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Spicing up potatoes with Arun kapil

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Crisp Five Spice Duck, Rösti
Radicchio, Watercress, Orange and Ginger Salad

. Duck
. 2 x 360g/12½oz large duck breasts should be from the French Canard gras
. Green Saffron Duck spices - 1tsp orange zest, 2tsp star anise ground, 1 tsp powdered ginger, 1 tsp allspice, ½ tsp cloves and 1tsp black pepper

Rösti potatoes

. 2 medium to large baking potatoes, peeled (dependant on the size of the rosti/s you make)
. fine sea salt, black pepper to taste
. ½ tsp Green Saffron Duck spices per 400g of drained grated potato
. 2 sprigs thyme, leaves only
. garlic clove
. oil, for frying


1. Trim the duck breasts of excess fat.
2. Then rub generously with 2 tsps of GS Poultry Rub on each breast. This can be covered and kept in the fridge for 12 -24 hours, before turning over gently to remove excess spice
3. In a cold/cool pan place duck breast fat side down, turn heat to med high don't touch the meat leave for 6-9 mins so the fat is very crisp the pan will now contain a lot of fat which has been rendered from the duck turn the breast over just to seal not to colour.
4. Place the breasts on a thin aluminuim baking tray skin side up in a preheated 200 degree oven for 5mins remove cover lightly to allow the juices to collect and the meat to rest

Grate coarsely the peeled potato, place potato in the centre of a clean tea towel draw up and ring out very firmly and tightly so you remove all the water and starch moisture
2. Put back into a large bowl season loosen with a large fork season generously with ½ tsp of Green Saffron Duck spices per 400g of drained potato, the picked thyme leaves, fine sea salt and black pepper
3. NB: You can make the rostis in rings, a blini pan, or even a larger pan for a wonderful sharing rosti
4. Rub the pan you will be using with garlic clove, then add oil heat to med (don't overheat the oil/pan as the rosti will need 20-25mins dependant on the thickness of your rosti) add an even amount of potato into each pan gently press down don't crush (you don't want them to be solid)
5. Cook for 6-8mins then turnover with a spatula and continue to fry for another 6-8mins - then put in oven at 200 degrees or Gas mark 6 for 8-10 minutes so light, golden brown and crisp.
6. Remove from the pan, place on absorbent paper keep warm, but it's best serve straight from the pan!

Serve immediately
Here's a suggestion: Place a little a few salad leaves; radicchio, watercress and orange segments in a light dressing on the plate in a neat, small pile. Cut the duck breasts on an angle and serve on top of the rosti and across a little of the plate, drizzle with a little of the pan juices and serve.delicious!

Gratin Dauphinoise

. Potatoes 1kg Roosters or Maris Piper, ideally evenly sized
. full-fat milk 50-100ml
. cream 300ml or a 284ml carton is fine
. garlic clove1 peeled and crushed to a fine pulp
. Green Saffron Quatre Epices½ tsp, a blend of mace, nutmeg, white pepper, ginger and cassia in equal proportions
. salt & black pepper to taste
. knob butter for greasing
. Gruyere or Aged Comte optional - 25g, freshly, very finely grated (a microplane is best for this). Any cheese is fine, just chose your favourite if you'd prefer

Peel the potatoes, then slice them really thin (ideally 4-3mm thick on a mandolin so they are all evenly thick). Then put them aside in a bowl of cold water for later use.
2. In a straight sided, large thick-bottomed saucepan add the milk, cream, the GS Quatre Epice mix and garlic. Bring to a gentle simmer with the lid off and allow reduce by about 25% so it's a glossy consistency and coats the back of a spoon well, (if it gets too thick, just add a little more milk).
3. Season with salt and black pepper so as it tastes just a little over salted. Don't worry...the potatoes will absorb the salt rectifying the salt content of the cream, making for better flavour!
4. Then, strain the potatoes well from the bowl of cold water and pat dry to make sure they are not too wet.
5. Add them to the cream mix. The potatoes should just be covered by the creamy mixture
6. Bring up to a simmer, then cover with a baking paper cover / cartouche with a little hole in the centre so the steam escapes
7. Cook for 15mins or until the potatoes are only just soft, then check the seasoning.
8. Now, butter a medium sized, ovenproof casserole dish.
9. Next, gently remove the potatoes with a slotted large spoon and carefully place them into the buttered casserole dish - try make sure that you get an equal amount of potato and cream. The cream should just cover the sliced potatoes.
10. Gently press the potatoes down so it will cook evenly
11. Sprinkle with the finely grated cheese of your choice and pop into a hotish oven, 200-220 or gas mark 7, until golden brown and bubbling.

Serve immediately
Enjoy with a pork chop, a winter stew, perhaps cold cuts, grilled sausages or rump steak balanced with a wonderful salad of several bitter-leaves, such as watercress, dandelion, chicory or frisee.

Alternative suggestions
You can use individual gratin dishes for a less rustic style of presentation. Also, this dish can be done in advance; simply, add the potatoes to the creamy mixture, allow to cool then cover with cling and refrigerate. When ready, just grate on the cheese (if using) and pop in the oven