A CSA Share dinner challenge…

We’ve been getting a produce share from our local orchard this fall and it’s wonderful to not have to decide what to buy each week.  It’s great to make soups and stocks and keep up with eating fresh veg and fruits too.  Yesterday we picked up our share and in it we were pleased and surprised to find:

1 head of purple cabbage
1 head of broccoli
1 head of cauliflower
1 head of lettuce
1 jar of pickled beets
4 Russet baking potatoes
8 apples
fresh parsley
fresh sage
1 acorn squash
two heads of garlic
three onions
four carrots
1 parsnip
1 turnip

So, the question was, what meal could we make and use as many of these ingredients in it?  We turned to my husband’s IPhone Epicurious app for this challenge. We found this recipe and luckily we had already made duck confit weeks ago and it was all set!  We were excited to try this recipe and were quite pleased with the outcome.

Potato Pancakes with Confit Duck and Red-Cabbage Beet Slaw
1 1/4 lb red cabbage (1/2 head), cored and cut into 2-inch chunks
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 (16-oz) jar pickled beets (Reserve the liquid to use later)
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 (6-oz) confit duck leg*
1 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 russet (baking) potatoes (about 1 lb total)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup fine dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup vegetable oil for frying

Garnish: chopped fresh chives

Make slaw: Pulse cabbage, in batches if necessary, in a food processor until finely chopped, then transfer to a bowl and add 3/4 teaspoon salt and liquid from pickled beets. Finely chop beets (with a knife) and stir into cabbage mixture along with vinegar. Let stand, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes to allow flavors to develop.

Make pancakes while slaw stands: Remove skin and fat from duck leg and finely chop them (reserve meat), then cook in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until fat is rendered and skin is golden and crisp, about 10 minutes. Transfer duck skin with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain, reserving fat in skillet. Meanwhile, remove duck meat from bone, discarding bone, and cut into 1/4-inch dice. Add onion to skillet and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until browned, 7 to 9 minutes. Combine onion, duck meat, and reserved skin in a large bowl.
Peel potatoes and shred using large holes of a box grater. Squeeze potatoes by handfuls to eliminate excess moisture, then add to duck mixture along with egg, pepper, and remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, stirring until combined.

Spread 1/2 cup bread crumbs on a sheet of wax paper (I used silpats). Using a scant 1/4 cup potato mixture for each pancake, make 12 mounds on crumbs. Coat mounds with remaining 1/2 cup crumbs and flatten into 3-inch patties.

Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat until hot but not smoking. Using a slotted spatula, gently shake off excess crumbs from each potato pancake, then fry in 2 batches, turning over once, until golden, about 6 minutes per batch. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Serve immediately, with slaw.

Cooks’ note:
Slaw can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. *Available at dartagnan.com
November 2005

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