Cooking From: Duck & Pineapple Tacos (Delicious Magazine)

Is it cheating, using a magazine as part of this cookery book series? Probably, but this recipe was too good not to share! We recently switched from subscribing to BBC GoodFood to Delicious magazine, and I have to say I’m really glad we did. We’d been unimpressed with GoodFood for a few months, finding the recipes a bit repetitive and predictable – and the ones we did try often didn’t work out so well. Since switching we’ve constantly found many recipes each month we’d like to make, and all of them have worked. Several of them have even been recooked, which is high, high praise in our house!

This is one such recipe. We’ve been loving Mexican flavours lately, whether it’s complex layers of flavour from authentic Pork Pibil Tacos, to cheats Fish Tacos made with Fish Fingers. These Duck Tacos are equally as good.

The duck legs are slow roasted in a mix of pineapple and chipotle, before being shredded and piled into tacos with a creamy yet spicy dressing. They are then topped with a tangy, fresh salsa of pineapple, red onion and chilli. It’s sweet, it’s hot, there’s crunch, there’s softness. The combination of flavours and textures in this dish is insanely good, and far superior than the effort required to put it together. I can imagine this would make a great informal supper party dish!

We’ve edited the recipe slightly, adding a little onion to the duck to (1) bulk it out a little and (2) had an additional level of flavour. We’ve simplified the creamy dressing, as we don’t tend to have mayonnaise on hand. We’ve added garlic, because why not. Oh, and whilst we usually leave out the avocado from the original I can imagine it would be delicious with it. And finally, we’ve used pre-prepared pineapple. Yes it’s more expensive, but it reduced the risk of me slicing my hand off, and I also tend to get sore hands if I handle the fruit. You can, of course, use a small pineapple here instead!

Recipe (serves 2, easily scaled up)

  • 1 duck leg
  • 1 white onion, sliced
  • 1 medium pack of prepared pineapple, 2/3 for the duck and 1/3 for the salsa
  • 75ml tequila or pisco
  • 75ml chicken stock
  • 2 tsp chipotle paste
  • Pinch of dried chilli flakes
  • For the salsa – 1 red onion, 1 red chilli, bunch fresh coriander (all three should be chopped) and 1/2 lime (zest and juice, serve with the remaining half)
  • For the chipotle sauce – 4 tbsp soured cream and 1 tsp chipotle paste
  • 4 soft tortillas, to serve

Heat a casserole dish over a medium heat, then add the duck legs (skin side down) and fry for 5 minutes until brown. Add the onion slices and fry briefly until softened. Blitz two-thirds of the pineapple in a blender (I used my mini-chopper) with the tequila, stock, chipotle paste, chilli flakes and salt/pepper to make a smooth sauce, then add to the duck. Put in the oven and cook at 160C for around 2 hours. Once done, shred the duck meat and add back to the sauce (discarding any bones and non-crisp skin).

For the pineapple salsa, finely dice the leftover pineapple and put in a bowl with the chopped red onion, lime zest, chillies and coriander. Add the juice of ½ lime, season and set aside. To make the chipotle sauce, mix together the soured cream and chipotle paste.

To serve, warm the tortillas (I use either a microwave or dry frying pan). Serve everything in small bowls, and assemble your tacos with the sauce, duck and salsa. Squeeze over a little extra lime before serving. Yum!

Are you a fan of Mexican food? Have you read Delicious magazine?

Recipe: Fish Finger Tacos

Confession time – I love me a fish finger sandwich. Yes, I might be a food blogger, a food snob, a lover of fine dining (both out in restaurants and in my own home), but something about a slice of white bread (pre-sliced is best here, I reserve this stuff for fish finger sandwiches and crisp sandwiches only), lightly buttered, topped with blisteringly hot and crispy fish fingers with a splash of malt vinegar is a wonderful thing.

I also love adding salt’n’vinegar crisps to a fish finger sandwich too – my favourite study day lunch right there!

However, this is a slightly posher version of the fish finger sandwich. A soft tortilla wrap (I prefer corn ones), creamy yet spicy chipotle soured cream, a zingy slaw and pink pickled onions, wrapped around a couple of fish fingers. You can go all out and use the best ‘fish goujans’ you can find, but here I’ve used Young’s (not a sponsored post, just my preferred brand) and they worked perfectly.

The vinegar used to pickle the onions keeps it tasting like the fish finger sandwich I know and love, the slaw adds veggies and crunch, and the soured cream adds both spice and a bit of moisture. You could also stir the soured cream in to make a creamier slaw, but I’ve kept them separate.

The best thing? If you’ve got the onions in the fridge (they keep for a good month, just don’t tightly seal the lid) this can be whipped up in around 15 minutes. It’s the perfect midweek dinner!

Recipe (for two, leftover slaw is great on jacket potatoes)

  • For the onions – 2 red onions (sliced), 100ml cider vinegar, 100ml water, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 Scotch Bonnet chilli (finely chopped)
  • 4 tortillas
  • 8 fish fingers
  • 1/2 small pot of soured cream (about 4-5 tbsp)
  • 1 tsp chipotle paste
  • 1/3 of a red cabbage, finely sliced
  • 1 salad onion, finely sliced
  • 2 medium carrots, spiralized (or use a vegetable peeled)
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime, plus lime wedges to serve if you like
  • Coriander

To make the pink pickled onions, pop the sliced onion in a sieve and slowly pour over a kettle of boiling water, followed by rinsing under the cold tap. Transfer to a glass jar, add the rest of the ingredients and stir well. Store in the fridge for up to a month, though they are best eaten within a week. You’ll need to let them rest for 2-4 hours before eating or they’ll be too crunchy and ‘oniony.’

