Sunday, February 22, 2015

Beef Sliders with Sautéed Mushrooms, Onions, Bleu Cheese and Bacon for a Red Carpet Party #SundaySupper

Beef Sliders with Sautéed Mushrooms, Onions, Bleu Cheese and Bacon for a Red Carpet Party #SundaySupper

Before I start, I have a little housekeeping matter to discuss. This past Thursday, my facebook world went through, ahem...let's call it an adjustment. For whatever reason, the website seized my personal profile as Foodie Stuntman and forced me to convert it to a facebook page, so everyone on my friends list are now 'Likes' to Foodie Stuntman, the page. As soon as I can replicate the content that was in the old personal profile, I plan on deleting the page and I won't be updating it any further. In addition, I've opened a new facebook personal profile under DB Stuntman and I ask you send me a friend request there, if you wish and haven't done so already. My Crazy Foodie Stunts facebook page, twitter, pinterest and G+ are unaffected.

Moving onto the dish: I remember watching America's Best Cook on Food Network last spring where one of the challenges was to prepare a burger. It occurred to me that I hadn't addressed the concept here so I prepared one this past August but it had influences and flavors from other cuisines and I wanted to address the dish from a classic American standpoint. The opportunity arose with this week's #SundaySupper theme of Red Carpet Party hosted by Katie of Ruffles and Truffles.

You might be asking yourself right now, How does a burger relate to the Oscars? so let me make the connection. The only nominee in this year's Best Picture category that I've seen is American Sniper. In it, Bradley Cooper plays the title role of Chris Kyle who was born and raised in Texas. I then started to think of food The Lone Star State does well and thought of steakhouses, so I started looking at steakhouse menus, where burgers are common as a happy hour item or appetizer.

So let's discuss this classic American staple. For me, the toppings are secondary to the burger patty. I used bleu cheese, mushrooms, onions and bacon in this instance, but if you want to replicate this dish, feel free to adjust them to your tastes. My father taught me to use 80/20 ground beef because anything leaner will result in a dry burger because there is little fat to render during the process of cooking it, which makes the burger juicy. I further fortify my burger with freshly shredded parmesan cheese, which is my secret ingredient. In addition, parmesan is naturally salty so it also seasons the patty.

The Challenge

Demonstrate my burger recipe and to compare it with others.

The Source

This dish is a Crazy Foodie Stunts original


1 1/2-pound 80/20 ground beef
1/3-1/2 cup fresh parmesan cheese, shredded
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces (i.e. slices) bacon, cut into batons
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 large onion, cut in half, root to stem and then sliced crosswise, thin
1 8-ounced package, pre-sliced cremini or baby bella mushrooms
2 ounces crumbled bleu cheese
Slider buns


1. Prepare the burger patties: In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, parmesan cheese and garlic, then season the mixture with salt and pepper. Form the mixture into patties slightly wider than the slider buns, about 1 dozen.

2. Prepare the toppings: Place the batons in a dry sauté pan over medium heat and cook until crisp and the fat has rendered, approximately 5 minutes. Remove the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and drain the bacon fat from the pan then replace it with the olive oil and butter. Once the butter has melted, add the onions and mushrooms and cook until the onions have browned and the mushrooms have reduced, approximately 20 to 25 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then remove to a bowl and set aside to keep warm.

3. Prepare the burgers: Heat a grill pan over medium heat. Sear the patties until cooked through to desired doneness, approximately 3 minutes per side for medium rare. To plate, place a burger patty on a slider bun and top with onions, mushrooms, bacon and bleu cheese. Serve immediately.


From the standpoint of the dish itself, Mrs. Stuntman asked if there were any leftover sliders to take for a brown bag lunch the next day after polishing off a couple of them for dinner. Whether or not the challenge was successful is still undetermined because I would need to put my burger patties up against any other home cook's patties. Recipe contest anyone? Let me know if you're up for it.

Meanwhile, I invite you to enjoy the red carpet in addition to the awards show and encourage you to do so with one or more of these other foods featured this week:

Nominees for Best Supporting Appetizers:
Nominees for Best Course in a Leading Role:
Nominees for Best Supporting Sips:
Nominees for Best Delectable Desserts:
Nominees for Best Dressed Table:
Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Pan-Seared Duck Breast with Red Wine Reduction and Roasted Winter Vegetables

Pan-Seared Duck Breast with Red Wine Reduction and Roasted Winter Vegetables

I'm going to level with you.

My last couple of months, for the most part, hasn't been my finest work here. My desire to prepare food has been present but writing about said dishes has become a grind for me. It's interesting because I have noticed my food inspiration has evolved over time. When I started this website, my focus was food preparation that is unusual or difficult for a home cook with no professional training, however I'm finding that my most inspired work has been when I can compose a dish. I may still rely upon techniques drawn from other sources but putting these elements together in a harmonious fashion with some assistance from The Flavor Bible is what I've enjoyed the most. Some examples might include my ravioli dish from January 2013, my scallops dish from February 2014 and my salmon guest post for my friend, Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic in March of 2014. I had even considered retiring this website and starting a new one where the title would be the name of a fictitious restaurant and posts would be menu items, taking inspiration from ingredients that come in and out of season in addition to current food trends.

