Oranges are not only a great, high-vitamin snack, they can also be used for all sorts of sweet and savoury dishes – even cocktails. Rather like apples, they tend to get bought solely for the fruit display on the dining-room table. They are great value compared to some fruits, especially if you candy the rind instead of throwing it in the bin.
Bougatsa is a Greek breakfast pastry traditionally made with a sweet semolina custard or savoury cheese fillings. You can really tweak and adapt your own fillings and make individual dishes or one large one. You can make this in a round, square or rectangular tin – up to you.
- 1ltr single cream
- 250g caster sugar
- 100g semolina
- The juice from 10 clementines, reserve the rind
- 4 clementines, peeled and segmented
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 1 250g packet of filo pastry, fresh or frozen
- 75g butter, melted
- 2tsp cornflour
Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 5. Put the cream and half of the sugar in a heavy-based saucepan and bring to the boil. Stir in the semolina, turn down the heat and cook on a very low heat, stirring every so often for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool a little.
Meanwhile, chop the rind from a couple of clementines as finely as you can and bring to the boil with about 50ml of the clementine juice and leave to cool. Stir the rind and juice into the semolina with another 100ml of clementine juice and the beaten eggs; mix well.
Take a 24cm x 6cm-deep cake tin or flan ring with a removable base and brush it with some of the melted butter. If the filo is rectangular in shape then trim it to the width of the filo to square it up. Brush four sheets with butter and lay in the tin, overhanging the edges. Pour in the filling and fold the overhanging pastry into the middle, then brush four more sheets with butter and lay on top, folding the edges in to neaten it up. Brush a couple more sheets with butter and ruffle them on the top, either torn into rough pieces or shredded.
Dust with icing sugar and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes, until golden. Remove, leave to cool, then remove from the tin and transfer to a cooling rack.
While the Bougatsa is cooking, put the remaining orange juice in a saucepan with the rest of the sugar and bring to the boil; dilute the cornflour with a little water and stir enough into the juice to lightly thicken it; simmer gently for 1 minute. Remove from the heat, leave to cool, then stir in the satsuma segments.
To finish, cut the Bougatsa into portions and serve with the sauce.
Wild duck and satsuma salad
Wild duck are at their best at this time of year as they have been feeding up in the past couple of colder months. Make the most of them, though, as by the end of January the season will be over. You can use farmed duck for this dish if you prefer or can’t get hold of mallard.
- 1 oven-ready mallard
- A good knob of butter, softened
- A couple of good handfuls of salad leaves and herbs like rocket, land cress, watercress, flat parsley, all washed and dried
- A couple of satsumas, peeled and segmented
For the dressing
- 1tbsp orange or satsuma juice
- 4tbsp rapeseed oil
- 1tbsp cider vinegar
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 220/gas mark 7.
Season the duck and rub the breasts with butter. Roast for 30 minutes, basting as it’s cooking, then remove from the oven and transfer to a plate with any cooking juices.
Meanwhile, make the dressing: whisk all of the ingredients together with any cooking juices and season to taste.
Once the duck is cool enough to cut, remove the legs, then, with a sharp knife, remove all of the meat and shred it. Remove the breasts and cut them into slices on the bias. To serve, mix the duck, orange segments and leaves with the dressing, season to taste and arrange on serving plates.
Butternut squash, orange and ginger soup
Orange and squash (or pumpkin) make perfect partners – especially with the added kick of a little fresh root ginger.
- 1 small leek, roughly chopped
- 1 small onion, roughly chopped
- 30g root ginger, peeled and finely chopped or grated
- A good knob of butter
- 1kg butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded and roughly chopped
- 750ml vegetable stock (a good-quality cube will do)
- 250ml orange juice
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1tbsp pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted
Gently cook the leek, onion and ginger in the butter until softened. Add the butternut squash and stock, bring to the boil, season with salt and pepper, then simmer for 20 minutes. Add the orange juice and simmer for another 5 minutes, then remove from the heat. Blend the soup in a liquidiser until smooth, then strain through a fine-meshed sieve. Reheat the soup, and adjust the consistency with a little vegetable stock or water if necessary. Check the seasoning and serve straight away with a sprinkling of the toasted pumpkin seeds.
The Hix Whisky Jasper
Last year I designed a whisky cocktail for Clerkenwell Design Week in London. We called it The Hix Whisky Jasper which took its name from the wallpaper which inspired it – the Jasper print, available from Eve Spencer. I mixed the cocktail at the festival and handed little shots out to passers-by – the flavours of the carrot and orange and earthy Ardbeg whisky went down a treat.
- 75ml Ardbeg whisky
- 70-80ml carrot juice
- 40-50ml freshly squeezed orange juice
- Ice cubes to serve
Simply mix the carrot, orange juice and whisky together, place a couple of ice cubes in a small tumbler, or similar, and pour the whisky mixture over.