This holiday season, pair local food with local wine

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To help take your holiday shindig to the next level, we’ve brought together Nichole Popp (Biggus), a former Wine Specialist and current Customer Service Specialist for Fine Wine & Good Spirits, with Subarna Sijapati, chef/owner of Subarna’s Custom Catering in Gettysburg, PA, to collaborate on enticing wine-and-food pairings with a focus on Pennsylvania products.

From a show-stopping appetizer of duck and chutney to four cheese ravioli, along with a succulent bone-in ribeye, these festive dishes pair beautifully with a variety of Pennsylvania wines.

If you want to know more about the state’s bountiful agricultural products, check out PA Preferred. The program’s blue-and-yellow checkmark is an easy way to identify products grown, produced or processed in Pennsylvania.

To get you started, Chef Subarna has shared some recipes from the video below. Enjoy!

Pan-seared Duck Breast
YIELD: 16 slices per duck breast (= 16 appetizer servings)

• 1 fresh 6-8 oz, local duck breasts
• 1/2 tsp of salt
• 1 tsp olive oil
• 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
• 1 clove of garlic, minced

Preheat oven to 400°F.

1. Score the skin of duck breasts in a criss-cross pattern without cutting deep into the meat. Generously season both sides of each duck breast with at least 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt.

2. Use an oven-proof large cast-iron skillet with a handle.

3. Rub 1 tsp of olive oil on each of the duck breast skins. Heat the skillet on medium heat and add duck breasts to the skillet, skin side down.

4. Cook the duck breasts, uncovered, for about 8 minutes on medium heat on the skin side, until the fat is released and skin is golden brown. Remove the duck fat from the skillet, leaving just enough to cover the bottom of the skillet. Turn the duck breasts over to the other side (non-skin side) and cook for 2 more minutes on medium heat.

5. Place your oven-proof skillet with the duck breast skin side up in the oven (preheated to 400°F), add chopped fresh garlic cloves & fresh thyme to the skin and let the duck breasts roast for about 5 minutes, until they are medium-rare (internal temperature should read 120°F).

Remove the skillet from the oven and let the duck breasts rest for about 10 minutes before slicing them and serving.

Fresh Cranberry Chutney
YIELD: 2 cups of fresh Cranberry Chutney (for 16 duck breast appetizer servings)

• 2 cups fresh cranberries
• 1/2 cup dried cranberries
• 1/2 cup raw cane sugar
• 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses
• 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
• 5 each green cardamom pods
• 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
• 1 cup water
• 1 tablespoon butter
• 1/2 cup finely minced red onion
• 1/2 cup chopped granny smith apple, peeled and cored
• 1/2 teaspoon of chili flakes
• 1/4 cup sherry wine
• 16 whole-grain flatbread crackers
• 1/2 cup fresh pomegranate seeds & microgreens

In a medium saucepan, combine the cranberries, sugar, molasses, cinnamon, ginger, cloves cardamom, and water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer over low heat until the berries start to pop, about 5-7 minutes.

2. In a separate medium pan heat the butter and add onion chili flakes and apple; continue to cook, stirring occasionally until the onion and apples are caramelized. To deglaze the pan, add the sherry wine, turn off the heat, and then add this mix to the first saucepan.

3. Cook everything together in one saucepan until the mixture begins to thicken, approx. 5-10 more minutes. Transfer to a container and let it cool slightly. Refrigerate overnight to allow flavors to meld.

To serve the duck with the sauce, put the sliced duck breasts over whole-grain flatbread crackers and add one teaspoon of chutney over the sliced duck. Garnish with fresh pomegranate seeds and microgreens and serve while it is warm.

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