When I first learned that we were making tuna-packed piquillo pepper for this week’s FFwd, I thought to myself: YUM! That sounds fantastic! But.. what is piquillo pepper again? I quickly googled it and remembered having had this for a quick lunch in the Spanish coastal town of San Sebastian, almost a decade ago. It was stuffed with a ricotta-like kind of cheese. I remembered liking it, but I also remembered liking the 12 euro glass of white wine even more. And that was my first and only encounter with piquillo pepper. Despite having spent a good chunk of my young-adult life in France (8 years to be exact), I have never come across piquillo pepper on the other side of the Pyrénées. Maybe it might have been more common in the French Basque region.. But still, I never saw it on any menu there, although I used to venture to Biarritz almost every other weekend.
Anyway, I knew I had NO CHANCE of finding piquillo pepper in Singapore. I didn’t even toy with the idea of setting foot on those expensive specialty stores in Tanglin. I already knew that I was going to make my own “piquillo pepper”.
I roasted a sweet red pepper over my gas burner until blackened all over and carefully peeled the skin off after it cooled. I then proceeded with making the tuna filling. It had EVERYTHING that I love. I was excited! So excited that I immediately made spaghetti with a simple marinara sauce to accompany it. Why, of course! Tuna, olives and capers.. why not make a deconstructed spaghetti puttanesca?! It was needless to say, devoured by my family in minutes. (Yes, alright, we were starving as well which explains the badly shot photo with such poor lighting). But it was truly good and fun to eat. And Bébé did such a good job slurping the spaghetti as half of her bowl slipped down her shirt (mental note to self: naked baby for spaghetti night is the only way to go). I would make this again in a heartbeat.
Another Dorie recipe I made this week was the magret de canard with fresh peaches. I have been wanting to make this recipe for so long. Magret de canard is by far my favourite cut of meat and I have made countless versions of magret de canard. Magret with orange sauce, checked. Magret with raspberry, checked. Magret with pear and chocolate, checked. Tea smoked magret, checked!
So you could imagine how gutted I was when I couldn’t resource the duck breast when the recipe was put on schedule. But I was finally able to find some duck breasts last weekend so off I went with this recipe. Luckily peaches were still quite easy to find. So I made this with some stout-looking Spanish peaches that unfortunately was rather pricey. But the peaches were the sweetest, juiciest peaches I ever tasted. So it did pay off in the end.
I was a bit skeptical with Dorie’s cooking time instructions. I ended up shortening it and was glad I did because my magret would’ve been way overcooked otherwise. The sauce was a breeze to make. Although I didn’t have port, I had a more than useful bottle of mulled wine from Ikea. Definitely not drinking quality for my liking, but it was perfect for this sauce. I served it with an ugly-looking rösti (again, from Ikea.. please tell me I’m not the only one who does grocery shopping there..) but it was tasty nonetheless. The duck and the sauce and the fresh peaches totally blew my mind. Wouldn’t mind eating this everyday for the rest of my life. Fantastic week from Dorie!