9.11.08

duck, sucka, etc.













When I woke up about an hour ago at 4am, I had a moment of really being happy to see winter. Not that it's terribly cold or anything, but the short days and increasing windiness are starting to assert themselves as unignorable signs that summer is truly not coming back until next year. And this morning's view of dark winter nights came via the pendulum-like swinging of the halogen streetlight suspended just outside our "bedroom" window, rhythmically casting shadows on the ceiling above the bed, and making me glad that I was inside and warm, even though like I said it's not really that cold here yet.

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There's a new addition to the family that I've been meaning to tell you about. It's our first extravagant houseware purchase since I don't know, our couch maybe?













In case the 4:45am lighting isn't revealing enough: it's a freezer. A standalone freezer that in one fell swoop multiplies our existing freezer space by a factor of 10 or so.

Having a useful freezer is such a novel concept to us that upon her arrival we started sounding like a bad Caveman Gets Sent to The Future movie: "Mm. So, if I understands this correctly, this device allows you to cook when you feel like it, freeze the results, and then just 'unfreeze' something when you're not in the mood to chop and dice," I said, thoughtfully scratching my chin, really feeling like I'd actually had some sort of observant insight. "Yes, yes...I think I'll call this concept 'leftovers.', etc. etc. etc."

We're still not quite used to her, in that we keep forgetting to make "enough to freeze" of things. I made a very comforting Jewish chicken soup this weekend (my first ever using a whole chicken) but really only ended up with like two bowls' worth of leftovers. From tonight's chili there were no leftovers, which is just stupid.

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So tonight's dinner was black bean and duck chili with all the trimmings (actually all 3 trimmings: goat cheese, scallions, and raw sweet onions). It was superb, as it usually is, but there's a problem: I never use a recipe for it. I always try to write down what I did, but I never look at what I've previously written down. Here's today's version.

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duck and black bean chili.

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1 leg duck confit

250gr dried black beans
1 dried red new mexican chile
1 dried chipotle chile
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp epazote

2 chipotle chiles in adobo
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp orange juice
1 tbsp tamarind concentrate
1 tbsp maple syrup
3 cloves garlic
2 shallots, diced
2 tbsp chile molido
1 tsp smoked pimenton

1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, minced
4 scallions, diced
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
goat cheese, shredded
sour cream

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3 comments:

Zora said...

Whoa! That sounds amazing! I just made some black beans without much seasoning of their own, and have a bunch left over. Is this a super-long-simmering situation, where everything has to sit in the pot together for a long time? Or will I be OK throwing everything in with cooked beans, and letting it go for, say, half an hour?

MEM said...

(reposted due to late-night punctuation problems)

30 minutes is fine...I actually don't season these beans much at all before they're cooked.

I'll try to add some actual directions here soon, but basically, yeah throw everything in except the confit meat and fresh mint and scallions and simmer for 30 minutes.

The confit meat you shred and fry in its own fat with an onion, some cumin, and a touch of cinnamon.

And then add the shredded duck at the end, simmer for 5 minutes and serve with yer garnishes.

I should've made more than I did...

Zora said...

Wunderbar--thanks!