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Duck, fruit, and the French ... the connections are historic.

Duck, fruit, and the French . . . the connections are historic The duck-fruit combination is a historic one. The French serve duck with orange (a l'orange or, with orange and a number of other ingredients and considerably more fuss, as bigarde) or with cherries (aux cerises or Montmorency). The sweet-tart fruit complements the richness of the duck meat. (Persons of diminished sensibility would say that the fruit cuts the grease). Dried fruit can perform the same function as oranges or cherries--and do so with considerable visual flair. To sweeten the deal, mixed dried fruit is a Western product, enabling you to garnish the bird and aid the economy at the same time.

Duck in Fruit Sauce a la Richard

1 duck (about 5 lb.), thawed if frozen 1/4 cup (1/8 lb.) butter or margarine 1/2 cup honey 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar 1 package (8 ox.) mixed dried fruit Water Sweet-sour red cabbage (recipe follows)

Remove duck giblets; reserve for other uses if desired. Discard lumps of fat. Rinse duck inside and out; pat dry. Secure neck skin to back with a small metal skewer; bend wings akimbo.

With tines of a fork, prick duck skin all over, then place duck, breast down, on a rack in a deep 10- by 15-inch roasting pan. Roast in a 350[degrees' oven for 1 hour. Turn duck over and continue to cook for 45 minutes longer.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a 1- to 1-1/2-quart pan over medium heat; stir in honey and brown sugar and cook until sugar is dissolved; set aside.

Put dried fruit in a 1- to 1-1/2-quart pan, add 1-1/3 cups water, and bring to a boil. Cover, remove from heat, and let stand until duck is ready.

After duck has cooked 1-3/4 hours, drain and discard all fat from roasting pan. Reduce oven temperature to 300[degrees]. Continue to roast duck until meat at thigh bone is no longer pink (cut to test), about 45 minutes longer. Baste 3 or 4 times during the first 20 minutes with butter-honey mixture.

Lift duck onto a warm platter; discard fat in roasting pan. Pour butter-honey mixture into pan and stir on medium heat to free browned bits. Drain fruit and turn gently in roasting pan to warm slightly and mix with sauce. Spoon around duck on platter. Carve duck and serve fruit and duck with the red cabbage. Makes 4 or 5 servings.

Per serving: 1,071 cal.; 41 g protein; 66 g fat; 85 g carbo.; 244 mg sodium; 190 mg chol.

Sweet-sour red cabbage. Core and finely shred 1 medium-size head (about 2 lb.) red cabbage. Put cabbage in a 5- to 6-quart pan with 1/2 cup water, 1/3 cup cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon each granulated sugar and firmly packed brown sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until cabbage is very tender to bite, about 40 minutes. Uncover and boil rapidly, stirring, until any liquid has evaporated. If made ahead, cover and chill up until next day. Stir, uncovered, on high heat to warm and cook away any accumulated liquid. Makes 4 cups.

Western chefs don't mind taking a lot of trouble with the food they prepare, but they like to have their trouble appreciated--hence the popularity of barbecuing, where the work shows. Behind-the-scenes detail can be less rewarding (unless the compliments are more effusive than usual). Lars Ryssdal, however, is one chef who doesn't mind the details; his Scallop Mousse Ravioli requires blending a scallop mousse, filling and cooking the ravioli, and then preparing a sauce.

If you enjoy making pasta and have the appropriate tools and skills, by all means make your own. If you don't mind a short-cut, substitute prepared egg roll skins from the store, as we did. Most people won't notice the difference. The sauce, spiced with fragrant lime juice, cardamom, and cumin, is a splendid complement to the delicately flavored ravioli.

Scallop Mousse Ravioli

1 tablespoon butter or margarine 1/2 teaspoon dry tarragon leaves 2 medium-size shallots, chopped 1/4 pound mushrooms, chopped 1/2 pound scallops, rinsed, drained, and cut into 1/2-inch chunks 5 teaspoons lime juice or raspberry vinegar 1/8 pound feta cheese 1/8 teaspoon pepper Salt 3 or 4 egg roll wrappers (6 in. square) 1 large egg, beaten to blend 1 cup whipping cream 1 cup regular-strength chicken broth 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

In a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over medium heat, combine butter, tarragon, shallots, and mushrooms; stir often until mushrooms are lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add scallops and 1 teaspoon lime juice; stir until scallops are opaque but still moist-looking in the center (cut to test), about 2 minutes.

