Dried plum salt duck with fragrant Asian salad, roast capsicum sauce, chilli scallops and duck consommé
( SERVES 2 )
I found it really hard to decide on what to cook for the auditions as I rarely cook the same dish twice, so I decided to make something that represented my heritage, half Kiwi and half Malaysian-Chinese - NZ scallops, Chinese five spice and dried plum duck, and a salad with flavours of South East Asia. During Chinese New Year we eat these salty, tart dried plums, which lend an interesting flavour to the duck - you can get them in most Asian supermarkets. This was also the second time I'd ever made a consommé - they're much easier to make than you think. When the egg white raft has floated to the top and clarified the stock, just tip the whole lot into a sieve lined with muslin cloth or a paper towel instead of wasting time carefully ladling the stock out. This dish, as the judges said, is a bit like two dishes in one - so you could have the scallops with the capsicum chilli sauce as an entrée, and then the duck, salad and consommé with rice for a main.
Consomme and duck sauce
Roast capsicum sauce; dried plum duck and scallops
Frgrant Asian salad and dressing
|½||Red chilli, large, deseeded and finely sliced|
|1 Tbsp||Rice wine vinegar|
|1 Tbsp||Fish sauce|
|2||Limes, juiced, the zest of one lime|
|½ stalk||Lemongrass, very finely chopped|
|1 Tbsp||Palm sugar|
|3||Kaffir lime leaves, very finely shredded|
|½||Mango, finely diced|
|1 handful||Mung bean sprouts|
|½||Lebanese cucumber, quartered lengthwise, deseeded and finely sliced|
|1 handful||Fresh coriander|
|1 handful||Mint leaves, torn|
|1 handful||Basil leaves, torn|
- Heat the oven to 180C.
For the consomme
- Brush duck bones with hoisin sauce, place in a roasting tray and roast in the oven for one hour. Transfer the roasted duck bones to a large saucepan with celery, onions, carrot and peppercorns. Reserve juices and sediment from the roasting tray for the sauce.
- Add just enough water to the saucepan to cover the bones (it's important not to add too much water as you don't want thin, watery stock). Simmer for three hours, skimming fat regularly. Strain the stock, discarding the bones and vegetables, and return to the pan. Skim off as much fat as possible.
- Whisk egg whites thoroughly into the stock. Place over medium-low heat and bring to a slow simmer. When a raft of egg whites just starts to form, whisk it a couple of times to break it up and help it set evenly.
- When the raft has risen to the top, carefully break it and strain the consommé through a coffee-filter paper and set aside.
For the duck sauce
- Scrape the sediment to loosen from the bottom of the reserved pan. Deglaze the pan with wine, orange juice and any juices from the resting duck.
- Reduce until slightly syrupy. Strain the sauce through a fine sieve and keep warm in the oven until serving.
For the roast capsicum sauce
- Heat the oven to 220C. Roast the capsicum and red chilli until blistered and slightly charred, 15-20 minutes. Place in a plastic bag and leave to cool.
- Peel the capsicum and chilli and deseed completely. Place in a blender with lime zest, juice and a few teaspoons of the duck sauce and blend. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary and keep warm.
For the duck
- Score the skin of the duck breasts diagonally with a sharp knife. Pull the skin off the dried plums and pound with coarse sea salt in a mortar and pestle to a fine salt.
- Sieve the plum salt to remove any large bits. Rub into the duck, along with the black pepper and five spice.
- Heat the sesame oil in a cast-iron frying pan over medium-high heat and sear the duck breasts, skin side down, for 1 1/2 minutes. Turn and sear the flesh side for 20-30 seconds. Flip back to skin-side down and place in the oven for 5 1/2 minutes. Remove from the oven and keep warm while resting.
For the salad and dressing
- Combine the red chilli, rice wine vinegar, fish sauce, lime juice and zest, plam sugar, lemongrass and the kaffir lime leafes in a mixing bowl for the dressing. Set aside.
- Combine the mango, sprouts, cucumber, coriander, mint and basil leaves in a mixing bowl to make the salad. Set aside.
For the scallops
- Heat a small frying pan over high heat and add the butter and chilli. Sear the scallops for 45 seconds on each side.
- Slice the duck breasts diagonally and place on a plate. Dress the salad and place on the opposite side of the plate to the duck.
- Drizzle the roast capsicum sauce down the middle and top with scallops. Pour the consommé into a cup and place on the side.