Today it was the three of us, our son and the both of us, our daughter called earlier from Miami to wish me a Happy Birthday, we miss her but she is doing what she needs to be doing. We celebrated my birthday with breast of duck served with a morel mushroom cream sauce, sautéed string beans with garlic and sautéed zucchini. We started with a country pate and a French mousse trouffe on good French bread and for dessert we have mini fresh fruit tarts from Patisserie Lenox in Great Barrington.
The morel mushroom sauce is very easy to make, the key is to find dried morel mushrooms, outside of New York and Boston they can be hard to find, if you do find them all you need to do is reconstitute them in hot water, they plump up very quickly. I sautéed a large shallot in olive oil, when they were soft and translucent I increased the heat, added some chicken stock and the water from the reconstituted morel mushrooms, I waited for the liquids to reduce until it became almost a syrup, I then added heavy cream. Once the cream was warmed up, I added the morel mushrooms and a teaspoon of white vinegar, salt and pepper. The vinegar to cut the richness and give it a zing. I let my sauce simmer for a little bit and viola, the sauce is done.
My husband sliced the breasts of duck after letting them rest for ten minutes, I spooned the sauce over some slices and served the string beans alongside the zucchini, it was a tasty birthday meal.
Afterwards, we sat digesting our very good food, watching Dances with Wolves together and relaxing. A perfect ending to a Happy Birthday.