Pan seared duck, smoked cod’s roe foam, Madeira truffle sauce

Perhaps I was inspired from the time I plunged leftover roast duck into a tub of taramasalata. I wasn’t able to perform this act of culinary barbarism only once and ended feasting on a whole tub of the piscine dip and the complete remains of the roast. The combination of the saltiness of the cod’s roe and the meatiness of the duck was delicious. I have used the fruit of the caper bush (capparis spinosa) as a garnish. They are distinguishable from the flower buds of the bush known as capers.

For the Duck jus

1 uncooked duck carcass chopped into pieces

2 tbs olive oil

2/3 cup (150 mls) water

2 onions chopped (including some brown outer skin)

1 stick celery chopped

2 carrots peeled and chopped

1 swede peeled and chopped

9 oz (250 gms) button mushrooms, chopped

5 oz (150 gms) shiitake mushrooms, chopped

2 leeks, chopped

6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

2/3 cup (150 mls) Madeira wine

15 black peppercorns

2 sprigs of fresh thyme

2 litres chicken stock/water (see appendix on stocks)

In a large stock pan, sauté the duck bone pieces in the olive oil. When the bones have browned and have started sticking to the bottom of the pan, add the water scraping the juices clinging to the bottom. This is the first deglazing process. When the water has evaporated and the pan begins to sizzle, commence the second deglazing by adding 150ml of the chicken stock and again scrape off the juices at the bottom of the pan. As the pan begins to sizzle once more, add the stock vegetables, the water from the celery, carrots, swede, mushrooms, leeks, garlic, seasoning and herbs deglazing the pan for the third time. Cook until the vegetables have become lightly caramelized. For the fourth deglazing, add the Madeira and reduce it by about two thirds. Add the peppercorns and thyme then the rest of the chicken stock (enough to cover the bones). Bring the sauce to a simmer but do not boil to avoid clouding of the sauce. As the contents of the pan warms, carefully remove the fat and impurities that rise to the surface of the pan. Continue the gentle simmer for 90 minutes whilst regularly skimming the surface. Strain the sauce into a small pot. Avoid squeezing the vegetables as this may force impurities into the sauce. Reduce the sauce until it has a gelatinous consistency with an intense flavour.

For the duck breast

First of all, flatten the duck breast with a rolling pin. Dry the skin with kitchen paper. Rub salt into the skin to aid removal of moisture. Season the breast with some black pepper. Score the skin very carefully with a sharp knife in a criss-cross manner being very careful not to penetrate the skin to the underlying muscle. Place breast skin side down on a cold skillet. Heat the skillet on the hob and sauté the breast in its own fat under a low to medium heat for about 10 minutes. Check periodically that you are not burning the skin. Turn the breast over and continue cooking for another 6 minutes. Take the breast out of the skillet and onto a warm plate to allow to cool for about 8-10 minutes.

For the foam

3 inch (8 cms) piece of smoked cod’s roe

2 fl oz (60 mls) cream

2 fl oz (60 mls) milk

1 tsp lecithin granules

1/2 tsp xantham gum

In a blender, combine the ingredients and blend to a sturdy foam.

For the Madeira truffle sauce

2  tbsp unsalted butter

1  tbsp shallots, finely chopped

½ cup (125 mls) Madeira

1 cup (250 mls) demiglace ( or highly reduced veal or beef stock)

½ tsp cornflour dissolved in 1 tbsp water

Salt and black pepper seasoning

1  large black truffle, finely chopped

1  tbsp Cognac

In a skillet, soften the shallots in the butter for about two minutes then deglaze with the Madeira. Reduce the liquid by about 2/3 then add the demiglace, cornflour and seasoning. Add the truffles and Cognac to the boiling liquid and simmer for a minute. Serve quickly.

Plating the food

Cut the duck breast into cubes. Lay out some jus and add the cut breast. Using a syrynge, add the cod’s roe foam and Madeira truffle sauce. I have used softened peach pieces as garnish. I have also used sautéed caper berries.

Guinea fowl with sloe gin and juniper berry cream with pears


Posting this recipe on the first day of Autumn was irresistible. A most autumnal dish in every way. Autumn brings game and wild berries to our plates. I have constructed this dish with flavours that I feel are most welcome and. in a way. rather spiritual at this time of year. The sloe gin, juniper berries and cream work extremely well together, the dish being further enhanced by the guinea fowl infusion into the sauce. This dish serves 2 or 3 people.


1 guinea fowl cut into 8 pieces, carefully separating the breast meat from the bone. Wash away the blood stains from the bones.

2 oz (60 gms) unsalted butter

3 cloves of garlic, core removed and crushed

3.5 oz (100 mls) sloe gin

3.5 oz (100 mls) madeira

20 dried juniper berries

2 pears peeled, cored and each cut into 8 pieces

4 cups (1L) chicken stock

1/2 cup (150 mls) double cream

Peeled baby carrots, chard and blackberries to garnish


In a large pot, sauté all the guinea fowl pieces and bones in the butter until they turn golden brown. Carefully transfer the pieces and bones to a warm plate. Add the crushed garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds. Deglaze the pan with the gin and add the juniper berries. As the liquid in the pan begins to sizzle add the madeira and reduce again until the liquid in pan begins to sizzle. Add the pear pieces and sauté them until they turn golden brown. Transfer the pears to a warm plate. Transfer all the guinea fowl pieces except for the boned breasts back to the pan. Deglaze with the chicken stock and bring the pan to a simmer and cover. After 20 mins add the breasts and simmer for a further 15 minutes. Uncover the pan and remove the bones from the broth. Remove the legs, wings and breast pieces and transfer them to a warmed plate. Raise the heat and reduce the broth by about a half. Add the cream and reduce again until the broth is rich a creamy. To plate the dish, add the carrots and pears and layer the breast pieces or legs. Spoon on the thickened broth and include some juniper berries. Garnish the dish with chard leaves and fresh blackberries.





