Saturday, 30 November 2013

Michel Roux Jnr's Confit Duck with Saute Potatoes.

I bought this book about a year ago now and there are some lovely recipes in it , however, as stated before , I rather like a photo especially for me if I think that it could be a complicated recipe. This one had a super photo so I was instantly attracted to it!

This is the recipe cut and pasted from the book for those who need the real thing.......

Serves 8
Cooking time: 5½hours
1 Canard Gras (a duck reared for foie gras. It will weigh about 6kg and may seem expensive but inside it has a whole foie gras. If you cannot find one, then I suggest eight large duck legs, or two normal ducks, prepared accordng to the method.)
1kg good quality coarse sea salt
1 sprig sage
1 sprig thyme
Sauté potatoes
1kg potatoes (Amandine, Belle de Fontenay or similar), boiled in their skins and cooled
1kg duck or goose fat
Pinch of salt
Pepper, to taste
3 garlic cloves
1 bunch of flat leaf parsley, chopped
If using a canard gras remove the legs and breasts, trimming off any excess fat. Chop off the head and discard (if a canard gras). Remove the skin from the neck and add to the fat, and put the neck (if you are using a canard gras) with the meat. Take out the foie gras, wrap in cling film and refrigerate to use for another recipe. Add the heart and gizzard, cut in half and washed. Trim all the skin and fat off the carcass. Put all the fat in a pan and cover with water. Bring to a gentle simmer to render. This usually takes about an hour – the water should have evaporated and the fat clear. Pour the fat through a fine conical sieve without pressing. Liberally sprinkle the meat with the sea salt and chill for 90 minutes. Wipe off all the salt and moisture with a cloth and put the meat into the warm fat with the sage, pepper and thyme. Bring to a very gentle simmer, cover with a greaseproof paper and cook for about 2 hours until tender. Cool in the fat, then chill. It will keep for several weeks if required.
When you want to serve the duck confit, preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4. Place the meat in a non-stick pan and cook over medium heat until golden. Put into the hot oven for 10–15 minutes, and when cooked, remove.
Meanwhile, peel the potatoes when cool. Cut into 5mm slices and pan-fry in the duck fat. Season and sprinkle with garlic and parsley.

And this is my take on it....not a million miles apart but tasted wonderful ( if I say so myself ).

Serves 4

4 Large duck breasts
1 Sprig sage
1 Sprig Thyme
Sea salt
Enough vegetable oil to cover duck in a large heatproof pan.
750gms Waxy new potatoes, sliced, boiled and cooled
3 Cloves garlic crushed
Handful of flat leaf parsley chopped

Place duck in a large heatproof pan, pop in sage and thyme and cover with vegetable oil. Bring to a gentle simmer, cover with a greaseproof cartouche  and leave to bubble really gently for 2 hours turning duck over halfway through.

After 2 hours simply place the pan -  with the duck still inside - somewhere cool. I placed mine on the picnic table outside ( really cold day ). I had to keep an eye on my hungry cat of course but it cooled nicely.
Once cool, drain from the fat and pan fry in a little of the oil to a nice golden colour and then place in a pre-heated oven 180 deg/Gas 4 for about 15 minutes to cook.

In the mean time fry the potatoes and garlic in a little of the ducky oil until a nice golden colour, stir in the parsley and serve while piping hot. 

Ok, it's not so fabulous as Michel's but it was far cheaper and everyone loved it. While I love classic recipes, it is quite hard to find some ingredients in a small town so you have to improvise. I served this with green beans and vichy carrotts and judging by the comments I'll be making it again.


Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Hairy Bikers Christmas Pudding Vodka Recipe.

This was loved so much a couple of years ago that it wouldn't be Christmas without a glass after dinner!.


·                                 300g/10½oz mixed dried fruit (sultanas, currants, raisins)
·                                 75g/3oz caster sugar
·                                 2 cinnamon sticks
·                                 2 tsp ground mixed spice
·                                 6 cloves
·                                 ½ whole nutmeg, finely grated
·                                 1 orange, zest only, finely grated
·                                 1 unwaxed lemon, zest only, finely grated

Preparation method

  1. Mix the dried fruit with the sugar, cinnamon sticks, mixed spice, cloves, grated nutmeg and citrus zest in a largish sealable jar ( you can just pop it all into a large bowl and cover with cling film ! ).
  2. Pour over the vodka.
  3. Place in the fridge and leave for 3 days, stirring once each day.
  4. Line a sieve with a double layer of fine muslin and place over a large, clean jug.
  5. Pour the dried fruit and vodka mixture into the sieve and allow to drip through into the jug.
  6. Pour into a sterilized bottle.

It all looks pretty murkey at first but - although it doesn't clear - it does look far more appetising by the time you get to drink it.

I'll post a photo when the straining and bottling takes place.


Monday, 18 November 2013

Christmas Pudding Vodka.

I made this a couple of years ago and it was so good that I now intend to make it every year. Going to buy ingredients today ready to make tomorrow!


Michel Roux Jr's Panna Cotta with Mango Coulis (mostly)..


3 gelatine leaves 
2 tablespoons dark rum
600mls single cream
2 vanilla pods split with seeds scraped out
100g caster sugar
peel of one orange - no pith
500g wild strawberries ( optional given the season )

For The Coulis

2 large ripe mangoes
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 lime
Serves eight.

Soak gelatine leaves in the rum until soft. Whilst gelatine is soaking place cream, vanilla, sugar and orange peel into a large pan and quickly bring to a simmer, stirring to make sure that it does not catch. Take off the heat immediately and stir in the gelatine and rum mixture. Leave to cool stirring occasionally to avoid a skin!

Once cool strain into dishes or glasses and leave to set in the fridge for at least 8 hours.

Yes, this recipe states that it serves eight.....eight very small portions, It smells divine at this stage and I found it quite hard not to slurp one straight away! Into the fridge with you babies and on with the coulis..

Peel and chop up the mango and place in a blender with the sugar and lime juice - blitz to a smooth puree, pass through a sieve and pop into the fridge. 
Well, as usual we ate it before I remembered to photo it, but it looked exactly the same as above only served with bright yellow mango coulis! Did I like it mmmm, I think that three leaves of gelatine is a little excessive , next time I'll use two and a half as I like my panna cotta a little softer. The mango coulis was - in my opinion - horrible. It gets a nasty slimy consistency when blitzed that I can't stomach. Some fresh mango simply served with it would have been lovely or even better a nice raspberry coulis - I have never had anyone complain about that!


Sunday, 17 November 2013

Groundhog day?????

Just been reading old blogs and found this one ..........still feel the same I'm afraid. Chubby faced critics still make me shout at the TV grrrrrrrrrr


Ahh missed you blog....

Well, it has been an awful long time since I wrote anything here and there have been times when I've missed it so much. Having said that it can be all consuming and much of my time has been taken up with a new venture - namely jewellery making ( after a fashion ).

Given the time restraints of a new job, making jewellery which happens to look like food :), its no surprise that really something had to give. Anyway, I found myself missing this so much that it was time to resurrect it, albeit in a less intense manner and start blogging again.
Sam is now living in beautiful Devon and working as chef under Jim at The Trout..

Lovely food and a great pub! I miss him too much though, ah well, they have to fly sooner or later. I cook rather less than I used to so have decided to pick it up a little. I really don't have the time to devote to it any more unfortunately so I'm going to concentrate on learning a little more French cooking and posting my successes on here - might be a little flimsy on content of course! Today I have made a lovely panna cotta from Michel Roux jr's book ' Cooking With The Masterchef '  - nice little book but not enough photo's.