- Date: Thursday, August 5, 2010 -- 7pm
- Location: East Lansing, MI
- Kitchen: Our New House
- Dining Companions: Matty and PJ
- Recipe Rating: B+
PJ came over for dinner a few weeks ago and I wanted to make something that seemed promising, so I picked this recipe. I started by making a dressing of orange zest, orange juice, olive oil, shallots, honey, salt, and pepper. Then I cooked some wild rice in onion, water, and chicken stock. When the rice had cooled a bit I tossed it with the dressing. Meanwhile, I cooked some sugar snap peas. Then I roasted some magret duck breasts. Once the duck was roasted I removed the skin, thinly sliced the skin, and put just the skin back in the oven to roast until it was crispy. I then sliced the duck and added it to rice along with the sugar snap peas, scallions, dried apricots, toasted pecans, and some salt. I scattered the crisped duck skin on top and served. This recipe was pretty good. The duck was flavorful and juicy, and I always love wild rice. The crisped duck skin (or "super bacon" as my special gentleman calls such things) really made the dish. As one would imagine it was pretty awesome -- super flavorful, super crispy... Mmmmm... super bacon. The only thing that fell a bit short in this dish was the dressing. It wasn't bad but it just didn't pop. So while any bite containing super bacon had lots of flavor, the bites without super bacon were almost a little bland. That said, the combination of textures was very interesting and everyone seemed to enjoy eating this dish quite a bit.
The recipe is here.
Although I have been in East Lansing on and off for the last six weeks or so, my job didn't officially start until yesterday. Tomorrow I have my first of several days of orientation, which are spread out across the next couple weeks. And two weeks from tomorrow, the semester starts! I am at least a little bit settled into both my offices on campus. I can (sometimes) succeed in getting to work on my bike without getting lost. I feel ready. I also feel excited. I feel as though I am standing on the horizon of a big change. This is a job that I am hoping to have for a long, long time. And now it is starting. Every time I have started at an institution in the past, either as a student or as a post-doc, there was always an end date in sight. Four years at Stanford, five at MIT, three at Indiana. There was never the idea, at any of those places, that I might be there for my entire career. That is a possibility now since this is a tenure-track job, so I feel more invested than ever. I want to do things right. I want to start off on a good foot. It's exciting, and a little stressful at the same time!
Tomorrow I have orientation events run by the university -- a morning about FERPA regulations and that sort of thing and a technology orientation in the afternoon. And I know that most people would not be looking forward to such a day, but I really am. I am ready to learn as much as I can about my job and about the university. I am excited!