Duck Leg Confit with Celeriac & Hazelnuts

~ This is Day 262 ~

This was the second course of five to my #RontiniFriendsgiving 2020 menu. I usually serve one leg per person but I thought for this year, that might be a little too much food so I split the leg between drumstick and thigh. I love making duck leg confit mainly for the aroma. It fills my apartment with this heavenly scent. This is Duck Leg Confit sitting on a bed of silky Celeriac Purée and Brown Buttered Hazelnuts with dots of Montegrato Pedro Ximénez Sherry Vinegar Reduction.

Plans for Friendsgiving 2020

~ This is Day 258 ~

Thanksgiving Thursday has officially passed for 2020 but my Friendsgiving has not yet! This year, unfortunately, I couldn’t have it on Thursday because of scheduling issues. Not having it on Thanksgiving Thursday seems so weird to me and it’s happening tomorrow, the Sunday of Thanksgiving. I only just realized that I haven’t posted the menu yet. There was a sixth course but my seafood delivery was out of fresh sea urchin from Maine so I axed that dish.

Diver Scallop
Pickled Golden Beets • Apple Sorrel Gel
Micro Red Vein Sorrel
(1st course)

Duck Leg Confit
Celeriac • Hazelnuts
Montegrato Pedro Ximénez
(2nd course)

Chanterelles • Shiitake • Market Carrots
Pearl Onions • Barley Risotto
(3rd course)

Dry Aged Duck Breast
Pommes Dauphinoise • Caramelized Endive
Red Wine Jus
(4th course)

Grapefruit Sorbet
Kabocha • Contratto • Candied Pepitas
(5th course)

As much as I can’t wait for tomorrow to come, this “Thanksgiving” is dragging and I just want it over with already. Never doing this a Sunday again… keeping it to Thursday next year and all future years.

I know we’re all still in a pandemic and that a lot of people have been alone this holiday weekend but my friends coming are all the same friends that I’ve been seeing since the lockdown and we’ve all been careful, getting tested regularly, and also practicing safe social guidelines.

Duck with 5 Spice

This was the second and main course to my Friendmas dinner of 2017.

Duck again! I just love duck and it’s the perfect bird for two people.

Here is Roasted Duck Breast, 5 Spice Duck Leg Confit Spring Rolls, Celeriac Purée, Pommes Fondant, Shanghai Bok Choy, Shimeiji Mushrooms, Carrot Ribbons, and 5 Spice Jus.

Plans for Friendmas 2017

This is actually my first Friendmas dinner party! I haven’t had a Christmas Eve off in six years!!! It’s been a weird year and it’s weird to have both eves on a Sunday.

But since I usually go all out during my Friendsgiving dinner parties, I am going light with this dinner. I came up with this menu in one evening.

Ocean Trout Tartare
Meyer Lemon, Jalapeño, Rice Krispies
(1st course)

Duck with 5 Spice
Celeriac Purée, Pommes Fondant, Shanghai Bok Choy
(2nd course)

Cheesecake with Citrus
Mascarpone Mousse,
Streusel, Citrus Sorbet
(3rd course)


Duck Breast with Celery Root & Red Wine Jus

I have been very happy with this dish that I created on June 6. It has been on my tasting menus for the past two months, not every week though.

This is Duck Breast with Celeriac Purée, Charred Cucumbers, Cashew Crumble, Chive Oil, and Red Wine Jus.

Recipe: Celeriac Purée

Celeriac or celery root or celery knob = all the same thing. Celeriac purée is something I like to have on hands at all times, in case of emergencies. It has such a mild flavor and works well with almost anything. I like food that act like blank canvases so that I can build and pair with that flavor to make something more complex.

  • Celery root
  • Heavy cream, as needed
  • Whole milk, as needed
  • Salt

Peel and cut celery root to bite-sized pieces. Place in a saucepan and cover with heavy cream. If you don’t have enough cream, add in milk to cover.

Place on medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. Cover with a parchment paper lid and cook until tender, approximately 20 minutes.

Turn off heat, strain through a fine mesh chinois and  reserve liquid. Place celery root into a VitaMix blender and add enough liquid to blend. Add salt and taste for seasoning, adjust if necessary. Add more or less liquid to your liking for purée consistency.

Sample dishes:

Poussin with Celeriac

Sometimes I go to work and there’s some random excess amount of protein that we have… and I have to use it up or else it’s a waste of food cost.

I’m not the type of person who goes to a restaurant and orders chicken, no matter the size or type. Chicken is chicken. Poussin is basically a baby chicken, no more than 28 days old.

Okay, now that I’ve said my two cents on chicken, I made this hearty dish for the tasting menu. It has the thigh and leg of Poussin with a Celeriac Purée, Sautéed Shiitake Mushrooms, Celery Ribbons, Micro Watercress, and Jus.

Crisp Octopus

I’m quite proud of my octopus dish. It was on our a la carte menu for six months, from September through March.

This dish comes with Celeriac Purée, Garlic Purée, Asian Pear, Micro Chervil and sits on a streak of Cuttlefish Ink Miso Paste.


Scallop & Celeriac

This scallop was on the tasting menu yesterday and it will be on the tasting menu today as well. It is a Seared Scallop with Roasted Celeriac, Celeriac Purée, Hazelnuts, Granny Smith Apples, and Saltwort. I may run out the roasted celeriac today so I’m going to substitute it with kohlrabi.