Beef sukiyaki, fried tofu and Japanese glass noodles with shiitakes

10Wafer thin slices of beef heaven. Sukiyaki is a definite favourite of mine traditionally served as a winter hotpot dish. I have interpreted it here as a small taster course. The key is to choose a nicely marbled beef. I have chosen rib eye. Fine slices are available pre-prepared in oriental supermarkets. To achieve that fine cut, place the meat in the freezer for 2 hours and, using a very sharp chef’s knife, carve the meet against the grain into wafer-thin slices while the meat is semi-frozen and maintains its shape.

1/2 cup (125 mls) mirin

1/2 cup (125 mls) sake

1/3 cup (85 mls) soy sauce

1/4 cup (70 mls) sugar

20 thin slices rib eye beef (see above)

5 spring onions, cut into small lengths

6 Shiitake mushrooms, stalks removed and sliced

A handful of Japanese glass noodles

A handful of fresh bean sprouts

5 inch (10 cms) section of cucumber, julienned or cut into spaghetti using a mandolin

Fresh tofu cut into 3 inch (7-8 cms) lengths

1 tbsp vegetable oil

sesame seeds, sesame oil and chive garnish

Warm the mirin, sake, soy sauce and sugar in a pot until simmering point. Add the beef, spring onions and mushroom slices. As the beef turns brown, add the noodles. In the meantime, carefully sauté the tofu slices in the oil in a separate frying pan until browned on each side. Arrange the dish by draining and layering the beef slices in the centre of the dish. Add the fried tofu. Drain and arrange the noodles, cucumber spaghetti, bean sprouts and mushrooms. Add a small amount of sesame oil to the noodle combination and sprinkle sesame seeds. Add chives as an optional garnish









Truffled clams on Japanese cucumber pickles



It came as a surprise to me how beautifully truffle oil enhances the flavour of clams. Feel free to use razor clams instead. The combination with the pickled cucumber gives the dish the quality of being a Japanese amuse bouche.

For the pickled cucumber

2  Japanese cucumbers or English cucumber
3 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup (80 mls)  rice vinegar
2 tbsp sugar
Further pinch of salt
2 tbsp sesame seeds

Slice the cumber into moderately thin roundels. Place them into a bowl and stir in the salt. Leave the cumbers for about 30 minutes then rinse and drain them. Place them in a bowl then add the rest of the ingredients. Place them into a lidded container and leave to pickle for a few days.


For the clams

Sauté the clams in butter for about 30 seconds then place the clams in a small ramekin. Add a teaspoon of truffle oil and gently coat the clams by stirring gently

Completing the dish

Place a bed of diced pickled cucumber into a small receptacle such as a Chinese spoon. Carefully place some clams on the top.


Tomato powder

Tomato powder

Tomato powder is essentially flavourless but can add a beautiful garnish to food.

Preheat an oven to about 230F/110C. Carefully place 6 tomatoes in a bowl of boiling water for 15 seconds then drain and place them into ice cold water to prevent them from cooking. The skins will be easy to peel. Place the skins onto a baking sheet that has been covered in baking parchment. Bake the skins in the oven for 40 minutes and remove them from the oven. Allow to cool for about 30 minutes then place the skins in a coffee grinder, pulsing them until they form a fine powder.


Langoustine risotto with sautéed nashi pear


Creamy, buttery langoustine infused risotto – just so delicious. I am fortunate to have nashi pears growing in my garden. They are crisp and sweet and available for much of the year in Asian/Oriental supermarkets or grocers. My nashis do not compare to the superb specimens available in Korean market stalls but have served this dish well. Nashi pears have the outward appearance of apples as can be seen in the picture below. For added effect I have garnished the dish with a cherry tomato rose, tomato powder and leaves from the nashi pear tree. This recipe feeds four people as a main course.
























Langoustines are a huge favourite of mine. They go beautifully with risotto. They also look simply irresistible on the fishmonger’s stall…and dare I say it…rather friendly!

Langoustine pals














For the langoustine stock

5 tbsp unsalted butter

1 onion chopped

Shells fro 12 langoustines, flesh carefully extracted and retained

18 oz (500 gms) baby clams

3 1/2 pints (2 litres) fish stock or water

In a large pan, sauté the onions in the butter for about 2 minutes. Add the langoustine shells and stir them into the butter and onions until they become pale. Add the clams then stir for another minute. Add the stock /water and simmer for about 30 minutes skimming off impurities. Strain the stock into a container.


For the risotto

5 tbsp unsalted butter

4/5 cup (200 mls) carnaroli rice

150 ml white wine

Prepared fish stock /water

4 tbsp mascarpone cheese

Sauté the rice in the butter in a medium size pan for about a minute. Add the wine then stir the rice for another minute. Slowly ladle the strained langoustine stock stirring the rice continuously so that its starch infuses into the risotto. Keep stirring and ladling in more stock until the rice reaches the perfect consistency, that is just soft enough to chew easily. Add the mascarpone cheese and stir it into the risotto.

Completing the dish

A knob of unsalted butter

Nashi pears, peeled and cut into cubes

Langoustine flesh

Sauté the nashi cubes in the butter for 30 seconds for each of the six surfaces. Set aside. Sauté the langoustine flesh in butter in the same pan until they are just cooked with a soft golden-red colour. Plate out the rice, nashis and langoustines and add the garnishes