Simple Roast Duckling

This isn’t my recipe, but it is one I have collected and love. Enjoy!

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
Place the duck on a clean chopping board and remove any excess fat from the neck and body cavities.
Rinse the duck thoroughly, inside and out, under a cold running tap and pat dry with a paper towel.
Pierce the skin of the duck all over with a cocktail stick or a thin bladed knife, at 1 inch intervals.
Rub salt and pepper into the skin of the duck, inside as well as outside.
Position the duck on a rack placed in a roasting tray, breast side up.
Pour a few cups of boiling water over the duck and into the roasting tray and place into the preheated oven.
Roast the duck for up to 3 hours or until no fat remains and the skin is crispy and brown, turning the duck over after every 30 minutes. Basting the duck with the juices may help to release more fat whilst cooking, although this is not necessary.
Once the duck is cooked, remove it from the oven and transfer it onto a carving board. Let it rest for 15 minutes before carving and serving.

For duck
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 (5- to 6-lb) Long Island duck (also called Pekin)
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
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup duck stock, duck and veal stock*, chicken stock, or reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 carrot
1/2 celery rib

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

Special equipment: an instant-read thermometer; a 13- by 9-inch flameproof roasting pan


Roast duck:
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 475°F.

Stir together salt, coriander, cumin, and pepper. Pat duck dry and sprinkle inside and out with spice mixture. Cut 1 half of orange into quarters and put in duck cavity with thyme, marjoram, parsley, and 4 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°F. Continue to roast duck until thermometer inserted into a thigh (close to but not touching bone) registers 170°F, 1 to 1 1/4 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.

Make 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.

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Ricotta Cheese – Fresh, Healthy and Delicious

Fresh — and refreshing — ricotta cheese
By Wolfgang Puck, Tribune Media Services (he loves to share so we are!)

When people ask me for some of my favorite fresh ideas for quick and easy light summer desserts, they might be surprised at first when I suggest that they make their own cheese. After all, at first thought, cheese is anything but light, and certainly not something you can prepare in next to no time.

That’s when I add that the cheese I’m talking about is Italy’s popular ricotta. It’s name translating as “recooked,” this soft, creamy-tasting cheese is traditionally made from the whey that’s left over from the production of other cheeses. But you can also easily prepare a version of it by heating together some milk and a little cream along with some yogurt, the acidity of which will coagulate the dairy solids that, once excess liquid is drained off, form the fluffy, satisfying curds for which ricotta is prized.

I often like to eat chilled fresh ricotta for a simple summertime dessert. All you need to do is sweeten it a bit to your own taste, using a light sprinkling of sugar, a drizzle of honey, or even a touch of your artificial sweetener of choice. Then, I’ll scatter a few berries or other fresh fruit on top and around the ricotta and, in moments, I’m ready to put on the table a beautiful, delicious, and satisfying end to a light, refreshing warm-weather lunch or dinner.

But that’s just the beginning of what you can do with your own homemade ricotta (or, for that matter, with a good-quality ricotta you buy at a well-stocked supermarket or Italian deli).

So many classic Italian dishes include ricotta. You can combine it with beaten egg, seasonings, and other ingredients, such as chopped cooked mushrooms or spinach, to make a filling for fresh pasta like ravioli, the large pasta tubes called cannelloni, or as a layer in lasagna. Use a dollop to lighten or moisten meatloaf mixtures or burgers. Toss some ricotta with freshly cooked pasta, still dripping slightly after draining, and add some Parmesan, salt, and pepper. Or puree it in a food processor to make a dip or spread seasoned with fresh herbs or spices.

Naturally, as my simple instructions above for lightly sweetened ricotta with summer fruit suggest, it also makes a wonderful dessert ingredient, including its role as an essential part of the filled pastries called cannoli and in Italian cheesecakes. But I especially like adding ricotta to the light gelatin-thickened Italian treat called panna cotta (literally, “cooked cream”). As the second recipe I share with you shows, it helps create a dessert that tastes rich and satisfying even as it leaves you feeling light and refreshed.

