Oh Boy! I'm so far behind I think I'm ahead and that's no way to start a new year is it? While J'Bugs Kitchen has been fully operational for well over a week now, JBug hasn't been tremendously inspired in the blogging department. Sorry about that! The upside is that I've obviously got some catching up to do.
We spent a very quiet holiday in recovery mode and while our energy levels may not have been back to 100 percent, our appetites recovered from the flu well before Christmas. With the holidays all about "tradition" never mind favorites, we took the opportunity to enjoy a little repetition (or a lot).
When you're like us and lucky enough to live on the Oregon Coast within sight of one of what Big Guy's claims as his own personal clamming honey hole, they deserve a spot high on the list of personal favorites.
Just imagine if you must, fresh from the sea clams - cockles in this case, harvested and cooked up in a thick and creamy bacon flavored New England style clam chowder.
Big Guy himself did the honors here and whipped up this batch of comforting yum. The only thing I've got to say other than wonderfully delicious is that when the cook arbitrarily doubles the clams in the recipe you can officially change the name to "Clam Stew". Just sayin'.
Duck legs and thighs braised in Marsala wine with garlic and sour cherries happens to be one of my personal favorites and it is definitely worthy of a special occasion.
While duck breast is best cooked to a medium rare, the legs and thighs really show their true colors after a quick browning followed by a slow two hour braise (uncovered) in dry marsala wine and chicken stock seasoned with sweet whole garlic cloves and dried sour cherries.
Served on a bed of creamy mashed russet potatoes and nutty parsnip, as far as I'm concerned you can't do much better in the "special" department.
When you're talking favorites around here you've got to include beef if for no other reason than to keep the resident carnivore happy. Big Guy's become a seasoned crabber as well so I figured we'd be wise to include both on our dinner plates Christmas day. The crab you're looking at is one he caught while harvesting clams for the chowder/stew we talked about above. No traps required. He simply saw the monster swimming by and nabbed it with his clamming rake. Finesse? Maybe but more likely LUCK.
You can't have an "Oscar" anything without hollandaise. This one's my "go to" blender version fashioned from the sweeter Meyer lemon but any old fresh lemon will do.
You know we're kind of big on leftovers around here, mostly because it's not in me to cook small amounts of anything but sometimes it is choice rather than chance. In the case of duck, I always cook more than I think we'll eat in one sitting because there's so many wonderful thin'gs you can make with the leftovers.
Big Guy's responsible for making this glorious risotto out of the leftover Duck with Marsala and Sour Cherries. Not only did he use meat from 2 legs and thighs, he also made good use of about a cup of leftover sauce which took it all way over the top in the flavor department. Hit this link for instructions.
So there you go. Just a hint of some of the good stuff we enjoyed over the holidays and I've a few more things left up my sleeve to share with you over the next couple of days so stay tuned, OK? Happy New Year everyone. Here's hoping 2014 is the best year yet!