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Sunday, September 09, 2007

Onion Soup and Duck with Cherries

Todays French theme is in honour of the opening day of the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France. Unfortunately for Les Tricolours their opening match against Los Pumas didn't go according to plan with the French team succumbing to the Argentinians 12-17. The All Blacks first up game against the Italians went a little more as the form guide predicted with the New Zealanders destroying a surprisingly inept Azzurri 76-14.
What can I say about these next two dishes? Tres délicieux! The duck recipe is from Gourmet Traveller magazine's August 2006 edition.

Onion Soup

6 large red onions, peeled and thinly sliced
4 tablespoons of olive oil
1/4 of a teaspoon of sugar
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups of beef stock
4 cups of chicken stock
1/2 a cup of dry white wine (any half decent sauvignon blanc is fine)
1 bay leaf
1/4 of a teaspoon of dried thyme
Salt & pepper
Toasted bread
1 1/2 cups of grated Gruyere with a little Parmesan cheese

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and then saute the onions over a medium-high heat until well cooked and lightly browned, this will take around 30 minutes. Add the sugar around 10 minutes into the process to help caramelise the onions.
Add garlic and saute for a minute then add the stock, bay leaf and thyme. Cover and simmer for around 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and remove the bay leaf.
Put the cheese on your toasted bread and grill until golden. Serve.

Duck with Cherries

1 tablespoon of butter
1.8 kg duck, quartered (don't worry you can buy prepackaged duck quarters, a good place for this in Hamilton is the Foodtown at Chartwell Square)
125 ml of red wine
500 grams of cherries, pitted (we used a 625g jar of pitted cherries in juice)
1 1/2 tablespoons of cornflour
Salt & pepper

Melt the butter in a large saucepan or casserole over medium-high heat. Add the duck and cook for around 5 minutes on each side until well browned. Add the wine and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover and simmer over low heat for around an hour. Carefully drain the excess fat from the pan and add the cherries, cover and cook for another 30 minutes.
Remove the cherries and duck from the pan, cover and place in a warm oven while you finish the sauce. Combine the cornflour with 2 tablespoons of cherry juice to make a smooth paste, bring the juices in the pan to the boil and add your cornflour/cherry juice mixture. Whisk the sauce over a medium heat adding more cherry juice until you have a slightly thickened and tasty sauce. Serve with Puy lentils.

Puy Lentils

125g of Puy lentils (about 1/4 of a box)
2 cups of chicken stock
1 bay leaf
Black pepper
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 sticks of celery, diced
1 teaspoon of butter

Melt the butter in a saucepan and sweat the carrots and celery for around 5 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a gentle boil, reduce the heat and simmer for around 25 minutes (the lentils should absorb all the liquid but still retain their shape and firmness when done).


At 2:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

dude you burned the bread! HAHAHAHA but that duck looks effing great!


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