Pan fried Duck Breast & Parmesan baked Courgettes – Saturday Night Supper

Pan fried Duck Breasts with Parmesan baked Herby Courgettes

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I found a pair of Iceland Duck breasts when I was filling the freezer, they came from last months ‘bulk buy’, so I thought I would use them tonight.

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Egg for scale – okay… it’s a marrow 🤣

Hubby ‘found’ an enormous Courgette hiding under a leaf, so this will be used up too.

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I slice half of the Monster Courgette into large chunks, squirt with olive oil.

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sprinkle with a mix of grated Parmesan and fresh rosemary and thyme. The rest of it I will use tomorrow.

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This goes into a preheated hot oven (200) for 20-30 minutes till golden and yummy.

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I am roasting some tomatoes too with garlic and Balsamic vinegar,

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these Aldi Sunstream Tomatoes are amazing, taste like tomatoes should taste.

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The Duck breasts were defrosted in the fridge overnight, lay them skin side down in a cold pan on a medium heat.

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The fat will render down and become golden and crisp, I flip them over, then pop the pan (make sure its oven proof) into the hot oven for 5 minutes just to cook through.

We like it pink, but cook to taste 😊 Remove from the oven, season well and leave to rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving

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This gives me time to plate up the cheese encrusted Courgettes and some rocket leaves with a few roasted tomatoes with balsamic and thyme.

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I have even made a pud for Hubby – White Chocolate Panna Cotta just look to the bottom of that page, after the yummy Chicken Kievs and Polenta Chips 😉 The only difference is I have used Aldi Super 6 Passion Fruit instead of the Coulis 😍

Persian spiced Leg of Lamb with Fattoush, flatbreads and Homemade Lemon Curd Pavlova

We are having an (almost) Family meal, eldest can’t make it, being on the mainland. I wanted something, I could throw (not literally) in the middle of the table and everyone can tuck in.

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Using another one of my food heroes, Sabrina Ghayhor as inspiration, her book Persiana is one of my favourite reads, the photographs are stunning- this isn’t sponsored, just appreciation of a good book 😇 This recipe is based on her Recipe for Souk spiced Lamb.

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I started with a leg of lamb,

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covered in a Yoghurt based paste made with Ras el Hanout (a delicious mix of spices and rose petals, which is a different mix depending where you buy it) lemon zest, a little chilli, salt and pepper – 2 tablespoons of Ras el Hanout is mixed into a pot of Aldi whole fat Greek Yoghurt with the lemon zest and seasoning.

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Take the leg of lamb, and make deep cuts evenly all over it

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spread the Yoghurt mix liberally all over the lamb

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I have left this in the fridge overnight, to allow those amazing spices to filter through the lamb.

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When ready, this will be placed in an ovenproof tray, covered with foil, into a 160 oven for approx 4 hours – remove the foil for the last 30-40 minutes,  be prepared, as your house will smell amazing….

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To go with this main event, I have made loads of flatbreads, I have made these a lot before so here is a Linky

IMG_4430Along with this will be a Cous Cous Salad – soak 25g of Cous Cous in 100ml hot Veg stock, stir through and cover for 10 minutes – loosen the grains with a fork, add olive oil, lemon juice, sliced spring onion, diced red pepper, deseeded chopped cucumber, salt and pepper – lots of chopped fresh herbs, I have used coriander, mint and flat leaf parsley.

IMG_4432I bought a whole Pomegranate, this takes me back to being a kid, and my grandparents giving me one with a pin to pick out the ruby pearls  I am slightly more robust with them now, cutting it in half, and using the flat side of a wooden spoon ‘smack’ the skin side over a bowl and they pop out – any reluctant ones can be coaxed out by hand – this can get a bit messy, so watch out for low flying Pomegranate juice – it is worth it just look at these…..

 

 

IMG_4429A fatoush salad a mix of cucumber, tomato, spring onion, fresh coriander, fresh flat leaf parsley, Sumac, Lemon juice, salt, pepper and olive oil and pomegranate seeds – I have made this without the traditional toasted flatbread.

 

IMG_4417Hummus – into a food processor tip a rinsed can of chickpeas, olive oil, lemon juice, a clove of garlic and blitz till smooth- I top this with Dukkha a mix of spiced and crushed pistachio.

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With pickled red onion – finely sliced red onion covered in red wine vinegar with a touch of sugar, give it a good mix and leave in the fridge till ready, at least and hour, but if covered it will keep for a week in the fridge.

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I will be having all but the Cous Cous and flatbreads, so doing pretty well 😇

I am making Homemade meringue with Homemade Lemon curd, whipped cream and strawberries. I use a lemon skin to run around the inside of my Kitchen Aid bowl and the whisk attachment, this ensures any grease is got rid of.

