Showing posts with label jam. Show all posts
Showing posts with label jam. Show all posts

Monday, July 27, 2015

Idea Obsessions - Peanut Butter and Jelly Duck Bao

Idea Obsessions - Peanut Butter and Jelly Duck Bao
Idea Obsessions - Peanut Butter and Jelly Duck Bao

Sometimes I get hit by a random food idea that I simply can’t shake. Peanut Butter and Jelly Duck Bao was one of those. In my head, I could taste the combination. Beautiful fatty duck slices, sticky sweet jam, a spicy peanut sauce rounding it out. I wanted it so bad! Cooking complicated meals during the week is a bonus of being made redundant. Ordinarily, it’d be months before I had a spare weekend to cook something like this, but now I can (almost) any time! So on a Friday without plans, I decided to make dinner and the couch Date Night, by making something a little fancier than the norm. Right from the get-go you should know that this is a very involved meal, if you want to do things right and get the full richness of flavours in your jelly and the best fluffiness in homemade steam buns. Good things sometimes really do take time. It is worth it, I promise you that. BUT…if you are time poor, but still love the idea of these PB&J Duck Bao, I won’t complain too much if you simplify things..

So, onto my complicated, enhanced version. I always use the Momofuku Steam Buns recipe for making bao, but I find I always need at least ½ cup more flour than their recipe. But use their amount first, and add more if the dough is too sticky. In this instance, instead of rendered pork fat, I used rendered duck fat.

Given we aren’t in stone fruit season, I decided to make my plum jam with prunes, instead of fresh plums. Given how classic a combination duck and plums are, I didn’t want to deviate for my jam. I always have prunes in the house because I’m a bit of a nanna and love them on my porridge. Finish it off with a simple spicy peanut butter sauce and you have gold! I was going to make my own pickles to go with these, but time got away from me.

Serve with buns, pickle and parsley and coriander leaves and you have a perfectly balanced but rich PB&J Duck Bao.

Idea Obsessions - Peanut Butter and Jelly Duck Bao
Idea Obsessions - Peanut Butter and Jelly Duck Bao
Idea Obsessions - Peanut Butter and Jelly Duck Bao
Idea Obsessions - Peanut Butter and Jelly Duck Bao
Idea Obsessions - Peanut Butter and Jelly Duck Bao
Idea Obsessions - Peanut Butter and Jelly Duck Bao

Peanut Butter and Jelly Duck Bao

½ duck (if you are making a simpler version, 1 large duck breast, skin on)
1 red onion, peeled and roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp salt
2 litres water
1/2tsp freshly cracked black pepper

Prune and Onion Jelly

1 red onion, thinly sliced
½ tsp salt
2 cups red wine (such as Shiraz or Cab Sauv)
200g prunes, roughly chopped
1L duck stock (included in recipe)
½ cup brown sugar

Spicy Peanut Sauce

½ cup peanut butter
½ tbsp. freshly grated ginger
3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp kecap manis
2 tbsp sriracha (or to taste)

Fillet the breast and thigh piece of the duck, keeping the skin intact. Cover and place in the fridge until later. Remove the fat and skin from the rest of the duck. In a frypan over medium heat, fry the excess skin and fat until the fat renders out. Drain from pan and allow to cool to room temperature. Start making the steam buns, if you are. Read the instructions fully, to understand how much rising time you’ll need all up.

Using a big sharp knife, carefully cut the duck bones up at the joints and fry them off in a stock pot until brown. Add 2 litres of water, the onion, bay leaf, garlic cloves, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then simmer for an hour, skimming the foam off the top from time to time. Leave to cool half an hour, then pass through a sieve. You can remove and shred any meat from the duck pieces and reserve for another use – or just discard along with the vegetables and bones.

In a saucepan, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over a medium-low heat and cook the onion slices until translucent, around 5 minutes. Add the salt to allow them to sweat, and cook for a further 10 minutes. They should soften even more, but not colour. Add the prunes, duck stock and brown sugar. Bring to the boil, stirring well, then cover and reduce to a simmer, and leave to cook for around an hour and a half, or until reduced by half. Alternatively, skip the stock making step and use good chicken stock - or just use a good store-bought plum jam or plum sauce.

While this cooks, remove the duck from the fridge to take the chill off, and preheat the oven to 150C. Should take about half an hour.

