Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I'm BAaaaack!

So I've been MIA for a while.  babies and what not keeping me busy.

but it's not like I stop cooking or eating and really... I kinda miss blogging so I'm back.

This morning I got an email from a friend asking me if I've even used juniper pepper before.  I had a google because I wasn't sure if juniper pepper and juniper berries were the same thing.  I think they are... apparently back in the day, juniper was used in place of pepper as Pepper was a very expensive spice form India, and juniper grew all through Europe.

So, yes!  I have used Juniper berries in cooking, but only once.

When I was in high school, my family and I went to dinner at this little restaurant in the Perth suburb of Mosman Park quite often.  I can't recall the name of the place but it was just down the road from Rose Hancock's mansion Prix d'Amour.
I always ordered the same thing.  Quail in a juniper cream sauce with linguini.   It was really delicious.
Even though I was only in my teens, I can still remember the smell of the juniper and the juicy quail.  It was a great dish.

This got me thinking about the dish and I did some googling and I think I found the recipe.
Because I no longer cook with dairy and because word on the street is that you shouldn't give juniper to children under 12 or eat it if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.... that pretty much excludes my whole family. 
But here is the recipe if you would like to give it a go.

Quail With Juniper and Gin    

Serves 4    
50g/2oz Plain Flour 
Salt and Black Pepper
1 teasp Thyme Leaves
4 large Quail, split down the back and flattened out
3 tbsp Butter
1 small Onion, grated
16 juniper berries, well crushed
120ml/4fl.oz. Gin
240ml/8fl.oz. Dry White Wine
240ml/8fl.oz. Double Cream
4 tbsp freshly chopped Parsley


1. Place the flour and thyme in a bowl, season with salt and pepper and mix well.

2. Roll the quail in the flour mixture to coat on all sides. 

3. You will probably have to use 2 large frying pans so it will be easier to divide all ingredients in half, and cook in 2 batches. 

4. Heat the butter in the pans then add the onions and quail and sauté for 4 minutes on each side over medium-high heat. 

5. Add the juniper berries, gin, and wine, bring to simmering point and continue to simmer for about 10 minutes to reduce the liquid by half.

6. Add the cream and continue to cook for a further 10 minutes or until sauce thickens and the quail are cooked through.

7. Adjust the seasoning, sprinkle with the parsley and serve immediately.

I would serve it over linguini or some kind of flat pasta/noodle.  YUM! 

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