Sunday, 11 January 2009


I think canapes are utterly underrated. A variety of savories such as these could make up a whole meal. These are crispy squares of polenta, with sauteed broccoli rabe (my favorite vegetable), grated parmiggiano topped with freshly smoked scallops. Worked very nicely because just the right combination of crisp and toothsome and chewy. And just a few bites in each.

It was the starter to a meal that got a bit out of hand, not in terms of taste, but in time spent in the kitchen. It was worth it. A whole wheat and flax seed bread, a roasted veg medley of parsnips, yellow beets, fennel and shallots. And a bizarre chicken experiment that tasted utterly luscious, but didn't quite look as I wanted it yet. Basically it was two chickens skinned, then completely boned, the meat seasoned and rewrapped in the skins so it looks like one chicken, but is solid and boneless. It was really bizarre cutting through actually. Oh, and the bones were made into a nice stock. It's the solution for how to get everything out a chicken at once. The only problem thus far is without bones it has no internal structure to keep it chicken shaped. So it looked like a flattened chicken. With 4 wings!

Then to top it off our friends brought 9, yes 9, ducks. Tiny little things. Which I hacked Chinese style across the breast with the bone in, into 3 or 4 pieces, and threw on the fire, a few others into a pot to see what would happen. Actually I think they all over cooked a bit. Tought and a little livery. But I have two left. If anyone has experience cooking a teeny wild duck, please let me know. I'm assuming it really should be very rare, but I've never cooked wild ducks before.

A lovely apple pie to end. Whole wheat pastry flour crust, green pippins with cranberries and walnuts. It was fab. And now I'm exhausted.

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