Tag Archives: Duck

Fifty Shades of Golden

Fifty Shades of Golden

This article originally appeared in the June 2016 issue of The Journal of the Delaware State Bar Association, a publication of the Delaware State Bar Association.  Copyright © Delaware State Bar Association 2016.  All rights reserved.  Reprinted with permission.

A Moveable Feast

Check out my September issue of The Judicial Palate.

A Moveable Feast

This article originally appeared in the September 2015 issue of The Journal of the Delaware State Bar Association, a publication of the Delaware State Bar Association. Copyright © Delaware State Bar Association 2015.  All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.

An Annual Treat — Bistrot La Minette’s Bastille Day Velouté

It seemed only fitting to dine at one of my favorite Philadelphia restaurants – Bistrot La Minette – on Bastille Day.  Last night, my party of three dined at Philly’s top bistro to celebrate La Fête de la Bastille.  Atop the special four course prix fixe menu (of a very reasonable fixed price of $40), Chef Peter Woolsey shared that this is his favorite meal of the year, and I understand why…

A myriad flavors were possible for a Kir Royale, but we chose the traditional cassis for our bubbly apéritif.

It was unanimous that the most intriguing taste of the evening was the Velouté Glacé de Petits Pois.  This chilled pea soup served with a drizzling of lemon crème frâiche and truffle oil was  refreshing with an earthy undertone on a humid summer night.  The fact that the soup was chilled was a special treat as the Bistrot’s dinner menu typically offers a hot pea and parsley soup.

The second course consisted of an elegant buffet including a variety of French appetizers.  This was the ideal way to sample the culinary talent at the Bistrot.  Some of our favorites were…

  • Rillettes de Canard (duck confit)
  • Terrine de Campagne (country style paté atop toasted brioche)
  • Salade de Lentilles (Puy lentils with mustard vinaigrette)
  • Poivrons Rôtis (oven roasted peppers with olive oil and garlic confit)
  • Salade de Tomates (sliced Roma tomatoes with basil, sherry vinegar and olive oil)

Then, we selected three of the four main course options…

  • Poulet Rôti (half roasted chicken with tarragon jus)
  • Pavé de Saumon (pan seared filet of salmon with beurre blanc)
  • Côte de Porc Sauce Vinegrée (pan seared pork chop with sherry vinegar jus)
  • Each was served with a gratin dauphinois (scalloped potatoes), tomato Provençal (slow roasted tomato) and haricots verts (French green beans).  The chicken skin was crisped to perfection while the salmon and pork were seared to the same degree of excellence.  The fourth option, an exotic mushroom tart, was also appealing…but will be atop the list of choices for next year.

Our trio allowed for a tasting of each of the three decadent desserts…

  • Tarte aux Pêches (peach tart with almond cream and cassis sorbet)
  • Mille Feuille aux Framboises (puff pastry with vanilla cream and raspberries)
  • Gâteau Mousse au Chocolat (chocolate mousse layer cake with pistachio)

Until next Bastille Day…although we are sure to visit our friends at the Bistrot before then!

New Year’s Challenge – What’s the Main Course?

Below is my January column of the Judicial Palate…

Happy New Year! In this month’s column, I offer two recipes – one for an appetizer course and one for a salad course – for a winter dinner party.  I also pose a challenge to you, rather than ask you to commit to a New Year’s resolution, namely, to propose an idea for the main course.  The person who e-mails me by January 31st with the most fitting dish will receive a package of D’Artagnan duck bacon.  No recipe is required, just the idea…although, if you have a recipe, please do not hesitate to share that as well.

These recipes are intended for 6.  The first course is fried duck egg and duck bacon over roasted fingerling potatoes.  This dish offers a unique way to feature duck, not the typical duck confit or grilled duck breast.  Duck eggs are richer than chicken eggs and have a firmer texture.  Duck bacon is thicker than regular bacon and has a pleasant smoky flavor.  D’Artagnan, out of Newark, New Jersey, sells duck bacon that has been rubbed with salt and sugar and smoked over wood chips.

The salad course of Nantucket Bay Scallops over arugula and endive features the highly prized Nantucket Bay Scallops, which are in season from November through March.  These little treasures are sure to wow your guests with their delicate and naturally sweet flavor.  Nantucket Bay Scallops are just a fraction of the size of sea scallops, but they will beat their larger counterpart in any taste test.

Fried Duck Egg and Duck Bacon over Roasted Fingerling Potatoes


6 duck eggs

12 slices of duck bacon

Fingerling potatoes (about 3 per person)

Sea salt

Fresh ground pepper

French butter

Extra virgin olive oil

1 lemon

Wash and cut the fingerling potatoes.  Use the tricolored (red, white and purple) fingerlings if available as they will add a vibrant color to the dish; otherwise, any fingerlings will work well.  Place the potatoes in a baking dish and season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.  Squeeze the juice of one lemon and drizzle olive oil over the potatoes.  Place the baking dish in an oven preheated to 400 degrees, and bake for about 40 minutes or until the potatoes are soft when you poke with a fork.  When the potatoes are almost finished, prepare the bacon and then the eggs.

Place the strips of duck bacon in one layer in a nonstick frying pan.  You will probably have to use two frying pans so that the bacon is not layered.  Place the pans over medium heat and cook the bacon until browned and slightly crisp.  Set aside the bacon on a paper towel.

Fry the eggs in the same two pans that you used to cook the bacon.  Place 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in each pan over medium heat.  When the butter is foaming, break and place the eggs in the pans.  Turn the heat down to medium-low and cook the eggs for about 3 minutes so that the whites are set but the yolks are runny.

While cooking the eggs, place a serving of potatoes on each plate.  When the eggs are ready, remove them from the pan using a spatula, and place one egg on top of each serving of potatoes.  Place two slices of bacon on top of each egg.

Nantucket Bay Scallops over Arugula and Endive


Nantucket Bay Scallops (about 9 or 10 per person)

Several handfuls of arugula

3 heads of endive

Extra virgin olive oil

Unsalted butter

Finishing Salt

Fresh ground pepper

1 lemon

Place a small bed of arugula and several leaves of endive on each small plate.  The peppery taste of the arugula will complement the sweetness of the scallops.

Heat a nonstick pan over medium heat and add a few tablespoons of butter.  Allow the pan to heat up and the butter to foam.  Tilt the pan around so that the olive oil and butter coat the bottom of the pan.  You may test whether the pan is hot enough by running your fingers under water and then “spritzing” water into the pan.  If the water “skeetches”, then the pan is hot enough.  Once the pan is hot enough, place the scallops in the pan with space in between them so that they may sizzle.  These tiny scallops cook quickly – only one or two minutes at most.  They will become opaque when cooked.

Place the scallops over each bed of greens.  Squeeze lemon juice and drizzle olive oil over the scallops.  Add finishing salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.

I look forward to receiving your main course submissions – meat, fish, pasta, vegetarian – all are welcome!

© 2013, La Cucina di Poppiti, LLC.  All rights reserved.

This article originally appeared in the January 2014 issue of The Journal of the Delaware State Bar Association, a publication of the Delaware State Bar Association. Copyright © Delaware State Bar Association 2014.  All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.