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Dishing it out!
Salute to Orange and Black

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Salute to Orange and Black
05 November 2010

 As seen in The Monterey County Herald

Todd Fisher: Food salute to Orange and Black

Todd Fisher Dishing it Out!
Posted: 11/03/2010 02:06:46 AM PDT
Updated: 11/03/2010 06:33:52 AM PDT

My beloved San Francisco Giants are the world champs, Finally! I felt it only appropriate to salute the boys of summer who have played so fine all year — the 2010 Giants, an assemblage of underestimated and widely criticized misfits, castaways and unknowns. 

Baseball fans, you know who they are, and for those of you who simply want a good recipe to take away, I won’t bore you with names and stats. I could think of no better way to pay tribute than to create a similar menu of oddities, forgotten dishes and an underappreciated fruit. Of course, how could it be a true representation of my boys without flying the orange and black.The castaway: In 1954, the last time the Giants won the fall classic as the New York Giants, this dish was on every fine dining restaurant on the block. I am almost certain Bobby Thomson considered the Duck a l’Orange as he sat and reveled in his World Series victory. Well, needless to say, this dish has been all but cast away from every menu outside of maybe the French Poodle in Carmel. 


 Duck a l’Orange
(Serves 4) 

For duck
1 T. kosher salt
1 tsp. ground coriander
½ tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. black pepper
1 (5- to 6-lb.) Long Island duck (also called Peking)
1 juice orange, halved
4 fresh thyme sprigs
4 fresh marjoram sprigs
2 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs
1 small onion, cut into 8 wedges
½ cup dry white wine
½ cup duck stock, duck and veal stock, chicken stock or reduced-sodium chicken broth
½ carrot
½ celery rib 

For sauce
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup fresh orange juice (from 1 to 2 oranges)
2 T. white-wine vinegar
1/8 tsp. salt
2 to 4 T. duck or chicken stock or reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 T. unsalted butter, softened
1 T. all-purpose flour
1 T. fine julienne of fresh orange zest, removed with a vegetable peeler 

Steps: Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 475 degrees. Stir together salt, coriander, cumin and pepper. Pat duck dry and sprinkle inside and out with spice mixture. Cut one half of orange into quarters and put in duck cavity with thyme, marjoram, parsley and four onion wedges. 

Squeeze juice from remaining half of orange and stir together with wine and stock. Set aside. 

Spread remaining 4 onion wedges in roasting pan with carrot and celery, then place duck on top of vegetables and roast 30 minutes. 

Pour wine mixture into roasting pan and reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Continue to roast duck until thermometer inserted into a thigh (close to but not touching bone) registers 170 degrees, 1 to 1¼ hours more. Turn on broiler and broil duck 3 to 4 inches from heat until top is golden brown, about 3 minutes. 

Tilt duck to drain juices from cavity into pan and transfer duck to a cutting board, reserving juices in pan. Let duck stand 15 minutes. 

For sauce: While duck roasts, cook sugar in a dry 1-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, undisturbed, until it begins to melt. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally with a fork, until sugar melts into a deep golden caramel. Add orange juice, vinegar and salt (use caution; mixture will bubble and steam vigorously) and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until caramel is dissolved. Remove syrup from heat. 

Discard vegetables from roasting pan and pour pan juices through a fine-mesh sieve into a 1-quart glass measure or bowl, then skim off and discard fat. Add enough stock to pan juices to total 1 cup liquid. 

Stir together butter and flour to form a beurre manié. Bring pan juices to a simmer in a 1- to 2-quart heavy saucepan, then add beurre manié, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Add orange syrup and zest and simmer, whisking occasionally, until sauce is thickened slightly and zest is tender, about 5 minutes. Serve with duck.

 The unknowns: Black radishes and blood oranges were made to go together, the tart but deliciously sweet richness of the blood orange that tempers the pungency of the black radish. Talk about a hidden gem of a vegetable, the black radish is long overdue for some props. Great in salads as well as cooked in soups and stews, you may find this your new winter favorite to add a little punch to your lineup. 

Blood Orange and Black Radish Salad 

2 Spanish black radish
2 blood oranges
1 T. honey
2 T. unseasoned rice vinegar
1 T. California olive oil
Coarse sea salt
Freshly cracked black pepper
Marcona almonds, coarse chopped 

Steps: Cut away the skin and pith of the blood orange. I like to keep the flesh for other recipes or for cocktail garnishes. First you cut a slice from the top and bottom of the orange and then sit it on your board. Take a flexible knife and cut away the skin and pith from the orange — following the curve of the orange will help you make a clean cut. When each orange is free of pith, slice the orange creating wheels from the orange. In a medium bowl combine the honey and rice vinegar, whisk to incorporate the honey. Wash the radish well to remove any dirt and then grate the radish into the vinaigrette. Let the radish marinate for 15 minutes to 1 hour. 

To assemble the salad: Lay the orange slices on a rectangle serving dish and season with some salt and pepper. Top the oranges with the marinated radish and drizzle with any remaining vinaigrette, the olive oil and the chopped almonds. 

The misfit: We all know about the quince, but what the hell do we do with it? Here is a recipe that utilizes the quince for a dessert, but this same recipe will work to serve with cheeses or alongside a robust lamb dish. Quince can give you several different looks all at the same time. In the immortal words of our sociopath closer Brian Wilson … “delicious!” 


Mascarpone Cheesecake with Quince Compote Crust  

1 1/3 cups pecans, toasted
½ cup walnuts, toasted
½ cup (packed) golden brown sugar
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted 

Filling
3½ cups whipping cream
¼ cup water
3½ tsp. unflavored gelatin (from 2 envelopes)
3½ cups, plus 2 T. mascarpone cheese (about 28½ oz.; from four 8-oz. containers)
1¼ cups powdered sugar, sifted 

Steps: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coarsely grind nuts with brown sugar in processor. Blend in melted butter. Press mixture over bottom (not sides) of 9-inch-diameter spring-form pan with 2½-inch-high sides. Bake until crust is set, about 12 minutes. Cool crust completely. 

For filling: Pour 3 cups cream into medium bowl. Pour ¼ cup water into small heatproof bowl; sprinkle gelatin over. Let stand 15 minutes. Place bowl with gelatin in small skillet of barely simmering water; stir until gelatin dissolves, about 2 minutes. Remove bowl from water. Pour remaining ½ cup cream into gelatin. Pour gelatin mixture into cream in bowl; whisk gently until well blended. 

Using electric mixer, beat mascarpone and powdered sugar in large bowl until smooth. Beat in cream-gelatin mixture just until smooth. Pour filling over cooled crust. Cover and chill overnight. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.) 

Using small sharp knife, cut around pan sides to loosen cheesecake. Remove pan sides. Place cake on platter. Cut cake into wedges and serve with compote. 


 Quince Compote 

4 lbs. quinces, peeled, quartered, cored, cut into ½-inch cubes
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
2 cups dry white wine
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise 

Steps: Bring first four ingredients to boil in heavy large saucepan, stirring often. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until fruit is soft, stirring occasionally, about 40 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer fruit to bowl. Boil juices uncovered until reduced to 3 cups, about 30 minutes. Pour syrup over fruit. Cover and chill overnight. 

 

Chef Todd Fisher is a regular contributor to The Monterey County Herald.  See more of his articles  on their website at www.montereycountyherald.com .

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