M. Andrew Gordon

Archive for December, 2010|Monthly archive page

Random Pictures from Polynesian Dinner

In Appetizers, Baked Goods, Desserts, Dinner Party on December 20, 2010 at 10:58 pm

Molasses-ginger marinated wing with pineapple glaze

The makings for a Suffering Bastard

A Baked A(laska) Bomb: ginger-lemongrass ice cream, angel food cake, and meringue


Peking Duck

In Dinner Party, Main Dish, Poultry on December 13, 2010 at 10:50 pm

Cooking Peking Duck is no joke and not something one should undertake on whim.  The trouble is that there is a time-honored technique which is difficult to adhere to in the modern American kitchen.  It requires pouring a boiling hot orange syrup over the bird to flash-cook the skin, then hanging the bird for days.  Yes, days.  Although the FDA warns against such activities as they have to worry about nasty little microbes.  This drying process allows the skin to crisp better when the duck is roasted, sweating out moisture.  The duck is then roasted at a high temperature to achieve the desired golden brown skin which is the hallmark of Peking Duck.

I made mine by having the duck dry in the refrigerator for several days before hanging in the open air for a lengthy afternoon session in front of a fan.  None of the diners reported feeling ill.  And I ate leftovers for several days afterwards.

Peking Ducks; the wire trusses allowed me to hang the birds to dry before roasting.

Peking Duck with homemade pancakes

Lobster Dumplings

In Appetizers, Dinner Party on December 7, 2010 at 10:19 pm

The specifics of the recipe escape me, of course, but the memories will linger on forever.  Tender dumpling wrappers, painstakingly rolled out by the ever-patient and generous Lena, fried on one side and steamed to cook through, filled with the juxtaposition of sweet lobster, sharp ginger and scallion flavors, tart apple, and a slight hint of a smoky curry.

Curried Lobster Dumplings

Making high-quality dumplings is surprisingly easy, though a little time consuming.  The wrappers are a simple mixture of flour and water that is made into a dough, kneaded for a several minutes, and then allowed to rest for about 15 minutes.  The dough is then rolled into a rope, cut into individual servings, and rolled out to a small circle.  Filling is added and the dough pinched off to seal in the filling.  Cooking is simple and quick, all the better to satisfy the hunger built up during all of that tedious rolling.