With spaghetti squash and maple syrup
Tired of the usual? Why not try duck? A little of this dark-meat fowl goes a long way to sate any appetite.
This dish has intriguing complexity, a POW of flavor, and it's very easy to make. The spaghetti squash, an oblong pale yellow vegetable, has natural "strands" when cooked making in a healthful alternative to plain spaghetti and gives a sweet nutty taste. Makes a beautiful holiday luncheon entrée along with a small butter lettuce salad with mandarin oranges and light vinaigrette.
Please note: Noodles can be substituted for the spaghetti squash.
This recipe makes 6 servings.
Coffee Glazed Duck Ingredients:
1 1/2 pounds duck breasts
2 tablespoons (about 2 ounces) of maple syrup
Olive oil (about 2 ounces)
1 additional tablespoon (about 1 ounce) maple syrup
1 ounce brewed espresso or use regular coffee pulverized into a powder to make a strong brew
3 ounces canned or bottled tomato pasta sauce, plain or meat flavored
2 spaghetti squash
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons honey
Rosemary, salt and pepper, to taste, about 1/4 teaspoon each
Set the duck breasts in a pan, cover with olive oil and 2 ounces of maple syrup, cover, and refrigerate to marinate overnight.
On the day of serving, preheat the oven 400°F.
Split the squash lengthwise and remove the seeds with a spoon.
Add honey and butter in the cavities, then cover them with foil and bake about 20 minutes or longer, until a fork easily separates the strands.
Remove the squash and scoop out the threads and place in a bowl, sprinkle with the rosemary, salt, and pepper. Cover to keep hot.
To cook the marinated duck breasts, arrange them in a large sauté pan so that they do not touch.
Begin cooking until some of the fat is rendered, over a medium to high heat, then baste the meat with the fat.
Reduce the heat and cook about 5 minutes on the skin side. Turn them over and sear 1 minute longer or until the meat is pale pink.
Remove them from the heat and onto a cutting board, and then cut against the grain into thick slices. Cover to keep hot.
In a small saucepan, combine the espresso, maple syrup, and meat sauce.
To serve, scoop a small portion of the squash onto the center of each plate, place the duck slices on top then spoon the sauce over the meat.