Bitterly, I recall the many times I blithely suggested that the poor, disadvantaged food bloggers, with no access to lardon, use bacon.
What a supercilious jerk I was! Penitent in Pennsylvania, I hopelessly trawled the meat bins at Wegmans. I unenthusiastically considered the unsliced bacon slabs. Way too fatty. Finally I settled on a double package of thick sliced bacon; one to freeze and one to use as an everyday cooking lardon substitute.
The bacon fried up nicely. That’s because I am blessed and non-anemic after the fantastic spinach, bacon, onion, red bell pepper and garlic stir fry I made.
Bacon doesn’t really count as a meat. It’s a perfect condiment for vegetables. Really. Although the spinach stir fry would have been fine without the bacon, it would have been different. Lunch :)
Long Island duck breasts are smaller than the duck breasts in France and Germany AND more expensive. They cannot be called “magret” because they are neither from a Barbary duck nor have the ducks been submitted to “gavage” or force feeding. The breast is definitely leaner with less fat and the meat seems to have a softer texture.
Because there is less fat, when scoring the breasts, one should be careful about making the cuts too deep; I wasn’t and did cut into the meat portion several times. I did worry a bit because I realized that I would need to adjust the cooking time for smaller breasts. Still, they turned out okay.
Sage butter linguine.
Long Island Duck Breasts a l’Aquitaine
4 Long Island duck breasts, fat side scored
Salt and pepper
2 pkgs vanilla sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp black pepper
Sprinkle the duck breasts on both sides with salt, pepper, 1 package of the vanilla sugar and 2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
Boil the 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar with the remaining package of vanilla sugar and black pepper until reduced by half. Set aside and keep warm.
Sear the duck breasts in a hot skillet, fat side down, for 3-4 minutes. Turn and continue to cook for 3-4 minutes. Remove from the skillet and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
Slice and serve with the balsamic reduction.
Sage Butter Linguine
4 tbsp butter
8-10 sage leaves
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 lb cooked linguine
Melt and cook the butter in a sauce pan until browned. Add the sage leaves and remove from flame. Stir in the lemon juice. Toss the sauce with the cooked linguine and cheese.