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:
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:
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?