IMG_4388I add 8 egg whites, whisking to firm peaks before adding a tablespoon of cider vinegar and 230g caster sugar (I blitzed granulated sugar in the Thermomix) Add the sugar bit by bit

IMG_4391the egg mix will start to look thick and glossy.

IMG_4392Into a baking paper lined oven tray, carefully add the egg mix, either into one large base, or 8-10 large individual ones – this is what I have gone for – making sure there are a good amount of ‘dips’ for the cream and toppings.

 

These go into a preheated oven (100 fan) for about an hour and a half – they should be crisp on the outside and have very little colour, if at all – I turn the oven off, and pop a handle of a wooden spoon into the oven door and leave them till fully cooled.

I whisk double cream to a thick dropping consistency which is blobbed onto each meringue,

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with a good drizzle of homemade Lemon Curd which I have made before so here’s the Link

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Sliced fresh strawberries finish it off 😇

I am having strawberries and cream to fit my Low Carbing.

Bang Bang Shrimp Salad – Low Carb quick midweek meal.

Freezer is pretty full at the moment, I went freezer filling yesterday, I really fancy Prawns and found This recipe on Pinterest for Bang Bang Shrimp. I am using Almond flour, not regular flour

For those that don’t know this is Spicy crispy fried (or oven baked) king prawns with a sweet chilli mayonnaise – Quick, Simple Tasty, Midweek Meal – 👍👍👍

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I defrosted half a bag of Iceland King Prawns, draining them of any water.

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In a bowl, add a good dollop of mayonnaise, a good squidge of sweet chilli sauce and some garlic powder and stir together- this ratio is down to taste, so have a play till it tastes ‘right’.

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In a bowl, add 50g of almond flour – I make this in the Thermomix by whizzing almonds at speed 10 for a few seconds. And some chilli powder, salt, pepper.

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Dip the prawns in a beaten egg with some hot chilli sauce mixed in

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Coat in the Almond mix and pop the prawns into a pan of hot oil (beware of the oil spitting) for a minute or 2 till the prawns brown.

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The original recipe says to coat the cooked Prawns in the mayo mix, but I prefer to use it as a dip.

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I will have this with a big old salad,

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the men with some Aldi straight to wok noodles with stirfried spring onion, peppers, Mushroom and a shake of Soy sauce and honey.

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All went down well 😉

 

 

 

British Classic Mixed Grill – Low Carb Style

For those of you not of our shores, a Mixed Grill is basically a meat fest, a combination of several cuts of meat served on one plate, generally, but not exclusively a piece of Steak, Lamb, Pork, Sausage generally served with a pile of chips, grilled tomatoes, sautéed mushrooms and a little salad in an attempt to look healthy 😉

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A few weeks ago I bought these meat packs from Iceland, and at £3.00 each thought they would make a welcome addition to Hubby’s BBQ menu 🙃 Since then the weather has been, well, pants….

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We will be having this cornucopia of meat served with balsamic Slow Cooked tomatoes, padron peppers, homegrown roasted radishes, some Rocket leaves and maybe a jacket potato for Hubby.

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The meat is being BBQ’d by my beloved

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One of the great things about the Low Carb way of eating is that I can continue to eat most of my favourite things (sorry Homemade crusty bread, I still love you) including cheese, eggs and above all meat.  As much as I enjoy Meat Free Monday, I tried living without meat for 6 months several years ago and was lured back by a bacon butty….

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I am also having a sweet treat, by going back to the 70’s and making sugar free orange jelly with tinned mandarin pieces – Aldi do a tin of these, in natural juice for 44p and a block of orange jelly for 32p

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it’s a frugal and tasty way to have a sweet treat for just over 12p a pud (I make 6) 😇

Reminds me of meals with my grandparents – a dribble of condensed milk and I’d be back at their table swinging my legs at the table with pure joy 😊

 

Ultimate Fakeaway Fully Loaded Burger, Dirty Fries and Homemade Ginger Icecream

Bloomin famished today – nothing but a big old burger will do 😉 We ate our main meal at lunchtime today, as we are out later.  No bun, a a few sweet potato fries for me – Sometimes it’s good to be bad 😜

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Its a trendy thing the burger now, gone the flaccid White roll, anaemic burger with a squidge of ketchup

IMG_4237bring on the mega burgers and their partners the dirty fries…

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I have 100% Beef quarter pounder burgers, crispy smoked streaky bacon, cheese slices, Mayo, BBQ sauce along with lettuce, tomato and onion slices

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in a toasted Brioche bun for the men

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The burgers need to be flame Grilled to get the best taste in my opinion, but griddled or grilled is fine, I’ve griddled mine – CBA to light the BBQ 🙃

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The fries are thin cut French fries with a Cajun spice mix,

onion rings topped off with shredded Lettuce, spring onion, BBQ sauce, a sour cream dressing, crispy bacon bits and a defibrillator 😉

