The duck kill…

“It’s people like you…” Is always a bad start to a conversation. Just saying…

This week we killed some of our ducks. Some people call it dispatching but let’s face it, I am not here to sugar coat my monologue for your over sensitive eyes. We were killing the ducks.

When ever this event (and trust me, it is an event) occurs at our place it reminds me of my Gran plucking chooks on the verandah after dad had “dispatched” them with an axe and a wood block down near the clothesline. We would watch in in amazement as the Tom and Jerry-esque show would unfold before our eyes. The chicken would flap around with blood spurting from the now naked neck which once held it’s head. “Oohs” came from the crowd as the chicken would do a flip and then fly down the yard, no pilot at the helm, and dad in tow.

This was a time that this was still widely accepted as a way to an honest meal in the country.

Today we had the help of our dear friend Sammy the Gelfling, who you may remember from the early days of this blog and a little segment called “What’s Sammy having for dinner tonight?” Or, as I’m quite sure there were only a couple of followers (possibly Jen’s sister and a lonely goat named Ryan), you may not have the memories to call upon, thus making my query somewhat superfluous and just downright silly. Anyway Sammy and Jennee were chief pluckers, I was head dispatcher (pun intended) and stomach removalist, and Dave (our friend who came over mid kill) was in charge of looking awkwardly towards the sky and hanging out around the corner.

Once again I will not lie to you, it’s quite a 1600’s sort of experience but a worthy one just to have that knowledge of where you meat comes from and what kind of life it’s led.

The marylands would be roasted in the camp oven (which could be done quite happily in a baking dish in your oven) and the breasts are being gently smoked (on the crown to keep the moisture in there) under banana leaves away from any direct heat. This can be achieved in your home smoke house but will probably only require 10 minutes or so. Because mine are getting done with very low heat I’m thinking they should be right for an hour or two. I’ll be keeping a close eye on them and I’ll let you know.

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The ducks were happy as larry roaming in the orchard
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I’m not going to lie. This is a messy job
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The marylands were destined for the pot and the breasts would get smoked on the grill
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The banana leaves help keep the smoke in
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Good looking legs
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…and beautiful breasts
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Delicious

Duck marylands roasted with potatoes (for 4)

4 duck marylands

4 potatoes, chopped into 5cm chunks

salt and pepper

  • How obscurely simple does this look? This is simpler still than the half brother you have kept under the back stairs for the entirity of his life, feeding him only dirty old prawn heads and chicken bones, his only entertainment Womans Weekly magazines from the early ‘80’s…
  • Season the duck legs all over with salt and pepper. Bake in a heavy based oven dish at 160C for 1½ hours, basting regularily with rendered fat and juices
  • Add the potatoes and back into the oven for another 30 minutes. Now check the duck by gently pressing on the thigh… it should start to moan, err, I mean yield a little. If not it can all go back into the oven for another 15 minutes and then check again etc, etc, etc.
  • Once the duck is tender its good to go. Check the potatoes and if they aren’t quite done remove the duck from the pan and put the potatoes back in at 180C for another 5-10 minutes. Should be cracking now

Smoked duck breast (for 4)

4 duck breasts

salt and pepper

a source of smoke (a low fire with some nice hard wood or hickory chips is good. A raging inferno in a youth hostel is not so good)

  • This is a bit hard to put a time on because it’s all about the heat and smoke that you have to deal with. I kept my duck breasts on the crown (both breasts left on the top half of the carcass) to keep the moisture in and make sure I still had a med-rare end product, covered them in banana leaves and smoked them on the edge of the grill for 1½ -2 hours. The heat does fluctuate quite a bit on the open fire so you’ll have to keep eye on them if you’re going to try this. And at the end of the day, if it doesn’t work try again. Fire and smoke are hard things to grasp (mostly because they’re hot and whispy) but it doea get easier the more you try. And if you do manage to fluke a primo product first try, well then you just look like a bloody champ!

