Meat

Roasted Duck with Onions and Pomegranate Sauce

This roasted duck with pomegranate sauce is a real best seller. It always surprises my guests, even those who are not so fond of duck meat. I’ve decided to share this version on the blog, but you can choose other kinds of meat. Chicken, but also guinea fowl or turkey. The final result will be great in any case. Sweet, sour and with a mild oriental touch.

I’m lucky enough to have wild pomegranate trees in my garden. Their fruits are quite small and they produce a sour juice. Definitely sourer than the juice obtained from the fruits you buy at the supermarket. Moreover, you can also find a delicious pomegranate juice from Lebanon. It’s sweeter and there’s no need to squeeze the fruits yourself! There’s no right way or wrong way in this case. Sweet or sour – it all depends on your taste!

If you want to try with fresh pomegranates, here’s a trick you can use to obtain the juice. Cut the pomegranates in half, then squeeze them with a orange juicer as if you were squeezing an orange or lemon. It works! And I assure you that your kitchen will not resemble a crime scene!

I have decided to serve it with a fresh salad and some roasted potatoes, but rice is fine too. Use basmati rice, or jasmine rice to give it an extra Middle Eastern touch!

Roasted Duck with Onions and Pomegranate Sauce

1 duck ( 2 kg weight)

the juice of 3-4 pomegranates

1 onion

a small glass of cognac or brandy

extra virgin olive oil

sparkling water

sea salt

black pepper

 

LET’S DO IT! 

Cut the duck into pieces and take off the skin. Thinly slice the onion and let it brown gently in a large casserole. Add salt and pepper. When the onion is soft and transparent, add the pieces of meat. Turn the heat up and brown them on all sides.

At this point, add ¾ of the pomegranate juice and a small glass of cognac, or brandy. Let the liquid evaporate almost completely. Now pour some cold sparkling water and the rest of the pomegranate juice on the meat.

Turn the heat down, cover the casserole and let the duck cook gently for at least two hours. Mix the pieces of duck every 30 minutes and add some more water if it’s necessary.

When the meat is done, let the liquid evaporate until it turns into a creamy sauce. Pour this wonderful sauce on the meat, and serve it with some pomegranate seeds, a fresh salad and roasted potatoes.

Meat

Prosciutto di Parma with Caramelized Pears, Walnuts and Gorgonzola

During Christmas time the number of dinners I organize increases uncontrollably. I love having friends at home, leafing through the ridiculous amount of cookbooks I own and deciding the perfect menu for my loved ones. It’s my way to take care of them and to express my love. As a matter of fact, I see food from an Italian perspective. Therefore I think that the best way to welcome your guests is offering them perfection: Prosciutto di Parma of the highest quality.

Prosciutto di Parma is balance. A balance between sweet and salty, raw and baked, lean and fatty. It’s perfect on a simple toast, or served on a board with cheese, walnuts and some fruit. This is not a real recipe, but an idea to start your Christmas dinners with friends in a traditional Italian way! The caramelized pears are extremely easy to make, but they’re heaven mixed with the other ingredients. Of course, given the simplicity of this dish, the secret for having the best result is choosing ingredients of the highest quality.

 

Prosciutto di Parma with Caramelized Pears, Walnuts and Gorgonzola (4 servings)

200 gr. Prosciutto di Parma

200 gr. Gorgonzola Cheese

Durum bread

1 big pear, not too juicy

40 gr. unsalted butter

40 gr. brown sugar

30 gr. walnuts

sea salt

cinnamon

black pepper

 

LET’S DO IT! 

Cut the pear into thin slices. In the meantime melt the butter in a pan, then add the brown sugar, a pinch of cinnamon, black pepper and sea salt. Stir for 2 minutes to melt the butter and sugar, than add the slices of pear and gently mix. Let the slices simmer for 20 minutes, or until they are tender, but not reduced to a mush. At this point, add the walnuts.

Serve the caramelized pears in a small bowl on a wood board, where you have laid the Prosciutto and the Gorgonzola cheese. Toast the bread and you’re ready! A simple starter for real gourmets.