Daily Archives: 8 February 2010

Valentine’s Treats

Is it really Valentine’s Day on Sunday? I can’t believe it has come round so quickly.

During my lunch hours I have been painting a picture of Venice (where he proposed) for my fiancé as a gift. However, as it is only about a fifth complete I think I might have to resort to plan B – cook!

Perhaps the lamb shank recipe (Quick & Easy Dairy Cookbook), which I cooked for our first date?

I think we should definitely start the day with Scrambled Eggs with Smoked Salmon and perhaps finish with a really nice bottle of red and Duck with Plum Sauce. Both these recipes are from Just One Pot Dairy Cookbook, which is now back in stock after selling out twice!

I know Valentine’s Day is a bit commercial but we all neglect to tell our loved ones how much they mean to us, so why not give your special someone a real feel-good treat on Sunday?

Duck with Plum Sauce

A bed of noodles with rich and succulent duck breasts and fruity sauce.

Duck with Plum SaucePreparation time 10 minutes
Cooking time 15 minutes
Calories per portion 733 Kcal
Fat per portion 21g
of which saturated 3.9g
Serves 2

For the plum sauce
Red plums 200g (7oz), halved, stoned and quartered
Cinnamon stick 1, halved
Dried red chilli 1, crumbled
Preserving or granulated sugar 75g (3oz) (or to taste)
Red wine vinegar 3 tbsp

For the duck
Olive oil 2 tbsp
Red onion 1, peeled and finely chopped
Root ginger 5cm (2in) piece, peeled and chopped
Skinless, boneless mini duck fillets 225g packet, or larger fillets, sliced
Pak choi 3, trimmed and sliced
Straight-to-wok noodles 300g packet

1 For the plum sauce, cook the plums in a wok with the cinnamon, chilli and sugar over a gentle heat for a minute or so. Then add the vinegar, stir well and simmer for 5–10 minutes or until the plums are tender and the liquid has reduced. The exact time will depend on the ripeness of the plums. Stir often to prevent the mixture from sticking to the wok. Tip into a bowl and remove the cinnamon stick. Rinse the wok.

2 To cook the duck, heat the oil in the wok, add the onion and ginger and stir-fry for a minute or so. Then add the duck and stir-fry for about 6 minutes or until the meat is golden and tender. Add the pak choi and noodles and stir-fry for 2 minutes.

3 Add half the plum sauce, mix well and serve on warm plates with the rest of the plum sauce in a separate bowl.

Cook’s tip
Oriental food specialists Amoy make great straight-to-wok noodles. After cooking your stir-fry ingredients, you just add to the wok and cook for 1–2 minutes.

Recipe taken from  Just One Pot Dairy Cookbook

Scrambled eggs with smoked salmon

A European twist on this classic breakfast dish.

Scrambled eggs with smoked salmon

Preparation time 4 minutes
Cooking time 3 minutes
Calories per portion 766 Kcal
Fat per portion 55g
of which saturated 25.2g
Serves 2

Butter 75g (3oz), softened
Tomato purée 2 tsp
Chopped dill 2 tbsp, plus a few fronds to garnish
Capers 2–3 tbsp, well drained and roughly chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
Mediterranean-style bread with olives 4 slices, approximately 2cm (¾in) thick, cut diagonally
Eggs 5 large, beaten
Smoked salmon slices 100g packet, cut into thin strips
Beefsteak tomato 1, deseeded and diced, to garnish (optional)

1 Put 50g (2oz) of the butter into a small bowl, then add the tomato purée, chopped dill and capers. Season with black pepper, then mix well together and set aside.

2 Toast the bread and keep warm.

3 Melt the remaining butter in a small saucepan (preferably non-stick), add the eggs and half of the salmon strips. Then cook over a moderate heat, stirring continuously, until the eggs are softly scrambled – taking care not to overcook, as they will become dry.

4 Spread the toasted bread with the tomato butter and put onto two serving plates. Spoon the scrambled eggs on top, garnish with the remaining strips of salmon, dill and the chopped tomato, and serve immediately.

Cook’s Tip
For quick assembly, prepare all the ingredients before starting to cook and toast the bread while scrambling the eggs.

Recipe from Just One Pot Dairy Cookbook

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