Duck Breast with Apple & Pecans

I totally forgot to post this from Friendsgiving 2018! But it was the last savory course to that dinner. Here we have Maple Lacquered Duck Breast with Apple Purée and Candied Pecans.

Dry-Aged Duck Breast with Hoisin & Pickled Cucumber

With the pasta being rather difficult to make in a tiny studio apartment, I wanted everything else to be relatively easy. Sometimes easy and simple is the way to go, especially when using dry-aged duck breast. The flavors are more intense so you don’t need much to accompany the duck breast.

So here is Dry-Aged Duck Breast with Homemade Hoisin Sauce with Ume Boshi, Pickled Cucumber, and Chive Oil.

5 Spiced Duck Leg Cappellacci

This is probably my most ambitious homemade pasta project for #RontiniFriendsgiving #RontiniParties because I had to marinate the duck legs, cook the duck legs, hand-shred the duck legs, mince/grind the duck legs through a meat grinder, make the farce, pipe the farce into the freshly made pasta dough, fold/shape the dough…

I decided to make the pasta a weekend before the actual date because there was no way that I could make pasta dough from scratch and do all of that in one day along with the other day-of Thanksgiving prep!

So here you have Cappellacci (meaning little hats) filled with 5 Spice Duck Leg with Celery in a Brown Butter Sage Sauce with Fennel, Fines Herbes, Cured Egg Yolk, and Fennel Fronds.

Plans for Friendsgiving 2019

I’m very early this year for my Friendsgiving menu plans! Inspiration started and I decided to just go with it. I’ve been usually doing dinner for four for the past couple of years because that means less glassware to clean but I want to do six people total this year… Here is what I have so far; I expect menu changes…

Egg on Egg on Egg
Sea Urchin • Soft Scramble • Trout Roe
Potato Foam • Pumpernickel Soil
(1st course)

Quail with Autumn Mushrooms
Chanterelles • King Trumpet • Cremini Purée
Rosemary • Montegrato Pedro Ximénez
(2nd course)

5 Spiced Duck Leg Cappellacci
Celery • Brown Butter • Cured Egg Yolk • Fennel
(3rd course)

Dry Aged Duck Breast
Homemade Hoisin • Pickled Cucumber • Chive Oil
(4th course)

Pear Tart
Ginger Snap • Ginger Ice Cream
(5th course)

Service: March 9, 2019

So now that I have rotated onto roast station at Legacy Records, I am now in charge of planning and cooking the second and most important family meal everyday. Family meal is restaurant colloquialism for “staff meal.” We have three; one in the AM for the prep cooks, pastry cooks/chefs, sous chefs, and porters in the kitchen, the next at 3:45pm for everyone working (both front of house (FOH) and back of house (BOH), and a late-night PM one for the PM-porters and cleaning crew!

I never really counted but the number of people who I am cooking for is around 60-ish. In this restaurant, we go all out with our family meals. I try to push out thoughtful meals for each day but there are some days that are better than others. And I’m talking like for Saturday March 9! Even my photo was amazing! Thanks to the iPhone XS Max/I love portrait mode! Even better than the 7 Plus! (Ok, enough iPhone talk!)

I cured 100 duck legs for two days, slow roasted them, was too tired to pick through all 100 legs so I wrote a label for everyone to “DIY”. That was served with my friend’s grandmother’s hush hush red mole recipe. That mole got me a lot of compliments!

In case you were wondering, we also had rice and tortillas served with them, with various accoutrements, a guac/cucumber salad, and roasted nutty zucchini.

Plans for Friendsgiving 2018

I’m super late this year for my Friendsgiving menu. I hope this doesn’t become my new habit because the anxiety doesn’t help.

But here is what I have planned so far. Most of the courses are inspirations or almost near exact replicas from NYC restaurants (i.e. the first three courses). Please forgive me for any originality, it’s been a tiring and stressful year.

Scallop Crudo
Lemon Zest • Brown Butter • Chives
(1st course)

Roasted Kabocha Squash
Stracciatella • Pedro Ximénez • Pepitas
(2nd course)

Duck Leg Confit
Red Mole • Blue Corn Tacos
(3rd course)

Maple Lacquered Duck Breast
Apple Purée • Candied Pecans
(4th course)

Fudge Brownies
Chocolate Sculptures • Vanilla Ice Cream
(5th course)

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)

Excited!!

Duck Carnitas

This was the fourth course to my Friendsgiving 2017 dinner.

For those of you new to the site, and to me, I dislike turkey, which is why I always serve duck instead during the holiday. Besides, duck tastes better than turkey. I will even cook chicken before I cook a bleeping turkey!

I usually split the breast and legs for separate courses but this year, I decided to confit both parts and serve them up family-style with tortillas and other accoutrements. I was inspired from Cosme‘s Duck Carnitas – I’ve only read about it, I haven’t had a chance to go in and try it. Hopefully, this was equally amazing!

Along with the Duck Carnitas, I served it with Pickled Onions, freshly shaved Watermelon Radish, Serrano Peppers (not in photo), Micro Celery, Lime (not in photo), and warm Tortillas.

DSCN2761

Plans for Friendsgiving 2017

I’m a month late this year… I usually have my Friendsgiving menu ready in August – I like to plan early!

Goat’s Milk Ice Cream, Pumpernickel Soil, Lemon Foam, Microgreens
(1st course)

Dill-Brined Halibut with Farro, Sun-Dried Tomato, Pine Nuts, Micro Chervil
(2nd course)

Butternut Squash Velouté, Black Trumpets, Chanterelles, Toasted Pepitas & Chives
(3rd course)

Duck Carnitas, Pickled Onions, Watermelon Radish, Serrano, Cilantro, Lime, Tortillas
(4th course)

Warm Pear Tart, Candied Pecans, Maple Ice Cream
(5th course)