About Deborah

Deborah is a wife, mother, grandmother, traveler, bootlegger, and a very poor speller! As Victor Hazan so eloquently puts it, Deborah has chosen Umbria to be the home of her soul. When she can’t be there in body, she spends her free time cooking & reading about Italy. She blogs mostly about food and about trips – past and future – here: Old Shoes New Trip.

About Cindy

Cindy lives in Eagle River, Alaska where her freezer is always full of salmon, halibut & shrimp. Cindy participates in several regular cooking challenges. You can read more about her cooking and life in the last frontier on her blog, Baked Alaska.

About Jan

Jan is a serious home cook who loves to read recipes and then do her own thing. Her focus is ingredient driven comfort food, often with an Italian influence. She is passionate about all things Italian, especially the cuisine & the language. Jan blogs about food and travels (next trip to Italy: May/June of 2012) at: Keep your Feet in the Street.

About Palma

Palma is a Marriage & Family Therapist in Palm Desert, CA. She’s an Italian-American with a passion for cooking, entertaining, & travel to Italy. She’s always planning her next culinary adventure to Italia on her blog, Palmabella's Passions

About Sandi

Sandi is a true Southerner, but a traveler & Italian cook at heart. She lives in Alabama and knows more about fried green tomatoes than fricassees. Her family owned the WhistleStop Café for many years. Sandi also blogs at Whistlestop Cafe Cooking.

About Kim

Kim joins us after being our permanent sub on the Pomodori e Vino project. Kim loves to eat, drink, travel and cook - probably in that order. When she's not here, you can find her organizing and leading food, wine and beer tours in Europe as co-owner and operator of GrapeHops or blogging at What I Really Think or The Amy Foundation.

About Jerry

Jerry is a food obsessed Canadian. He learned to love Italian food as a child while eating the meals prepared by his Napolitano uncle. He learned to cook Italian foods by watching his uncle cook these feasts for the family. This love of Italian food has been honed through serious personal experimentation in eating and cooking. Willing to try most anything once, Jerry isn't so sure about tripe! Jerry also blogs at Jerry's Thoughts, Musings, and Rants!

Our Subs

About Beth

Beth, along with her husband, Mike, is co-owner of two Italian Deli/Markets in St. Louis - Viviano’s Festa Italiano. When not creating yummy new menu items for the deli, she’s the pediatric research lab supervisor at Washington University School of Medicine. Read more out about Viviano’s Festa Italiano.

About Amy

Amy is a teacher in suburban Boston with far too many cookbooks, her Grandmother's meat grinder and canning jars, and a new Wolf stove. She appreciates cuisines from around the world, with a particular fondness for French, Moroccan, Italian, Vietnamese, and Indian cooking. Tweaking her cooking and eating habits resulted long-lasting weight loss and health benefits, proving that living well still tastes good. An old hobby is knitting; and a newer one is canning preserves. Read more from Amy on her blog, Destination Anywhere.

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Sweet Potato Cakes with Duck and Red Wine Cherry Reduction

By Cindy Ruth

As I'm reading some of the entries to our Flavors blog, I'm realizing that you don't always know who the person who made the recipe is. So I'll probably begin starting my posts with some dorky sentence like "It's Cindy, and ....". Okay, now you know it's me.


The ingredient for this week is duck. I enjoy duck whenever I eat it, but it is not something that I eat often. I've only cooked it a couple of times, and I just cooked duck breasts. This time as I was at the meat market contemplating between duck breasts and a whole duck, I decided to challenge myself even more and choose the whole duck. I can now add that to my repertoire.

I knew that I was going to be using some of the shredded duck for my appetizer recipe, so first I needed to decide how to cook the duck. I decided to roast it, and I used the recipe from Barbara Kafka's "Roasting, a Simple Art". I'm not going to post that recipe since it's not really part of the recipe I did today, but I can tell you it's a great way to cook the duck. You place it in a pot of simmering stock for 45 minutes before you roast it. This melts away a large amount of the fat, so the duck wasn't greasy at all. I ate the duck breasts with some of the Red Wine Cherry Sauce one night for dinner, then used the thighs, etc. for this appetizer the next day.

Now onto today's recipe. I decided to make an appetizer. I wanted a little sweet potato cake topped with the other ingredients that you could hold in your hand for a small bitefull. These didn't turn out where you could hold them in your hand, you definately needed a plate and fork. I think you could play around with the potato cake recipe to come up with the consistency of one that you could hold. If you make them smaller, and finely shredd the potatoes that might make the difference.

The flavor of this appetizer was delicious. Making (and eating) these was the first time I kinda blew my weight watcher diet since I joined a month ago. I just couldn't stop eating them. They provide a mouthful of contrasting flavors. You have the crispy sweet potato pancake, topped with some tangy goat cheese, the rich duck meat, and topped off by the tang of a dried cherry/red wine/balsamic vinegar reduction. I think this will be another one I'll be making in the future. I think you could do lots of different kinds of meat here also. Chicken thighs or shredded pork are a couple of suggestions.

The complimentary ingredients I used in today's dish are CHERRIES, honey, leeks, shallots, sweet potatoes, thyme, and balsamic VINEGAR.

Sweet Potato Cakes with Duck, Goat Cheese and Dried Cherry Reduction

(I am not a recipe writer and this one is hard to give you exact quanties on. I cooked a whole duck, ate the breasts one night with the cherry sauce. I used the other parts of the duck to make this appetizer. I used about 1-2 oz of goat cheese, and still had left-overs of the sauce. My guess is that it made about 12-15 cakes about 4" in diameter.)

Cooked Duck, shredded
Goat cheese, 1-2 oz
Dried Cherry Sauce (see recipe below)
Sweet Potato Pancakes (see recipe below)

1. Make Red Wine Cherry Reduction. Can be made a day or two in advance. Reheat before using.
2. Soften goat cheese. You can place in microwave for just a few seconds.
3. Reheat your shredded duck.
4. Make Sweet Potato Cakes.
5. Spread the sweet potato cakes with a thin layer of goat cheese. Top with the shredded duck and red wine cherry reduction. Serve immediately. (Oh, and I topped with some baby cress.)

Red Wine Cherry Reduction
1 1/2 cup red wine
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup dried tart cherries
1 large shallot, finely minced
2 sprigs fresh thyme
Honey to taste

Combine red wine, vinegar, cherries, shallot and thyme in small saucepan and simmer over med-low heat until reduced to about 1/2 cup. Puree in a food processor or blender. Taste for sweetness. Mine was too tart, so I added about 1 tablespoon of honey. My honey had red pepper flakes, which gave it a wonderful heat.

Sweet Potato Cakes
1 large sweet potato
grated onion (2-3 tablespoons) or use leek as I did
2 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon flour
sea salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Peel potatoes. Coarsely grate (I used my food processor with the grating blade, and just stuck part of a leek in there at the same time). Place in a large bowl. Add eggs, flour, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly.

Heat oil in a heavy large skillet. Place a large tablespoon of potato mixure into pan. Continue until pan is full. Fry until golden, turn, and continue on the second side. Place on paper towel to drain.

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Comments (3)

Kim [TypeKey Profile Page]:

Hey Cindy, check it out - last week I changed our entries so it says who it is by right at the top, under the entry title. :)

Kim-I see now that you changed this. Perfect! Thanks for doing that.


This sounds amazing!

What a great photo of your dish...very intriguing, makes me want to sit down and discover! I have that Roasting book of Kafka's and is that not the best roasting book ever? I use it over and over.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 24, 2011 1:48 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Duck Stuffed Thai Eggplant Bites.

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