May the force be with you…

 

Liz McGuiness gets Ducked…

The Ghost of Barney is turning 21 today. Well no, he’s not, he’s turning a bit over 40 but he likes to think of himself as a young, virile thing still, so we shall humour him! So as the dutiful wifey of said spectre, I set to thinking of an appropriate dinner to celebrate his milestone. I couldn’t think of anything really, so I turned to foodisthebestshitever and what do you know? They’d thought of it for me. Thank you chaps! Peking* Duck and Miso Broth with BBQ Pork accompanied by sticky rice balls, and some duck dumplings and fried chicken wontons as starters. The offspring are making a cake so that’s dessert done.

Let’s walk through the journey of how I got the ingredients – or as I like to call it, Liz’s totally awesome adventure through Chinatown, after which I may have bought a lychee juice box, when I should have been at work doing boring shit. Oh yeah.

First I got on the bus which stopped conveniently, just outside my work door and was also conveniently, air conditioned. I got off the bus and accompanied a large group of Chinese young people making merry all the way to the Asian supermarket. I love the ducks and chickens and bbq pork hanging in the window. I think it’s the only non-sausage, non preserved meats that I have ever seen in a shop window since 1979 when I went to see our local butcher in Wallumbilla. Yes people, that is a place – and what do you know, spell check knows it already. All hail spell check, for you art our new Lord.

Anyway, I left the duck til last and entered the Aladdin’s cave (what do you know, spell check knows Aladdin as well) of Asian goodness. Man I love Asian supermarkets. They speak of taste bud adventures, hidden gems and possible upset stomachs after you buy something that doesn’t have a speck of English on the wrapper and ingest it the wrong way.  Winding my way slowly through the higgledy piggledy (damn you spell check, you DO know everything!) aisles, I went so slowly so enthralled was I by the strange and potentially dangerous produce on offer, that I was passed by an old man with a Zimmer frame and one leg. My basket was loaded with all sorts of lovely jubblies (ha! Gotcha spell check!) and I carefully approached the doyen at the checkout.

After scanning all my goods, the doyen at the till asked me if I had a “buserwersadurkastan” or something. I instinctively said “sorry what?” and she said “do you have a buserwersadurkastan?” I said no, I was trying to give them up. She looked at me funny and turned to her comrade at the other till and said something in Chinese. I wasted no time and hurried off to choose my duck from the ones hanging in the window. I also couldn’t resist a fillet of BBQ Pork – you KNOW I love a good porking – and made my way back to boring work on another conveniently air conditioned bus. And then drank my lychee juice box which was delicious.

Now as luck would have it, the Ghost of Barney drove by my work and picked me up with my shopping and drove me home, saving me the inconvenience of walking anywhere in the heat. I introduced the duck to the family when I got home. The duck said hello politely because it still had its head and beak and its manners and the family thought the fact it still had a head and beak was a little bit distressing. More distressing than a talking duck it would seem.

the duck
the duck

I then went to work on de-skinning, deboning and mincing the meat from the duck for the dumplings and defrosting a chicken breast for the wontons. It took me a while to make up a couple of packets of the dumplings but it is well worth the effort as fresh dumplings are to die for. Just ask the duck. Anyway, because the dinner wasn’t until the next day, I put the dumplings on a biscuit slide with baking paper and popped them in the freezer. I used to do this with the dumplings and wontons in the restaurant I worked in and they come out a treat. To fill one small packet of wontons, I used one chicken breast, coriander, a small piece of chilli, garlic and ginger into the food processor and whipped that bitch’s ass until it was a chunky gelatinous mass. Then I laid each wonton wrapper out so that a corner was pointing towards me. Using two teaspoons, I put small heaped portions of the mixture into the middle of the wonton wrapper. Dip your finger into a glass of water and run it sexily around two sides of the lower side of the wrapper like you’re painting your lover’s nipples with chocolate. Then, unlike painting nipples with chocolate, take the point closest to you and fold it up to the top point, making a triangle. Starting from the filling, press the air out and the sides of the wrapper together, sealing the triangle. Pick the wonton up with the bottom pointing at you and bend the two outside points around together and seal with water. Yeah, like some tantric sexual position. You know you want to try it.

chicken wontons, deep fried and ready to be inserted into your face
chicken wontons, deep fried and ready to be inserted into your face

Finished! Deep fry these suckers and you have an awesome snack.

