From the farmers' market

From the farmers' market

A large bunch of asparagus, spring onions, 2 apples, 3 pears, a large bag of salad greens, and 2 stems of lilacs (sigh, I love lilacs).

Plans for these include an asparagus and spring onion pizza (stay tuned later in the week for more about that), a salad with the apples and salad greens, and some pears to snack on.

Also, it was nice to see that there was a new pasta and jam stand, made by Stefano Frigerio, formerly of Maestro and another stand that seems to be poultry based: eggs, chicken, goose, and duck (this would have helped immensely in December where I couldn’t find duck legs or duck fat anywhere).

And most exciting for me, the guys from Garners Produce let me know that they’d have strawberries next week. Joy!

Duck with blackberry sauce

Duck with blackberry sauce

This weekend I made duck breast with blackberry sauce from Epicurious for a special occasion. The comments section had some “wow this sauce is really challenging” comments along with “it takes much longer to reduce than the recipe says.” I didn’t really find either, the sauce was mostly pretty easy, it just involved a lot of stirring. And, true to the recipe, the sauce took about 25 minutes to reduce to about a cup of sauce, if not a tiny bit longer. This was my first time cooking duck, and I found that, at least for the thickness of the breasts I bought, the time the recipe recommended for a medium doneness was a little long, I stuck to it and got closer to medium-well.

Served it with a side of salad, a personal favorite: salad greens, thinly sliced pear, and a dijon vinaigrette – optional add-ons: goat cheese, sunflower seeds, croutons.

To drink: a bottle of Tarara Winery’s Meritage (of Leesburg,VA, which I visited this fall).

Georgetown cupcakes

Georgetown cupcakes

For dessert: cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcakes. These live up to the hype, they are very, very good. I don’t make it out to Georgetown too often, so I hadn’t had a chance to try these after they got a rave review in the New York Times. Well I should have known if they were good enough for Frank Bruni, they were good enough for me. Favorites so far: lava fudge, chocolate 2, and lemon blossom.

This meal was quite decadent. Even though I recently got laid off, I’d already bought all the ingredients prior to that, and I don’t think Whole Foods would take too kindly to me returning $20 of uncooked duck breasts bought on Thursday, nor Best Cellars for me returning the expensive wine I special ordered, nor Georgetown Cupcakes for returning a dozen gift-wrapped cupcakes.

So, I made the best of a not-so-great situation and cooked a fabulous meal.