Spanish-style Baked Duck with Pears

Ingredients

6 duck portions, either breast or leg pieces
3 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
I cinnamon stick, halved
2 thyme sprigs
2 cups chicken stock
3 firm ripe pears
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 tsp saffron strands
2 tbsp raisins
salt and freshly ground black pepper parsley or young thyme sprigs, to garnish
mashed potatoes and green vegetables, to serve (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
  2. Fry the duck in 1 tbsp of the oil for about 5 minutes, until the skin is golden. Transfer the duck to an ovenproof dish.
  3. Drain off all but 1 tbsp of the fat in the pan, add the onion and fry for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the cinnamon stick, thyme and stock and bring to the boil. Pour over the duck and bake in the oven for 1-1/4 hours.
  5. Meanwhile, halve the pears and fry quickly in the remaining oil until beginning to turn golden on the cut sides.
  6. Pound the garlic, pine nuts and saffron in a mortar with a pestle to make a thick paste.
  7. Add the paste to the casserole, together with the raisins and pears. Bake for a further 15 minutes until the pears are tender.
  8. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste, then garnish with parsley or thyme. Serve with mashed potatoes and a green vegetable, if liked.

COOK’S TIP:

A good stock is essential for this dish. Buy a large duck (plus two extra duck breasts if you want portions to be generous) and joint it yourself, using the giblets and carcass for stock. Alternatively buy duck portions and a carton of chicken stock.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Best of Spain

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Chinese-style Baked Fish with Spicy Coconut Sauce

Ingredients

10 oz garoupa fillet
5 oz potato
1 large coconut
3/4 tsp curry powder
2/3 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup evaporated milk
1/2 can cream chicken soup
1/2 oz butter
1/2 cup cornstarch

Marinade

Dash of sesame oil
pinch of pepper
1/3 tsp salt
1/2 egg
1 tsp cornstarch

Method

  1. Peel potato. Rinse and dice. Cook in boiling water until done. Drain off excess water.
  2. Cut off the top of coconut. Pour out water inside. Put coconut in a heat-proof dish.
  3. Rinse garoupa fillet and wipe dry. Cut into chunks. Mix with marinade ingredients and set aside for 10 minutes.
  4. Coat fish with cornstarch. Deep fry in boiling oil.
  5. Saute curry powder with 2 Tbsp oil. Add cream chicken soup and bring to a boil. Mix in coconut milk. Continue to cook while stirring until the mixture is boiled again.
  6. Add 1/2 tsp sugar, evaporated milk, potato and garoupa fillet. Mix well and put all ingredients into the coconut. Add butter and cover with foil. Bake in a preheated 350ºF oven for 20 minutes.

Source: Hong Kong magazine

German-inspired Baked Chicken with Red Cabbage

Ingredients

olive oil cooking spray
4 (4-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken cutlets
salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 cup thinly sliced onions
1 teaspoon chopped caraway seeds
2 large Red Delicious apples, grated on the large side of a box grater
8 cups shredded red cabbage
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 packets monk fruit extract

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Lightly coat an oven-safe nonstick skillet with cooking spray and place over medium-high heat. Season the chicken and place in the hot skillet. Cook until browned on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a plate.
  3. Add the onions to the skillet and cook until softened, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the caraway seeds, apples, and cabbage and cover the skillet. Transfer to the oven and bake until soft and tender, 6 to 8 minutes.
  5. Once the apples and cabbage are tender, stir in the vinegar and monk fruit extract. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Place the chicken cutlets on top, cover, and continue to bake until the chicken is cooked through, about 2 minutes.
  7. Spoon the cabbage onto four plates, and top with the chicken.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: The Negative Calorie Diet

Italian-style Baked Red Snapper

Ingredients

4 red snapper fillets, about 4 oz each
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
3 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped
8 Nicoise olives, pitted and sliced
2 tablespoons drained capers
1 tablespoon minced anchovies
1/4 cup (1/3 oz) chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup (1/3 oz) chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
1/2 lemon, cut into 4 wedges
4 fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley sprigs

Method

  1. Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Place the snapper fillets in a shallow glass baking dish and top with the lemon juice and pepper.
  3. To make the sauce, in a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the onion and garlic and saute, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the tomatoes, olives, capers, anchovies, basil, oregano and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Pour the sauce over the fillets and top with the chopped parsley.
  6. Cover with aluminum foil and bake until the fish just separates when pressed with a fork, about 30 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaf.
  7. To serve, divide among 4 individual plates. Top each with a lemon wedge and a parsley sprig.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Cooking for Healthy Living

Rustic Italian Pie with Blueberries and Ice Cream

Ingredients

3 cups fresh blueberries
1-1/2 cups plus 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp yellow cornmeal
4-1/2 oz cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 large egg yolk
3 Tbsp ice water; more as needed
1 large egg white beaten with 2 Tbsp water until foamy
1 Tbsp turbinado or other “raw” sugar

Method

  1. Mix the blueberries, 3 Tbsp of the flour, and the confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  2. Position racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment.
  3. Combine the remaining 1-1/2 cups flour, granulated sugar, and cornmeal in a food processor and process until the consistency of fine sand. Add the butter and pulse until there are no visible pieces of butter.
  4. Add the egg yolk and water and pulse to form a soft dough, adding more water 1 tsp at a time as necessary.
  5. Gather the dough into a ball and divide into 2 even pieces.
  6. On a well-floured work surface, roll each piece of dough into an 11-inch circle and transfer to the prepared baking sheets.
  7. Divide the blueberry filling between the circles, mounding the berries and leaving a 1-1/2-inch edge around each circle. Sprinkle any remaining sugar-flour mixture around the berry mounds. Try to get an even amount of blueberries and dry ingredients in each crostata.
  8. Fold the edges up over the filling, pleating as you go, to partially cover the filling.
  9. Brush the exposed dough with the egg white wash and sprinkle with the raw sugar.
  10. Bake for 25 minutes. Rotate the sheets top to bottom and back to front. (If there is any white flour mixture showing, carefully spoon a little of the blueberry juices over to cover.) Continue baking until the crusts have browned and the filling is bubbling, about 25 minutes more.
  11. Remove and cool on the baking sheets on a rack for at least 15 minutes or to room temperature.
  12. To serve, slice each crostata into quarters and add 1 scoop of ice cream on top.

Makes 8 servings.

Source: Cooking Fresh magazine