Musings of a disordered but endlessly enthusiastic kind. Wine, food, art, gardening, France, Italy and home again giggerty gig.
Friday, 17 July 2009
The Plum of Life - Sweeter the Older it Grows
It’s been a strange week. Swine flu is sweeping London, sadly with more fatalities than expected, which puts in mind questions of life and death, making the most of what one has, maybe even daring to think of precious times one can lose. It’s also been a week for looking back, I fear I might be the last person on earth to discover Friends Reunited and in doing so, and at last being reunited, I feel some things never change, for instance, I seem to still be bucking authority, will I never grow up, and do I really want to? Tonight we consoled ourselves with fine wine and dining, fiddling as Paris burns perhaps (coincidently, Dan ‘s combo is called Nero, I must suggest this as an upcoming album title!).
This recipe uses everything fresh and seasonal from the garden.
Duck Legs with Drunken Plums Tablespoon of olive oil 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar 4 large duck legs 2 ounces of speck /pancetta 2 tablespoons of minced herbs : rosemary, sage, thyme and winter savory if available. 2 teaspoons of herb salt (homemade mix of celery seed, lovage seed and fennel seed ground in a little salt is good) 12 new shallots 2 small new leeks 12 large juicy plums 1 bay leaf 2 cups of Prosecco or dry wine wine 1 shot of Brandy or Grappa 1 cup of chicken stock
Marinade the skinned and de-tendoned (is that a word?) legs in a mix of oil, vinegar, herbs and herb salt for a day. Fry speck, shallots, and leeks carefully not to brown too much, followed by the drained and dried legs. Remove and keep warm. Deglaze with the strained marinade, brandy and wine. Add chicken stock and return duck and vegetables to the pot adding plums. Cook in very slow oven for two to three hours. Enjoy (while you still can!) with Barolo or a nice Barbera D'Asti and a side of podded baby broad beans. Wishing you all good health in these infectious times. Above plum 'Early Rivers' photo taken two or three weeks ago. Early Rivers (Rivers' Early Prolific) is a small, deep purple skinned plum with a golden-yellow coloured flesh. It has a very rich flavour, and can be used for both eating and cooking, making an excellent flavoured jam. The plum can be a little sharp early in the season, but as it becomes very ripe it becomes very sweet. Raised in Sawbridgeworth, first introduced in 1830