Eight Bells

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Sunday, January 20, 2008

Mushroom Tarts with Duck Breast and Cherry Relish

We've been looking at this recipe for about a month but with cherries at around $25 a kilogram it was a little on the expensive side. We found 1kg boxes of cherries at the Asian vege market at Five Crossroads for $9.95 and used half for the cherry relish and half for pickled cherries.
This recipe is taken from the Dec 07-Jan 08 edition of 'Dish' magazine and is attributed to Al Brown of Logan Brown Restaurant in Wellington. The cherry relish is made exactly as described in the magazine, the mushroom tarts are based on the recipe in the magazine but are not made in exactly the same way. We made the cherry relish about five days before we needed it. The dish is incredibly simple and quick to make and the results are delicious.

Cherry Relish
500g of cherries, halved and pips removed
1/3 of a cup of sugar
1/4 of a cup of sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon of mixed spice
1 1/2 teaspoons of freshly grated ginger
1/4 of a cup of finely chopped shallots
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a heavy-based saucepan. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, for about one hour, until the mixture is almost jam like in consistency. Season, cool and refrigerate in a sealed container or jar.

Mushroom Tarts
4 large Portobello mushrooms, thickly sliced
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
Puff pastry sheets
Egg wash (one egg beaten with a teaspoon of cold water)

Fry the mushrooms in the butter till just done, season with salt and pepper then leave to cool. Put baking paper on a baking tray and lay the pastry out on the paper. For the tarts (the recipe above makes two) I used two bowls with very thin rims, one about 15cm across and the other about 10cm across. Use the 15cm bowl to cut pastry circles and then use the smaller bowl to impress a thin circle into the pastry (don't cut right through the pastry). Place your cooled mushrooms within the border of the smaller circle and then brush your egg wash aroung the outside. Place in a preheated oven at 200C and cook for around 15 minutes until golden brown.

Use 1 large duck breast for two people
With a sharp knife score the skin on each duck breast in a criss cross pattern and season each breast very well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook skin side down in a medium-hot pan for around 8 minutes or until the skin is golden and starting to turn brown. Pour the excess duck fat from the pan, turn the breasts and cook for another 4-5 minutes. Remove the duck from the pan, cover with foil and a tea towel and leave to rest for 10-15 minutes. Slice and serve with the mushroom tarts, reheated cherry relish and green beans.


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