Last Meal of 2017

FOOD / Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018

First of all, Happy New Year!

The new year always brings me a lot of excitement, a fresh start of things to try or improve. December 31, 2017 ended up being very chilly here in Texas, kind of made me just want to curl up on the couch with a nice home-cooked meal and continue my latest Netflix binge (it’s FRIENDS…again).

That’s exactly what we did!Let me tell you, we had the most delicious meal, for less than a one-person reservation at a 5-star restaurant on New Year’s Eve. Going to the fancy places is great and all, but when it feels like 5 degrees outside, it’s hard for me to feel motivated to dress up in something I will probably be cold in the entire night. Anyway, so what did we have? I’ll show you!

Yes, this was delicious! And with some patience and someone who knows their way around the kitchen, you can enjoy this anytime that you decide you want to have a fancy dinner and stay on a budget! Not sure exactly what to call this masterpiece, but it was seared duck, polenta, topped with a balsamic reduction. Sounds like I could be on chopped right?

So here’s the recipe:
Servings: 2

-2 duck breasts
-1 cup of polenta
-1 1/2 tablespoons of butter
-3 cups of water
-1/2 teaspoon of salt
-1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar

For the duck:
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 8 minutes
1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Heat a dry, heavy-bottomed, oven-safe, pan over medium-high.
2) While the pan is heating up, score the skin on the duck breast in a checkered pattern. Make sure you do not cut through the skin and into the duck breast itself.
3) Place the breast skin side down in the pan and flip after 4 minutes. Cook the other side an additional 2 minutes.
4) Place the pan in the oven for 2 minutes.
5) Let the breasts rest for 10 minutes.
6) Slice and serve!
If you’re having trouble cutting through the skin, turn the breast over and slice through the meat first.

For the polenta:
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
1) Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan.
2) Add the polenta and salt and whisk.
3) Reduce the heat to low and cook the cornmeal through for around 15 minutes.
4) Add butter and stir.

For the reduction:
Prep time: none
Cook time: 30 minutes
1) Bring vinegar to a boil in a small saucepan.
2) Reduce heat to a simmer and reduce liquid by half.
You can insert a popsicle stick to see where you started. Then just check it again periodically until the liquid comes up half the length that it did originally.

This meal is perfect for a fun + fancy date night in! Share your pictures and let me know how yours turned out.

Happy eating!