Apologies for my failing at posting – I spent the last few weeks lost in Asia. Burma to be precise. Correction – Myanmar as they now call it (which is actually disliked by most locals). WOW, what a beautifully, diverse and extremely interesting place. A country with over 130 ethnic groups, multiple different climates, unique landscapes, thousands of pagodas (I am completely “pagoda’d” out by this point, I might even start having nightmares about them…), welcoming people, Buddha!, and so much more. Definitely worth a visit. Of course I ended the trip, like every trip to south east Asia, on a high in Bangkok – also a city worth visiting if you have not yet made it to that corner of the world. The sunset and nighttime views from the various sky bars are priceless.
However, after all this dining on asian food, I started craving a hearty homey dish. Honestly, I never thought I’d need a break from asian food, how wrong I was. So, after having arrived safely on Swiss soil, I decided to satisfy my craving asap. And this is the result. Delish – craving successfully satisfied.
Duck Breast with a Cassis – Thyme Sauce, Homemade Spätzli, Sprouts, Cinnamon Poached Apples and Cranberries
3 Duck breasts
For the Spätzli
0.75 tsp salt
For the Brusselsprouts
500g Brusselsprouts, trimmed
For the Poached Apples
2 Apples, peeled and cored and horizontally halved
1 cinnamon stick
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
For the Cassis Sauce
50ml Creme de Cassis
1 shallot, diced
a few thyme sprigs, leaves only
red wine vinegar
3-5 tbsp cassis jam
200ml vegetable stock
salt and pepper to taste
- Read the recipe before starting as you have lots of things ahead of you to make at the same time – STRESS!!
- For the spätzli: Mix together the flour and salt in a bowl. Add the water and milk and combine. In a small cup, quickly whisk the eggs before adding to your flour mixture. Once added to your flour mixture, beat until air bubbles form. Set aside to rest for 30 minutes. Prepare a large pot with salt water.
- For the apples: place the apples, cinnamon, sugar and lemon juice in a large pan. Cover with water. Cook on medium heat until poached to your liking. Keep warm until serving.
- Meanwhile, for your duck breasts: cut off any excess skin fat. Score the skin diagonally and season with some salt. Preheat the oven to 220C fan. Heat a frying pan, place the duck breasts skin side down and fry until golden, turn to seal, remove from the pan and place in an oven dish. Place in the oven for 8-10 minutes until cooked to your liking. Let the duck breasts rest before serving.
- You can make the brussels sprouts while you make the apples. Heat a large pot of water with some salt. Once boiling, add the sprouts for 4 minutes. Drain. Now heat a frying pan with a generous helping of butter. Once melted, add your sprout, turn the heat down, cover with a lid, and cook until just soft (to get rid of the bitterness). Keep warm until serving.
- For the sauce (sadly this was a Jamie Oliver style cooking session….I didn’t really measure my ingredients, you’ll have to just play around yourself): using the frying pan you used for the duck, heat a bit of butter and oil and fry the shallots. Once softened, add some red wine vinegar, the thyme leaves, stock, creme de cassis and cassis jam and reduce. Taste. Season. Add more of whichever ingredient until you have a sauce that satisfies your taste buds.
- For the spätzli: once the dough has rested for 30 minutes, heat your pot of water until boiling. Place your spätzli maker over the top and pour the dough in portion wise. The spätzli will be done once the float at the surface of your water. You can always add more milk if you feel the dough is too solid.
- And finally, serve everything you have created! For serving, slice the duck breasts into pieces, divide equally among the plates and drizzle with the cassis sauce. Fill the core of the apples either with your cassis sauce or with some ready made cranberry sauce. Add some spätzli and brussels sprouts to each plate and bon appetit.
I honestly wouldn’t complain if this were served in a restaurant, but maybe that’s just because my craving for western food creates a bias….