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Mussaman Duck Curry

MUSSAMAN DUCK CURRY

 

This wonderfully rich spicy Thai curry is made with duck, but is also really good with lamb, chicken or beef.

 

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

5 tablespoons mussaman curry paste (see below)

2 bay leaves

4 duck breasts – skin removed, cut into bite-size pieces

6 shallots, peeled and cut into quarters, lengthways

1 x 400ml tin of coconut milk

1 yellow pepper, cut into pieces

1 ½ tablespoons fish sauce

1 teaspoons palm or soft brown sugar

1 teaspoons tamarind paste/puree

200ml water or beef stock

500g peeled red potatoes, cut into 2-3cm cubes, cooked until almost tender

100g roasted salted peanuts

 

to serve

chopped roasted salted peanuts

Thai Fragrant/Jasmine Rice

 

Heat a wok or saucepan with the oil and then add mussaman paste and bay leaves. Fry until the paste is bubbling for about 30 seconds.

 

Add the duck and shallots, stirring for about 1 minute. Reduce the heat and add the coconut milk, yellow pepper, fish sauce, palm sugar (or soft brown sugar), tamarind and water or stock. Bring to the simmer and leave to cook for about 20 minutes.

 

Add the potatoes and peanuts and cook for a further 10 minutes until the sauce is nicely thickened.

 

Serve the curry straight away with peanuts scattered over the top, and with plenty of steaming hot rice.

 

 

Tip…

Many large supermarkets, oriental or Indian shops sell Tamarind paste/puree. Barts Spices sell it in little jars which is easily available.

 

You can buy ready made mussaman paste in jars or packets but if you can’t get hold of any, or fancy making your own, here’s what you do…

 

Roughly chop 7 long red chillies and soak in 5 tbsp hot water for 1 hour.

Heat a frying pan and add 1/2 tsp white peppercorns, 1/2 cumin seeds, 1 tsp coriander seeds and 1 stick of cinnamon. Roast gently until they release a spicy aroma and begin to darken. Tip into a spice grinder, liquidiser or pestle and mortar and grind to a fine powder. Add the chillies and the water, 150g chopped shallots, 6 cloves of garlic, 1 tbsp chopped ginger, 1 tsp mild curry powder, 1/2 tsp turmeric and 1/2 tsp shrimp paste or 3 tinned anchovies. Either blend or pound really well to give you smooth paste.

This will give you about 10 tbsp – enough for 2 of the above curries. Any leftover can be kept in the fridge for a few weeks.

 

 

 

BOOZY CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES

 

Stuck for a gift idea for your loved one this Valentine’s? These chocolate truffles are a perfect treat. Once made, package in a gift box and store in a cool place.

Makes about 16Chocolate truffle

150ml double cream

15g butter

150g good quality dark chocolate (about 70 per cent cocoa solids)

A small pinch of salt

1tbsp of your favourite liqueur – eg rum, brandy whisky, Malibu, Cointreau/Grand Marnier, Tia Maria, Amaretto, Frangelico

50g grated dark chocolate, or sieved cocoa powder, to coat

 

Place the double cream in a saucepan and place over a medium heat. Once the cream is hot, but not quite boiling (small bubbles will appear on the surface) add the butter.

While the cream is heating, break the chocolate into small pieces and place in a medium sized mixing bowl. Pour over the hot cream and butter and stir well until the chocolate melts into the cream. Add the salt and your chosen liqueur, mixing in well until smooth, and then place the bowl in the fridge for at least 2 hours to completely set.

Once the truffle mixture has set, scoop teaspoons at a time and roll into balls. Make sure your hands are nice and cool. If they get too hot and the chocolate starts to melt, run them under the cold water tap for a short time.

The truffles can now be either rolled in the grated chocolate or sieved cocoa. The easiest way to do this is to put the grated chocolate or cocoa in a sandwich bag, add a couple of truffles at a time and shake gently.

Store in the fridge or somewhere very cool before serving, or place in a gift box.

Photography: www.garethmorgans.com

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