Tag Archives: featured

Crispy Duck Breast Salad

I cooked this crispy duck breast salad for our 12th anniversary dinner. Our anniversary dinner was a day late because we both forgot our anniversary, until the end of the day when I remembered. I, of course, played the “I was just waiting to see if you’d remember” card… but Dwayne saw through it!

Crispy Duck Salad
Crispy Duck Salad
Crispy Skin Duck Salad - this one I made for Hellen and Phil for their anniversary.
Crispy Skin Duck Salad – this one I made for Hellen and Phil for their anniversary.

What I had aboard… duck breast, cabbage, carrot, chilli, star anise, cinnamon sticks, chicken stock, ginger, garlic, peppercorns and soy.

What I did…

I made a master stock of :

  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup dark soy
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 cm ginger, sliced
  • 2 garlic, crushed
  • 6 peppercorns

I mixed all the stock ingredients together and marinated the two duck breasts for 12 hours.  Then I removed the duck and put the marinade into a pot and brought it to the boil. I simmered this stock for 10 minutes before adding the duck breast. I then added the duck and simmered for a further 5 minutes. I removed the duck breasts (reserve the stock) and dried them on a paper towel and sat them before a fan to dry.

Crispy Duck Salad

In the mean time I made a salad of shredded cabbage, carrots and julienne chillies.

To serve I placed the salad on plates and set them aside. I heated oil in a fry pan and fried the duck for a few minutes on the underside before turning it over and frying the duck breast, skin side down, until crispy. Once crispy, I sat the duck aside for a few minutes while I heated the reserved stock, reducing it. I sliced the duck and placed it on the salad and ladled  some of the reduced master stock over the salad.

Crispy Duck Breast
Crispy Duck Breast
The salad to go with this duck was made with apple and carrot.
The salad to go with this duck was made with apple and carrot.

Bon appetite!

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Crispy Duck Breast Salad

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Beef Rendang

One of our favourites, which we ate in abundance while cruising through Indonesia, is the beef rendang. Rendang is a spicy meat dish which originated from the Minangkabau ethnic group of Indonesia. [wikipedia] This dry style of curry is sometimes called caramelised beef curry because of the ‘reduction’ style of cooking.

Beef Rendang with coconut milk, chilli and kaffir lime leaves

Prior to refrigeration technology, this style of cooking enabled preservation of large amounts of meat. When the Minangkabau farmers killed a cow for a special occasion it was often turned into Rendang. Rendang provided a way to make the beef last for weeks in Indonesia’s hot tropical climate. For rendang the meat is cooked for hours with coconut milk and a paste of mixed ground spices, which includes ginger, galangal, turmeric, lemongrass, garlic, shallot and chilli. This paste has antimicrobial properties and serves as natural organic preservatives. 

For my rendang you will need the following ingredients….

2 small brown onions, chopped
8 asian shallots, chopped
10 cloves of garlic, chopped
2cm piece turmeric, chopped
1 tsp salt
15 dried long red chillies, soaked in boiling water until soft, drained
1 tsp ground coriander
2-3 tablespoons oil
1kg beef, cubed
5cm piece of galangal,
grated 2 sticks of lemongrass, (soft white only), finely chopped
2 sticks lemongrass (white only), smashed with the flat side of a knife
8 lime leaves
500ml coconut milk

Cooking rendang is a simple but lengthy process. My instructions are as follows…

Place the onions, shallots, garlic, turmeric, salt, chillies and coriander into a blender (or mortal & pestle) and process until smooth. Set aside the spice paste.

Grinding the spice mix for the Beef Rendang

Heat the oil in a pan and brown the beef in batches. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the galangal, lemongrass and lime leaves to the pan and fry for a minute in oil, remove and add to the beef.

On medium-low heat fry the spice paste for a few minutes, then add the beef and the galangal, lemon grass and lime leaves and the coconut milk. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 2 – 4 hours.

It is ready once the curry sauce has reduced and the oil is separating from the rest of the curry. Serve with steamed rice and enjoy the taste of Indonesia. This rendang is delicious ‘if I do say so myself’!

Beef Rendang - the oil separating from the curry.
Beef Rendang – the oil separating from the curry.

