A Dish of Duck

Duck is something I love to order in restaurants but rarely cook at home. When I do I tend to make duck pancakes with hoisin sauce. It is delicious but in all honesty, that’s all I have ever done. So, this evening I thought I would try something a little different. By mixing a few spices and adding a dash of fruity flavour, I ended up with a nice and tasty dish.

Seasoned Duck with Pomegranate and Beetroot Salad (serves 2)

2 duck legs

1 bag of mixed lettuce leaves (or equivalent)

1 pomegranate

2 cooked beetroot (pickled or not)

8 cherry tomatoes

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

½ tsp five spice

½ tsp cinnamon

Salt

Pepper

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180ᵒ/Gas mark 4. Prick the duck legs all over with a fork.
  2. In an oven proof dish, mix the vinegar, cinnamon, five spice powder, a pinch of salt and a sprinkle of pepper. Add the duck legs to the dish and rub all over with the sauce mixture. Once heated, put the dish of duck into the oven and set the timer for an hour and a half.
  3. After each half hour that passes, turn the duck and spoon the liquid back over the legs.
  4. When there is just 30 minutes to go on the cooking time prepare the salad. Divide the lettuce between two plates. Add the chopped beetroot and cherry tomatoes. Scoop the seeds out of the pomegranate and scatter these on top of each salad.
  5. Once the duck is cooked, place a leg on each of the plates of salad and serve. Drizzle over some olive oil or a salad dressing of your choice if preferred.

Try a little bulgar wheat…

This recipe started off as a ‘chuck it all in’ dinner that tasted good enough for me to write down what I had done and refine it for next time. It is great as a healthy lunch or supper just as it is, or as a side to something else tasty. I recently used the mixture to stuff peppers and grilled them on the bbq…

Feta and olive bulgar wheat salad (serves 1 or 2 as a side)

70g bulgar wheat

½ small onion

50g courgette

1 clove of garlic

½ tsp cumin

¾ tsp ground coriander

Sprinkle of cayenne pepper

1 tbsp tomato puree

1 tomato (chopped)

8 green olives (pitted)

30g feta cheese (cubed)

Salt

  1. Bring a saucepan of hot water to the boil and add the bulgar wheat. Cook for 12-15 minutes on a gentle boil.
  2. Meanwhile, chop the vegetables and fry the onion and courgette in a little oil. Once softened, add the garlic, tomato, ground coriander, cumin and tomato puree. Add as much cayenne pepper as you like, depending on how hot you like your food. I use a sprinkle to give the dish a gentle kick. Give the ingredients a good stir and cook gently for a further 5 minutes.
  3. Once the bulgar wheat has been cooking for enough time. Turn off the hob and cover the saucepan for 10 minutes. After this time, drain the wheat and add it to the pan of vegetables which should still be on a low heat.
  4. Stir all the ingredients together and add in the olives and the feta.

This dish can be served hot or cold so serve when ready.

Now bring us a figgy salad…

Summer may be drawing to a close but as we all know English weather is oh so unpredictable! For me it is important to make the most of every possible sunny evening and that includes eating accordingly. This week I managed to cheat the beginning of autumn and sneak a summery salad into my menu…

This is a dish that is full of flavour and can be served as a light bite or as a yummy starter. It is ridiculously simple but tastes so good!

Fig and Prosciutto Salad  (Serves 2)

2 large handfuls of rocket

1 handful of spinach leaves

2 figs

4 slices of prosciutto

10 cherry tomatoes

Parmesan cheese

Salt, pepper and olive oil

  1. Wash the rocket and spinach and mix together. Spread evenly between two plates.
  2. Cut the figs into 5 segments and arrange around the outside of the salad.
  3. Tear the prosciutto into strips and spread over the salad. Then divide the tomatoes between the two plates.
  4. Drizzle a little olive oil over the salad and sprinkle over a little salt and pepper.
  5. To finish, grate or peel strips of parmesan cheese and scatter over the salad.