Tag Archives: french

It’s Pimm’s a clock.. giving the British a bit of a shock..

5 Aug

I think most of us know by now that the Brits are well known for their drinking habits.. and not necessarily their eating habits or great food!  In this case, they might feel a little bit sensitive about using their world famous Pimms in a crispy duck dish! Some of them might say that I’m “well right cheeky” for even attempting it.

If there is one thing about the British that is a guarantee ( which I hope will make this dish a selling point ) – they love fruit!  In all forms. Dried fruit, fresh fruit, fruit with chocolate, fruit as dessert, fruit as a treat, fruit & biscuits… they will have fruit with almost anything possible, even hot chocolate! So basically, this is almost like Forest Gump and Bubba with their little “shrimpin” business.

Joining in on the whole “cook only what is in season” craze, I have jumped on the bandwagon too!  If you can buy 2 punnets of blackberries for £2 –  no1, you have to buy it, it’s cheap!!  No2,  if your family,  or my (now) increased – appetite- non- stop – eating (always hungry) husband does NOT eat fruit, you have to get creative! And so we come round to the duck.. which seems to be in season for quite some time.. as it is unbelievably affordable.. and always makes me feel “well noble”!

Duck is a very fatty poultry, but exquisite when all the fattiness and crispy skin is combined with something sweet, spicy and acidic to cut through it. So, the 3 main musketeers for this recipe is Duck, Blackberries & Blackberry & Elder flower Pimms.

Crispy duck with blackberries  & Pimms

3 x duck legs

1 punnet of blackberries ( about 2 handfuls)

2 teaspoons of cumin seeds

Salt & pepper to taste

75ml blackberry & elderflower Pimms ( any blackberry liqueur if you don’t have Pimms)

4 x small wedges of lemon

Make sure your duck legs are room temperature. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.  Tip: The key to this dish is also to have a heavy based, shallow frying pan that can be used on the hob and in the oven.

lemon

Season your duck legs with freshly ground pepper and salt and rub it into the meat. Now, heat your frying pan. It needs to be nice and hot, similar to frying a steak. When the pan is hot, place the duck legs skin (fat) side down. You want it to fry till the skin is nice, crispy and brown.

When the skin is crispy, sprinkle the cumin seeds over the duck, before turning it over (skin side facing up)  to cook the other side of the legs. Be careful, the heat will make the cumin seeds shoot around like little popcorn kernels. As soon as you’ve turned it around, add the Pimms, making sure that you don’t pour it over the crispy skin. Pour it around the duck. The top, crispy side of the skin should be “Pimms free”.

Now, take some of the blackberries and place them around the duck in any available space. I usually place a few around the duck and then use the rest as a cushion for the duck to lie on, placing them underneath the duck.

35-blackberries

Take the lemon wedges and place the skin side up around the duck. Place in the oven for 45mins. Tip: Do not cover with a lid or foil, because you want the skin to stay crispy.

IMG_20140722_194853

I usually serve this with a tomato, mozzarella & basil salad, and some creamy mash with the sweet and zesty sauce cutting through the creamy mash.  You can also serve it with fresh , crusty bread and dip the bread in the blackberry and duck sauce, or even serve with some plain, simple and delicious jasmine or basmati rice. Enjoy!

IMG_20140722_194914

Advertisements

Pièce de résistance … Home Grown Tomato tart

25 Aug

We should actually have a whole chapter on tomatoes, as my crop just keeps on giving and giving.. in the most famous and often used words of themost critical and only food taster in this house “The gift that keeps on giving”! However, there is something about tomatoes – the possibilities with these bright and beautiful red fruits are just endless! I read somewhere ( don’t ask me where, my memory is getting rusty)  something that actually just made my day – “It’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato”. Don’t you just love that, I feel like I am living on my own farm already!!

After talking about this tomato tart for quite a few weeks, I decided to actually just go for it!! After all, there will always be more tomatoes, and since we haven’t had tart within a week, I suppose, why not? I think it turned out so well, I heard new “hmmmmmm” noises from my hungry tiger that I haven’t heard before, and as always, the very famous ” beauuuuuuutiful”! I don’t actually know in what type of category it will fall in, because it has egg and cream, but just a touch, and it has 2 different cheeses. Maybe we should just call it “my french tart” since, it is after all, the Pièce de résistance!! It’s a real beauty, and why not, it is even my favourite colour!! There is always something exciting and daring about red! ;-p

Home Grown Tomato Tart

14 medium tomatoes, finely sliced / 10 large tomatoes

Olive oil for drizzling

salt & pepper to taste

1 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese

1 cup of feta cheese

2 red onions, sliced in rounds

25g of butter and extra for greasing

1 teaspoon of crushed garlic

2 twigs of thyme

1 pack of short crust pastry

Flour for dusting

1 fluted tart tin

45ml cream/soya cream

1 egg

Spread your tomatoes out in a tray. Drizzle with some olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Roast in the oven for about 15- 20 minutes. While this is roasting, melt your butter in a pan, add the garlic and slowly fry your onions on a low heat.

You just want them to slowly and slightly carmelize and turn soft, juicy and sweet. When your tomatoes are ready, your onions will be ready 🙂 Dust your surface with flour and roll out your pastry. Grease your tart tin. Place your pastry in the tin and prick with a fork. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius.

Take half of your parmesan cheese and sprinkle on the pastry. Now, layer it with your onions. Sprinkle half of your feta cheese over the onions. Now place your tomatoes over the feta and layer them properly. Crumble the remaining feta over the tomatoes.

Layer the remaining tomatoes over the feta. Sprinkle with the thyme. Beat your egg and cream together. Pour it over the filling. Now sprinkle over the rest of your parmesan and place in the oven for 15- 20 minutes or until golden brown. What a lovely little surprise!! Enjoy with a crisp and fresh green salad 🙂 Just a thought…. my camera’s battery died, so these are dirty, disgusting blackberry photos, apologies, I know, it will NEVER happen again!! 😉