It has been a while since I posted a blog about my own cooking, with the back pain I have experienced since my accident 13 months ago, I have not been cooking as much as I used to, nor as much as I would like, hence the move to more restaurant reviews. In the past couple of months I have been writing articles for Weekend Notes, which has satisfied my need to write, but I have missed cooking and writing about good food prepared by myself for the love of my life, my wife. So I hope you enjoy this one as much as I have enjoyed cooking and writing about it tonight!
|Roasted duck breast with potato, asparagus and baby carrots in a rich wine sauce|
The last couple of days at work I have felt a bit like a piece of plasticine in poor kids play ground, being pulled this way and that, everyone seemingly wanting a little bit of me at the same time. It is a good way to be when you’re working, being kept busy the days seem to fly by. During the mayhem of the day I stumbled upon my timesheet and thought I best do that now whilst I think about it, dutifully filling it in I realised I had quite a bit of flexitime up my sleeve, then looked at the clock and saw it was 3:45 decided I had had enough and began to wind down, but not before arranging a couple of days of toward the end of the week. Not much after 4 o’clock, I was on a bus heading into the city and texting Jo not to worry about picking me up.
|I loved making these baby raspberry and coconut cakes|
I was home inside an hour and pretty much had an idea of what was for dinner by the time I unlocked the door, having a quick look for some ideas in a Marie Claire cookbook I spotted a beaut little Raspberry and Coconut cake, thinking Jo would love it I jotted down a few ingredients and after a quick change of clothes I was in my little Swift and on my way to StirlingFresh IGA for a few provisions.
We had picked up a couple of nice duck breasts when at the Good Food and Wine Show, they were to make up the main course though I needed a few vegies to go with them, I found just what I needed in a bunch each of Asparagus and Baby Carrots, add a few spuds into the mix and I was heading for the checkout.
I was home and cooking by 5 o’clock, a rare treat these days on a week night, just me and the radio playing Hot Country, my kind of heaven. The raspberry and coconut cakes were a joy to make, just throw all the ingredients in bowl a bit of a mix and in the oven they go, the only difficult part of the whole exercise was trying to answer the bloody phone when you are up to your elbows in sticky dough, thanks Jo Girl!
|I think they look fantastic!|
Still they came out of the oven looking fantastic and the dishes were all done by the time she walked through the door and the kitchen smelt heavenly too.
125 grams butter
1/4 cup almond meal
3/4 cup desiccated coconut
1 2/3 cups icing sugar, sifted
1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
5 egg whites
2/3 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen
Heat butter in a saucepan over low heat
Mix almond meal, coconut, icing sugar, flour, baking soda in a bowl add the egg whites, mix well, then add the ,melted butter incorporate thoroughly, then spoon dough into your pre greased patty cake tins, sprinkle raspberries over the top. Cook in a preheated oven @ 180 C for 12 to 15 minutes.
Having the dessert out of the way it was time to turn my attention to dinner, the duck breast is so easy to cook, just heat a dry pan to very hot add the breasts skin side down, don’t worry if they jump and pop, it just means your pan is nice and hot they will settle quickly, cook skin down for 3 minutes, then turn and cook on the cook top for one minute, then place the whole pan in the pre heated oven @ 180 C for 10 more minutes, then remove them and rest for 5 – 8 minutes.
I decide to roast some potatoes in duck fat, so these went in the oven 30 minutes before I cooked the duck and I had the asparagus and baby carrots to cook. I decided to try something a little different and cooked a small onion and a sliced clove of garlic in butter over low heat for 5 minutes, added the asparagus and carrots and tossed them for a few minutes, then added the juice of a lemon and let that cook another two minutes. I then transferred the whole lot to a small roasting dish and before putting it in the oven I sprinkled a couple of tablespoons of parmesan cheese and some black pepper over the top, and then baked the dish for about 15 minutes.
I have been experimenting a little bit lately with Maggie Beers Cabernet Paste by adding it to various stocks to build a sauce or gravy, tonight I went a little heavy with the flour and ended up with a very thick gravy, whilst cooking it I commented to Jo that it almost tasted like chocolate, but by the time it hit the plate it was an awesome sauce to go with the duck, the small amount of duck fat left in the tray to cook the flour added a wonderful depth to it.
|A very satisfying meal indeed!|
All in all it was a great tasting meal and one that was really effortless to cook, we enjoyed the meal with a bottle of 2011 Windy Creek Cabernet Merlot and by the time I tucked in the last thing on my mind was the busy day I left behind at the office, for now it was all about enjoy a great feed with a great bottle of red with my gorgeous wife, what more could a poor kid ask for?