June 12, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — ros @ 5:21 pm

It’s been a bad week. A week that involved three take-aways. I am hanging my head in shame. :(

It wasn’t all my fault. Goon had coursework due in on Thursday and stayed up all night on Wednesday  to finish it. Running two companies and  having a day job while doing a degree isn’t easy. On the same day, I had to do a lot of teaching then I had to (quickly write) and present a seminar for some other PhD students. It’s not easy working one job and doing a PhD either. So both of us were totally knackered out by the evening. We just had to resort to chinese take-away. Goon fell asleep so quickly that the chinese ended up being his breakfast.

Over the next two nights, Goon had some geeks friends visiting. I was going to cook until I heard the list of non-acceptable foods. This included peas :roll: , potatoes :shock:  and pasta :cry: , so I threw my hands up in the air and gave up. 

It’s interesting how, even if it doesn’t hit your waistline immediately, a spell on a diet like that can really make you feel rubbish. On Sunday, i was feeling totally lethargic and I put this down to the bad eating.  To compensate, I thought I’d so something tasty  but I needed to use the duck legs that were sitting in the fridge.  I came up with this.

duck, pearl barley and spinach with a vegetable and lentil sauce.

Here we have two duck legs (they were on offer at Sainsburys, four for £3.29 \o/) which were slow-roasted on a bed of carrots, celery and leeks with garlic and rosemary. One the duck had cooked, the vegetables were stirred into a sauce made from puy lentils cooked with minced onion and garlic in red wine and vegetable stock. I served all this with pearl barley, tossed in herbs and some wilted fresh spinach flavoured with nutmeg. I admit I did add a touch of cream to the spinach, but only a touch. 

On the next day, I really did feel more like myself. The best bit about this meal was that it tasted so wonderfully wholesome. That’s the great thing about this rustic, homely cooking. You can feel it doing you good as you eat it and yet it’s really, really tasty, especially after three consecutive days of fat and stodge. I find lentils addictive, I even get random cravings for them sometimes. And, as for the duck legs, they were roasted long and slow so all the fat came off and we had melt-in the-mouth-meat and perfectly crisp skin. Hooray for ducks. :D

The next night, I followed suit with a chicken-liver and bulgar wheat pilaf.  

bulgar wheat and chicken liver pilaf 

Not the most exciting thing to look at, I know, but another meal like these should sort us out completely, and then it will be time for mashed potato! :D


  1. Don’t know how you managed lentils on the weekend! We were going to do something with pork, parma ham and lentils and decided it was too hot!

    Comment by Alex — June 12, 2007 @ 6:15 pm

  2. True, this dish is on the wintery side for June. It had actually cooled down quite a bit here on Sunday night when we ate this. Also, I can eat lentils whatever the weather. I adore them!

    Comment by ros — June 12, 2007 @ 6:35 pm

  3. I’m drooling over my keyboard at that duck dish.

    Comment by Julia — June 12, 2007 @ 8:09 pm

  4. No shame in takeaways - i had a lamb dhansaak on sunday and it hit the spot perfectly!

    I’ve never cooked with puy lentils or pearl barley, so i’m going to give your recipe idea a go :-)

    Comment by Schmoofaloof — June 13, 2007 @ 11:43 am

  5. Lentils… pearl barley… Mmmmm! And your duck looks incredible. I like the chicken liver pilaf idea as well, even though as you say it’s not the most photogenic ;-)

    Comment by Jeanne — June 15, 2007 @ 1:21 pm

  6. That all looks so delicious–particularly the duck!

    Comment by sher — June 16, 2007 @ 7:30 am

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