Wednesday, 8 September 2010
Not a recipe . . .
I get bored very easily when I'm cooking and have to do something else at the same time (besides quaffing wine, of course!) The radio chatters away to me and that takes my mind off the tedium, sometimes with disastrous results. Many are the hot potatoes I have divested of their blackened overcoats, the sauces glued firmly to the pans, the supposedly roasting vegetables sitting in a yet unlit oven when the rest of the meal is almost ready (thank goodness for the microwave!)
Occasionally, I have a success, and not usually because I have followed a recipe. Not realising I would be victorious – cooking and I have an ongoing feud – I neglected to take photographs, before, during, after, so here's an opportunity to exercise the mind's eye. As the heading says, it's not a recipe – no timings, weighing, oven temperature – oh, wait, I might be able to provide that! I had two duck breasts of vastly unequal size – one was easily twice the weight of the other – and decided to cook them in the oven. I sliced a red onion to go on the bottom of a casserole dish. On top of that I put a layer of Bramley apple slices and the duck breasts provided the last lumpy tier. I poured lemon juice over the whole concoction and ground black pepper over it. After the dish was covered with foil it went into the oven at gas mark 6/200˚C/400˚F for around 35 minutes. Served with new potatoes and a mix of spinach, peas, sweetcorn, red peppers and green beans it was really very tasty. The onions and apples had melted into a soft sauce and complemented the duck, which can have a rather strong flavour. Barry said it was 'delicious, darling' but I sometimes think he says that because he's so relieved I've given him something that is actually edible – ie, not burnt to a cinder (or 'caramelised' as I like to say) or still practically running round the kitchen.
What shall I try tonight? H'mmm, decision, decisions . . .