Recipe: Salad of smoked duck and leeks with vanilla citrus dressing

This week’s recipe from the Constance kitchens is a light, refreshing smoked duck and leek salad with vanilla citrus dressing. Perfect for warm summer days and al fresco dining.

Vanilla pods

Salad of smoked duck and leeks with vanilla citrus dressing

Let us know how you get on and send us your comments and pictures of your own smoked duck salad. You can get in contact with us via Twitter, Facebook or the comments section below.

Serves 4
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Marinating time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 leeks
  • 1 smoked duck breast
  • 1/2 vanilla pod
  • 2 oranges
  • 1 grapefruit
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small bunch of chives
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • curly endive and lettuce to serve

1. Clean the leeks, cut them into strips (like tagliatelle) and wash them well. Blanch them for 3-4 minutes in boiling salted water, then drain and refrigerate.
2. Finely slice the smoked duck breast.
3. Cut the vanilla pod in two, lengthwise, and scrape out the seeds with the tip of a knife. Set aside.
4. Peel the oranges and grapefruit, cutting into the flesh, then cut off the segments while keeping any juice that drops. You will need about 4 tbsps of juice for the dressing.
5. Mix honey, vanilla seeds, orange and grapefruit juice, and 3 tbsps olive oil. Add salt and pepper.
6. Cut chives into 2 cm lengths.
7. Put the leeks in a large dish, add dressing, chives, orange and grapefruit segments, salt and pepper. Let this salad marinate for 5 minutes.
8. Just before serving, wash and drain the curly endive and lettuce. Line each plate with a few salad leaves, top with some leek salad and a few slices of smoked duck breast. Pour a thin streak of olive oil over this and sprinkle with a pinch of salt.

You can also purchase the Prince Maurice recipe book that contains this recipe and fifty more from our online store.

Latest action in week 2 at the French Open 2011

The French Open 2011 is well into its second week at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris.

Tennis player at French Open 2011, Roland Garros stadium

French Open 2011 at Roland Garros stadium, Paris

The men’s world no 1, Rafael Nadal is through to the semi finals and will face Andy Murray (4) on Friday 3 June.  In the other men’s semi, Roger Federer (3) comes up against Novak Djokovic (2).

In the women’s semis playing on Thursday 2 June, Maria Sharapova (7) faces Na Li (6) and Francesca Schiavone (5) will play Marion Bartoli (13).

Learn to cook with the professionals at Constance Belle Mare Plage, Mauritius

There’s a special cookery class taking place at Constance Belle Mare Plage in Mauritius on Thursday 30 September.

Colourful spices of Mauritius

Colourful spices of Mauritius

Seasoned and novice cooks alike can enjoy a day learning about Mauritian cuisine.

The event will be hosted by two of our chefs, Rajesh and Frederic Goisset, and wine tasting is led by our head sommelier at Belle Mare Plage.

Against the backdrop of the Deer Hunter restaurant, situated at the Legend golf clubhouse, our chefs will reveal some of our island secrets for creating subtle and lingering flavours.

Deer Hunter restaurant at Constance Belle Mare Plage

Deer Hunter restaurant at Constance Belle Mare Plage

Guests will learn about roasting spices using traditional local Mauritian methods, and how to prepare them. One such method involves a rock, known as the roche carrie, which is used to crush and mix the spices.

This relaxed and informative day includes:

  • 2 hour cookery lesson, where guests will make chicken with garam masala
  • Presentation by the Z’épices Experience shop
  • Recipe sharing including traditional methods
  • Wine tasting with our head sommelier
  • Three course lunch dining with the chefs (includes wine, drinks and coffee)
  • Gifts to take home including an apron, recipe CD and diploma for the course

As this special day will be popular, you can avoid disappointment by booking your place in advance. Email us at: info@bellemareplagehotel.com or visit the Constance Belle Mare Plage website to find out more about our luxury hotel.

Discover the Coco de Mer at Vallée de Mai on Praslin Island, Seychelles

Lying in the heart of Praslin Island, Seychelles, is Vallée de Mai  –  a National Park, UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to the highly revered Coco de Mer seed.

Coco de mer

Coco de Mer is found at Vallee de Mai nature reserve on Praslin Island in the Seychelles

Vallée de Mai is the only place in the world where you’ll find Coco de Mer  - or the sea coconut.

Believed to be a powerful aphrodisiac and fertility symbol, the Coco de Mer is famous for its size and likeness to the female reproductive area.

The seed can weigh up to 30kg and grow to nearly 20 inches in diameter.

General Gordon of Khartoum believed that the prehistoric rainforest at Vallée de Mai was the original site of the Garden of Eden, and that the Coco de Mer was its forbidden fruit.

