Donal Skehan's what to eat now: Recipes and top tips
Recipes, restaurant recommendations and more hidden gems from Donal's Little Black Book.
Warm Duck, pomegranate & Mint salad
The combination of rich duck meat, a salty dressing, the sweet tang and texture of pomegranate seeds and the hit of freshness from the orange, mint and coriander make this salad particularly special. This is a super winter salad and wonderfully aromatic.
You will need
2 duck breasts
1 large orange
4 spring onions, finely sliced
2 large handfuls of winter salad leaves
A good handful of fresh mint leaves
A good handful of fresh coriander leaves
1 pomegranate, halved
For the dressing:
1tbsp dark soy sauce
1tbsp rice wine
1tsp of sesame oil
1 small thumb-sized piece of ginger, finely minced
Place the duck on a chopping board and score the skin with a sharp knife, season with sea salt. Place a frying pan over a medium heat. Place the duck skin side down and cook for about 8 minutes, until the skin is crispy. Tilt the pan towards you and remove the fat with a spoon. Turn the breast and cook for another 4 minutes. Remove to a chopping board, cover with tin foil and leave to rest. Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing. Zest the orange and add to the dressing. Using a sharp knife, cut the top and bottom off the orange and carefully slice the peel off. Cut out the segments and set aside. Squeeze any remaining juice into the dressing. Mix all the ingredients for the salad with the dressing in a bowl and place on a plate. Top with orange segments and slices of duck. Hold the pomegranate cut side down and bash the skin with a wooden spoon to add the seeds to the dish. Serve warm.
Food in focus
I love photography as much as food. While I normally shoot my food photography with a Canon 5D MIII, I have been on the lookout for a smaller camera. I was traveling in Vietnam recently and I took the Panasonic Lumix GM5 with me. It’s a compact camera which is incredibly powerful and offers stunning HD video quality. Even with removable lenses it still fit in my pocket, making it perfect for traveling. For bloggers and anyone starting out with an interest in food photography it might just be the perfect Christmas present.
Little black book
Pat Lalor’s organic Irish porridge oats have made a name for themselves across the world — selling in as far flung places as New York, Singapore and the Middle East. Not content with filling the bowls of the world with some of the best porridge Ireland has to offer, Pat has been using his knowledge of fine Irish oats to create a range of delicious rich buttery oat cookies. Using a family recipe handed down through five generations, Pat’s wife Lily has perfected it and the delicious cookies are now sold throughout Ireland in selected food stores.
The new series of Junior MasterChef, with myself and John Torode, has just ended on CBBC but older viewers will be glad to hear there will be a repeat of the entire series on BBC2 every Saturday morning at 9am, starting today. You can catch up on our search for the best young cooks out there and I guarantee you will be impressed with the skills of some of the youngsters who entered!