Malibu Beach Recovery Diet™ – Holiday Recipes 2011
Well, Thanksgiving came and went and with it an assortment of delicious food that I can only have once a year. Not that I wouldn’t have brussel sprouts every day, but there are so many great recipes out there that it satisfies my sense of adventure to try new ones all the time. In my family, with turkey being a Thanksgiving favorite, we tried to find another traditional dish at Christmas time with the same requirements: not too many leftovers, single portion servings, high taste and originality so we can keep this dish in our Christmas 2011 memories.
Duck came highly recommended, and, in fact, in France, goose is the meal of choice at Christmas time. Hard to find a goose so duck will do. You can easily find single sided breasts at Whole Foods, skin still on since it is an integral part of the recipe. Duck is a very tasty meat and is fully recommended as a poultry alternative in the Malibu Beach Recovery Diet. It requires no particular expertise to cook, but a strong attention to make sure the meat is served medium rare and not overcooked.
For those celebrating Chanukah, this is a great alternative to brisket.
This recipe pairs the duck breasts with a Butternut Squash puree, which is a great complement to the richness of the duck. This simple recipe can be transformed into a soup by adding a little more chicken stock and a dollop of whipping cream on the top. See recipe for Pan-Seared Duck Breast with Butternut Squash Purée.
I would start off the meal with a very simple salad and our 1-2-3- dressing, with a touch of pecans and cranberries to show-off the season and give it a more festive look. Added to the salad is a Twice-Baked Goat Cheese Soufflé, a simple recipe to make that brings to the salad a fabulous level of sophistication. The great thing about this soufflé recipe is that it can be made in advance and just heated through (thus twice-baked) while your guests settle at the table so you can enjoy their company.
And what more spectacular dessert than a Strawberry Cheesecake to finish this beautiful meal. This can also be prepared the day before the holiday meal and enable you to keep things simple in the kitchen after your guests arrive.
The Malibu Beach Recovery Diet is all about making the right choices in what you eat, without depriving yourself whatsoever of what you love to eat. Although these recipes are restaurant-worthy and will blow your guests away, they are healthy and allow you to maintain a steady blood-sugar level throughout the Holiday celebrations.
Have a wonderful Holiday.
(Click Continue Reading for the recipes)
Pan-Seared Duck Breast with Butternut Squash Purée
For the purée
- 1 butternut squash
- 1 onion
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
- 2 pinch white pepper
- 1 to 1 1/2 cup chicken stock
For the duck
- 4 duck breasts (4 singles)
- 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp white pepper
- 2 whole shallot
- 1 cup cranberries
- 2 cup chicken stock
- fleur de sel (for garnish)
For the purée: Peel and cut the squash in half. Remove the seeds and cut into approximately 1″ -inch pieces.
Next, finely dice the onion. Over medium-low heat, melt the butter and cook the onions until translucent. Add the squash, salt, pepper and cook for a minute or two. Add just enough chicken stock to cover the squash. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat. Simmer on low until tender. When a knife slides into the squash easily, it is ready to be puréed.
Place the squash into a food processor and pulse until smooth. Set aside while you prepare the duck. To reheat the squash, either microwave for 1 to 2 minutes on high or reheat in a small sauce pan over low heat.
To start the duck, preheat the oven to 350° degrees Fahrenheit.
Score the fat of the duck breasts and season both sides with salt and pepper.
Heat an oven proof fry pan to medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the duck, fat side down. Let cook for about 5 to 7 minutes. For best results, pour off any excess fat as the duck cooks. Once the fat becomes crispy and the sides of the duck start to cook, place into the oven for another 5 to 7 minutes to cook. This time will depend on the size of the duck breasts. When cooking duck, it is best if cooked no more than medium rare. Once ready, allow the duck to sit for a minute before loosely covering with foil. Set aside to rest. While the duck rests, you can prepare cranberry sauce and reheat the squash purée.
For the sauce, finely mince the shallot. Add a bit more oil to the pan, if needed, and cook the shallot over medium heat for about a minute. Deglaze the pan with 3/4 cup of the stock and add the cranberries. Let this reduce by about half. Once reduced, add about a cup of stock and stir. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes until the sauce is nice and thick.
