A few month ago I discovered my very favorite restaurant in Newcastle had released its own cookbook, A Passion for Real Food. Split into seasonal chapters it really helps you make use of what the British weather breeds. Like most of my cookbooks, this one sat on my shelf, unused for a good while (I'm very easily distracted) until I bagged myself a bargain from my local Waitrose, two free range duck breasts for £2! Not one to let a find like that slip through my fingers I snapped them up, along with some plums and chillies and set on my merry way home. Unfortunately I overcooked the duck a little, it wasn't as pink as I'd have liked but it was still delicious. The sweet plums complimented the duck breast perfectly while there was a subtle heat from the chillies strewn through the noodles.
Egg Noodles - enough for two
One chilli, de-seeded
A small handful of fresh coriander
Two duck breasts with the skin scored down to the flesh in a diamond shape
Four basil leaves, shredded
Two plums, each cut into four
One tablespoon of dark soy sauce
One inch of ginger, grated
A wine glass of chicken stock
Pre-heat the oven to 220C. In a large pan of boiling water, blanch the noodles as per their instructions, drain in a sieve and refresh under running cold water. Allow to drain.
Blend the chilli and coriander with a touch of olive oil, enough to make a loose paste. (I used a pestle and mortar) Combine with the noodles.
Heat an oven proof sauté pan and fry the duck breasts, skin side down, on a medium to high heat for around 3 minutes. No need for oil as the duck has more than enough fat. Turn the breasts over and place the pan in the oven for ten minutes. Remove from oven, cover the pan and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
Whilst the duck is in the oven, heat a second medium pan and gently sauté the plums and ginger in a touch of olive oil for a few minutes. Then add the soy sauce and reduce by half.
Once the duck is rested, re-heat the noodles, spoon the into the centre of the warm plates and place the duck on top. Mix the basil into the plum sauce, taste and adjust the seasoning and spoon over the duck and noodles.
If you ever find yourself in Newcastle, I thoroughly recommend eating at Oldfields. Reasonably priced, locally sourced food with super friendly service. Only today a girlfriend and I had a long chat about tattoos with the very sweet waiter, not only that but we each had a three course lunch for £12.95. That's for both of us, you catch my drift! Go go go!