I have to warn you, what you are about to see is a bit graphic. Afterall, we did our shopping for tonight’s dinner at the Chinese grocery store. As I began the preparations, even I wasn’t prepared for what we found.
I know, it shouldn’t have been all that shocking and my experiences in cooking school should have prepared me, but I’m a chicken kind of girl and they don’t sell chickens with their heads on where I shop. Thankfully, Brian stepped in and did the deed. I think he even enjoyed it.
I love that man! Thanks, honey. (Such a romantic Valentine’s Day.)
The next part of the preparation was also quite interesting, after marinating the duck for about 5 hours in hoisin sauce, Chinese five spice powder, salt and pepper, we poured boiling water over the duck to puff it up. Then, I brushed a layer of corn syrup, maltose and vinegar over the duck. (This was quite a challenge as maltose wants to stick to everything with an uber tight grip and wasn’t necessarily “brushable”. I improvised a bit and added more corn syrup.) Next, we hung the duck (as directed) upright with a fan blowing on it for another four hours.
I’m not sure I’d be able to finish any dinner without a scrumptuous dessert and so far on our journey we’ve had some pretty amazing desserts. Tonight’s deliciousness was no exception, a succulent caramel pecan cake recipe from Lantern restaurant. Instead of making homemade Chinese five spice powder ice cream, I simply added the spice to vanilla ice cream and it really was divine.
I love that “delicious” in Chinese is actually “very good eat”, that’s exactly what the caramel pecan cake was.
谢谢 (sheh-sheh; thank you) China for taking us on an amazing journey. We hope to visit you one day.
Happy Valentine’s Day.