Travelling doesn’t enrich just children’s lives but also opens your mind to understanding different cultures. Many of the people I know, see travelling as something supposed to make you relax and give you comfort and rest.
Of course, there are such trips but what I aim to have with my family is the kind of travelling that’s making us a little bit tired and fills us with energy at the same time. And I say tired because there is so much to learn from travelling. From history, geography, biology, psychology to how to dress, what to eat and even learning a new language. I’ve read today about a Swedish study that demonstrates learning a new language increases the size of your brain. And the list of benefits you get when travelling is long indeed.
Let’s stop at the eating bit.
What’s on the menu today?
Because I know many of us struggle with the question: ” What should I cook today?” I promise to try posting more in this section.
Today I used my magic wand and transformed a somewhat posh dish into a family meal. It’s about cooking duck breast fillets. I know it’s often seen together with a sweet sauce like plum, cherry or orange sauce. It’s not bad at all but children usually don’t like this kind of combination. Do they?!
So, how about duck breast with homemade fries and cornmeal bread? Maybe add some pickles too. Well, let’s start!
Prepare the meat…
All you have to do is to make sure you remove the fatty skin and put some nice spices on your meat. Make sure you don’t pierce the actual meat as it will lose all the juices and flavours when cooking. Spices can be just salt and black pepper. I’ve used them both plus thyme and paprika. Weird mix, isn’t it? I can’t help it… too many influences from everywhere I’ve been plus a Romanian heart beating so hard that the Latin blood is coming through.
If the meat is frozen make sure you defrost it first. It really makes the difference. If you want it to be tender, put the meat in the cold frying pan, no need to preheat. Reason being that the meat starts releasing fat slowly and gradually. Make sure you don’t add any other oil or fats. Cook the fillets until the skin is golden and crispy, this shouldn’t take more than 7-9 min.
Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 180°C and place the fillets inside for another 5-7 min depending on how you prefer it, medium/rare or well done. You might want to keep the fat left in the pan for your roasted potatoes.
Making your own chips will beat any famous brand ones.
Fries, everyone knows how to peel potatoes. Cut them as you wish, any shape will do. We like the Maris Piper potatoes but the Red ones are really good too.
Mămăligă – yummy
Now, cornmeal bread or how we call it “mămăligă”. Or, even Italians love it and they call it ” polenta “. Let’s make it clear… the recipe for “mămăligă” is not just for Romanians.
And there are no ready meals or a ready-made version of it. You must make it yourself. So, make sure you got some corn flour in your house, if not you can find it in any big store that has an international food section. Attention, it’s not the corn flour you use to thicken up soups and sauces but a proper cornmeal flour. It should be the one with larger particles, don’t try with the fine ground one as it won’t work.
If you decide you want to try it but the sides don’t sound that good to your family… Don’t panic! Just add your personal touch. Use your imagination as it works easily with rice, mashed potatoes, and steamed vegetables, grilled mushrooms, red wine sauce and list goes on.
I wish you “Bon appétit!” as the French say and see you soon!