Sunday, January 30, 2011

Crispy Roast Duck with a Confit of Sour Cherries

Saturday, 29th January
Crispy Roast Duck with a Confit of Sour Cherries (Delia), tiny roasted new potatoes (ala Nigella), broccoli with almonds and rasberry vinegar - Sainsbury's Delicious Vegetables p12.  Salad of lambs lettuce, fennel salami and goats cheese.  Première Bulle Premium Crémant de Limoux 2007.

I like stuffing with my roast dinners, so I added a homemade sage, onion and salami stuffing to Delia recipe.  I got the duck at the local market (not from the supermarket, so it was not wrapped in cling-film) and the skin was nicely dry and came up beautifully crispy.  It was a little smaller than the recipe called for (enough for 3 probably) and I think 2 hours roasting was a little bit too long, although being stuffed it would have taken a bit longer than otherwise anyway.  It was certainly well cooked when it came out but was still lovely and moist without being too greasy.  The sour cheery confit was a delicious accompaniment to the meat.

The salad was a variation on one I did a couple of weeks ago with a different goats cheese and a different salami.  In this case the cheese was marinated in oil and thyme and is fabulous, but perhaps a little too intense for the salad.  The broccoli cooked for a little longer than I planned while I carved the duck, but turned out just right in the end.  The idea of adding flour to the potatoes to make them extra crispy was new to me, but worked very well.  I had no semolina so I used what I did have - chapati flour.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Pork filet

Friday, 28th January
Quick ad-libbed Pork Filet with Honey and Brandy.  Flattened rounds of pork filet, seasoned well and then dipped them in a mixture of a little honey and a lot of brandy before quickly frying them.  Added left over brandy to the pan.  Served with oven chips and a spicy tomato relish.  The sweetness of the honey was not too overpowering and went nicely with the spicy tomato.  The pork was tender and juicy.  I would have liked a bit more caramelization on the meat, so probably less oil would be better.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Ornitha Zante

Thursday, 20th January
Ornitha Zante - Sainsbury's book of chicken dishes p16.   Haven't cooked this one for ages.  Rub a chicken with garlic and oil and put it in a roasting pan with tomatoes, herbs and oil.  I also added onion and more garlic.  Bake, loosely covered with foil for 1 hour.  Uncover, add stock and cook for a further 30 minutes.  Add pasta, and enough additional stock or water to ensure the pasta is thoroughly moistened, and cook for another 20 minutes.   I liked it but my partner was less enthusiastic because I really overdid the garlic.  The chicken was lovely and moist though, even as left overs the next day (just really, really garlicky!).


Monday, 17th January
Keep it simple. Bratwurst, chips and fried onions.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Italian Deli specialities

Saturday, 15th January
Got a few fresh made wild boar tortellini and spinach and ricotta tortelloni (a bigger variety) from the local italian deli.  Although these would certainly have been fine with just oil and herbs, we made a light sauce of softened onions, butter, oregano and a dash of white wine.  The wild boar tortellini were excellent.  Then, for a second course, a plate of meats and cheeses with ciabatta, also mostly from the same deli.  I love these selections of different delicacies to nibble while watching a film (in our case the BBC production of Shakespeare's The Tempest).

Honey Glazed Poussins

Friday, 14th January
Honey Glazed Poussins - Sainsbury book of Chicken Dishes p34. Roast Poussin glazed with honey, garlic and wine vinegar.  Served with chip-shaped roast potatoes, stir-fried fennel with a sweet pepper sauce and salad of lamb's lettuce, thinly sliced white onion, diced feta and diced fig salami.  Used too much fat for the potatoes so they didn't really crisp up the way I wanted, but they were still tasty.  The salad was especially good.  Together with a bottle of Veuve Clicquot a very nice dinner indeed.

Monday, January 10, 2011


Sunday, 9th January
Goulash - The Cookery Year p246.  Brown onions and floured stewing steak.  Add a glass of red wine and let it bubble away, then add enough stock to cover the meat.  Blend chopped tomatos, tomato puree, paprika and a little sugar and add that to the pot.  Simmer for two hours.  Didn't have any sour cream so I had to miss that out. Although heretical, I also added some diced celery root and the beginning and thinly sliced red pepper at the end, for textural variation.  Really tasty, but I added too much stock so the sauce could have been thicker.  Most of the meat was nicely tender but one or two pieces were a bit tough. Not sure why that would be.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Penne with Sausage and Tomato

Thursday, 6th January
Penne with Sausage and Tomato - Bon Appétit March 1990 (epicurious).  I adapted this a bit, but not much.  Soften onions and garlic for 5 minutes, add fresh italian salciccia (sausage) cut up into small chunks and fry gently until browned all over.  I used a fennel salciccia from the excellent Standa supermarket in central Cologne.  Add a glass a red wine and let it bubble mostly away.  Skin and chop 5 or 6 tomatoes and add them.  Simmer for 20 minutes while cooking the pasta.  Add fresh italian herbs to the sausage and tomatoes near the end and check the seasoning.
This turned out to be quite delicious.  The sausage was particularly good and had enough spiciness to spread nicely through the excellent sauce.  The original recipe calls for added pepper flakes, but that would have been overkill.  Definitely one to repeat

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Chicken and Mushroom Soup

Wednesda, 5th January
Chicken and mushroom soup.  Got a bit of a cold, so acting on the advice of my sweetheart, I improvised a chicken soup after looking at a couple of recipes.  Trim chicken thighs of fat and skin, diced and boil briefly in stock. Skim the liquid. Fry some bacon, add the drained chicken and fry gently for a few minutes, then add white wine.  In another pan soften onions, garlic and sliced mushrooms and add a small glass of sherry.  Add the mushroom mix to the chicken, with chopped parsley and chives.  Add stock and simmer for 10 minutes.  Add cream and heat through.  Adjust seasoning and serve garnished with sliced raw mushroom and chopped chives.  The chicken and mushroom mix was very good, but the broth was a bit disappointing - could have been richer and creamier.  Maybe a thickening agent was needed.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Pan Fried Tuna

Monday, 3rd January
Pan Fried Tuna cooked with 1/1/1 soy, mirin and sake marinade. Spring onions with Ponsu, mushrooms with Genmai Su, rice with Tekka.  Another favourite quick evening meal. All worked very well, although the Tekka was a first time use and not as nice a seasoning as I had hoped.

Southern-Style Duck

Sunday, 2nd January
Southern-Style Duck - Traditional Japanese Recipe Book p 30.  One of my favourites as a quick evening meal, pressed into service because Adolph's Brauhaus was closed.  Used a barbary duck breast with fattier and more yellow skin than normal.  The skin came out rather chewy.  Somen noodles were good although maybe a touch overcooked.

Pork fillet with Juniper / Blackberry Fool

Saturday, January 1st
Pork fillet with Juniper - The Cook Book 1980 p243.  With linguine.  Used spanferkel fillets, so smaller than normal.  Beating flat was OK after the first couple of goes.  Sauce with Juniper berries, garlic and red wine was a little bitter. Also, could have been a bit more of it, to go with the pasta.  Meat was good though.

Blackberry Fool - based on recipe in The Cook Book.  Didn't let the fruit macerate long enough because I didn't want to wait.  May have overdone the sugar and used too much cream.