My husband G works in New York City. He had to work late on Friday night and all day Saturday so his company put him up in a hotel. The boys and I tagged along for moral support. The fact that we could enjoy some of the greatness that NYC has to offer had NOTHING to do with it. Nope. Nothing. It was purely sacrificial on our part.
Since we were there early Saturday morning, the boys and I made our way to The Breslin which is a restaurant in the Ace Hotel. We ordered the “Full English Breakfast” – one for me and one for the boys to split (plus an extra side of sausage, of course!)
The breakfast came with blood pudding, also known as black pudding or blood sausage. It is a popular dish in many parts of the world but not something Americans tend to eat. No matter how paleo-esque it might be, the thought of eating blood pudding did not fill me with glee. The restaurant would not allow for substitutions so I did try the pudding. But while it essentially tasted like breakfast sausage, I could not get past the IDEA of eating blood.
Here’s a photo of the pudding – it’s a terrible shot but you get the idea.
Not appetizing. Sorry all you blood pudding fans…
Everything else was delicious but I made the mistake of letting the boys sit next to each other so it ended up being one of the most expensive and frustrating breakfasts I have ever had. My intention of taking lots of photos did not pan out partly because it was very dark in the restaurant but mostly because I was just so aggravated. The boys were far more manageable after they stuffed themselves with lots of pork products and eggs. Whew! (For more info and photos of The Breslin you can check out Nom Nom Paleo’s recent post.)
The High Line Park
After breakfast we headed to The High Line which is a public park built on an historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side. It was opened in 2009 and is owned by the City of New York. It was saved from demolition by the community and is an amazing example of how to use a historic site as public space.
Here’s our view of the Empire State Building.
And some of the interesting architecture visible from The High Line.
Nathaniel enjoyed pretending to be a giant standing in the middle of the street grabbing (literally) a cab.
Moving along The High Line trail we happened upon a dashing cellist.
Then Benjamin bounded down some of the seats lining a street overlook when disaster struck. This shot was taken about ten seconds before he fell and broke (we suspect) his arm. (And just by the way, I HATE that sign in the background.)
So that was the end of our walk. We headed back to the hotel to decide what to do with the poor little guy. Before driving back home we made a final stop at Grom for some gelato. For some reason this made Ben feel much better. Hmm.
One of our other fun experiences in New York, albeit Long Island, was referenced in my last post. For brunch in the village of Southampton I experienced duck confit sweet potato hash. It made enough of an impression that I determined to make a version of it at home. The hash uses sweet potatoes instead of the standard white potatoes which are generally eschewed on the paleo diet. But aside from that, the taste of sweet potatoes with the fatty, rich duck meat is exquisite and it’s far more beautiful than white potatoes anyway.
Duck confit is prepared by salt curing a piece of meat (generally goose, duck, or pork) and then poaching it in its own fat. The meat is rubbed with salt, garlic, and herbs then covered and refrigerated for up to 36 hours. Duck confit is often sold in cans but I was only able to find the individual legs in a local grocery store.
Once you have some duck confit you can begin the process of making the duck confit sweet potato hash.
First you will need to find some sweet potatoes.
Then peel them.
Then dice them.
Grab a red onion, dice it up, chop some fresh parsley and congratulate yourself on being an ace sous chef.
Now it’s time to get serious about cooking the duck confit sweet potato hash.
Duck Confit Sweet Potato Hash
- 2 duck confit legs (approximately 5 oz each)
- 3 cups diced sweet potato/yam (approximately 2 medium or 3 small)
- 2 cups diced red onion (approximately 1 medium onion)
- 1/4 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley (plus more for garnish)
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
- 1 tablespoon lard, duck fat or other fat of choice
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- aleppo pepper (optional)
- 2-4 eggs, poached, or sunny-side-up (optional)
- Heat a pan on medium-high until hot. Add 1 tablespoon fat and place the two duck legs, skin side down, into the pan. Sear for about two minutes and turn the heat down slightly. Continue heating for about five more minutes to render some of the fat from the duck breasts and crisp the skin. Turn the duck legs over, cover and continue heating for another 5-7 minutes or until heated through.
- Remove the heated duck breasts to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
- Sauté the diced sweet potato, onions, garlic (optional), salt and pepper in the hot fat for about 15 minutes. Add 1/4 cup of the chopped parsley about halfway through. You may need to adjust the heat and/or cover the pan to ensure the vegetables cook but do not burn.
- While the veggies are cooking you can strip the duck confit from the bones and slice it up.
- Once the sweet potato hash is cooked, adjust the seasoning if needed, divide between 2-4 plates (depending on your appetite) and top with the duck confit.
- Sprinkle with chopped parsley.
- Top with some poached or sunny-side-up eggs and some aleppo pepper for a little kick and color.
If you are really hungry you can eat the duck confit hash with two eggs. It’s a perfect paleo brunch! If you do not like duck confit or can’t find it or simply want something less expensive this dish would be great with any other type of meat you might have – or served simply with some eggs.
Thanks for stopping by and tolerating my travel photos.
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