Congratulations to Cindy Guernsey, the winner of our ONE HOUR with CHEF Fall 19 Recipe Contest; and to Jean Hylan, the first runner up!
Per Chef Aaron Park, each recipe or set of recipes had to include: DUCK, DELICATA SQUASH, QUINOA, CRANBERRIES or BLUEBERRIES and CHÈVRE
Some tough competition and ZEST would like to thank everyone who sent entries. Hope you will all create something for the Winter 20 Recipe Contest.
Cindy Guernsey’s Winning Recipes
Quinoa Pilaf with Cranberries
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup tricolor quinoa
1 T olive oil
1/4 c very thinly sliced shallot
1/4 c diced celery (1/8” dice)
1/4 t fresh sage leaf, minced
1/8 t black pepper
Zest of 1 clementine
1/3 cups roughly chopped dried cranberries
Maple-Roasted Delicata Squash with Clementine Drizzle and Toasted Seeds
2 delicata squash (approx 1 lb each), stems removed, cut in half lengthwise, seeds and pulp scraped out and reserved.
3 T olive oil
2 T maple syrup
3/4 t sea salt
1/4 t black pepper
Aleppo pepper to taste (optional)
More salt + pepper for the seeds
1 clementine (zest and juice)
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
Leftover maple syrup/oil from squash
Panko-Encrusted Chèvre Medallions Fried in Leek-Infused Duck Fat
1 4-oz plain chèvre log
1 egg, beaten
2 t all-purpose flour
1/3–1/2 cup panko crumbs
Rendered duck fat from cooked breasts
Olive oil as needed
Duck Breast with Crispy Skin and Frizzled Leeks
2 8-oz boneless duck breasts (1/2 breast per person—if you are serving big meat-eaters, you may want to use 3 8-oz breasts, and divide evenly when serving.)
1 whole leek, julienned fine (sliced into 2–3 inch pieces, then cut into 1/16-inch strips)
Sea salt + fresh ground black pepper
Fresh Baby Greens with Shallot-Balsamic Dressing
4 cups mesclun or arugula
2 t minced shallots
2 t dijon mustard
1 oz balsamic vinegar
4 oz extra virgin olive oil
Fresh-ground black pepper
For the quinoa pilaf:
Heat olive oil in 2-qt sauce pan. Add shallots and celery and cook 3–5 minutes, until shallots are limp and starting to brown a bit. Add quinoa, sage, pepper and zest, and mix thoroughly. Pour in broth, stir, and cover. Cook on low heat for 10 minutes. Remove lid and blend in cranberries. Cover and cook another 5 minutes until most of the moisture has been absorbed. Remove from heat and keep covered until ready to serve.
For the squash seeds:
Preheat oven to 325°. Pull most of the pulp away from the seeds, then clean the remaining pulp off the seeds in a bowl of water. Place them in a small saucepan with 1/2 tsp salt and water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook for 5 minutes. Drain well. Toss seeds with 2 tsp olive oil and spread on an oiled or parchment-covered baking sheet. Bake 10–20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes to keep from burning. When seeds are crisp, remove from oven and sprinkle with salt. Set aside.
For the squash:
Preheat oven to 375°. Line a large baking sheet with parchment. Cut squash in 1/2-inch thick semi-circular slices and place in large bowl. Whisk together the maple syrup and olive oil, and pour over squash. Toss together until well coated. Spread in single layer on baking sheet(s). Sprinkle with the salt and pepper(s). Reserve the remaining marinade. Roast for 12–15 minutes, then turn slices over and roast for another 10–15 minutes until browned in spots, but not mushy. Remove from oven and set aside.
For the drizzle:
Put clementine juice and zest, along with vinegar, and any remaining juices from roasted squash, into a small saucepan. Let it come to a boil, and then simmer on medium-low until syrupy. Set aside.
Preparing the chèvre medallions:
With sharp knife dipped in warm water, slice four ½-inch disks from the log, wiping knife clean after each slice. Gently squeeze crumbs together, keeping each disk as round and flat as possible. Roll each disk in flour, dip in beaten egg, and then roll in panko crumbs. Set aside to fry when duck comes out of the oven.