For the tacos, simply cook your fish fingers according to the packet. Toss your sliced cabbage, spring onion and carrot with the zest and juice of a lime, stir through some chopped coriander and taste for seasoning. Stir together the soured cream and chipotle paste, and warm your tortillas briefly (either in a microwave or in a dry frying pan).

Once everything is ready you can build your tacos – I like a layer of soured cream, followed by a pile of slaw, then fish fingers topped with the pink pickled onions. Add a squeeze of lime – and that’s a wrap!

This is the perfect quick and easy dinner, but it’s also so tasty. It really hits the spot and I can imagine it being a staple in the summer when it’s too hot to be in the kitchen for long. Delicious!

Are you a fan of a fish finger sandwich?

Recipes: A Mexican Feast ft. Pork Pibil, Refried Beans, Pickled Pink Onions & Homemade Tortilla Wraps

I LOVEEEEE Mexican flavours. From my first taste of fajitas as a child (admittedly more Tex-Mex, I’m pickier about my Mexican flavours now) I was hooked. I love the spice, the textures, the zinginess the contrast of temperatures when cool sour cream meets piping hot fillings.

 photo Mexican Feast_zps6yfoqj8k.jpgIt’s not quite so enjoyable now my tomato allergy has made an appearance – one of the things I miss most is a fresh, zingy salsa and crunchy chips. However I still make sure to satisfy my craving as much as possible. Frijoles (refried beans) are something I can eat by the bucketful. Spicy slow-cooked meat, piled up high with pickled onions, is pure comfort food. Combine them all in a homemade tortilla wrap and you’ve got a winner!
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Pork Pibil (Spicy Mexican Pulled Pork, based on Wahaca’s recipe)

Warning, this one stains white things like nothing else I’ve encountered before. It took a lot of cleaning to get it off my dining room table. I had to have my nails painted constantly as they took on an orange hue…These quantities make a LOT. At least enough to feed 8-10, but it freezes so, so well. It’s also a long process taking 3 days, so you might as well make lots.

Whizz up the marinade. Dry fry 1 teaspoon of allspice berries, 3 teaspoons of cumin seeds, 1/4 teaspoon of cloves, and 1 teaspoon of peppercorns before whizzing to a powder in a food processor. Add 75g of achiote chilli paste (we found ours in Wholefoods), 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar, 1 onion, 5 cloves of garlic and 2 tablespoons of olive oil and pulse. Add in some herbs (I used the roots of a bunch of coriander and a dried bay leaf) and the juice of 4 oranges and combined to make a paste. Season with plenty of salt, before using to coat 2.5kg of pork. You want the pork in 3-4 large pieces, basically broken up so it fits in your casserole dish.

The next day, add 25g of butter to the casserole dish with the pork, and scatter over 2 red chillis. Cover tightly with a lid and roast for 4-5 hours at 120C. Allow to cool before shredding and popping back in the fridge. The next day skim any excess fat from the sauce. Reheat the pork in an oven (around 180C for 15 minutes will get you some delicious chewy bits on the edges) and serve with all your favourite Mexican bits and pieces.
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Pink Pickled Onions

Again, this makes more than 1 meals worth. It keeps well in the fridge for up to 1 month, and it’s excellent served with cheese on toast…

Cover two thinly sliced red onions with boiling water, leave for 10 seconds and then drain (this takes away the harsh raw onion taste). Squeeze over the juice of 1 lime, and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar and 1 chopped red chilli. Stir well, then add to a glass jar. Leave for at least 30 minutes, or preferably overnight. Perfect with Pork Pibil!

Frijoles (Re-fried Beans, originally taken from Wahaca’s recipe but adapted to my taste)

These are my perfect comfort food. Rich and creamy, satisfying, full of flavour and served with crunchy tortilla chips. So, so good, and here they make a perfect base for the Pibil. I won’t lie though, I generally eat these on their own, by the spoonful…

The day before you want to eat, soak 250g dried black beans in plenty of water. Start a couple of hours before bedtime, changing the water before you kip down for the night. The next day, drain and add to a large pan with plenty of fresh water with 1/2 head of garlic (peeled), 5 bay leaves, and 1 large onion (roughly chopped). Simmer until the bean are soft, around 2 hours, before adding plenty of salt and simmering for another 30 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, remove a ladelful of beans, and blitz the remaining mix with a hand-blender.

Finely chop another onion and fry in 75g of lard with 1/2 teaspoon of cumin until soft. Tip in the puree and the reserved beans and fry gently. I like to add a single square of very dark chocolate too. Serve with soured cream and some crumbled feta – and plenty of tortilla chips!
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Homemade Tortilla Wraps (adapted from James Morton’s recipe)

Regular readers will know by now that James is basically my bread God, and his book my bread bible. Not one of his recipes has failed me, and this one is no exception. I’ve adapted it slightly as I found it a little sticky (I have textured worktops and so have to be careful with sticky dough). The quantities here will make 8 small taco-sized wraps, or 4 large ones (perfect for fajitas). These are so easy, and taste SO much better than shop-bought…

Mix together 175g of plain flour with 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder and a good pinch of salt. Cube 10g of lard and rub into the flour until you have a mix resembling breadcrumbs. Then add 80g of boiling water, mix together quickly and bash about on a work surface (roughly kneading) for 2-3 minutes. Tear into equal pieces, rolling out each piece to a rough circle (you’ll want extra flour on your rolling pin and surface). Cook each wrap in a dry pan over a high heat for around 2 minutes each side – you want them to be firm and speckled golden. Fill with frijoles, pibil and pickled onions and you’ve got yourself an awesome taco!
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Are you a fan of Mexican food? Do you have any good recipes?