Have fun making your own fresh ricotta and enjoying it in so many ways!


Makes about 1-1/2 cups

6 cups whole milk

6 ounces yogurt with live active cultures

6 ounces heavy cream

Pinch salt

In a nonreactive saucepan, whisk together the milk, yogurt, cream, and salt. Put the pan over moderate heat and slowly bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. The moment it reaches a boil, turn off the heat, stir once, and set the mixture aside to settle for 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, line a colander with a double thickness of clean cheesecloth. Set the colander in the sink or over a deep heatproof bowl. Slowly pour the mixture into the colander. Leave to drain until a thick ricotta cheese is left behind in the cheesecloth, about 15 minutes. If using a bowl, discard the liquid.

Transfer the fresh ricotta to a covered nonreactive container. Refrigerate until needed.


It’s surprisingly easy to make your own ricotta cheese. Use it for pasta fillings, in desserts, or as a dessert in its own right, simply sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar and served with fresh berries. Keep the ricotta in the refrigerator and use it within 2 to 3 days.


Serves 8

1-1/2 cups whole milk

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup sugar

1 vanilla bean

2/3 cup Fresh Ricotta Cheese (see separate recipe)

2-1/2 gelatin leaves or 1-1/4 teaspoons powdered gelatin, softened in a small bowl of cool tap water

2 tablespoons thick-shred orange marmalade, minced

1 pound assorted fresh organic berries

In a saucepan, combine the milk, 1/2 cup of the heavy cream, and the sugar. With a small, sharp knife, carefully split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise. With the knife tip, scrape the seeds from inside each half and add them to the pan along with the pod halves. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat and whisk in the ricotta.

Place a heatproof bowl inside a larger bowl filled with ice. Pour the hot mixture through a strainer into the bowl. Discard the vanilla bean halves.

Drain the gelatin and slowly whisk it into the cooling milk mixture. Leave the mixture over the ice to cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, with a hand-held electric mixer or a wire whisk, whip the remaining cream until it forms soft peaks that droop slightly when the beaters or whisk are lifted out. With a rubber spatula, gently fold the whipped cream into the milk mixture. Then, fold in the marmalade.

Divide the mixture among 8 chilled martini glasses, wine glasses, or other attractive serving dishes. Put on a tray and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled and set, at least 1 hour. Before serving, arrange the berries on top.

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Farmer’s Market Soup


3 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
4 carrots, sliced
1 celery stalk, sliced
1 onion, chopped
1 fennel bulb, chopped
1 cup fresh corn kernels
½ cup whole barley
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped
6 cups water
½ cups tomato paste
1 cup spinach leaves, thinly sliced
1 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
1 tablespoons fresh tarragon, chopped
4 tablespoons tamari to taste

Directions: Place first 10 ingredients in large stockpot, bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer one hour and 15 minutes. Add tomato paste, cook 5-10 minutes more. Add spinach, dill, tarragon with tamari to taste.

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A Great Shrimp Recipe

Thai Shrimp Curry


1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup thinly sliced yellow onion
1 cup chopped green onions
1 cup cubed butternut squash
½ cup diced red pepper
1 cup broccoli
1 tablespoon Thai green curry paste
13.5 fluid ounces canned coconut milk
1 cup low-salt chicken broth
3 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
2 teaspoons sugar (white or brown to taste)
1 cup canned diced petite-cut tomatoes (Glen Muir)
Fresh lime juice, to taste
2 pounds large shrimp, peeled, deveined
Chopped fresh cilantro


1. Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sliced yellow onion; stir-fry until soft and beginning to brown, about 4 minutes.

2. Add butternut squash, red pepper, broccoli. Reduce heat to medium. Add green onions and curry paste; stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add coconut milk, chicken broth, fish sauce, and sugar; bring to boil. Add tomatoes and boil 2 minutes.

3. Off heat, add lime juice.

4. Garnish with cilantro. Serve on jasmine rice.


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