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Originally published Friday, December 27, 2013 at 6:05 AM

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Holiday Recipes: New Year’s feasts

Spice up your New Year’s feast with home-cured “ham” and biscuits, orange and ginger duck — or black bean and goat cheese tamales.


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MINIATURE HOME-CURED ‘HAM’ WITH BUTTERMILK BISCUITS About 24 servings

1 cup kosher salt

1 cup sugar

12 cups boiling water

1 teaspoon black peppercorns

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

½ teaspoon allspice berries

½ teaspoon cloves

½ teaspoon dried thyme

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon curing salt (sel rose)

1 cup dry white wine for brine, plus ½ cup for cooking

4 pork tenderloins, about 1 pound each

2 medium onions, thinly sliced

1 small bunch fresh thyme

1. Put salt and sugar into a large nonreactive bowl (stainless steel or glass). Add boiling water and stir well to dissolve salt and sugar. Add peppercorns, mustard seeds, allspice berries, cloves, thyme and bay leaves. Allow to cool completely.

2. Add curing salt and 1 cup white wine to cooled brine. Submerge pork tenderloins in brine. Place a plate directly on top of pork to keep it submerged if necessary. Cover container and refrigerate for five days.

3. Remove pork from brine and pat dry. Discard brine. Spread onions and thyme sprigs on bottom of a large shallow baking dish. Add brined tenderloins in one layer, then add ½ cup wine. Heat oven to 350 degrees; as it heats, bring meat to room temperature. Cover dish and bake for 45 minutes or until pork registers 135 degrees with an instant-read thermometer. Remove from oven (meat will continue to cook and reach 140 degrees as it rests). Let cool before cutting into thin slices. Serve with buttermilk biscuits. May be refrigerated, well wrapped, for up to one week.

— Adapted by David Tanis from “In The Charcuterie,” by Taylor Boetticher and Toponia Miller (Ten Speed Press, 2013)

JO ROONEY’S BUTTERMILK BISCUITS

Makes 16-18 biscuits

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon kosher salt

6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, lard or shortening

1 cup buttermilk

3 tablespoons melted butter, for brushing

1. In a mixing bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut butter into small chunks. Use your fingers to work butter into flour mixture until mixture has texture of coarse sand with a few stray pebbles.

2. Make a well in center of mixture and add buttermilk. Stir in circular motion with a fork until dough forms a rough ball. Dough will seem a bit moist and sticky. Turn out onto a floured board, dust top lightly with flour, then knead until smooth, about a minute.

3. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Gently roll or pat dough to ½-inch thickness. Using a biscuit cutter, cut dough into 2-inch-diameter circles. Alternatively, use a sharp knife to cut dough into diamond shapes. Pat scraps together and form a few more biscuits (these scrappy ones will be somewhat less tender). Place 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Prick each biscuit with tines of fork and brush lightly with melted butter. Bake until nicely browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Serve warm.

— David Tanis, The New York Times

ROAST DUCK WITH ORANGE AND GINGER

Serves 4

For the duck:

1 5- to 6-pound Pekin (Long Island) duck

3 tablespoons kosher salt

1 tablespoon 5-spice powder, preferably homemade (see note below)

1 large orange, zested, cut into 6 wedges

1 tablespoon grated ginger

1 tablespoon grated garlic

For the glaze:

2 cups orange juice

1 tablespoon honey

2 tablespoons Demerara sugar

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 2-inch piece of ginger, thickly sliced

3 star anise

1. Rinse duck and pat dry. Remove neck and giblets and save for another purpose. Remove excess fat from cavity and tail area, and trim off a bit of flappy neck skin. Prick duck skin all over with the tip of a sharp paring knife; do not penetrate meat.

2. Combine salt and 5-spice powder. Season interior of duck with 1 tablespoon salt mixture; use remainder to generously season exterior (you may have a little left over). Combine orange zest with grated ginger and garlic; smear mixture inside cavity. Place orange wedges in cavity. Tie legs together. Secure neck flap with wooden skewer or toothpicks. Place duck on a rack in a roasting pan breast-side-up and refrigerate overnight, uncovered.

3. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, bring duck to room temperature and make the glaze: Bring orange juice, honey, sugar and soy sauce to a simmer. Add sliced ginger and star anise. Reduce mixture until you have a medium-thick syrup, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

4. Roast duck for two hours, carefully pouring off fat and turning duck over every 30 minutes. Paint with glaze and roast another 30 minutes (2½ hours in all). Tent with foil if glaze begins to get too dark. Duck is done when temperature at thickest part of leg reads 165 degrees. Paint duck once more, keep warm and let rest 20 minutes. Use poultry shears to cut into quarters (remove backbone first) or carve by removing legs from carcass and slicing breast.

Note: To make your own spice powder, put 1 teaspoon each black peppercorns, Sichuan peppercorns, fennel seeds and cloves in an electric spice mill, along with 6 star anise, a 2-inch piece of cinnamon stick (crushed) and 12 allspice berries. Grind to a fine powder. This should yield about 3 tablespoons. Store in a glass jar.

— David Tanis, The New York Times

BLACK BEAN AND GOAT CHEESE TAMALES

Makes 30 to 36 tamales

About 40 dried corn husks

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 small yellow onion, chopped

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 / 8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Salt and black pepper

1½ cups drained cooked black beans

4 cups chicken or vegetable stock

½ cup butter, softened

4 cups masa harina

1 teaspoon baking powder

3 ounces goat cheese, softened

1. Bring a kettle of water to a boil. Rinse the corn husks well, then put them in a large bowl and add boiling water to cover them. Soak the husks for at least two hours.

2. Put the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When it’s hot, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden brown, eight to 10 minutes. Add the cumin and cayenne and season with salt and pepper; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about a minute. Add the black beans and ¼ cup water; cook until the beans are hot, two to three minutes, then purée partially with an immersion blender. Set aside.

3. Put the stock in a medium pot over medium-low heat. While the stock is heating, beat the butter with the paddle attachment of a stand mixer (or with an electric mixer in a large bowl) until light and fluffy. Combine the masa, the baking powder, and 1 teaspoon salt in a separate large bowl. With the mixer running, add about 1 cup of the masa mixture to the butter, followed by about 1 cup of the stock. Repeat until all the masa and stock have been incorporated.

4. Lay a corn husk on a clean work surface with the edges curling up. Spread about 3 tablespoons of the masa mixture into a rectangle along one of the long edges of the corn husk, leaving at least 2 inches of empty corn husk on each side of the masa. Spread about 1½ teaspoons of the black bean mixture and about ½ teaspoon of the goat cheese on the masa near the edge of the corn husk. Roll up the corn husk to enclose the masa and fillings, folding in the edges of the corn husk as you roll. Tear one of the remaining corn husks into strips and tie one of the strips around the tamale to prevent it from unfurling. Repeat with the remaining corn husks, masa, black beans and goat cheese.

5. Put 1 inch of water in a large pot. Put the tamales in a steamer over the water, cover the pot, and bring the water to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-high and steam until the tamales are firm, about 50 minutes, adding more water if all the water evaporates. Serve hot or warm. (Store leftover tamales wrapped in foil in the refrigerator for up to several days.)

— L.V. Anderson, Slate



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