Weekly menu 6

I’ve gone for things which take a bit more effort this week, hope you like some of it!

Saturday – Homemade “Juicy Lucy” burgers
Sunday – Roast duck w/ roast potatoes and gravy
 Monday – Greek salad w/ pan fried halloumi
Tuesday – Asian style steamed fish w/ brown rice
Wednesday – Thai chicken green curry with jasmine rice (see separate post for green curry paste recipe)
 Thursday – Turlu Turlu (Turkish Ratatouille)
 Friday – Mac n’3 Cheeses

Homemade “Juicy Lucy” burgers

5 kg minced beef, it needs to be the fatty mince not reduced or lean
2 sliced red onions
Handful of chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 egg yolk
1 packet pre-sliced processed cheese like Kraft slices or Gouda works really well too

 Knead all the ingredients together in a large bowl until they are very well combined. Shape into thin round patties and chill for a good hour. Trim your cheese so it’s slightly smaller than your burgers then place a slice on top of one burger and sandwich another burger on top, pinch the edges together well and really seal it up. Heat up a heavy frying pan then cook the burgers probably for about 5 minutes on each side until nice and brown. I would test run one first so that if your cheese starts to leak out you know to make the others with smaller pieces of cheese and sealed up better. You can also grill these burgers under a medium grill. Serve in a bun with all your favorite trimmings.

Roast duck w/ roast potatoes

1 large, fresh duck, with neck and giblets
Salt and freshly ground black pepper.
1 kg Maris Piper potatoes
100 g duck or goose fat

For the gravy:
Duck neck and giblets, and wing tips.
1 small onion
1 celery stick
1 carrot
A little oil
1 bay leaf
1 small glass of red wine.
 1/2 tsp redcurrant jelly

 Preheat the oven to 220°C/gas 8. If the duck is tied up, cut the strings and gently pull the legs apart, away from the body. This will help the heat to get at them. Cut off the wing tips put into a frying pan with the roughly chopped up neck and giblets, plus the onion, carrot and celery. Fry these over a fair heat in a little oil until the meat is nicely browned and the vegetables slightly caramalised. Transfer to a saucepan with the bay leaf, cover with 600 ml water and bring to a simmer. Leave at a gentle simmer for about 1 1/2 hours (the time it takes to cook the duck).

Remove any obvious spare fat from inside the duck cavity. Turn the duck breast-side down on a board and press hard on the middle of the backbone until you hear a crack, it means that when you turn the bird breast-side up again it sits flatter in the pan, which helps it to cook more evenly. Prick the skin with a carving fork or metal skewer all over the fatty parts at the breast and where the breast joins the leg. Don’t prick deeper than is necessary just to pierce the skin. You want the fat to run, but not the juices from the meat. Season the skin lightly with salt and pepper and rub in well.

Put the bird in a roasting tin. Place into oven for about 20 minutes, so the fat starts to run. Then turn the oven down to 180°C/gas 4, baste the bird and return to the oven. Baste the duck every 20 minutes or so. Check the bird after about 1 1/2 hours’. Poke a skewer into the thickest part of the leg, close to the breast. When the juices runs clear, the bird is done. Tip the bird to pour any fat or juices out of the cavity into the roasting tin and transfer it to a warmed plate to rest and cover with foil.

Put your duck or goose fat into a roasting tray and into the oven 45 minutes after the duck has gone in. Peel the potatoes and cut each one into 4 even sized pieces. Par boil for about 10 minutes. Drain in a colander then given them a shake to “rough them up” on the outside. Take out your melted fat from the oven and carefully put your potatoes into the tray with a slotted spoon. Put the whole lot back into the oven. When you baste your duck give the potatoes a little shake or turn them over. When the duck comes out of the oven to rest, turn up the heat to 220C/gas 8 again and give the potatoes a final blast until lovely and crispy.

Carefully pour off the fat from the roasting tin into a heatproof bowl or dish, leaving the brown juices in the tin. Deglaze the tin with the red wine, scraping to release the tasty browned bits in the bottom of the pan the put into a saucepan. Strain the stock into the same pan, and boil hard to reduce to a rich, syrupy gravy. Taste for seasoning, and add a little redcurrant jelly for sweetness.

