Grilled Duck Breast with a Pink Peppercorn-Passion Fruit Sauce and Wild Mushrooms
Pink duck slices surround a crisp filo basket holding squash. The duck is complemented by a pink peppercorn-passion fruit sauce. Accompaniments include mushroom potatoes — carved to look like mushrooms, then sauteed until golden — and other vegetables. Nearly every major part of this flexible recipe can be used to accompany other dishes; the mushroom potatoes, for instance, would be wonderful with beef or pork.
- Filo Baskets
- Filo Dough - 12, 14-inch-by-18-inch sheets
- Butter - 2 tablespoons, melted and cooled
- Mushroom Potatoes
- New Potatoes (waxy type, like Red Skinned, Yellow Finn, or White Rose) - 32
- Olive Oil - 1/2 cup
- Butternut squash - 1, pared and diced
- Chunky Green beans - 16, blanched
- Red Cabbage - 1/2 small, separated and blanched
- Carrot - 1 large
- Asparagus Stalks - 16 pencil-sized, blanched
- Olive Oil - 3 tablespoons
- Duck Breasts - 4 8-ounce
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Olive Oil - 1/4 cup
- Pink Peppercorn - Passion Fruit Sauce
- Unsalted Butter - 2 tablespoons
- Shallots - 3, minced
- Pink Peppercorns - 1 ounce
- Scallion - 1, chopped
- Cognac - 1/4 cup
- Dry white wine - 1 cup
- Chicken Stock - 1 cup
- Passion Fruit - 24, peeled, diced and pureed, or 1 cup passion fruit puree
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 6 cups
- Parsley - 3 sprigs, stemmed and chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Unsalted Butter - 8 ounces (2 sticks) , cut into 3 pieces
- Sauteed Mushrooms
- Unsalted butter - 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick)
- Mixed Wild Mushrooms - 3 cups, cleaned and sliced
- Parsley - 3 sprigs, stemmed and chopped
- Garlic Cloves - 4, minced
- Tomato Roses (see Basics) - 4
- Rosemary - 4 sprigs
- Whole Chives - 8
To make the baskets: Preheat the oven to 400 F. Stack six sheets of filo and use a heavy sharp knife to cut into 12 four-inch squares, cutting straight down through the layers. Lay plastic wrap over the squares and cover with a damp towel. Repeat with the remaining six sheets of filo. Working quickly, place one square on a work surface, dip your finger in the butter and dot the center of the filo, and cover with a second square of filo, set slightly off angle to the first. Repeat, making six layers of filo tacked together with butter at the center. Lift, pressing at the center, and press into a small muffin tin cup. Repeat with remaining squares. Bake for 2 minutes, until crisp. Remove and keep in a dry place until ready to use.
To make the mushroom potatoes: Preheat the oven to 325 F. Pare the potatoes and carve them into mushroom shapes. Pat dry with paper towels. Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat and saute the potatoes until lightly browned. Place in the oven for 20 - 25 minutes to finish cooking.
To make the vegetables: Put the squash in a medium saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Cook 10 minutes, or until the pieces are soft when pierced with a fork. Drain, cover, and set aside. Cut the carrot with a large scalloped cutter, and cut the center out with a smaller cutter, creating a ring. Steam the asparagus and carrot rings in the top of a double boiler over boiling water for 7 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
To prepare the duck breast: Heat the broiler to high or prepare a charcoal fire. Brush the duck breast with oil and season with salt and pepper, pressing it onto the meat. Sear for 30 seconds, then turn one fourth of the way around and sear again on the same side to create grill marks. Grill for 2-1/2 minutes, turn over, and grill for 2-1/2 minutes on the other side (for rare).
Remove and keep warm.
To make the sauce: Melt the butter in a saute pan over medium-high heat and saute the shallots for 30 seconds. Add the pink peppercorns and scallions and saute for 2 minutes. Add the brandy, avert your face, and flame. When the flame dies down, add the white wine and stir up the browned bits from the bottom. Add the chicken stock and passion fruit puree and simmer to reduce for 1 minute. Whisk in the cream, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk in the butter in three additions, blending well between each addition.
To prepare the mushrooms: Heat the butter over medium-high heat in a saute pan and saute the mushrooms, parsley, and garlic until the vegetables are softened and begin to color. Set aside and keep warm.
To serve: Drain the squash again. Heat the olive oil and warm the vegetables. Slice the duck breast very thinly. Pool the sauce on the plate. Fan duck slices across the sauce. Place a spoonful of sauteed mushrooms to the side of the plate. Garnish with a sprig of basil or rosemary. Place 7 - 8 mushroom potatoes on the other side of the plate. Fill a filo cup with squash and place on the plate. Slip asparagus spears through a carrot ring and place on the plate. Complete the plate with green beans, a small mound of cabbage, 1 tomato rose, and a rosemary sprig. Cross 2 chives over the dish.