Paper Chef # 11


Paper Chef # 11

Yesterday was a wonderful autumn Sunday, the sky was blue, the air clear and the sun shining and where was I? In the kitchen, forgetting time and space for the sake of finding the right recipe to enter the eleventh Paper Chef competition hosted by Stephencooks! I decided to challenge myself and participate just to see whether I would be able to cook something passable with the four ingredients that had been given: duck, nut butter, pear and ginger. Four nice ingredients but I immediately encountered two problems: the first was the fact that candied ginger (which was what I wanted to use for my recipe) is impossible to find in the nook where I live BUT Michelle at The Accidental Scientist had already suggested me to make it myself so there I was, candying ginger following an old recipe that I have used years ago to candy orange peel. The second problem was the nut butter, all I could find was tahini and as I’m not that fond of it, it’s a bit too dominant a taste, I had once again to try to make my own. And that turned out to be the easiest thing, I took walnut kernels, poured them into the food processor and let it run until it became, well, butter!
After having resolved these problems I started out to make my recipe: tiny meatballs of duck and nut butter with pear-and-ginger sauce! Here it comes (and I hope that you have noticed the link to the right that takes you to a measure converter!):


POLPETTINE DI ANATRA E BURRO DI NOCE CON UNA SALSA DI PERE E ZENZERO or TINY DUCKMEATBALLS WITH A PEAR-AND-GINGER SAUCE
4 servings

Meatballs:
500 g/1,1 lb duck meat, just plain meat without the bones
4 tblsp fresh cream
2 egg yolks
4 tblsp walnut butter
½ – 1 tsp salt
2 tblsp freshly grated bread crumbs

- If you are a lucky owner of a meat grinder you grind the meat. I am a lucky owner but the grinder is packed into cardboard box that is standing on a loft in Sweden (still!!) so I used my food processor again.
- Mix the cream, the egg yolks, the walnut butter, salt and the bread crumbs with the meat and let it rest for a while.

Pear-and-ginger sauce
:

1-2 pears, it depends on how big they are, better more than less is my opinion.
4-5 tsp candied ginger
Butter
2 tblsp brown sugar

- Peel the pears and cut them into very small dice shaped pieces (I don’t really know how to write that as you can see, I’m sorry for the awkward English but it will at least keep the language centre in your brain alert), do the same with the candied ginger.
- Put the pear and the ginger into a frying pan where you have melted a two walnut sized lumps of butter. Sprinkle the sugar over it and let it fry very gently for 3-5 minutes.

- Back to the meat, form small meatballs and fry them in butter on medium heat; they don’t need that much time as they are small.
- Serve the meatballs together with the sauce and (not part of the competition) the following oven baked potatoes:



OVEN BAKED POTATOES

Potatoes
Fresh bay leaves and if you can not find any, use dried ones
Salt
Olive oil

- Put the oven on 175°C/350°F.
- Peel the potatoes and make 3-4 evenly distributed cuts with a knife over the back on each potatoes. Not lengthwise but perpendicular to that.
- Put half a bay leaf into each cut and put the potatoes in an oven-proof dish, sprinkle them with salt and then pour, slowly, olive oil over the whole.
- Put them in the oven and let cook until they are golden brown and thoroughly cooked. If you ‘bathe’ them with the olive oil a couple of times while they cook it wont hurt!

L