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 . . .


  1. !!!!...:):)

    That sounds delicious though!Maybe I will try it soon.Duck is difficult to come by here, so I have to make do with chicken.

    By d way, I don't think ANY balls were lost in the grass. you see, you weren't allowed to hit sixes, you'd be out!!!!!
    Precaution against hitting one of the patients watching the match, which would never do!

  2. Your post truly made me laugh Janice. Thank you for that and for this delicious sounding recipe. You should have seen my corn the other night. Gregg arrived later than he usually does and I had ears of corn simmering. Instead of taking them off the hob like I should have done, I just left them in the hot water. By the time they were on the plate I was able to shape them into a horse shoe, they were so floppy!
    An English Girl Rambles

  3. Aksharaa - LOL!! That must have made proceedings rather decorous - never mind, I'm sure everyone enjoyed themselves. Could anyone have hit a six?? I can imagine the after-match chat . . . 'I could have hit a six but had to restrain myself . . . ' Great stuff :-)
    Denise - I think we have quite a lot in common! Soft-boiled eggs left to keep warm in the water . . . and so on and so forth. Never mind, no-one's died yet ;-)

  4. Sounds good! I have never cooked duck so can only gasp in admiration! I like the sound of the saucy bit. One of the new children at school said to me today 'Can you cook?' I had to admit the truth and say not really very well. He looked at me very seriously and said 'My mum can cook'. He was obviously fond of his food and proud of his mum-his favourite food is spaghetti-a welcome change from chips or pizza!

  5. that's so funny. i get bored when i'm cooking too if I'm not really into it.

    You dish sounds wonderful.

  6. If I ate meat I'd definitely try this non-recipe. Alas ;-)

  7. You're too funny, Janice. I couldn't possibly get bored while cooking. I can't have the radio or TV on, or even have anyone else in the room. I have to concentrate very, very carefully, and I spend all my cooking time in total terror of dropping something boiling-hot on the large dog who has managed to spread herself across the entire kitchen floor and Will Not Move.

  8. This sounds very delicious indeed. I'm afraid I've never been much of a cook. My mother has been doing almost all the cooking now and I think I've almost forgotten how. Pretty pitiful. She's going to have to live forever.

  9. This actually sounds like impromptu poetry. There's a nice rhythm to it.

  10. A wife's destiny,lol ! To cook or not to cook (and what ?) I loved to cook when I was freshly married and it was something new to me. After 40 years of marriage it becomes a problem. It has to be healthy, quick and good ! Thanks to my microwave with grill, I discovered a very quickly done plate. Mr. G. has to cut the vegetables that bothers me the most because it takes time. He doesn't mind. Then I put zucchini, eggplants, tomatoes cut into small pieces on the grill plate, throw olive oil and garlic over and salt and pepper at the end. While it grills in the microwave (about 15 min) I look at my emails.
    Before in a pan I roasted scampis or chicken. Then I mix the vegetables with scampis, and serve it with rice or noodles or potatoes or I do the same with the scampis. It tastes good and it doesn't take time. Maybe that gives you an idea.

  11. We had Chinese take-out!
    I'm not a cook as I keep saying, but I'm learning a few things from you girls. Keep up with the recipes, they spark ides for me.

  12. Sarah, if I can cook it, anyone can - believe me!
    Nessa, thank you :-)
    Carolina - sorry about that ;-)
    Kay L - dogs are a hazard in the kitchen aren't they? I recognise the Will Not Move . . .
    Kay - how lovely to have a live-in chef. You'll be surprised how much you've picked up from your mother :-)
    Fickle Cattle - too kind! You have a very broad understanding of poetry I think :-)
    Gattina - that sounds delicious! I shall copy it and try it soon.
    ChrisJ - Chinese sounds good to me :-)

  13. Congratulations on the success! I'm an easily distracted cook, too, and I've overcooked a lot of meals due to inattention. Luckily, Steve is a non-picky eater and enjoys almost anything that's not turned to charcoal!

  14. Janie, it's good to have an accommodating husband, isn't it?

  15. There's always beans on toast...

  16. Yes Jinksy and as we all know, beans are good for the heart ;-)


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