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Oriental Glazed Roast Duck

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I’m not even going to bother apologising for the length of time since my last post. Things have been a bit crazy – there was a death in the family so I had to travel to the US for the funeral. Since I have been back, I have been doing stuff to get myself organised for my Autumn of working on a cruise ship! So just to warn you now, I won’t be doing much cooking between now and December so I won’t be posting many recipes. Sorry! Instead I shall be sunning myself on the ship and sightseeing around the Mediterranean by day and dancing by night!

We had a friend from Canada staying with us for the weekend, so I decided to buy a whole duck to cook for dinner tonight. It always amazes me how much fat comes out of duck! I now have two large containers full of duck fat in the fridge and a carcass in the crock-pot making stock as you read this.

Oriental Glazed Roast Duck (serves 4-5 people generously)

For the glaze:
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2″ piece ginger, grated
1/4 cup coconut aminos
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1//8 cup sesame oil
1 tsp Chinese 5 Spice powder
1 tbsp honey
Zest of 1 orange (reserve the orange for later)

1 whole duck
2 cloves garlic, halved
1 tsp Chinese 5 Spice
1/4 tsp salt
5 carrots, thickly sliced
3 red onions, halved

Preheat the oven to 200C
Whisk together the ingredients for the glaze in a bowl.
Bring the duck up to room temperature.
Place sliced carrots and onions in the bottom of a large roasting tin.
Remove any giblets from the duck’s cavity.
Sprinkle 1 tsp of Chinese 5 Spice inside the duck, then put the garlic and the orange inside.
Close up the cavity with toothpicks or skewers, then prick all over with a skewer.
Cover the duck on both sides with the glaze.
Place on top of the veg in the roasting tin.
Sprinkle with a little salt.
Place in the oven for 30mins.
After 30 mins, turn the heat down to 170 C, remove duck from the oven and baste with fat and glaze.
Return to oven for 1 hour (or longer if you have a really big bird), basting it occasionally.
When it’s time is up, remove the duck from the oven, cover with foil and allow to rest for 10 mins before serving with the delicious caramelised vegetables.

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Chinese Meatball Soup with Pak Choi

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I know I’ve been absent for a while again. Apologies for not keeping up with my posts. I’ve been short on time for cooking recently as I’m on a massive drive to build up business by September. I’ve decided to get back into the world of belly dancing which was my entire life (and my full time job!) for at least ten years. I have a couple of students coming to me regularly for lessons which I fit in around my personal training clients. I’ve had a few performances recently too. It’s made me realise how much I have missed dancing! So anyway I am trying to rebuild my dance business as well as trying to attract more personal training work too. Sadly, cooking and blogging has had to take a back seat whilst I do this. I’ve been eating a lot of salads and boring food such as roasted chicken breasts with steamed veggies. Not exciting at all, but quick, easy and nourishing.

This dish is another which was inspired by something similar I had on my travels around Southeast Asia (yup, still on the Asian food kick!) It was pretty simple to make and quite tasty. Feel free to add more garlic, ginger or some fresh chillies if you want a more intense flavour experience!

Chinese Meatball Soup with Pak Choi (serves 6)

Ingredients:
For the meatballs
500g pork mince
500g beef mince
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2″ piece of ginger, finely diced
Salt
150g shiitake mushrooms, finely diced
1 egg beaten
For the soup
4 spring onions/scallions, sliced on the diagonal
3 pak choi, halved
500ml chicken stock
3 tbsp coconut aminos
1/2 tbsp fish sauce
Toasted sesame oil for drizzling

Preheat oven to 170C
Mix the ingredients for the meatballs in a large bowl.
Form into balls, place on a baking sheet and bake for around 25 mins
In a large wok, bring the chicken stock to a simmer.
Add the meatballs when cooked, the veggies and seasonings.
Allow to simmer until pak choi is tender but not over cooked.
Serve in bowls drizzled with some toasted sesame oil (and some fresh chilli if you like).

Asian Slaw

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It’s been a long time since I last posted, I know and I apologise! Life has just been getting in the way recently, plus with the weather being warmer (finally!) and things being busy, I haven’t been doing so much cooking. I’ve been chowing down on a lot of salads. I based this one on something I had in Cambodia, but I have to (rather arrogantly) say that my version was even better than the original. This makes quite a large amount which would be perfect as a take along dish for a barbecue.

Asian Slaw (serves 10)

3/4 of a pointed cabbage, finely shredded
3 carrots, grated
2 shallots, finely sliced
1 tsp black onion (nigella) seeds
1 tsp sesame seeds
For the Dressing
1 tsp tamarind paste
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp honey
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp coconut aminos
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil

Mix the vegetables and seeds in a large bowl
Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing
Pour over the veggies and toss well.
VoilĂ  – enjoy with some Asian spare ribs or some other kind of delicious marinated meat!

Asian Pork Belly Slices with Stir-Fry Veggies

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I’m gearing myself up for the Oxford Cambridge Boat Race this weekend. Every year we have a party as the race goes right past our living room window. It seems like a good excuse to have a party anyway! This will be my first time doing all Primal catering for a party! This means there will be lots of recipes coming your way soon, providing I have time to write everything down and then photograph the finished product whilst under pressure of getting everything ready on time with guests around (and champagne being drunk!)

I have now become a regular customer at my local butcher. Everything is either organic or free-range and there is information on the farmers and their animals on the walls for you to read while you wait in the queue (I have never been there when it is empty). I bought 2 pork belly slices on the weekend because I liked the look of them, but then realised I wasn’t quite sure what to do with them. Luckily, inspiration struck at the right moment, and I decided they could be rubbed with Chinese 5 Spice powder and baked then served on a bed of stir-fry veggies. It was delicious and very easy to make.

Asian Pork Belly Slices with Stir-Fry Veggies (serves 2)
Ingredients:

2 pork belly slices
1/2 tsp Chinese 5 Spice powder
Sea/pink Himalayan salt
A sprinkling of garlic powder
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 pak choi, sliced
2 courgettes, sliced
1 head broccoli, cut into florets
1 onion, cut into large dice
3 cm piece fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 green chilli, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, sliced
1/2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp coconut aminos
1/2 tsp fish sauce (check it doesn’t contain any nasties!)

Preheat the oven to 200C.
Rub the pork belly slices with the spice powder, some salt and use about 1/4 tsp of the toasted sesame oil to rub over the strip of rind to crisp it up.
Place on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 40 mins, turning halfway to make sure the crackling goes crunchy on both edges.
Melt the coconut oil in a wok.
Add the veggies, garlic and ginger and stir-fry until they begin to soften.
Add the coconut aminos and fish sauce and stir to coat well. Cover with a lid briefly to let the veggies cook a little more in the steam.
Plate up the veggies and place the pork belly slice on the top.
Drizzle the remaining toasted sesame oil over the entire dish just before serving.