Every now and then I like to have more than one course for dinner and Sundays are the perfect day to do this. I think the three courses I put together is an easy meal, nothing too technical and thought I’d share it. The concept of this meal was put together the day before, purely sitting down and thinking through what I had in the house. The only thing I needed to go out and buy was some duck breasts and whipping cream. So here it is.
Starter – Warm duck Salad with fennel pollen & cherry vinegar dressing.
This is a variation of something I’ve done before and recently posted. I do love this salad and it is so easy. I marinated the duck breasts overnight in some of the dressing which was made from lemon olive oil, cherry vinegar, a little fennel pollen, ground black pepper & salt. I quickly pan fired these over a medium heat. You need to add a little oil to the pan as the marinade will burn if you put this straight on the pan. I did feel the need to cut off the fat before serving as it had burnt a little. I took a bag of mixed peppery leaves and tossed these in the rest of the dressing. Once the duck was rested I simply placed it on the salad leaves.
Main – Spanish influenced Chicken Stew
The Friday before this dinner, we had a walk round Borough Market, London. Mainly to finally meet a twitter friend who has a stall there called Flavours of Spain. We had a great chat tried a selection of meats and of course bought a few too. Along with some Iberico Chorizo and Serrano ham I picked up a pack of Spanish seasoning. These are handy little sachet and as they were recommended by someone from Spain I thought they must be good and it’s something that’s good if you are new to a style of cooking. There was a recipe in the pack for a chicken stew so I took the basic recipe and used up some veg I had in the house.
Into the mix went chunks of chicken fillet, chopped white onions, sliced carrots, diced potatoes, courgettes, tomatoes, white wine and the spice mix. After softening the onions and browning the chicken, everything went in, topping up with water and bringing to the boil on the hob before adding the spices. Then I just let this slow cook in the oven on the lowest setting for about 3 hours.
Dessert – Blueberry & Blackberry glasses
This dessert is so easy to make. First I made a blueberry sauce by placing most of the blueberries in a blender with caster sugar and a fruit balsamic I was given for Christmas. Set this aside and get the cream whipped until firm. I folded grated lemon & lime zest into the cream along with a little rose water.
Taking the cocktail glasses, I put some of the sauce at the bottom, added a few blackberries and them some cream, then a few more blackberries, blueberries and sauce. More cream with the remaining berries on top and a drizzle of sauce. No cooking needed for this at all and it’s so light and very moorish.
About the ingredients
There are a few ingredients here that I have to tell you about as they are so good and thought I’d let you know where they come from.
The Cherry Vinegar I have mentioned before on the blog and it from a company called Womersley Foods. The vinegar is very light, not too sharp and you can use it alone without needing an oil. www.womersleyfoods.co.uk
The Fennel Pollen I mentioned on my last post also and is from Global Harvest. I still have a pack of dill pollen to use now but the fennel has been used up which I’m very sad about so will have to get some more. www.globalharvestlimited.co.uk
The Spanish seasoning was from Flavours of Spain and are at Borough Market on Fridays. If you like Chorizo, you must try the Iberico chorizo they do, it’s so good. You can contact them on Twitter @FlavoursofSpain and speak with the lovely Anna. www.flavoursofspain.co.uk
The lemon olive oil and fruit balsamic are from my Brother and his partner, a brilliant Christmas present. Okay they don’t produce them and they are from Olio and Farina. A hamper of their products is a great gift for a food lover. www.olioefarina.com
I will make it clear I am not paid for this blog and I only every promote producers and suppliers when I really love their products. Okay, Olio & Farina are more corporate but I do think their products are very high quality and if you use Sicilian lemons in your olive oil you’re always on a winner with me. With the other three I have mentioned, their passion for their produce is clear and very infectious so please do get to know them and I am sure you will discover new ingredeients.