Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tasty Tuesday - A Valentine's Feast

Oysters with champagne sauce

Ingredients:
125ml (1/2 cup) champagne or sparkling white wine
1 French shallot (eschalot), finely chopped
125ml (1/2 cup) thickened cream
Freshly ground white pepper
Rock salt, to serve
12 (1 dozen) natural oysters (such as Sydney rock oysters), in the half shell
Chopped fresh chives, to serve

Method:
Step 1
Place the champagne and shallot in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 3-5 minutes or until reduced by half. Add the cream and season with white pepper. Simmer for 3-4 minutes or until reduced by half and the sauce is thick and creamy.
Step 2
Preheat grill on high. Scatter rock salt over the base of 2 small heatproof serving dishes. Arrange the oysters on the rock salt. Pour the cream mixture evenly among the oysters. Cook under grill for 1-2 minutes or until golden. Set aside for 2 minutes to cool slightly. Sprinkle with chives to serve.



Duck legs braised in pinot noir

Ingredients:
1/2 onion, roughly chopped
1 carrot, roughly chopped
1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 cup (250ml) pinot noir
150ml port
Zest and juice of 2 oranges
2 bay leaves
4 duck marylands (see note)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup (80ml) demiglaze (see note)
8 eschalots, peeled
20g unsalted butter
1 tablespoon caster sugar
Steamed peas and creamy mashed potato, to serve

Method:
Step 1
Place onion, carrot, celery and garlic in a heavy-based saucepan with pinot, port, orange zest and juice, and bay leaves. Bring to the boil, then remove from heat and set aside to cool. Pour over duck legs in a bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight.
Step 2
Preheat the oven to 150°C.
Step 3
Drain the duck legs, reserving the marinade and vegetables separately. Pat duck dry with paper towel. Heat oil in a large ovenproof frypan over medium heat. Fry the duck legs for 2-3 minutes each side until golden all over. Remove duck from pan and set aside, then drain all but 1 tablespoon of fat.
Step 4
Place the reserved vegetables in the frypan and cook for 3-4 minutes until golden. Add reserved marinade, demiglaze and 1 cup (250ml) water and bring to the boil. Add the duck legs and cover with a round piece of baking paper to keep in the moisture, then cover with a lid or foil. Place in the oven and cook for 2 hours or until the duck is tender. Remove the pan from the oven and strain the cooking liquid through a fine sieve into a saucepan. Place the liquid over medium heat and simmer for 3-4 minutes until mixture has reduced to a thick sauce.
Step 5
Meanwhile, cook the eschalots in a small saucepan of lightly salted water over medium-low heat for 3-5 minutes until tender. Drain well and pat dry with paper towel. Heat butter in a small-heavy based frypan over medium-low heat. Add the eschalots and swirl pan to coat in butter. Sprinkle with the sugar and cook, swirling the pan occasionally, for 3-5 minutes until golden.
Step 6
Serve the duck with the peas, mashed potato and caramelised eschalots.



Strawberries in cointreau

Ingredients:
250g (1 punnet) strawberries, washed, hulled, halved
2 tablespoons Cointreau liqueur
60g good-quality dark chocolate
3 tablespoons double thick cream

Method:

Step 1
Place the strawberries and Cointreau in a medium bowl and stir until well combined. Cover and place in the fridge for 1-2 hours to macerate.
Step 2
Run a vegetable peeler to peel along the long edge of the block of chocolate to make chocolate curls. Set aside until serving.
Step 3
To serve, spoon the strawberry mixture into serving bowls. Top with cream and chocolate curls.


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