Big weekend coming up – lots of company arriving and oh, what the heck – summer is on the way as well. Give this one a go. Yes, it is out of your comfort zone (perhaps) but sooooo worth it.
- 4 duck breasts
- 1 pinch each of ground cardamom and star anise (ground)
- zest of half a lime
- 1 tsp. olive oil, plus a little extra
- 1 tbsp. butter
- Spring Rolls, Cherry Compote and Endive Salad (recipes follow)
In a small bowl, combine the cardamom, star anise and the lime zest. Rub this mixture evenly over the duck breasts. Score the duck breasts by taking a sharp knife and just skimming across the fat in a diagonal stroke and then in the other direction to create small diamonds. This will allow the fat to render off evenly, leaving a crisp surface.
In a medium sized fry pan on a low heat, use a small amount of olive oil and fry the duck fat side down. This will allow the fat to render (13-15 minutes). Turn them over, add the butter and cook a further 10 minutes. Once they have reached the desired doneness, remove from the heat and allow to rest.
Goat Cheese Spring Rolls
- 1 cup crumbled goat’s cheese
- 1 celery stalk, ribs removed, sliced thin
- pinch of white pepper
- 4 spring roll wrappers
- 8 spring green leaves
- 1 egg, whisked
- olive oil for frying
Mix goat’s cheese, celery and pepper. Shape into 4 even-sized logs. Lay out the spring roll wrappers, place a log at one corner of the wrapper on the diagonal, top with 2 green leaves. Leave a 1 inch perimeter. Repeat until all 4 wrappers are complete.
Using your fingers, brush with the beaten egg, the outer inch of the wrapper. Fold up the bottom corner over the log and fold in the sides. Roll the wrapper up. Fill a deep frying pan with 1 inch of olive oil. Fry the rolls on a low to medium heat until they turn a golden brown.
Remove to a paper towel to drain until ready to serve.
2 cups frozen sour cherries (or fresh if you can buy them)
1 tsp. sugar
1 cinnamon stick
pinch of salt
splash to a sherry vinegar
Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan over a low-medium heat and allow to cook down for 10 minutes until the sugar has dissolved. It should be a sauce-like consistency coating the cherries. Remove from the heat and set aside.
2 tsp. liquid honey
1 pinch of white pepper
1/4 lime, juiced
4 Belgium endives cut into quarters, lengthwise
1/4 cup roasted pistachios, roughly chopped
small handfuls of baby spring green mix
In a small saucepan heat the honey, pepper and lime juice slightly over a low heat. In a mixing bowl combine the honey mixture with the remaining ingredients and toss until the greens are coated.
Arrange the sliced duck breast (cut against the grain) into 3 pieces on 4 round plates. Cut the spring rolls in half on an angle and arrange on each plate. Place a spoonful of the compote over the duck breasts and then add the endive salad around. How special is this?
Serve with a wonderful Pinot Noir or a Merlot. The secret here is to chill the wine for 15 minutes then serve. The aroma and taste of the wine is truly enhanced and can stand up to the duck.