Roasted brussels sprouts with caramelised onions

Side dishServes 6

Use any leftover onions to serve with soups, on bruschetta topped with goat's cheese or with pork or steak. In a large, heavy bottomed pan heat the oil and butter until melted. Add the onions and cook on a low heat for 10 mins. Add the salt and sugar and cook for another 45 mins-1 hr, stirring occasionally to prevent them sticking to the bottom. It's important not to over stir to allow the onions time to caramelise. Add a little more oil if they look like they are burning. The onions should gradually turn a caramel brown colour. Once cooked add a splash of balsamic vinegar to deglaze the pan. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180ÂșC. Toss the brussels sprouts in oil to coat, season and place on a baking tray. Roast for about 25-30 mins, occasionally giving the tray a shake to evenly brown the sprouts. Insert a knife into one to check they are cooked. Toss a couple of large spoonfuls of caramelised onions with the sprouts and serve with parsley.

duck eggs – quick tips

Main courseServes N/A

Duck eggs are full of flavour and are slightly larger than hen eggs. You can eat them in the same way, but if you're not a fan of their richer taste they're also great for baking with. The whites have more protein in them and can become rubbery if overcooked, so treat them carefully if frying or scrambling. Keep your eggs at room temperature. NB Avoid serving lightly cooked or raw eggs to the vulnerable: e.g. children, the elderly and during pregnancy. 1. boiling: For a slightly runny yolk, boil an average sized duck egg for 6-7 mins. If you want a hard-boiled egg, cook for 9 mins. The shells are more fragile than hen eggs; to help avoid them cracking keep them at room temperature and lower them gently into the water with a slotted spoon. Pricking the shell with a pin (being careful not to pierce the egg sac) can also help. If you're not eating hard-boiled eggs immediately then plunge them into cold water after cooking and leave to cool before peeling - this will stop a grey tinge forming on the yolk's edge. 2. poaching: Put a large piece of clingfilm into a ramekin, leaving plenty overhanging. Lightly brush a little olive or rapeseed oil on the inside of the clingfilm. Carefully crack the egg into the ramekin. Twist the clingfilm tightly together around the egg to seal it. Carefully lower into simmering water and cook for 5 mins. Remove with a slotted spoon and carefully peel off the clingfilm. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. 3. baking: Duck eggs are particularly good for baking as the yolks are richer with a higher fat content than hen eggs and the larger whites will add volume to cakes. If whisking duck egg whites, you may find they take longer to whisk than hen eggs as the extra protein makes them less frothy to start with. Use 1 duck egg to 1 hen egg in most recipes, except those that require very fine measurements eg macaroons. Although they are slightly larger, it doesn't generally affect recipes to a great extent. If the eggs are particularly huge, then use your common sense and add one less egg.