Thursday, October 8, 2009

Pan Roasted Duck Breast

Are you ready to spice up your dinner plans? This dish is absolutely delicious and super easy to prepare (recipe courtesy of Emeril.) The essence is a tad on the salty side, so you may want to adjust the amount of salt according to your taste. Add a side salad, steamed vegetables, or any side your heart desires and you have a delicious and satisfying meal in no time flat! I like baby field greens with shredded carrots and celery. Dress your salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar or a high quality salad dressing from your local health food store. I would avoid commercial salad dressings at all cost…they are loaded with MSG and other harmful additives.

• 3 duck breasts
• Essence (recipe below)
• 1 tablespoon olive oil

Essence (Emeril’s Creole Seasoning):
• 2 ½ tablespoons paprika
• 2 tablespoons salt
• 2 tablespoons garlic powder
• 1 tablespoon black pepper
• 1 tablespoon onion powder
• 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
• 1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
• 1 tablespoon dried thyme
Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Season the entire duck breast with Essence. In a large sauté pan, over medium heat, add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the duck breast, skin side down. Sear for 6 minutes. Flip the duck breast over and place the pan in the oven. Roast the breasts for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and allow to rest 2-3 minutes before slicing. Slice each duck breast into ½ inch pieces. Serve with fresh green salad or steamed veggies.  If at all possible, use organic spices for your Essence and choose organic duck breast if it is available.  Cooking for one? Not a problem, the Essence keeps for months if you store it in an airtight container.

Question of the Day

What do margarine and butter have in common? You can spread both of them on bread (you can also spread shoe polish on bread.) To make margarine, the oil must be hardened. This is done by bubbling hydrogen through the vegetable oil at high temperature. The hydrogen saturates some of the carbon-carbon bonds of the oil. The product then becomes hard or solid at room temperature. When the carbon bonds are saturated, the product is called a saturated fat. The final product also usually contains some trans-fatty acids, no matter what the label says. These are man-made fatty acids. Research shows that trans-fatty acids increase inflammation in the body. This can worsen illnesses such as colitis and arthritis. Very recent research indicates that trans-fatty acids in margarine raise LDL levels. LDL is the "bad" cholesterol. Yikes! Pass the butter, please.

What is butter? Butter is made from the cream that rises to the top if milk is allowed to sit for a time. Butter is made by churning cream. This causes a chemical reaction that causes the cream to harden slightly, giving it the buttery consistency. Butter is a fabulous fat that contains a number of natural fatty acids that are excellent for the body. Butter is an excellent source of fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin A, D, E and K. These are not found to any degree in margarine. The vitamin content of butter varies seasonally, depending on the diet of the animals from which it is derived.