Chinese-style Braised Duck in Plum Sauce

Ingredients

1 whole duck (approx 4 lbs), head and wings removed, cleaned, pat dried
1 tbsp dark soy sauce, rubbed over duck skin
1 lb taro peeled, cut into 4 pieces

Seasonings

3 tbsp minced garlic
2 stalks spring onions, cut into 2″ sections
2/3 cup plum sauce
3 tbsp soybean paste
5 tbsp white vinegar
1 tbsp cooking wine
1 tsp five-spice powder
3 cups water

Method

  1. Deep-fry or pan-fry duck until skin is crisp and golden.
  2. Deep-fry taro until golden, drain and set aside.
  3. Stir-fry garlic and seasonings until fragrant, add remainder of seasonings.
  4. Stuff half of the stir-fried seasonings into the duck, stomach facing up.
  5. Boil the remaining seasonings in water and braise duck in the seasonings over low to medium heat for 30 minutes.
  6. Turn duck over, add taro, continue to braise for 20 minutes or until tender.
  7. Cut duck into pieces and slice taro. Arrange on a platter and pour sauce on top. Garnish with spring onions and serve.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Source: Gourmet Do It Yourself

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Garlic-Caraway Fried Flat Mushrooms on Bread

Ingredients

2 scallions
2 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs, plus extra to garnish
1 pound flat-cap mushrooms
1 garlic clove
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
4 slices whole-wheat bread

Method

  1. Slice the scallions into rings. Finely chop the parsley.
  2. Clean the mushrooms, remove the stems, and put the caps upside down into a skillet.
  3. Finely chop the garlic. Pour the oil over the mushrooms, reserving 1 teaspoon, and cook them gently over medium heat.
  4. Sprinkle the scallions, garlic, and parsley over the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the remaining oil on the caraway seeds and chop them, then add them to the skillet.
  5. Remove the mushrooms from the skillet with some of the oil and arrange on the slices of bread, garnished with parsley sprigs. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Vegatables

Chorizo, Avocado and Poached Egg Sandwich

Ingredients

4 eggs
4 x 2-inch lengths of chorizo sticks, cut in half lengthwise
olive oil, to drizzle (or butter, to spread, if preferred)
4 slices soda bread or crusty wholemeal/ whole-wheat bread, lightly toasted (or a base of your choice – toasted English muffins also work well)
2 ripe avocados, halved, pitted/stoned and peeled
black pepper, to season

Method

  1. Poach the eggs to your liking. Drain just before serving.
  2. Put the chorizo slices into a dry frying pan/skillet and set over medium heat. Fry for a minute or so on either side to release the oil and to warm through. Remove the pan from the heat.
  3. For each open sandwich, drizzle a little olive oil on the toasted bread (or spread with butter, if you prefer). Crush half an avocado onto it using a fork, then layer two chorizo slices on top of the avocado. Place a poached egg on top, sprinkle some black pepper over and serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: 100 ways with eggs

Pan-roasted Quail with Figs and Port

Ingredients

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 medium onion, cut into medium dice (about 1/2 cup)
3 celery stalks, roughly chopped (about 3/4 cup)
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon chopped thyme plus 4 large thyme sprigs
1 garlic clove, smashed
1/2 cup demi-glace (sold refrigerated or frozen in gourmet markets), or 1 cup low-sodium, store-bought beef broth reduced by half and thickened with 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour combined
1-1/2 cups homemade chicken stock or low-sodium, store-bought chicken or beef broth
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons high-quality port
8 (4-ounce) quail (sold fresh and partially boned, 4 to a package)
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 fresh figs, halved (8 to 10 halved, dried white figs can be substituted)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup pine nuts or pumpkin seeds

Method

  1. Set a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat to warm it. Pour in 2 tablespoons of the oil and heat for 2 minutes. Add the carrots, onion, celery, bay leaf, chopped thyme, and garlic to the pan and pan-roast, turning occasionally, until everything is well browned, about 12 minutes.
  2. Pour in the demi-glace and broth, return to a boil, then lower the heat and let simmer until reduced by half, about 30 minutes.
  3. Pour the port into the pot and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh strainer set over a bowl. The sauce can be made up to this point, cooled, covered, and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Reheat gently over medium heat before cooking the quail.
  5. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  6. Season the quail inside and out with salt and pepper. If there is a metal frame inside the quail (often included by the purveyor to hold the shape while cooking), leave it in and remove it before serving.
  7. Pour the remaining 1 tablespoon oil into a large, heavy-bottomed saute pan and heat it over medium heat for 1 minute. Add the thyme sprigs and quail, breast side down. Cook the quail until dark golden brown, about 3 minutes, then turn them over and cook the back until well browned, about 4 more minutes.
  8. Remove the quail from the skillet, set them on a cookie sheet, and keep them warm in the oven while you finish the dish.
  9. Add the figs to the pan in which the quail were cooked and roast over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Use tongs to pick out and discard the thyme sprigs. Add the warm port sauce to the figs and whisk the butter into the sauce to enrich it and give it a silken sheen.
  10. Divide the quail among 4 dinner plates, top each serving with figs, and spoon some port sauce over the top. Scatter some pine nuts over each quail and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Nightly Specials

Fish Tagine with Raisins and Honey

Ingredients

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon powdered saffron
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 pounds firm white fish fillets, such as sea bass, flounder, cod, ling, monkfish, grouper
1 large mild red onion finely diced
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup wine vinegar
3/4 cup raisins, soaked and drained
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

Method

  1. Combine 5 tablespoons of oil, cumin, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, cayenne pepper, saffron, and salt in a small bowl. Rub into the fish fillets on both sides. Place on a plate, cover, and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours for the flavors to penetrate.
  2. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and sear the fish on both sides until lightly colored. Remove immediately and set aside.
  3. Add the diced onion to the pan and saute until softened, about 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the black pepper, remaining 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, honey, vinegar, raisins, and parsley.
  5. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. Return the fish to the pan, spoon some sauce over the top, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes, basting occasionally with sauce.
  7. Serve hot.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Modern Mediterranean Cooking