Saturday, January 31, 2009

Roast Duck and Orange Crêpes with Orange-White Wine Sauce

This is what happens when a duck gets confused as to whether it's Spanish or French. Or Asian, even.

So what do we call this dish?
Duck Crêpes Suzette?
Orange Duck & Crêpe-Noodle Stir-fry?

Or the more utilitarian Roast Duck and Orange Crêpes with Orange-White Wine Sauce?

But, we're getting ahead of ourselves.

We almost did not get to create something for this edition of Weekend Wokking, with the month-long illness and all. But, we realized that we were the hosts this time around! How embarrassing if we did not make a dish to enter.

Idly searching for information about influenza and home remedies for said illness, I came across an Ayurvedic site telling me that one of the causes of influenza is our "faulty lifestyle."

I knew all that hard "partying" and hard blogging during the holiday season would come back and bite me somehow! ;)

The ingredient this time is the orange.

Thinking of oranges made me think of Spanish food. I thumbed through our Culinaria book and on the "citrus fruits" section saw a recipe for Pato a la Naranja. That's Duck with Orange Sauce to us English-speaking folks.

After some heeing and hawing, we finally decided on going ahead with that, realizing that we actually had a frozen utility "may-have-parts-missing" duck that we could thaw out.

Of course, being us, we couldn't just have a roast duck with orange sauce. Nuh-uh. But more about that later.

Pato a la Naranja (Duck with Orange Sauce)

We more or less followed the recipe as is. So, first up, roasting the duck.

I washed and dried the duck, and rubbed it with salt and pepper. I scored the skin, placed it on rack in a roasting pan, and roasted it in a 400F to 450F oven for about an hour, starting breast-side down and turning it over about halfway through the cooking.

I was too lazy to baste with olive oil, though. So, when I turned the duck over, I placed some duck fat that I've removed from the thigh-ish area of the bird on top of the breasts.

In the meantime, I had to get starting on the orange sauce.

That involved some orange juice. That picture looks like it's from a sci-fi movie. (In reality, our citrus juicer.)

I zested about 4 oranges (I don't remember now) and set the zest aside. I needed about a cup of juice, but these oranges were so juicy. I ended up with about one-and-a-half cups.

I dumped the juice into a small sauce pan, added about half a cup of white wine and boiled the mixture. One was supposed to add the duck drippings into this mixture, but I couldn't see any "drippings" from our roast duck. The fat separator had all fat, no jus. I added a tablespoon of the duck fat then. (Yes, yes, of course we saved the duck fat.)

I let the mixture reduce, then added honey and cognac.

I only added about 1 tablespoon's worth of cognac, and about 2 tablespoons of honey. I adjusted it to taste. A little salt and pepper and the sauce was done.

I didn't realize that the half-cup of white wine would make it so wine-y. Hence, I'm calling this Orange-White Wine Sauce.

And here's the finished roast duck.

Orange Crêpes
When we were throwing ideas out in our "salon," after duck with oranges, the other dish that we immediately thought of was crêpes Suzette.

So, of course, the next logical thought was, "Why not do the duck with orange sauce and then put shredded duck meat inside the crêpes and "Suzette" them? We can flambé tableside even!"

Well, maybe the flambéing is a tad ambitious. But you see where we're going with this. Our little trip to Spain was taking a decidedly eastern route to France.

For the orange crêpes, we simply used a standard crêpe recipe and added a whackload of orange zest (reserved from zesting the oranges I juiced). So that's 2 eggs, 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 cup milk, 3 tablespoons butter, melted, a pinch of salt, and some water to adjust the consistency of the batter, all mixed together and rested in the fridge for about 15 minutes.

Then it was batch-cookery time for me. Here is a crêpe finishing its cooking on one side. See the zillions of orange zest in there?

Plate #1

I decided to plate this two different ways. Above are some folded orange crêpes, a sliced duck breast, and spoonfuls of the orange-white wine sauce.

Plate #2

Plate #2 is JS' plating idea. I shredded the dark meat and used that as the filling for these cigar-shaped crêpes. Once again, spoonfuls of the orange-white wine sauce finished it.

The Taste

To compensate for our "faulty lifestyle," TS and I were given antibiotics (as we had apparently gotten a bacterial infection after being sick for so long with a viral infection.) "Finally", to the relief of Mama, who kept pushing for antibiotics. With the antibiotics came the warning not to have any sort of dairy while taking.

