You take a duck…

I love duck. Duck was one of the wonderful discoveries I made by going to culinary school. Up until then, I knew duck only from a distance. And, yes, from hearing all the “but it’s soooo fatty” cries from far too many people.

Since moving to the Southwest, I’ve been trying to broaden my recipe repertoire. I came across this little jewel in one of those local “league” cookbooks you find in just about any market. If you’re ever traveling through Tempe, AZ, drop into Four Peaks Brewing Company,  which gets the credit for wonderful recipe.

Duck Cakes with Spicy Nopales Salsa
Serves 4

Salsa:
1/4C finely chopped fresh nopales cactus pads
3 serrano chiles, finely chopped, or to taste
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/4C fresh cilantro, chopped
4 scallions, white parts only, chopped
Juice of 2 limes

Duck Cakes
2 duck breasts, cooked and shredded (buy these from your local Asian restaurant or Asian market)
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
1/4C fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4C roasted corn kernals
4 eggs, beaten
1/2C bread crumbs, unseasoned
3-4t canola oil

Salsa:  combine the cactus, chiles, tomatoes, cilantro, scallions and lime juice in a bowl; mix well

Duck cakes: combine duck, bell peppers, cilantro, corn and eggs in large bowl; mix well.  By hand, shape into 3 1/2″ cakes. Place on cookie sheet, then sprinkle the bread crumbs evenly over all cakes. Let sit 5 minutes.

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat; add canola oil.  When hot, fry the cakes about 1 1/2 minute each side. Serve immediately, garnished with, or served over a bed of, salsa.\

Don’t expect leftovers.

Kent McDonald is a Certified Personal Chef, living and working in Phoenix, AZ. (c) All Rights Reserved, 2009

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