A Tale of Two Ducks and a Superb Lime, Ginger and Sweet Chilli Sauce

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Recently annoyed that my wife had chosen chicken instead of duck when she bought a “meal deal”at M&S got me in to duck overdrive. I love duck. I like all gamey stuff. My kids love a chicken roast dinner on a Sunday which to me has become purgatory. So any chance of a different meat should not be passed and my missus did. I thought she understood me. “I’ll bloody show you” I thought and piggin’ ‘eck, I did.

I knew I had a pair of duck breasts in the freezer bought, reduced from Lidl (why on earth do people pay full price for stuff?) trouble is , they were a little on the small side. I’m a bloke, if you haven’t noticed and I like hearty grub. So a small duck breast just wasn’t going to cut it with me, then I remembered. I had some wild duck breasts that I acquired from one of Cazza’s friend’s. You can see the blog I made a few blogs back on this very boutique, sorry I mean site.

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It would be interesting to compare the wild V farmed duck I thought. I don’t know much about duck farming but I’m pretty sure it’s not as intensive as the old chicken farming we used to hear about so thought that the duck we bought from the shops was a fairly true representation of what a duck should taste like.                                                                                WRONG. Farmed duck is lovely, it really is but hell, wild duck just went that bit further. It was a leap in to hyperspace. And to top it all off I probably came up with one of the greatest sauces to accompany a duck since Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit was written.

The wild duck was considerably smaller and also less fatty than your regular duck so I had to cook them differently. The fatty farmed duck was gently fried skin side down for a few minutes to render out some fat and give colour and then popped in an oven for 20 mins while I only pan fried the wild duck for a total of 10 mins. This time I got it right and they still had a lovely pinkness to them. 

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What I didn’t have was enough potato for two so I made a carrot mash which was utterly lovely. The trick is to cook the carrot long enough and to keep going until the water nearly boils away. This leaves a concentrated carrot flavour which I added to the small amount of mash I had made. Of course butter and milk was added, I don’t do cream in mash, I find that “far too elaborate”!

The sauce came about by me buying some reduced priced limes from Tesco. I had six and needed to use them, initially for a chocolate lime cheesecake but thought that the sharpness would go well with the duck. Oh yes it did. As always I looked for recipe suggestions for a lime sauce and found many included ginger and honey. I had ginger, I had honey but the chilli freak in me thought that sweet chilli sauce would be a good substitute for the honey.                                                                                                                         How right I was.

I put a little oil in a small saucepan and gently fried some chopped ginger. Added a glug or two of white wine then two small limes, grated and juice. The sweet chilli sauce was a natural thickener after a few minutes reducing it down.

The sauce and ducks especially the wild duck was awesome to the point that we licked the plates clean. Yum Yum!!!!! The mash was very moreish and complimented the duck. All in all an outstanding success.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA hearty plate I agree. The wild duck is at the top. It’s a good job the missus can eat like a trooper too! The problem now is that I no longer have any decent game in the freezer so any donations from friends in the country would be very well received.                                      I’ve just started salivating. That is a really good sign of a well remembered meal.

Even better, there was no bill involved. Geddit?                                                                                The rendered duck fat made some lovely roasties for the purgatory roast chicken dinner the following Sunday. You can’t skimp on flavour even if it involves cluttering up your arteries (with rage, at Quorn eating philistines)

Mugsie

Crispy Haloumi with Lemon and Pea Pearl Barley Risotto

On Friday, I got a text off Frank informing me of his intentions to post not one but two blogs for this site. I held off my recent culinary delight for him to publish his wares. I’m now here late on Sunday publishing belatedly a fine summer’s evening’s snackipoos.

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Sod off Frank. (I may be being a bit harsh here as I know he has elderly problems and maybe my recent demolishing him in a bowls game has affected him)

I’ve made pearl barley risotto before but with no success . Carol does not like al denté. She also didn’t like Al Jolson or even Al Youcaneat. So this time I made sure I gave it a full cooking and TBH it was worth it.  It was a nice tender carb for the haloumi.

I’m not going to go into how to cook this stuff just warn you that it needs at least 30 mins cooking time. That means there must be liquid in the risotto for 30 mins. I used my home made chicken stock that I make after every roast on Sunday. Don’t forget to coat the barley in oil along with the usual onions and garlic. Add plenty of Parmesan. And by that I mean real parmesan. I have/ We have a friend who is culinary dyslexic and will use that dried stuff that smells of sick in a tub Parmesan. No No No No.

To the risotto I added half a lemon’s juice and rind and a handful of peas and a handful of blitzed peas. This is high summer on a plate. Only it’s North West Lancashire so expect rain!

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The haloumi was part of Lidl’s Greek week. I, unlike Greece did pay for it! Grecian food in my opinion has to be the most boring of all the Med. I mean, Moussaka, come on! I do give you 10/10 for fried squid n chips though and Octopus salad ooooh and a greek salad and souvlak………………… Oh bugger. Greece, I owe you an apology.Oh and proper black olives, not that tasteless garbage they ferment in vats……Anyway, The haloumi, (with added chilli flakes ) was cut into even bits and coated in the usual breadcrumby way and fried in olive oil till golden on all sides.

Slightly overcooked haloumi but bloody tasty

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Bye.

Mugsie