Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Cooking - Duck and raspberries

I have wanted to cook this dish for a while, but duck has always been very expensive, and raspberries are awful when out of season.

As it happens, I have been staying at my parents house in Yorkshire, and they have an allotment where they grow, amongst other things, raspberries, which have just been in season.  

So, the other day, on a jaunt out to get meat for our bbq which we had on sunday, we spotted 2 duck breasts on offer and I had to have them, they looked so delicious! On our way back, we picked a punnet of raspberries, and set in motion a sequence of events which led to: http://tinyurl.com/33ctvqa

 Sounds tasty no?

Anyways, after serving it to Louise, the following points came up, which I will be noting for next time, and if you want to make the dish yourself, you should also take on board:

- The duck breasts we had were maybe just over 1 inch thick and if you have similar thickness duck, they should be cooked for 7 1/2 to 8 minutes in the oven for rare, and 8 to 9 for medium, 6 was far too rare even for my taste, and I tend to have steak "bleu"

- The sauce was a little tart, even though I used some nice sweet vinegar, but this is likely down to the fact that the raspberry season is at an end. Take note of the time of year; at the start of season, raspberries tend to be sweeter, but near the end of season, and a few days after it rains, they tend to be a lot sharper, so taste them first, if they are a little sharp, add an extra teaspoon or two of sugar when cooking.

I served the duck with some simple steamed green beans, picked yesterday, and some slices of yellow courgette, fried in butter and oil (also picked yesterday).
Good eating.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Cooking - Okonomiyaki

After all the gripping DF posts, I'm sure you all fancy something else, so a good recipe to use up leftover veg, or to show off your pronunciation skills (o-ko-no-mi-ya-ki), or just because you fancy something different.

Okonomiyaki is a traditional Japanese pancake/omelette dish served with okonomiyaki sauce and mayonaise, or if you don't feel like making the sauce, you can always use worcestershire sauce and mayonaise, but I can tell you it is very much worth the effort.

I will link to the recipes to save me writing them out again, but I will add this:
- Use less cabbage, maybe 1 1/2 cups instead of 2 to 3, and make sure to finely chop it.
- I am thinking about blanching the cabbage a little bit before adding it in next time as it was very crunchy, but then again, I like it like that so maybe, but I'm not sure.
- The portion serves 2 hungry people well as a main course, maybe 3 normal people, and maybe 4-6 as a starter.

The pancake itself is found here (pancake) and the sauce is here (sauce). And if you care to make your own mayonaise (mayo), but I will fess up now, I did not.

Enjoy :)