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Minced Duck and Scallops on Pineapple

minced duck on pineapple by The Culinary ChaseThere’s nothing quite like a new recipe to try and plan a dinner menu around. Sometimes we’ll choose a wine and build a meal from that but most times it’s the former. I had originally thought of a Mediterranean-based meal for Saturday’s get together but wondered if this Thai-inspired dish would be out of sync. I pondered, then felt the minced duck and scallops on pineapple would be a cool appetizer to serve and the flavors from this would be a lovely introduction to the main meal.  I love it when things just flow and plates are scraped clean!

Serves 4
adapted from Coast

1 1/2 cups minced duck meat (cooked)
sea scallops, pat dry
peanut oil, for frying
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 coriander roots, finely chopped
red chili, chopped
4 tablespoons palm sugar, dissolved in a bit of warm water
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons coriander (cilantro) leaves, chopped
juice of 2 limes
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
pineapple slices

  • Deep-fry the shallots until light golden, drain on paper towel.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of peanut oil in a wok over medium heat.  Stir-fry garlic, coriander root, chili until fragrant (don’t let garlic burn).  Add duck meat and fry until heated through then add sugar and fish sauce. Stir until combined and sauce has reduced a bit. Add half the coriander leaves and lime juice – mix well and keep warm.
  • Divide pineapple slices among 4 plates and top with a spoonful of duck. In a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat, add a little oil and sear the scallops (2 minutes each side). This should produce a golden crust about 1/4-inch thick on both sides and the center will be translucent. Remove immediately and place a scallop on top of each pineapple. Garnish with coriander leaves and shallots.

table setting by The Culinary ChaseThe Culinary Chase’s Note:  Use pineapple wedges and you can stretch this to feed about 16 people – perfect finger food for your next soirée.  Our friends devoured it…that’s all she wrote! Enjoy!

Thai Larb

Thai-Style Pork LarbThe other night John and I were watching Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Guy Fieri was visiting a diner in Hawaii called Opal’s. It’s owned by a Thai family and as we watched the larb come together, our mouths started to water. It has been far too long since we had this! Larb is the national dish of Laos and can be made with ground meat or fish and flavored with fresh herbs and spices.  Thai larb is easy to make, perfect finger food and a fun way for your kids to eat more veggies.

Serves 2
1/2 lb. ground pork
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon agave or honey
1 to 2  teaspoons hot sauce
handful slivered red onion
handful cilantro
handful fresh mint
handful fresh basil
Boston lettuce, remove 4 layers (use as cups)
1 carrot, peeled and julienned (alternatively you can use the potato peeler)
handful finely sliced purple cabbage
1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

larb ingredientsPan-fry ground pork in a bit of olive oil until no longer pink. Remove from heat and drain any liquid. Add lime juice, fish sauce, hot sauce and agave to fried pork – stir. In a bowl toss onion, cilantro, mint, basil, cabbage and bell pepper. Add pork to vegetable mixture and lightly toss. Fill lettuce cups and fold up like you would a tortilla.

larb fillingThe Culinary Chase’s Note: You can use ground chicken, beef, or fish if you don’t like pork.  and a wonderful way to incorporate veggies into a meal.  Enjoy!