So foodie penpals is back for January and I’m so glad it is! I’ve really got into the scheme now and had great fun this month both putting together and receiving my box. It really is like Christmas morning receiving your box and ripping it open to see what deliciousness is inside. This month I received a box from Pippa who unfortunately doesn’t have a blog for me to link to. Pippa is lucky enough to work close to Borough market in London and she filled my box with delicious goodies she’d sauced there. This is what I got this month:
Macaroons – I love macaroons, and these babies didn’t make it past my lunch hour at work. Pippa choose a pistachio one and an earl grey one which was unusual but definitely my favourite. So crisp and delicious.
Italian Hard Cheese – I’m not sure on the name of the cheese but it has a lovely delicate flavour and the texture of a gruyere. I made some Imam Bayilidi (stuffed aubergine) at the weekend and the cheese topped it off beautifully! It has a great melting consistency so I’m thinking the rest of it might be perfect in a macaroni cheese!
Tyrells Chilli Rice Crackers – These were so delicious and moreish, I could literally have eaten a huge bag of these! They have a real kick to them but they are crispy, moreish and utterly yummy!
Peal and Raspberry Juice Drink – I love a good juice, this was a seriously good one. Pear was definitely the predominate flavour but the hint of raspberry came through enough to lift it a little. Yum!
Italian Salami – I’ve yet to try this yet as I’m saving it to use in something I haven’t thought of yet. Possibly the mac and cheese I’m saving the rest of the cheese for. Or maybe a cheeky toasted cheese sandwich or two.
Chocolate Truffles – Pippa couldn’t remember what flavours she had chosen but non of them made It out of the office so no matter what flavour they were they were delicious!
Garlic Sea Salt – I’ve not tried this yet but a good sea salt is something I really believe creates amazing flavour so I’m excited to start using it 🙂
Lime and Elderflower Hot Drink Mix – I’m very much a coffee drinker so fruit drinks aren’t something I would traditionally go for. I did enjoy a cup though after walking home on a particularly cold night after work and although I don’t think anything fruity could replace my beloved coffee I enjoyed this for a change!
So that was my January box – this month I was sending a parcel to Tracy over at It’s Not Easy being Greedy which is a blog I’ve been following for a while! She was a great person to send to, so enthusiastic and friendly and I loved putting her parcel together. You can check out what I sent her here. Foodie penpals is a great scheme so if you’d like to join up check it out at This is Rock Salt.
So for this weeks recipe I choose this passion fruit and whisky sauce which is soooo perfect with pan fried duck breast! It has literally nothing to do with foodie pen pals but I couldn’t resist sharing it! It’s a bit of a strange one. It’s not a sauce you would eat on it’s own as it has a really intense flavour but put it with duck and it seriously sings, as well as making the duck taste more intensely meaty!
Duck is J’s favourite meat so I’m always looking for new ideas to do with it. When I saw this recipe I couldn’t resist the unusual pairing, we both love passion fruit and whisky is an ingredient I’ve come to embrace in cooking. I love it’s subtle flavour after the alcohol has been burned off and it combines beautifully with the sweetness of the maple syrup.
This recipe does involve flambéing the whisky – Don’t be scared of it, just go for it! It’s fun, honestly 🙂 It does help if you have one of those long lighter things though! I’ve only included the recipe for the sauce here – if you want to know my method for pan frying duck check it out here. It’s a method I’ve found works perfectly for perfect pink duck and crispy skin for me every time, so if you’ve not tried it before give it a go!
Passion Fruit and Whisky Sauce:
2 Passion Fruit
40ml Maple Syrup
5g Black Treacle
Half Star Anise
1tsp Corn Flour
Half the passion fruit and add the pulp to a small pan. Bring to a boil over a medium heat then add the whisky. I find the easiest way to flambé it is to set fire to it with a long nosed lighter. Gently shake to pan until the flames die down on their own which means the alcohol has burned off.
Add the maple syrup and black treacle and bring to a simmer. Mix the corn flour and water together to form a runny paste and stir this into the sauce. Keep simmering until the mixture has thickened to a consistency that with coat the back of a spoon.
Pour over your perfectly pink duck and enjoy!