Duck Burgers with Apple and Onion Sauté

Here’s a savory duck burger topped with a simple apple and onion sauté.  Duck is milder than beef, and I think the flavor is more interesting than chicken.  Plus it pairs really well with the star fruit of the season – apples.

Duck Burger with sautéd apples and onions

Duck Burger with Apple and Onion Sauté

I created a simply spiced duck burger that allowed the sweet and meaty flavor of duck to shine.  It was delicious topped with sautéed apples and onions, as duck works well with sweet/savory flavors.  Enjoy!

Duck Burgers with Apple and Onion Sauté
serves 4

1 1/2 LB ground domestic duck*
sea salt
fresh ground black pepper
1 small yellow onion, peeled, halved, and sliced thin
2 small apples, peeled and sliced
1 TB butter
4 buns
lettuce leaves
mayo and stone ground mustard

Heat a covered sauté pan over medium heat, and swirl in the butter when the pan is warm.  Add onion slices, stir, cover and sweat for 5 minutes.  Remove cover, add the apple pieces, and sauté until the onion/apple mixture is soft but not mushy.  Season lightly with sea salt.

Season the ground duck* with 1/2 tsp sea salt and ground black pepper.  Heat a large fry pan over high heat until hot, but not smoking.  While pan is heating, form the ground duck into four patties.  The meat will be soft and loose, but it will firm up when cooked.  Add a little oil to the hot pan and place the patties.  Allow to fry for several minutes, or until browned.  Flip burgers and cook until desired doneness.  Serve on buns, topping with apple and onion sauté, lettuce, mayo and mustard.

*I had access to high quality whole domestic duck (wild duck also works well — just a stronger taste), and ground my own meat.  It was simple to do.  Duck is basically like chicken, but with much more fat under the breast meat skin.  To adjust the lean to fat ratio of the duck meat to your preference, consider removing the skin from one of the breast portions before grinding, but leaving the skin on the other portion.  The more skin you include with your ground duck, the fattier the final result will be.  I used the meat grinder attachment on my KitchenAid mixer on the coarse setting to optimize the texture of the soft duck meat.  Manual meat grinders are inexpensive and work well — a worthy kitchen tool for the carnivore.

Smoky Quinoa and Lentils

Earthy red quinoa and french green lentils taste amazing with sweet ripe tomatoes and a smoky lemon dressing.


Smoky Quinoa and Lentils

The magic making these simple foods extra delicious is smoked paprika.  I developed this recipe to inspire a friend looking for good lunch ideas.  This one works nicely — it’s best at room temp, protein packed, super tasty, and portable.  It also is an easy make-ahead dish.

simple lemon dressing featuring smoked paprika

simple lemon dressing featuring smoked paprika

french green lentils, tomatoes, red quinoa, and lemon

french green lentils, tomatoes, red quinoa, and lemon

Add a piece of fruit and lunch is served!  Also fabulous over a bed of greens for a dinner entree.  Enjoy!  (for Barbara)

Smoky Quinoa and Lentils
(makes 4-5 generous servings)

1 cup french green lentils
1 cup red quinoa
3 medium ripe red tomatoes, diced
1/3 cup toasted pepitas

For the Smoky Lemon Dressing:
6 TB extra virgin olive oil
3 TB fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
3/4 tsp. fine sea salt

Make the smoky lemon dressing by combining the olive oil, lemon juice, smoked paprika, and sea salt.  Set aside.

Cook the green lentils:  rinse the lentils, then place in medium covered sauce pan with 3  cups water.  Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the lentils are tender but still firm.  Drain and place in a bowl.

Cook the red quinoa:  First, rinse the quinoa.  It is important to wash off the bitter saponins that are a natural part of the seed coat.  I place the dry quinoa in a bowl, cover with cool water, swish around a couple of times, then drain in to a fine mesh colander.  Place rinsed quinoa into a sauce pan, add 1 1/3 cups fresh water, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 8 – 10 minutes, or until the quinoa is tender but still has bite, and the water has been absorbed.

When the cooked lentils and quinoa are cooled to room temp, combine with the tomatoes and smoky lemon dressing.  Just before serving, add the pepitas.