To plate the duck, first reheat the squash and make sure your sauce is nice and hot. Slice each duck breast into 4 pieces, lengthwise. Smear the squash purée onto the plate and place two or three pieces of duck per plate. Drizzle with a bit of the sauce and finish with a pinch of fleur de sel. Serve immediately.
Twice Baked Goat Cheese Soufflés with Festive Salad
- 1/2 pound aged (firm) goat cheese
- 4 large eggs
- 3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup whole-wheat flour
- 1 1/3 cups whole milk
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
Preheat oven to 375°F and butter six 3/4-cup ramekins (3 3/4 by 2 inches). Crumble goat cheese and separate eggs. In a saucepan melt butter over moderately low heat and whisk in flour. Cook roux, whisking, 3 minutes and whisk in milk. Bring mixture to a boil, whisking constantly, and simmer, whisking occasionally, 3 minutes. Remove pan from heat and add yolks, mustard, 1 teaspoon thyme, two thirds cheese, and salt and pepper to taste, whisking until cheese is melted. Transfer yolk mixture to a large bowl.
In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat whites with a pinch salt until they just hold stiff peaks. Stir one fourth whites into yolk mixture to lighten and fold in remaining whites and remaining cheese gently but thoroughly.
Divide soufflé mixture among ramekins and arrange in a large baking pan just large enough to hold them. Add enough hot water to baking pan to reach halfway up sides of ramekins. Bake soufflés in middle of oven until slightly puffed and golden brown, about 20 minutes, and transfer to a rack. Let soufflés stand, uncovered, 30 minutes (soufflés will fall slightly).
Lightly butter a baking sheet. Run a thin knife around edges of soufflés. Invert each soufflé onto palm of your hand and carefully put, right side up, onto baking sheet. Soufflés may be made up to this point 2 days ahead and chilled, covered.
Increase temperature to 425°F. Bake soufflés in middle of oven until slightly puffed and heated through, about 5 minutes.
Transfer soufflés to plates. Arrange salad decoratively alongside.
10 cups mixed salad (baby spring mix)
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup pecans toasted
1-2-3 dressing (1 part Dijon mustard, 2 parts red wine vinegar, 3 parts olive oil well mixed together).
Servings: Serves 12.
- 1 cup whole-wheat flour
- 1/4 cup almond meal
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup (1 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, diced
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 Tbsp milk
- 4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
- 3/4 cups Splenda
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 3 tablespoons whole-wheat pastry flour
- 5 large eggs
- 2 cups sour cream
- 1 tablespoons Splenda
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 16-ounce baskets strawberries, hulled
- 1 18-ounce jar sugar-free raspberry jelly (or strawberry jam)
- Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Wrap foil around outside of 10-inch-diameter springform pan with 3-inch-high sides.
- Combine flour, almond meal, cinnamonbutter and splenda in processor. Using on/off turns, blend until crumbs begin to stick together. Add egg and milk and pulse until the dough comes together in a ball.
- Press onto bottom and 2 3/4 inches up sides of springform pan. Bake crust 15 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool while preparing filling. Maintain oven temperature.
- Beat cream cheese, splenda, lemon juice, vanilla and salt in large bowl until very smooth. Beat in flour. Add eggs and beat just until blended, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl. Pour batter into crust.
- Bake cheesecake until outer 2-inch edge of cake is puffed and slightly cracked, center is just set and top is brown in spots, about 55 minutes. Transfer cake to rack. Cool 10 minutes. Maintain oven temperature.
- Whisk sour cream, splenda and vanilla in medium bowl to blend. Spoon topping over cake, spreading to edge of pan. Bake until topping is just set, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven. Run knife between crust and pan.
- Cool hot cake in pan on rack, Chill overnight.
- Release pan sides from cheesecake.
- Wash and cut whole berries in slices.
- Stir jelly in heavy small saucepan over medium-low heat until melted. Cool to barely lukewarm, about 5 minutes. Add sliced berries to jelly.
- When ready to serve the cheesecake, pour the glaze over the cake, allowing berries to drop over cake.