The white asparagus season is starting in Belgium. Hence:
Also, I visited a small shop outside of Antwerp and they were selling a duck. Hence:
I love duck in small quantities. First of all, it is so difficult to cook as whole – if you want the breast pink, the legs are raw. If you want confit legs, the breast is like sawdust. Don’t ask me how, but it is the first time I nailed a duck. The duck itself was about 2 kg and I kept it in the oven for 3 hours at 160 degrees (C). Don’t follow my instructions, I really believe you should go with your intuition when roasting a duck. If you don’t have one, don’t roast a duck. But if you really still want to, prick the skin with a small grilling spear. And let it dry in the fridge for at least 24 hours.
I love Pi Pa duck. The Chinese duck with super crispy skin. Or Peking duck. Whatever, as long as it has crispy skin. Although I blazed the duck at the end, the skin failed to become crispy. However, after three long hours of low’n’slow at 160 degrees, the skin became gelatinous. Not crispy, but gelatinous full with flavor. I never had that – it’s either unchewable or crispy, in general, nothing in between. However this was. I made some Chinese pancakes to go with it:
As bad as I am with flour, they came out fairly decent. I love the burnt edges, they add mild bitterness to the taste, the good one.
And then I chopped some scallions, some cucumber, and made a sauce from Ume plum vinegar, tamari, sugar, Szechuan pepper and chili paste.
And then you embed all of the ingredients in the pancake:
Yes. And as a bonus of roasting a duck, you get liquid gold:
Effing duck fat, which literally makes everything taste amazing.
Which brings me back to white asparagus, that was precisely roasted in the duck fat. I paired it with a beautiful piece of fresh cod, pan-fried with butter and dill stalks:
And then brought together with rich Hollandaise sauce.
Flake it, don’t fake it.