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Savory pear recipes?

Thank you, beet fans! Here is another co-op challenge: fresh pears, one of my husband's and my least favorite fruits. I can find plenty of dessert and salad recipes. Do you know of any main-dish or side-dish recipes that involve pears?

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  1. I was assigned a duck with a wine and pear sauce at a dinner at jillp's house one night. I can't lay my hands on the recipe at the moment but if she sees this she may know which recipe and could post. It was delicious.

    I have a pear mincemeat that I make in the fall when the pears are good. I will make it at the end of the month so it can age for Thanksgiving. I could post that if you would like.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Candy

      Oooh, I want to make these again. I have no memory of the source for this recipe but ye gods, it was good.

      Crispy Duck Breasts With Pear and Green Peppercorn Sauce

      2 - 3 pounds boneless duck breasts (8 breast halves)
      2 firm-ripe Bosc pears
      1 1⁄2 cups apple juice
      1 teaspoon cornstarch
      4 tablespoons Calvados or Armagnac
      2 tablespoons green peppercorns packed in brine, drained and lightly crushed
      2 tablespoons duck or veal demi-glace, or 1 extra-large vegetarian vegetable bouillon cube
      2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves or 1⁄2 teaspoon dried

      Trim excess fat from duck breasts. Heat a 12-inch heavy skillet over high heat until very hot. Pat duck breasts dry and season with salt. Put breasts, skin sides down, in skillet and reduce heat to moderate. Cook breasts 20 minutes, or until skin is crisp and mahogany-colored, removing fat from skillet as it is rendered. Turn breasts and cook about 2 minutes for medium-rare. Transfer breasts to plate and keep warm, covered loosely.

      While duck breasts are cooking, peel pear and cut into 1/4 –inch dice. Pour off all but about 1 tablespoon of fat from skillet and sauté pear until lightly browned, about one minute. In a measuring cup stir together apple juice and cornstarch. To pear add Calvados or Armagnac. Stir in cornstarch mixture, peppercorns, demi-glace or bouillon cube, thyme and simmer, stirring for 2 minutes or until slightly thickened.

      Serve duck breasts sliced with sauce spooned over them.

      1. re: Candy

        There is a pear mincemeat recipe on epicurious that has intrigued me for a while. However I didn't know that mincemeat could/should be aged. What is your technique?

        1. re: julesrules

          I will have to get the recipe out when I get home this afternoon. Mine is not the Epicurious version(s). It involves pears, cirtus, nuts, raisins, brandy etc.

          1. re: Candy

            Pear Mincemeat

            Peel, core and quarter 6 firm Anjou Pears, you want them to be on the firm side, and put them in a bowl of cold water with the juice of 1 lemon. Quarter and seed 1 unpeeled orange. Drain the pears and put them through a food grinder on the coarse blade along with the orange.

            Put the ground pears and orange in a large pot and add 1. C. sugar, 1/2 C. golden raisins, 1/4 C. crystalized ginger ( i like Ginger People brand) 3/4 tsp. ground mace, 3/4 tsp. cround cinnamon, 3/4 tsp. ground allspice. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook stirring occasionally for about an hour and a half or until it is sufficiently thick to stand a wooden spoon up in it.

            Remove from the heat and add 1 1/2 C. walnuts that have been blanched in boiling water for 1 minute, drained and then toasted until crisp and brown. (If you know that your walnuts are impeccably fresh you can skip that step but for regular supermarket walnuts the blanching and toasting removes bitter rancid oils from the surface and makes them taste much better). Mix the nuts in well and add 1/4-1/2 C. brandy. Cover and refrigerate at least a week.

        1. re: ceeceee

          Ohh, that looks fabulous--just the sort of thing I was hoping for. I think I'll try it this weekend.

        2. The Temps des Cerises co-operative restaurant in La Butte aux Cailles neighborhood restaurant in Paris used to make a wonderful pear appetizer. It's been over ten years since I've eaten there but I still think about this dish.

          One ripe peeled pear, (Bartlett, I think, as there was no grain to it) cored from the bottom so the stem remained intact. Stuffed with Roquefort cheese. Dipped in creme fraiche. Dusted sparingly with finely minced chives. It looked a bit like a snowman standing on a side plate.

          The saltiness and tang of the blue cheese is amazing with the pear. Perhaps this still belongs in the salad category, but there were no greens involved in this dish and it had to be eaten with a knife and fork.

          1. Dice a couple pears and crumble some gorgonzola into a bowl. Add a squirt of lemon juice and mix. In a pan, boil 1/2 cup chicken broth and add 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch. Stir the hot broth into the cheese mixture until creamy. Mix with hot pasta. Add toasted pecans and Italian parsley if you like, but we usually don't bother. We eat this alot when our pear tree is producing.

            1. I've had good beef dishes with pears at Korean restaurants.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                Not sure if this is what Robert Lauriston means, but a lot of Korean marinades include half or more of a grated Asian pear. Also, someone else just recommended the whole chicken braised with pears in All About Braising.