Duck Breast with Egg Noodles and Hoisin Sauce

Ingredients – Serves 2

  • 500g Duck breast
  • 1 packet Egg noodles
  • 10 florets Broccoli
  • 2 Spring onions
  • 4 tbsps Hoisin sauce
  • Dash Sunflower oilduck7

 

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven on maximum gas mark.
  2. Prepare a roasting tray and place duck breasts skin side down. Season and put in oven bottom shelf.

  3. Prepare a medium pot with water, add salt and oil, cover it and bring to a boil. This will be used for the noodles.
  4. Prepare a small pot with water for the broccoli. Add some salt and bring to a boil too.
  5. Prepare a frying pan and turn it on a low heat, add some oil and leave until really hot.
  6. In the meantime start cleaning and chopping the broccoli into little florets.

  7. Add noodles to the big pan and the broccoli to the small pan now. This should only take 3 minutes for both to be done. If you like the broccoli softer, leave it to boil further.
  8. Slice the spring onions and add them to the frying pan.
  9. Noodles should be ready by now, drain them and put them in the spring onions pan together with the broccoli. Give it a gentle stir, a pair of tongs will help.duck1
  10. Season with salt and pepper if you wish and add your Hoisin sauce.
  11. The duck should be ready by now. You can always cook it further to your likings.
  12. Slice the duck and plate.

 

Advertisements

The Duck

With all this animal cruelty awareness it made me think twice if I should go ahead with this post. However, since we do not follow a vegetarian or a vegan diet I thought might as well include this for all those who like their poultry on their plates.

As little C is quite adventurous when it comes to different tastes and textures, it makes it slightly easier for us to experiment in home-food for all with dishes such as duck.

The duck is another dish I always feared to cook at home until Jas made it look simpler and nothing to hesitate from. I always had my duck in an oriental restaurant before so knowing how easy it is to cook it at home was a bit of a luxury.

So where do we start? Should I buy a whole duck, legs or breast? Well we find breast is the easiest to cook and if any left-overs, it can be included in a nice salad for lunch next day.

This week Jas has gone with a simple noodle dish, long stemmed broccoli and hoisin sauce. Watch him here to get your appetite going..

Rob

The 5-a-day challenge

I call this a challenge because it can really be mind-boggling to stuff those nutrients in on a daily basis.

I went through phases with this one and it all really started when having our first born. My initial phase, I called it stress! I totally freaked out if I had missed one of the 5, sounds silly but having our son made me go to extremes until it eventually got easier. Second phase was educating myself and becoming more nutrition conscious, getting to know that I can base all meals on fruit and veg and that’s all it really takes. Third phase was finding a practical cooking way that fits into our routine comfortably enough so I can rest assured that most of the nutrients are taken every single day.

One of the easiest methods we like to use is ‘bulk cooking’. I like to call it like this because it literally is cooking in bulk, portion and freeze. Soups and pies fall under this category as well as other dishes and I really find it easier in winter time as we love these dishes and I can bulk them up with our favourite veggies and other filling nutrients. I am planning to post my cooking for this weekend so watch out for it on instagram.

Week-ends are the best opportunity for me to bulk-cook as kids are with me all day and my eldest likes to be given little tasks to help out. Get prepared for the mess, but hey-ho it is what it is! So, normally I cook fresh dishes for the day over week-end but then I also cook freezable dinner dishes to serve me throughout the week for after work. Jas is usually off Mondays and Tuesdays so that gives big brother another 2 days in the kitchen with daddy as he cooks freshly for the day and prepares his videos ready to share with you guys 🙂

So, back to the 5-a-day, an interesting NHS course had thought me that 5-a-day is best taken as 2 fruits and 3 veg. That makes it easier doesn’t it?

Our daily routine starts off with squeezing fresh OJ, then kids like banana over their breakfast, Jas takes his fruit an hour before his morning gym session and I take mine as part of my mid-morning snack. That’s 2 out of our 5 in already. Then 3 different types of veg over lunch and dinner which is easily stuffed in.

So basically if you follow a basic routine, that’s you done! Of course, the more veg the merrier so variety is the key. Also, once I know that we had good food throughout the day, it makes it easier for me to justify that cheeky little (big) sweet treat 😉

Rob

Carbo what?

You have probably guessed it.

