Looking back, I struggle to recall a time when I have disliked eating, or cooking with it.
The beauty of duck is the fact that it can transcend so many types of cuisine. Whether you prefer the Confit Duck Leg from a traditional French menu, or enjoy a taste of Peking Duck from Chinese cuisine, the potential uses of duck is so varied. One of my particular favourite recipes involves smoking the duck breast and serving it with an orange and hazelnut salad. Duck has a real gamey flavor which is enhanced by the addition of smoking. However, you need to be aware that it needs to be smoked to no more than a medium or the meat becomes too tough. When cooked correctly, the meat should literally melt in your mouth!
At that time, the ducks were migratory birds and therefore what was served depended very much on the time of year. As ducks began to be bred specifically for eating, the range available significantly slimmed down. As I’m sure you will recognise, a large amount of duck is consumed in the Chinese market. Within Europe, it is not as popular due to the demise in duck farming during the war - and can be noted from the proportions of duck available compared to other meats in the supermarket!
If you haven’t noticed already, we are running a pop up restaurant night at the Palm House in Weymouth. For £35 you get canapes, free glass of prosecco, 5 course meal and petit fours to follow. This is an absolute steal for what you receive and well worth it. Click here to view the menu and visit our Facebook page to purchase tickets
So, if you ever get the opportunity to try some beef or pork cheeks, I implore you to do so. Unfortunately, beef cheek has undergone somewhat of a renaissance in the last few years and therefore are not as cheap as they used to be. However, they are still a much cheaper alternative to the more expensive cuts of meat that most of us are familiar with.
As a small catering company, we have the ability to source our ingredients specifically to fit each function we do. If you are thinking of having a Birthday or Dinner Party in the Weymouth, Portland, Dorchester or surrounding area then please contact us. Your guests would be sure to enjoy a dish of soft melting pork cheeks with celeriac (another awesome C ingredient!) and caramelised apple.
Click here to visit our home page.
I’m going to leave you with a simple recipe this week. You can buy butternut squash whole or you can buy it ready prepared. In this day and age, the reality is that a lot of us don’t have the time to peel and dice a butternut along with all the other things that need preparing. So, if you have the time, then get one whole, but if not, there is no harm in buying it ready diced (thought you wont get the seeds which are great when roasted in a little olive oil and salt)
500g diced Butternut Squash
1 Tbsp Paprika
1 Tbsp Cayenne
2 Tbsp Dried Mixed Herbs
2 Cloves Garlic Finely Chopped
30ml Olive Oil
Turn the oven to 190°C. Get a non-stick tray and have it heating in the oven. Place all the ingredients into a mixing bowl. Cover with a plate or a lid and shake the bowl for 10-15 seconds to make sure all the butternut becomes covered. Pour the contents of the bowl onto the hot tray in the oven and shake to distribute evenly (avoid having too small a tray or the Butternut becomes Squashed!!)
Every 5-7 minutes turn the butternut using a thin fish slice. After about 25 minutes, it should be soft in the middle and brown around the edges. Remove and enjoy as a side dish, on its own or tossed into a salad.
Hopefully you have enjoyed this weeks ingredient. I am still deciding on C as there are a few ingredients that begin with that letter. Have a good week and don’t forget to check out the rest of our website
One of those ingredients that you either love or you hate.
When I grew up, I was definitely in the latter group. To me, they were tiny little packets of salty, fishy nastiness that seemed to appear on my pizza. One of my earliest memories of the food is being given a slice of pizza that was overpowered by the smell of anchovy. Like so many before me, I was put off before I even tucked in.
This opportunity also allowed me to develop an understanding for the salted anchovies. I discovered that they weren’t all processed as badly as the ones I experienced when I was younger. Over the years, I have found that salted anchovies could go well with dishes like Roast Lamb. And the possibilities for working with fresh anchovies are endless . . . But maybe I should save that for another time!
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