Smoked Duck Tostadas with Guajillo Salsa, Fried Black Beans and Avocado

Thinly-sliced apple wood-smoked duck breast, toasted guajillo salsa, crèma Mexicana, pickled red onions & jalapeños, field greens with cilantro, fresh avocado, fried black beans and pumpkin-balsamic vinaigrette.  If this doesn’t wake up your senses, you may need to consult a trained medical professional..

Smoked Duck Tostadas

For the Fried Beans

2 tablespoons leaf lard
1 cup cooked black beans
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon epazote
1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon sea salt

Melt lard in a heavy skillet over medium heat and sauté cumin and garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Add beans with a little of their cooking liquid and mash with potato masher or the back of a spoon.  Stir in epazote, oregano and salt and cook until much of the liquid has been absorbed.  Cover and hold.

For the Salsa (adapted from a recipe by Rick Bayless)

2 tablespoons fat or oil (I’m using leaf lard)
3 guajillo chiles, stemmed
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 pound tomatillos, husked, rinsed and cut in half
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
filtered water

Heat fat in a heavy skillet over medium heat.  Split the chiles and remove the seeds.  Place the chiles flat in the pan and cook, turning continuously, until bright red and fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Transfer to a napkin and drain.

Pour off fat, then add tomatillos and garlic.  Cook until browned, about 3 minutes, then turn, sprinkle with salt and brown on the other side.   Add all ingredients to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until slightly chunky.  Add water as necessary to form a thick but pour-able salsa.  Taste and adjust accordingly.

For the Vinaigrette

3 oz pumpkin seed oil
1 oz aged balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon guajillo honey

Slowly whisk the oil into the vinegar to form an emulsion, then whisk in honey and season to taste with salt and pepper.

To Assemble

Shallow-fry pumpkin tortillas (I got these from my local tortilleria) in a little very hot leaf lard until crisp, about 30 seconds per side, then transfer to a napkin to drain.  Be sure the fat is hot, otherwise the tortillas will be greasy.

Thinly slice smoked duck breast, season with pepper and heat briefly in the tortilla pan.

Spread one tostada with guajillo salsa and crèma Mexicana, then arrange duck slices on top. Dress with pickled red onions and garnish with pickled jalapeños and fresh cilantro.

Toss assorted fresh field greens (thanks, Meredith!) in vinaigrette and place on top of the other tostada.  Spoon fried beans over the top and garnish with slices of fresh avocado.  Drizzle a little more vinaigrette over all.

Place the tostada with the duck on top the the one with the avocado and serve immediately.

Keep Austin Weird!

This post is part of the Nourishing Gourmet’s Pennywise Thursday

Salade Nicoise Americaine

While the term SAD very appropriately describes the unhealthy Standard American Diet of nutrient-depleted, heavily-processed foods (so-called), there is abundant goodness to be had for little extra effort or expense.

Here’s a primal, seasonal all-American version of the venerable French Salade Niçoise..

100_3150

Salade Niçoise Américaine

Prepare hard-cooked pastured eggs. Cool and set aside.

Take a thin slice off the North and South poles of a large, ripe heirloom tomato.  Scoop out a little of the flesh from the center and place the tomato in a heavy skillet.  Chop the remaining flesh, tops and bottoms and set aside.

Lightly drizzle the tomato with virgin olive oil, season with sea salt and freshly-cracked pepper and roast in a 400 degree oven for 5 minutes to intensify the flavor.  Set aside.

Meanwhile, combine US Pacific pole-caught albacore tuna in a bowl with plenty of raw olive oil, organic pitted black olives, sliced scallions, diced roasted red peppers and flat-leaf parsley.  Season to taste with sea salt and pepper.

Prepare a salad of mixed field greens and herbs and toss with a little white balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

To assemble, place tomato in center of dinner plate and mound over with tuna mixture.  Arrange salad around the perimeter and garnish with quartered eggs and a variety of made-at-home sprouts.

This post is part of Food Renegade’s Fight Back Fridays

Grilled Mango Salad with Aji Mirasol Bacon Dressing

Fresh ripe mangoes, avocados and an aji mirasol-infused balsamic bacon dressing over watercress and field greens..

Grilled Mango Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing

Grilled Mango Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing

Wash and dry field greens, watercress and fresh herbs.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Fry cubes of uncured, pastured bacon and chopped red onions until crisp.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain.  Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of fat.

Add white balsamic vinegar and 1 small aji mirasol pepper (mild chile and apricot-like flavor) and simmer until thickened, about 15 minutes.  Adjust sharpness with a spoonful of raw honey, but don’t make it particularly sweet.  Add the bacon and onions and keep warm.

Split and score a ripe mango.  Push up from the bottom so that the sections pull apart, dress with coconut oil (unctuous and high-heat stable) and season with sea salt and freshly-ground pepper.

Grill the mango halves flesh side down until caramelized, about 5 minutes depending on heat source.

Arrange warm grilled mango over crisp greens. Dress with hot bacon dressing and garnish with avocado slices and quartered grape tomatoes.


Bookmark and Share

Levant Summer Salad

Lebanon, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, the Palestinian territories, and Syria..  the Levant describes, traditionally, the Eastern Mediterranean at large, but can be used as a geographical term that denotes a large area in Western Asia formed by the lands bordering the eastern shores of the Mediterranean, roughly bounded on the north by the Taurus Mountains, on the south by the Arabian Desert, and on the west by the Mediterranean Sea, while on the east it extends towards the Zagros Mountains.

Roasted figs, dates, homemade labneh, toasted nuts, field greens, herbs, peas shoots and caramelized onion balsamic..

 

Levant Summer Salad

Levant Summer Salad

 

Make labneh (yoghurt cheese) by draining the whey from cultured, whole milk yoghurt.  Roll into balls, coat with za’atar or other spices and submerge in olive oil and store in a cool, dark place up to several months.

Caramelize onions in a heavy skillet.  Add balsamic, reduce heat and simmer until thickened, about 30 minutes.  Set aside

Split figs into quarters by cutting through the stem end, leaving connected at the base. Place a ball of seasoned labneh in the center and broil until the cheese is soft and the figs begin to caramelize.  Set aside.

Toast nuts (pistachios, almonds, etc.) in a dry skillet until golden brown.  Season with sea salt, break into pieces and set aside.

Split fresh dates into quarters, discarding the pits.

Rinse and dry such mixed field greens as are seasonally available.  I like to add arugula for its peppery bite and peas shoots for the added nutrition.

Lightly toss salad with cooled onion balsamic and mound on a dinner plate.  Top with broiled figs, date slices and nuts.

This post is part of the Real Food Wednesdays Blog Carnival