Duck and pork terrine

_MG_3302Well, it has been a while, hasn’t it! I would like to tell you about all the productive things that I have been doing, but I have to admit that mostly I have just been eating, drinking, lying on the couch watching the cricket and tennis – and swimming. So much swimming. I love summer.

But enough about that. Its high time I told you of some of my culinary adventures – starting with a delicious duck and pork terrine.

This was a contribution to the Christmas feast at both Pete’s and my family Christmas celebrations. So I decided to make two terrines. I have now realised that terrines are incredibly rich and so one terrine divided between the two families will be fine in future. You may remember that last Christmas I made a pork, apricot and pistachio terrine (see here) which was delicious. I have been told by multiple sources that this year’s was even better.

Terrines are a bit time consuming to make, but totally worth it. The recipe below is courtesy of BBC good food. Enjoy!

What you need…

  • 2 duck breasts skin removed and reserved
  • 200g thinly sliced prosciutto
  • 1kg pork shoulder, cubed
  • 2 slices bread, crusts removed
  • 100ml milk
  • 3 shallots, roughly chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • 200g ducks livers, roughly chopped
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 12 coriander seeds
  • 2 cloves
  • good pinch ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp brandy
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 25g shelled pistachios
  • 50g dried cranberries

The how to…

1) Heat your oven to 160 degrees. Put your duck breasts and skins in a baking tray and cook for approximately 20 minutes. The skins will shrivel up during the cooking process and should be thrown out after the baking (they are placed in the pan to help add a bit of fat to the cooking process). Pour the excess fat into a glass jar to cool and chop the duck into small pieces._MG_3257

2) Keep half of the prosciutto aside and cut the rest into small pieces.

3) Put the bacon, pork and duck in a food processor and blitz until coarse in texture and then set aside._MG_3259

4) Soak the bread in the milk for 5 minutes, then squeeze out the excess milk and process with the shallots, garlic and trimmed livers. Then add to the pork/duck mixture._MG_3263

5) In a mortar and pestle grind together the herbs and peppers, then stir in the cinnamon. Once well mixed, add to the pork/duck mixture with 4 x tablespoons of the fat, the brandy, eggs and 2 x teaspoon of salt. At this point it is best to mix it together with your hands – although it is quite messy and a little gross!_MG_3265

6) Line a bread tin with the prosciutto then press half the mixture into the pan. Evenly spread the pistachios and cranberries over the terrine and then cover with the rest of the mixture. Lastly, top with the remaining prosciutto, making sure the terrine is well covered and the ends are tucked in._MG_3266 _MG_3270

7) Cover your terrine in foil and put the tin into a roasting tin. Make a water bath by pouring boiling water into the roasting tin (around the bread tin) – the water should come about halfway up the sides. Bake for 2 hours, remove the foil and then bake for a further 15 mins to brown the top.

8) At this point you should leave the terrine to cool, then place in the fridge for a couple of days to mature (this helps the flavours become totally delicious!).

9) Cut into thick slices and serve with parsley, crusty bread and cornichons._MG_3297

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Market 7 December

Hey peeps,

What are you doing on the 7th December 2013? Coming to the Christmas Made ‘n’ Thornbury market did you say??

Excellent. I will see you there as I am participating in my 2nd market ever.

You will find us at Leinster Grove (see the flyer attached).

I will have bibs, taggie toys, necklaces. mobiles and recycled timber height charts for sale.

Come and say hi!


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Making yoghurt

_MG_2966After I made my ricotta cheese (see here) a colleague from work suggested that I try making my own yoghurt. A number of people had previously suggested this to me but I must admit I was nervous. A) I have eaten a lot of ordinary yoghurt in the past and I didn’t want a repeat of that. B) I didn’t want to poison us!

Anyway, a little research revealed that it is actually super easy to make your own yoghurt, especially as we own an Easi-yo so we have a ready made thermos to keep it warm overnight.

I did make a rookie error – in my haste to purchase some nice yoghurt to make my first batch from I accidentally bought some sheeps milk yoghurt. Even so, our first batch was surprisingly delicious.

In fact, making yoghurt is so easy I am currently making a batch while I type this!

What you need…

  • 1 litre of milk
  • 3 tablespoons of yoghurt (you can use a previous homemade batch but all the advice I read online said that you need to buy commercially again after 6-7 batches)
  • a heavy based pan
  • a thermometer
  • a thermos or something to keep your pan at about 40 degrees for at least 5 hours.

The how to…

  1. Pour your milk into your heavy-based pan and heat to 80 degrees – stirring every now and then so that nothing sticks to the bottom of your pan._MG_2951 _MG_2952
  2. Leave your milk to cool to about 45 degrees – some people put their milk in an ice-bath for this stage but I just left it to cool and it worked just fine.
  3. Remove 3/4 of a cup of milk and stir in the 3 tablespoons of yoghurt until smooth._MG_2958
  4. Add the milk/yoghurt mixture back into your milk and stir thoroughly.
  5. At this point you need to keep your milk warm for at least 5 hours. I added hot water to my thermos and filled a plastic container with the milk which I then put in the warm water bath. I have heard of other people wrapping their pan in a hot wheat bag and a number of towels. I have also heard that some people have an oven which can be as low as 4o degrees and they keep their yoghurt there (mine does not go this low).
  6. Leave your yoghurt to culture overnight (or at least 5 hours)._MG_2963
  7. Serve with fruit, muesli, honey or with some cucumber and mint on the side of a spicy dish!_MG_2989


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New kids shorts for summer time

Summer is here.

Is it too early to say that? With this gorgeous (albeit a little windy) weather these past few days, I realised that Mae has no summer shorts.

Luckily, I had a couple of hours spare this afternoon and so I made a couple of pairs and they are TOO cute!

I used the Fuddie Duddies pattern again (see here). However, given Mae’s tiny hips and skinny legs I altered the pattern a little. I made them shorter and slimmer down the leg. I also made the 6-12 month size and they seem to fit. Boy is she a little one!

What do you think? Mae LOVES the chickens. She wanted to wear them to bed!


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