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My version was a burger (buried under the salad) no bun, a scant handful of sweet potato fries, 3 onion rings and loads of salad

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Sometimes it’s good to be bad 😇

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For dessert we are having homemade Ginger Icecream with optional

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dark chocolate sauce 😜 (I am forgoing this for the sake of my newly appearing waist 😭) I have made this before so here is a Link

 

 

Steak and Salad Quick and Easy For this Hot Weather

Managed to get some sleep last night, by having all the window open upstairs, and wedging all the doors open, a slight cool breeze flowed over the bed, unlike the previous night, when I got so hot and bad tempered with myself, I took myself off downstairs so Hubby could sleep and surfed the internet till about 3 am, dozed for a while then finally got up at 5 – I do not do well on no sleep, was a bit of a dragon all day 😕 Hey Ho, am back to my usual happy self today 🤗

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Hubby requested Steak and Chips, so that’s what it will be – I grabbed some Iceland Frying steaks out of the freezer last night and popped them into the fridge – I normally buy these steaks for my Mongolian Beef Recipe, but as long as I have the heat high, and the pan smoking they should flash fry well.

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I am oven cooking some Aldi Sweet Potato Fries for the men, these go into a hot (200) oven for 25-30 with a shake about half time.

I lightly oil the steaks with a little olive oil, sprinkle some cracked black pepper on them, then just before the chips are ready, heat a frying pan or Griddle till really hot.

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Throw the steaks on, one at a time, searing, then flip over to sear the other – allow the pan to heat up between steaks.

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I am having mine with Aldi Super6 Lettuce and advacado with some quick blue cheese dressing – half and half mayo and crumbled blue cheese, a squirt of Worcestershire sauce and a squirt of lemon juice with a little black pepper, mix till it’s the constancy you like, done – yum….

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I sliced my steak, just so it’s easier to eat with the Romaine Lettuce.

 

 

Party Prep 🥂

Tomorrow we are hosting a Birthday BBQ for our Daughter and her friends for her 21st.

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Today is prep day and we have been out shopping, the BBQ meat is from Iceland, as I saved some vouchers especially for this purpose- just the normal Burgers, sausages plus spices Chicken Wings and Tiger Prawns as they are her favourite – we are not going OTT. I have some Field Mushroom and Halloumi for the Veggies 😋

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I also got some frozen Macaron- they are so pretty and taste amazing and at this price I couldn’t make them.

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For a healthy sweet kick, sliced watermelon

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To go with savoury I am making 2 basic salads, one a giant Cous Cous Salad – I boil this in plenty of water for 10 minutes or until tender, drain and pop back into the pan with a good glug of olive oil to keep it from sticking together – I am leaving this to cool, and will add finely sliced spring onion, cucumber, red pepper and a whole pack of chopped coriander and mint, Stir though with salt, pepper and lemon juice till ‘right’

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The other a homemade coleslaw

IMG_4089I make this in the Magimix with the slicing and grating blades – I could make it in the Thermomix, but it Chops the veg and I prefer it sliced – this will be finalised tomorrow.

Instead of a Birthday cake, I am making 21 cupcakes, the base recipe I use is from Nigella’s Domestic Goddess book. These will be made tomorrow.

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I make my own icing sugar in the Thermomix a kilo of icing sugar costs £1.70 on Sainsbury’s website, a kilo of Aldi granulated sugar is 59p

IMG_4067I add 250g of sugar and a teaspoon of cornflour to the Thermomix bowl and whizz at speed 10 for 10 seconds, stop, shake the bowl, and whizz again for another 10 seconds – I pop a sheet of kitchen roll between the measuring cup and the lid to prevent a billow of icing sugar

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Repeat this till the sugar is used – hey presto – a kilo of icing sugar 🤗

I am keeping these simple with pale pink rosette icing with shop bought ‘toppers’

When Grace was tiny, she couldn’t pronounce ‘Grace’ and as everyone called her Gracie, she shortened her own name to Ce-Ce (see-see) that was lengthened to Cupcake – like Families do 🙄  So her birthday cake had to be Cupcakes 😇

IMG_4080For drinks, I said I would provide a toast drink, we are making Strawberry Dachari’s for those who like them from Homemade frozen Stawberry purée , vodka, Lime juice, crushed ice, whizzed up in the Thermomix 😉 Aparently Cocktails are very ‘in’, I personally would prefer an Expresso Martini 😇

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We also have a huge bottle of Prosecco to toast her with – I might even share it with others 🤣 Loads of soft drinks too

I am sure she will have a fab night, they are going onto a night club afterwards – we will be on Cleanup duty then flaking out 🤣 Just one more 21st to go (youngest) then they can arrange their own parties 🤗