I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year. Ours was fantastic!!! Fun yet mellow. Not quite as relaxing as I had hoped it would be but it never is when you have a 5 year old. She was so wound up for the morning that she expected us to entertain her all day, a theme that has been playing out more often recently. I’m not sure what it is; it isn’t that she doesn’t have an expansive imagination. I’ve watched her carry on 4 way conversations where she plays the part of each one of her dolls. I guess it’s just easier to have Mom and Dad do the entertaining than to do it herself. But when we do the entertaining we short change ourselves as listening to her carry on full conversations, where she plays all parts, is quite amusing, often insightful, many times downright hysterical and sometimes just a bit scary. But, I digress… Overall it was a great Christmas, and although it would have been nice to share parts of it with family, it was very nice doing our own thing.

New Year’s was rather pathetic at our house this year. The wife and kid were in bed by 10pm and I was on the computer, putzing around when I noticed that it was already 12:15am. Yes, I missed New Year’s, but I can’t complain because the day before my wife and I celebrated our 11 year anniversary with a nice romantic dinner, of steak and grilled crab legs, to the sounds of “Phineas and Ferb” playing in the background. Oh well, there’s always next year.

For our Christmas dinner, we decided to do Roast Duck and while normally eating half a duck is no problem for me, with all the other dishes we had we ended up with a decent amount of duck leftover. A few days later I found myself in the mood for breakfast at dinner and knowing that we had duck that we had some duck to use up I decided to marry it with some of the winter squashes we seem to have multiplying on our baker’s rack.

Duck and Butternut Squash Hash
serves 3-4

1 1/2 to 2 cups Duck meat, cooked
2 cups Waxy potatoes, small diced (Yukon Gold or Red skinned work great)
2 cups Butternut squash, peeled and small diced
1 small Onion, peeled and small diced
1 clove Garlic, peeled and minced
2 Tbl. Vegetable oil
3 strips Bacon, preferably thick cut, cut into thin strips
3/4 cup half and half
freshly ground black pepper

Bring 2 small pots of salted water to a boil. To one pot add the diced potatoes and to the other pot add the diced squash. Par cook the potatoes and squash until almost done. They should still have a bit of crunch to them. Drain and rinse under cold water.

Heat a heavy skillet over medium high heat and add the oil. Once hot add the bacon and cook until crispy. Remove the bacon leaving the fat in the pan. Add the potatoes and cook just until starting to brown. Add the squash and the onions and cook until all the vegetables are tender, about 6-8 minutes. Add the garlic and duck and cook for 2 minutes. Add the half and half and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Mash the hash down, slightly crushing the potatoes and squash and form into a large patty just smaller than the size of the skillet. Reduce heat to medium and cook, undistrubed for 5-6 minutes. Flip the hash over (don’t worry you won’t be able to do this as one large patty just try to get most of it flipped over) and reform into a patty again mashing it down slightly. Allow it to cook until the bottom starts to crisp up, another 10-12 minutes. Watch to make sure it doesn’t burn.

Divide among plates flipping the hash over so that the browned, crispy part is on top. Serve plain or like I do, topped with poached eggs and accompanied by buttered toast for scooping up the hash.