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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mashed Sweet Potato



My second cooked dish from my "not going to make it difficult" Thanksgiving meal.  Apologies as the photos don't do this dish justice. A trick I've learn over the summer to make mashed potatoes (and similar dishes) is to whip air into it. It gives it that fluffy consistency. So handing a hand mixer really comes in handy. I use evaporated milk instead of the usual milk or cream. It still gave it a nice consistency. Of course some good ol' butter. Luckily, I have an old trusty hand mixer, so combining everything and adding air to make it deliciously fluffy.  Mix it for several minutes, not forgetting to season and some salt and pepper. As much as i love the original mashed potato, this is a great alternative. Add some gravy on top, which is totally optional. Yet the taste of the sweet potato a lone is enough to satisfy.

serve 2-4



Mashed Sweet Potato

2 extra large sweet potato
6 Tbsp unsalted butter (room temp)
5 oz evaporated milk
4 Tbsp sour cream (optional)
salt
pepper

Peel the sweet potatoes and boil them in a pot of water until the potatoes are cook to fork tender. If the sweet potatoes are large, you may cut them in the halve or quarters for faster cooking time.

Using a fork or a masher, mash the potatoes thoroughly. (small bit are okay.)

Using a hand mixer, on a low setting, mix in the evaporated milk until fully incorporated. The cut the butter into pieces and also incorporate them slowly. Season with some salt and pepper. Mix for roughly 5 minutes be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl until a slightly fluffy consistency.

Serve warm.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Roasted Duck



I hope you all in the United States had a fabulous Thanksgiving holiday. I sure did. Plus, it's a much needed break from all the freeway traffic of life. I made sure that this year I kept it simple. I didn't want to overwork myself too much in the kitchen. So I opted to make three dishes scrumptious dishes. First is the deliciously scrumptious duck. I'm cooking for a miniscule crowd, so roasting a big turkey wasn't much of an option. Plus, I don't really want to be eating a ton of leftovers after anyways. Th roasting time is typical of any bird. It's sort of a constant babysitting to baste and make sure it's cooking right. But usually it's worth it.

The two pics blow don't do this duck justice. But the end result is a juicy bird perfect for 2-4 people.



Roasted Duck

1 5 lbs duck
6 springs of fresh thyme
6 sprigs of fresh rosemary
5 leaves of sage
salt
pepper
1/4 c unsalted butter (Room Temp)
1/2 small sweet onion
4 Large Garlic cloves.
1 large carrot
1 red bell pepper

 
Finely chop the 3 sprigs of thyme, 3 springs of rosemary, sage, 1 garlic cloves and combine with the butter.

Cube chop the bell pepper, carrot and half the sweet onion and place it into the roasting pan with 2 whole garlic cloves.

Prep the duck. Remove the gibblets. Wash the duck with running cold tap water, inside and out. Pat it dry with a paper towel. Cut out the excess fat from the neck and opening.

Season the duck all over with salt and pepper including the cavity.

Stuff the onion, a garlic clove and bundled herbs into the cavity of the duck. Then spread the herb butter mixture all over and in between the skin and meet especially in the breast of the duck.

Tuck the tip of the wings into the bird to prevent it from burning. Using butchers twine, tie the legs together. 

In the roasting pan, spread the onion, carrot and bell pepper at the bottom. Place the duck on top.

Preheat your oven to 450˚F. Roasted the duck uncovered for 15-20 minutes. Then baste with the melted butter and dripping from the pan. Lower the heat to 350˚F and baste every 10 minutes for 50 minutes. Overall cooking time roughly 1 hour 30 minutes. The leg should be at a temo of 180˚F and the breast at a 170˚F.

Let the duck sit for 5-10 minutes to let the juices redistribute throughout the bird.


Gravy

Take the drippings from the pan. Using a fat separator, take the main juices of the duck and blend it with 1 Tbsp of all purpose flour until slightly thickened.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Production Eats No. 49

I know, I know. I've been M.I.A. these last couple weeks. But today I'm popping up from my little cave with a brief production eats. The set I was on wasn't for a television show or a movie, it was a commercial. A Japanese beer commercial, in fact. So who knows, if I'll ever see that commercial anywhere. It was a multilingual set, which was pretty interesting. And it wasn't just Japanese and English being spoken all around.


Top clockwise: Salad (yummy greens), mashed potatoes, corn, barbecued chicken, dinner roll.

I was a bit surprised by the big portion sized piece of chicken they had served up. It may not seem like it in the picture, but it was pretty big. I will admit that this meal wasn't quite as satisfying as the previous production eats. Maybe it was a lack of seasoning. The chicken thigh was cooked well. Others at my table who had gotten the breast portion complained that it was a bit on the dry side. Good thing I didn't pick that. Eh...oh well. Not all meals can be cooked to perfection.


Dessert: A piece of carrot cake and pineapple.

Maybe it's just me, but why is it that dessert tends to come out better than the actual main entree. There was also come chocolate cake, but it looked like it would give me a nice sugar high. So I opted for the slightly "healthier" alternative and went for the carrot cake.

On to the next!
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