We weren't sure if the dairy prohibition extended to dairy incorporated into a particular item, for example, the crêpes, but just to be on the safe side, we refrained from having the crêpes.

succulent duck bathed in orange-white wine sauce

I tasted the duck with the sauce and it was quite good. Better than I expected because I was afraid that I was not going to like the orange sauce on account of its sweetness. I did find the sauce to be on the sweet side and would like an infusion of something savoury in the sauce.

It must be the Chinese in me, but I actually like my duck longer-cooked than medium or medium rare. I find more of the ducky aroma and flavour coming out the longer the meat has been exposed to the heat.

I also tasted the duck with the sauce and found it to be quite good. But I had the feeling I was missing something.

So, I walked on the wild side and had a tiny, tiny, tiny piece or crêpe (as in, the size of a grain of rice, it seemed). The crêpes were really good with their orange fragrance!

But, I think I still lacked the full impact of the dish at this point, being crêpe-less.

Because we couldn't really have the crêpes, we left the two plated dishes, the shredded duck, the orange sauce, and the rest of crêpes on the counter for people to see and eat. We figure our family can just assemble their own crêpes when they were ready to eat, following the example of the two plated dishes.

That night, before going to bed, we saw that the plates were left untouched! Nobody ate anything. We saran-wrapped the plates up and shoved them into the fridge, scratching our heads.

(Apparently, my father saw the plates of duck and crêpes and was thinking of eating them for dinner. But he got confused because there were other food available and he figured he'd eat the old food first before the new food.)

While preparing dinner (Hainan chicken) the next night, we figure we'd do something about these "Duck Crêpes Suzette". Maybe, the plates were just too fancy for our tastes and we don't swing the fancy-schmancy way, I speculated. We somehow had to change how the whole thing looked.

Orange Duck Crêpe-Noodle Stir-fry

The crêpes have transformed into noodles!

Well, they're more like fettuccine. To make them, I simply stacked the crêpes, rolled them, and sliced away.

How did this genius idea (if I do say so myself) come about?

When JS and I were wondering what to do with the duck and orange sauce, we figured that we should just sauté the duck with the orange sauce for ease of eating, as well as to cook the rare-ish breasts a tad more for the rest of the family. Having decided that, I wondered, should I also put the crêpes in the pan as well?

"Why not," we thought. Of course, whole crêpes in the stir-fry would be quite unwieldy. Hence, "noodles"!

It was simply a matter of adding the sliced and shredded duck into a hot pan, adding the crêpe-noodles, and finishing with the orange-white wine sauce.


After the make-over, we put the plate on the table, besides the Hainan chicken (with ginger-scallion sauce) and some pork chops. My dad still got a tad confused because of all the food (he claims that he cannot deal with a lot of food because he doesn't know what to eat), but the duck crêpe noodle dish had some takers and ended up getting mostly finished.

We still couldn't have any of the crêpes that day. The next day, however, we were free from the dairy-free tyranny!

I saw the very, very small amount of this Orange Duck Noodle dish leftover from the night before and tried it. Oh my! Delicious! The crêpe noodles were so buttery and fragrant and the orange-white wine sauce wasn't as wine-y, and it had completely infused the noodles and duck with its flavor. Very nice indeed.

Our Spanish French Chinese confused and confusing duck, done.

eatingclub vancouver Weekend Wokking posts:
Ravioli "Caprese": Tomato, Basil, Bocconcini
Eggplant "Clafouti"
Pumpkin Congee w/ Pumpkin "Beignets" & Sesame-Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Chicken, Broccoli and Cheese w/ Pipián Verde
Adobo Mushroom Tart
Duck and Orange Crêpes with Orange-White Wine Sauce
Almond Eggplant "Bisteeya" (Bastilla)
"Mashed Potato Beef Burger" (Red-skinned Potato Salad in Taiwanese Sacha Cheeseburger)
Korean Soybean Sprouts Pancake (Kongnamul Jeon)
Lemon Chamomile Tiramisu
Cilantro Horchata
Strawberry Cilantro Salsa, on Grilled Flank Steak
Duck Enchiladas with Chipotle Peanut Salsa
Clear Oxtail Soup with Corn, Cabbage and Potatoes
Beijing Pickled Cabbage
Salsa Romesco ("Queen of the Catalan Sauces!")
Aguadito de Pollo (Peruvian Chicken Soup)
Bangus Belly à la Bistek (Milkfish Belly with Onions, Calamansi and Soy Sauce)
White Pork with Garlic Sauce, Two Ways (蒜泥白肉)
Mr. Zheng's Soupy Tomatoes and Eggs with Tofu (蕃茄雞蛋跟豆腐)
Steamed Fish and Tofu with Chinese Black Beans
Spinach and Cheese with Puff Pastry, Three Ways

eatingclub vancouver Duck dishes:
Duck Shepherd's Pie, or "Duck Coop Pie"
Duck and Orange Crêpes with Orange-White Wine Sauce
Duck Stock Risotto with Portobello & Chard, with Hazelnut Gremolata
Shredded Duck and Rice Noodle Soup
Duck Enchiladas with Chipotle Peanut Salsa

