Instant Aphrodisiacs: Pan Seared Day Boat Scallops + Roasted Duck with Cinnamon

Two picks today…

Roasted Duck with Cinnamon

At Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Central Michel Richard executive chef Todd Harrington’s restaurant is open 24 hours a day. Surely he’s pleased a number of eloping Vegas brides with his duck entrée, the subject of our second Instant Aphrodisiac.

“Roasted duck with cinnamon is an elegant choice for a romantic dinner and easy to prepare,” he says. “It’s webbed with love and designed to impress any lady this holiday season. This entrée will light up the night.”

The best part is, similar to steak, it’s pretty low on ingredients and required skills. From Harrington’s brain to yours, here are the basics.

After the duck breast is cleaned, insert quarter-inch ‘score checker board’ cuts on the skin with a sharp filet knife. Let the duck dry out for three to four hours in the fridge, then season with cinnamon, salt and a little cumin.

Place the duck into a cold pan and heat up until the pan is smoking hot—much like your night ahead. As much as you may be tempted, don’t move the duck. The fat will render through the score marks and once it’s rendered (and not sticking to pan), turn it over and turn the pan off.

Let the duck sit for no more than eight minutes while the top side sizzles to perfection. Then throw it on a plate with some roasted veggies and serve.

Oh, one more thing that is sure to impress: Casually mention that roasted duck should be cut into thin, elegant slices to complement the medium rare texture. And whatever you do, don’t ask her to slice yours for you.

Pan Seared Day Boat Scallops

As you’ve learned from our excellent Cooking With Booze columns, there are loads of benefits to becoming handy in the kitchen, not the least of which is being able to incorporate your favorite brews and spirits into your meals.

But there’s another upside we haven’t discussed as much: the fact that you can cook your way into just about any woman’s heart.

“For a rich yet light dish that she will surely love, try our Pan Seared Day Boat Scallops with Creamy Cauliflower Risotto and Grilled Sunchokes,” says Alex Abeles, manager at rustic American hotspot Whitman & Bloom in NYC. “Use sea or diver scallops, the bigger the better for pan searing.” Here’s how.

Start by chopping one-fourth cup of shallots finely. Heat a sautée pan and add olive oil. Add shallots and sweat them in the pan until they are translucent. Add three ounces of risotto, lightly sautéing for one minute. Season with salt and pepper. Add two tablespoons of Parmesan cheese. Add one-fourth cup of white wine, reduce by half, then add one-fourth cup of stock.

Allow for risotto to absorb the stock and check for firmness. Add one-half cup more of stock as needed and cook down again, then remove from the pan and allow to cool.

Next, clean a cauliflower and chop one-fourth cup into bite-size portions. Roast for 10 minutes in a pre-heated oven. Slice one-and-a-half cups of sunchokes (Jerusalem artichokes) and season with salt, pepper and olive oil. Sauté six to eight scallops in light olive oil for three to four minutes depending on size.

Using another sauté pan, stir the cauliflower and risotto together and reheat. Add one-fourth cup of stock. Place sunchokes under the broiler at medium heat and cook until tender. Place scallops and sunchokes on top of risotto and finish with three to four tablespoons of Parmesan cheese to taste. Enjoy!


This article was originally published on, owned by Defy Media. Defy Media closed the website in January 2019. I am thankful for my time spent with my interview subjects and the editorial staff. To keep the articles alive, I have republished everything on my website.