Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sweet & Sour Duck Pasta (or The Fictional Duck Dilemma)

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For dinner tonight I wanted to use up the leftover duck. Jen has an innate repulsion for any sort of leftover poultry. She feels (incorrectly, I may add) that once a chicken, duck, or other piece of poultry has been cooked and refrigerated that the meat turns all "grey and greasy." I, on the other hand, have a more sensible approach. However, in order to get her to eat it I need to disguise leftover poultry so that she is tricked into looking past it's greyness and greasiness.

Jamie Oliver had a cool recipe in his book Cook with Jamie for Gorgeous slow-cooked duck pasta. Like all of Jamie's recipes this one was unnecessarily long in name. The only disappointment for me was that it wasn't something more distinctly English like Right Proper Duck Pasta or Best Bloke's Pasta. He does, however, mention in the instructions to let the sauce "blip away nicely" as one of the steps in the cooking process. So I'll give him a pass this time.

I was going to try to think of two fictional ducks do name this dish after. Donald, quite obviously, would be the sour duck but I was stumped when I tried to think of a fictional duck that was sweet in nature. Daffy? No. Howard? No. My only options were to go with some of Donald's nephews but I didn't want the ducks to be in the same universe. It was quite a dilemma.

Even this Wikipedia page which was a list of fictional ducks didn't really provide me with any options.

I changed up the recipe a bit and, of course, I didn't actually pay attention to the quantities for anything. That's just not my thing. That's why there are no recipes on this blog and, consequently, why no one reads it.

I rendered some bacon with a little olive oil then tossed in sliced garlic, chopped onion, celery, and carrots. After cooking them for a minute I threw in some chopped rosemary and a stick of cinnamon. A few minutes later I added some whole peeled tomatoes and red wine and simmered it for about twenty minutes before tossing in the pulled duck meat. After another half hour I added some toasted pine nuts and dried cherries. Mr. Oliver called for sultanas (which no one in America has) but we were also out of raisins from Jen's recent Pantry-Clearing Muffin Bakefest 2011.

I served it over "Calamari Rings" from Severino Pasta. They not, of course, actually calamari but rather a mixture of different colored pasta rings. If we had had this type of pasta when I was little I could have made way better pasta necklaces for my mom. Rigatoni is so played out.

For wine we had this cabernet from Concannon Vineyard. I'd used this in the sauce as well. It was probably not technically the best pairing for this dish but luckily since I don't believe in wine pairing with food it went well. Since the wine was delicious I didn't really care how it paired with anything other than my mouth. And with that it paired quite nicely.

Now that Jen's return home is complete it is time to move on to the task of continuing our grand pantry-fridge-freezer clean out. Not as much fun but more somewhat satisfying.

I suppose.

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