Greek-style slow roast lamb rack

greek-style slow roast lamb rack served with roast potatoes and radish and fennel salad

Market ingredient: Forequarter lamb racks
Difficulty: Pop in the oven and just leave it!
Deliciousness: Juicy and tasty
Did The Beard like it? He was in lamb heaven

This winter, slow-cooking has become my favourite method of cooking. In the cold weather, there is nothing more comforting than the smell of a stew or roast filling the house. Flavours develop intensely and slow cooking also allows you to tenderise slightly cheaper (albeit often tastier) cuts of meat. I love lamb for this type of cooking. I’ve already expressed my love for a lamb tagine, but a slow-roast lamb is incredible. Choose a shoulder or forequarter rack; they’re tougher and therefore need the long time to cook, but I can guarantee the flavour will be fantastico.

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Goat cheese-stuffed zucchini flowers

stuffed zucchini flowers on a plateMarket ingredient: Zucchini flowers
Difficulty: Easy peasy lemon squeezy
Deliciousness: Good for a first crack
Did The Beard like it? Nom nom

This week’s ingredient comes pre-selected, in that I’ve seen these guys down at the markets every week and consistently say to myself, “I really must try those”. Zucchini flowers, in my mind, are the realm of restaurants and not really your standard cook-at-home fare. It had always seemed too hard; a why-would-I-bother dish. I was pleasantly surprised to find a nice little recipe two-pager came with my zucchini flower purchase and lo-and-behold, with a number of them seeming quite simple. After picking up some ricotta and goats cheese and some sage from our very own garden, I was ready to rumble.

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Blood orange & fennel salad

Blood orange and fennel salad

Market ingredient: Blood Oranges from Block 11 Organics
Difficulty: Simpletown
Deliciousness: Clean and crisp
Did The Beard like it? I don’t know if I would have liked it as a stand alone entree, but it makes for a perfect side.

Oranges are a fruit that I tend to forget just how much I enjoy and during Winter you are lucky enough to be able to find juicey, sweet blood oranges. Called so because of their crimson flesh, I believe they are quite popular in the southern mediterranean regions of Italy & Spain. I actually think they are stunning visually. I love the look of the pinky flesh of the cut orange and they look amazing scattered through salads.

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Cardamom & honey-glazed duck with root vegetables

Cardamom and honey glazed duck

Market ingredient: Duck from Pepe’s Ducks
Difficulty: Medium
Deliciousness: It was ok
Did The Beard like it? The jury is still out.

The purpose of this blog has always been to push me to cook things that I wouldn’t normally cook, whether it be an ingredient or a recipe. More often than not, I’m finding that the dishes on this blog are recipes that I’ve not cooked before, as opposed to ingredients. However this week was to the contrary. Duck is one of those meats that I’ve never cooked and wouldn’t have the foggiest what to do with. I might order it – maybe – at a restaurant, but I definitely don’t keep duck in the fridge to just whip out as a mid-week dish. However, whilst strolling around the markets this week, The Beard was rambling on about some dish that his boss, RR, had cooked using duck. Somewhat inspired by this (that’s right, RR, inspired), it seemed like the perfect week for this gamey bird.

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