Pour scallop mixture into a food processor or blender; add half the cheese and whirl until mixture is smoothly pureed; add pepper and salt to taste. Let cool. Rinse frying pan and set aside.

To assemble ravioli, lay 1 egg roll wrapper flat; keep remaining wrappers covered with plastic wrap to prevent drying. Cut wrapper in half, then brush all 4 edges of each half with egg. Place 1/8 to 1/6 tablespoon scallop mixture near 1 end of each wrapper half. Fold other end over filling and press edges together to seal. Place filled wrappers on a baking sheet; cover with plastic wrap as you make remaining ravioli.

In a 5- to 6-quart pan, bring about 3 quarts water to boil on high heat.

Meanwhile, in the frying pan, combine cream, broth, remaining lime juice, cumin, and cardamom. Boil, uncovered, over high heat until mixture is reduced to about 1/2 cups, about 5 munutes. Stir occasionally; keep warm.

Add ravioli to the boiling water; reduce heat to keep water just below an active boil and cook until wrappers are barely tender to bite, 5 to 6 minutes.

Lift ravioli from water with a slotted spoon, draining, and at once put 2 on each of 3 of 4 salad plates. Pour sauce equally over ravioli and crumble remaining cheese over the pasta. Makes 3 or 4 first-course servings.

Per serving: 364 cal.; 17 g protein; 27 g fat; 11 g carbo.; 388 mg sodium; 159 mg chol.

One topic on which diners do tend to be profuse in their praise is dessert. Even so, Chefs of the West remain largely--and mysteriously--untempted to abandon the barbecue grill, the casserole, or the stewpot and venture into the area of dessert. However, when one of our contributors does send in an applicable recipe, it's likely to be a blockbuster.

Dan Perry Philpot's Truffles Sharon is a case in point. Composed significantly of chocolate and butter enriched (!) by sugar, egg, brandy, whipping cream, and walnuts, it is the sort of confection that haunts weight watchers' dreams--a recollection of Paradise Lost.

Truffles Sharon

1 pound semisweet chocolate, chopped 1 cup (1/2 lb.) unsalted butter or margarine 3/4 cup powdered sugar 1 large egg 1 tablespoon brandy 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional) 2/3 cup whipping cream About 25 walnut halves

Place 1/2 of the chocolate in the top of a double boiler. Set over hot, but not boiling, water and let stand until chocolate softens, then stir often until smoothly melted. Take great care that no moisture (including steam) comes in contact with chocolate; otherwise it will "seize" (harden). Remove chocolate from heat and let stand until cool but still liquid.

With a mixer, beat butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy, then beat in egg and brandy. Add liquid cholocate and beat until smooth; mix in chopped nuts.

Cover chocolate truffle mixture and chill until firm enough to hold its shape when scooped, 3 to 4 hours. Shape into generous 1-tablespoon-size balls; place balls as formed about 1 inch apart on a wire rack in a rimmed 10- by 15-inch pan. Cover and chill at least 30 minutes or up until next day.

Wash and dry double boiler top; put remaining chocolate and cream in it. Repeat steps to melt chocolate; let stand just until slightly warm. Remove truffles from refrigerator and uncover. Ladle chocolate over each truffle, guiding chocolate so it coats truffle sides. While chocolate is soft, nestle a walnut half on top of each truffle. When all the truffles are coated, chill just until chocolate coating is firm, at least 1 hour; save any leftover chocolate for snacking. Nest firm truffles individually in snall paper cups. Serve chilled; if made ahead, wrap airtight and refrigerate up to 2 weeks. Makes about 2 dozen.

Per piece: 173 cal.; 1.2 g protein; 14 g fat; 12 g carbo.; 5.2 mg sodium; 30 mg chol.
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Title Annotation:recipes
Date:Dec 1, 1989
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