Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Corn off the cob sauteed with duck fat and duck cracklin's

During a recent Iron Chef competition at Kitchen Consevatory my team and I were presented with a couple of ducks.  After breaking down the ducks, I rendered the fat and made cracklings.  My market basket also included some fresh corn on the cob. We cut the corn from the cobb and sautéed it with some peppers in the rendered fat and topped the corn with the crispy cracklings. 

Take the excess fat and skin from breaking down the ducks and trimming the parts.  Chop them into 1/2 inch pieces and place in a sauté pan with 1/2 cup water.  Bring the water to boil over medium heat, let the water evaporate and the skin will separate from the fat and the skin will begin to brown and crisp.  Strain the fat from the cracklings.  Season the cracklings with salt.  The fat is especially delicious used to sauté potatoes.

It is also delicious to sauté corn in the fat, add pepper or two and a bit of onion, and top with the cracklings.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Filipino Grilled Adobo Chicken

This month's (September 2013) Food and Wine cover photo is a grilled Filipino chicken.  I followed the recipe pretty much as written and it turned out delicious.  The main flavors of soy, garlic, star anise are supported by smokey charred grill marks.  I loved it and will make it again, probably add some kind of spicy dipping sauce and more red pepper flakes to the marinade next time.

3 cups of water
1 cup coconut or cider vinegar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup Asian fish sauce
10 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
4 whole star anise pods
2 small (3 1/2 to 4 #) chickens cut into 8 pieces each
Oil to brush the grill
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped fresh herbs such as cilantro, parsley or basil

In a large stainless bowl or zip lock bag, combine all of the ingredients except the oil, salt and pepper.

Add the chicken pieces, making sure they are covered with the marinade.

Refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.

Drains the chicken and prepare the grill.  Brush the grate liberally with the oil and grill the chicken, skin side down over medium heat, turning occasionally until they are lightly browned and charred and the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

Salt and pepper the chicken and top with some chopped fresh herbs.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Great Peach Season

Great Peach Season for southern Illinois and Missouri.  Especially loving Eckert's and Calhoun County peaches this year.

I've been making this fresh peach salsa every week since the peaches have been coming in.  It is terrific with chips, but also good spooned on grilled fish, shrimp or chicken.

2 large fresh peaches, skinned
1 large ripe tomato, skinned
1 clove of garlic, pressed
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 hot pepper-or to taste, chopped
juice of 1/2 lime
a couple sprigs of fresh cilantro
Salt to taste

Place all the ingredients in a process and rough chop, leave things a bit chunky for me, but if you prefer a smoother salsa, just keep processing until you get the texture you like.