Birthdays to me generally mean food, and theres nothing I like more than cooking (duh).
I anticipated a very special birthday meal last month by planning ahead with a very special menu:
Starter: Scallops with apple and pistachio dressing
Main: breast of duck with raspberry sauce
The bulk of time was spent prepping the ingredients. To start I had a whole duck to dissect. It’s amazing what you can get out of a whole duck! I portioned it courtesy of YouTube’s assistance:
The breast I set aside for the birthday main, I also took off the legs, seasoned everything apart from the breasts and put it in the oven to roast – that was one week day dinner along with pancakes, cucumber and hoisin sauce, not to mention the duck fat I have waiting to grace Sunday roast potatoes.
To prep the sauce for the scallops I had to soften the apples with cinnamon, cloves and star anise, add pistachios, then blend everything and put through a sieve. That was one part of the sauce. The other part of the sauce required pistachios, extra virgin olive oil, again blended. Sauces done. I then had to warm a mixture of red wine vinegar, a few saffron strands and some honey, fry the scallops for 2 mins on each side, then dip one side of each scallop in the honey before serving with each of my dressings.
The duck was a pretty straight forward feat. Fried for 4 mins on each side (then added a little extra time for preference) I left them to rest, then added balsamic vinegar to the pan, the juice of one orange and the raspberries.
Note: at this point I was running over a bit time-wise so I decided not to pass my raspberry sauce through a sieve – school boy error, do you know how many little seeds are in raspberries? If one must cut time, it would have been better to have not passed the apple mixture through a sieve as the consistency wasn’t marginally different.
Nevertheless, I’d say both dishes came out as expected. I served the main with my famous heavenly light mashed potato, and greens (of course!) The flavour was perfect, we were both so full after eating – no space for dessert. Now here is the finished result and recipes should you want to try them.
Actual recipe taken from this issue
of Stylist Magazine
by Gino D’Acampo
(I skipped the roast veg part)
I had the pleasure of attending a 30th birthday meal and after-party for a very good childhood friend of mine.
If you haven’t had the opportunity to visit Gilgamesh you really should make it a priority as it really is beautiful. Glass, dark wood, fresh, bright, vibrant and classic are the things that spring to mind when thinking of this restaurant. It’s a hidden gem in Camden and if you didn’t know what type of restaurant it was you wouldn’t hard pressed to gather a very different impression of what to expect based on its location.
The food genre is pan-Asian. Well presented and perfect.