Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Duck for the Holidays!

Just got back from Austin where we celebrated the Christmas holidays with family. Hope your Christmas and holidays were merry! We had a wonderful time, catching up with each other, playing with the kids, and of course, cooking together. My Mom and sister love to cook as much as I do, and together we made some delicious dishes, traditional and non. Our Christmas Day menu included sorrel, ham, turkey, and of course, pastelles!
For the past few weeks, seems I've been on a mac and cheese kick. This recipe features Maple Leaf Farms duck breast, spinach, mushrooms and two cheeses. The duck breast adds a meaty flavor and makes this a great one-pot dish. Maple Leaf Farms duck breast meat comes in a package already chopped, but it may be easier for you to purchase three whole duck breasts and then cut them up yourself. You can save the fat to use for another recipe.


1 lb medium pasta shells
24 oz Maple Leaf Farms Duck Breast Meat (1 package)
2 tbsp olive oil
3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp butter
8 oz thinly sliced white mushrooms
2 ½ cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 cups fresh spinach leaves
1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the pasta shells and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water, and set aside.
2. Rub duck breast meat with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Place duck in pan and cook until browned on both sides, about 4 minutes per side. Remove duck from pan and let rest.
3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
4. In the same pan, heat butter over medium heat. Add mushrooms and sauté for 7 minutes. Add heavy cream, Swiss and Parmesan cheeses. Stir until cheeses are melted. Reduce heat to low.
5. Chop duck breast meat into small pieces. Add duck, spinach and parsley to the cheese sauce. Mix well, then add the cooked pasta shells. Mix gently to combine and remove from heat. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
6. Spread the mixture in the prepared baking dish. Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes. Serve warm.

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