Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Monday, November 14, 2011
Thursday, July 7, 2011
Here’s what we did with that little duck’s bones…
After most of the meat was pulled we put the duck bones, skin, fat, deliciousness into a stockpot. We topped off the duck with water. Since the skin was already seasoned we didn’t add anything else. The duck stock simmered for a couple of hours and before we went to bed, I placed the stock pot into the oven at 200 over night.
After this reduced overnight we ended up with close to a gallon of stock and a good inch of duck fat. Delicious, perfect duck fat. Heath pulled the meat and we had almost a pound of meat to go into the gumbo.
I used that luscious duck fat to create my roux for the gumbo. As the fat melted, I noticed an almond almost cherry smell that gave so much character to the roux. The nutty flavor was developed as the roux darkened.
I added duck meat, sausage, okra and fresh tomatoes along with onions, peppers and spices and then let the gumbo coast for hours.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
So it went down like this:
I get home from New York all hyped up to attempt to recreate duck from the Peking Duck House in Midtown. I’ve made the plan in my head. I’ve figured out how to southernize it, how to Ubonize it.
And then I went grocery shopping.
Uggh! After Fresh Market, Kroger, Walmart and all my local mom and pop grocery stores had no duck, I decided to beg my hunter friends. No dice, no sharing.
I wasn’t ready to give up. As I headed south on I55 I saw it….the Oriental Supermarket. Now I know I visited this location as a 4th grader…but then it was a Chuck E. Cheese. Now…next to Cowboy Malone’s (where a cowboy deal is a good deal) there is this fabulous market full of hope…and Duck!
I bought a Peking Roast Duck…I’m not a total moron. I’ve never given this vision of a duck recipe a try; I needed some back up. The roast duck was hanging by its neck and given to me in a brown paper bag. Sigh! Swoon! I also bought a fresh raw duck so I could try out my deep fried duck recipe.
(remove the head and the little feet, coat duck in dry rub and deep fry for 5 minutes per pound…you know, just like you would a turkey.)
The result was beautiful. We tried both the roast and the fried duck. My mom liked the roast duck best. The rest of us were partial to the fried duck. We sliced the meat and served it with cucumber, green onions and Ubon’s hoisin sauce. Now I won’t say that I perfected an ancient and cherished duck dish. But I definitely southernized it.
Here’s how you can Ubonize it:
In a blender:
2 cups Ubon’s BBQ Sauce
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup sweet soy sauce
2 tbsp of regular soy sauce
4-5 drops of sesame oil
Blend well and heat. As the sauce simmers, it will thicken.
Next I’ll tell you what we did with those little duck bones!!!
Thursday, June 23, 2011
That is one of the most optimistic sights of all of summer. Look at that sautee pan with those pretty home grown tomatoes. You can see that picture and know that you just eliminated the idea of a bacon tomato sandwich, but that you're ok with that decision. Tomatoes in olive oil...homemade pasta with meatballs, spinach and tomato orzo, summer chili, succotash, summer tomato aspic, oh it goes on forever!
One of the best parts of being in a small town is that our friends, Heath's patients, my dad's friends bring us produce plucked straight from their gardens. Most nights at my house have some kind of tomato based side dish. Last night we had tomato, spinach and asparagus orzo for dinner. Very light, very fresh and just yum.
But looking at that picture now...I'm almost ashamed I ruled out the bacon tomato sandwich. there's always tonight.
Monday, June 20, 2011
I should point out that I'm stuck on mango right now after my recent trip to NYC. After a couple of long days filled with smoke and meat and smoke and meat we snuck into Eataly for treats. My new personal anti-BBQ food is proscuttio and mango. I can't even begin to tell you how ridiculously awesome that place is. I won't try in this post.
I've digressed, as usual. Mango.
I made this fruit salad for my daddy and I want to hang on to this recipe in case I ever decide to diet. ha.
2 mangos diced
1 pint strawberries quartered
1 pint of raspberries
1 pineapple, cored and diced
1 cup of green grapes
Dressing: 1 cup of Sprite Zero, 2 tablespoons of honey, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and 5 chiffonade mint leaves. Pour dressing over fruit and allow to sit for at least an hour.
I watched my dad drink the juice from his paper plate when he thought no one was looking. This leads me to think that all this needed was the juice drained and a little vodka for a nice spritzer! This was really quick to throw together and really pretty to look at AND it was tasty to boot!
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
This I believe…
I believe in wood smoke and charcoal fire. I believe in the light and the heat and the passion that come from a barbeque grill. Smoke should be gentle, subtle and sweet. Heat should be low and cook slow. Fires should be tended with care. I believe in the bonding that comes with shared fires. In my world, secrets are kept AND shared; recipes are handed down through the generations; and slow cooking is assumed.
I believe in the flavor of smoke, the sweet and the spicy, the marriage of flavors that inspire words, understandings and disagreements. I believe in tall tales told around the fire; the friendships that are forged in flames; the mingling of minds when ideas finally become feasts.
I believe in the power of food and drink. I have seen and felt old wounds heal, equality achieved, families created from sharing a table. I have associated tastes and smells with people I love and cherish. I have captured years in the span of a bite. I have found common ground with hundreds of people in a shared love of food and drink. The strongest conflicts arise from choosing a favorite, and those conflicts simply lead to delicious conversations
I believe that barbeque can spark conversations, grow relationships, and establish traditions. I believe that barbeque is an international language, breeching stereotypes, prejudices, and restrictions. I have felt walls fall when people begin to talk about their favorite barbeque region, their favorite flavors and their favorite joints for good barbeque. Pit fires spark passions and stories and smiles.
But. Sometimes when it’s raining outside, when I am tired from a long day, when my own family is hungry and cranky I believe in my stove top gas grill, some vegetables and meat and the quiet that descends when my family is sated.
I believe in barbeque.