Merry Christmas Australia!
I know you love your Turkey…. and your Ham… and your leg of lamb… but how about a duck?
You see, not only is there a fantastic quality of produce, but also all year round supply for fresh and frozen, and my local butcher charges only a dollar or two more per kilo in compare to chicken!
So expensive, it’s not.
The Australian duck is normally coming at 2.2/2.3 kg per duck. Makes it perfect for a family roast… but hey, duck has something that chickens simply cant have! DUCK FAT!… Lay your duck on a bed of vegetables and you won’t regret it… may it be potatoes, pumpkin, onions, tomatoes. .. you name it!
As “new” is the new “traditional” I offer you duck in a classical touch…A’la Orange… but with a middle eastern twist… with caramelized onions and Rus-El- Hanout…
For those of you that do not know what Rus-El-Hanout means, it translates from Arabic as the Head of The Shop. I.e. every spice shop will offer to its clients their “secret” mixure… its goes by the shop/family/tribe/clan etc…
Mama kazoom’s mix is hereby presented :
2 tbls of whole cumin seeds
2 tbls of whole corriander seeds
1 tbls whole cloves
5 star Anise
30 little tound balls of all spice
5 cardamon pods
Toast it in a pan on low heat till the smell grips your nose or in the oven,170’c for few minutes…
Use a little coffe grinder to ground it…
Add 2-3 table spoons of that to caramelised onions from 4-5 onions.
That is stage one.
For the stock, clip off the duck’s wings and few pieces of the neck, brown it in a saucepan with a little bit of oil. Than add roughtly chopped onion, carrot and 2 cellery sticks. Brown them as well. Add 750 ml water and juice from 2-3 oranges, salt and pepper… add the aromatic caramelized onion and we got the sauce sorted.
As to the duck, push two whole oranges into its belly. It will keep it wide and in good form. Lay the duck on a bed of your favorite vegis pour the sauce on top and bake it in the oven for 1.5 hours on 170-180 degrees…
Its going to be a very Merry Christmas
Happy Festive season to you.
By Nimrod Kazoom.
The world is going insane! So many articles about the benefits of organics…and then you look further into it, only to find an almost equal amount of articles saying that there’s no evidence at all – that it’s of no benefit other than filling some pockets with money (while emptying yours)…so how can you tell the difference?
Many people ask me how I source my food – What do I buy? Where do I buy it? And so on…
Well, before I go to the shops to do my shopping, way before that…I think to myself “how do I feel right now?” “Am I angry? Tired? Frustrated? Do I feel love? Passion? Creativity?”
I almost go to… “What is the purpose of my existence?”
Before I leave the house and do my shopping and enter the kitchen, I make sure I choose what to enter the kitchen with…
There is more to what is in my basket when I come back from the shops…what I carry or choose to carry in the basket of my mind/heart is not less important. Actually it is likely to affect the taste of your cooking more than what ingredients you use and weather they are GM free, antibiotic free etc…at least to my opinion.
After all, what I pour into the food is becoming the taste of the food. For me there is no better compliment to the food I create than a customer saying “I can taste the love that you put in”…
It always makes me wonder…does love has a taste??? I think it does. Weather by elimination…it obviously doesn’t taste like frustration for example…so what does it tastes like?
To me the taste of love is multi-sensory…it is an active conversation with the moment…it is the sense of wanting to be in the kitchen, feeling the different textures of different ingredients dancing their dance on the tip of my fingers…than on the edge of my knife… than into the sizzling pot of fresh smelling olive oil, while giving attention to the colors of this becoming dish, and observing the colors of my mind…
The more I am empty of life’s troubles and my own self, the more attention I will be able to give to the finer details of the food I cook… is the heat too high? Is there enough liquid in the pan? Is it boiling too hard? And so on…
I try as much as I can to prepare for it…the music to set the flow…the knives I’m going to use…the favorite chopping board…I even think what to wear…and as I enter this zone of peace, love emerge as I chose how to be in that moment, and all the pieces are at place for love to play its part in the moment…creating.
I think that being “organic”, i.e. free of the pesticides of the day to day routine is the way to enter the kitchen…
And yes, love has a taste. It is in loving the moment of being there, cooking for someone you love (you?)…
And to sum it all up, here is a recipe that can fill up your mouth with a burst of love;)…
500 gr of dry prunes (the bigger the better)
For the filling:
- 300 gr of minced lamb
- 2 tbsp bread crumbs
- 1 chopped onion
- Handful of chopped parsley
- Handful of chopped mint
- 1.5 tsp salt
- 1 tsp course pepper
- Juice from one lemon
- Rind from one lemon
All mixed together
For the sauce:
- 2 tbsp mayple syrop
- 3 tbls tomato sauce
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ cup water
- 1 squeezed orange.
- 4 cloves
- 2 cardamon pods
For decoration :
- 2 tbsp pine nuts
- Fresh whole picked mint leaves
Soak the prunes for 10 minutes in water, strain, cut them open and take the seeds out. Fill the prunes with the filling mix. Lay in a flat pan or pot with a matching lid, in one layer.
Pour the sauce on top, boil once with a lid on and then cook for 20 minutes on low heat with the lid slightly open.
When the sauce is absorbed in the prunes it is ready.
Garnish with pine nuts and mint leaves.
Can be served with plain rice, or used as finger food at your next dinner party.
There is something very charming about that dish… it doesn’t take too much effort, but it makes you slow down a bit, prepare a prune after prune with attention, and what you get in the end is an explosion of aroma and flavor with an uncontrolled sound of mmmmmm…… Would you accept that as a taste of love? 😉