I love tomatoes, and I wanted to create a garden party luncheon with a tomato-centric menu. Valerie Rice of Eat, Drink, Garden loved the concept and she created this simple menu featuring seasonal ingredients picked from her own garden.
Today we’re in the kitchen once again with Duo Events and this week they’re cooking up duck breast with panisse crouton, bloomsdale spinach and blood orange and sage demi glace, how good does that sound?
Let’s get started:
6 7-8 oz Duck Breasts (source from a reliable butcher or specialty market)
2 cups Panisse (Garbanzo Flour) – Polenta is a good substitute
6 cups water or chicken stock
2 Tbl of chopped shallots
1 tsp of picked thyme leaves
6-8 cups washed spinach (roughly 2 bunches)
2 cloves garlic (sliced)
Zest and juice of 1 small lemon
2 Tbl Olive Oil
2 tsp of Butter
1 cup Veal or Duck Demiglace (homemade or sourced through a specialty grocer)
2 Tbl diced shallots
1 clove sliced garlic
6-8 Sage Leaves
½ cup of Blood Orange Juice (Pomegranate Juice would also work well)
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Procedure for Panisse:
- Sauté shallots in 2 tbl of olive oil in a large saucepot until translucent (2 minutes).
- Add 6 cups of chicken stock (or water) to the saucepot and bring to a boil.
- Add Panisse and reduce heat to a simmer.
- Stir in the chopped thyme.
- Cook until Panisse is thickened and pulling away from the pan.
- Pour the mixture into an oiled baking pan and allow to cool.
- After cooling, cut the Panisse into 1×4 inch rectangles.
Preparing the duck:
- Score the skin of the duck breast. (Cut a crosshatch pattern into the skin of the duck taking care not to slice into the flesh of the duck).
- Heat a heavy bottom saucepan over medium heat.
- Season the duck with salt and pepper.
- Place the duck into the pan skin side down.
- Reduce heat to a medium low flame and cook until the skin has darkened to a rich brown color and has crisped somewhat (this may take 4-5 minutes).
- Flip the duck and continue to cook for 2 minutes more (be careful not to over cook the duck- you are aiming for medium rare).
- Remove the duck from the pan and allow to rest while you prepare the remainder of the dish.
First up cocktails… We of course kept with the theme and had sake and Sapporo and then we got started learning the art of sushi.
A couple of things I learned… Those bamboo mats for rolling? Put saran wrap on them for an easier time, and don’t put too much rice in the roll (my California roll was a little structurally unsound).
And then we feasted on our handy work! I love this idea for a foodie bride who wants something different for her bachelorette or even as a great ice-breaking event when the newly engaged couple’s parents meet. To learn more about sushi making, Fukiko and Studio Nihon go right here. And to see Sam’s and Kim’s posts about the sushi party check them out here and here.
Last week me and my partners in crime, Samantha from could I have that and Kim, from Love Mikana, had a little girls night at one of Santa Barbara’s newest (and tastiest) restaurants, Arlington Tavern. Of course we had to get all glammed up (why not) and put on our best sparkly attire (you can see more about Sam’s outfit right here).
To add a bit more fun to our night out, I brought simply clipped flowers from my garden and Kim brought some adorable favors (more about that over on Love Mikana). Since Arlington Tavern’s logo is the crossed fork and knife, I styled the place settings accordingly.
We of course had to sample as many appetizers as possible… One of my favorites? The kobe beef hot dog… Best hot dog in Santa Barbara? I think so!
And the of course, what party wouldn’t be complete without mac n’ cheese. This dish is seriously perfect, I could have eaten the whole bowl by myself. And for some vegetarian friendly options, we ordered the heirloom tomato salad and the aspargus with deep fried poached egg. And yes, its as decadent and delicious as it sounds.
Of course, what would a birthday party be without some serious desserts? We shared with the lemon cake (super zesty and delicious) and my personal favorite, the warm espresso brownie with caramel sauce.
Special thanks to Arlington Tavern for hosting us! You can stop in and sample the mac n’ cheese (do it!) Monday through Saturday from 5pm to 10pm (closed Sunday). The Tavern has a regular sit down dinner menu and also a bar menu if you’re feeling just like some small bites. And, if you’d like to see more of our party, be sure to hop on over to Could I have that and Love Mikana. Party on!
I love a party that’s built upon great food and good friends. And this one starts at the Santa Barbara’s farmer’s market and Fish Market for super fresh ingredients and ends at a casual backyard location.
Setup some couches outside, pull out your record player, hang a hammock or two, and invite some friends over who are ready to chow down.
Add some local Telegraph beer for flavor to your crab boil, use a wheel barrow to hold of drinks, and offer some colorful salads to go with your crab boil and you’ve got the makings of one successful party!
One of my favorite places in the world, is a little orchard that has been serving tea and scones to Cambridge students since 1897…
We sat under the trees eating scones with clotted cream and jam… And the words by Rupert Brooke, who wrote about this idyllic spot, still hang in the air, “And is there honey still for tea?” (The Old Vicarage, Granchester).
A few weeks ago I did a mini food photo shoot at Duo Events because I love food photography and it was excuse to eat Duo’s food outside of tasting or wedding. I’m in love with these little sliders, they are the perfect late night snack.
I’m looking forward to a long weekend (hello beach time) and then I’ll be off to Engage!11 in San Diego. Who else is going?
Photo by Kirsten Ellis of Beaux Arts Photographie.