Chinese-style Steamed Duck Breast with Pineapple and Ginger Sauce

Ingredients

2 boneless duck breasts
4 scallions, chopped
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
8-ounce can pineapple rings
5 tablespoons water
4 pieces drained Chinese stem ginger in syrup, plus 3 tablespoons syrup from the jar
2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed to a paste with a little water
1/4 each red and green bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
salt and ground black pepper
cooked thin egg noodles, baby spinach and green beans, blanched, to serve

Method

  1. Strip the skin from the duck breasts.
  2. Select a shallow bowl that will fit into your steamer and that will accommodate the duck breasts side by side. Spread out the chopped scallions in the bowl, arrange the duck breasts on top and cover with baking parchment. Set the steamer over boiling water and cook the duck breasts for about 1 hour or until tender. Remove the breasts from the steamer and leave to cool slightly.
  3. Cut the breasts into thin slices. Place on a plate and moisten them with a little of the cooking juices from the steaming bowl. Strain the remaining juices into a small saucepan and set aside.
  4. Cover the duck slices with the baking parchment paper or foil to keep warm.
  5. Drain the canned pineapple rings, reserving 5 tablespoons of the juice. Add this to the reserved cooking juices in the pan, together with the measured water. Stir in the ginger syrup, then stir in the cornstarch paste and cook, stirring until thickened. Season to taste.
  6. Cut the pineapple and ginger into attractive shapes.
  7. Put the cooked noodles, baby spinach and green beans on a plate, add slices of duck and top with the pineapple, ginger and pepper strips. Pour over the sauce and serve.

Makes 2 to 3 servings.

Source: Asian Cooking

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Vegan Black Rice Bowl

Ingredients

1 cup black forbidden rice
3 cups cold water
1 Tbsp white miso paste
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1-inch ginger, peeled and minced
2 tsp tamari soy sauce
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 tsp maple syrup
1 large garlic clove, smashed and minced
1/4 cup sliced toasted nuts such as natural almonds, macadamia nuts, or hazelnuts
1/2 navel orange, cut into wedges
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 small bird’s eye chili pepper, sliced
bok choy or baby bok choy, steamed (optional)

Method

  1. Rinse and drain rice several times. Place in saucepan with water. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 45 minutes, or until water is fully absorbed. Some of the rice grains might sprout during cooking.
  2. In large bowl, whisk together miso, lemon juice, ginger, tamari, sesame oil, maple syrup, and garlic.
  3. When fully emulsified, stir in cooked black rice until evenly coated.
  4. Immediately scoop into individual rice bowls and top with toasted nuts, orange wedges, cilantro, and a couple of sliced chili pieces.
  5. Serve with steamed bok choy or baby bok choy.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Alive magazine

Chocolate Lava Cake

Ingredients

2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 stick unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, plus 2 egg yolks
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Orange Compote

1 large orange, peeled and segmented
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 cup muscat wine

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease four 2/3-cup individual dessert molds, then coat with the cocoa powder, tapping out any excess. Transfer the molds to a baking sheet.
  2. Melt the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, making sure the surface of the water does not touch the bowl, stirring until smooth. Let cool for a few minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together the sugar, eggs, and egg yolks, using an electric handheld mixer, until thick, pale, and fluffy and doubled in volume. Gently stir the cooled chocolate into the mixture, then fold in the flour.
  4. Divide the batter between the prepared dessert molds, filling them three-quarters full. Cook in the oven for 12 minutes.
  5. To make the orange compote, put the orange segments into a skillet and heat gently, then stir in the sugar and cook gently until the mixture starts to sizzle.
  6. Mix the cornstarch with a little water to a paste, then add with the wine to the oranges and cook until the compote has reduced by half.
  7. Remove the lava cakes from the oven and use a sharp knife to slide around the edge of each dessert mold to release.
  8. Turn out onto four plates and carefully remove the molds. Serve immediately with the orange compote.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Chocolat

Vegan Dessert of Rice Pudding

Ingredients

generous 1/2 cup raisins
5 tbsp dry sherry
1/2 cup short grain rice
3 or 4 strips of pared lemon rind
1 cup rice milk
2 cups soy milk
1 cinnamon stick, about 3in in length, plus 3 more, to decorate
1/2 cup agave syrup
pinch of salt
1 tsp ground almonds
1 tbsp soya margarine
toasted flaked (sliced) almonds, to decorate
chilled orange segments, to serve

Method

  1. Put the raisins and dry sherry in a small pan. Heat gently until warm, then set the pan aside, which will allow the raisins to swell.
  2. Mix the rice, lemon rind and rice milk in a heavy pan and bring the mixture gently to the boil. Lower the heat, cover the pan and simmer for approximately 20 minutes.
  3. Remove the lemon rind pieces from the pan with a slotted spoon and discard.
  4. Add the soy milk and the cinnamon stick to the pan, then stir until the rice has absorbed the milk.
  5. Stir in the syrup and salt. Add the ground almonds and soya margarine. Stir until blended.
  6. Drain the raisins and stir into the rice mixture. Cook for 2-3 minutes until heated through.
  7. Serve in individual bowls, topped with the toasted flaked almonds and orange segments, and decorate with a cinnamon stick.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Vegan Cooking

Strawberry Rosé Jam

Ingredients

4 pounds strawberries (about 5 pints), quarter large berries, halve or leave whole smaller ones.
2-1/2 cups sugar
1 bottle (750mL) decent rosé
juice of 1 lemon
1 vanilla bean, split and seeded

Method

  1. Combine the strawberries in a deep, wide pot with the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Over high heat, bring to a boil. Immediately remove from the heat, transfer to a storage container such as a bowl, and let cool completely. Refrigerate overnight or up to several days.
  3. On the day you make the jam, clean and sanitize 6 half-pint jars as per this recipe.
  4. Strain the liquid, setting the strawberries aside. In a deep, wide pot, boil the rosé syrup until the temperature hits 215°F and the liquid is reduced by about half, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Carefully add the strawberries to the syrup and continue to boil, stirring frequently, until the mixture is thick and very dark red, about 25 to 30 minutes. Check the temperature regularly. This jam has a soft set, so it will be ready at 212°F-215°F. You can also use the wrinkle test to determine if the jam is ready. Simply put a plate and spoon in the freezer before making the jam. When the temperature hits 212°F, pour a small spoonful of jam onto the cold plate and allow it to sit in the freezer for a minute. When you drag your finger through the jam, it should wrinkle slightly. If it doesn’t, continue to cook the jam until it passes the wrinkle test.
  6. Fish the vanilla bean out of the jam. Using a canning funnel, ladle the jam into the jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Run a thin knife around the inside of the jars to dislodge air bubbles. Wipe the jar rims clean. Seal the jars with the lids and rings–not too tightly.
  7. Use a jar lifter to place the jars in the boiling water bath, and make sure they are covered by at least 1 inch of water. Bring the water back to a boil and process for 10 minutes.
  8. Remove the jars from the water and let them cool completely. Any jars that have not sealed by the time they are cooled can be re-boiled or you can simply store them in the refrigerator. Store sealed jars with the rings taken off.

Makes 4 to 5 half-pint jars.

Source: The Joy of Cooking