And of course, our $5 Utility Duck Series, where all the following were made using one duck:
Duck Breast with Pomegranate-Chipotle Glaze and Guava-Jalapeño Salad
Duck (Interim)
Roast Duck Legs with Cabbage-Portobello Pappardelle
Duck Fat Potatoes
Duck Tortellini in Brodo

eatingclub Spanish
Tortilla de Patatas (Spanish "Omelette")
Roast Duck and Orange Crêpes with Orange-White Wine Sauce
Sardinas na Bangus (Milkfish in the style of Sardines)
Red Wine-braised Squid with Potatoes and Chorizo
Philippine Beef Salpicao (and a Spanish variation)
Stewed Tripe, Spanish-style
Lengua Estofada (Beef Tongue Braised in Red Wine and Veal Stock)
Bacalao con Patatas (Baked Salt Cod and Potatoes)
Salsa Romesco ("Queen of the Catalan Sauces!")
Grilled Calçots (Green Onions) with Salsa Romesco
Empanada de Pavo
(Galician-style Meat Pie with Turkey Filling), plus Turkey Cracklings!

Fideuá (Spanish Seafood Noodle "Paella")... and Paella
Cocido (Spanish Stew with Various Pork Cuts)
Slow-Roast Pork Shoulder, Two Ways

eatingclub vancouver French food:
Trout Grenobloise
Provençal Onion Tart
Pork Chops with Grainy Dijon and Capers
Prawns with Tarragon and Orange
Herbes de Provence Sablé
Roast Pork Belly with Puy Lentils
Duck and Orange Crêpes with Orange-White Wine Sauce

We're submitting this recipe to Weekend Wokking, a world-wide food blogging event created by Wandering Chopsticks celebrating the multiple ways we can cook one ingredient.

The host this month is us, TS and JS of [eatingclub] vancouver.
There's still time to submit entries! We will be accepting entries until February 2. Email us your entry at email [at] eatingclubvancouver [dot] com.

If you would like to participate or to see the secret ingredient, check
who's hosting next month.

Check out
all Weekend Wokking Roundups.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Lechon Manok (Philippine Roast Chicken) and Lechon Sauce

This is another special occasion dish in the Philippines. However, seeing as it's so easy, it's also great for weeknight dinners.

Lechon manok is quite ubiquitous in the Philippines. It is the Philippines' version of rotisserie chicken, chicken on a spit, roasting and spinning away. Walking down a street, it would not be unusual to see lechon-manok stalls around every corner or so.

There used to be a lechon manok craze when we were still living in Manila, but sadly, I never got to try a lechon manok then. The usual verbotens about buying street food and so on and so forth.

Nonetheless, I did get to try versions of lechon manok later and it was a very familiar-tasting chicken, with, I suppose, the usual flavour suspects.

Lechon Manok

Three Little Piggies Chickies in a citrus-soy sauce bath

First, the marinade. Two things: soy sauce and kalamansi juice. Well, in this instance, we used lime and lemon juices, because unlike some lucky people, we don't actually have ready access to kalamansi.

After marinading overnight, they were ready.

The only other thing we had to do was stuff the cavity with lemongrass. I also placed the chickens on a rack on a baking sheet.

Then into the oven to roast until done.

Whole chickens always look funny and amusing to me. Look, they look like they're wearing black shoes!

Lechon Sauce
JS made a whackload of lechon sauce in anticipation of lechon (roast pig).

In the event that our lechon arrives, I thought homemade lechon sauce might be a treat, instead of the usual bottled Mang Tomas sarsa (sauce).

I started with some chicken livers, boiling them and mashing them.

Into a pot went some onions. After sweating the onions, I added some garlic and the boiled chicken livers, mashing them while I'm at it.

I added some cider vinegar, brown sugar -- and because it was still too thick, a liquid. I had run out of stock but I didn't want to use water so I used a cup of ginger ale instead.