When the oven is ready, heat a frypan to high. Season the duck on both sides with salt and pepper and place skin side down on the heat. Leave to cook for 5-6 minutes, until the skin is crispy and the fat has rendered. Flip over and cook a further 5 minutes. Spoon some prune jelly over the top of the duck breast and place in the oven to finish cooking for 15 minutes. Take the lid off the prune jelly and keep cooking to reduce to a sticky, jamlike consistency.

Meanwhile, start steaming your buns and make the peanut butter sauce. Add all of the spicy peanut butter sauce ingredients to a small saucepan and place over low heat, stir here and there until smooth and all of the ingredients are fully incorporated. Should be about 5 minutes. Take off the heat and set aside.

Remove the duck breast, cover with a piece of foil and rest for 5 minutes. Slice into thin strips and serve with the prune and onion jelly, peanut butter sauce, pickles, herbs and steam buns.

Idea Obsessions - Peanut Butter and Jelly Duck Bao
Idea Obsessions - Peanut Butter and Jelly Duck Bao
Idea Obsessions - Peanut Butter and Jelly Duck Bao

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Community Inspiration - Chilli Fig Jam with Chorizo tacos

So you might be looking at this and thinking, really? ANOTHER fig recipe? But they’re in season, they’re plentiful and they’re currently being supplied to me for free from a friend’s tree. So I am using them in everything. And loving every single dish of them! And as they are in season, they’re popping up on my Instagram feeds quite frequently and one that caught my eye was from Perth Breakfast – she was making a fig and chilli jam. Um…yum! Two of my favourite things in a jam! Something I was definitely going to try!

As you probably know by now if you’ve read this blog a few times, I am more than slightly addicted to tacos. So my mind immediately went to tacos for a good use of said jam. So beyond the fig jam, the next idea of these was to use a big range of textures. So you have the chewiness of the chorizo, the soft, squishiness of the zucchini, the pop of the corn kernels the crunch of the peanuts and the stickiness of the jam (is stickiness a texture??), the smoothness of the cheese and the crispness of the cucumber. All at once. And it was wonderful.

I used venison chorizo because I have a stockpile in my fridge. When we head down south for a weekend, we tend to stock up on a few products without fail. Venison chorizo, chilli beer sticks and kangaroo biltong from the Margaret River Venison Farm are high on that list. Being venison, it has a more intense flavour than standard chorizos, slightly gamey but not super obviously gamey. If that makes sense? It’s perfect for adding sweet flavours like fig jam to. But any chorizo you’ll have will work. I also served it with the jam still warm. Do this. It blends in with the cheese better as you eat it.
I was deliberately light on the chilli in the jam for two reasons. Firstly, the chorizo already has a heat to it and I didn’t want to overdo the spice, but for all other purposes, I think I would prefer it hotter. And secondly, the jalapenos I used are from my own shrub and they are so inconsistent in their heat. Some are basically capsicum, some will knock your head off – I tend to err on the side of caution. I’m sure you know your own tolerance, add the chilli to your tastes. As per our Instagram conversation (and because I prefer natural sweeteners) the jam is sweetened with honey rather than white sugar. And traditionally, you would add some water but this I deliberately wanted super sticky and thick. You can add a cup of water to make a runnier jam.

Chilli Fig Jam
(makes one 300g jar)
10 figs, cut into 1cm pieces
2 jalapenos, de-seeded and minced
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
¼ cup honey

First up, make the jam. Add the figs, jalapenos, vinegar and honey to a small pot, bring up to a medium low heat and allow to simmer away for half an hour so until the figs start breaking down and the texture goes all jammy. Around half an hour or so. Bottle in a clean glass jar when still hot.

Spicy Peanuts
1 tsp butter
½ cup raw peanut kernels (no skins)
¼ tsp cumin seeds
¼ tsp smokey paprika
Pinch sea salt

Heat a frypan, melt the butter and throw the peanut kernels in, toss around for 2-3 minutes. Add the cumin seeds, paprika and salt, toss everything very well to blend. When the cumin seeds are at the ‘popping’ stage, the peanuts should be slightly brown and toasty. Remove to a serving bowl and allow to cool.

Chorizo Tacos
(serves 2)
1 chorizo sausage (around 250g)
1 medium zucchini, diced
½ cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
handful chopped coriander
To serve
Tortillas, cucumber strips, fetta (try get one that’s smoother rather than dry and crumbly)

In the same frypan as above, add the diced chorizo pieces. Leave to fry 5 minutes or so for them to render out some of their fat and start to get crispy. Add the zucchini and corn, and cook for a further 5-10 minutes or so until the zucchini is cooked. At the end, stir through the coriander.

Serve all immediately with warmed tortillas.