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.
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|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|
|1 tbsp||Palm sugar|
|½ stalk||Lemongrass, very finely chopped|
|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||Coriander leaves|
|1 handful||Mint leaves, torn|
|1 handful||Basil leaf, torn|
- Preheat the oven to 180 degC. To make 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.
- To make 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.
- Preheat the oven to 220 degC. To make the roast capsicum sauce, 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.
- To make 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.
- To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
- To make the salad, combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
- Heat a small frying pan over high heat and add the butter and chilli. Sear the scallops for 45 seconds on each side.
- To serve: 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.