I was stunned when it was announced by Foodie Blogroll and Marx Foods, that I was chosen as one of the twenty five challengers for Iron Foodie. I didn’t even see the email. As I said before, I have stopped with contests for a lot reasons. But this was real challenge that I believe is more about skill , than say…popularity.
A mystery box was sent to all of us, with instructions to make a dish with at least three of the eight ingredients in the box. The box contained Aji Panca Chilies, Dried Wild Porcini’s, Smoked Sea Salt,Maple Sugar, Fennel Pollen, Bourbon Vanilla Beans, Dulse( dried sea weed), and Tellicherry Peppercorns.
I chose to use four ingredients in my Amuse Bouche. Smoked Sea Salt, Fennel Pollen, Maple Sugar, andTellicherry Peppercorns. There are three components to this recipe that will go a long way.
Rillettes are slow cooked meat such as duck, pork, rabbit that are cured with salt and spices , then simmered in fat for hours, and then beat into a paste to eaten as a spread. Wonderful for the holidays and long lasting if preserved and sealed in fat.
Black Pepper Balsamic Cranberry Relish is a new take on a holiday staple. Rather than cooked stove top, I roasted the cranberries with less sugars and balsamic vinegar. The true flavors shine and are not masked by heavy sugars like traditional cranberry sauces. The tartness offsets the rich fattiness of the Rillettes.
Goat Cheese Croquettes are inspired by of one my favorite salads of crusted fried goat cheese with apples. I decided to make small patties to top off with the other two components. I rolled them in fennel pollen ,orange zest and panko before frying.
Be sure to have the rillettes at room temperature when assembling. Many of the components can be made ahead, leaving the goat cheese for last.
I was expecting this to be really rich. It is rich but not unbearably so. It’s like the entire holiday meal in one luscious mouthful.
Duck Rillettes on Goat Cheese Croquettes with Black Pepper Balsamic Cranberry Relish
24-48 hours prep. Several hours cooking time.
- 1 whole ducking quartered
- 1 tsp Marx Foods smoked sea salt
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- Bay leaves
- 4 allspice cloves
- 4-5 cloves garlic
- Marx Foods Ground Tellicherry black pepper
- 2 tsp Marx Foods Fennel Pollen
- 1-2 cups vegetable stock
- 1/3 cup Cognac
*you may want to purchase additional duck fat for sealing.
- In a dish season raw duck with salt, bay leaves, allspice, garlic, pepper, etc.
- Cover and place in the fridge for at least 24 hrs, but up to 48 hours.
- Place seasoned duck in Dutch oven.
- Add vegetable stock and fennel pollen.
- Place and cover in oven at 250.
- Cook for 4-5 hours until liquid is mostly gone, meat is tender, and fat is rendered.
- Remove carcass bones and skin, allspice, bay leaves.
- Add the soft garlic cloves to meat pile.
- Strain liquid and fat and add to shredded meat with cognac, and continue to cook for a two more hours in oven.
- Reserve some fat.
- Beat meat with fat but not to make a paste.
- Place in jars or one dish.
- Cover with reserved fat to seal.
- Stores for several months in the refrigerator as long as sealed well in fat.
Black Pepper Balsamic Cranberry Relish
Can be made days ahead
- 1 bag /1lb cranberries
- 3 tablespoons Marx Foods Maple Sugar
- ½ cup packed dark brown sugar
- 2-3tabslespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon water
- Ground Marx Foods Tellicherry Pepper
- Wash cranberries.
- Place in metal baking pan.
- Add maple sugar, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, pepper, and 1 tablespoon of water.
- Toss all ingredients.
- Roast at 350 for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Stir halfway through roasting.
- Remove from heat and cool.
Goat Cheese Croquettes
- Log of goat cheese (4oz log makes 7 croquettes)
- 1 tsp Marx Foods Fennel Pollen
- Orange zest( 1 orange)
- Panko bread crumbs
- Vegetable oil to coat pan
- Zest orange peel and add to fennel pollen.
- Make round patties with goat cheese by hand.
- Dust with fennel pollen mixed with orange zest.
- Roll in Panko.
- Heat oil. Fry croquettes on each side for a few minutes until panko crust is browned. Be careful and only turn minimally (once on each side)
Take a croquette. Top with rillettes. Top with cranberry relish. Garnish with dusting of fennel pollen and orange zest.