Sunday, August 22, 2010

Orange Supper Club Lucky Duck Aftermath

Once a month, we convene with foodie friends who live (or used to live) within walking distance of us to do a themed dinner.  We call ourselves WRAPSC: Walkable Rotating Assigned Potluck Supper Club.  We're no longer all within walking distance, so the W has taken on a more a-propos meaning: Wine-loving.  Each month, we take turns hosting.  The host provides the main course and decides on the theme.  Everyone else brings an appetizer, side, or dessert.  And wine to pair, of course.  We've covered several themes since WRAPSC's inception.  Sometimes they revolve around regional cuisines.  South Asian/Indian (curries, samosas, biryani, chai bread pudding).  Italian (ravioli, figs with gorgonzola dolce, tiramisu).  Thai (not sure what was on the menu -- I was out of town filming for MasterChef at the time).  Other times, the themes are a little zany, like Cowboy theme (hearty chili, jalapeno cheddar corn bread in a skillet, tortillas) and White Trash Picnic (Popeye's chicken, deviled eggs, mac 'n cheese, coke cake).  This month, we hosted and the theme was Orange.

J&M brought a roasted carrot and fennel dish, with fresh marjoram and a bit of parmesan.  Loren came without V, but brought cantaloupe gazpacho with poblano creme fraiche as well as a salmon mousse.  M&J brought a cheese cake, with a peach compote through the center.  And finally, Nick showed up with an orange, fennel and cured olive salad.  Everyone set their dishes down on the table, and drinks -- including wines from the Orange region of France, were poured around.  All of these lovely things perfectly complimented the duck a l'orange and butternut squash ravioli with a sage browned butter sauce I made.
The duck a l'orange came from a recipe out of Mastering the Art of French cooking.  It was a long process, but it wasn't that difficult.  (There was one mishap when I dropped a cup of the duck fat I had been collecting off the roasting pan.  It made me think of Julie and Julia -- ah, the trials and tribulations of foodies and their food blogs.)
In the end, it was a perfect fete.  As usual.  Everyone drank double-fisted, with a glass of wine in one hand, and a glass of champagne in the other.  We polished off several bottles of libations and had spirited conversation.  Somewhere in there, we even started a think tank.  Mr. Rose did the dishes while the rest of us concluded that the meal was finally over, and reluctantly pushed away from the table.

There was little in the way of leftovers.  I had approximately 1/2 of a duck leftover (I had made two).  And the following afternoon, as I was starting to get hungry, I contemplated what to do with orange duck.  This is what I came up with.
I plucked kale and an heirloom tomato out of the garden.  I chopped up the kale and wilted it in duck fat (I'd only dropped one cup... there's still plenty left!), then seasoned it lightly with salt and freshly squeezed orange juice.  There was also some ravioli filling left over.  It was comprised of butternut squash, ricotta, and sage.  Duck fat, emulsified with red wine and orange juice can be put together with some minced thyme and parsley to make a rich dressing.  Everything was arranged and finished with finely ground pepper and oak-smoked chardonnay infused sea salt.
Moral of the story: She who eat good things for dinner ends up with some pretty amazing leftovers.


  1. That sounds like so much fun...nice that you can still do something together even if you are not as close by...Wonderful use of leftovers here, very nice :)

  2. Thanks... it's the magic of leftovers :)


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