So Long Stinktown!

Thursday 12/5/2005

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Diary and Notes

"So long stinktown!" Is the traditional cry of people leaving Exeter. OK so it isn't - it's actually from the Simpsons, but I always like to shout it when I get on the train to go somewhere else. Exeter doesn't really stink and the council air quality update will attest to this fact (see Exeter City Council).

This is however my last day in Exeter as a resident. I will be coming back for a few weeks in June/July but apart from that, I'm outta here baby. This scene has gotten old and stale. It's time to blow this gaff etc. I'm moving to Manchester to become a boffin and there's no turning back now.

So what to eat for my final day? I have already described the ingredients of my cupboards (see 8/5/2005) so it's going to be duck, definitely duck. (I bought the duck for £4.95 in Sainsbury's so don't go thinking that it was expensive). It is my last day and I should have a bit of a fancy nosh up so I decided to cook dinner for my flatmates and go out with a bang.

So my farewell to Exeter meal was a tasty combination of an Italian style soup with home made bread rolls, an Italian starter, a traditional French meat course and a good old fashioned English pudding.

This wasn't the greatest meal I've ever cooked, but unless you were very lucky, I am pretty sure it was better than what you had for dinner yesterday.

The next time I write my blog I shall be in Manchester - it may take some time to sort my computer out and get going again, but I will keep records and take photos as ever.


Cake Blog

Eve's Pudding: From M&S again. Yum - and their luxury custard is fantastic too - really creamy and tasting of vanilla.


  • Barlotti Bean and Vegetable Soup
  • Herby Rolls

  • Fried Gnocchi with Sun Dried Tomato and Porcini Mushroom Sauce

  • Duck with Peas and Tarragon

  • Eve's Pudding and Custard


    Barlotti Bean Soup
    1 Can Barlotti Beans
    1 Onion
    1 Carrot
    1 Stick Celery
    100g White Cabbage
    1 Pint Strong Chicken Stock
    1 Red Pepper
    2 Large Courgettes
    2 Tbsp Olive Oil
    1 tsp Dried Rosemary
    Salt and Pepper
    Fried Gnocchi
    500g Potatoes
    100g Self Raising Flour
    Salt and Pepper
    Olive Oil for Frying
    Tomato and Porcini Sauce
    1/2 Onion
    2 Rashers Bacon
    1 Clove Garlic
    Glass White Wine
    1/2 Tube Tomato Puree
    Dollop Tomato Ketchup
    100g Dried Porcini Mushrooms
    100g Sun Dried Tomatoes
    1 tsp Dried Italian Seasoning
    Duck with Peas
    1 Duck (2kg)
    1/2 Onion
    2 Rashers Bacon
    2 Tbsp Olive Oil
    1 Pint Chicken Stock
    500g Frozen Peas
    Glass White Wine
    50g Butter
    50g Plain Flour
    Salt and Pepper
    1 tsp Dried Tarragon
    Dash lemon Juice


  • Soup: In a pressure cooker, sweat the onion, carrot and celery in a little olive oil. Add the chopped cabbage, red pepper, courgette and rosemary and keep cooking until everything is soft and mushy. Add the rest of the ingredients, put the lid on and cook under pressure for two hours. Liquidize the soup, taste and either add more water (if too strong) or simmer gently with the lid off to reduce if it needs concentrating. Cook gently (no pressure and stirring occasionally) for another hour after liquidizing. Serve with some home made herby rolls.
  • Fried Gnocchi: Peel the potatoes, chop into chunks and boil until they just begin to soften (don't overboil as they'll absorb too much water). Mash really well then pass through a sieve. Add the flour and mix really well. Season. Knead a little then roll out into a sausage shape on a floured surface. Cut into small pieces and boil in salted water. When they're cooked they rise to the surface. Fry gently in a little olive oil until brown.
  • Sauce: Put the mushrooms and sun dried tomatoes in some water to soften. Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Sweat in the olive oil. Add the bacon and cook until the bacon is just beginning to crisp. Add the chopped mushrooms/tomatoes, the tomato puree, a little ketchup, some Italian seasoning, enough water to make a sauce and then the wine (should be slightly runnier than the final desired product now). Simmer gently with the lid off for an hour or more - until quite thick. Season and serve with the fried gnocchi and freshly grated Parmesan.
  • Duck: Heat the oven to 220c. Put the duck in a roasting tin and cook for 15 minutes to brown the skin a little. Turn the heat down to 160 and roast slowly covered with foil for an hour. Drain off the fat at regular intervals. While the duck is cooking finely dice the onion and mince the garlic. Sweat in a little olive oil with the chopped bacon until the onion is soft. Add the butter. When the butter is melted add the flour and form a roux. To the roux add the hot stock, tarragon, lemon juice and wine. Simmer and stir until a sauce forms (not too thick hopefully). When the duck is roasted and no more fat comes out pour the peas around the duck and the sauce over the peas. Roast for another 20 minutes.


    *All quantities are very approximate and for four people