Enjoy! Because life is too short to deprive the palate!


Grouse & Feta Salad, Asian-Style Duck over Warmed Cabbage, & The MPLS Taste Event

I recently had the pleasure of spending several wonderful days on vacation, visiting my best friend. Not only did I get to cook grouse for the first time (think chicken meets quail and you'll find the taste of grouse somewhere in the middle) but I was also able to attend The Minneapolis Taste Event, the twin cities ultimate Wine and Dine Experience.

This event boasted over 300 exclusive wines and 40 of Minneapolis' top chefs, as well as wine seminars, grilling stages, and several culinary demonstrations. The VIP Lounge was complete with crab cakes and chocolate fountains, as well as an especially unique pairing of gelatin shots, made with elderflower and ginger, that broke open when you bit into them, oozing a sweet alcoholic syrup that enveloped the taste buds. It was quite interesting to see so many of my local Northern California Vineyards mingling with blends from America's Dairyland and the Twin Cities. I definitely recommend attending if ever you have the chance!

On my last night in Wisconsin, Tayler and I celebrated by cooking up a homemade feast, tapas style, with steamed mussels, a grouse and feta salad, fresh bruschetta (recipe coming soon!), and asian-style duck served over warmed cabbage leaves. We toasted with lemon drop martinis and ended the evening with dessert drinks and homemade Honey Goat-Cheese Mini Cheesecakes (recipe coming soon!). An oddly paired myriad of flavors but a definite fun experience for the palate, and a great way to end a fabulous getaway.

Grouse & Feta Salad
  • 1 Breast of Grouse, skinned
  • 2 cups Fresh Arugula & Spring Mix Lettuce
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Tapenade: blend: 2 oz sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil) with 1/2 cup black olives, 1 tbsp. fresh basil, 1/2 cup capers, 1/2 tsp parmesan cheese, and 1 garlic clove. Add Pepper to taste.
  • Juice from 1-2 Lemon Wedges
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Cherry Tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Feta Crumbles
  • Sea Salt and Fresh Cracked Black Pepper, to taste
*Marinate the grouse in sea salt, garlic powder, and freshly cracked black pepper for 30 minutes. In a frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the minced fresh garlic, shaking the pan vigorously to keep the garlic from burning, approximately 30 seconds. Turn the heat to high and add the grouse, searing 1-2 minutes on each side depending on thickness. Check center of breasts to ensure they are a light pink, and cooked through. Remove from heat. Slice into thin strips. 

*Lay out a bed of the arugula and lettuce mix on a serving plate. Toss with 1 tbsp of the tapenade. Add the grouse and spread the remaining tbsp of tapenade across the meat. Sprinkle the cherry tomatoes and feta across the top. Squeeze the lemon wedges over the salad and salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately. 

Asian-Style Duck over Warmed Cabbage Leaves
  • 2 Duck Breasts, skinned, bone-in
    • Sauce: 4 Tbsp Soy Sauce, 2 Tbsp Honey, 2 Tbsp Sesame Oil, 3 garlic cloves pressed, 2 tsp Bragg's Amino Acids, 1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1 Tbsp White Wine Vinegar, 1 tsp Ginger Powder,  Sea Salt, and Pepper to taste.
      • Separate sauce into two portions. Marinate the duck breasts in half of the mixture, and reserve the rest for topping.
  • 1/2 head of Cabbage, cut and cored
  • 1/2 cup Low-Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 1/4 cup diced Vidalia Onion
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
*Lightly salt and pepper the duck breasts on all sides. In a large bowl marinate the duck breasts in half of the sauce for at least 30 minutes but up to 3 hours. Prep the cabbage and combine the chicken broth, salt, sugar, and butter in a large saucepan or steamer. If using a saucepan, add the cabbage and bring to a hard boil. Immediately reduce to a simmer and allow to cook until cabbage is tender, but still firm, approximately 6-12 minutes. Strain and set aside. 

*In a frying pan, heat the coconut oil over high heat until sizzling. Stir in the onions and let sweat for 1 minute, shaking the pan consistently. Add the minced garlic and the duck. Sear  each side quickly on high heat. Reduce to medium-low, add any extra sauce from the bowl the duck was previously marinating in, plus 1 cup of water, cover and let cook for 2 minutes. Remove cover, check centers, and fry over medium until cooked to your taste, 3-7 minutes. Remove from heat, debone, and slice in thin strips.

*Place the warmed cabbage onto your serving plate and sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. Layer the strips of duck meat across the cabbage and drizzle the reserved sauce over the top. Finish with a sprinkling of red pepper flakes and serve immediately. 

Both these dishes are excellent on their own but would pair well with other like-flavored dishes as well. I suggest the grouse salad as a companion to a hearty soup or sandwiches on fresh baked bread. It is also ideal as a dinner party starter. The Duck would pair excellently with other honey-glazed steamed root vegetables and can be made with the skin-on for a richer, more filling meal. 

For the recipes to our Lemon Drop Martinis, and Dessert Drinks Click Here!


<3 Marea

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