Ducking the heat . . . .

Warning: gruesome descriptions ahead, meant with jest.
So this happened. Cherries arrived at the grocery store. As many friends may know, I harbor a life-long morbid aversion to cherries. Too much cherry cough syrup in my youth? Who knows? The movie “The Witches of Eastwick” traumatized me at the still impressionable age of 32. Shout out to the friend who held me in my seat during the cherry/horror scene. Veronica Cartwright deserved an Oscar for her gustatory performance. 
But life and love beg compromise, right? So, I have been working to tolerate certain foodstuffs for my more palate-adventurous spouse. If I puree fresh cilantro into a dish, it tastes less of soap and more of green herb. If I roast cherries first, rendering their red flesh less of a “fresh kill” look, I am game for sauces and compotes and even tossing them in salads–another example of how a funky and veiny blue cheese performs an alchemist’s miracle on foods with equally strong flavors.
Voila! Duck legs/thighs with roasted cherry balsamic sauce, enhanced by the juice from Luxardo cherries and flamed with brandy. Accompany this with farro pilaf, a few haricot verts glazed with duck fat and pan drippings–delicious. While hiding inside from the sweltering heat and post-rain-sauna conditions, I enjoyed the opportunity to cook my husband a meal, with a cherry on top!
Duck with Cherries
Note: My husband’s choice for wine: the 2015 Rockin’ H Syrah from Bouchaine vineyards. Inspirational! I am a grateful girl.

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