There's no reason I can't do that here. This particular dish pairs an ingredient I had not previously prepared with a dish composition challenge (i.e. pairing foods together). The fact of the matter is I had been planning this dish for some time now. Last summer, I remember my friend, Lori from Foxes Loves Lemons was frustrated by the filling of a cherry pie she replicated from a magazine cover so I suggested she repurpose it and pair it with a duck breast because I remember noting it in The Flavor Bible. A couple of months later, I was in the local Whole Foods Market and remembered my suggestion, so I thought I'd price out duck breast while I was there. As with many items there, the price was too steep for me but the meat manager there suggested a whole frozen duck instead which was about half as much. He even offered to defrost it and butcher the bird if I called a day ahead. Last week, I finally took him up on his offer.

The Challenge

Successfully execute an ingredient I had not previously prepared

The Source

To prepare the duck, I adapted a dish from pages 152 to 153 of Cook Like A Rock Star by Anne Burrell with Suzanne Lenzer and paired it with an adaptation of Martha Stewart's port wine reduction. To complement the dish, I adapted Ina Garten's roasted vegetables found on


1 parsnip, trimmed of both ends, peeled and cut into a 1-inch dice
1 turnip, trimmed of both ends, peeled and cut into a 1-inch dice
6 ounces fingerling potatoes, cut into 1-inch dice
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped, plus 2 whole sprigs, divided
3 tablespoons rendered duck fat
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 pekin duck breasts
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons minced shallots
3/4 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Arugula leaves (for garnish)


1. Roast the vegetables. Preheat the oven to 425° Fahrenheit. In a medium bowl, toss the parsnip, turnip and potatoes with the duck fat and chopped thyme and season with salt and pepper. Empty the vegetables in a single layer onto a aluminum foil-lined sheet pan and place in the oven until the vegetables are fork tender, approximately 45 minutes.

2. Prepare the duck. While your vegetables roast, score the duck by cutting through the skin in an cross-hatch pattern about 3/4-inch wide deep enough to pierce through the layer of fat but not through the meat, then season both sides with salt and pepper. Coat a large pan with a thin stream of olive oil and add the duck breasts with the skin side down. Heat the pan to low in order to render the duck fat slowly until you can see the meat through the score marks, approximately 20 to 25 minutes. As the duck fat renders, scoop it out of the pan and save it for other uses. Once all the fat has rendered, raise the heat to medium and brown both sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side, then remove the breasts to a plate to allow for carryover cooking, approximately 5 minutes, then slice the breasts on a bias.

3. Prepare the reduction. Remove any duck fat from the pan in excess of 1 tablespoon and add the shallots to the pan to sweat, approximately 2 minutes. Deglaze with the wine and stock, scraping any fond stuck from the bottom of the pan, then raise the heat to medium-high and reduce the sauce to 1/3 cup. Stir in the butter and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. To plate, spoon some sauce on a warmed plate, then fan 3 to 4 slices of duck over the sauce. Spoon some vegetables to the side and garnish with arugula.


The idea from this dish came from a flavor affinity of duck, parsnips and turnips in The Flavor Bible, which also notes arugula. I highly recommend getting a copy if you don't have one. In fact, Christina of Mama's High Strung is giving a copy away on her website right now in a Valentine's Cookbook Affair Giveaway.

Other giveaways include:

A Mama, Baby & Shar-pei in the Kitchen giving away Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Every Day by Peter Reinhart
Confessions of a Culinary Diva giving away My Paris Kitchen: Recipes and Stories by David Lebovitz and Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan
Great Food 360° giving away The Cuban Table: A Celebration of Food, Flavors, and History by Ana Sofia Pelaez
Liv Life giving away Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World: 75 Dairy-Free Recipes for Cupcakes that Rule by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero
girlichef giving away Cooking with Frank's® RedHot® Cayenne Pepper Sauce: Delicious Recipes That Bring the Heat by Rachel Rappaport
Crazy Foodie Stunts giving away An Appealing Plan: A Year Of Everyday Celebrations by Krayl Funch
BakeawayWithMe giving away Amy's Bread by Amy Scherber and Toy Kim Dupree
annaDishes giving away Bouchon Bakery by Thomas Keller and Sebastien Rouxel
Lifestyle Food Artistry giving away What's Cooking - Que Se Cocina En Puerto Rico: An English-Spanish Cookbook edited by Barbara Ezratty
Wallflour Girl giving away Top With Cinnamon: Stylish Sweet and Savoury Recipes by Izy Hossack
Food Lust People Love giving away An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace by Tamar Adler
Kelli's Kitchen giving away The Complete Southern Cookbook: More than 800 of the Most Delicious, Down-Home Recipes by Tammy Algood
That Skinny Chick Can Bake giving away The Silver Palate Cookbook and The New Basics Cookbook, both by Sheila Lukins and Julee Rosso

