Gressingham duck & noodle stir fry

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Whilst you're reading this, I'm (hopefully) sunbathing on a tropical paradise beach as part of my honeymoon. This is my first attempt at a scheduled post.. lets hope its worked! Will be back in a few days from now with lots of tales about the delicious food I've eaten whilst away (again.. I hope!). 

This is a recipe I found inside a pack of Gressingham Duck Mini Fillets. Its also available on the Gressingham Duck website. I was going to make stirfry anyway and decided spur of the moment to follow this recipe with just the addition of some broccoli. The finished result was very tasty, marinading the duck first really made a difference. I wouldn't usually add stock to the pan either and again, I thought it worked well and will do it again.

 
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Review: Manor House at Quorn

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Last night we decided to go down to The Manor House in Quorn. I worked there at for a while back in the early 2000's during my uni holidays. Its a great place with great fresh, locally sourced food and a nice atmosphere. We went straight to our table on arrival and I ordered a glass of 'The Ned' a Malborough Sauvignon Blanc. It was really punchy wine, not for the faint hearted but that's how I like it!


Fillet of seabass, white wine & ricard braised fennel & sautéed new potatoes  £14.50


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Moving house and packing up!

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We're moving house on Saturday incidentally, we're getting married the following Friday, throw in a new job and I think we're all set for 2 weeks of intense stress! I'll possibly have to rename this blog 'Grey Bites'.

I always think anything can be achieved as long as you're ORGANISED. Fortunately, I have more than a little of Monica in me (its a 'Friends' reference for those who don't know) so, I'm all about the organisation. Because we have a lot going on at the moment with the wedding etc.. the packing started early and now, with 3 sleeps to go, we are pretty much finished.

2 pieces of advice - label your boxes by room and contents and invest in decent quality boxes. We've got archive boxes for books, kitchen stuff, DVDs, CDs and other small items - they are solid and have lids. Much better than odd boxes from all over the place, bashed up and held together with brown tape!

Archive boxes.. the way forward
Try these links:
Viking Direct Archive Boxes
Rajapack Recycled Archive Boxes 

When it came to packing up the kitchen I asked myself a number of questions:

What am I going to cook for the rest of the week?
Once I have a meal plan clear in my mind, I can pack ahead of time. Aim to use up anything in the freezer as this will need to be defrosted the day before the move.

What do I want to get rid of?
This is a great time to go through those cupboards and throw anything you won't use or is out of date away! Highlights for me have been tinned summer fruits with a BBE of Oct 2010 and some apple sauce in the back of the fridge which was actually brown.. hmmmm

Do I want all my pots and pans? 
As with lots of people my age, since leaving uni I've been collecting odd pots, pans, mugs, plates etc... As a late 20-something lady, I'm reaching the point in my life when I want nice quality stuff so this is the perfect opportunity to have a look and decide what to keep and what to chuck. Do I really need 18 mismatching mugs and a motley collection of side plates? No! I've now packed the stuff I want to keep and we're using the rejects - on moving day they'll just go in the bin.

As you will know from previous posts - I'll be getting married to the lovely Dave in 9 days. I'm very excited about going shopping after the wedding and buying lots of lovely new kitchen accessories from John Lewis! I already have my eye on a few bits and pieces ... Watch this space!

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Mums Amazing Chilli

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Here it is, the recipe for my mums chilli - arguably the best of all 'mum chilli's' around the country. Remember those days as a child, going to your friends houses for tea and being served up watery brown mince with a hint of heat? Well don't be that mum - use this recipe!! :-)

Bowl of chilli con carne and rice

Chilli is so simple and easy to make, plus, you don't have to be strict on timings, I find that the longer it simmers away on a low heat, the better it tastes.

Beef Chilli ingredients

Ingredients, serves 2 -3
  • Beef mince - (I used ground steak mince for a better texture but any will do)
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Tinned tomatoes
  • Tomato Puree
  • Red chilli diced 
  • 2 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 1 onion diced finely
  • Tinned Kidney Beans
  • 1 Green pepper cut into chunks 
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • Beef oxo cube   
Method:
    Fry the onion and garlic for a few minutes over a medium heat until softened. 
  • Add a bay leaf and sprinkle a tsp of smoked paprika over the mixture and stir in. 
  • Add the minced beef and fry for around 5 minutes until the beef is starting to brown. Crumble an oxo cube over the beef and stir in. 
  • Add the green pepper chunks and chilli at this stage. I prefer to add the chilli later than the onions and garlic as I think it retains its heat and flavour. 
  • Add a tin of tomatoes and break them up in the pan. Allow to simmer for around 10 mins and then stir in the tomato puree. 
  • Leave to simmer on a very low heat for 15 mins - actually, the longer you leave it, the better the flavour.
  • Shortly before serving, add the drained Kidney Beans - they just need to soften slightly and warm through. 
  • Serve with rice and if you have it, a dollop of soured cream. 
Beef mince frying with onions
Stirring with one of my African salad tongs.. nothing like a giraffe to perk up your stirring!
Beef chilli con carne with rice
The finished thing.. soooo good!
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