Dry-Aged Duck Breast with Pommes Dauphinoise & Endive

~ This is Day 262 ~

This was the fourth course of five to my #RontiniFriendsgiving 2020 menu. It’s essentially identical to this post except I’ve made it better. As it says in the title, the Duck Breast has been dry-aged for 2 weeks, served with a slice of Pommes Dauphinoise (similar to potato au gratin), Caramelized Endive, and Red Wine Duck Jus.

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)

Quail
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.

Recipe: New England Clam Chowder

~ This is Day 236 ~

Doom and gloom winter days? This clam chowder will cheer you up! Best is when you use your own clam stock! The flavor is better than the expensive stuff you buy in the stores!

Watch the how to:

  • 4 slices thick cut bacon, cut into thin pieces
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 Idaho potatoes, diced into half-inch cubes
  • ½ cup thyme sprigs
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 sleeve soda/saltine crackers, unsalted
  • Clam jus/stock/juice
  • 1 quart chopped clams
  • ½ – 1 cup heavy cream
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper

If you liked any of my tools and stuff from the video, you can get it yourself with these links:

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Egg on Egg on Egg

*Biology Class 101: I know sea urchin tongues aren’t really the “roe” but they are the gonads of the creature; for the sake of this post, I am calling them “eggs”. The gonads/sex organs (sometimes also referred to as coral) produce the roe.

Originally, the first course was going to be tuna crudo but I scrapped that idea because I didn’t think it would be a show-stopper!

So here you have Soft Scrambled Eggs folded with Sea Urchin Cream on the bottom, topped with airy Potato Foam, garnished with Sea Urchin Tongues, Trout Roe, Chives, and Pumpernickel Soil.

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)

Octopus with Romesco

Is it clear to you that I love the flavor profile of romesco yet?

Romesco is a nut and red pepper-based sauce that originated from Tarragona, Catalonia, Spain. The fishermen in this area made this sauce to be eaten with fish.

Here is Seared Octopus with Romesco, Persian Cucumbers, Crispy Potatoes, and Micro Celery.

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!!

Recipe: Sweet Pea Soup

I was meaning to post this recipe but life got caught in the way. Anyway, whenever spring comes, I love the harvest of fresh English peas. Having said that, I also dislike eating peas in their pea form, which is why I love making sweet pea soup.

  • 2 TBS butter
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 lbs fresh English peas, shelled
  • 1 medium Yukon Gold potato, chopped
  • Salt & pepper
  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • 55 g crème fraîche

Melt unsalted butter, then add onion and celery, and sweat until soft. Season with salt and pepper. Add chicken stock and potato, and raise the heat until it reaches a boil.

Cook the mixture until potatoes are done, add in the peas and bring to a boil. Cook until peas are tender, about 2 minutes.

Have a colander ready to strain mixture, making sure to reserve the liquid. Add solids to VitaMix and some liquid to adjust for consistency as its blending. Finish with crème fraîche and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Once fully blended and smooth, chill over an ice bath to preserve its green color.

Sample dishes: