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Duck marinated in a delicious mahogany brown mushroom sauce

Enjoy duck marinated in a delicious mahogany brown mushroom sauce finished with a walnut and parsley chive mixture…. Bon Appétit!


Breast of Duck with Mushrooms and Walnuts
Serves 8

  • 4 breasts of duck, trimmed of all membranes
  • 500 gms (1lb) white mushrooms, thoroughly washed and cut
    into quarters or eighths depending on size
  • 4 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch of chives, finely sliced
  • 1 bunch of parsley, washed and finely chopped
  • 24 perfect walnut halves
  • sea salt and ground pepper to taste
  • 1 cup of red wine
  • 1 cup good brown stock
  • 1 tabs flour

First brown the walnuts. Heat the oven to 125C/240F. Set the walnuts on a baking tray in the middle of the oven and slow-roast for 45 minutes. They will be delicious and evenly browned throughout. Set aside.

Preheat the over to 240C/475F

With a sharp knife, deeply score the skin side of the duck breasts.

Generously salt and pepper both sides of the breasts. Set aside while your oven comes up to temperature.

Heat a heavy bottomed, high-sided skillet over a high heat for 4 to 5 minutes until it begins to smoke slightly. Add the 4 breasts, skin-side down, and cook for 4 minutes. The duck will render great amounts of fat and the skin will become a delicious mahogany brown. Turn over and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove to a baking dish. Place in oven for 4 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10-15 minutes in a warm place, covering loosely with foil. This is the timing for rare meat.

Pour off all but 3 tabs duck fat from the skillet. Add the shallots, cover the pan and cook for 3 minutes until translucent, then add the garlic for a further minute. Add the mushrooms and cook for 6 minutes covered, stirring occasionally. Stir in the flour, add the wine and then the brown stock. Simmer for 5 minutes. Finally stir in most of the parsley and chives, reserving some for garnish.

Slice the duck breasts, pour over the sauce and finish with the walnuts and parsley and chive mixture.



Bittersweet Chocolate Tart

Hope you left room for some dessert so that you can indulge in this delectable bittersweet chocolate tart filled with a creamy chocolate custard. Bon Appetit !



Bittersweet Chocolate Tart
Makes a 23 cm (9 in.) tart

For the pastry shell

  • 1 plump vanilla bean
  • 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 60 gm ( ½ cup) icing sugar, sifted
  • 2 tabs whole blanched almonds
  • 100 gm ( ¾ cup) plain flour, sifted
  • Pinch of salt
  • 70 gm (5 tabs) unsalted butter, at room temperature

For the filling

  • ¾ cup double cream
  • a third of a cup of milk
  • 200 gm (7oz.) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 50 gm (5 tabs) chopped orange peel, optional
  • ½ tsp unsweetened cocoa powder for sifting

To make the pastry shell

Flatten the vanilla bean and cut it in half lengthwise. With a small spoon, scrape the seeds into a small bowl. Add the egg yolks and stir to blend.

In a food processor, combine the sugar and almonds and process until the nuts are finely ground. Add the flour and salt and process to blend. Add the butter and process just until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the egg yolks and pulse until the dough just about begins to hold together; do not over process – the dough should not form a ball. Gently pat the dough into a disc, handling it as little as possible. Wrap dough in wax paper and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 1 hr or overnight.

Butter the bottom and side of a 23 cm (9in) fluted tart pan with a removable bottom.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a 28 cm (11in) round. Transfer the dough to the prepared pan and gently press the dough against the side, allowing about 1 cm (½ in) to hang over the rim. Prick the bottom of the dough all over with a fork.
Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 1 hr.

Preheat the oven to 190C/375F.

Set the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake in the middle of the oven for about 5 mins. just until the pastry begins to firm up. Remove from the oven and, with a sharp knife, carefully cut off and discard the overhanging pastry to make a smooth, even rim. Return the shell to the oven and bake for about 15- 20 mins longer until the pastry is well browned all over.

Transfer to a rack and let cool completely before filling. Leave the oven on.

To make the filling

In a medium saucepan, bring the cream and milk to a simmer. Remove from the heat, add the chocolate and stir until melted. Let cool to lukewarm, then whisk in the egg until thoroughly blended. Stir in the candid orange peel.

Pour the custard into the pastry shell and bake in the middle of the oven for 12 to 15 mins, or until the filling is almost set but still trembling in the centre. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Sift the cocoa powder over the tart and serve warm or at room temperature. It is also delicious served chilled.


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