Sugar Moon Menu – Ten Days Late

So. It’s currently about 1/4 of the way through Leaf Moon.
Which is lovely and dandy and fine. We had a week of utterly bizarre Summer-hot weather, followed by a return to seasonal (read: cold, largely grey, and freaking windy) weather. But the Magnolia down the street is ready to burst into bloom, and the trees are budding and starting to unfurl their leaves (and, in some cases, the first beginnings of their flowers).
So it’s good.

And I ended up getting a couple of duck legs at the grocery store yesterday. I’ve got a bag of mixed beets (golden and “candy-cane”) and a bag of regular red beets both in the fridge, and decided to screw the local-seasonal for the moment and grab a bunch of baby spinach to go with them. Add a bottle of wine, and we have the makings of quite the fantabulous feast. 😀

The menu:
Roast duck legs with maple-balsamic glaze
Beet salad (three beets + garlic + balsamic vinegar and a bit of sour cream — would work well, maybe even better, with chevre, but I spulrged on the duck, so went cheap on the salad-topper) on a bed of steamed baby spinach
Wild rice with dried fruit (probably dried figs, but maybe not)
Maple-nutmeg custard over some kind of cake (possibly something involving walnuts, cloves, and orange extract)
Late Autumn Riesling (Iniskillen)

~*~

Glaze:
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp maple syrup
Pinch each: garlic-salt, pepper, thyme
1 diced/minced shallot (or a small amount of diced/minced red onion – which is what I’m using)

Mix everything together
Put your two duck legs in a baking/roasting pan (you really, really won’t need to oil this one)
Pour the glaze over top of everything

Add:
4-6 dried figs, quartered (optional)
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped (optional)

Bake everything at 350F for an hour-and-a-half or until the duck is Crispy and Delicious
Serve with winter veggies like red cabbage, rutabaga, beets, or kale.
(Or, in my case, beets and spinach and wild rice, but hey…)

~*~

Sugar Moon Custard:
2 C milk (or cream, or a mix)
2 eggs
1/2 C maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 pinch salt
1 pinch nutmeg

Reserve the milk.
Beat everything else together in a sauce pan (no heat yet).
Whisk in the milk until everything is smooth.
Turn the heat on at “medium” and continue whisking the mixture – slowly but constantly – until it starts to thicken.
Pour into a buttered 1L oven-proof glass dish/bowl.
Set the bowl in a baking pan half-filled with water.
Put the whole shebang into a 350F oven and bake for about 1 hour.
Remove from oven and allow to sit for about 20 minutes.
Put the custard (but not the water-pan) in the fridge and allow to chill.
Serve on it’s own, over fruit or cake, drizzled with further syrup, or however you like. 🙂

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