Purple Teeth Cellars - Recipes

Pan-Seared Duck with Plum Sauce and Creamy Mascarpone Polenta
Braised Short Ribs with Cocoa Powder, Assorted Spices and Scallions
Ultimate Lasagna

Purple Teeth Cellars Marc and Jill Having Fun

Pan-Seared Duck with Plum Sauce and Creamy Mascarpone Polenta


  • 4 boneless duck breasts
  • 5 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 1 sweet onion, sliced quarter-length
  • Bunch of fresh Thai basil leaves, for garnish

Plum Sauce

  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 cup of chicken stock
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1/4 cup of fresh Thai basil leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons butter, room temperature
  • 3 T. all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup plum preserves

Creamy Mascarpone Polenta

  • Non-stick canola spray
  • 5 cups milk
  • 1 cup of polenta (medium-grain yellow cornmeal – not instant)
  • 8 tablespoons of mascarpone cheese (4 oz.)
  • 1/2 cup of fresh Thai basil leaves, chopped
  • 8 tablespoons of herbed cheese curds (4 oz.)
  • 1/2 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated
  • 1/4 cup of pine nuts, lightly toasted


For duck breast:

  1. Thaw the duck breast, if frozen (either place in refrigerator a full day before you want to cook the duck or use the defrost setting on your microwave).
  2. Slice onion into quarter-length and chop garlic into thin slices.
  3. Put the duck breast skin-side down in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until the skin starts to crackle and give off its fat; then turn heat to medium low and continue cooking for 5 to 10 minutes, turning the breast once or twice. There may be some splattering outside of the plan so be careful.
  4. When the skin side of the duck breast is brown and crispy and the meat heated through, remove it to a plate and set aside until it's cool enough to handle. Don't worry if it's still rare at the center, it will cook a little more later on.
  5. Pour off most of the rendered duck fat into a container (see NOTE below), leaving about 1 tablespoon in the skillet. Use it to brown the onions and garlic over medium heat, stirring frequently, until it's caramelized and dark golden-brown.

NOTE: Duck fat is great to store and use for sautéing vegetables. Just keep in a container in your refrigerator and use a little bit the next time you want to sauté something another day. You get a big bang for the buck in terms of how much you need and the flavor it adds to a dish. OK, this is not the low-calorie option, but it is a delicious one!

For sauce:

  • Bring wine, chicken stock, thyme sprigs, and Thai basil leaves to boil in heavy large saucepan. Boil until reduced to 1 cup, about 15 minutes. Mix butter and flour in small bowl to blend. Whisk butter-flour mixture into broth. Simmer until slightly thickened, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in plum preserves; simmer 1 minute. Remove thyme sprigs and Thai basil leaves.

NOTE: Sauce can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Re-warm prior to serving.

For polenta:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees, unless you are making this dish in advance.
  2. In a 2-quart saucepan, slowly bring the milk to a boil, stirring every few minutes with a wooden spoon to prevent the milk from getting scorched.
  3. In order to have the polenta smooth (as opposed to lumpy), so slowly pour the polenta into the milk with a sprinkling motion and use a whisk constantly to ensure that the polenta is all absorbed.
  4. Turn the heat to very low on your stove. Grab the wooden spoon and continue to stir the polenta every 10 minutes for a ½ hour. Basically you want a consistency of creamy mashed potatoes. Stir in mascarpone, chopped up Thai basil and cheese curds. Again, stir until you have that desired consistency.
  5. Spray 8x11 heat-resistant cooking dish with canola oil. Transfer polenta to cooking dish, spreading it evenly across.
  6. Sprinkle Parmigiano-Reggiano over the polenta.
  7. Place the dish into the pre-heated oven for 15-20 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes.

NOTE: Polenta can be made 1 day ahead. After step 5, place dish in refrigerator and cover. When ready to serve, pre-heat oven to 325 degrees and resume with step 6.

Bringing it all together:

To serve with pan-seared duck and plum sauce, place serving of polenta on each dish. Then place duck breast over polenta and garnish with fresh Thai basil leaves. Drizzle with plum sauce and serve with 2006 Purple Teeth Cellars Eaglepoint Ranch Petite Sirah!

Braised Short Ribs with Cocoa Powder, Assorted Spices and Scallions

4 pounds well-marbled beef short ribs, cut 2 inches thick and preferably with the bone
2 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup soy sauce
Zest and juice of 1 orange
1 1/2 tsp ketchup
3 1/2 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
2 1/2 TBSP dark-brown sugar
2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 sweet onion, sliced quarter-length
1 bunch of scallions, chopped
1/2 tsp mint leaves, lightly chopped (chocolate mint leaves, if possible)
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place the short ribs in an ovenproof casserole just big enough to fit them snugly.
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together the vegetable stock, soy sauce, orange zest, orange juice, ketchup, five-spice powder, brown sugar, cocoa powder, onion, scallions, mint leaves and thyme. Pour the mixture over the short ribs.
  • Cover the baking container (make sure it’s a tight fitting lid or else, use foil) and transfer to the oven. Bake for 2 ½ to 3 hours (depending on the size of the ribs). The meat should be falling off the bone and give little resistance when pressed with a fork. It’s recommended that you check the pot at 2 hours to see how the braising is going as every oven is different. Uncover and return to the oven to allow the juices to thicken, about 15 minutes more.
  • Transfer the ribs to a plate and carefully pour the braising liquid into a large glass measuring cup. Allow it to sit for 5 minutes so the fat will rise to the top. Using a small ladle or cup, skim off the fat.
  • Serve the ribs with a few spoonfuls of sauce drizzled over the top. Note that this dish in its entirety can be made the day before, which will allow all of the fat to rise to the top and make it real easy to scoop out. If making ahead of time, pour the defatted sauce back over the ribs and cover the dish with foil. Reheat for 20 minutes before serving.

Ultimate Lasagna

1 to 1 1/2 pounds ground beef or turkey
1 small onion, diced
1 28oz can tomatoes or tomato sauce
1 12oz can tomato paste
1 TBSP sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 bunch fresh oregano
1/2 bunch fresh basil
1/2 bunch fresh thyme
1/2 bunch fresh italian parsley
1-2 TBSP crushed red pepper flakes, according to personal tastes
(the more adventurous can add up to 4 TBSP red pepper flakes)
5 garlic cloves
1 bay leaf
about 14 lasagna noodles
2 eggs
15oz ricotta cheese
16oz mozzarella cheese, diced

  • In a large saucepan over high heat, cook ground beef, herbs and onion until pan juices evaporate and beef is browned. Add remaining ingredients listed before the noodles.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil while stirring. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 30 minutes, stirring mixture occasionally.
  • Discard bay leaf. Skim off any fat that accumulates on top of sauce. Cook lasagna noodles as directed by box.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In 13" by 9" baking dish, arrange half of drained lasagne noodles over small layer of sauce, overlapping noodles to fit.
  • In a small bowl, combine eggs and ricotta cheese and spoon 1/2 of this mixture over lasagna noodles in baking dish.
  • Sprinkle with 1/2 diced mozzarella; top with 1/2 sauce. Repeat layers.
  • Bake in oven approximately 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand before serving.