For the salad:
Rinse and spin greens and place in a bowl large enough to toss with dressing. Whisk all dressing ingredients together and when ready to serve, gradually add to greens and toss well, being careful not to over dress.
For the duck:
Preheat oven to 200°.
Rinse duck breasts and pat dry. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Place skin side down in a cold cast iron skillet. Turn on heat to medium low and allow the fat to render, gradually turning up heat to medium high until skin is browned and crispy.
(Approx 5 minutes, but may need more time if fat is still visible between skin and meat.) Flip duck and sear other side for 2 minutes.
Remove from heat and spoon duck fat into the smallest skillet that will accommodate four rounds of chèvre and set aside. (6–7 inch diameter is good.)
Place pan with duck in oven for 1–2 minutes for rare. Remove breasts to plate and let rest for 10 minutes.
Return squash to a 200° oven to reheat.
Frying leek slivers:
Check depth of the reserved duck fat in small skillet. You may need to add some olive oil to get a depth of 1/4 inch of oil in pan. Heat oil until a panko crumb sizzles when tossed into it. (325–350° on a candy thermometer)
When everything else is ready to serve, toss a small handful of shredded leeks into the hot oil until they frizzle and get a bit browned. (Happens really fast!) Remove to paper towel-covered plate immediately. Repeat until all leeks have been frizzled.
Frying chèvre medallions:
Next, carefully place chèvre medallions in hot fat, and fry until golden, approx 1–2 minutes per side, turning carefully with slotted spoon and tongs to keep them from breaking apart. Drain on paper towels.
Assembly, for each of 4 plates:
Use your judgment as to what constitutes a serving for your diners—there will probably be some leftovers of pilaf and squash.
- Place 1/4 of the dressed greens on a dinner plate.
- Place one chèvre medallion on each pile of greens, and grind black pepper over.
- Place some squash next to the greens. Drizzle with a little glaze and top with a few toasted seeds.
- Spoon some pilaf onto the plate between the greens and the squash.
- Arrange half of a thinly sliced duck breast over pilaf, fanning out slices. Top this with a small pile of frizzled leeks.
Note: For a delicious lunch, leftovers may be mixed together to create an easy grain bowl!
Jean Hylan’s Autumn Tart Canard
1 cup water
½ uncooked red quinoa, rinsed
2 oz goat cheese, room temperature
¼ tsp salt
1 egg white
Preheat oven to 425°.
In a small saucepan, add quinoa and water. Bring to a boil over high heat and then cover and simmer until water has evaporated, 12–15 minutes.
Remove saucepan from heat and cool for about 5 minutes.
Stir in goat cheese and blend well. Add salt and stir. Add slightly beaten egg white until well blended.
Press mixture evenly on bottom and sides of lightly sprayed 8.5” pie pan.
Bake until edges start to crisp up, 12–15 minutes.
Place on cooling rack. The crust may be made ahead of time and refrigerated.
1 duck breast
1.5 cups thinly sliced Delicata squash, halved and cleaned of seeds.
1 cup wild mushrooms sliced (may substitute other kinds)
½ cup thinly sliced leeks
1 cup chicken broth
2 TBL flour
2 TBL whole cranberry sauce
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350°.
Slice the duck breast in a cross hatch pattern almost to the flesh. This will help the fat come out as it is cooking.
Heat a dry cast iron skillet to very hot and place the duck breast skin side down.
Reduce the temperature to a medium setting.
Cook for about 20 minutes to crisp the skin. Pour off the fat as it accumulates and save.
Add the thyme. Flip the breast and cook until medium rare.
Remove and place under tinfoil. Discard the thyme.
Pour the fat back in the pan and heat. Setting one whole mushroom aside, add the rest of the mushrooms and stir to soak up the flavors and stir for 5 minutes. Add the Delicata squash and cook until almost done.
Add the leeks and stir for about 5 minutes more.
Add the chicken broth with flour whisked in. Stir to thicken.
Add the cranberry sauce and stir.
Test for salt and pepper and adjust to taste.
Pour into the pie crust.
Cut breast in to thin slices and place in a spiral on the filling. Place a mushroom in the center if desired and brush with olive oil.
Heat for 15 minutes in preheated oven or until hot. Slice as a pie and serve.
Note: Pairs well with sauteed greens.