Duck and Figs in Port Sauce

For this I used Trader Joes frozen figs – they are whole frozen figs and they are perfect for this dish. This was inspired by Patricia Wells, I did not have creme de cassis so I used port instead. This recipe can be easily doubled.

8 figs
1 duck breast
1/4 c balsamic vinegar
1/2 c port

Stem figs and make an X shape incision into each fig about 1/2 way through the figs.

Make 10 diagonal incisions in the duck skin being careful not to cut through, then repeat to make a criss cross pattern.

Place the figs in a small pan, cover with vinegar and port. Cook over medium heat until it comes to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.

Heat a dry cast iron skillet over high heat. Add the duck skin side down, reduce heat to medium and cook for about 3 minutes until the skin is crispy. Flip over, cover and cook for 10 minutes for medium rare.

Remove from heat and let rest for 10 minutes. Pour juices from pan into fig sauce.

Slice duck thin, serve with figs and drizzle with sauce.

Serves 2.


Camembert Parcels with Salad

This one is from 15 minute meals by Jamie Oliver. I made a few changes because my pomegranate seeds got moldy.

200g Camembert cheese
100g shelled walnuts
1 bunch of fresh chives
Zest of one lemon
4 large sheets of filo pastry
(from a 270g pack)
1 tsp olive oil
200g Camembert cheese
100g shelled walnuts
1 bunch of fresh chives
1 lemon
4 large sheets of filo pastry
Olive oil spray

Cranberry sauce
75g dried cranberries
1 pinch of ground cloves
½ tsp ground ginger
125ml port

1/4 c dried cranberries
1 TBSP balsamic vinegar
1 TBSP olive oil
3 c mixed greens
1 bunch of snipped chives

Preheat oven to 425.

Process cheese, walnuts, zest and chives until smooth.

On a clean surface, fold each sheet of pastry in half widthways. Add ¼ of the mixture across the bottom of one folded sheet in a sausage shape, and roll it up really loosely, like a long cigar Repeat until you have 4 parcels. Spray with olive oil and bake for 20 minutes until browned and crispy.

Put the cranberry sauce ingredients into the small pan with a splash of water and leave cook over medium heat.

Combine balsamic, olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper is a small jar. Toss greens, cranberries, and chives with dressing.

Place in the cranberry mixture in a blender and purée until smooth (you may need to add a splash of water)

Place a parcel on each plate with sauce and salad to serve.

Serves 4.

Port Cranberry Sauce


This is a quick and easy cranberry sauce.

1 bag cranberries
3/4 c sugar
1/2 c ruby Port
tangerine zest
1/3 c tangerine juice

Bring cranberries, sugar, Port, and zest to a simmer in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until cranberries burst, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in juice. Cool completely.