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Gala Tasting Menu

Braised Duck Tamales with Orange-Chipotle Salsa
Chef Brack May of Cobalt – New Orleans, LA
Adapted by StarChefs

Yield: 8 Servings


  • 16 Corn husks

  • Dough
  • 1 ½ cups masa flour
  • 1 cup seasoned chicken stock
  • 6 ounces lard, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 ears worth fresh corn kernels
  • 2 Tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • ¼ cup Asiago cheese, grated

  • Filling
  • 3 Tablespoons canola oil
  • 8 duck legs
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic, smashed
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ teaspoon cumin, toasted
  • 2 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Zest of ½ an orange, chopped fine
  • 1 cup dark veal or duck stock
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 chipotle in adobo seeds, chopped finely
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Fresh cilantro, finely chopped, as needed
  • Fresh lime juice, as needed

  • Salsa
  • Tomatillos
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Hot peppers
  • Fresh herbs
  • Lime juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Orange segments
  • Cilantro
  • 3 chipotle peppers, seeded and chopped

For Panna Cotta:
Combine heavy cream, pecan paste and sugar in a sauce pan. Heat to scalding, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat. Dissolve gelatin sheets in warm mixture, then add buttermilk and mix thoroughly. Pour into 10-inch square pan lined with aluminum foil. Refrigerate over night. Turn out and cut into squares, ½ - inch x 1 ½ - inch.

For Beignet Filling:
Combine butter, vanilla and brown sugar in sauté pan. Melt over medium heat, and add apples and pecan pieces. Cook until apple is soft. Turn out onto baking sheet and cool.

For Beignet Dough:
Combine yeast and milk. Whisk until yeast is dissolved. Whisking at low speed, add eggs. In separate bowl, mix flours, cinnamon, ground cloves, sugar and salt. In small sauce pan, melt butter and water together. Alternating wet and dry ingredients, add to yeast mixture. A dough will form. Wrap dough in plastic and rest for two hours.

For Beignets:
Divide dough in half. On floured board, roll out one piece to ¼ - inch thickness. Score half of the sheet with 2 ¼ - inch round cutter, leaving 1 – inch spaces between marks. Place one Tablespoon of filling per circle. Fold other half of dough on top of marked circles, making a sandwich. Using same cutter, cut through sandwiched dough to create beignets. Remove to floured baking sheet. Repeat with second ball of dough.

Fry in preheated oil at 350°F until golden brown. Drain and toss in cinnamon-spice sugar.

To Serve:
Serve two beignets per person, atop a square of panna cotta and drizzle with caramel sauce.

Wine Pairing:
Gallo of Sonoma Alexander Valley Barrelli Creek Vineyard Barbera 2000