Saturday, January 26, 2013

Lucky Ducky

Duck with Chestnuts
After making pot roast for Christmas, was it any surprise that when I looked through my lovely new Mrs Handy, that I was immediately drawn to this Duck Pot Roast recipe?

I had a special occasion coming up, too. Some friends and I take turns hosting dinner. We each bring a dish, but it's not quite pot luck since we assign the dishes to be made in advance. Anyway, it was my turn to play host. What better to bring to a “pot luck”, I reasoned, than a pot roast? And I'd been dying to try my hand at cooking a whole duck.

I'm delighted to say that it went rather well. The duck was moist, juicy and the chestnuts were soft and tasty.  I'm pleased to say that the chestnuts were  my addition to the recipe.  They do add to the labour of making the dish though.  Whilst partially shelled, removing the rest of the shell and the outer skin of what must have been around 30 chestnuts took me about an hour. So feel free to drop the chestnuts if you wish.

1 whole duck (mine was approx 2.7kg and cost me $22)
2 tablespoons roasted coriander, finely pounded
1 teaspoon black peppercorns, finely pounded
1 dessertspoon sugar
Salt (to taste)
2-4 tablespoons thick soy sauce

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 shallots
2 teacups water
1 stick cinnamon
3-4 cloves

(Could add star anise as well, but I stuck to the recipe and didn't try this out).

300g chestnuts (boil  for about 20min or so, remove shell and skin)

1.  Rub the ground ingredients over the duck, together with the sugar, salt and soy sauce.

2.  Use a large, heavy bottomed pot.  Fry the onions in the oil till soft.  Add the duck, and fry till browned.  Add the spices, chestnuts and the water.  Cover the pot and cook.  Check the duck and turn over in the course of cooking.

3.  The duck should be cooked after about 1-1.5 hours. Remove duck and chestnuts, pour gravy in separate jug. Skim off the fat, and add the remaining gravy to the duck and chestnuts. (Be sure to keep the fat though. To use for cooking other dishes).

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Propping me up for the past three years

My Ikea shelf brackets hold up my beading frame
When I visited the Pinang Peranakan Mansion, one thing that caught my eye was the beading stand which young nonyas used to prop their beading frames on. Alas, such beautiful antique pieces are not easily found and in any case, are pretty pricey. So when I wanted to find something to prop up myown beading frame, I had to find an alternative. Ikea to the rescue! Two wall shelf brackets (the same colour as my beading frame) did the trick nicely and have been serving me well ever since. With a light shining right on the frame, it is quite an ideal beading set-up (see left).  By the way, the reason why the surroundings look a little dark is probably  due to the camera exposure.  It is actually taken in the light of day.

After 3 years....
 Anyway, six months have rolled around again and it's time for my regular update. It's my third year on this single pair of shoes and I am happy to say that the top halves of both shoes are complete now, and the right shoe is slowly catching up with the left. The cloud pattern is showing up quite nicely, I think.

On hindsight, maybe I should not have made such large shoes. I'd be that much closer to finishing them off, more encouraging for a beginner like myself.

Three year beading history here.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...