Greek salad w/ pan fried Halloumi
1 cucumber, peeled and chopped into chunks
4 plum tomatoes, chopped into chunks
 100 g Kalamata olives
1 red onion, very thinly sliced
1/2 tsp dried oregano
Small bunch of fresh mint, chopped finely
Juice of 1/2 lime, plus wedges to serve
2 tbsp olive oil
 200 g Halloumi, cut into 8 slices
Plain flour for dusting

In a bowl, toss together the cucumber, tomatoes, olives, onion, oregano, fresh mint, lime juice and 1 tbsp of the olive oil, then season well. The salad can now be covered and chilled until ready to serve.

Divide the salad among plates. Heat the remaining oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat.  Dust the Halloumi slices lightly with flour, shake off any excess, then fry for a couple of minutes on each side until golden. Serve immediately, with the salad.

Asian style steamed fish w/ brown rice

 100 g pak choi
4 x 150 g fillets firm white fish
Small piece ginger, end of your thumb size finely shredded
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp mirin rice wine
1 bunch spring onions, finely shredded
Handful coriander, chopped
Brown rice and 1 lime cut into wedges to serve

 Heat oven to 200C/gas 6. Cut a large rectangle of foil, big enough to make a large envelope. Place the pak choi on the foil, the fish on top, then the ginger and garlic. Pour over the soy sauce and rice wine, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Fold over foil and seal the 3 edges, then put on a baking sheet. Cook for 20 mins, open the parcel and scatter over the spring onions and coriander. Serve with brown rice and a squeezed lime wedge

Thai chicken green curry
100 g green beans, halved
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 garlic clove, chopped
1-2 tbsp Thai green curry paste (see separate post)
400 ml can coconut milk
2 tsp Fish sauce
 1 tsp caster sugar
 450 g boneless skinless chicken (breasts or thighs), cut into chunks
3 wide strips lime zest sliced, plus extra to garnish
Handful of basil leaves
Boiled jasmine rice, to serve

Put the beans into a pan of boiling water and cook for 3-4 minutes, Drain and put to one side.

In a wok or large frying pan, heat the oil until very hot, then drop in the garlic and fry stirring constantly until golden, only a few seconds. Add your curry paste and stir it around for a few seconds to begin to cook the spices and release all the flavours. Then add the coconut milk and bring to the boil. Stir in the fish sauce and sugar, then the pieces of chicken. Turn the heat down to a simmer and cook, covered, for about 10 minutes until the chicken is cooked.

Finally add the finely sliced lime zest and the basil leaves then serve immediately with jasmine rice.

Turlu Turlu
4 tbsp olive oil
3 carrots, roughly diced
2 parsnips, roughly diced
2 potatoes, roughly diced
1 tsp salt
Pinch of saffron threads
300 ml vegetable stock, hot
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 small piece fresh ginger, sliced
 2 red onions, sliced
1/2 tsp dried mint
1/2 tsp crushed chillies
400 g can whole plum tomatoes
400 g can chickpeas

Heat half the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the carrots, parsnips, potatoes and salt, cover and cook, stirring, for 10-12 minutes, until softened. Remove everything with a slotted spoon and set aside on a plate.

Meanwhile, soak the saffron in the hot stock and set aside.  Heat the remaining oil in the same pan and fry the garlic and ginger until it is just browning. Add the onions, mint and chillies, stir well, and continue to fry quite briskly.

Tip the tomatoes into a sieve to discard the juice, then add to the pan. Bring to a simmer. Add the chickpeas and their juices and return the vegetables to the pan. Pour over the stock and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring halfway, until tender. Season to taste, then serve.

Mac n’3 Cheeses

220 g elbow macaroni
1 tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 eggs
340 g evaporated milk
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
170 g grated mature Cheddar
50 g grated Gouda
30 g grated Parmesan

 Preheat oven to 220C/gas 8. Cook the macaroni for 6 minutes in a large pot of salted boiling water, then drain

Meanwhile, heat a small frying pan and melt the butter. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. With a slotted spoon, remove the garlic to a medium bowl and add the macaroni, stir to combine. Whisk together the eggs and evaporated milk. Add a good pinch of salt, the cayenne pepper and cheeses; and mix well. Add the macaroni mixture and mix thoroughly.

Transfer the whole lot to an overproof dish. Gently spread mixture to form an even layer and sprinkle a little extra grated cheddar and parmesan on the top. Bake just until sauce bubbles at edges, about 12-15 minutes. If you want to add a bit of crunch you can throw on some breadcrumbs before putting in the oven. Also this is a great base recipe to add bacon or mushrooms or any herbs you like to the mix before baking.

(Credits: Brown Eyed Baker blog, John Torode, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Delicious Magazine, Good Food Magazine, JJMoola’s Kitchen)


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