a saute pan. Add garlic and broccolini. Add lemon zest and juice. Saute until cooked to desired done-ness (about 10 minutes).


2 zucchinis, cut into 1/2 inch thick
olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced

salt and pepper

Toss all ingredients and place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake to desired done-ness.

Dessert: Chocolate Mousse

2 cups heavy whipping cream, divided
8 oz chocolate (at least 52% cacao)

pinch of salt

pinch of cinnamon

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 tbsp confectioners sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

Heat 1 cup of cream in a small sauce pan over med-low heat. Add chocolate to melt. Stir a little bit of chocolate mixture into eggs to temper, then slowly pour the rest of the chocolate in. Add salt and cinnamon, and beat to mix and thicken. Refrigerate. Beat remaining cup of cream with vanilla and sugar until stiff peaks form. Fold chocolate mixture into whipped cream and refrigerate until ready to serve. You may want to whip longer to get the texture that you like.

Last night, Ben and I went to go see the Decemberists at the Norva, in Norfolk. It was an awesome show, and he really enjoyed himself, which was a bit surprising to me. In any case, I made dinner ahead, but I had forgotten my camera at home. Still, you can have the recipe. It was really easy and turned out really good.

Braised Pork Chops

4 thick cut pork chops
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into chunks
1 red bell pepper, cut into chunks
1 medium red onion, diced
2 cups mushrooms, quartered
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper
1 can diced tomatoes
1 lemon, zest and juice
chopped parsley

Season pork chops with salt and pepper. Sear in oil in a large sauce pan over med-high heat, three minutes per side. Remove from pan and tent with foil. Add 1 tbsp oil to pan and saute onions, garlic, lemon zest, and 1 tbsp chopped parsley. Cook for about four minutes. Add peppers and mushrooms, and season with salt and pepper. Cook for another four minutes. Add lemon juice and diced tomatoes, bring to a simmer. Nestle pork chops in the pan and simmer, covered, until pork is cooked through (about ten to twelve minutes). Garnish with chopped parsley, and serve with crusty bread.

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