What are you cooking today?

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Friday night. For alot of English people, that means a Chinese or Indian takeaway. My first taste of "chinese" food was probably 30 or so years ago, when my mum would get a prawn curry and rice from the local Chop Suey House, and I loved having a little taste, and a couple of prawn crackers. I'd secretly stay awake on fridays until the smell of grease ridden paper bags full of chinese takeaway would waft up the stairs, signalling that I should sneak down and see what I could have a nibble on.

 

I guess the English friday takeaway phenom was probably all about fridays being payday for many people, or perhaps because it was the end of the week, and cooking is a pain in the arse. Whatever it is, I still yearn for chinese takeaway food on friday, but living where I do, that just ain't an option. Atall.

 

As luck would have it though, I can cook. Tonight, amongst other things, we shall be having that fantastic staple dish of every chinese menu up and down Blighty, crispy duck with pancakes. It'll also be super cheap, because the duck is coming from...yep, Aldi. I've mentioned it before here, when I was writing some crap about DIY chinese takeaway stuff.

 

So, Aldi do this frozen half crispy duck. It's precooked,but really is not too bgad atall, and the skin does indeed get super crispy, especially if we help it along a bit.

Some of the other ingredients cannot be bought in German supermarkets. Not even Karstadt. You simply have to get them from an asian store, but they are at least things that will keep for ages.

 

1 jar Hoisin Sauce - Asian supermarket

Some pancakes for duck - Asian supermarkets sell these frozen. They're great, and normally super cheap of course.

1 cucumber - Aldi

Spring Onions - Aldi

1 Aldi KnusperEnte

Sesame oil.

 

First off, get some pancakes out to defrost, they don't take long atall.

Next, veg prep. Cut the cucumber in half lengthways, then cut in into quarters along its lenght. Run a blade along the flesh to remove the seeds and watery crap, then cut the cucumber flesh into sticks. You know what you are aiming for, those 4 or 5 cm long sticks of cucumber that syou always get with crispy duck. Cut the spring onions into the same sort of lengths, but also shredd them along their lengths.

 

Get your oven heated, and whack in the duck. It comes i a foil tray, so you don't even need to wash an oven tray afterwards. Good eh? Cook it for I dunno, 30 minutes or so, then remove from the oven, and carfeully, using a BLUNT kitchen knife, remove the skin. What will happen is that most of the ski8n will come away nicely, but might be a bit tricker on the thigh. You'll also get a thick layer of fatty muck from parts of the duck. TRy and get the skin off in one piece. Keep the duck meat warm.

 

Now, put the skin, fatty side up, on a board, and run a knife against it, scraping all the fatty muck off. You want to be left with a fatty-muck free bit of duckskin. Chuck this in a hot frying pan, no oil, and push it down flat with a bit of kitchen roll. You are trying to render any remaining fat out of it, and get it all really super crispy. ONce you have done that, let it cool, and then chop it finely - it kinda disentegrates under the knife, and you ebnd up with a pile of duck flavoured goodness that looks a little like toasted breadcrumbs.

 

Shred the duck meat (it has already been boned) with two forks. You are going for a texture that looks a bit like a can of tuna thats been forked out of the can. Toss a little sesame oil through the shredded duck meat- Keep this meat warm.

 

The pancakes shoukld be steamed. I do this in a shit cheap chinese bamboo steamer that sits on a pan of boiling water. First, put a circle fo greaseproof paper in the botton of the steamer, then pile your pancakes on top. Takes only 2 minutes or so to steam them through.

 

Now you can serve it all up. I tend to water down Hoisin sauce a little, as it is too gloopy, but you don't need to. Serve the shredded duck, vegetables and crunchy duckskin stuff with the pancakes. To fodder, take a pancake in one hand, put a line of hoisin down the middle, then add some duck, a couple of sticks of cucumber, some shredded spring onion, and top with some of the crunchy duckskin stuff, then roll up.

 

Serve with...erm, I dunno really. Whatever. I like to print off a few chinese takeaway menus off the net, and let the missus choose whatever she fancies, then cook it. Chacun sait gout as they say in Bromford.

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Meatloaf made with beef chuck, carrots, day-old parisienne bread, garlic, chilli and onions with a mixed salad including home-grown red radishes.

 

750g beef chuck

Was just wondering if someone could tell me what beef chuck is. Is that mince (Hackfleisch) or steak?

Thanks from a Brit. who loves the sound of Sarabyrd's meatloaf

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mclovett mentioned somewhere above - Roter Sauser, Italian early red wine (Traubenmost)

 

Is this wine anything like Federweisser? Is it commonly available? And is it seasonal or drinkable all year long? I'm interested!

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Was just wondering if someone could tell me what beef chuck is. Is that mince (Hackfleisch) or steak?

Thanks from a Brit. who loves the sound of Sarabyrd's meatloaf

It's hackfleisch. Meatloaf is great comfort food when the weather is turning cold - I might make some this weekend myself.

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Roter Sauser(Traubenmost)Is this wine anything like Federweisser?

Yes, in that it gives you an epic headache and rotten guts and will knock you out in a heartbeat with no warning if you have too much. Too much being the difference between ... this much and ... this much.

 

 

Is it commonly available? And is it seasonal or drinkable all year long?

Available most places you can get Federweißer. Seasonal, yes (early autumn). Drinkable all year long, no. Thank goodness.´

 

Lovely stuff, seriously.

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Red Lentil Dal over rice

 

1 large chopped onion

4 cups water

1.5 cups dry red lentils

1 cup chopped tomato (or 1 can)

 

Spices to taste:

 

garlic

ginger

cumin

coriander

turmeric

paprika

garam masala

chilli pepper

salt

 

fresh cilantro

 

Sautee onion in a sauce pan until starting to brown

Add spices to taste

Add water and Lentils

Bring to a boil

Reduce heat and cover

Simmer until lentils are done (15-20 minutes)

 

Top with chopped cilantro and serve over rice

 

I also added a few things to my rice to make it more exciting:

 

raisins

cinamon sticks (remove before serving)

cumin seeds

cardamom

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Thank you and glad I could give you one less meal plan to worry about

That's two meal plans. Or have you never had a meatloaf sandwich?

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Was just wondering if someone could tell me what beef chuck is. Is that mince (Hackfleisch) or steak?

Thanks from a Brit. who loves the sound of Sarabyrd's meatloaf

 

Chuck beef are cuts that lend them selves to braisng\stewing rather than frying,so back in the old days chuck beef was "chucked away" i was told.

 

they also used to in posh places cook say a fillet steak between two pieces of rump and throw these away,to expensive now to do this and a waste.

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bah, crusoe is a lightweight.

Far from it. It's all about quantity. The stuff goes down like mother's milk.

I'll give you beginner's mistake, though.

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Peppy New Joe’s Special

300g mincemeat (pure beef)

2 medium onions

1 chilli

1 yellow pepper

50g fresh spinach

1 egg

50g Basmati rice

Olive oil

Thyme, marjoram, oregano, curcuma, paprika

 

Cook the rice in weak salt-water

 

Remove the skin from the pepper (heat the oven to 250°C, switch on the grill, cut the pepper in quarters and leave them in the oven, skin side up, for app. 8 minutes, hold each piece under cold running water for a few seconds – voilà, off comes the skin!) and chop them coarsely

Chop the chilli finely

Dice the onion, glaze in olive oil, add mincemeat, chilli and peppers

Let this all simmer, stirring frequently

Wash the spinach, chop in strips, add to the mincemeat mixture

Season to taste

Simmer until the spinach has wilted

Beat in the egg

 

Serve with the rice

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