Sunday, December 30, 2012

Crispy Sautéed Duck Breast with Cherry Quinoa

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And now for my favorite bird – duck! Chicken is alright, but it just doesn’t have the natural flavor or richness of a bird that can fly. If you’ve never had duck, my advice is: HAVE DUCK. It’s all dark meat, it’s fatty, and it’s delicious. This first duck dish is a relatively easy one, with only a few components to worry about. You can sauté using clarified butter, but I opted to use duck fat instead. Sweet, sweet, versatile duck fat. I found a little tub of it at Whole Foods, so that’s where I’d start looking if you’re not sure where to purchase it.

Speaking of purchasing things, you’ll likely need to buy a whole duck and cut the breasts off for this. I couldn’t find any place selling just duck breasts, but if you can, go for it. If you buy a whole duck, don’t worry – the next recipe will tell you how best to prepare the legs and thighs, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Sautéed Chicken with Mushroom Risotto and Asparagus

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Next up, we’ve got a sautéed chicken airline breast (a boneless breast, skin on, with the drumette still attached), some mushroom risotto, sautéed asparagus, and pan reduction sauce. With so many different parts, this recipe is going to get fairly in depth. In fact, this dish was actually my entry into a cooking contest recently, and although I didn’t win, it came out pretty great.

My point is, it’s pretty labor intensive and you’ll use a lot of pots and pans to make it happen. Its individual components are not especially difficult on their own, it’s just the combination of them and timing it all out that can be tricky. In fact, I’m going to be laying this one out a little differently than normal. Instead of trying to fit all the parts together for you, I’m going to list the preparation methods for each component in their own separate sections. That way you can coordinate it however you see fit, since my order of operations may or may not have been ideal for most. Do feel free to leave your feedback regarding this layout – let me know what works and what doesn’t.

It might also help to have another cook in the kitchen to assist on this recipe – if no one is available, you may want to swap the risotto for mashed potatoes, depending on how adventurous you’re feeling. Included below will be tutorials for clarified butter and pan reduction sauce, both of which are necessary components of this dish. So if you’re feeling particularly ambitious, this is one dish that’s sure to impress.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Grilled Chicken With Rice Pilaf and Glazed Vegetables

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We might as well start at the beginning of my most recent class, and it began with chicken. This particular dish is a grilled chicken breast de supreme (a boneless breast with the skin on), with rice pilaf and glazed carrots and turnips. It’s a fairly basic meal for one or two (though the recipe can be easily doubled, tripled, etc., depending on how many you need to feed) and takes less than an hour to prepare.

Unfortunately, as I made this in class, I didn’t have the time to take pictures of the process. It is, however, fairly straightforward, so I’ll just do my best to make the description as detailed as possible. This won’t be an issue for ALL of the upcoming recipes here, but it will be for some of them. There is also the possibility that I’ll make these at home and update the recipes with pictures after the fact.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Coming Soon to Screw Your Diet!

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Hello everyone, and happy holidays! It’s been about a month now since I’ve really been able to update Screw Your Diet with new recipes, but that doesn’t mean I have nothing to post. Quite the contrary, in fact – I’ve been so busy cooking and learning, that I’m backlogged with delicious recipes! For the next 2 weeks, I’ve got a well deserved break from school, and I’ll use that time to post up as many of the dishes I’ve been working on as possible (the dish above is roasted rack of lamb with creamy polenta and ratatouille, by the way).

Also, I will soon be adding a new page to the site called “The Basics”. Here you’ll find basic recipes and techniques to help you get started. Lessons on stock making, how to clarify butter, mother sauces, vinaigrette, pan reduction sauce, knife cuts, etc., just to name a few. A lot of the upcoming recipes feature these techniques, and rather than detailing them every time they’re needed, I felt it’d be easier to be able to simply refer to the basics page. It should be up and running before too long, so check back soon!

In the meantime, enjoy previews and descriptions of all the recipes you’ll be seeing here over the next 2 weeks! (Note: they will not necessarily appear on the site in the order they’re listed below.)