In this weeks The Chef's Pantry, restaurateur and host-extraordinaire Jay Spencer of French Press Bakery and Cafe in Needham walks us through a lesson in Brunch perfection, a traditional Eggs Benedict with Confit Duck and Crispy Onions, Herb Roasted Breakfast Potatoes and a Peach Shrub Bellini. The time spent marinating and mashing peaches for his heritage Bellini will pay off in dividends.
If you ever desire to master a Mother Sauce, Spencer holds our hand and whisks up a perfect Hollandaise. Don't fret, he is not adverse to shortcuts and gives us some great tips to by confit duck on the fly.
From New York's French Culinary Institute to his scratch bakery, he is a true gem in the culinary world.
Duck Confit and Crispy Onion Benedict
2 Duck Confit Legs, shredded (recipe below)1 Medium Onion, 1/4 cup vegetable onion, 2 Egg Muffins4 eggs, 2 tablespoons white vinegar, Hollandaise Sauce (recipe below)Salt, Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Directions: Fill a large pot two-thirds full with water and bring to a boil. Then add the vinegar and bring the water to a boil again. Lower the heat to a bare simmer.
Pour the vegetable oil in a small skillet and heat until hot. Carefully lower the onions into the oil using a slotted spoon. Cook the onion until crispy, about 3-5 minutes. Remove the onion from the skillet and place on paper towels to remove the excess oil. Discard the oil. To the same skillet, add the shredded duck confit and crispy onion. Heat until warm. Set aside. Break each egg individually into small bowls. Swirl the large pot of water and drop each egg into the water while the water is moving. Allow the egg to poach in the water until the outside is set, about 4-6 minutes. Once the egg is cooked to your desired hardness, remove from the water using a slotted spoon and set aside. While the eggs are slightly cooling, toast the English muffins until golden brown. To assemble, place the English muffins on a plate, top each half with the duck and onion mixture, an egg, and pour hollandaise sauce over. Season the top of each egg with salt and pepper. Serve with the Peach Shrub Bellini and Breakfast Potatoes.
4 duck legs1/2 cup garlic, chopped salt white pepper duck fat
Pat duck legs with a paper towel to dry.
Generously sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of each duck leg.
Place duck legs skin down and spread garlic on top of the duck. Cover with plastic film and refrigerate for 24-36 hours.
Heat a stock pot with duck fat over, enough to completely cover the duck legs, over very low heat.
Remove the duck legs from the refrigerator and let them come to room temperature. Scrap all the garlic off the legs and discard.
Gently lower the duck legs into the fat. Cook slowly at a very slow simmer, just an occasional bubble until the duck is tender and can be easily pulled from the bone, 2-3 hours. Remove the duck confit from the fat. Cool and use immediately or store in the duck fat.
Hollandaise - Stove Method
1 cup clarified butter, room temperature
4 egg yolks
1 tablespoon cold water
2 tablespoons lemon juice (juice from 1 small lemon), divided1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
Heat 2 inches of water in a saucepan over medium heat.
Combine egg yolks and cold water in a mixing bowl and whisk until the mixture is light and foamy. Whisk in a couple of drops of the lemon juice.
Set the bowl directly atop the saucepan of simmering water. Whisk the eggs until slightly thickened.
Remove the bowl from the saucepan and begin adding the melted butter slowly while whisking constantly.
Once all the butter has been added, whisk in the rest of the lemon juice, mustard, and season to taste.
Breakfast Potatoes Ingredients
2 pounds red potatoes, diced
6 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons rosemary, minced
2 tablespoons thyme, minced
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Place potatoes in a bowl with the garlic, rosemary, thyme, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss until the potatoes are well coated.
Dump the potato mixture on a baking sheet and spread out
Roast in the oven until browned and crisp, about 45 minutes to an hour. Flip two or three times with a spatula during cooking to ensure even browning.
Peach Shrub Bellini Ingredients
2 lb white peaches, very ripe
1 -1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 bottle Prosecco
In a medium sized bowl, mash together peaches and sugar. Cover the bowl and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight and up to two days.
Sieve peach mixture into a clean bowl, pressing down on the fruit to extract all the flavor, discard the solids saving for another use.
Add vinegar to the peach juice, whisking to combine. Pour into a storage container and place in the fridge for 1-2 days or until all the sugar is dissolved.
The shrub can be stored for a few months in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator.
To make the bellinis, fill a champagne flute 1/4 full of the peach shrub and top with prosecco.