Duck Breast Sous-Vide with Duck Red Wine Demi-Glace

After yesterday’s post about duck stock, it won’t come as a surprise that today’s post features duck. I love duck meat and this duck breast with a demi-glace sauce made from duck stock and red wine was particularly nice. It also won’t be a surprise what my next post will be about, as the side dish (a butternut squash tartlet) will have a post of its own.

Now there is more to this dish than just the use of duck stock to make a demi glace (which in the modern form is just duck stock reduced until it is thick and syrupy and loaded with duck flavor). You see, I took a bit of a risk when I cooked the duck breast and duck skin separately and glued them together with Activa, and then called this ‘Perfect’ duck breast. Grant from An American Baker in London left a comment saying that he had seen something similar on Masterchef, but with the duck skin cooked sous-vide rather than in the oven to render the fat out of it before gluing it to the duck breast. The advantage of cooking the duck skin sous-vide would be avoiding shrinkage. Cooking the skin sous-vide sounded like music to my ears, and I quickly forgot that my previous version was perhaps not as perfect as I had thought it was. Continue reading “Duck Breast Sous-Vide with Duck Red Wine Demi-Glace”

Improved Octopus Carpaccio using Transglutaminase

Octopus cooked sous-vide is very flavorful and tender, and sliced thinly as carpaccio is a great way of serving it. Last year I prepared octopus carpaccio, but the slices fell apart. I tried adding gelatin and that didn’t help. Then I decided next time I would try to use a ‘meat glue’ enzyme called transglutaminase. I didn’t get around to doing that, and then I forgot about it until the succesful experiment I performed with Activa and duck breast. I prepared it exactly the same way, except that I added 2% transglutaminase by weight. And guess what? It worked! Perfect slices that didn’t fall apart. Continue reading “Improved Octopus Carpaccio using Transglutaminase”