This Cordial Seems a Little Past Its Sell By Date
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Diary and Notes
Aah for the old feuds. It fills me with joy to see the British and French sniping at each other while their respective supporters cheer them on from the sidelines - the entente cordiale has gone off and all is right with the world.
Firstly, I must point out that I am in no way anti-French. I have absolutely no antipathy at all to our Gallic cousins and in many respects feel great empathy with them. It's just the British-French thing has been going on for so long now (well over a thousand years) that without it you feel that the world will cease to revolve and we'll all spin off into space.
As has been pointed out by numerous observers on numerous occasions the problem is that the British and French are too similar in many ways to actually get along. The French consider the British a bunch of arrogant, over nationalistic, slightly dangerous, uncultured, ruffians, who think that there's is the only language worth learning, that everything important that ever happened in history happened either in their country or because of their countrymen and that without them civilisation would never have evolved beyond the stone age. The British think exaclty the same as the French onyl you have to replace slightly dangerous with slightly effeminate and replace uncultured riffians with pretentious snobs.
So in honour of our thousand year feud (and because my friends Fran and Matt brought some excellent stuffed duck breast back from their recent trip to France) I made a cross culture meal with both French and British themes. The starter was definitely French, the duck more Somerset than Normandy and the dessert was French with some Cornish ice cream - fantastique!
I'm not so sure about what side of the channel the squash idea is from, it was made with Cox's apples so I shall claim this one for blighty.
The Peach Clafoutis was a little heavy. I am not famous for my desserts.
Magret de Canard Stuffed with Paté de Fois Gras
French Dressing (Olive Oil, Mustard, White Wine Vinegar, Salt and Pepper)
Toasted French Bread Croutons
Roast Cider Glazed Duckling with Cider Gravy
Toffee Apple Squash
Peach Clafoutis and Vanilla Ice Cream
Cheese and Biscuits (English and French Cheese and TUC biscuits because we're posh)
|Duck with Cider Gravy
1 Norfolk Duck (with Giblets)
1 Litre Dry, Somerset, Cider
100ml Single Cream
1 Clove Garlic
Fat From the Roast Duck
|Toffee Apple Squash
2 Small Squash (Gem)
2 Cox's Apples
2 Tbsp Honey
50g Self Raising Flour
1/2 Pint Milk
50g Brown Sugar
50g Caster Sugar
Duck: Heat the oven to 200c. Put the giblets and the onion (halved) in a saucepan and pour over the cider and a little sugar. Bubble away gently while you cook the duck. Poke holes all over the duck's skin. Place the duck, breast side down, in the hot oven for 20 minutes then turn right side up and cook for a further 15. Drain off all the fat (to use for potatoes) and drizzle a little hot cider stock over the skin, turn the oven down to 160 and roast for a further 2 hours, drizzling a little more stock over every 15 minutes or so. When the duck is cooked drain off the juice and add to the stock pan. Remove the onion and giblets, turn the heat up to reduce until you have about 50ml left, turn the heat down, pour in the cream and stir. Season the sauce and serve with the duck.
Pommes Sarladaise: Peel and thinly slice the potatoes. Chop the garlic. Fry the potatoes in the duck fat and garlic until crispy. Drain off the fat and sprinkle in loads of fresh parsley.
Toffee Apple Squash: Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Peel the apples, core and quarter. Place two quarters in each squash half. Heat some honey until liquid then stir in the butter until it dissolves. pour over the apples and bake for 30 minutes.
Clafoutis: Blanch and peel the peaches. Cut into chunks and bake with the cinnamon and brown sugar. Make a batter from the eggs, flour, milk and sugar, pour over the hot peaches and cook until bown.
*All quantities are very approximate and for four people