Duck breasts with sweet potato cakes and red cabbage

We order most of our shopping online from ASDA, with the exception of meat and veg, which we get from a local indoor market. This is mostly because we don’t drive and so can’t go and pick up a monthly shop. It’s also because Manchester city centre is fairly rubbish to food shop in. There are so many Tesco Express, Co-op stores and even an Aldi within walking distance of home, but unless you want to make something fairly mundane or heat up a ready meal, there aren’t a lot of options. I nearly pulled my hair out trying to find a simple can of coconut milk last week – and I was only looking for that because I knew that there was no chance that I would find creamed coconut anywhere.

Anyway, this appears to be turning into a rant, so I’ll get back to my point.  We regularly order duck legs from ASDA, because at £2.50 for two, they’re a bargain. But on this particular day, because they had ran out of duck legs, they substituted with duck breasts at no extra charge! That’s what I call a win!

I used gordon ramsay’s method for cooking the duck breasts and I have to say they were beautiful and turned out perfectly pink.

I served these with sweet potato cakes, braised red cabbage and a red wine jus. As much as I loved the duck, the revelation of the day was the sweet potato cakes. I’d never made those before either and they were bloody lovely!

Recipe adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi in the Guardian. The only amendment I made was to leave out the soy sauce from the original recipe (and I used gluten free flour in place of plain).

  • 1kg sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 100g flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp spring onion, chopped
  • ½ tsp fresh chilli, finely chopped (or more, to taste)
  • Lots of butter, for frying

Steam the sweet potato until soft, then drain in a colander for an hour.  In a mixing bowl, work all the fritter ingredients by hand – it should be sticky, so if it’s a little runny, add some flour. Do not over-mix.

Dip your hands in water and shape walnut-sized balls with the fritter mix, then flatten so you have round cakes around 5cm in diameter and less than 1cm thick. Place on an oily surface.

Melt some butter in a nonstick pan. Using a fish slice, lift the cakes in to the pan and fry on moderate heat until you get a nice, brown crust, turning as necessary – about six minutes. Place between two sheets of kitchen towel, to soak up the excess butter.