 

Purple Dragon

This dragon fruit cocktail was made for sundowners one afternoon as we sat at anchor in Telaga, Langkawi. Having just returned from duty-free shopping (they have the cheapest alcohol), I decided to make cocktails using the tropical fruit I had handy ,and a few of the many differing alcoholic beverages we bought!

Purple Dragon Cocktail!, vodka, tequilla, dragon fruit, cointreau, lime

Anyhow, this is what I did to make two cocktails….

Ingredients

2 shots vodka
2 shots tequila
2 shots cointreau
1 dragonfruit
Juice of one lime
Lime slices for garnish
Ice

In a blender I blended the flesh of a peeled red dragon fruit with ice, vodka, tequila, cointreau and the juice of one lime, and garnished with sliced lime.

Delicious!

 

Crayfish Salad with Thai-Style Dressing

While anchored in Darwin Harbour, with supermarkets nearby, I decided to do a romantic dinner for Dwayne. For entree I made crayfish salad using a crayfish we caught in the Great Barrier Reef. It is very simple but looks great!

CRAYFISH SALAD WITH THAI-STYLE DRESSING

This is what I did…

I made a salad dressing by mixing

3 Tbs of coconut cream
2 Tbs lime juice
1 Tbs soy sauce
2 tsp fish sauce
2 tsp brown sugar

I refrigerated until I was ready to use it.

I prepared a small packet of vermicelli noodles by soaking them in boiling water. I drained them well and mixed some of the salad dressing through them. I refrigerated the noodles until I was ready to make my salad stacks.

I shredded carrot, lettuce and snow peas, then chopped some  coriander and sliced some tomato.

CRAYFISH SALAD WITH THAI-STYLE DRESSING

I stacked the vegetables firmly into a mould, beginning with the noodles and topping it off with the tomato and coriander.

CRAYFISH SALAD WITH THAI-STYLE DRESSING

I removed the stack mould.

CRAYFISH SALAD WITH THAI-STYLE DRESSING

I then topped the salad with crayfish and salad dressing. Voila! Simple, colourful and delicious.

CRAYFISH SALAD WITH THAI-STYLE DRESSING
Crayfish Salad with Thai Style Dressing

Pickled Octopus Salad with Lime Aioli

Restocking the boat with fresh fruit and veg is always a challenge. What fruit and veg will stay the freshest the longest?… that sort of thing. While at Mooloolaba we went to the supermarket and, surrounded by fresh fruit and vegetables, I went a little crazy. Forgetting I only have a small fridge on the boat I bought lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, fennel bulbs, chillies, zuchinni, capsicum, carrots, swede, and more. Of course when I got it all back to the boat there was no way I was going to fit it all in my fridge. Some of it was able to go into the bilge with the potatoes and onions, (i.e. swede and carrots), but others such as the lettuce and cucumbers needed to go into the fridge.

Anyway that dilemma led to me deciding to have a salad for lunch. My next dilemma was how to serve a salad to Dwayne for lunch without him thinking I am trying to starve him to death! After a search through the fridge I discovered we still had some pickled octopus left. (The occy we caught in Fame Cove).

Pickled Octopus
Pickled Octopus

So this is what I did…

I made a simple salad of lettuce leaves, sliced cucumber, chopped tomato, sliced red onion, thinly sliced fennel bulb and sliced green chilli. I arranged the salad on a platter and topped it with sliced pickled octopus. I wasn’t sure how to dress this salad. What would go with the pickle flavour of the octopus? I decided to do a simple aioli of whole egg mayo and lime juice. I used bottled lime which I always have on hand on the boat. I mixed quite a lot of lime with the mayo to make a thin dressing, which I drizzled over the salad.

Pickled Octopus Salad with Lime Aioli
Pickled Octopus Salad with Lime Aioli

It worked really well. We thought the flavours complemented each other. Dwayne loved it and because it had something other than just veggies i.e. the occy, he didn’t accuse me of feeding him diet food!

Marlin Skewers on Green Pea Mash

We just had lunch and I had to share it with you guys. This was just so yummy!

P1020442

I barbequed skewers of marlin, mushroom, cherry tomatoes and red onion. I served these with a green pea mash. Simple…. all I did was sauté a clove of garlic and half an onion with olive oil, then I added frozen peas and a 1/4 cup of chicken stock, cooked it for 5 minutes then pureed it.  Al la Marlin Skewers on Green Pea Mash. Yum!

P1020447