Friday, September 08, 2006

Anticipating the Duck

Only about 12 hours to go. The idea is starting to set in now. I am excited. I predict that lunch will be a wonderful affair that will leave me in a heightened state of consciousness for the rest of the day. I hope it will open my eyes to the full power of food and suck my motivation for cooking from within. But I doubt it. In fact, the mere prospect of going to eat in the world’s finest restaurant managed to eek the last grain of energy from inside at the end of this hard week, half past seven at night and a homecoming of half-roasted belly pork and a pile of veg to prep.

So I set about making a sweet and sour sauce by frying onions, red&yellow peppers and garlic in pork fat with some chilli and lemon grass, orange rind and an apple. A good glug of white wine, some white wine vinegar and half a carton of sieved tomatoes. Simmer it all with the lid on, topping up with water, until everything is soft enough to press through a sieve and then again to leave a smooth red sauce. I then used the salty, five-spice flavoured fat to stir-fry some batons of carrot, courgette, sliced mushrooms and greens. Soy sauce at the end and then the rings came out to be filled with a disk of white rice, a loose pile of veg and a square of succulent pork topped with a golden puffy crust. It was all very good, sitting in a pool of crimson. The sharpness was just right to cut through the meat, but it was a bit light on the seasoning. I’d hardly tasted anything until right at the end, confident I had it under control all along. It looked sexier than it tasted, as it was basically some sweet and sour pork. There were nods of appreciation all round but it was basically a posh chinky. An afterthought of corn roasted whole in its sheath.

I then looked at the Duck home page to get into the mood and saw a tarte tatin with vanilla ice cream on there. I then got thinking about what he could be doing to his tarte tatin or custard to make it so much better than the one I make. I am pretty sure I could pull off the perfect combo, once or twice but not on demand perhaps. I don’t know. But I am hungry to find out. Come on Heston, impress me you siphon-loving weirdo.

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