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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Duck Hearts and Cassava

So after an excursion to the awesome, Wal-Mart sized asian market in Oklahoma City, I returned home with tons of loot (including a giant case of coconut milk), and decided to be a little adventurous, and have a dinner of duck hearts and cassava root. I have to be honest--I'm not completely sold on the texture of hearts (I prefer kidney, and will probably try this recipe with kidney in the near future), but the taste was pretty good. So if you know you like heart, this one's a winner.

Duck Hearts, Asparagus and Baked Cassava Fries

For the cassava:

-1 cassava root, peeled, cut into 3 or 4 chunks, and boiled for 8-10 minutes

-3-4 tbsp olive oil

-1/2 tsp...

-cayenne pepper
-chili powder
-garlic powder
-black pepper
-salt (or to taste)

For the duck hearts:

-12-24 duck hearts

-4-5 tablespoons flour for dusting

-1 teaspoon cayenne powder

-Salt to taste

-2 teaspoons dry mustard

-2 tablespoons duck fat or butter

-1 tablespoon minced garlic

-1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

-2 tablespoons chicken broth

-2 tablespoons minced parsley

For the asparagus:



Preheat oven to 350 F. After it has cooled, cut the boiled cassava into approximately 1/2" slices, and put into a bowl. Add oil and seasonings, and toss until evenly and thoroughly covered. Spread on an ungreased cookie sheet, and bake for about 20 minutes, until they are crispy/golden brown.

For the duck hearts, I used this recipe: but replaced the wheat flour with plantain flour, the grated onion with garlic, and the duck fat/butter with olive oil (unfortunately, I didn't have any duck fat). For the sake of timing, I would have the duck hearts prepped and floured before you put the cassava in the oven.

After the cassava starts baking, snap the tough ends off the asparagus, and place in a steamer basket, then set aside. Bring some water to a boil in a medium pot, then place the asparagus on top and steam for 6-8 minutes.

Meanwhile, start pan frying the hearts, as per the recipe linked above. The timing should put the fries, asparagus, and hearts finishing at approximately the same time.

I recommend sprinkling a bit of sea salt/pepper onto the asparagus once it's plated.

It was definitely a B+ meal, and worth the adventure. The cassava "fries" were delicious, and asparagus is never bad. The hearts were well-seasoned/cooked, but the texture just isn't my favorite. Again, though, I'm pretty sure kidney would be delicious in this recipe.


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