Watching Karey Butterworth Johnson in the kitchen is like watching Jamie Oliver in fast forward. This woman has taken over my kitchen and churned out mind-blowing meals with incredible ease and speed.
She is a food aficionado, caterer, and editor of South Texas Food. If you want to familiarize yourself with anything food related in South Texas, check out her blog.
Below is one of her recipes for duck & parsnips that she promises will impress.
“Here is a real crowd pleaser for a special yummy night with close friends and celebration dinners. Serve with a nice Côtes du Rhône or fruity red Bordeaux. It’s a good one to have in your repertoire. Once you’ve done it a few times it is a super easy recipe to prepare with intense wow factor!” – Karey
Pan Seared Duck with Shallot Port Sauce, Glazed Figs and Parsnip Puree
6 large duck breast halves, boned (bones reserved)
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or dried, crumbled
Freshly ground pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 pounds chicken wings
2 onion, quartered
2 cup beef stock
2 cup chicken stock
3 tablespoons butter
1 shallot, minced
1/2 cup Port (use the best port you have on hand)
6 dried Calimyrna figs, stemmed and quartered
3/4 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried, crumbled
Remove excess fat from duck breasts. Brush breasts with oil; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon thyme and pepper. Cover and let stand 1 hour. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Refrigerate.)
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add duck bones, chicken backs and onion and cook until brown, turning occasionally, about 12 minutes. Add both stocks. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until reduced to 3/4 cup liquid, about 1 hour. Strain and degrease duck stock. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Season duck breasts with salt; add to skillet skin side down and cook 4 minutes. Turn and cook about 2 minutes longer for medium-rare. Transfer to heated platter and tent with foil to keep warm.
Pour off fat from skillet. Add 1 tablespoon butter to skillet and melt over medium heat. Add shallot and sauté until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add Port and figs. Increase heat and boil until liquid is reduced to glaze, scraping up any browned bits, about 4 minutes. Add duck stock and boil until syrupy, adding any juices accumulated on duck platter, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in remaining 2 tablespoons butter 1 tablespoon at a time. Season with salt and pepper.
Thinly slice duck on diagonal. Arrange on plates. Spoon sauce over. Sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon fresh thyme.
1 pounds parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 pounds russet (baking) potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
1/2 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 stick unsalted butter
Cover parsnips and potatoes with cold water by 1 inch in a 6- to 8-quart pot, then add 1tablespoon salt and bring to a boil, partially covered. Reduce heat and simmer vegetables, partially covered, until very tender but not falling apart, 30 to 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring cream, butter, pepper, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt to a simmer in 4-quart heavy pot over moderate heat.
Drain vegetables in a colander. Force warm vegetables through ricer into cream mixture, then stir to combine well.
TO PLATE: spoon parsnip puree in center of plate and arrange duck slices overlapping on parsnip. Drizzle port sauce on duck and garnish with thyme sprig.