Dazed and confused? Not me. I’m just Lost in the Cheese Aisle.

Monday, October 4, 2010


Corn Crepes
Corn (white and yellow), green onions, red peppers, and garlic sweat happily away in the skillet. All of this colorful bounty will shortly be converted to crepes that will be stuffed with fragrant, meltingly tender duck confit.

Yep, the Scourge of Duckburg. That’s me.

Donald, Uncle Scrooge, Ludwig Von Drake, Huey, Dewey, and Louie... they all clear out of town when I’m around. And Daffy, nutty though he may be, knows enough to stay the hell away from Duckburg even when I’m not. (He can’t stand the Disney waterfowl tribe anyway.)

When most people see ducks, they see lovable cartoon characters. Me, I see dinner. And the ducks that value their feathered asses stay the hell out of my way.

Yesterday evening, by way of an advance birthday celebration, I had a meaty, ducky dinner. The meat consisted of a flank steak marinated in teriyaki sauce, courtesy of our friends Gary and JoAnn. I threw a one-bone prime rib roast on the grill on the grill alongside the flank steak to keep it company as it cooked. Not quite thick enough to be a rib roast but really massive for a steak, it was glorious when cooked medium-rare and sliced.

And then there was the duck. I had planned to make corn crepes with BBQ duck confit, using a recipe from Michael Symon. It’s one of those recipes that is actually capable of making me sweat with anticipation, given that (1) it involves duck, and (2) it provides a rare opportunity for me to make use of the tubs of frozen goose and duck schmaltz I always keep on hand.

The Recipe-Wheels had been set in motion several weeks ago when I put up a nice big pan of duck confit. You season the duck with a sugar/salt/spice rub; after it cures for a few days, you simmer it in a pot full of schmaltz for about ten hours. Then you submerge it in the fat, let it congeal, and park it in the fridge for a month or two to ripen. The result is meat that is so unctuous, so meltingly tender, that it will stop your heart out of sheer ecstasy.

With all of the heavy lifting out of the way, all that had to be done today was to make up a pot of BBQ sauce and shred up some of that lovely duck, encased in schmaltz - a 75:25 blend of goose and duck fat - like Han Solo in carbonite. Then came the corn crepes, into each of which I packed a steaming hot load of BBQ sauced duck. A dab of sour cream, an extra squirt of sauce, a handful of fresh cilantro, and Bob’s your uncle: Dinner!

Corn Crepes with BBQ Duck Confit
The finished product: Corn crepes crammed with BBQ duck confit.

It’s pretty unusual for me to eat seriously rich food these days. But these crepes were serious... and worth every cholesterol-laden bite.

Too bad Gary and JoAnn don’t eat duck. For that matter, neither do the Missus and the Mistress of Sarcasm. Oh, well: More for me.


The Maximum Leader said...

"When most people see ducks, they see lovable cartoon characters. Me, I see dinner. And the ducks that value their feathered asses stay the hell out of my way."

I feel the same way about pigs. I raised a few eyebrows from other families at the State Fair this weekend when I commented that there might be "as much as 15 pounds of bacon on that" prize winning pig in a stall. Moms & Dads shielded the tender ears of their unknowing offspring lest they learn that the happy pig could be made into bacon...

fpaynter said...

TML, my kids went vegetarian on me after a visit to the county fair a couple of decades ago. I forget how long the sensitivity lasted, but they're insensitive omnivores again now in their thirties.

Elisson, you are quite the kung foodie! And that confit is a lesson in patience. Glad to have wandered through and made your blogular acquaintance. Ducks seem to have emerged as a topic of the day... a friend checked out of the Orlando Peabody hotel with the comment that she'll miss the ducks. At onegoodmove.org Norm embedded the Glenn and Donald cartoon that is making the rounds. There's a nimrod down on the marsh tuning up his 12 gauge (but I'm sure he's after turkeys since the duck season isn't open yet).

Anonymous said...

I don't know what's more impressive...the BBQ Duck Crepe, or that you worked a Duck/Duck Fat and Star Wars reference into the same post. Impressive, both!!

- Morris William

Kris said...

Extremely fond of quackers, I am. I especially lurve the Peking Duck at the Peking Gourmet Inn in Falls Church, Virginia (used to be a favorite of the elder PrezBush)... that crispy skin is to die for.