karohemd: (Chef)
My butcher had some nice looking belly pork today so I picked up a piece.
I first scored the skin, rubbed some salt into it and let sit for 20 minutes or so before wiping off the resulting moisture. The flesh side I rubbed with salt, pepper and thyme and then sat it in a roasting pan with a slosh of cider in the bottom. First I cooked it on the highest setting for about 20 minutes to get the skin going and then turned it right down to roast gently for about 4.5 hours.
I had first intended to serve it with mash but GigerPunk, a twitter friend, mentioned he used to cook belly pork on top of potatoes and onions which sounded like a brilliant idea. So I sweated off some red onions which I alternated with sliced redskin potatoes in an ovenproof dish, adding some well-seasoned chicken stock cooked with more cider and the juices from the roasting tin. This I roasted on medium high for about half an hour and then added the belly on top to roast for another half hour or so until the crackling blistered. I removed the dish from the oven to rest while wilting some spinach in butter, seasoned with salt, pepper and nutmeg. The finished dish looked like this:

Pork belly, boulangere potatoes, spinach

I'm really happy with how this came out. The crackling was crunchy, not chewy at all and the meat was soft. The fat had almost completely rendered but could possibly have done with a little more cooking. Still, not bad for a first attempt.
karohemd: (Chef)
It's been a long time coming but I finally cooked something the look of which I was reasonably happy with and that was a bit different from what I'd cooked before.
The mackerel fillets were simply pan-seared and seasoned with salt and pepper. With it I served beetroot couscous for which I stirred the couscous into cooked, pureed beetroot, thinned with a bit of chicken stock so there was enough liquid and seasoned with salt and pepper and wilted spinach. The little cubes of beetroot were pickled in warm balsamic vinegar for about an hour.

Pan fried Mackerel, Beetroot Couscous, Spinach
karohemd: (Chef)
As I had to buy two duck breasts and live on my own, I had duck again tonight. After a more traditional version last night I thought I'd try something a little different, inspired by one of Richard Corrigan's recipes on Channel 4's Cookery School (a rather fun programme, actually).
First, I skinned the duck breast, scored it slightly, rubbed it with salt and put it into a cold pan, a sheet of greaseproof paper on top and weighed it down with a saucepan that would fit inside. I slowly turned up the heat to medium and cooked the skin until nicely browned, every now and then spooning out the rendered fat into a little bowl. I flipped the skin to crisp up the other side using the same method, took it out and drained it on some kitchen paper.

Next, I fried the breast in some of the reserved duck fat on both sides until seared nicely, removed it from the pan and covered it in foil to rest.
In the same pan I fried some ginger cut into matchsticks and finely sliced garlic and then added chicken stock, a splash of soy sauce, some chilli powder, freshly ground pepper and a bruised stalk of lemongrass, the washed spinach, put on a lid and simmered until the spinach was wilted. I took out the lemongrass and adjusted the seasoning with salt and lime juice and added the resting juices from the duck.

In a deep plate, I added the parsnip chunks (simmered in milk earlier), the spinach, the sliced duck and poured over the broth, garnishing with the sliced, crispy skin. You don't really need to season the meat and veg as the broth will be flavourful enough.

karohemd: (Chef)
I hadn't had duck in a while so I picked up a couple of Gressingham duck breasts during my lunchtime shop.
This evening I was meant to go out so I just made something quick:
I trimmed and scored the skin, put the breast skin side down into a cold pan and turned up the heat. This way the fat under the skin has time to render before the skin crispens. When the skin was nicely browned, I seasoned the fleshy side with sea salt and pepper, turned the heat down, flipped the breast and cooked that side until sealed, transferred into a dish and finished it in a medium oven for about five minutes before I took it out, covered it in foil and let rest.
For the sauce, I sprinkled some icing sugar into the fat (of there wasn't much, with more fattier ducks you might have to get rid of some of the fat), deglazed the pan with a good glug of red wine, added a teaspoon of concentrated chicken stocka and let it simmer until it was the right consistency, seasoning with salt and pepper.
I served it on crushed new potatoes and with some wilted spinach (cooked in olive oil, seasoned with salt, pepper and freshly grated nutmeg).

The meat was soft and tender, the skin crispy and not fatty at all, the sauce was probably the best I've ever made and the spuds and spinach went well with it.

I have another breast which I'm going to cook differently tomorrow. It'll be an experiment so you might not see a post. ;o)
karohemd: (Chef)
In a big pot/saucepan in a little olive oil cook the sliced chorizo on medium heat until most of the fat has rendered. In that fat, sautee a few finely sliced garlic gloves.
Add the washed, wet spinach leaves, season with a little salt and freshly ground nutmeg, stir it all up and put on a tight lid.
Take the pan off the heat (there will be enough steam and residual heat to cook the spinach) and let sit for a couple of minutes, stirring now and then, until the spinach has wilted down.
Serve with boiled new potatoes.


16 Mar 2006 08:51 pm
karohemd: (Chef)
My organic box today contained a huge bush of spinach, a head of cauliflower (yuk, going to a friend tomorrow), an enormous leek, carrots, potatoes and a sane number of onions. Due to the cauliflower not being used, there won't be much left to do, which is good as I have fewer cooking days this week. The leek and spinach will go into a creamy side dish on Sunday with some of the potatoes as second side and the carrots I'll eat as snack, anyway.

Spinach really shrinks a lot when cooked, I could have used all of it instead of just half...

Anyway, I made a risotto (basic recipe with garlic/onions in olive oil, Carnaroli rice, white wine and veg stock ladle by ladle) with the wilted ripped spinach leaves folded in in the last 20 seconds and it tasted lovely indeed. Slightly underestimated the rice so the two portions are a bit smaller than intended but I've got yoghurt and fresh fruit, too. :o)

No photo because the camera was packed away and I was too hungry to unpack and didn't want to let it get cold, either but imagine a creamy golden-coloured risotto with green streaks and freshly grated parmesan on top.

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