Regarding the dish itself, Chef Burrell instructs her readers to finish the duck in the oven at 350° Fahrenheit for 5 to 6 minutes but I found the duck to be cooked past medium rare which is ideal. It was still a well balanced dish. I might even put the dish on that fictitious restaurant I referred to above. In addition, I do have plans for the other duck parts, however I'll save them for future posts.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Spring Pea and Mint Chilled Soup for a Valentines Day Cookbook Affair Giveaway

Spring Pea and Mint Chilled Soup

Maybe a week before Christmas I get this message from Alice of A Mama, Baby & Shar-pei in the Kitchen gauging interest in a group cookbook giveaway. You might remember her because I had the opportunity to meet her in person a few months ago when she attended the International Food Bloggers Conference. Each of the participants was to prepare a dish from a cookbook they enjoy and giveaway a copy of that book. I accepted, in part because I thought it would be fun and, in part because I wanted to use the occasion to highlight a book you may not have known about previously.

Cookbook Affair Giveaway

As the picture above suggests, I'm not the only one doing this. In fact, there are several other connected books being given away by some terrific ladies too. So far the list of giveaways is numerous:

Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Every Day by Peter Reinhart being given away by Alice of A Mama, Baby & Shar-pei in the Kitchen
My Paris Kitchen: Recipes and Stories by David Lebovitz and Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan being given away by Christy of Confessions of a Culinary Diva
The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America's Most Imaginative Chefs by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg being given away by Christina of Mama's High Strung
The Cuban Table: A Celebration of Food, Flavors, and History by Ana Sofia Pelaez being given away by Adriana of Great Food 360°
Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World: 75 Dairy-Free Recipes for Cupcakes that Rule by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero being given away by Kim of Liv Life
Cooking with Frank's® RedHot® Cayenne Pepper Sauce: Delicious Recipes That Bring the Heat by Rachel Rappaport being given away by Heather of girlichef.

In addition, I have the pleasure of introducing Kathy of BakeawayWithMe who will have another cookbook up for grabs tomorrow. Be sure to check out her facebook page and enter all of their giveaways.

I chose An Appealing Plan: A Year Of Everyday Celebrations by Krayl Funch which was just published this last autumn. I met Krayl at the Food and Wine Conference last July, so I was pleased to see her hard work pay off.

As I've stated in the past, I generally like cookbooks that are more than just a collection of recipes and Krayl's book follows this pattern. I like that it's organized by seasons and reviews annual occasions when guests are common such as Cinco de Mayo, Thanksgiving and summer birthdays. Since these holidays are well covered by other resources, she has recommendations for more common events such as grilled food for game day, summer solstice and spontaneous get togethers among close friends. Woven throughout her book are instructions for table settings for several events and it's all highlighted by some of the most beautiful food photography I've ever seen.

Krayl does Valentine's Day and I was originally going to replicate one of her dishes for the occasion but Mrs. Stuntman thought the soup was more appealing and, after all, she is my Valentine, so...

The Challenge

Present a dish from Krayl's book in a favorable fashion.

The Source

Adapted from page 16


2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large onion, chopped
Kosher salt
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups water
6 cups fresh peas
3 cups flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped
1 cup mint leaves
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup crème fraiche, for garnish
1/4 cup diced ham, for garnish
Saltine crackers, for garnish


1. In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and season with salt to sweat, approximately 5 minutes. Deglaze with the stock and water and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in the peas and return to a boil, then remove from heat and add the parsley and mint. Purée using an immersion blender, or a regular blender in batches, if necessary. Transfer the soup to a clean bowl, add the lemon juice and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Chill the soup for 1 hour, or it can be prepared a day ahead and refrigerated overnight. When ready to serve, spoon the soup into bowls and garnish with crème fraiche, ham and crackers.


I made a few ingredient substitutions with this dish. Krayl calls for vegetable broth but I used chicken stock instead. She also garnishes the soup with pea shoots it's a little early for those to be in season, so I used diced ham and oyster shaped saltine crackers. It was still a well balanced dish and Mrs. Stuntman was happy with it. Unfortunately with the resources available to me, the picture above isn't even in the same league (much less the same ball park) as the stunning photograph of the dish published in the book and I encourage you pick up a copy yourself (at the very least to view what I'm referring to) if you aren't chosen the winner. You can do so by clicking here.

Finally, the giveaway details are as follows:

Official Rules: Giveaway is open to U.S. residents, Canadian residents and any APO/FPO addresses. Entrants must be 18 years old or older. To enter, use the widget below. One winner with a valid entry will be selected on March 6th, 2015. I will email the winner and they will have up to 24 hours to respond and claim their prize or another winner will be selected. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.