February 2, 2010
As someone who really loves food (what, didn’t you realise?), most of the time I refuse to compromise what I eat just because I’m cooking for one. So, it was with a certain amount of glee that I read an article in last Sunday’s Observer Food Monthly magazine about what famous foodies eat when they’re alone. It was reassuring to see that I’m not the only one to spend an inordinate amount of time preparing, cooking and eating good food on my own.
A perfect example of the pleasure I take in cooking and eating on my own is the neat little wild duck I bought at Shellseekers in Borough Market, last Saturday. Being wild, it was quite small compared to the farmed ducks you generally find, and I had every intention of scoffing the lot myself.
However, it wasn’t to be. My friend Lene unexpectedly invited herself over for dinner on Monday night, so I decided to be a good friend and share my duck with her!
As I was at home on Sunday, I thought I’d get ahead of the game and cook the duck then, so all I would have to do on Monday evening, when I got home from work, was reheat the dish. So, once again, I turned to my bulging folder of cut-out recipes, and found this Nigel Slater one for slow-cooked duck with ginger and star anise.
Inevitably, there were a couple of ingredients I didn’t have – the rice wine and the palm sugar. So I replaced them with rice wine vinegar and honey. Plus, instead of cutting the duck into pieces before going into the pot, because it was so small, I just cooked it whole and carved it up once cooked.
This is the first time I’ve knowingly eaten wild duck, and it really did taste wonderful – full-flavoured, succulent and, crucially, not too fatty. Just watch out for the lead shot!