Hanukkah has ended, and it was my first, on my own. My grandfather sent me one of the family prayer cards, which we used when I was little, that have been in my family since the 20s. The picture above is Alex's hands making potato pancakes. These ones had a twist, with sweet potato and scallions added. He makes the best latkes I've ever had.
Life at home is hectic, with the two dogs. And the cat. Did I mention we have a guinea pig and two tanks of fish? I live in the zoo. The stray cat Sarah was going to try to tame and adopt hasn't been around in a while, so I think the number is going to stay how it is for a bit. I'm waiting for my nice volunteer ride to take me and fosterdog to the shelter so he can get looked at by a vet, he is coughing something awful. I feel so bad for him. He's the happiest dog, though. He loves all of us. I don't think Alex is going to let him go.
I've been craving duck lately. We don't roast duck as much as I'd like, especially since I love duck fat. But Alex bought a nice roaster from work and I bought a duck, and set to it last night. I wanted to do something like Peking duck, the roast duck that's shredded and eaten in pancakes with Hoisin or plum sauce with scallions. I haven't been able to find Hoisin sauce without wheat in it, since the main ingredient is soy sauce. I did find some golden plum sauce. For the pancakes I made my scallion pancakes, with a dipping sauce that was 3 parts soy sauce, 2 parts rice vinegar, and 1 part sesame oil, with minced ginger, garlic, scallions and a bit of chili-garlic sauce. It was delicious. Crispy roast duck
1 4-5 lb duck
2" knob of ginger, peeled and cut into chunks
9 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 scallion stalks
salt and pepper
Heat oven to 300. Pat duck dry with paper towels, make sure all juice is drained from the inside and guts removed. Sprinkle salt and pepper inside of the duck, then cram garlic and ginger and scallion inside. Close duck, tie legs together and tie wings into the body. Sprinkle the outside with salt and pepper. Prick carefully all over, only the skin, not piercing the meat. Place in a roasting pan, breast up, and set the timer for an hour. Put duck in the oven, start the timer, and go do something else. When the timer goes off, remove the duck to a cutting board carefully, and then drain the fat in the pan into a Pyrex or other heat-safe cup or bowl. Place the duck back in the roaster, breast down this time. Set the timer for another hour. After that hour, repeat.
After the 3rd of 4th hour, when you think the duck will be done soon, brush with the hoisin-BBQ sauce and put back in for 30 minutes, keeping an eye on it. When the duck is done, let it rest for about 30 minutes, then carve. To carve the duck, remove the wings and the legs, then the skin. Slice the skin into thin strips. Set these pieces on a large plate. Then, cut off the breasts, slice them, then peel off the thigh meat. Pull everything you can off the bird, then use the carcass for stock. Put all the meat onto the plate, and serve with scallion pancakes and Hoisin BBQ sauce.
Hoisin BBQ Sauce
4 T soy sauce
2 T peanut butter
2 T brown sugar or honey
2 T rice vinegar
1/4 t garlic powder (or 2 cloves minced garlic)
2 t sesame oil
2 t chili sauce (more to taste)
1 t bean paste
2 T plum sauce
Mix everything together, let it sit for a while., Taste, adjust seasoning, adding more sugar or plum sauce as you wish. The cleanup crew was happy last night.
EDIT! I forgot to mention the most important reason you should roast a duck once in a while. The beautiful, golden, fat you get from the duck. I got almost 2 cups of it, which when it cooled I put it in a plastic tupperware container and use it as often as possible.