You remember the Parkers’ yuletide dinner was destroyed when the Bumpus hounds savaged their turkey.
Years later, we remember that “Chinese turkey” scene and we are keen to bust it out Peking duck-style for Christmas Eve hors’d’oeuvres.
For $20, we snagged a barbecued duck, hacked before our eyes, at the Asian market. Mandarin pancakes are proving harder to find, but we’ll use tortillas in a pinch. Green onions cut into brushes and hoisin sauce with orange peel, and we’re set.
CANTONESE ROAST DUCK
4-1/2 to 5-pound duckling
1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger root
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine
1 tablespoon yellow bean sauce
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
2 teaspoons five-spice powder
2 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon red food coloring
1 cup warm water
DIRECTIONS: Clean duck thoroughly. Blanch the duckling in a pot of boiling water for a few minutes. Remove and dry well. Rub the duck with salt and tie the neck tightly with string. Mix 1 tablespoon oil, chopped green onion, chopped ginger root, tablespoon sugar, rice wine, yellow bean sauce, hoisin sauce, and five-spice powder. Heat mixture in a sauce pan and bring to a boil, making sure all ingredients are blended well. Pour this mixture into the cavity of the duck. Secure the opening shut with a metal skewer. Dissolve the honey with vinegar and red food coloring in cup of warm water. Brush mixture all over the duck, giving it several coatings. Hang the duck up to air dry for at least 6 hours. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Fill a tray with 1 to 3 inches of water and place it on the bottom of the oven. Place the duck , breast side up, on a greased rack in the center of the oven. Bake 30 minutes. Then turn the duck breast side down and bake for 45 minutes. Turn the duck one more time, breast side up, and roast for another 30 minutes until the skin turns a dark brown. Baste with coating mixture each time the duck is turned. Remove the metal skewer and pour out the liquid mixture to be used as gravy to pour over the duck. Serve with scallion flowers, hoisin sauce and egg foo yung.
Makes 2 to 4 servings.
China Moon, Barbara Tropp
1/2 cold unsalted butter, cut into eight pieces
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
pinch of fine sea salt
1/2 cup currants
1 packed tablespoon finely diced crystallized ginger
In bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium speed until smooth and light, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add flour, salt, currants, and ginger; mix the dough until well blended, about 3 minutes. Gather the dough into a ball and flatten slightly. Lightly flour a 12-inch/30-cm square piece of parchment paper. Place the dough on top and roll out, using a flour-dusted rolling pin, into a 10-inch/25cm square that is an even 1/4-inch/6mm thick. Cover and refrigerate the dough until firm, about one hour.
Preheat the oven to 350F/180C and move oven rack to middle position. Line large baking sheets with parchment paper. Using sharp knife, divide the dough into 10 1-inch/2.5cm wide strips. Cut each strip into 11/2-inch/3cm long shortbreads; place them 1/2-inch/1cm apart on prepared baking sheets. Gather and roll out scraps and cut more shortbreads. Doing one sheet at a time, bake cookies until edges are lightly golden, 12 to 15 minutes.
CAM-LAN ALMOND COOKIES
2-3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup lard
1 teaspoon almond extract
DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Sift flour, sugar, baking soda and salt together into a bowl. Cut in the lard until well mixed. Then add egg and almond extract and mix well. Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Set them 2-inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Place an almond on top of each cookie and press down slightly. Bake for 15-18 minutes.
Makes 2 to 2-1/2 dozen cookies.