Paul’s Caul… Kris’ Birthday Quackalicious Jenga

Kris’ birthday quackalicous jenga.

So I get the text saying that it’s “Kris’ 40th next week and I need some dinner suggestion?” This was from my wonderful sister Zoe, and Kris, as you can most likely piece together, is my brother in law… so this pleased me as I love them both dearly, and Zoe is also pretty decent in the kitchen so I could suggest anything and she’d have a crack, or in this case a quack!

Yes I truly reckon that’s the worst joke to date that I have typed and placed in front of your eyeholes… I‘m better than that, I wouldn’t normally worry about such poultry matters but I have always said “no foul no game”… booyah triple bird pun!!!!

(Not entirely sure on reading that back whether I have proved anything at all)

Any who back to the mission to feed Kris so he’ll stop freaking out about being 40, yes 40 years out is not the new 50 as most 40 year olds have you believe, no it is in fact still 40 and that is getting on in anyone’s language.

So what to cook?

Do we cook his favourite?

Shall we do something visually spectacular?

Strippers?

Stick with the classics?

Well I’ll tell you what we’re going to cook and it will very quickly become his favourite, as it is visually spectacular and strips away all the rules where classic cant be fucked with, as they can/should/must be tweaked and played with as that is what being a chef is all about…. It is mixture of a few classic dishes and styles of cooking, still kept simple as not to lose its warmth.

Society makes us conform to names for dishes, it dictates that I should call this dish…

‘Duck leg confit on a bed of steamed Asian greens, hand cut chips served with a sour cherry sauce’

Well that sounds like bollocks!

I want to call it…

‘Mr Crispy and his sour mates play jenga’

But I may settle for…

‘Crispy skin duck confit, sour cherry greens, thrice cooked spud jenga’

With the naming of said dish complete I shall give you the recipes and hope you all embrace Mr Crispy into your life.

Duck confit
4 duck legs (Maryland)
rock salt
aromatics (star anise, bay leaves, garlic, thyme)
Enough duck fat to cover (1lt perhaps, remember you can never have enough duck fat on hand)
• Salt the duck legs over night, then wash salt off and dry the legs really, really well. Pat dry with paper.
• Heat fat with aromats, in this instance use 2 bay leaves, 2 star anise, 1 cinnamon (chilli if you want 1 dried would work best)
• In a high sided dish place legs and cover with warm fat, make sure completely covered and place in the oven covered and cook for 3-5 hours at 110c
• Check if cooked by carefully pulling out and you will know as the meat has to close to falling off the bone
• Once there just pull out legs and carefully place on a wire rack out of the fat to cool.
• Strain fat and once leg is cooled pour the fat back over it.
• When you come to actually cooking and serving, you will need to clean fat off. They don’t have to be completely cleaned as you will be cooking in fat anyway.
• Just heat a bit of the stored fat in a pan so you have at least a 1cm of fat in base of pan, place the legs very carefully in the smoking hot fat (they will spit so be careful) and once they settle down check to see its well crispy then quickly flip over for a second.
• Remove from pan and cook in a hot oven for 5-10 until hot.
• Serve ☺

Sour cherry sauce (the tits)
2 shallots
4 shitake (or any mushroom if you don’t like strong mushie)
50 ml red wine vinegar (pedro ximinez vinegar would be best)
100 ml port
5 g sugar
1 star anise
½ cinnamon quill
1 cardamon
200 ml stock (chicken, duck, veg, whatever… could just be water)

180g sour cherry from jar or tin (get the best)
• Whack everything but the cherries in a pot and simmer for 20 minutes
• Pour the sauce over the chopped up cherries and gently heat before serving
• This sauce is nice without the cherries and just toss the sauce around steamed kai lan or brocolini

Thrice cooked duck fat jenga
4 large royal blue spuds (cooked in skin and only just cook)
normal deep fryer
duck fat
salt
• Square off the cooked spud and cut into 4 massive chips, one cut down the center lengthways then cut each half again lengthways and job done
• Fry off once in a deep fryer with oil, but only just get a crust then drain and cool
• For serving shallow fry in duck fat until crispy as fuck
• Salt those crispy homeboys.

For final plate up I recommend, stacking chips like jenga to one side of plate, then get some steamed kai lan and cherries and toss them in the sauce and make that into an insanely tasty bed for Mr Crispy.

Enjoy your Birthday Kris, love ya brother

Cooking duck for the duckman

SAMSUNG CSC

…and then the duck farmer returned for one last hurrah

Why?

I know many of you people out there are curious and I know many more of you couldn’t even give one single fuck. But it appears one duck cook up (you can suss that here) wasn’t enough to satiate the appetite of the ravenous duckman. So he returned for one last night of drinking fine ales, wine and possibly a port or two, duck consumption and, of course, the mandatory late night table dance with a drunken midget cobbler from the salt mining districts of Siberia. Apparently there is quite a call for good shoe repair in those parts.

Cooking duck for the duckman and a few other friends

Have some cheese while you're waiting
Have some cheese while you’re waiting. These are some more offerings from the Nimbin Valley Dairy
Duck is a huge fan of a few root veg from the farmers market
Duck is a huge fan of a few root veg from the farmers market. Roast those bad boys up in a little duck fat
Duck, glorious duck
Duck, glorious duck

I’ve said it before and (you guessed it) I’ll say it again; get your self some duck marylands (thigh with leg attached), season them with a good hit of sea salt and freshly ground pepper, roast them in a pre-heated oven at 170-180C for two hours, basting regularly with their own fatty juices. That is quite literally all you need to do for a delicious roast duck dinner.  Well, that and a few kick ass side dishes, but I think you’re more than qualified to sort out a few sides by now… hopefully… maybe… shit, just eat it with a piece of bread.

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.

photo-4
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

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…..

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