I added a bay leaf to simmer in the pot. I also added one birds-eye pepper and seasoned to taste.

Just to get the sauce smoother, I even used the blender. This is a very rare occasion indeed, as I -- and TS can attest to this -- hate the blender.

Sorry for the blurry blender shot. I really don't like liver and the smell of it being liquified was too much to bear! I had to hurry in there, hold my breath, press the button on the camera, and get out.

My lechon sauce: Smooth, savory and a touch sweet. It was good, but it was all for naught, since there was no lechon!

Read all about our Starry, Starry... Pig? adventure -- aka, the Case of the Missing Pig.

We served lechon manok & lechon sauce during our New Year's Eve party:
A Starry, Starry Night in Vancouver -- Evoking the Philippine Christmas Spirit

[eatingclub] vancouver Filipino food
Mama's Ampalaya (Bitter Melon)
Faux Kamote-Que
Philippine-Style Chicken "BBQ"
Fried Hasa Hasa (Mackerel)
"Savory" Chicken Wings
Sinamak (Chile-infused Vinegar)
Pan-roasted Halibut w/ Fava Beans, Potato-Onion Cakes & Bagoong Butter Sauce
Bulalo & Bangus: an even simpler Filipino meal
Baked Tahong (Mussels)
Adobo Kangkong (Adobo Water Spinach)
Oyster Torta (Oyster Omelette)
Chicken Tinola (Chicken Soup w/ Green Papaya & Pepper Leaves)
(Chinese) Roast Pork Belly / Lechon
Tilapia wrapped in Banana Leaves
Pork Belly, Two Ways
Chicken Adobo
Salabat (Ginger Tea)
Lechon Manok (Philippine Roast Chicken) & Lechon Sauce
"Chinese Adobo" Clams and Oysters
Bistek (Citrus Beef with Caramelized Onions)
Beef Kaldereta (Beef Stew with Bell Peppers)
Atsara (Green Papaya Pickle)
Sardinas na Bangus (Milkfish in the style of Sardines) and Pressure Cooker Fear

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Salmon à la Mama's Fish Head Soup

You all remember Mr. Ling Cod Head from Mama's Fish Head Soup, right? Of course you do.

We had Mama make the soup, but the fish head was already all chopped up, but I wanted a picture of the whole fish head for the blog, the supermarket wouldn't allow me to take pictures, I threw a little tantrum... Here, might as well read it for yourself.

Well, the second time we made the soup (because of that extra head I purchased), we also purchased this beautiful salmon! Sadly enough, it was missing its head. The irony.

If I remember correctly, this was a wild sockeye salmon.

Since we already had all the Fish Head Soup ingredients out, JS decided to use the flavors from Mama's Fish Head Soup to cook the salmon.

She prepped some garlic, ginger, green onions and leeks. She also mixed together salt & pepper in a small container. Oh, and that liquid there is shao xing wine.

JS proceeded to stuff and rub the salmon with the above. She also used some satay, preserved Szechuan vegetable (also called preserved Chinese radish) and Tianjin preserved vegetable.

Szechuan Vegetable (aka Preserved Chinese Radish)
Before using, Mama says to soak these in water for a few minutes (10 minutes, let's say) and then rinse.

Satay Sauce/Paste

Tianjin Preserved Vegetable
These are a type of preserved cabbage, I believe. It comes in a cool little container like the one above.

There it is in its stuffed and rubbed glory!

Next step, we wrapped the whole fish -- not too prettily -- with romaine lettuce and tried our best to make a romaine package.

It roasted in the oven for about 45 minutes or so (I can't remember anymore), or until the fish was done.

We should've wrapped the romaine package with foil, so that everything would steam inside. We didn't, so this was the result, if you can decipher it. Ack!

left: Can one even tell what this sorry mess is?
right: Peel away the layers and some sort of beauty merges.

But, after peeling off the more "severely roasted" romaine leaves, we ended up with some nicely charred pieces. The char tasted pretty good! All the flavors worked really well, as we already know, and the salmon was very nice and moist. Just look at its juicy self.

Other Mama Dishes
Mama's Silkie Chicken ("Dyong Kwe")
Mama's Cilantro Beef Shin
Mama's Black Peppercorn Shortribs
Mama's Fish Head Soup
Mama's Giniling
Mama's Giniling, v4 and v5
Mama's Ampalaya (Bitter Melon)
Ma-Kut (Pork Bone) Soup

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