Today, visitors to the reserve can wander along sheltered pathways beneath the giant palm trees, whose leaves can measure 6m wide and 14 m long. Vallée de Mai is also home to five other endemic palms and fauna, and the rare the Seychelles Black Parrot.

Prince William and his wife the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, were presented with a rare Coco de Mer during their recent honeymoon to the Seychelles.

Find out more about our luxury hotels in the Seychelles, the Constance Ephelia Resort and Constance Lémuria Resort.

2011 Seychelles Regatta

Jeremie Beyou has won the 3rd Seychelles Regatta. The event took place on 21-29 May 2011. Renowned Frenchman Beyou was racing on the Hyundai Boat and came in just 2 seconds ahead of Michel Desjoyeaux on his Nicholas Feuillate Yacht.

Catamaran in the Indian Ocean

Catamaran in the Indian Ocean

Catamarans race from the main island on course to some of Seychelles’ jewel islands. The annual event attracts some of the world’s most experienced sailors and skippers. They’re drawn by the idyllic location and the opportunity to test their skills against the South Easterly trade wind that cuts across the Seychelles between May and September.

Results for the 2011 Seychelles Regatta

  • First: Jeremie Beyou – Boat Hyundai
  • Second: Michel Desjoyeaux – Boat Nicholas Feuillate
  • Third: Francois Gabart – Boat

Find out more about the 2011 Seychelles Regatta

Preserving turtles habitats at Constance Lémuria

The beaches at Constance Lémuria, on Praslin Island, Seychelles, are important nesting sites for the endangered hawksbill and green turtles.

Hawskbill Turtle

Hawskbill turtle,

These majestic creatures return to the same beaches year after year to lay their eggs.

Our turtle programme

To help protect the species and improve their chances of survival, at Constance Lémuria we run a turtle preservation programme.

The success of the programme hinges on the hard work of our Turtle Manager, our work with the Marine Conservation Society Seychelles, and the support of the local community and hotel guests.

Lémuria’s Turtle Man

Our ‘Turtle Man’ is Robert Matombe. During the turtle nesting season from October to February, Robert patrols the beaches each day. He records the female turtles that come up to nest, and identifies which have visited the beaches before.

Turtle tracks in the sand

Turtle tracks in the sand

Robert makes sure that each turtle safely lays her eggs without being disturbed. He also wants the baby turtles to make it safely back down to the sea.

On Praslin Island each visiting female turtle lays about 150 to 200 eggs. Robert marks the location of each nest.

Over the next two months, while the eggs incubate deep in the sand, he keeps an eye on the nest site.

Lémuria – a favourite nesting ground

Thanks to our turtle programme, we’re seeing an increase in the number of nests each year. For the turtles to continue coming, we maintain the beaches in their natural condition.

Ideal conditions for turtle nesting

  • Nesting turtles prefer to nest under the bushy beach vegetation – the shade provides the ideal temperature for the incubation of eggs.
  • Nesting turtles and their offspring need dark beaches. If lights from the hotel are visible on the beach at night, they can frighten female turtles and keep them from coming onto the beach to lay their eggs.
  • Lights confuse hatchlings as they make their way from the nest to the sea. Baby turtles are attracted to the brightest point on the horizon. On a natural beach that instinct will guide them to the sea.
  • Healthy dense beach vegetation acts as a barrier to the light from the hotel and keeps the turtles in the dark. The vegetation also protects the beach from erosion.

Visiting the turtle nesting grounds

Our Turtle Manager can take Constance guests to see the baby turtles move down to the sea. Seeing these primal creatures take their first steps towards the ocean is a truly amazing experience.

Female turtles coming out of the sea

Female turtles coming out of the sea to nest

Tips for turtle watching

To ensure the continued survival of the turtles, here are some tips for how to behave when visiting the nesting beaches, or if you see a turtle unexpectedly.

  • If you see a turtle emerge from the water, stand still. If she’s just coming out of the sea, let her move past you to a point where she can’t see you.
  • The best spot for watching turtles is either from a distance where you’re shielded by vegetation, or directly behind the turtle out of her field of vision.
  • Always make sure you can’t see the turtle’s eyes.
  • Don’t approach the turtle – keep at least 3 m away.
  • Speak quietly – a whisper is best.
  • Don’t touch the turtle – they don’t enjoy being petted.
  • Don’t take flash photography.
  • Don’t block the turtle’s passage back to the sea.
  • Report any turtle sightings to the Constance Lémuria Resort Turtle Officers.

Find out more about the work we’re doing to protect the environment at Constance hotels.