All posts tagged: holiday

roast quail, Christmas, New Year

Roast Quail with a Chestnut and Prune Stuffing

Christmas this year was the quietest in my living memory, though not the most modest in the gastronomic sense. I had the pleasure of cooking the last jar of duck confit I made last winter and this decadent roast quail stuffed with the season’s staple vegetable. It being my LM’s 300th day birthday gave more of a reason to celebrate over this special meat and wine. My little mouse has been enjoying chestnuts, which are, strangely, recommended after 2 years of age in the west, 1 year in Turkey, and 6 months in Asia. What is allowed for a baby varies depending on the country and I get confused because our baby is mixed. So glad that the LM is now at the stage where she can eat almost everything we eat and her latest obsession is toasted seaweed 🙂 These birds had been providing my LM with fresh eggs over the past 3 months and, when they stop laying eggs, they finally ended up on our plate. Quail eggs are another forbidden food item …

pumpkin tortellini

Pumpkin Leek Tortellini with Duck Ragu

Finally comes the duck story… And I’m afraid yet delighted that you’ll hear more duck stories this winter. How come? Well, I’m spreading the duck spirits around me and so many people are eager to eat more of the delicacy. Leading up to the last day of my sejour at the winery, I was thinking hard everyday about the duck: how and when to cook it.  Sensing the accumulated anticipation of almost two months, I decided to get the task over and done with. Originally, it was destined for Duck a l’Orange, but I incorporated a Chinese Peking Duck method by adding more herbs and oriental spices such as star anise and cinnamon, and also by drying out the skin for crispiness. The warm aromas had the effect of stimulating a holiday mood as well. After resting in the fridge overnight, rubbed with salt and spices, it was ready for the oven the next morning. Despite some unexpected events, I managed to cook it for as long as 2.5 hours. The tough parts, the wings …


Living the dream: Wine&Art, Octopus Carpaccio&Romesco

With the solstice and Ramadan behind us, summer is getting into a full swing here. Many people are already on their summer holiday or are busy planning for it. Mr.O and I are also pondering the idea of doing a road trip along the Aegean coast in August to mark our 5 year romance. BUT it all depends on how things will pan out, especially the winery job I’ll be taking from the next month. What? Winery? Yes, you heard me right! I’ll be working in Chateau Kalpak Vineyards from July till the harvest. How about that! I’m so excited! Finally my dream is being realised, and what’s even more exciting is the fact that the winery is very prestigious and my absolute favourite in Turkey. It will be a precious experience and a huge leap before jumping into a WSET Diploma. I won’t give away so much at this point so keep following my journey as I live my dream. To start off, I’ll be assisting with their International Art Festival and Workshop, which will …