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mincey mince… drinky drink
duck dumplings
duck dumplings
steam those puppies and then put the in your face
steam those puppies and then put them in your face

The dumplings, I cooked in a small quantity of oil in a heavy based pan then tip in a half cup of water, put on the lid and steam them. These dumplings are also known as pot stickers – because they stick to the bottom of the pan. Duh.

The Ghost of Barney was well pleased with his meal, especially the broth – and the duck skin which I deep fried to make a crispy treat! Plus he digs my tantric sex moves. Sorry, too much??

 

*Pekin (as apposed to peking duck) duck is a breed of duck. Pekinging a duck is Pauly’s way of describing an individual of said breed that is going through the process of being killed, plucked, marinated, blowed, dried and baked. Pekinged is Pauly’s way of saying that the said duck is ready for his further cooking and consumption…

click here to be transported to Pauly’s world

Paul’s Caul… Like a duck out of china town…

Yeah you guest it, I’m Peking… its no surprise to know that I love duck, its so god damn tasty I salivate just thinking about it. In fact I’ll go as far as to say it may be the only animal that I regularly grab its whole carcass and viciously rip at its arse with my mouth, now if that’s not love then my whole world is topsy turfy.

I’d like to move away from my love of the duck for one brief moment only to wish you all a very happy new year, and apologize for my lack of posts… but rest assured I’m well and truly back and shall bring you people many recipes/stories/rants as the years moves on.

But what I’d like to see is lots more interaction, more requests, more naked pictures of your partner sleeping, all sent to us here at foodisthebestshitever… to be honest I’m not sure if you can send us stuff but I’m guessing you are all without a doubt more technically savvy then my self and will work something out.

Back to foul play, I will admit a few things to you all right here right now, I buy my ducks ready Pekinged (new word… BAM!) And I also wear t-shirts that are too small instead of working out… I have no issue buying my ducks as I cannot cook them as well as the magicians at ‘Good Fortune’ do. But I do however do things with that duck that they do not (get your minds out of the gutter) I sometimes make my Peking duck salad which I have given you before, or I may make a aromatic duck curry which I have also given you… or I could strip the meat and make Chinese taco’s.

Regardless of what you do with the meat, you will always be left with the ducks frame/bones/all round goodness.

So what to do with said bones?

Lets make the worlds easiest broth… yes this year will be full of massive calls!!!

Duck and miso broth

This recipe is so easy that it doesn’t require the usual recipe layout….

Step 1… whack the frame of 1 Peking duck in a large pot, with a couple of whole chilli’s ripped in half and 4 kaffir lime leaves

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Step 2… fill the pot with water and simmer for 2-3 hours

That is essentially the base for the broth complete, I did say it was easy ☺

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Now as far as items to go into your broth go, you can put whatever veg you want… I however choose;

Green beans- julienned
Choy sum- julienned
Spring onions- finely sliced
Ginger- julienned
Fresh coriander- torn
Fresh birds eye chilli- finely sliced

All of these ingredients can be sliced and placed straight into your serving bowls.

Step 3… to finish the broth simply strain the broth and stir in 2 tablespoons of miso paste (I like white paste but any will do), add 1 tablespoon of sweet soy sauce

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Step 4… pour the broth over the veg in the bowls

Now you can add what ever you like to this broth and it will be tasty, I added some sliced bratwurst last night and it was sensational, so empty your fridge into this beauty, as long as you don’t store medication inn the fridge because that could end badly.

This is great on many levels, its healthy, its easy and it uses up stuff that may have been thrown away… so in summary, you’re welcome ☺

The Many Lands Challenge for Sammy… Part 3

PAUL’S CAUL… TYPOS AND ALL

Thailand is our destination of choice… aromatic duck curry is a well worthy dish on any menu.

But don’t let years of shit curries make you think that a curry doesn’t belong on a five course mini dego, because quite simply that is bollocks!

All curries can be refined and made into a banging dish suitable of any fine dining restaurant, all it takes is for the meat or veg component to be treated little nicer, leave your meat on the bone and try to keep veg true to itself… what does that mean? It means allow them to look like themselves, they don’t all have to chopped into perfect cubes, so when you’re eating said curry you have next to no fucking idea what you’re putting in your mouth.

