Thursday 26 August 2010

Duck Confit with lentils and mash

Duck confit is the leg of duck which is cured in salt, left for at least 24 hours, brushed off and then poached in its own fat. 
If you are having friends for dinner and want to cut down some cooking time on the day then this dish is perfect. You are left with a load of even tastier duck fat that you can use again for the BEST roast potatoes on earth. 

Press a few handfuls of flaked sea salt, pepper, garlic, thyme and bay leaf into the duck and pop into the fridge for 24 hours. 

Brush off the salt (thoroughly) and pat dry with a piece of kitchen towel. Place the legs into a pan and cover with duck fat, place on a low heat and cook for at least 2 hours, this is how long mine took. 
Often people put an ovenproof pan into a low oven but I prefer to see if barely simmer on the gas, plus it smells so good. 

When the meat pulls easily from the bone you know it's ready. Take the legs out and sieve the fat into a plastic bowl, then return the legs to the fat and chill. I kept mine in the fridge for 2 days, you can actually keep it in its rendered fat for weeks as long as the meat is totally submerged in the fat and in an airtight container.

Duck confit goes really well with potatoes - may they be mashed, sauteed or crisped up in the fat from the jar. The French accompany the duck with lentils too which go beautifully. 

You know what else goes beautifully? This wine. My favourite wine of all time. Colome Estate Malbec, it will set you back £16 so... just get it for to treat yourself or... have a couple of glasses before your boyfriend turns up for dinner!
Tsk tsk tsk ... yeh I did!  

Wednesday 25 August 2010

Birthday Biscuits

In my ideal world there would be more hello kitty about, saying that if there was somewhere in the UK I could purchase these beers there could be trouble! - Too cute.

Thursday 19 August 2010

Tomato and red pepper soup

Chicken soup for the soul, tomato soup for the ill? 
I'm not sure if there's more comfort in a can of Heinz or in your own, but this one's definitely tastier!
It takes about 20 minutes of your time in the kitchen. 

Halve, tomatoes, red peppers, onion and garlic bulbs and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. 
Once roasted and the edges start to blacken (this means it's sweetening) pop into a saucepan with a pint or two of chicken or veg stock, once simmered for 15 minutes, whizz up with some fresh basil and you've got a silky smooth and scrummy soup.

Wednesday 18 August 2010

Get well soon smoothie

I've been ill for a few days now and I'm just getting over it, boo hoo for me it's been horrible. But you should see me now on my pink sofa with my pink pj's and pinker than pink smoothie. It's a 'get well me' smoothie with yogurt, berries, orange juice and agave nectar. Agave nectar is amazing, I love it - It tastes like a light golden syrup but its 100% natural squeezed from the prickly pith of Mexico's Blue Weber Agave plant. It's also really low GI - gotta be a plus. 

Tuesday 17 August 2010

Popcorn shots

I made these little popcorn cartons out of origami paper, the popcorn here is sweet and salty but I reckon caramel or chocolate covered popcorn would be even better...mmmm... hungry.
These are canapes but would be cute for a girly film night in!

Monday 16 August 2010

I love the Market - Malaga

The indoor Market in Malaga is so beautiful. The history, structure, colours, the massive stained glass window at one end all tend to make you wander around and pick up things that weren't on your shopping list. The Malaga Wine wasn't on mine but I ended up having some squirted in my mouth! It's a fortified wine that's sweet but not sickly or syrupy, made from Pedro Ximénez and Moscatel grapes. I bought a litre bottle for 6 euros (cheeky market discount for being smiley girls I'm sure) and that night Colly and Squeeze used it in the most amazing baked pear

recipe. It's my new favourite dessert! 

Sunday 15 August 2010

Butternut squash

I spied the biggest butternut squash in the market and seeing as there were about 10 of us eating, I thought half may make a sizeable salad and it did! 
So I roasted the squash and tossed with crispy bits of Serrano ham, goats cheese, pinenuts and purple basil.

Thursday 12 August 2010

'Fruits of your labour'

We've got our sun hats on and we're gonna pick ourselves some dinner! 
Our friends John and Caroline kindly said we could help ourselves to some veggies in their garden. It was brimming with ripe vegetables, all hot from the sunshine and they went straight on the barbie for our dindins. The satisfaction of picking and cooking on the same day is wonderful, what would have been more rewarding was planting and looking after the veggies - so thank you J & C! xx


I apologise, I have been on Holiday and haven't blogged a thing. This doesn't mean a break from cooking or baking though so there will be more posts to follow from the backlog! It was my Birthday a couple of days ago so let's start with that, what a wonderful day. We started off in the Village with Churros so sort of knew it would be a good day... churros is a sweet batter that's piped into a vat of oil and then served hot with a thick hot chocolate for dipping - naughty breakfast! 

We then made our way to the lakes for lunch and swimming..

Nearly lost my ice cream....

It had been a long, hot day - little nap to gear up for later 

My Birthday cake. Dad picked up from the village, think it might have been a display cake as have no idea who these girls are on the top and when I went to cut it, the middle was polystyrene - Nice! 

Barbeque dinner

When my 'real' cake came out I cried! I'm not sure if it was the alcohol or because it was Hello Kitty (my favourite) or because not many people make cakes for me, whatever it was it was delicious and very cute! I especially liked the vanilla pod whiskers!

Wednesday 4 August 2010


It's probably easier to make Lamingtons out of a sheet of sponge which I have done when cutting them into their traditional squares. However, these are going to be slightly experimental ones and I'd like them circular. So, in this case it's better to make your sponge in cupcake cases and then neaten the shape with a cutter because then you can get the perfect sponge! 

You should really make a chocolate icing but I wanted to make one with fresh fruit. So I whizzed up some blueberries, raspberries and strawberries. Then I whisked in some icing sugar, but you want quite a runny consistency for dipping! 

I cut the sponge in half and spread one side with raspberry jam and the other with buttercream (this is also not the done thing, but tastes better!) 

Then, once sandwiched together I gave them a good dunk and soak in the icing and then coated in desiccated coconut. These are pretty sweet but pretty yummy and something a bit different!