Sometimes I really sit down and think about this question. Why do I love food so much? Yes it’s nutritious and the body needs it for everyday functioning. But my love of food is beyond that. It’s fascination, respect and curiosity all rolled up in one ball of goodness.
I get so amazed when you get the simplest ingredient but with blow you out of the water flavor. Take a simple litchi fruit for example; you peel it, you bite into it and bam mouthful of flavour! I get excited about how much I could do to extract and infuse these favours in different preparations to different foods.
But there’s a difference between loving good food and loving junk food! Junk food can be good to the tongue, but properly good food is seldom junk. And if it’s truly good food, you won’t need kilograms of it. It satisfy you, physically, emotionally and psychologically.
Eating food is a good experience. I know with so many eating disorders, food has been painted as the bad guy, but if you really think about it: if it wasn’t food, it’d be something else. So don’t blame McDonald’s for your problems, find the root of it and address that. Yes McDonald’s don’t help their defense with the amounts of unhealthy stuff in their food. But we make a choice to go to McDonalds. That’s all I’m saying.
Anyway, talking of healthy good food, I’m making a surf and turf: duck meets prawns on a plate of salad with sauteed mushroom, potato chips, peppers and mixed micro greens.
Remember it’s all about everything in moderation. Too much of a good thing is bad, just enough of a bad thing could be good for you. # I just made this saying up 😜.
I love duck, I love prawns. But unfortunately these ingredients aren’t the friendliest on the pocket and even if they were, there’s only so much my stomach can take. So I’m going for a much lighter surf and turf salad. Everytime I handle duck, I feel like I should do a quick prayer. This is how majestic this ingredient is to me. Well, the fact that it costs me over R100 (+-US$9) for 2 breasts, also contributes to the sudden religiousness!😳
Ok I’m talking too much now, let’s get to it.
What do you need? Serves 2
- 1 Duck breast
200g prawns- deshelled/ heads off
Veggies- handful of portobello myshrooms, orange pepper( quarter), 1 potato
Herbs- dill, mixed micro greens
Spices- salt, pepper, paprika
Oil from infused dried spices, we saved from the other day. From our last meal, the lamb curry bunny chow.
White wine( dry)
What to do?
Start with the potato chips- peel potatoes, cut them thinly into ‘shoe strings’. Season with salt, pepper and paprika. Shallow fry them in a hot pan with 3 tbs of duck fat until tender. Then remove from the stove onto a paper towel to drain the excess oil. Set aside, while it does this.
Next, the duck. Clean it up by cutting off the sinu and the skin sticking out of the edges, be gentle with this bird! Season well with salt and pepper and pan fry in 1 tbs of duck oil, skin side down first. Render the fat down, until you can distinctively see the layer of thin, brown fat between the skin and the actual meat. And the skin is crispy and not burnt obviously.
Then brown the other side. Total cooking time should be 5-7 minutes. Before taking off the stove, deglaze with 50 ml of white wine. Then off the stove onto the foil, wrap and rest for at least 5 minutes before cutting.
Then the mushrooms, sauté these in the same oil you cooked the duck in, to extract the flavour of the duck.. Sauté until browned, turning a few times. This should be less than 4 minutes. Off the stove and set aside.
The prawns- season generously with salt, pepper and smoky paprika. I can’t help but think of a cigar, everytime someone says smoky paprika😊. Not really sure why! Anyway, pan fry the prawns in 1 tbs of duck oil on a hot pan, for 2 min each side. Remember how chewy and rubbery overcooked prawns are.
We are done! This is the delicate part, making your plate pretty with the food you have prepared. Have fun and Bon Appetit!