This pretty much goes for all you weird kids out there that think you’re different and feel like swimming up stream, when in fact you have managed to do nothing except become a clone of every other emo/goth/hipster that has ever walked this earth. So celebrate what you like and by all means if you like looking like a twat then embrace it, just don’t go on about how original you are.

Graz is an excellent example of someone that is truly himself, fuck knows what that is exactly but for the time being its working and lets face it has been working for 20 years (not sure what was going on before that) and then their is me, I’m going for a certain look… don’t know what society calls it, not even sure if it has a name, I like to think if it did have a name it would be called AWESOME…

So lets face it voting for me isn’t just about recipes & food tips and its not always about comical anecdotes about the shire and Fleetwood mac…

What it is always about is issues, and remarkably bad formed sentences that quite simply hurt you’re head to read…. You’re welcome.

Aromatic duck curry paste

8 dried red chillies, deseeded & chopped
4 red shallots, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 stalk lemongrass, finely chopped
½ tablespoon galangal, chopped
1 tablespoon coriander root, scrapped & chopped
½ tablespoon lime zest
1 teaspoon white peppercorn
1 teaspoon coriander seed, roasted
3 cloves, roasted
3 blades mace, roasted
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon shrimp paste, roasted

To make paste blend chillies and all fresh ingredients together, grind all dry ingredients and then mix with puree.

Aromatic duck curry method

250ml coconut cream
3 tablespoons curry paste
30ml fish sauce
1 tablespoon palm sugar
325ml coconut milk
½ roast duck, boned & left in big chunks
2 fresh long red chillies, deseeded & halved
4 kaffir lime leafs, shredded
1 eggplant, chop it how ever you want
½ zucchini, you know the drill
20 Thai basil leaves

In a medium pan boil the coconut cream till it separates then add paste and cook till fragrant. Add the fish sauce and palm sugar and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Now add the coconut milk and bring to the boil, add all remaining ingredients and simmer for a few minutes for all flavours to combine.

VOTE 1 PAULY…..

Boys Night… Roast Pork in the Camp Oven

I know we’ve given you a bit of an amusingly-witty-great-food-cooking-blog overload today but… you’re just gonna have to deal with it. Write your local member of Parliament or something.

Cookingfoodwithyourkidsisthebestshitever

This evening the boys spent a fair while trying to decide if he said, “honey, don’t play with your food” or “Ted, don’t play with your food”… We’ll never know. Until next time we watch Dr. Seuss’ “The Lorax”. Which will quite frankly, probably be within the week. And apparently Luke kissed Darth Vader. Still got a bit to teach these kids obviously.

We also combined our forces like voltron, lit a fire and danced ceremonially in a ritual we call “Boys Night”*.

Riveting conversation aside, I offered them a choice for the evening meal. I had a pork shoulder roast, a leg of lamb and a kilo and a half piece of rump steak… all looked good but I was pushing them towards the lamb. I really felt like lamb roasted over the coals. But as Jesus once said, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. So pork it was. We also pulled out some cabbage, onions, apples, apple cider vinegar and anchovies. We can’t eat without anchovies at the moment. Not literally of course. I can eat just fine without an anchovy there to tell me to chew my food before I swallow so I don’t choke and die. I can also clean my own bottom when I go to the toilet. Oh, how far I’ve come!

So it’s clearly not all about me… not when I have children around that’s for sure. And when you can get in the kitchen with said mini yous, then good times are to be had by all. Unless you live in a shack in the hills and your children are a product of coital union between you and your sister. Then shits gonna get fucked up when little jimmy comes in to the kitchen to help his ma (your sister) fix some road kill raccoon mighty white sandwiches fer supper. That kid has no place there…

We cooked, we poked sticks in the fire, we watched a sea of gold come flowing out from under the mother duck (and realized quite quickly that it wasn’t actual gold, instead she had hatched out 16 ducklings), we ate (Not the ducklings. Not yet anyway), and then the kids asked me if they could stay up for the whole night watching movies. To which I politely replied no. No you may not.

Shopping list, check. I especially like the spelling of anchobies.

Before the pot.

Put the pork in a camp oven, season with salt and pepper (just a little salt because we have a few anchovies heading in for the ho-down a little later), and place in your fire pit with some coals on top to create “the camp oven”. After 30 minutes add your other ingredients.

