Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Duck with Cherry Rhubarb Chutney and a Figgy Tart to end

I'm sensing a trend here with individual tarts. There's something I truly love about individual little servings. I tend to fall in love with an idea, a theme or a genre and then horsewhip it until it's out of my system for a while.

Our Tuesday picnic dinner was rained out by a thunderstorm, which at least lifted the hot humid conditions to something more suited to a morning game of tennis, but it meant that I had to think of something quickly for dinner in place of the cheese and baguette I'd planned. I've been wanting to try this recipe, adapted from one on Frenchfood, ever since I bought some fat, juicy looking Organic Duck breasts from the Healthy Butcher on Queen. It's also nearing the end of Cherry season here, and I needed to make use of those gorgeous, almost black berries while they are still available. Plus, I still had a bunch of garden rhubarb in the fridge from the Farmer's market last week.

I'm afraid I didn't get a picture of the duck, though it was delicious. We just ate it up too quickly! We're trying to make the most of the long daylight hours and wanted to get out to the park to throw ball before it was too late. Hmmm. It's lovely being able to spend so much time outside.

Cherry and Rhubarb Chutney

makes enough for 4 - 6 people

1/4 sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp minced ginger
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
pinch Cayenne pepper, or one small red chili minced
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 cups rhubarb, chopped to 1cm pieces
2 cups black cherries, pitted (tart yellow cherries work well too)
1 medium brown onion, halved and sliced

- combine all ingredients except rhubarb, cherries and onion in a heavy based saucepan and heat gently, stirring to melt sugar.

- add fresh ingredients and bring to a simmer. Cook about 15 mins until rhubarb is soft and mixture is thick. Allow to cool a few mins before eating.

- serve with grilled duck breast. Yum

French Fig Tarts

makes 6

Pate Brisee (I used the whole wheat one from the Asparagus tart, but added a pinch of sugar and a pinch of cardamon before adding the chilled water)

6 - 8 black Mission figs, cut into 8 wedges each
1/3 cup ground almond
1 egg
1/3 cup sugar
60 ml unsalted butter

- Set oven to 425˚F

- line tart tins with pastry, refrigerate 10 mins, bake blind for ± 10 mins, let cool

- beat almond, egg, sugar and butter until smooth. Refrigerate 10 mins until firm

- divide Almond butter between shells

- arrange figs on top of butter

- bake 25 - 30 mins