I have mentioned Mr Greedy Frog in a previous post (this one), but I haven’t told you yet that 16 months ago, Mr Greedy Frog and me had a Little Greedy Tadpole.
Today, I had to leave work early to pick her up from nursery because she had been ill (she is now fine). This gave me a chance to have a nice stroll to the shop, with Little Greedy Tadpole in her pushchair, and buy some fresh ingredients for dinner.
This is a rare treat for a Thursday, as like most working mums, I only normally have time for food shopping at the weekend, and have to rely heavily on my freezer through the week.
I had no idea what I felt like cooking or eating, but I knew it would have to be quick to prepare (a sick toddler doesn’t leave you a lot of time to cook), and also convey a bit of a sense of occasion (it was a sunny Thursday and I was not at work).
When I saw a pack of Gressingham Duck breast strips, I knew that it was what I wanted. Quick and easy to cook, but a bit fancier than the average mid-week meal.
I already had some Maris Piper potatoes at home, all I needed now was a sweet note.
It wasn’t easy to choose between all the lovely, juicy summer fruit available at the greengrocer’s, but I eventually settled on some gorgeous nectarines.
In this recipe, the potatoes are pan-roasted rather than oven-roasted, the way my mother makes them, and her mother before her. It produces crispy, golden potatoes in record time, and doesn’t require using the oven on a hot August evening…
You will need: (for 2 people)
350 g potatoes (any kind suitable for roasting)
Olive oil (or duck fat)
200 g Gressingham Duck mini fillets
1 firm nectarine
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Chopped parsley, to serve
Peel the potatoes, cut into rough cubes, about 1.5 cm wide. Rinse well in cold water, drain, then tip onto a clean tea towel and dry thoroughly.
Heat up a deep cast iron roasting pan on a medium heat, add enough oil or duck fat to generously cover the bottom.
When hot, add the potatoes (be careful if you are using duck fat as it can get rather volcanic when hot). Give the pan a quick shake to distribute the potatoes evenly, then every 5 min or so, stir the potatoes to make sure they don’t stick. They should cook in about 20 to 25 min.
Meanwhile, prepare the nectarine. Wash it thoroughly then cut it in half, pit it, and cut each half into four.
About 10 min before the potatoes are due to be ready, heat up a non-stick frying pan.
Add the nectarine segments on one side of the pan, and drizzle with the maple syrup. Add the duck to the other side of the pan. Leave to cook for about 3 min, then turn over the duck strips and nectarine. Season with salt flakes and pepper.
Leave for another 3 min, then remove the duck and reserve under some foil. Turn the heat off under the frying pan, and drizzle the vinegar over the fruit, then turn to coat.
Sprinkle some salt flakes and parsley over the potatoes before putting them onto the serving plates. Add the duck and nectarine segments. Pour a little bit of hot water into the frying pan to make a quick glaze, and spoon onto the duck.