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Showing posts from February, 2010

A Sort of Galette De Savennières

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Oddly my wife seems to believe that you can have too many recipe books. At New Year 2009 she challenged me to make at least one dish that I hadn’t made before from every one of the books that I’ve picked up here and there over the years. I’m not really sure how many that is but I’m sure it’s more than 200. Fourteen months later, I’ve managed 51, which is pretty poor, but I’m easily distracted. 

During those 14 months I’ve only added half a dozen or so books to the collection and oddest among these additions is a copy of the Constance Spry Cookery Book that my father-in-law gave me. This book was published in the 1950s and comes from an alien world of shooting party luncheons, gills and yard men in country houses. It’s strangely refreshing to see food considered from such a different viewpoint.

One of the recipes in the book that particularly interested me is from a village baker in Savennières in the Loire valley. I didn’t really fancy making it the authentic Constance Spry way and s…

Simple Duck Sauce for Pasta

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Duck can be expensive, but the legs seem to be the best value bit.  I’ve been told that duck sauces should be served with tagliatelle and, since I don’t want to argue with an Italian, I couldn’t agree more. (Although I’m sure that a different pasta of the same general type and shape might do instead).
2 duck legs (fairly meaty ones) 1 medium carrot, very finely chopped 1 shallot, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, crushed ½ glass red wine 400 g tin of chopped tomatoes Pinch of sugar ½ tsp dried oregano or about 1 tsp of chopped fresh leaves

Season the duck legs all over and roast at 180°C (in a fan oven, a little hotter otherwise) for 50 minutes. Set them aside until they are cool enough to handle, remove the skin and strip all the meat from the bones, getting rid of as much fat as reasonably possible as you go. Hopefully you should be left with small but irregular bits of meat.

In the meantime, heat a little olive oil and fry the shallots and carrots gently for 7 or 8 minutes. Add the garlic an…