Perfect Roast Potatoes

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Potatoes and I have had a love hate relationship. I find that you never know what you are going to get. They are unreliable man! However, I discovered these guys at woolies the other day. Due to my fear of  bad, waxy potatoes I have not really ventured into buying other types. When I saw these at Woolies, I decided to take a risk and try them. They were described as “floury” potatoes, which is what I wanted for my roast potatoes.  I realise that I may be being pretty blonde, everyone on the planet apart from me has probably tried this type of potato. But I tell you, I will never turn back!

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– Peel and chop some red skin potatoes into wedges. Put the wedges in a pot of COLD water with a tsp of salt and bring it  up to the boil.  Boil them until a fork easily goes through them. About 15 minutes.

– Drain them in a colander and let them dry out. Give them a shake in the colander to agitate them a bit.

– So here’s the secret ingredient ( a great tip from Gordon Ramsay)  – sprinkle some Semolina Flour on them and shake them around a bit more.

– Heat some sunflower oil on a baking tray in a hot oven (190C) for a few minutes, take the baking tray out and carefully put your wedges on the tray with a good sprinkle of salt.

– Roast for about 15 minutes, turn them over and roast for a further 15 minutes, or until beautifully golden.

* The Semolina trick is brilliant and really crisps up the outside of the roast potato, and to my delight, the red skins indeed had a gorgeous fluffy centre. Perfection!!

Photos courtesy of google.com

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Tips for cooking Duck Breasts

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One of my friends recently told me that she is intimidated by Duck. I was a bit too at first and a Gordon Ramsay recipe helped me through my fears and I’m so glad because its really not as intimidating as it seems. Here are a few tips that might be helpful:

– You can freeze duck breasts but just make sure that they are thawed slowly and are completely defrosted before you cook them

– Score the duck breasts by using your sharpest knife and running it through the fatty skin, careful to not cut too far down to the the flesh

– don’t use olive oil in the pan. When the fat starts to render, a LOT comes out and you don’t need any additional fat!

– Normally meat should be added to a hot pan and sizzle the moment it goes in. Duck breast however, should be added to a cold pan and slowly brought up to temperature. This is because the breast skin is very fatty and needs time for the fat to run out into the pan, or render. If you added the breast to a hot pan it will seal in the fat.

– Once the fat has rendered for about 10 – 15 minutes, turn up the heat and fry for about 5 minutes . To make it beautifully crispy, you can weigh it down. Find a smaller lid of another pot and place it on top of the breasts and then weigh it down with a pestle and mortar bowl placed on top of that lid. I know it sounds crazy but it works like a bomb! If you don’t have a pestle and mortar, use your imagination and find anything else that could weigh down the lid.

– Turn the breast over and fry the other side for 1 – 2 minutes until cooked through.

Duck is pretty easy to cook. Try it once! You will wonder why you were worried about it 🙂