We have seriously lucked out on the weather. It's been "fall-like" for a week, which is unheard of here in Wilmington. Usually it still feels like August. Not my favorite month. I'm taking advantage of the cooler temperatures to bring on the fall fare. Last night's menu:
Duck with Apples
Twice-Baked Kale-Stuffed Potatoes
Of course, I can't post the blog without including my excuse for not taking photos of the meal, so here you go. Yesterday evening, we decided that we needed to spray for mosquitoes and pull the back yard together since it's too nice not to be able to sit out there and enjoy it. Given the time of year and our typical hot sticky nastiness, abundance of blood-sucking fiends, and frequent torrential downpours, we had all the furniture cushions stored and weren't spending much time outside. The squirrels had been using the patio as their diner, so it looked like those awful steak places that let you drop your peanut shells all over the floor. Except the squirrels had to settle for pine cones. What a mess! We spent about an hour back there cleaning up and that meant dinner was late, and we were hungry, which didn't leave me time to fiddle with cameras and tripods. Also, "hungry" meant "slam the dinner on the plate and let's go!" So not pretty for pictures. But the back yard is! Here's my Pootie Pie (Phillip) enjoying his coffee this morning out there.
While I sit in the house and work on my blog. I think maybe my priorities need adjusting.
The soup wound up being really good. I like parsnips, and their fresh, peppery flavor. They added a nice kick to the sweet carrot taste. Here is a picture I swiped of carrots and parsnips in someone's refrigerator.
Standard "Andie Soup" prep on these. Sautee a chopped onion in a little olive oil, add kosher salt, chopped parsnips and carrots (about 4 of each), stir occasionally for about 5 minutes, then cover with chicken stock and simmer until tender, then puree and thin with more chicken stock to desired consistency. Not especially complicated, but a good way for me to get my vegetables.
The duck I prepared my usual way - outside on the grill. It's just way too smoky for my vent-a-hood-less kitchen. (Someday.) I put the cast-iron skillet on the grill, cranked the heat up to about 500, put the salted and peppered duck breast on skin-side down (I scored the fat on the skin side) and seared the phoo out of those mothers. Then I turned them over and seared the other side, and let them rest. I scooped out just a little duck fat, put that in a skillet, and fried some apple slices in it and dusted them with nutmeg to accompany the duck. We each only ate about half a breast, so we have leftovers for today!
I didn't have time to get to the grocery yesterday because of a dental appointment, so I couldn't get the stuff I needed to make Melissa's kale recipe I wanted to try. Hopefully today. But I did use some of it. I baked a potato, then scooped out the innards, mixed that with salt, pepper, and some kale I wilted with chopped onion, and mixed that together with a little olive oil and topped it with parmesan cheese and nutmeg. THAT was GOOD! And not fatty and terrible for us. We're working way too hard with P90X to load up on butter and cream. (Phillip is now down 45 pounds, by the way and is looking cut! We won't talk about me. I'm down inches, but not lbs.)
Here is a potato. It is not the potato I used, but it looks a lot like it.
You can imagine mashed up potato and wilted kale mixed together and scooped into half a potato shell, and that's what part of our dinner looked like. Isn't the internet great? It's so nice of these people to take pictures for me to swipe and use.
So there's last night's dinner, plus leftovers for today. Tonight I have a skirt steak to figure out something to do with, and if I don't take pictures of it, you can just imagine the fun I'm going to have trying to find a picture of a cow with a skirt on with Google Images.