I must admit, I get quite flustered when I'm cooking, especially when trying out a recipe for the first time.
I spend an inordinate amount of time staring at the instructions (and there must be written instructions) while preparing a shopping list for ingredients. When I'm ready to actually start cooking, I stare at the cookbook/sheet of paper/page from a magazine and ponder which bit of the preparation needs to be done first - chopping, mixing, defrosting, preheating.
Then, chewing my bottom lip in consternation, I make a tentative move to get all the ingredients ready. Of course, I have to photograph each step, and this is a real benefit because it means that all the ingredients get measured out before they are used, and this really saves time and prevents mistakes later on.
When the cooking process starts, I'm constantly referring back to the recipe, to make sure that everything is done to the letter. Although, now that I've been
cooking blogging for a while, I let instinct (and my taste buds) take over occasionally, and I lash out by adding a bit more seasoning or whatever, just to show that I'm not a complete goody two shoes in the kitchen.
This recipe is not from a cookbook/sheet of paper/page from a magazine. It's from the ever-entertaining Recipe Rifle (though it's originally from the River Cottage cookbook). I was going to serve it in the style of an Asian curry, all together in a bowl, but it ended up on a plate, in the style of a half-fancy European dish. Gosh, I'm such a radical!
Duck with pineapple
2 duck breasts
70g pineapple pieces (if using canned, reserve the juice)3 tblsp soy sauce
1 tsp soft brown sugar or honey
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp minced ginger
1 fresh red chilli, chopped
2 spring onions, chopped
1. For the marinade: Combine 4 tablespoons of pineapple juice, half the pineapple pieces, soy sauce, sugar/honey, garlic, ginger, chilli and black pepper. Slash the skin of the duck breast and put the duck into the marinade for at least 30 minutes (or longer).
2. Preheat oven to 200C. Wipe the marinade off the breasts and sear them quickly in a hot pan in some vegetable or rice bran oil, for about 2-3 mins each side. The meat should be lightly browned and the skin crisp.
3. In a small roasting tin that's just big enough to fit the duck breasts, lay the breasts on top of the spring onions, then pour over the marinade. The duck needs to poach in the marinade, so don't use a tin that's too large.
4. Roast in the oven for 10 minutes then remove the duck and allow to rest. Reserve the marinade.
5. Heat a teaspoon of vegetable oil in a small pan and ligthly fry the remaining pineapple pieces, until they get some colour. Sieve the marinate into the pan (you can add the marinated pineapple pieces from before) and reduce to a syrupy sauce.
6. Slice the duck and arrange on a plate in a half-fancy European manner. Spoon over the sauce and pineapple pieces. Serve with jasmine rice.
Ingredients, including duck breast, pineapple (canned), soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, chilli and spring onions. Mix the marinade in a roasting pan then add the duck.
Serve the duck on with the reduced sauce and pineapple and some rice.
You can serve this in a bowl, or, if you want to be maxtreme, on a plate.