Christmas? Just ducky, thanks

We’d opened the cards and presents, enjoyed the scrambled eggs with smoked salmon for breakfast, and now it was time to get on with preparations for the big meal of Christmas Day — our duck-enabled lunch.

Actually I had begun the night before, dicing up some dried figs and then macerating them overnight  in Ruby Port. This morning, I peeled and diced an apple, sautéed the pieces briefly in butter, and then added in the figs-and-port mixture. For good measure, to create a syrupy sauce, I glugged in some Créme de Cassis, and cooked the mixture until the fruit was soft.

And thus we had the compote for our entrée — sautéed slices of foie gras, cooked very quickly on high heat. (And by “quickly,” I mean quickly. Perhaps a minute or less per side.)

Accompanying the foie we had small glasses of chilled sweet wine — a 2007 Roc de Miremont Monbazillac. (A sweet wine like a Sauterne is nearly always served with foie gras, and Monbazillac is a regional specialty, grown in a designated area south of Bergerac, on the outer fringes of the Greater Daglan Area, or GDA. Funnily enough, on our 1998 bicycle trip to the Dordogne, with two other couples, we ordered a bottle of it for the six of us to have with dinner, thinking that it was probably a nice dry white wine. Wrong move.) In any case, today’s serving of foie gras and compote was delicious, and particularly good looking. Here it is:

Foie gras

Golden-brown slices of foie gras, with compote.

For the main course, we decided to have a whole roast duck, to be served with potatoes roasted in duck fat (what did you expect? — it’s Christmas in the Dordogne!), and green beans (certified duck-free).

So with our foie gras finished, we opened a bottle of Piper-Heidsieck Brut Champagne, and sat down to our feast. The duck was really tasty and the roast potatoes were delicious. And my wife Jan had made a wonderful  sauce for the duck with black cherry preserves, Grand Marnier, and walnuts. Here’s the plate:

Roast duck meal

Our plat principal -- roast duck, roast potatoes, green beans.

Later in the afternoon, after a relaxing break, it was time to communicate — a Skype session with friends in Toronto, and then phone calls to family in both Toronto and Florida. So while we weren’t “together” in person, we were certainly connected all the same. And that’s a lovely part of Christmas, isn’t it?

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3 Responses to Christmas? Just ducky, thanks

  1. Gaynor says:

    Belated Merry Christmas to you Loren and Jan!
    Your skills in the kitchen have definitely gone up a notch since living in France. I know you had cooking classes in the summer but I imagine by living there you absorb cuisine savy via osmosis. I’m sure its the same with your French language skills. So Mikey and I are still here in Toronto but our jumping off point approaches (2014) — destination Barcelona! You and Jan are an inspiration and role models.
    All the best for 2012 xoxo Gaynor

  2. Loren says:

    Awww…Thanks so much, Gaynor. Not sure my French skills are improving all that rapidly, but you’re right about culinary skills! We’re loving it here — but would be delighted to visit you in Barcelona when the time comes. All the best for 2012, and beyond. — Laurent

  3. Rosemary McCaffrey says:

    Thank you for sharing your slice of life in the Dordogne with us. I always enjoy reading your entries and seeing your photos. Happy New Year to you and your family.

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