It’s pasta time and we’re starting off with a delicious and easy-peasy Penne Carbonara.

This pasta dish was an easy assumption of what we will get on our plates until we came to the UK. Apparently here they know it differently and was a bit of a battle for which is the proper one.

Although our preference would go towards the Italian one, for this recipe Jas has decided to go with the British one. Basically the Italian recipe has less ingredients but to my opinion has more flavour. Its pancetta and the strong flavoured pecorino cheese is what makes it particular whilst the egg yolks give an added texture to the whole dish.

But for today let’s go British!

Do you know it any differently? Do you make yours with any other twist? Leave your comments down below so we can see how many versions we can come up with 🙂

Rob

Penne Carbonara – the British way!

Ingredients – Serves 4

  • 500g Penne pasta
  • 4 rashers Bacon
  • 4 white Onions
  • 6 Garlic cloves
  • 20 button Mushrooms
  • 230 ml cooking White wine
  • 4 tbsp Double cream
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • Grated Parmesan – optional
  • Fresh Parsley
  • Pinch of salt

penne-carbonara-ing

Method

  1. Heat up a pan with water, oil and pinch of salt and bring to boil. At the same time heat up a frying pan too.
  2. Meanwhile start chopping your bacon, cubes or strips, choose your preference.
  3. When frying pan is well heated, add bacon and stir occasionally.
  4. Continue chopping your onions, garlic, mushrooms and parsley.
  5. Check boiling water, should be ready by now and add your penne.
  6. Add mushrooms, onions and garlic to the bacon and leave its liquids to evaporate.
  7. Once the bacon mixture becomes dry, add the wine and let it reduce by half.
  8. Once reduced, add the cream and give it a stir.
  9. By now the penne should be ready. Remove the water, strain it well and add it to the sauce.
  10. Add the parsley and give all a gentle stir.
  11. Once plated, sprinkle some Parmesan and enjoy!

Fresh veg -vs- Frozen veg

 

If you had asked me this a few years back I would have probably laughed in your face or thought you might be joking or something and this is without even going to the organic subject.

Since having little C, I have been wanting to know more about what is necessary to feed our mouths without changing our current lifestyle completely. So there I was looking for ways to educate myself more about what is really good to feed ourselves. I have read a lot on the internet but seemed like the more I read the more confusing it got so I kind of slowed that down and decided I’d go for an NHS nutrition course which was a good start to get the basics engraved in my head.

So back to veggies, the day hit when our tutor started mentioning that frozen veg are a very good alternative to fresh ones and I needed to have a one-to-chat about this as I could have never substituted fresh with frozen, you kidding me?! Good on him, he managed to explain to me/convince me that they are no harm at all and actually they can contain higher levels of vitamins and antioxidants.

I went along with that advice and now we happily stock our freezer with frozen veg so we are never caught up without any veggies. We like to keep the basics stocked up in freezer such as carrots, cauliflower, broccoli and peas then for the occasional spinach, beetroots, marrows, aubergines, peppers, mushrooms and the list goes on… we just buy them fresh on the day. On the side we keep a good stock of fresh potatoes and onions since they can last longer.

Do you include veg in all of your meals? Is it still a big no-no for frozen veg for you?

Rob

Only for meat lovers – no offence!

This week we’re going for the well known rib-eye steak.

Jas have chosen rib-eye rather than other cuts of beef, since its fat makes it very good for fast and hot cooking.

My instant thinking used to be that that’s the kind of food you’d eat in a restaurant. Maybe it was just me having a lack of home-cooking experience or simply just didn’t have a clue where to start from. I can clearly remember myself cooking my first piece of meat when I was living in Scotland, which I never thought I could. I was looking at it as if I’m messing with a glorious piece of art (this bit will not go down very well with my dear veggie friends, sorry!) aha please laugh at me but that was the honest truth.

So here goes the million-dollar question: rare, medium rare, medium, medium well, well done or even bleu?!??! The power was all in my hands now and it was all so exciting. Yes, it’s the little things!

Then on, it was Jas who inspired me not to be scared to put my hands on another piece of meat and learn to experiment with it. It was great to realise that this can be easily cooked anytime at home.

Ok so for whoever have this cooking-meat-phobia, go get your ingredients ready as in the meantime Jas is busy cooking his piece here.