Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A Dinner Party with Friends

On Sunday I had some friends over for dinner (it had been a while since the last time) and decided to make a couple of dishes I hadn't made before.

One of my friends says that EVERY time she is with me, she tries something she has never had before. I am seeing how long I can keep this streak going for. So far it's been about 7 months :)

She had never had duck, so duck was definitely on the menu. Also, for a while now, I have been craving garlic noodles from Crustacean restaurant. I found a copy cat recipe which I then bastardized even more. Both of these dishes were very good, but I have got to say, the noodles were phenomenal!!!

I don't have pictures because I has 1.5 hours to put the whole mean together, but both dishes came out beautifully.

Chinatown Steamed and Roasted Duck
Recipe By: Tyler Florence

1 whole (4 to 5 pound) duck
1 tablespoon Chinese five-spice powder
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
5 slices big fresh ginger
4 cloves garlic
1/2 bunch green onions
1 tangerine,peel cut in big strips
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup soy sauce

Duck is notoriously a fatty bird, to diminish the fat and produce a crispy skin, begin by trimming the excess fat from the neck and body. Rinse the duck, inside and out, and pat dry thoroughly with paper towels. Combine the Chinese five-spice, sugar, and salt in a small bowl. Rub the spice mixture all over the duck, inside and out. Salt and five-spice powder makes a fragrant dry marinade, which draws some of the moisture from the duck so that the spices penetrate. Stuff the duck cavity with the aromatics: the ginger, garlic, green onions, and tangerine peel. Fold the wing tips back under the duck and tie the legs together with kitchen string. Poke the duck breast a few times, piercing the skin.
Place a roasting pan on the stovetop over 2 burners and fill with 2-inches of water, turn the heat to medium. Set a V-rack insert inside the pan and lay the duck on the rack, breast-side up. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Steam the duck for 45 minutes, checking the water level periodically. Steaming the duck first melts away some of the fat and shrinks the skin.
In a small saucepan combine the vinegar, honey, and soy sauce over low heat. Cook and stir for 5 minutes until thick. The duck will be lacquered with the sweet glaze, which caramelizes during roasting, making the skin crisp and brown.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Take the foil off the duck, remove the rack with the duck, and pour out the water and all the fat that has rendered out (this is great to use in other dishes like fried rice.) Put the rack with the duck back inside the roasting pan. Baste the duck with the vinegar mixture, until all the skin is completely coated in the glaze. Stick the whole thing in the oven. Roast the duck for 1 hour, basting periodically with any remaining glaze to set in a deep mahogany color. Tent the breast with some foil if it gets too dark. The legs will wiggle easily when it's done. Carve and serve.

Crustacean-inspired Garlic Noodles Recipe

1 lb fresh noodles
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic (pounded)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 1/2 teaspoons chicken bouillon powder (used vegetable bouillon cube)
2 1/2 teaspoons oyster sauce
5 teaspoons grated parmesan cheese (omitted - it REALLY didn't need it so I'm glad I left it out)

Rinse the noodles with cold water and set aside. Heat up a pot of water and let it boil. Boil the noodles in the hot water until they are done, drain the water, and set aside to cool down the noodles.

In a pan, saute the garlic with the olive oil in medium heat. The purpose is to infuse the olive oil with garlicky flavor. Discard the garlic and then add in 4 tablespoons of butter and turn the heat to low. Add in the chicken bouillon powder, garlic powder, oyster sauce and blend well. Set aside to let it cool.

Once the garlic mixture is cool and the noodles are cool at room temperature, pour the garlic mixture over the noodles and toss them together to blend well. Add in the grated parmesan cheese, toss well, and serve immediately.


Lucy said...

Wow, I want to come to your house for dinner!!!

I could never do the duck, it sounded delicious.

The noodles I think I can handle, I'm gonna write the recipe down and give a try!!

LL said...

The duck sounds good -- very hard to make good duck in my experience. I'm sure you pulled it off. I don't know that I could do as well.

The noodles -- as you know, Crustacean is in my top three or four favorite places for dinner so I copied the recipe and may try to make those (easier than cooking a duck so it tastes good).

Annette Piper said...

That sounds exquisite! Gee, I want to come to your place for dinner too :)

LL said...

I sent an e-mail but WHERE (since I live near you) did you buy the noodles themselves?

Julia@SometimesLucid said...

Lucy - Let me know if you do make it. And the duck was actually very easy.

LL - this duck was very good but it still can't compete with chinese restaurant crispy duck. I think you can actually use any noodles with the sauce.

Annette - Any time!