Smoked Duck with Spicy Litchi and Szechuan pepper sauce

This recipe involves lightly smoking the duck breast after it has come out of the oven and is resting. Do not worry if you don’t have a smoking gun to smoke the duck, as the dish will still be delicious.

Ingredients

  • 4 duck breasts, skin lightly scored
  • Cherrywood chips
  • Salt and pepper
  • Frozen/fresh lotus root slices
  • 1 bunch bok choi
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying

Sauce

  • 1tsp Szeschuan pepper
  • 1tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1tsp cumin seeds
  • 1tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 lemongrass stem, white part only, coarsely chopped
  • 2 small shallots
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2cm piece of ginger peeled
  • 2 Tblsp chopped coriander stem
  • 1 Tblsp chopped coriander leaves
  • 525g tin litchis in Syrup
  • 2tsp Fish Sauce
  • 200 ml Chicken stock
  • 2 Tblsp lemon juice
  • 100ml coconut milk
  • 2 Tblsp Peanut oil
  • Corn Starch

Rice

  • I cup white rice
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • Water
  • Salt

Method

  • Turn oven on to 190deg C.
  • Begin by making the sauce.
  • Add Szechuan pepper, cumin, coriander seeds, chilli flakes, lemongrass, shallot, garlic, ginger, coriander stem and leaves, half of the tin of litchis and syrup, fish sauce and lemon juice to a food processor/blender and process for a few minutes until as smooth as possible.
  • Pass the sauce through a sieve to remove unprocessed pieces.
  • Heat the peanut oil in a pan and when hot add the sauce and fry for about a minute over a medium heat.
  • Add the rest of the litchi syrup, coconut milk and chicken stock and gently simmer the sauce until reduced by about half its volume – +/- 20 – 30 minutes.
  • Season (if necessary) and thicken sauce slightly with a little corn-starch added to a bit of water, and then stirred through the sauce.
  • Chop remaining litchis into chunks and add to sauce – heat through.
  • Set aside.

Lotus root

  • If frozen, thaw the lotus root and dry on kitchen towel.
  • Heat oil to 180deg C and fry lotus root in batches until golden brown.
  • Remove from oil.
  • Season with salt and set aside.

Rice

  • Cook the rice on the stove top or rice cooker, substituting the equivalent water, with the can of coconut milk.

Duck

  • Heat a non-stick pan over a medium heat and brown the duck skin side down until well browned and fat has rendered out +/- 5- 7 minutes. Take care not to burn.
  • Turn duck over and briefly brown remaining sides.
  • Transfer duck to an oven friendly pan and cook in the oven for about 6-7 minutes  (this will produce duck which is still slightly pink in the middle). Cook longer if you want more well-done duck.
  • Remove duck and rest in a glass dish.
  • Cover dish with cling wrap and add Cherrywood smoke.
  • Seal dish and rest meat in the smoke for 3-4 minutes.

Bok Choi

  • Steam/boil Bok Choi until softened.
  • Set aside and keep warm.

To serve

  • Spoon warm sauce onto a plate.
  • Place bok choi leaves onto plate and top with coconut rice.
  • Slice the duck breast and lay on top of sauce
  • Top with crispy lotus root

Nice! and Tasty – Chris

Craig Banks – artist

I am pleased to introduce my first Artist contributor, Craig Banks.

In his Own words:

My name is Craig Banks and I am a pencil portrait artist who grew up in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, and my art has always been a great support for me during challenging times. I am completely self-taught, and my style is 100% my own. I began practicing and developing my sketching skills while dabbling in other mediums such as acrylic and charcoal. It’s been a long road but I’m happy to say I’ve reached a point where my art always keeps me busy.

I revel in imperfections, as these imperfections slowly bring my subjects to life. I work from supplied photos and I get my inspiration from walking around my neighbourhood and observing the people I see. The positive responses which I get from my varied clients when they see the results of my work, are truly rewarding. A highlight of my career was to have my art works exhibited at the South African Hall of Fame at sun City.

My goal, professionally, would be to become a full-time portrait artist and be featured in international galleries, or at the very least, to work in a gallery and look at paintings all day long, as at present I hold down a full-time day job.

(If you’re in windows click on picture to enlarge – Thereafter you can go forwards or backwards.)

 

 

 

Arts and Crafts

This section of the guest contributors will consist of the work of Artists, Craftsmen (and women) and possibly interesting hobbyists. I am starting off with a number of artists, who have all been enrolled in Staedtler’s ambassador program. Sometime in the future, I will quite likely expand this section to artists who are not necessarily in this program.

I thank the management of Staedtler South Africa for allowing me to showcase the works of the Artists enrolled in their artistic ambassador program  in South Africa. This program has 3 progressive levels of recognition for these artists, whereby they are supplied with relative materials and their work given exposure in order to support them in their endeavours to pursue their art and talent. Such exposure is ensured by featuring the ambassadors in Staedtler’s quarterly on line publication called; “MARS arts, crafts and design”.  I also thank “Trend Forward”,  the editors and compilers of Mars Magazine, for facilitating my involvement in this exciting venture. To view Mars magazine go to;   https://issuu.com/marsmag