After another 30 minutes check to see if things are going as they should. If it need a bit more time let it have some. You don’t own time, you know? When it’s smelling like really awesome tasty things smell bring it to the table but let it rest for 10-15 minutes just to make sure the available awesome-ness is fully achieved.

Carve it up while your son pretends he is a Japanese tourist… again…

Nom, nom, nom, burp, aaaah. And then tomorrow we go camping so there’s sure to be more fire cookery posts from that. Rock on dark continent, we love you!

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. That’s the sound I make when I pass out because I had a little to much (or maybe just the right amount) of wine… mmmmm. Passed out…

*Boys Night. A night where you hang out with your boys and do cool shit.

Paul’s Caul… Salads for people who don’t like salads

Salad for people that don’t like salad

I’m with you people, salad just doesn’t sound appealing its like de-caf coffee or clothes shopping with your girl, as in it just sounds shit from the get go, it may turn out to be alright but you’ll never know because you made up a lie about helping under privileged Jewish children (if there is such a thing)

But this isn’t to say I don’t eat salad I just don’t eat other peoples poor attempts of so called salads, some manky lettuce and cucumber, thickly sliced onions and half a wheelbarrow of dressing that was made early on Tuesday in 1987. But its actually not just Graeme and myself that make good salads I hear there is a guy called Dave that lives in Bulgaria making some pretty good stuff, but he sleeps with goats, and by sleeps I mean uses as a goat version of Punch and Judy if you know what I’m saying? No? Good well then lets just leave it….

So for all you rugged blokes out there that say “only gays eat salad” and “you can’t make friends with salad” I say you are one narrow minded homophobic red neck that has never eaten my ‘Peking duck salad’ and what’s more have you ever seen an unfit gay man sitting alone in a café? Hell no they are all uber fit and have shit loads of friends (I like to pigeon hole people… no that definitely is not a sexual move! Well it most likely is but I didn’t mean it in that context)

What I like to do with salads is to start with my super ingredient and that is anything you really like, from Portuguese roast chicken to Anchovy stuffed olives… now all you have to do is add a few ingredients to make a little bed for your super ingredient to sit on.

1. Pick super ingredient, chicken, Peking duck, haloumi, meatballs, squid etc.
2. Pick a filler i.e. lettuce, spinach, quinoa, cous cous, pasta, rice, noodles etc.
3. Pick two more ingredients that you feel go well with the SE, ie. Red onions, cherry toms, olives, pineapple, bacon, feta etc.
4. Pick one ingredient that is crunchy and has texture ie. Nuts, croutons, crispy bacon, glass (just checking if your still reading, please don’t use glass)
5. Dress the mo fo

Let me harp on about dressing for a second, the dressing can make or break any dish, but that doesn’t mean it has to take 5 hours and a crew of Tibetan elves to make the holier than thou dressing. It could be just a simple squeeze of lemon juice that works best or the left over juices from the meat you just cooked. It might be a nip of your favourite spirit shaken up with oil and seasoning that works best. Try it out and you’ll see that dressings take 2 seconds and are the catalyst for a flavorful salad.

I have given you my Peking duck salad recipe today and it is without a doubt my favourite salad to eat, it is everything I just explained, it’s simple, it’s manly, it’s packed full of flavour and its like a duck out of china town… off its tits.

Peking duck salad
• 1 peking duck stripped of all meat and shredded
• 1 red onion sliced
• 1 cup of mint finely sliced
• 2 long red chillies julienned (fine strips)
• ½ cup almonds (or any nut you want)
• 1 large pear, cored and finely sliced
• 5 handfuls of mixed lettuce
• Hoisin dressing (1/3 hoisin, 1/3 honey, 1/3 water)

Place the shredded duck on an oven tray and place nuts on it, coat with dressing leaving a little aside to dress later…
Place in hot oven and cook for 10-15 minutes or until it looks crispy…
Mix all remaining ingredients together then add duck while still warm and mix well…
Serve immediately.

So simple yet so delicious, this is the story of my life and most likely the title of my memoirs… but that aside please don’t run away from salad make your favourite dish into a salad, take all the ingredients and deconstruct that shit until you have an amazing salad… BAM