Yesterday was our 4th anniversary.  The past four years have had some ups and downs, but have, for the most part, been the most amazing four years of my life.  It’s not often that you meet someone who really gets you.  Someone who laughs at your corny jokes and likes a lot of the things you like, without just adapting to them.

Rose is that person.  She gets me.  She loves to encourage me and do things with me that she knows I love.  For that, I consider myself very lucky.  I could spend all day naming all of the things, but you would be bored and leave.  Let’s just say that she loves motorcycles and the Dukes of Hazzard.  Yeah, I am simple like that.

She doesn’t ask for much, so when she does, I try my best to do it for her.  Every year for our anniversary and her birthday, she asks me to make her a duck.  Duck is her favorite meal, and I enjoy it as well, so why not.    Last night was one of those nights.

I got the duck in the oven and had some time to kill, so I did the usual, Twitter, Facebook, yada yada.  After about an hour, I went down and peeled the potatoes and cleaned and sliced the mushrooms.  I was hoping to time everything just right to be done at the right time.  I can cook, but usually I focus on one or two things and that’s it.  With this meal, I had to make mashed potatoes, gravy with mushrooms, the sauce for the duck  and make sure the duck didn’t overcook.  Oh boy!

So, I got the potatoes boiling and started sauteing the mushrooms.  We saute them with a little butter, some garlic powder and Beau monde seasoning.  They then go into the gravy for some extra flavor.  If you’ve never tried it, get going!  It is amazing.

Below is the recipe I use from the Food Network website for the sauce.  I do make some changes to it while I am preparing it.  Feel free to do it by the recipe or doctor it up like I do.  Instead of using cherries, I use cans of Plums from Price Chopper and omit the scallions.  A word of warning!!!  This recipe requires the you flambe the mixture.  Please be very careful!  Fire is cool and all, but not when you burn down the kitchen!  If you can do this properly and without incident, the sauce is well worth it!

For the Brandied Cherry Reduction:

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced shallots
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3/4 cup brandied cherries, halved
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups rich duck or chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 tablespoon cold butter
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Set a 10-inch saute pan over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, about 30 seconds, add the shallots, garlic and cherries. Cook the shallots, garlic and cherries until the garlic is fragrant and the shallots begin to caramelize, about 1 minute. Deglaze the pan with the brandy and tilt the pan toward the flame to flambe. Cook until the fire goes out, about 1 minute. Add the vinegar to the pan and continue to cook until it is almost completely reduced, about 2 minutes. Add the stock and chopped rosemary. Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for 15 minutes, or until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat, swirl the cold butter into the sauce and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Dinner was fantastic!  Everything came out just right and it tasted so good!  Especially the Plum sauce!  What a great night!

Happy anniversary, honey.  I love you.


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